WW – October 5th, 2022

Hi Faculty,

For today’s Wednesday Win, I want to thank the tireless work of Dr. Jessica Saint-Paul (chair of the Adjunct Faculty Action Committee (AFAC)), AFT 1521, and the Student Debt Counselors for saving hundreds of millions of dollars in student loans for our faculty, adjunct, and tenured alike. Dr. Saint-Paul has built relationships with the district HR to ensure that all our eligible members have access to Public Service Loan Forgiveness. She overcame a technical hurdle for adjuncts to be recognized for this benefit. When we work together for the common good and harness the energy and brilliance of all our members, we can achieve significant victories. Student loan forgiveness has been a barrier for too many Americans. Dr. Saint-Paul and AFAC have been relentless warriors in this fight to benefit all eligible faculty. On behalf of AFT 1521, I thank them. Please read the following statement from Dr. Saint-Paul for the details of this victory and links to legislation and future student debt clinics.

From Dr. Jessica Saint-Paul

Adjunct Faculty Action Committee (AFAC) Chair advocates for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) for Adjunct Faculty.

The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) helped pass AB 463 (Cervantes, 2019) multiplier (3.35 hours for each hour of lecture or classroom time). Even when Adjunct Faculty met and exceeded the 30 hours, using the AB 463 multiplier, LACCD Human Resources (HR) could not certify Adjunct Faculty as full-time. HR staff were required to mark the part-time box for these Adjunct Faculty members rather than the full-time box on the PSLF employment certification form, thus jeopardizing the ability for these PSLF eligible Adjunct Faculty with LACCD as their only qualifying employer, access to student loan forgiveness. Full-time faculty and Adjunct Faculty with multiple certification forms/employers were qualifying for PSLF and ultimately getting their student loans forgiven. I immediately shared this inequity with our AFT 1521 Adjunct Faculty Action Committee (AFAC). Understanding the power of organizing, we decided to elevate our advocacy efforts to AFT national headquarters.

After months of mobilizing with AFT and most recent activism with CFT, LACCD Human Resources (HR) agreed (solely for the purposes of Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) to mark “full-time” on PSLF employment certification forms for all eligible Adjunct Faculty. In addition, all PSLF eligible Adjunct Faculty who submitted employment certification forms for PSLF since October 2021 will have their PSLF applications resubmitted to MOHELA before the temporary PSLF Limited waiver period expires on October 31, 2022. I was concerned that several hundred Adjunct Faculty would have to reapply in such a limited time risking eligibility for this one-time adjustment by the Department of Education. This is a huge lift for Mary VanGinkle, Senior HR Technician with LACCD. I am pleased that Mary agreed to go back, re-certify and submit employment certification for PSLF for all eligible Adjunct Faculty. These important steps will allow eligible Adjunct Faculty access to receive credit for past years of service as intended by the historic Weingarten v. DeVos settlement and PSLF reform by the U.S. Department of Education back in October 2021. If AFT 1521 didn’t step in, Adjunct Faculty would essentially risk having to start back at 0 of 120 payments (10 years) required to reach student debt relief through PSLF. This is another reason why the temporary PSLF expansion waiver should be extended or made permanent. We know that MOHELA needs to have the PSLF employment certification forms before the PSLF waiver expires, so we sincerely appreciate the collective action and urgency from our union and our district. It is an honor to have shared this space to advocate for PSLF for fellow Adjunct Faculty members.

Please sign up and select an AFT 1521 Student Debt Clinic: https://bit.ly/AFT1521SDC Apply for PSLF today! Read more

Dr. Jessica Saint-Paul, Chair Adjunct Faculty Action Committee Email: JSPAFT1521@gmail.com


In Unity,

A. James McKeever PhD

AFT 1521 Faculty Guild President