UConn-AAUP is urging all part-time faculty members to apply for unemployment benefits when their contracts end, whether or not they have received information regarding teaching schedules for the fall semester.
Many part-time faculty members may be eligible to receive unemployment insurance and should apply through the Connecticut Department of Labor at this website: www.filectui.com. Click the blue button on that page to begin your claim.
When members apply, the DOL will ask them if they work for an educational institution and whether they are between years or terms. The answer is yes to both questions. DOL will then ask what the member has been told about the coming year. Members must disclose all offers of work. If there is a reason to believe that a course they have been offered may not run or may be given to someone else, the member should provide that information to the DOL. People employed by educational institutions are not eligible for unemployment during the summer or during winter break if they have “reasonable/probable” expectation of being rehired for similar roles the following semester.
Within Connecticut Gen. Stat. §31-227 [d] , the critical language in the statute states that institutional faculty members who teach during one semester are not eligible for benefits during the following semester or intercession “if there is a contract or reasonable assurance that such individual will perform such services for the educational institution during the following term.” The controversy comes in the absence of any definition of “reasonable assurance” in the statute.
However, given the uncertainties during the current COVID-19 pandemic, UConn-AAUP believes there cannot be any “reasonable assurance” for any adjunct position in the fall semester. Therefore, we are working closely with other higher education unions and the DOL to secure an application of the statute that will permit adjuncts to start receiving unemployment benefits.
When you apply, please let UConn-AAUP know if you receive unemployment insurance or if you are denied these benefits. It is important to let your union know so that we can monitor this issue and be in the best position possible to coordinate and handle any appeals that may be necessary. Please email UConn-AAUP at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know the status of your claim.
UConn-AAUP continues to work in coalition with other higher education unions on this matter and will provide updates when available.