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MCC adjunct faculty concerned about losing employment agreement

Published: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 5:06 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 7, 2014 3:54 p.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Adjunct faculty at McHenry County College plan to address the Board of Trustees and administrators Thursday with some concerns that a previously agreed upon employment condition could be changed in the future.

Peter Ponzio, president of the college’s adjunct faculty association, said college officials failed to sign a memorandum of understanding last week that would have put in writing a verbal agreement between the two sides to allow existing adjunct faculty to work for multiple supervisors.

Working for multiple supervisors benefits the adjunct faculty members as it allows them to get to the 24-credit-hour yearly course load by teaching multiple subjects and opens the possibility of providing tutoring, counseling or another service to reach the 29-credit-hour cap set by the college.

Ponzio said although all adjunct faculty have been allowed to do so until this point, he is concerned the lack of a memorandum of understanding would give the college the ability to change that clause at any time.

He said a number of adjunct instructors plan to raise the issue at Thursday's meeting.

"We agreed to it verbally, and their attorney was involved in this whole process," he said. "I really have no idea why they would not sign it."

Tony Miksa, vice president of academic and student affairs, said there was no issue with the adjunct faculty and never a plan to take away the multiple supervisor clause since it was agreed to in September.

College officials had opposed the idea earlier in negotiations as they believed it would become difficult to track hours and they did not want employees to exceed the 29-credit-hour mark, which would trigger Affordable Care Act costs.

"As an institution, we have followed through with what we talked about with adjuncts," Miksa said. "Nothing has changed."

Both sides agreed new adjunct faculty would be limited to one supervisor, which would by default cap the new faculty members to the 12-credit-hour per semester course load as they could not also serve as tutors or counselors.

The Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the Board Room at McHenry County College, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

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