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Chaparral 2020-2021: 29.6 Adjunct Junction

Adjunct Junction

by Juli Wolfgram
2nd Vice President, Glendale College Guild

 

Hello, Part-Time Faculty!
I’ve been asked to write about how, after one full academic year of remote work, it’s gone, what we’ve learned, and how we might be looking ahead. The pandemic has been especially hard on Part-Time faculty, many of whom have lost assignments or have had to take on extra burdens due to the Stay Safe at Home practices.

Furthermore, confusion still persists over delivery methods of instruction, health benefit coverage, and the never-ending quagmire of applying for unemployment benefits.

First, I would like to once again reassure Part-Time faculty that DE certification is not required for synchronous online (remote) instruction. DE certification is only required for asynchronous 100% online instruction.

Second, the Guild did gain Health Benefits for Part Time faculty. Remember, you will not lose those benefits if your total assignments at all districts remains at 40% load or higher. For eligibility, please see CBA, Article XI, Section 2. During this pandemic, many faculty asked about sick leave hours. Sick leave is calculated once a year. The sick leave you see on your current pay stub is from the end of December 2020.

Third, for many of us, it is that time to (re)apply for Unemployment Benefits through EDD. In the words of Jim Mahler, CFT Community College Council President:

With all of the new twists and turns associated with unemployment benefits due to the pandemic, the various federal stimulus packages, additional state funding, and new fraud protection, the simple act of applying for unemployment insurance has become more complicated than ever.

I will outline here the latest advice from the CFT Part Time Faculty Committee, the CFT, and from the President of the CFT Community College Council.

Recent changes to the process:

  • New Federal Relief Adds $300 per Week to UI Benefits
    The federal government has passed another relief/stimulus package which includes additional money for unemployment. According to the California EDD: "The new American Rescue Plan Act … Continues the federal increase for all unemployment benefits, which adds $300 to each week of benefits through September 4, 2021."

    This means that the maximum benefits award is $750 per week (not the usual $450 per week) until September 4.
     
  • Work Search Certification Does Not Currently Affect Benefit Eligibility
    According to the California EDD: "Every two weeks claimants must certify for benefits by answering bi-weekly certification questions, including whether the claimant has looked for work. However, due to the impact of COVID-19 on a worker’s ability to find work, claimants have not been required to search for work since March 2020. Thus, claimants may continue to answer "no" to the bi-weekly certification question "Did you look for work?" without impacting eligibility at this time. The Department will continue to update the public on any future changes to this work search requirement."

    Note that the federal government is encouraging states to reinstate work search requirements, so this could change at any time.
     
  • IRS Changes: First $10,200 of 2020 UI Benefits Are Nontaxable
    According to the California EDD: "The Internal Revenue Service announced that the first $10,200 of 2020 unemployment benefits are nontaxable. Those who received unemployment benefits last year and have already filed their 2020 tax return, should not file an amended return at this time because the IRS said it will automatically refund money to those who filed their tax return reporting unemployment compensation before the recent changes made by the American Rescue Plan."
     
  • CA EDD Now Uses a New ID Verification System
    The California EDD is now imposing stricter identification requirements on those filing for unemployment benefits. Specifically, you may be required to use the ID.me system to verify who you are. The ID.me system will need:
     
    • A copy of an identification document, such as a driver license or a passport. So you will need to be able to scan or take a good-quality photo of your document, and then submit it electronically.
    • A current photo of yourself. So you will need to be able to take a selfie/video and submit it electronically. If the selfie photo does not look similar to the photo on your ID, it may be rejected.

Quick Tips & Reminders:

To receive the maximum benefit, applications should be submitted immediately following the completion of your last class session or assignment for this semester. If you have already filed a claim for unemployment benefits within the last 52 weeks and have not exhausted the benefits you are entitled to don't file a new claim; you must reopen your claim to continue receiving benefits. If you need to start a new claim, you can re-submit for a new claim online. If your benefit year ended, you must apply for a new claim, even if you are on an extension or have money left on your expired claim.

You should receive some kind of response and/or documents from EDD within two weeks of submitting your claim. If you have not received anything, contact EDD as soon as possible to ensure your claim was submitted properly or that you have not missed an important request.

If you are ever denied your claim for benefits, please contact me right away so we can discussion possible options including an appeal.

PHEW!

That’s a lot!

As usual, I’d like to remind you of the resources available to Part Time faculty through the Instructor Support Shell in Canvas or to the GCC website for Adjunct Faculty Information. If you have not yet signed up for the Instructor Support Shell, please go to https://gcc.instructure.com/enroll/NARBAD.

This Canvas shell was developed by our Adjunct Faculty Support Coordinator, John Fuhrmann who has also hosted a large number of workshops in the past year. John will be stepping down from this position, so please send him a huge “Thank You!” for all his work on our behalf! jfuhrman@glendale.edu

This means that the position of Adjunct Faculty Support Coordinator is now open for applications. It comes with 30% release time stipend, and the closing date is June 2, 2021. This is a great opportunity for Part Time faculty!

Other ways to get involved include participation in FACCC and CPFA. Both organizations are looking for members to engage in their Part Time faculty committees. Check them out!

Okay, enough said.

I wish everyone good luck with the end-of-the-term grading, and I hope you have the best summer possible as pandemic restrictions are lifted!

In unity,

Juli
CFT Part Time Faculty Committee
2nd Vice President
Glendale College Guild AFT#2276
1500 North Verdugo Road
Glendale, CA 91208
 jwolfgra@glendale.edu

Visit us on the web: www.glendale.edu/guild and gccguild.org


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