Load Adjustment Factors (for part-time and full-time overload assignments)

In Contra Costa Community College District, we pay part-time faculty in an unusual and complicated way. For a number of years now, rather than raising salaries for lecture, lab and composition-type assignments, we have increased what we call the Load Adjustment Factor. Because our district has always paid part-timers hourly, the pay rate in the past never took into account differences in workload based on assignment. For full-timers, the type of class one teaches affects the load for each assignment. So a three-hour composition class is worth 25% of a full-time salary. A three-hour lab class, by contrast, is only worth 15% (theoretically, because there is more preparation and grading associated with the composition class). If all part-timers are paid the same, when we compare the pay rate for different assignments, we find big gaps for composition and lecture faculty. In trying to fill those gaps, we wanted to give bigger raises to some groups than others, but the District always told us their computer system couldn’t handle that. So we finally figured out a way to do it: we adjust hours paid rather than pay rate.


If I work three hours for 10 dollars per hour, I make 30 dollars. Now I get a 10% raise, but rather than increase my rate of pay to 11 dollars per hour, we adjust the hours and pay me 10 dollars per hour for 3.3 hours. I still get the same increase: I now make $33/hour. But the District can now give different raises based on assignment type.


The trouble with this system is that nobody understands what he/she is being paid!  So we have asked the District to create different salary charts to show the real pay for lecture, lab, comp, and activity courses, factoring in the Load Adjustment Factor.


Note that it doesn’t work both ways. To figure out your pay, you can’t increase your hours AND use the adjusted salary schedules. The reality is that everyone gets paid off of the activity schedule (at the activity B2 rate). Faculty who teach anything other than activity classes will see two lines on their paychecks: the first line shows the hours you actually were in the classroom. The second line shows the adjustment, based on your assignment types. The rate on your paycheck is always the B-2 rate. The salary schedules online are adjusted to show the take-home rate as if multiplied ONLY by the actual hours you worked.  But this is not the rate that appears on your paycheck. On your paycheck, you are compensated for extra hours to reflect negotiated raises.


There is also a different rate for the summer.  Summer classes do not get the same load adjustment factors as fall and spring (not for any good reason but just because in trying to raise pay for fall and spring assignments, we have not always had the money to cover summer as well). This year, summer pay went up, so there is a load adjustment factor; it’s just a different, lower adjustment.


We KNOW this is all too confusing, and we are working towards a plan to stop paying part-time and full-time overload assignments hourly. We want to get to “pay-per-load,” so that there is only one salary schedule and all faculty are paid based on the load they teach. But to do this, we need to eliminate some historical inequities by raising pay for some assignment types more than others. To do this gradually, we have used the load adjustment factors. But we are getting close and should have a new system in place soon. (Our last agreement aims for 2021-2020 to be the year we reach phase 1 of our pay-per-load switch, but this depends on State funding and could be delayed if the economy does not rebound quickly.)


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