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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: March 20, 2018 05:30 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Higher Education Faculty Fair Treatment Act/Living Wage Act/Faculty Unemployment Act
In the near future, I plan to introduce a three-bill package to address the problem of low wages for part-time instructors, employees and contractors at institutions of higher education that receive state funding.

Document #1

Introduced as HB2738

Description: Higher Education Faculty Fair Treatment Act.  This bill is intended to address the growing trend at colleges and universities across the country, which increasingly rely on part-time instructors rather than tenured professors to teach their classes, and the financial struggles that part-time instructors face.  Such part-time instructors are currently paid modestly to teach classes while receiving few, if any, benefits.  As such, many of these highly educated individuals, whose dedicated service to their profession helps to provide a brighter future for their students, must themselves often rely, in part, upon the social safety net as they try to piece together a living.  With this in mind, this bill would help to ensure the fair treatment of part-time faculty at Pennsylvania higher education institutions that receive state funding by:
  1. Requiring each higher education institution to provide wages to part-time and other non-tenure track faculty that is equal, on a pro rata basis, to the pay of full-time tenure and tenure-track faculty that the institution employs.
  2. Ensuring that each higher education institution treats fairly and appropriately in matters of employment opportunity the part-time and other non-tenure track faculty the institution employs by providing such faculty with timely notice and priority consideration for part-time and non-tenure track teaching assignments.
  3. Ensuring that each institution of higher education provides that qualified non-tenure track faculty members receive full and fair consideration in attaining a tenure-track position when such a position becomes available.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.


Document #2

Introduced as HB2739

Description: Higher Education Living Wage Act.  This bill is intended to help to ensure that employees and individuals who provide contracted labor and other services to institutions of higher education that receive funding from this Commonwealth are treated with the dignity, respect and fairness they deserve by being paid a living wage.
With this in mind, this bill would create a living wage accreditation program for each higher education institution that receives state funding.  The purpose of this program would be to ensure that such institutions provide a base hourly wage of at least $15 per hour for each directly employed or contracted employee of the institution. 
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation. 

Document #3

Introduced as HB2737

Description: Higher Education Faculty Unemployment Act  This bill will allow for college instructors to be eligible for unemployment benefits between two successive academic years regardless of whether there is a “reasonable assurance” that they will perform services in a second academic year, as is currently required under the Unemployment Compensation Law in Pennsylvania.   
Although this bill could potentially assist regular, full-time professors as well, it is primarily intended to help those instructors as institutions of higher education who, despite being highly educated and qualified for full-time teaching at such institutions, may be struggling financially and must attempt to piece together a living.  These individuals have been placed in this unfair position due to a trend by colleges and universities of increasingly relying upon part-time instructors rather than tenured professors to teach their classes.  Although these institutions of higher learning may be making a good faith effort to cut costs by doing so, their well-intended efforts have had the unfortunate consequence of creating an underclass of college professors who are struggling to make ends meet, even as they may be unable to secure a full-time professorship.     
Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation to provide a minimum amount of financial support needed for these deserving individuals who selflessly give of their time and talent to follow the higher calling of serving the vital academic needs of our college students in this Commonwealth.