The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

New Report Highlights Importance of Financial Wellness and Literacy Among Higher Ed Workforce

by CUPA-HR

Three reports stemmed from the 2020 Higher Education Financial Wellness Survey, conducted by the TIAA Institute and CUPA-HR and fielded in the fall of 2020. The final report, Financial wellness among the higher education workforce: Impact of COVID-19, examines how financial well-being among college and university employees has been impacted by COVID-19 and its economic consequences, including the topics of debt, non-retirement saving and use of financial advice.

New Report Highlights Changes to Faculty Workforce in the Wake of the Pandemic

by CUPA-HR

The severe budget cuts in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic forced many institutions to freeze hiring, cut positions and, in some cases, decrease salaries. The recently released 2021 CUPA-HR Faculty in Higher Education Report highlights the overall changes to faculty size and salaries over the past year.

Boost Your Pay Equity Know-How By Tapping Into These Resources

by CUPA-HR

Today, March 24, is Equal Pay Day. Originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity, Equal Pay Day is meant to bring awareness to how far into the year women working full-time must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. One way CUPA-HR strives to build awareness around pay equity is by creating resources that equip higher ed institutions to promote pay equity. Whether it’s a webinar, research publication, toolkit or challenge, these resources will help boost your equity know-how and spark action on your campus to create a more equitable workplace for women.

COBRA Subsidies Included in the American Rescue Plan Act

by CUPA-HR

On March 11, President Biden signed into law H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), which is the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that included various provisions aimed at providing relief to employers, employees and consumers recovering from the economic burdens imposed on them during the pandemic. Included in this bill was a provision to create a temporary subsidy for premium payments for COBRA health insurance in group health plans that will be initially paid for by employers but later reimbursed through tax credits. Here, we outline the details of the COBRA premium subsidies and actions for employers.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Retirement Readiness for the Higher Ed Workforce

by CUPA-HR

The 2020 Higher Education Financial Wellness Survey — conducted by the TIAA Institute and CUPA-HR and fielded in the fall of 2020 — surveyed full-time higher education employees’ attitudes and concerns about their financial well-being and retirement readiness. The first report based on the survey examined how the economic consequences of COVID-19 have altered the expected retirement age for full-time faculty (one-third of full-time faculty age 50 or older changed their expected retirement age). The latest report provides insights on the economic consequences of the pandemic on retirement readiness for the higher ed workforce.

HR and the Courts

by CUPA-HR

CUPA-HR General Counsel Ira Shepard highlights recent rulings around COVID-19-related cases and an age bias suit, as well as a national model in consideration by OSHA regarding safety rules for workplace COVID-19 exposure, and more.

Rosters Finalized for the 117th Congress’ Subcommittees With Jurisdiction Over Labor Issues

by CUPA-HR

The U.S. Congress convened on January 3, 2021. Democrats maintained their majority in the House of Representatives albeit with a reduced margin due to Republican pickups in House races during the 2020 elections. Across the Hill, Republicans held the majority in the Senate for a brief time before three new Democratic senators were sworn in on January 20, 2021. While this created a 50-50 split in the upper chamber, Vice President Kamala Harris will serve as the tie-breaking vote, thereby giving the Democrats control of the Senate. House and Senate committees have since announced their rosters and subcommittee assignments for the 117th Congress.

DOL Delays Effective Date of Final Rule Altering Prevailing Wage Levels

by CUPA-HR

On March 12, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule to delay the effective date of the January 2021 final rule entitled, “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States” (Prevailing Wage Rule) from March 15 to May 14. The Prevailing Wage Rule, which was finalized under the leadership of the Trump administration, will raise government prevailing wage minimums for foreign professional workers under the H-1B and other visa programs.

NLRB Withdraws Proposed Rule on Student Workers

by CUPA-HR

On March 12, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced it would be withdrawing its 2019 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (proposed rule) addressing the extent to which students who perform services for private higher education institutions are considered employees under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The official Notice of Withdrawal will be published in the Federal Register on March 15.

House Passes the PRO Act

by CUPA-HR

On March 9, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 842, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which is a massive labor reform bill designed to increase union density. Criticized as a “left-wing wish list” for unions by House Republicans, the bill passed the House mostly along party lines by a vote of 225-206, with five Republicans joining Democrats in favor and one Democrat voting against the bill.