Happy Labor Day and Welcome Back

Dear Colleagues,

Photograph of the sky by OrochiSWE used by Creative Commons Attribute Share-Alike license

Happy Labor Day weekend and welcome back to a new semester!  I hope you had a refreshing summer and that getting back up on the bicycle of teaching has been easier and more fun than you expected.

For the Executive Board of CCFF, the summer turned out to be a bit busier than we expected.  The good news is that we were able to sign two Memoranda of Understanding with the District:  one MOU regarding compensation for the position of Instructional Specialists in the Success Center; the other regarding Adjunct faculty office hours, expanding it to include not only faculty who teach credit courses, but those who teach non-credit courses as well.  We are grateful for the District’s cooperation on both of these matters.  You will find these MOUs and other CCFF information posted here on our new website.

Looking ahead, we have two principal issues on the table to negotiate this semester:  faculty salary (both full-time and adjunct), and the assignment article.  As you may be aware, the funded cost of living adjustment (COLA) for this fiscal year is 1.57%.  I would also like to add that the District has received growth money of 1.63%.  The District has agreed in principle to pass through COLA onto our salary schedules, so I’m hopeful that we can sign off on this rather quickly.

Needless to say, those among us who have taken the brunt of the Great Recession and of California’s brand of austerity have been adjunct faculty.  The CCFF is keenly aware of the plight of the adjunct faculty member, and I’d urge all faculty to rally around their cause in this round of bargaining.  You should know that the pay of our adjunct faculty is one of the lowest in the state and the lowest among our neighboring community colleges.  To set this matter right, we may call upon your organization and active support, so I would especially like to urge our full-time colleagues to join us as we seek to improve wages for adjunct faculty.  You will hear more from our VP of PT Faculty, Lindsey Lefebvre, and the Chair of Contract Development, Amy Holzgang, about how you might help as we begin our round of negotiations this semester.

Our dues, alas, is another matter that I need to bring up. You might recall last fall the CCFF chose to absorb the AFT and CFT increases, called “pass-throughs,” because we had just increased the dues in January of 2012.  Furthermore, with the prospects of the CFT-backed Prop 30 uncertain and summer school sounding more and more like a baroque luxury, the Executive Board figured it was not the time to ask for more money. But things have changed.  Prop 30 did pass, thanks in great measure to the efforts of the CFT and the CTA.  And although many of us were paid less for the same work last summer, Cerritos College provided summer school for the community.  So now, yes, I’m sorry to say, we do need to increase the dues.  At the end of the October pay period, the 10/31 paycheck, full-time faculty will see an increase of $3.82 in their dues; the 11/5 paycheck for adjunct faculty will see an increase of $0.48 per month.  Soon you will hear more about this from CCFF’s Communication Chair, Jack Swanson.

Finally, as we enjoy this Labor Day holiday weekend, let us not forget those from the early labor movement who made much of what we enjoy possible.  I have taken the liberty to attach a nice piece written by Jim Miller (VP of the Faculty Guild at San Diego Community College) that describes briefly the history of Labor Day and its relevance to us today.


Solomon Namala
(President, CCFF)