Negotiations Update – Dec 14, 2019

Dear Colleagues,

CCFF and the District are at impasse in negotiations because, despite extensive discussions where we have shown the willingness to strike a bargain, the District has left the same unacceptable formal proposals on the table. Neither the Administration nor the Board of Trustees are unwilling to change their position to reach a compromise. So, we are at impasse.

We have been meeting with the District to negotiate this contract since November 2017. Our prior contract expired July 1, 2018. So we have now worked half the summer and a full fall semester on an expired contract.

On the Assignment article alone, we have exchanged proposals with the District over 11 times. When we last met on Monday, December 10, the District returned a counter proposal on assignment that is essentially identical to its last proposal. The District continues to demand unacceptable changes in the work week for counselors, instructional specialists, and librarians, changes that would amount to demanding more work for the same pay. It also refused to protect coaching faculty by putting the stipends received by head coaches on paper in the agreement.

On salary, despite a month of verbal back-and-forth and “what-if’s,” where the Union made clear exactly what we were willing to give and what we needed to get to reach a compromise, the District has not modified its formal proposal since November 9.

The administration’s team promised CCFF that it would present our most recent salary proposal to the Board on December 12. We wanted to know if the Board would be willing to meet our proposed salary increase (to make up for lost buying power) and would agree to cover all health plans for full-time faculty. We were promised a “yes” or “no” answer Thursday.  If we heard “yes,” we were ready to meet the District back at the table. If we heard “no,” it was time to involve a mediator. 

Instead, the District essentially said, “wait and see.” They want to continue to meet with us in the Spring semester, but will not say whether the Board would be willing to fund our proposals. There is no point meeting if the District will keep bringing back the same unacceptable proposals. A year is long enough.

We regret that the two sides have been unable to reach a workable compromise, despite our hard work and great patience. CCFF remains committed to negotiating in good faith. We are ready to come back to the table when and if the District will bring new proposals that show their willingness to compromise.

At this point, CCFF sees no choice but to ask the state’s Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) to certify that we are at impasse and to assign a mediator to help reach an agreement.

Your support and solidarity through the past year have already won great gains.

Last June, we received the District’s first counter-offer on salary and benefits — a 0% increase over three years for all faculty groups (no, that is not a typo), a cap on full-time health benefits, and a two-tier system where new hires would get only half the benefits that current full-time employees receive. Since then, with your help, we have moved the District to offer COLA + 1.5% for all groups; a new instructional part-time salary schedule derived from the full-time schedule; more steps for non-instructional part-time faculty; and no two-tier system on healthcare. The District never would have improved its offer without all of us working together to make our demands known.

The good news is, in the impasse process, the last offer on the table is the lowest the District can go. We know that in the best budget year community colleges in California have ever seen,  the District can — and should — do more to improve part-time equity, protect faculty buying power, keep Cerritos College salaries and benefits competitive, and put our work rules into a full, fair contract.

We will send more details about negotiations and the impasse process when we return for the spring semester. We also invite you to join us at the Union’s Executive Board meeting on Tuesday, January 15, 11:00 – 12:15 (LC 217) and at our Annual Meeting on Friday, January 25 (LC-155). The first RED SHIRT WEDNESDAY will be Wednesday, January 16.

Thank you for your solidarity, and have a great holiday break!