NSU Contract Summary

Duration

SEPTEMBER 1, 2005 – AUGUST 31, 2009

RECOGNITION

All Part-time Faculty of The New School, including Mannes

COVERAGE: Unless otherwise specifically mentioned, all part-time Faculty members, including those teaching non-credit courses, will be eligible for benefits of this Agreement, e.g. Health and Dental, Retirement, Faculty Appointments.

FACULTY APPOINTMENTS

    Probation

      Length of probation is from first (1st) semester/session through fourth (4th) semester/session

    Post Probation

      Appointment is annual

      Length of post probation is from fifth (5th) semester/session through tenth (10th) semesters/sessions

      Fee for post-appointment course cancellation is 15% of wages per course if not replaced

    Annual

      Appointment is annual

      Length of service to qualify begins at the eleventh (11th) semester/session

      Presumption of reappointment if Faculty responds according to University time line for notice of interest in teaching and preference in scheduling

      Course Base load is set and preserved based on highest of the last two (2) years of the post probationary period except in the case of private lessons, chamber music, and opera coaching. Note: summer courses do not count for base load calculation

      Full semester/session non-credit courses will count toward base load, excluding private lessons, chamber music, and opera coaching. Note: The definition of non-credit courses is the following: courses or workshops of any length not offered for academic credit

      For Faculty employed as of Fall ’05, their initial look back for base load will be on the highest out of the last three (3) years

      Base load, excluding private lessons, chamber music, and opera coaching, will be maintained except when a course is not available as a result of a curricular change or insufficiency of enrollment

      Annual Faculty as of Fall ’05 with at least twenty-four (24) semester/sessions of service will be entitled to pre-appointment course replacement within department based on length of service and can displace multi-year Faculty with less years of service. Course cancellation fees, paid academic leave, eligibility to serve on University Diversity committee equal to multi-year. Remedy for pre-appointment base load reduction is a 50% of wages for base load reduction fee. Summer counts for base load calculation

      In the event there is a curricular change or insufficient enrollment and an Annual Faculty member’s course load is reduced below his/her base load, the University will do the following:

Pre-Appointment Replacement for Course Base Load Maintenance for Annual Appointees

In order to maintain an annual Faculty member’s base load, those Faculty who are qualified will displace probationary and post probationary Faculty if no unassigned courses are available. If no replacement course is available from among these Faculty, senior Faculty will displace the least senior annual Faculty member who has completed their post probationary period.

An annual appointee cannot displace a multi-year appointee with less seniority unless the annual appointee is covered by the grand parenting provision (item h above)

If no course is available in the Faculty member’s department an effort shall be made to find an unassigned course in another department.

The University will make its best effort to identify replacement courses that are equivalent in hours. Faculty shall have the right to refuse such replacement courses.

Exemption

If a Faculty member has developed a new course with the understanding that he/she will be assigned to teach that course, that Faculty member is protected from displacement by Faculty member with greater replacement rights for the first two semesters the course is offered and runs. After two semesters, such Faculty member can be replaced by a Faculty member who has greater replacement rights.

If no replacement course is found in accordance with pre-appointment replacement rights, the Faculty member will receive a base load reduction fee, which is 30% of wages for the course

The University shall have a continuing obligation to make an effort to find a replacement course for a Faculty still teaching at the University in accordance with pre-appointment replacement rights for up to fifteen (15) semesters/sessions but in no case more than five (5) academic years

In the event the Faculty’s base load is not restored within the fifteen (15) semesters/sessions but in no case more than five (5) academic years, the Faculty may apply for a specific unassigned course. If the Faculty member is qualified to teach said course, he/she will be assigned to it.

The base load will be reset if the Faculty member’s full base load is restored for a period of five (5) consecutive academic years.

If the base load is reduced again after resetting, steps i.-iv. above will apply.

If a course cancels post appointment and there is no replacement course, the Faculty member will receive length of service credit for the semester/session and a 30% of wages per course fee

Remedies for base load reduction and course cancellation do not apply when the reduction or cancellation is:

      Severance (note: covers both faculty affected by the discontinuance of a program and those who don’t have any courses assigned to them because there are no equivalent or replacement courses) Severance = 50% of salary from last year and recall rights for two (2) years

      Requested by Faculty

    Multi-year

      Appointment is for three (3) consecutive years

      Length of service to qualify begins at the eleventh (11th) semester/session

      Faculty who have taught exclusively non-credit courses are not eligible for a Multi-year appointment

      Faculty must apply for the multi-year appointment and can do so when they are in their last year of post probation or at any time thereafter

      Faculty who apply for the Multi-year appointment and demonstrate a standard of excellence through a Multi-year Appointment Review will obtain a Multi-year appointment

      If the Faculty member does not qualify for the multi-year appointment, the Faculty member shall receive an annual appointment, provided that the evaluation components of the Review were satisfactory. Faculty member can reapply at any time in accordance with the Provost calendar

      Presumption of reappointment if Faculty responds according to University time-line for notice of interest in teaching and preference in scheduling

      Course Base load is set and preserved based on highest of the last three (3) years of the post probationary period excluding private lessons, chamber music, and opera coaching. Summer courses do not count for base load calculation

      Full semester/session non-credit courses will count toward base load, excluding private lessons, chamber music, and opera coaching, if a Faculty member has been assigned a mixed load of credit and full semester/session non-credit courses

      Base load, excluding private lessons, chamber music, and opera coaching, will be maintained except when a course is not available as a result of a curricular change or insufficiency of enrollment

      In the event there is a curricular change or insufficient enrollment and an Multi-year Faculty member’s course load is reduced below his/her base load, the University will do the following:

Pre-Appointment Replacement for Course Base Load Maintenance for Multi-year Appointees

In order to maintain a multi year Faculty member’s base load, those Faculty who are qualified will displace probation and post probation Faculty if no unassigned courses are available. If no replacement course is available from among these Faculty, senior Faculty will displace the least senior Faculty member who has completed their post probationary period.

If no course is available in the Faculty member’s department an effort shall be made to find an unassigned course in another department.

Exemption

If a Faculty member has developed a new course with the understanding that he/she will be assigned to teach that course, that Faculty member is protected from displacement by Faculty member who has greater replacement rights for the first two semesters the course is offered and runs. After two semesters, such a Faculty member can be replaced by a Faculty member who has greater replacement rights.

. If no replacement course is found in accordance with pre-appointment replacement rights, the Faculty member will receive a base load reduction fee, which is 50% of wages for the course

The University shall have a continuing obligation to make an effort to find a replacement course for a Faculty still teaching at the University in accordance with pre-appointment replacement rights for up to fifteen (15) semesters/sessions but in no case more than five (5) academic years

In the event the Faculty’s base load is not restored within the fifteen (15) semesters/sessions but in no case more than five (5) academic years, the Faculty may apply for a specific available/unassigned course. If the Faculty member is qualified to teach said course, he/she will be assigned to it.

The base load will be reset if the Faculty member’s full base load is restored for a period of five (5) consecutive academic years.

If the base load is reduced again after resetting, steps i.-iv. above will apply.

If a course cancels post appointment and there is no replacement course, the Faculty member will receive length of service credit for the semester/session and a 50% of wages per course fee

Remedies for base load reduction and course cancellation do not apply when the reduction or cancellation is:

      Severance (discontinuance of a program, no equivalent or replacement courses) Severance = 75% of salary from last year of previous multi-year appointment or, at the faculty member’s discretion, a one time terminable appointment as an annual Faculty member; recall rights for two (2) years

      Requested by Faculty

    Multi-Year Appointment Review Process

    The University shall conduct a Review for each candidate to determine if she/he meets the requirements for a Multi-Year appointment.

    Faculty member under review shall provide the following: Curriculum Vitae (complete and up-to-date); examples of scholarly and/or professional productivity such as copies of published papers, conference presentations, documentation of performances, examples or reproductions of artistic work, books, book chapters, and/or references to online resources; personal statement with commentary on performance with regard to:

      Teaching effectiveness

      Standing in the field or discipline

      University, school and department service

      Goals for professional development

    A Faculty committee shall review and make recommendations about Faculty performance pertaining to the Review for Multi-Year appointments. The committee shall be at the Divisional level appointed by the Dean. The University shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that at least one Multi-Year Faculty will participate on such review committees although no individual shall be required to serve on the committee.

    If the Faculty member successfully passes Review the Faculty member shall receive a Multi-Year appointment. If the Faculty member does not qualify for the multi-year appointment, the faculty member shall receive an annual appointment, provided that the evaluation components of the Review were satisfactory. Faculty member can reapply at any time in accordance with #1 above (provost’s calendar)

    Subsequent Multi-Year appointments are contingent upon obtaining a positive Evaluation during the final year of the Multi-Year appointment

 

Multi-Year Appointment Review Criteria

Reviews of the academic qualifications and performance of Faculty for purposes of consideration for a Multi-Year appointment shall be made on the basis of demonstrated excellence in all three of the following areas:

1. Teaching Excellence which is defined as:

      Demonstrated knowledge of the course material;

      Ability to organize and present course materials;

      The effectiveness of the Faculty member’s communication skills in the classroom;

      Ability to arouse curiosity in beginning students and to stimulate advanced students to do creative work;

      Student achievement and progress in relevant academic work;

      The ability of the Faculty member to adhere, in both subject matter and timely fashion, to the approved course curriculum;

      The Faculty member’s teaching experience and teaching accomplishments;

      Sensitivity to the policies of the department and the University with respect to equal opportunity, affirmative action and an environment free of discrimination and sexual and other discriminatory harassment;

      Respect for and encouragement of the diversity of opinions and expressions of students and colleagues.

2. Professional accomplishments which are defined as:

      Quality and productivity in scholarly, professional and/or artistic pursuits such as shows, exhibits, performances, recordings, publications or other relevant artistic or scholarly activities;

      Professional experience such as contributions to the profession and the field; and continued participation in such endeavors and activities.

3. Service which is defined as:

      Demonstrated ability and/or willingness of the Faculty member to cooperate with other Faculty, staff, administration, students, guests, and others;

      Commitment to the University’s policies;

      Participation in departmental, divisional, and University activities;

      Providing student mentoring, where appropriate.

*Note: Teaching Excellence is measured by:

      Student evaluations as provided for in Article _____, Evaluations;

      Observations as provided for in Article_____, Evaluations

      Faculty member’s statement to Review Committee as specified above.

      Departmental assessment as provided for in Article_____, Evaluations

      Samples of student work (may be included at the request of Faculty member or Review committee).

Application of this article, except for augmentation of courses as follows and probation, will be subject to grievance and arbitration. Faculty do not have an entitlement to augmentation of courses; however, the University will not augment teaching loads arbitrarily and capriciously. Grievance/arbitration regarding augmentation will be limited to a claim that the University augmented arbitrarily and capriciously.

 

Side Letters

    The University will not be arbitrary and capricious in the designation of renamed or redesigned courses so they are considered new for the purpose of removing a Faculty from a course

    The University will make an effort to maintain the Faculty member’s distribution of base load courses. The University will make an effort to accommodate Faculty member’s requests for a change in such distribution; this effort will not include reassignment of courses for replacement purposes

    There is no set percentage of Faculty who will be able to obtain a Multi-Year appointment; any Faculty member who meets the standard will obtain it

    University will not be arbitrary or capricious in assignment of classes

    Multi-year appointments shall only be withheld in the instance of a planned discontinuance of a program

    In the event of conflicts in scheduling of courses and/or replacement courses seniority shall prevail.

    Mannes administrators shall be restricted from teaching more than two private lessons a semester, unless more than two students specifically request said administrators.

    Mannes private lessons, except in the case where a student has requested a specific member of the faculty, shall be assigned to faculty on the basis of seniority and qualification and shall be distributed evenly.

 

University Teaching Load Maximum – Course CAPS

Liberal Arts Undergraduate = 12 credit/yr

Liberal Arts Graduate = 9 credit/yr

Studio (Grad & Undergrad) = 24 hours/yr

Mannes Liberal Arts & Studio = 28 hours/yr

Note: Non-credit CE will be counted as equivalent to above

      University may, at anytime and at its sole discretion, allow faculty to teach over the maximum.

      Base load will not be set above the maximum (for exemptions see #6 below).

      Only Faculty who qualify for an annual or a multi-year appointment as of Fall 2005 can have their base load set above the maximum.

      Maximum does not include non-credit workshops; individualized thesis/independent study/internships.

      Summer courses do not count for base load calculation or teaching load maximum. (note: 24 semester Annual Faculty are exempt)

 

PAID ACADEMIC LEAVE

The procedure for Paid Academic Leave:

      Faculty must apply;

      Must describe a deliverable that will be provided at the end of the leave; and

      Must commit to return the following semester.

1. Paid Academic Leave available to Multi-year and grand-parented faculty;

2. No more than one person from program/department;

3. Allocation weighted by division;

4 Faculty members who apply in accordance with the above will be granted Paid Academic 5. Leave on basis of seniority, one semester maximum at full pay.

Schedule of Leaves:

06/07 – 25 Paid Academic Leaves

07/08 – 35 Paid Academic Leaves

08/09 – 50 Paid Academic Leaves

Article – Medical and dental benefits

The University, in order to avert a 15% premium increase in part-time faculty coverage, has increased the co-pays for doctor’s visits and some prescription drugs (see chart at end of this Article). The University’s premiums will increase by 3.44%, however as a result of these negotiations, the University will pay the full cost of the increased premium and our member’s premiums will not change in the coming year.

In fact, effective January 1, 2006, Faculty members teaching three or more classes will get a premium reduction in their annual individual medical and dental premiums: $300 savings in medical and $36 savings in dental. In the last year of our contract, Faculty opting for family coverage will have major savings in medical and dental. Faculty teaching two courses will save annually $572 on medical and $23 on dental; those teaching three courses will save annually $1,072 on medical and $48 on dental.

Over the life of our Agreement (the next four years), the plan cannot be restructured and increases in premiums will be capped for our members. Our premiums cannot be raised by more than 9% over the next four years. This means no matter how much premium costs rise, our members costs for individual coverage at the end of 2009 can only be about $10/month higher than today. The Premium co-pays shall be based on the following schedule:Individual Coverage -- Two classes or the equivalent in an academic year shall pay

Medical Coverage - $1,309.80 for plan year.Dental Coverage - $106.68 for plan year.

Individual Coverage -- Three classes or the equivalent in an academic year shall pay

Medical Coverage - $1,000.00 for plan year.Dental Coverage - $70.40 for plan year.

Effective January 1, 2009

Family Coverage -- Two classes or the equivalent in an academic year shall pay

Medical Coverage - $4,600 for plan year.

Dental Coverage - $225.00 for plan year.

Family Coverage -- Three classes or the equivalent in an academic year shall pay

Medical Coverage - $4,000 for plan year.Dental Coverage - $200.00 for plan year.

 

Co-pays for the plan, effective January 1, 2006, will be as follows:

Physician co-pay $20 (up from $15)

Prescription Drug Generic - $10 (down from $15)

Formulary - $30 (up from $25)
Brand Name - $50 (up from $40)
Mail order - 3 months charged at the rate of 2 months

A faculty member may elect to participate in the University’s medical and dental plans if he or she meets the following criteria:He/she must have taught a minimum of two courses in the previous academic year (including fall, spring and summer terms).

Faculty must have worked at the University at least one academic year to be considered HealthlDental eligible. The faculty member must teach in the both the Spring and Fall to maintain coverage. Faculty must have taught a minimum of ninety (90) contact hours for two or more courses or the equivalent in teaching activities; or have taught two courses or the equivalent and received a minimum of $4320* in teaching wages during the previous academic year, and Faculty must be scheduled to teach a minimum of ninety contact hours in the academic year for which they are newly eligible (or $4320* in wages for two courses or the equivalent.) * The minimum benefit eligibility wages will increase at the same rate as the non-credit minimum.

Faculty shall receive the Healthnet Medical Insurance and Delta Dental Insurance plans or comparable benefits in effect as of January 1, 2005, unless faculty have been grand-parented or greatgrand-parented into another plan.While on a paid leave, the University will continue to pay its portion of the medical and dental premiums. While on an unpaid leave the faculty member shall pay the full premium. When the faculty member returns from an unpaid leave, the University shall immediately begin paying its portion of the premium.The University shall reimburse Medicare Part B, for any faculty member who is eligible for medical benefits in accordance with Section A above, but is enrolled in Medicare, provided he/she is not also enrolled in the New School health plan, and up to the amount the employer would have paid if he or she was in the New School health plan.

Premium Increase CAPS – In the future, if the University’s health care premiums go up, Faculty member’s costs will be capped as follows:

Effective January 1, 2006 – No increase

Effective January 1, 2007 – No increase for the first five percent (5%) premium increase; up to no more than two percent (2%) employee premium increase up to seven percent (7%) premium increase for the employer.

Effective January 1, 2008 – No more than three percent (3%) employee premium increase tied to premium increase for the employer.

Effective January 1, 2009 – No more than four percent (4%) employee premium increase tied to premium increase for the employer.

ARTICLE - RETIREMENT BENEFITS

Effective September 1, 2005, the University shall contribute five percent (5%) of gross earnings of all Part Time Teaching Staff to TIAA-CREF. Effective September 1, 2007, the University shall contribute seven percent (7%) of gross earnings of all faculty to TIAA-CREF.

Effective September 1, 2008, the University shall contribute ten percent (10%) of gross earnings of all faculty to TIAA-CREF.

ARTICLE – COMPENSATION

A. INSTRUCTIONExcept as otherwise provided herein, instruction shall be compensated based on an hourly rate. Each hour shall be calculated on the basis of fifty (50) minutes of instruction.Faculty who taught during Academic Year 2004/2005 shall receive a one-time payment of $200.00. This one time payment shall not become part of any base rate nor shall it be used for the calculation of any benefit under the agreement.

Effective September 1, 2005, faculty shall receive an increase of ten dollars ($10.00) per hour (Mannes Prep shall receive $5.00) across the board and the longevity increase or the minima plus longevity increase in accordance with the schedule set forth below, whichever is greater:

Lecture/Seminar/Discussion/Lab & Mannes College $65.00

Studio & Mannes Extension $58.00

Non-credit $48.00

Mannes Prep $45.00

Effective September 1, 2006, faculty shall receive an increase of two percent (2%) + $5.00 per hour (Mannes Prep shall receive 2% + $3.00) across the board and the longevity increase or the minima plus longevity increase in accordance with the schedule set forth below, whichever is greater:

Lecture/Seminar/Discussion/Lab & Mannes College $75.00

Studio & Mannes Extension $62.00

Non-credit $50.00

Mannes Prep $48.00

Effective September 1, 2007, faculty shall receive an increase of four and one-half percent (4.5%) per hour across the board and the longevity increase or the minima plus longevity increase in accordance with the schedule set forth below, whichever is greater:

Lecture/Seminar/Discussion/Lab & Mannes College $84.00

Studio & Mannes Extension $66.00

Non-credit $52.00

Mannes Prep $50.00

Effective September 1, 2008, faculty shall receive an increase of four and one-half percent (4.5%) per hour across the board and the longevity increase or the minima plus longevity increase in accordance with the schedule set forth below, whichever is greater:

Lecture/Seminar/Discussion/Lab & Mannes College $95.00

Studio & Mannes Extension $71.00

Non-credit $55.00

Mannes Prep $53.00

Longevity Increases: Effective September 1, 2005, faculty shall receive an increase in addition to the general wage increase added to his/her base rate for years of service in accordance with the schedule below.

10 years of service: $2/hr

15 years of service: $3/hr

20 years of service: $4/hr

25 years of service: $5/hr

Longevity Increases: Effective September 1, 2008, faculty shall receive an increase in addition to the general wage increase added to his/her base rate for years of service in accordance with the schedule below.

10 years of service: $4/hr

15 years of service: $5/hr

20 years of service: $6/hr

25 years of service: $7/hr

Nothing in this agreement shall prevent the University from paying, or a Faculty Member from accepting, a rate of pay above that provided for in this Agreement.

 

B. ADMINISTRATIVE HOUR

Effective September 1, 2006, faculty shall be compensated for administrative hours when required by the University at the rate of 50% of his/her teaching rate, past practice shall not apply.

ON-LINE INSTRUCTION

Faculty shall receive a $500 one-time payment at the completion of University required training.

The University shall provide technical support to faculty teaching courses delivered on line.

SENIOR WORK/SENIOR THESIS AND INDEPENDENT STUDIES

    The minimum rate for Faculty Member’s assigned Independent Study/Senior Work/Senior Thesis shall be 50% of minimum teaching rate for Lecture/Seminar or grandparented at a higher rate, plus the across-the-board increases provided for in each year of the contract.

    Payment shall be based on 15 hours per semester.

    This provision in no way restricts the University's ability to compensate Faculty at rates above the minimum.

 

G. ADDITIONAL DUTIES

    Effective Academic Year 2005-2006, the minimum rates for additional duties shall be as set forth in the chart below. Effective Academic Year 2006-2007 and Academic Year 2007 – 2008 and Academic Year 2008 – 2009, the minimum rates set forth below in a flat dollar amount shall be increased by the across the board increases.

    Grandparent faculty members earning above the minima set forth below and increase their rates, effective Academic Year 2005-2006 and every year of the contract thereafter by the across-the-board increases.

    Teaching

    Non-Teaching

    Task Description

    Rate

    Task Description

    Rate

    Tutor -- Faculty who provides individual instruction to students

    $40/hr

    Evaluator -- Faculty who serves on jury, administers or grades exams and performs other evaluation activities.

    $60/hr

    Misc. Teaching -- Faculty who is assigned additional teaching outside course(s) that he/she teaches

    100% of Teaching Rate

    Misc. Non Teaching -- non-teaching based and non-supervisory management of a project, program or activity by Faculty, including Mannes accompanying, exams, juries, competitions, auditions

    $30/hr

    Performance Rate

    $200/for each performance

    Coordinator -- Faculty who supervises other employees or students as part of managing a program or activity (non-teaching).

    Range of 50% - 100% of teaching rate, at discretion of University

    Curriculum Development – who is hired to develop a new course distinct from course(s) he/she teaches

    2-day workshop/course – 20 hours

    Full semester course – 50 hours

    $50/hr

    Committee Service -- Faculty who is assigned to serve on a departmental/program, divisional or university (including but not limited to Labor Management) committee

    $100/meeting, to a maximum of $600

    Except Labor Management capped at $400, plus another $400 for Subcommittee on Affirmative Action

    Advising -- Faculty who is hired to serve as academic advisor.

    $4,000/yr

    Advising -- Faculty who is hired to serve as registration advisor.

    $30/hr

    Professional Services -- Faculty who is hired to consult or provide expert opinion to the Administration.

    50% of teaching rate

    Training – when required by the University

    $30/hr

     

    Faculty who are assigned additional duties in Academic Year 2006 – 2007, but were not assigned additional duties in Academic Year 2005 – 2006 shall be grand-parented at their previous rate plus all interim increases herein.

    Faculty who are assigned additional duties in Academic Year 2007 – 2008, but were not assigned additional duties in Academic Year 2005 – 2006 or Academic Year 2006 – 2007shall be grand-parented at their previous rate plus all interim increases herein.

    This provision in no way restricts the University's ability to compensate Faculty at rates above the minimum.

 

UNION SECURITY

Everyone must become members and pay dues

 

Academic Freedom

New School University policies on Academic Freedom shall be in effect for all part-time faculty.

 

DISCIPLINE AND DISCHARGE

Disciplinary treatment shall be subject to the Grievance and Arbitration Procedure and a faculty member may not be disciplined or discharged without
cause.

 

ACCESS TO SERVICES

Part-time Faculty shall have access to email, computers with internet capability and appropriate printing and photocopying for classroom use. If a Faculty member is required to have an office to fulfill responsibilities (e.g. advising) access to an office (language to be agreed upon) will be provided. The University will make its best effort to provide Faculty resource and storage space.

 

UNPAID LEAVES OF ABSENCE

Upon return from an authorized leave of absence the Faculty member shall resume his/her Annual or Multi-year Appointment.

 

OTHER PROVISIONS INCLUDE:

BARGAINING UNIT INFORMATION ; MANAGEMENT RIGHTS; FACULTY RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES; PERSONNEL FILES; HEALTH AND SAFETY ARTICLE; NON-DISCRIMINATION; NOTIFICATION OF FULL TIME POSITIONS; GRIEVANCE & ARBITRATION PROCEDURES; Flexible Spending Accounts; YMCA discount on Membership Tuition Benefits; union leave; NO STRIKE, NO LOCKOUT; CONFORMITY TO LAW – SAVINGS CLAUSE; ENTIRE AGREEMENT; UNION ACCESS; BULLETIN BOARDS AND POSTING; PAY DAY; CALENDAR FOR PTF APPOINTMENTS; EVALUATION; LABOR MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE; Professional Development ; Domestic partner coverage; Classroom Related Expenses; Employee Assistance Program; Qualified Transportation Expense Benefit; MAINTENANCE OF BENEFITS (Past Practices Continue)