PRESIDENT STUART BELL AND THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA TRUSTEES
Adjunct faculty (part-time temporary instructors, PTTI’s) worked tirelessly through the pandemic, many teaching the same course loads as Full Time instructors, without university-sponsored health insurance. Graduate workers are also a critical part of the University of Alabama teaching work force and face tremendous barriers to accessing care, especially mental healthcare, due to the limitations of United Healthcare's student health plan.
The University of Alabama community rallied throughout the pandemic to ensure a safe educational environment. The lack of access to comprehensive, affordable healthcare for the most vulnerable members of our community is not only inconsistent with our values and vision, but a challenge to recruitment and retention: As an R1 institution, The University cannot compete for the best graduate students while offering an inadequate health plan. Furthermore, the lack of quality, affordable health insurance for adjuncts– who often perform the same labor as full-time instructors despite not being categorized and compensated as such–undermines The University’s personnel needs, reputation, and ability to retain its excellent employees.
Therefore, we, the undersigned, call on The University of Alabama to reinstate affordable, subsidized access to University-sponsored health insurance for all adjuncts now and to give all part-time workers access to the same healthcare plans at affordable, subsidized rates.
Furthermore, we urge The University of Alabama to conduct a healthcare needs assessment that includes PTTIs, graduate workers, and part time staff so the university community can ensure all workers have equitable access to all critical services, including mental healthcare.