Negotiations UPDATE — late July Edition

Negotiations UPDATE — late July Edition

CCFF met with the District over two days: Friday, July 27 and Monday, July 30.

Salary and Health Benefits

The district presented its second counter-proposals on salary and health benefits to the union on Monday, July 30.

We have pushed the district to move from its original offer of 0% increase for all faculty pay, to a proposal to increase full-time faculty pay by 1% in 2018-19, and 0.5% in 2019-20 and 2020-21.  Their proposal for part-time faculty is a 1.5% increase in 2018-19, and 0.5% in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Compare these amounts (a total of 2.5% over three years for part-time faculty, and only 2.0% over three years for full-time faculty), to the 2.71% increase the college is receiving from the state for COLA this year alone, and a projected revenue increase due to the new funding formula of about $6-8 million.

This is why we are steadfast in proposing that all faculty salaries increase by an amount that includes the cost of living adjustment (COLA)–2.71% for 2018-19–plus additional amounts to make up for the loss of spending power, and to account for the college’s revenue growth.

Considering 2018-19 is turning out to be a windfall for state funding for community colleges, this proposal is insulting.

The district again rejected the union’s plan for more equal pay between part- and full-time faculty.  Our proposal included a salary schedule with the same number of columns, and ultimately same number of steps, as the full-time faculty schedule.  In our proposal, part-time salary would also begin to be based off a percentage of the full-time salary. Many colleges in the state are using this method to move from our current system to parity for part-timers.

Then, we get to the district’s healthcare proposal. For part-time faculty, they have gone back to proposing an annual pool of $30,000.  This could benefit approximately 5% of part-time faculty members, reimbursing a healthy, single adult for maybe 3 months premium at current rates.

For full-time faculty, the district insists on creating a two-tier system: new hires getting half the maximum benefit of current employees, maxing out at $13,000/year. If you haven’t been paying out-of-pocket for health insurance, you may not realize that doesn’t cover a family under the cheapest plan offered by CalPERS for 2019. So a new full-time hire with a family would end up paying at least $128 out of pocket in the first year, and have to pay annual increases over the life of the contract. This amounts to a pay cut for new hires.

For full-time faculty already employed, the district wants to cap its obligations at the $23,000/year — the cap we negotiated in 2015. In other words, as health insurance costs increase, faculty may bring home less if they continue their existing coverage.

Assignment

We met with the District Friday, July 27, to go over the District’s counter-proposal on Assignment. Among the district’s changes, they have agreed to pay part-time faculty to participate in division and department meetings, at a rate of $30/hour.

Sticking points:

  • The district wants to increase the number of hours counseling and library faculty are scheduled, without any corresponding increase in pay.
  • They refuse to consider load balancing (go under one semester, then over the next) or load banking (using unpaid overload to later go underload or even off load in later semesters at regular salary). Several districts have these long-standing practices.
  • Distance education–They want the dean and VP of Academic Affairs to be the ones who determine how much of your load is taught online.
  • Scheduling: They want to change current practice and be able to schedule you to teach both morning and evening classes on the same day when needed, and to schedule someone for up to 4 preparations without the faculty member’s consent. We do these things when we have to in support of our programs or on a temporary basis, but it’s easy to see how these rules could become a tool used to punish/discipline “problematic” colleagues.
  • Coaches: There has been movement on this section but the district still won’t include the specific stipend amounts for each coaching position. If it’s not in the contract, the district can change faculty members’ pay without negotiation and the coach is still required to do the work.

Call to Action

The district should be embarrassed by these proposals. They have made it clear that they want us to do more work for less money and declining benefits at a time when district revenues are going to grow and there is more work than ever for us to do.

We proposed a salary formula that would ensure the ongoing financial health of the district, while ensuring faculty salary and benefits would stay competitive and account for increased cost of living — but they did not counter with a formula of their own.  We proposed maintaining the same level of health insurance we enjoyed during the recession, and they proposed cutting it and setting up a two-tiered system.  We proposed an assignment article that largely codified existing practices, but they are proposing an increase to our workload and the de-professionalization of counselor and librarian work.

What do they want to do with all the money they will save? This campus has a history of keeping resources away from our programs and our students.  That is how we have a $70 million reserve when we have $100 million annual operating budget — and some of the largest class sizes in our region.

At this point, it is clear that the district is gearing up for a fight. Be prepared to stand up for yourselves and our students. Come to the first CCFF meeting of the Fall semester on August 21, 11-12:30 (Room TBD). If you have never signed a membership form, or if the last time you signed was before May 2017, sign the new form now.