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Member Testimony

YES on HB 2740: Expanding PERS Access for Part-Time Faculty Members

OEA written testimony in support of HB 2740 and video of member testimony from Clackamas Community College adjunct instructor Susan Caisse.
Submitted on: June 2023

Date: April 27, 2023
To: Senate Education Committee on Education
RE: HB 2740A (2023), and PERS qualification for part-time faculty in Oregon

Chair Dembrow, members of the committee,

The Oregon Education Association represents over 41,000 educators and education service professionals across the state, from pre-k to community colleges. Including hundreds of part-time faculty at eleven of Oregon’s community colleges. OEA supports HB 2740A.

For decades, the use of part-time faculty by our institutions of higher education has increased dramatically. The reasons given range from the need for flexibility, to ensuring classes are taught by folks working in the field on a day-to-day basis. However, the use of part-time faculty is actually a massive cost saving measure because part-time faculty have not received the benefits nor pay equivalent to full-time faculty, based on the hours they work for the institution.

And for part-time faculty who teach at multiple institutions, cobbling together a full-time (or more) teaching load, the disparity is remarkable.

Recognizing this fact, the legislature created a trigger of 600-hours for PERS qualification. This meant that any part-time faculty that taught 600-hours in a school year would start qualifying for PERS. The problem is that they never defined what constituted an hour of work, leaving that up to every individual institutions. What happened was a patchwork of different formulas across the system (please find below); some of which adequately accounted for hours spent prepping, grading or supporting students, others of which grossly mischaracterized the job and only credited hours in the classroom.

HB 2740A fixes that. The formula proposed by the bill (2.67 hours x hours in the classroom), takes the 600-hour threshold, and asks what it would take to qualify if someone worked .5 FTE (22.5 credit hours) in a year. The answer is a 2.67:1 ratio. That is exactly what this bill does.

OEA supports HB 2740A, and urges its passage with a “do pass” recommendation.


Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education

The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is a union committed to the cause of providing the basic right of great public education to every student. OEA represents about 41,000 educators working in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 public schools and community colleges. OEA’s membership includes licensed teachers and specialists, classified/education support professionals (ESPs), community college faculty, retired educators, and student members. OEA members also belong to the 3.2 million members of the National Education Association (NEA).