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Florida College Suggests Adjuncts Should Apply for Medicaid

March 9, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

MIAMI, Fla.—Administrators at Florida’s Miami Dade community college have advice for adjunct professors seeking higher pay: If you can’t afford health insurance for your kids, you should apply for public assistance instead of joining a union. In January, a vice provost at Miami Dade, which with more than 100,000 students is the nation’s largest local two-year institution, sent an email to its thousands of adjunct professors with the subject line “Does Your Child have Insurance?” If not, it suggested that they apply for Florida KidCare, the state-funded insurance programs for children that include Medicaid. The college has resisted efforts by adjuncts to organize with the Service Employees International Union. A spokesperson told Bloomberg News that adjunct professors “do not need the SEIU, as their current direct relationship with the College already provides them the best benefits in the State.” Miami Dade earth-science adjunct Ximena Barrientos, 57, called the KidCare suggestion “insulting.” She has a Ph.D from Harvard, but made less than $20,000 last year teaching three or four classes a semester, and has no health insurance. “They should be talking about what they can do to better our situation,” she said. Read more

March 9, 2019

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