Dear Scotty, Help Me Out with Banked Hours!
There seems to be some problems with the way I bank my hours for overload, and I wanted to see if you could give me some insight. I got an email from payroll with something that looks like a spreadsheet with my banked hours on it, and now I’m confused. For a little bit of background, I’m a counselor who is working some overload and wanting to bank the hours for the future. I was told that this is all based on 27.5 hours of work but I’m not sure how that matters because I don’t see any of that information in the contract - I see 33, 35, and 38.5 hours. My sheet only has 35 or 38.5 on it and then some hourly rates.
What’s the deal with this? I feel like I’m not getting credit for all my hours and I feel like this is wrong. What should I be checking to confirm the calculations on my banking sheet are correct?
-Dazed and Confused
Thank you for writing me about this issue, as it is one of the issues that many folks struggle to fully understand because it is somewhat nuanced. And when it comes right down to it, most faculty don’t deal with banking and unbanking each semester, so it can be confusing to remember the details. I am very happy that the report is now being sent out to everyone because we previously had to request the updates each term. This column’s scope will not be able to cover all possible issues arising with banking, but I will at least address the issues that come up most often.
BASICS OF BANKING LHE
Let’s start with the basics about banking related to our contract. D.3.0 shows that banking is an option available to faculty teaching overload, as defined in C.8.0. In C.8.0, you find the definition to be regular classroom, counseling, or library assignments that fall within the beginning and ending dates of the annual contractual calendar. This means that you can only have overload assignments during fall and spring terms - summer term is considered intersession, not overload.
Another key point is that you bank LHE and the conversion rate between hours and LHE is given in the compensation sections D.2.2 (classroom) and D.2.3 (non-classroom). Because you can only bank overload for fall and spring, the ratio is 35 hours per LHE for classroom and 38.5 hours per LHE for non-classroom. Please note that these already include any prep factors.
LOGISTICS WITH BANKING/UNBANKING FORMS
Alright, let’s just get this out there. Many faculty want to bank and do so by checking the box in their load card that comes each semester. While this is one of the required steps, it is essential to complete the process with the “Application for Banking LHE” form, which must be submitted with approval of department chair and dean. (See D.3.2 - Banking). There are time restrictions listed in that section and failure to meet those means that the overload will be paid, not banked. And it’s helpful to remember that our banked cap is 21 LHE.
A similar form is required for unbanking, and as you may have guessed, you can’t unbank into the red! If you want a whole semester unbanked and have only 14 LHE, you can’t unbank 15 LHE for the semester, and thus the request would be denied!
OPERATIONAL SIDE OF BANKING LHE
The district does keep track of your hours, LHE, and pay rate on the form sent out. This is required for D.3.2 (Cashing Out Banked LHE) as anyone who has banked LHE for 10 years will have the hours paid out in cash at the rate the hours were banked. Note: there are very rare events where the money could also be paid out in that same contract section.
So consider this for your situation: in one term, you teach 3 LHE overload class and have 27.5 contact hours as a counselor/librarian. You complete all paperwork to have the LHE banked, and this is what it would look like:
Classroom LHE: You will have 3 LHE banked, with the rate of 35 hours per LHE and your current hourly pay rate (from Appendix 7.2).
Non-Classroom LHE: the 27.5 contact hours would have the prep factor included. As with paid overload, the 0.4 factor is used for non-classroom LHE so there would be 0.4 x 27.5 = 11, so there are 11 hours of prep and 27.5 hours of contact for 38.5 total hours!
NOTE: When the timesheets are submitted, the key piece for any banked LHE is making sure that the LHE is calculated correctly. This can be done in one of two ways, and both give the same result:
Take timesheet hours (without prep) and divide by 27.5 to get the LHE.
Take timesheet hours, multiply by 1.4 (to include prep) and then divide by 38.5 to get the LHE (my math background compels me to say that these two are always equal because of the fundamental law of fractions).
When it comes time to unbank, the LHE used for the term would be removed from your sheet with the oldest banked hours used first. Many faculty use the unbanking process to take a semester off and this is typically possible. There have been a few times when a dean may deny the request because of the impact that decision may have on the department/program. This is listed under D.3.2 (Unbanking).
Faculty bank LHE, not hours. The same is true with unbanking as it is replacing part of your contractual load of 15 LHE.
Banked LHE must be used within 10 years of banking or they will be converted to hours and you will be paid out in your check.
Be sure you fill out the banking forms in order to bank the LHE.
You should check your sheet that was emailed to you by payroll to confirm that the information is correct. Any issues - please contact email@example.com immediately to resolve the issue.
Hope this gets you back to the happy side and I’m glad to help you out Dazed.
Piggy Bank base photo credit: Ken Teegardin