Update on Summer 2016 Pay Rates

Dear Colleagues,

Last fall it came to the Union’s attention that the District had been under-paying full-time faculty for summer semester instruction. The District, in blatant violation of the CBA, had been paying faculty on the previous year’s salary schedule instead of based on the proceeding year’s salary schedule. Appendix A, p. 4 of the CBA of the CBA requires that for regular and contract faculty:

“Summer session salaries shall be based upon the salary schedule of the academic year immediately proceeding the summer session.”

The District is again failing to pay faculty as required by the CBA. The Union has learned that faculty for the first summer session have been paid on the 2015-2016 salary rate, not on the 2016-2017 rate as required by Appendix A

Last time around, the Union grieved the District’s violation, which resulted in the attached settlement. As you can see, as a result of the settlement faculty were correctly paid based on the 2015-2016 salary rate for both summer session 1 and summer session 2. The settlement implemented the CBA as required. The Union has again filed a grievance regarding the District’s failure to apply the appropriate salary schedule.

The Union wonders if the District intends to underpay faculty every summer, and force the Union to continue to grieve each time, despite the clear language of the CBA. There is simply no reason or excuse for the District’s failure, especially in light of the Union raising the issue and the parties’ agreement to use the proceeding salary rates as recently as last fall.

The District, which had been fully informed last year of its obligations, has no excuse whatsoever for this failure. We encourage faculty to contact the District’s Board regarding this matter and let them know that the District and the Board must follow the clear, unambiguous language of the CBA.


Solomon Namala
(CCFF President)


Posted in Alerts

Petition Summer Office Hours & Fair Chair Compensation

Good Morning Cerritos College Faculty:

Please find the link below that takes you directly to a petition that ALL faculty should sign to establish PERMANENT summer office hours and fair chair compensation.

Your union CCFF (Cerritos College Faculty Federation) respectfully asks you to click on the link, sign the petition and as soon as possible.


You should know that STUDENTS also may sign this petition as well.


 Craig Breit
CCFF Communications Chair
Cerritos College
11110 Alondra boulevard
Norwalk, California 90650
(562) 860-2451 extension 2625




Posted in Uncategorized

Update Negotiations

Good Morning Cerritos College Faculty:

The negotiations team reports that on May 2, 2016 the CCFF team met with the district team and the state appointed mediator, Mr. Don Raczka.

After a full and very long day, the two teams will meet again to continue mediation on May 19, 2016 and June 7, 2016. If you are off campus during the summer months and would like to be kept informed, please provide us with your private email address immediately.

In the meantime, we need ALL faculty to come out sometime on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 to show their support.

If there ever was a time when we need your support, it is now.  Please clear your calendar for whatever portion of the day you can and make an effort to be there.

 Bring friends and family members.

 Once again,

 We are gathering at the corner of Alondra and Studebaker, rain or shine,  beginning at 3:30pm and  will end up in the administrative quad at 5:30 pm. Food and beverages will be served.

We ask you to wear your red shirt, your own or  the  “Power of a Thank You” shirts that we will be giving away at the start.

 If you are new to this, we will guide you through the process.

Please come. Help us to help you.

Craig Breit

CCFF Communications Chair

Cerritos College



Posted in Uncategorized

Faculty Survey

Cerritos Faculty,

See below the results of the faculty survey on who CCFF should or should not endorse for the upcoming BOT elections:


See below link to 4/19/16 Boardwatch:


If you would like to help us with political activities and want to be able to officially vote on endorsements, please join our COPE committee!

Highlight the link below and sign up for as little as $5 a month!






Posted in Elections

CCFF Union Rally


We need your support!

Come to the rally on Wednesday, May 4 @ 5:30 pm at the Administrative Quad

See attached flyer:

CCFF Union Rally Details

Posted in Action, News

Your College in the News, Courtesy of CCFF, Local 6215

For Cerritos Faculty: A MUST read if you work at the college.
For Residents within our college district, all are NEED to read documents.
In chronological order working backwards from today.
The Board’s response to our op-ed in “Downey Patriot “ March 29, 2016: http://www.thedowneypatriot.com/articles/op-ed-keeping-cerritos-college-stronger-for-students
Here is a cash-in-lieu article from 2012,  reprinted April 20, 2016 in “Los Cerritos News”: http://www.loscerritosnews.net/2012/04/10/cerritos-college-trustees-cash-in-big-on-medical-benefits/
In Unity, 
Craig Breit
CCFF Communications Chair
Cerritos College
Posted in Uncategorized

Bargaining Update #12-revisited

Last Thursday, February 25, the District offered a counter proposal to the CCFF’s Assignment Article, which had been presented to them on November 5, 2015.  The document they presented was the CCFF’s initial proposal but altered.  Some sections were deleted, some struck-through, and what was left had been transcribed to a legal document.  As legal documents have, it had numbered lines of text for easy reference:  a total of 1331 lines on 32 pages.  Of the 1331 lines, 813 had been struck-through.  So, about 60% of the District’s counter proposal looks like this

5.11.1    Duties and Responsibilities: The department chair shall provide leadership to the department and shall assist the dean/immediate supervisor.

At essence, 60% of the CCFF proposal struck-through.  Dismissed.

Other sections had been deleted.  Consider the CCFF’s proposal for Part-Time faculty vis-à-vis the District’s response.

Introduction to CCFF Proposal for Part-Time Faculty District’s Counter Proposal for Part-Time Faculty
5.4      Associate Faculty Status for Part-Time Faculty

5.4.1    Purpose: The purpose of this provision is to grant, on an annual basis, some degree of employment stability for eligible part-time Unit members within the limitations imposed by the District’s needs to create course schedules that match current student demand and provide appropriate assignments for full-time Unit members.

5.4.2    Eligibility: Part-time Faculty or retired full-time Faculty with two (2) consecutive satisfactory evaluations within five (5) regular semesters of service shall have the right of first refusal for class assignments and hours in their departments, provided they are qualified for these assignments.


As you can see, the CCFF part-time faculty proposal is innocuous enough – a minor change in policy to grant the part-time faculty a modicum of job security.  The change would be imperceptible to the District, utterly cost-free.  Yet, for part-time faculty, knowing that they would be protected against an arbitrary or capricious dismissal is huge.

Yet the District could not say “Yes” to this.

Never mind the hours (most uncompensated) Kimberly Rosenfeld and others put into crafting the Assignment Article, never mind the hours of discussion among the CCFF leadership to refine the proposal, never mind the article’s inherent reasonableness and wisdom and fairness and propriety, never mind the 13 years without a contract, never mind the fact that part-time faculty work without benefits and for paltry pay, couldn’t the District just offer some small gesture of gratitude, some sign of acknowledgement, some utterly painless but munificent “Thank you” to part-time faculty?

It took more effort to remove that section than it would have just to leave it in.

Some years ago while I was teaching as a lecturer at UC Irvine, I handed in my winter quarter grades to the secretary in the Composition Office, turned to check for my spring assignment in my mail box, and found that my name was not there.  I touched the box that had been mine.  No, that was not my name.  My name was nowhere.  Gone – as if I didn’t exist.  As if I hadn’t existed.  It was, of course, the university’s way of telling me that I had been laid off.  It took my knees some moments to remember who I was and how to walk.  How was I going to tell my wife?  How were we going to pay for rent, for gas, for groceries for three boys?

Getting laid off can be as traumatic as losing a spouse.  Some liken the psychological effects to PTSD.  Seeing that proposed section for part-time faculty deleted from the District’s counter proposal and seeing so much CCFF work dismissed with strike-throughs brought back that day in front of my former mail box, that same indelible, knee-buckling dread.

There is, of course, the chance that the District may reconsider the deletion.  But for now, security deferred is security denied.

We do not have to treat one another like this.

Posted in Uncategorized

Board Watch #1 (2/22/16)

Judging from the remarks from Trustee Avalos at the Board Meeting of February 17, we seem to have a bit of a problem:  a misinformed trustee.  Good thing we’re teachers.  With patience and persistence, we should be able to provide some light where there is now darkness.

Trustee Avalos says that one third or more of the Cerritos College faculty make over $120,000 per year.

This is false.

The maximum base pay for a full-time faculty member is $113,101.  However, to fetch so fine a salary requires more than 30 years of teaching and a doctorate, which, to my knowledge, none of us has.

Perhaps, though, Trustee Avalos had in mind full-time faculty who teach overload, adding the pay for teaching extra classes to the base salary to arrive at her claim for total annual salary.  If so, it is a claim based on a false premise.  Teaching overload is tantamount to taking a second job – like working full time at Google and then moonlighting at Staples.  In context, the remark suggests that faculty earn too much to be asking for more than they’ve been offered.  President Fierro echoed this sentiment in a Talon Marks interview when he said that faculty can make 140%.

If Trustee Avalos was predicating her claim on that false premise, she ignores the fact that faculty can only make more than base pay when they take on an extra job, when they moonlight.  Ignoring or perhaps overlooking this critical point in public creates two problems:  first, the community reads her remarks as “The faculty are amply compensated, and they shouldn’t be complaining about the District’s offer.”  Faculty read the remarks as “If you want more, go get a second job.”  To the community, the comments are disingenuous.  To the faculty they are disrespectful.

Just so there is no confusion, overload is not overtime.  Overtime at Staples – or just about anywhere else – is paid at time-and-a-half:  salary plus 50% more per hour.  At Cerritos College, overload is paid at 46% less per hour.  Teachers who work more make less.

The truly alarming feature of Trustee Avalos’s comments, though, is that they seem oblivious to more than two thirds of those who teach at Cerritos College.  We have 838 faculty on this campus.  575 are part-time faculty.   None of these 575 faculty members makes anything close to $95,000 per year, which she claims is the average.  Indeed, the most a part-timer can make is $25,146 per year – provided that lucky part-time faculty member has a minimum of 5 years teaching experience and a doctorate.  With a bit of research, Trustee Avalos and President Fierro might find that most part-time faculty don’t make enough money to rise much beyond poverty, a far, far cry from $95,000.

This focus on full-time faculty disregards more than two thirds of those who teach here, dismissing those who do a yeoman’s work at Cerritos College – those who possess the same state qualifications as full-time faculty, those who teach the same classes, those who care for the same students, yet those who receive the lowest pay in the region.

Trustee Avalos also suggested that other constituencies on campus may feel disrespected by the CCFF’s call for a greater increase in salary for part-time faculty or for compensation for Department Chairs.  This is unlikely.  Chances are that, if the District agreed to pay department chairs for their heretofore uncompensated work in the summer, it’s hard to imagine that anyone from CSEA saying anything but, “Well, if they do they work, they deserve the pay.”

And there is no constituency on campus whose contract included the language:

in lieu of the salary increases in 2016-2017 and 2017-18, the Union may negotiate the reallocation of these funds to other items in the Assignment Article or Salary Proposal.

In short, the offer to faculty says:  if you want COLA (which was promised in a 2013 MOU) or fair compensation for chairs or a salary schedule for part-time faculty that is better than the worst in the worst in our region, it will be subtracted from the salary increases in 2016-17 and 2017-18.

Long before any member of any other campus constituency arrived at a sense of disrespect, he or she would have a hard, steep climb over that contractual caveat that gives cover to the District claim that faculty are being offered 10% when, in fact, it’s not true.

This is probably enough light for the moment, but should the District persist in hiding the sun, the CCFF is prepared to open more windows and more doors.

Posted in Uncategorized

A Story Told in Tables – Priorities from 2017 to 2014

First, let’s take a look at fiscal priorities of Cerritos College for eight years, from 2007 to 2014.

Cerritos College Fiscal Priorities at a Glance
from 2007 to 2014

Priorities at a Glance-5

The college budget is a moral document, reflecting what the college regards as most and least important.  What this chart shows is that the College regards the hoarding of money as more important than providing sections for students or paying faculty.  This is a perversion of college priorities.


During bad economies, people return to school.  The Great Recession began in 2008.

Sections Gained – and Lost


By 2009, when students needed classes most, Cerritos College slashed the number of course offerings by 20%.

We packed classes in  ‘08-’09.  Then we began cutting sections, despite high demand.   Student enrollment began falling.

Total FTES

Credit FTES-1

We lost some 7149 FTES from our high in ’08-’09 and the low in ’12-’13.

Meanwhile, Cerritos College reserves continued to grow.  And grow.

Reserves in Millions


And grow.

For 2016, we expect a surplus topping $50 million.

“For every $1 California invests in students who graduate from college, it will receive a net return on investment of $4.50” (“Key Facts about CA Community Colleges.” N.p., 7 Oct. 2015. Web).  That’s a 350% return on investment.  California has invested hugely in Cerritos College—so much so that, by the end of this fiscal year, Cerritos College will have almost a $50 million surplus.  In the bank, that surplus earns about 3%.  If it were invested in students and their teachers, it could be earning something closer to 350%.  Hoarding reserves, then, is tantamount to squandering about 347%.  347% of $50 million is about $174 million.  Imagine the response of District families when they hear that Cerritos College is not only denying some of their children classes but squandering $174 million of their investment.  And that’s just money.  Think of the dreams deferred.  Tragic.  Pathological Prudence.

Posted in Uncategorized

In Honor of Labor Day

In honor of Labor Day, here are 36 reasons to thank a union:

  • Weekends
  • All Breaks at Work, including your Lunch Breaks
  • Paid Vacation
  • FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act
  • Sick Leave
  • Social Security
  • Minimum Wage
  • Civil Rights Act/Title VII (Prohibits Employer Discrimination)
  • 8-Hour Work Day
  • Overtime Pay
  • Child Labor Laws
  • Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
  • 40 Hour Work Week
  • Worker’s Compensation (Worker’s Comp)
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Pensions
  • Workplace Safety Standards and Regulations
  • Employer Health Care Insurance
  • Collective Bargaining Rights for Employees
  • Wrongful Termination Laws
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
  • Whistleblower Protection Laws
  • Employee Polygraph Protect Act (Prohibits Employer from using a lie detector test on an employee)
  • Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
  • Compensation increases and Evaluations (Raises)
  • Sexual Harassment Laws
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Holiday Pay
  • Employer Dental, Life, and Vision Insurance
  • Privacy Rights
  • Pregnancy and Parental Leave
  • Military Leave
  • The Right to Strike
  • Public Education for Children
  • Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 (Requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work)
  • Laws Ending Sweatshops in the United States
Posted in Uncategorized