2023 Contract Negotiations Bargaining Updates
(Last updated: April 16, 2023, please scroll down for the latest updates)
Interested in the comparable salary and budget data? Click here.
The 2023 contract negotiations with the District began on June 29, 2022. Our current contract expired December 31, 2022. For negotiations, the Federation sunshined the following contract articles: 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 17, 20, 22, 23, and Appendix B, C, and D. The District sunshined the following articles: 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 15, 20, 25, and Appendix A, B, D-4, J, and M-1. The language of these articles can be found in our current contract.
The June 29, 2022 start date is almost four months earlier than the start date for the 2020 contract negotiations and we had hoped to have a ratified contract BEFORE our contract expired. We also asked to have open negotiations, a style of negotiations that are transparent and open to observers, though the District rejected that kind of negotiations.
The Federation will update this page after bargaining sessions and when we have new information to share. We will send out general bargaining updates over the El Camino College faculty listerv. We typically send out more detailed updates to our member’s personal emails. If we do not have your personal email, and phone number, please send us your name and that information at email@example.com
We need everyone to be informed, engaged, and ready to take action. As we saw with the COLA reopener, member knowledge and engagement is crucial to strong contracts and better working conditions. Please get involved–we have lots of options to suit your interests, skills, and passions. You can get in touch with us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
April 16, 2023
During Spring Break, the District and the Federation exchanged the paperwork to go to impasse. The California Public Employment Relations Board will assign a mediator who will work with both sides to try to reach an agreement. The Federation is very disappointed in the District.
April 1, 2023
On Friday, March 31st, the Federation met with the District to discuss aspects of the District’s last, best, and final offers on all remaining proposals, including compensation, working conditions, and healthcare. Throughout our discussions, the District made it clear that they were unwilling to offer anything more competitive than the offer they have on the table. Additionally, the District clarified that their intent in their overload pay proposal was to pay many faculty less than they receive currently–even after accounting for upward adjustments to overload hourly pay rates in the District’s new proposal.
We have created a full breakdown of where negotiations stand on our website. We have provided summaries of unsettled proposal language from both parties, current proposals from both parties, and completed tentative agreements for your review.
We will hold bargaining update meetings to discuss what this means, provide some further updates, and talk about next steps on Sunday (4 PM – 5 PM) and Monday (6 PM – 7 PM) (see below). The agenda for both meetings will be the same. We are also having a part-time faculty meeting on Monday (2:30 PM – 3:30 PM). We will also be conducting member surveys to guide how we as faculty approach contract negotiations with the District.
Bargaining update meetings:
Sunday, April 2, 2023 @ 4:00 PM (All faculty are welcome)
Meeting ID: 823 1976 5515
Monday, April 3, 2023 @ 6:00 PM (All faculty are welcome)
Meeting ID: 873 4644 5460
Part-time specific meeting:
Monday, Apr 3, 2023 @ 2:30 PM (All faculty are welcome)
Meeting ID: 844 2009 9827
March 11, 2023
On Friday, March 10th, the Federation’s negotiating team met with the District. The Federation continued to negotiate on compensation, healthcare, and other items. At the end of the session, the District presented its last, best, and final offers on all remaining proposals.
We will hold two bargaining update meetings to discuss what this means, provide some updates, and talk about next steps. We will have the same agenda for the Sunday afternoon and Monday evening meetings (see below). We are also having a part-time faculty meeting on Monday from 2 PM – 3 PM.
Bargaining update meetings:
Sunday (3/12/23) 4 – 5 PM (All faculty are welcome)
Meeting ID: 889 0580 8777, one tap mobile +16699006833
Monday (3/13/23) 6 – 7 PM (All faculty are welcome)
Meeting ID: 838 6975 0930, ne tap mobile +16694449171
Part-time specific meeting:
Monday (3/13/23) 2 – 3 PM (All faculty are welcome)
Meeting ID: 873 1911 3745, one tap mobile +16699006833
We strongly encourage you to join us at the Federation office (COMS 201-D) on Tuesday at 1 PM, wearing red, for a rally. We would love to see you there.
March 5, 2023
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District’s team on Friday, February 24th. The District presented its newest proposals for Articles 10 (Compensation) and 17 (Healthcare Benefits). The District continued to propose that faculty only receive 75% of any state-funded COLA money in 2023 and 2024. Additionally, for those years, the District is continuing to propose a January 1st start date for salary increases, rather than starting them on the previous July 1st, which is the beginning of the fiscal year. Virtually every other District gives their faculty raises on July 1st, close to when the District receives those monies. The District’s proposal for healthcare (Article 17) virtually guarantees that faculty will continue to pay or end up paying substantial out-of-pocket medical insurance premium costs. The District continues to reject our PT faculty healthcare proposal that utilizes a state fund that provides 100% reimbursement to districts. Instead, the District wants to spend more money on their proposal that would provide less coverage. It is shameful.
At various points in our bargaining session, we found ourselves asking our District’s top administrators why other districts are able to manage budgets more effectively, offer more competitive salaries and healthcare packages, fund department chairs, and more. The District’s team repeatedly responded by saying El Camino is somehow different, though they could not articulate the precise reasons why our salaries are lower and our healthcare support less fulsome than our peers. They were, however, adamant that El Camino College couldn’t do what other colleges do and have done for many years.
If you are curious about how far behind our peers your salary is, visit our website for additional data.
Our current contract is expired. The provisions of the previous contract will continue, but we don’t have the improvements to our working conditions, health care, and salary that we deserve and other Districts already enjoy. To move the bargaining process forward, and get the contract we deserve, we encourage you to make public comments about how large ECC’s unrestricted fund has grown, how far behind peer colleges ECC faculty salaries have fallen, how multi-decade high inflation rates are affecting you and your family, or anything else that’s important to you, at the next Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, March 20th, 2023.
February 7, 2023
On Thursday, February 2nd, the Federation’s bargaining team met with the District’s team. We talked through our proposals on articles 3, 4, 8, appendix A, and appendix M-1. We continue to propose new language that would create department chairs, codify a collaborative process for determining course caps, develop seniority rights for part-time faculty on the RPL, and add protections and compensation for dual enrollment faculty. Within article 8, we have reached a tentative agreement with the District on Section 15 (Counselors) where we’ve agreed upon an 11-month contract for counselors to better serve students in January and July.
The District’s team presented their second proposal on articles 10 (Compensation) and 17 (Insurance Benefits) as a package, meaning that it was proposed as an “all or nothing” offer. For all salary schedules, the District proposed a 7% increase and a longevity increase for steps 16 and above on the FT schedule. In years 2 and 3 of their proposal, however, the District proposed to add only 75% of funded COLA for each year. For reference, next year’s COLA is expected to be greater than 8%, so the District is proposing to give us around 6% if they get an 8% COLA budget augmentation next year. The same reduction would apply to the following year in their proposal. In 2022 and 2023, average FT faculty salaries will remain around 5% below Cerritos before falling even further behind in July of 2023, when Cerritos gets COLA + 0.5%.
The District’s second proposal for article 17 included an annual contribution of $11,600 (single), $18,000 (2-party), and $21,600 (family) for FT faculty annual health insurance coverage. Cerritos provides all FT faculty up to $29,000. For PT faculty, the District rejected our proposal that would allow PT faculty to opt in to the CALPERS benefits, where the District then receives 100% reimbursement from the state based on recent legislation. Instead, the District proposed a PT health care reimbursement program of $1,500 a semester for PT faculty where PT faculty would have to pay out-of-pocket for their own plans, submit their bills for purchased insurance premiums to HR, wait for HR approval, and then wait for payment of the reimbursement at some later date. The District estimated their plan would cost more than $300,000 a year. The District’s reimbursement plan seems like it would cost much more than the statewide CALPERS plan option and offer lesser coverage to our PT faculty.
Finally, as mentioned, the District’s compensation and health care proposal was offered as a package. This package requires significant concessions, such as the right of the District to raise course size caps, making it easier to remove PT faculty from the RPL, requiring FT faculty to do more office hours and time on campus, and allowing non-El Camino College employees to teach our classes, and a January 1st start date for new salaries, even though the state funds COLAs on July 1st, six months prior.
See our website for salary, budget, and health benefits data.
January 31, 2023
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District’s team on Thursday, January 26th. After working through the District’s proposals on articles 3, 4, 8, appendix A, and appendix M-1, we had a discussion about compensation and health care benefits. The District’s team told us that our salary and benefits proposals were “outrageous.”
To that, we responded that it was outrageous that our salary and benefits are so far behind our peers. If you are curious, see the data page and look up your step and column on the Cerritos salary schedule to see how much more you’d be making if you worked there.
Our current contract is expired. The provisions of the previous contract will continue, but we don’t have the improvements to our working conditions, health care, and salary that we deserve. To move the bargaining process forward, and get the contract we deserve, we encourage you to submit public comments about how large ECC’s unrestricted fund has grown, how far behind peer colleges ECC faculty salaries have fallen, how multi-decade high inflation rates are affecting you and your family, or anything else that’s important to you, at the next Board of Trustees meeting on February 22, 2023.
January 23, 2023
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District’s team on Friday, January 20th. While we discussed several proposals, this was the meeting in which the District was finally prepared to discuss compensation and benefits, so we’ll focus our updates on those topics.
For salary, we proposed the following on-schedule raises (applied to Appendices C and D) for the three years of the contract:
2022-23: COLA (6.56%) plus 5%, effective July 1, 2022 (when the district received its 2022 budget increase/COLA)
2023-24: the funded state-wide community college COLA (proposed 8.13%) plus 2%, effective July 1, 2023
2024-25: the funded state-wide community college COLA plus 2%, effective July 1, 2024
These on-schedule increases would better align our salaries with the substantial increases in cost of living and our peer institutions. To cite one example, the 2022-2023 salary schedules from Cerritos Community College shows how FT faculty at El Camino College would need, on average, a 16% raise to current 2022-2023 salaries and receive full COLA raises in 2023 and 2024 to be in the same zone. Additionally, the District received extra state funding in 2022 while further building up its reserves, in part by keeping our salaries low. To capture our share of that support, we have also proposed a one-time payment of $8,000 for FT faculty and $3,000 for PT faculty employed in 2022-2023.
Our proposal for Article 17 also aims to align us with our colleagues by increasing the total District contribution for health care benefits such that most faculty will not pay any additional costs for insurance premiums. We have proposed a way for PT Faculty to opt in for health care benefits using the new, fully reimbursed state-wide PT health care program.
The District presented a sketched-out package proposal (must be agreed to in its entirety) for Articles 10 and 17. For Article 10, the District is proposing roughly 7% in 2022, then a fraction of what the COLA is in 2024 and 2025. Their Article 17 included modest increases to contributions to FT faculty premiums. For PT faculty, the District proposed raising the health care stipend from $75 to $650 a semester but said it would be too operationally difficult to offer the CALPERS benefits, like the FT faculty have already, even though the CALPERS benefits would cost the District significantly less than the stipend proposal and contribute significantly more to the overall health of our PT faculty.
We will next meet with the District on January 26th, though they will not be prepared with a counterproposal on salary or benefits until our February 2nd meeting.
January 15, 2023
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District’s team on December 21st. We reached tentative agreements on Articles 9 (Winter/Summer Assignments) and 11 (Paid Leaves). For Article 9, we have clarified the assignment process and made it fairer for FT and PT faculty. For Article 11, we have substantially modified how sick leave hours are deducted. Currently, a faculty member who utilizes sick leave is typically billed for more hours than they are absent. The new tentatively-agreed-to-language standardizes the deduction at one sick leave hour billed for each contact hour missed. We encourage you to read both new articles, which were sent out to the faculty listserv. In previous sessions, we reached tentative agreements on Article 12 (Unpaid Leaves), Article 13 (Sabbatical Leaves), Article 15 (Holidays), Article 20 (Evaluations), Article 22 (Grievances), and Article 23 (Work Stoppage).
We will next meet with the District on January 20th. The District has committed to finally beginning discussion of Articles 10 (Compensation) and Article 17 (Insurance Benefits), so we will all bring our first proposals to the table.
Our current contract is expired. The provisions of the previous contract will continue, but we don’t have the improvements to our working conditions, health care, and salary that we deserve. To move the bargaining process forward, and get the contract we deserve, we encourage you to submit public comments about health care, salary, class size, open negotiations, or anything else that’s important to you, at the next Board of Trustees meeting on January 17, 2023.
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District’s team on December 8th and 9th. We reached tentative agreements on Articles 12 (Unpaid Leaves) and 15 (Holidays). For Article 12, we have a new personal leave section that clarifies when you can take unpaid leaves. For Article 15, we have added Cesar Chavez Day, Juneteenth, and Indigenous People’s Day. In previous sessions, we reached tentative agreements on Article 13 (Sabbatical Leaves), Article 20 (Evaluations), Article 22 (Grievances), and Article 23 (Work Stoppages).
We are still scheduled to meet on December 21st, though the District has indicated that they will still not be ready to discuss compensation and healthcare at that time. We will not have a new contract ratified by the end of 2022 when our current contract expires. We encourage you to submit public comments to the next Board of Trustees meeting on December 19, 2022.
If you have any questions or input, please reach out to us (email below), join one of our committees, and/or come to our upcoming general membership meeting on Friday, December 16th at 11:00 AM (details below). Thanks for your time and engagement.
General Membership Meeting: Friday, December 16, 2022 at 11:00 AM
Meeting ID: 954 6295 3785
December 4, 2022 Bargaining Update
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District’s team on November 4th, November 17th, and December 1st. After these meetings, we still believe that an open bargaining process, which the District refuses to agree to, would benefit bargaining and both better inform and include the communities we serve.
We exchanged a number of proposals and counterproposals, including Article 8 (Hours and Conditions), Article 9 (Winter/Summer Assignments), Articles 11 and 12 (Paid/Unpaid Leaves), Article 15 (Holidays), Appendix A (Job Description), and Appendix M-1 (Tenure-Track Faculty Hiring Procedures). We are close on a number of these Articles.
We reached tentative agreements on Article 20 (Evaluations), Article 22 (Grievances), and Article 23 (Work Stoppages). Briefly, in Article 20, we’ve made substantial improvements to the clarity of deadlines and requirements for faculty evaluations in addition to making the entire process more equitable. In Article 22, we’ve expanded the timelines to file grievances and added a layer to the process to make it more effective and less adversarial. In Article 23, we’ve eliminated much of the language that truncated our labor rights beyond what current laws require and shortened the article to make it much more consistent with similar work stoppage articles at community colleges across the state. As a reminder, we have a tentative agreement on Article 13 (Sabbaticals) that will increase the number of sabbaticals by 50%.
In December, we have scheduled the following additional dates for negotiations: December 8th, 9th, and 21st. Since the District has not yet been willing to even discuss matters of compensation and health care benefits yet, we will not have a new contract ratified by the end of 2022 when our current contract expires. It is critical that all bargaining unit members mobilize for the December, January, and February Board of Trustee meetings and all Federation and ECCE education campaigns. Without your voices and actions, negotiations will continue to move slowly.
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District’s team on November 4th, November 17th, and December 2nd. We exchanged a number of proposals and counterproposals, including Article 8 (Hours and Conditions), Article 9 (Winter/Summer Assignments), Articles 11 and 12 (Paid/Unpaid Leaves), Article 15 (Holidays), and Appendix A (Job Descriptions) and Appendix M-1 (FT Faculty Hiring Procedures).
We have reached tentative agreements on Article 20 (Evaluations), Article 22 (Grievances), and Article 23 (Work Stoppages). As a reminder, we have a tentative agreement on Article 13 (Sabbaticals) that will increase the number of sabbaticals by 50%, from 8 to 12 per year.
In December, we have scheduled the following dates for negotiations: December 8th, 9th, and 21st. Yes, you are correct–we will not have a new contract ratified by the end of 2022 when our current contract expires. We will need all bargaining unit members to mobilize for the December, January, and February Board of Trustee meetings and all Federation and ECCE education campaigns.
October 29, 2022 Bargaining Update
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District’s team on October 13th and 28th to continue negotiations on a number of articles (Appendices A, M-1 and Articles 8, 9, 15, 20, 22, 23). At our first meeting with the District this month, we returned proposals on all of those articles. At our second October meeting, the District took 3 hours to present its proposals for Article 8 (Hours and Working Conditions) and Article 20 (Faculty Evaluations). We regret that the District wasn’t able to schedule more time for that session and will continue that conversation at our next bargaining session on November 4th.
The District’s proposals on DISTRICT_Article 8_propsoal 2 were significant, however. To highlight a few, the District is proposing that all instructional FT faculty with laboratory course hours hold additional office hours. Simultaneously, they are unwilling to negotiate our proposals for increased paid professional development and office hours for our PT faculty because that would be a “monetary issue,” which they are unwilling to discuss at this time. Apparently, more unpaid office hours for FT faculty isn’t a monetary issue.
Aside from their interesting perspective on what constitutes a “monetary issue,” the District also offered a proposal that completely redesigns the system by which we determine student enrollment caps for our courses. We encourage you to read through it (Section 8 in the attached District proposal and our proposals for FEDERATION_Article 8_propsoal 2) and the rest of the article. Briefly, the District is proposing to replace our current process, which requires negotiation between faculty and the District, with a system that allows the VPAA and President to make final and irreversible decisions without faculty say.
We will return to the table on Friday, November 4, 2022.
Thanks for your time and engagement.
October 21, 2022 Bargaining Update
The Federation’s negotiating team has been at the bargaining table since the end of June. We have made extensive progress with the District on Article 6 (Faculty Classification), Article 9 (Winter and Summer Session Assignments), Article 20 (Evaluations), Article 22 (Grievances), and Article 23 (Work Stoppages). As a reminder, the Federation and the District have tentatively agreed to increase the number of sabbaticals from 8 to 12 per year.
We are in various stages of counter proposals for the following articles: Article 15 (Holidays) and Appendix M-1 (Full time Hiring).
We have received the District’s proposals for Appendix A (Job Descriptions) and Article 8 (Hours and Conditions) and want to alert you to some of the intentions of the District. For example, the District has proposed language that would require all faculty to accept assignments at high school sites. Imagine having a schedule where you no longer work on the El Camino College campus, but instead find yourself working at different high schools across the South Bay. This isn’t the only District proposed change that might negatively affect you.
The Federation, of course, thinks this is a really bad idea. The Federation encourages you to read the attached proposals from the District so you can understand the ways (see their red mark up) in which they want to change your working conditions. Additionally, we are asking you to let the administration know what you think about their proposals. The District’s team includes the following people:
Jane Miyashiro (VP, HR), email@example.com
Carlos Lopez (VP, Academic Affairs), firstname.lastname@example.org
Debra Breckheimer (Dean, Humanities), email@example.com
Amy Grant (Dean, Natural Sciences), firstname.lastname@example.org
Spencer Covert (District Counsel)
You can also deliver public comments on this matter at a Board of Trustees meeting or write the Trustees directly. Their ECC emails can be found here.
Given the serious and sweeping nature of the District’s proposals, we encourage you to attend the upcoming general membership meetings.
September 30, 2022 Bargaining Update
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District on September 23 and 29, 2022. We discussed the District’s proposals and counter proposals for Articles 8 (Hours and Conditions), 20 (Evaluations) and 22 (Grievances). The District also presented first proposals for Articles 9 (WInter/Summer Assignments) and 15 (Holidays).
We will be returning to the bargaining table on October 13, 2022. For us, we will be presenting proposals on the following articles: Article 8 (Hours and Conditions), Article 9 (WInter/Summer Assignments), Articles 11 and 12 (Paid/Unpaid Leaves), Article 15 (Holidays), Article 20 (Evaluations), 22 (Grievances), Article 23 (Work Stoppage), and Appendix A (Job Description) and Appendix M-1 (Full time Hiring).
September 15, 2022 Bargaining Update
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District on September 15, 2022. Prior to that meeting, both sides had agreed to exchange first proposals of Article 8 and return to counter proposals on Articles 20 (Evaluations) and 22 (Grievances). The District did not have its Article 8 proposal ready. The District did present a counter proposal to our Article 22, agreeing to some of our suggestions and proposed new language as well. We will return to the table on September 23, 2022.
August 23rd and September 1 and 2, 2022 Bargaining Update
The Federation’s bargaining team met with the District on August 23rd and then the back-to-back dates of September 1 and 2. We exchanged another round of proposals for Article 6 (Classification of Faculty). We also made progress on Article 20 (Evaluations). The District offered a first proposal for Appendix A (Faculty Positions Descriptions) and Appendix M-1 (Full-time Faculty Hiring Procedures). While the Federation found many of the requirements proposed by the District to be somewhat vague in both of these proposals, there were some specific and notable requirements proposed. For instance, the District proposed that all FT faculty should be required to teach on high school campuses in the dual enrollment program if assigned by a supervisor. Additionally, their proposals for hiring committees reduced the weight of faculty input and expertise in hiring our colleagues while increasing the weight of the input from management and other non-faculty entities.
The Federation proposed changes for Article 22 (Grievances) that we hope will improve the grievance process. We also proposed eliminating Article 23 (Work Stoppage) because the language restricts our basic civil rights far more than state law does. We are not aware of any other college that has a remotely similar work stoppage article. Many of the surrounding contracts don’t have any work stoppage language at all.
We will return to the table on Thursday, September 15, 2022.
August 19, 2022 Update
We are pleased to report that by the conclusion of the August 19, 2022 contract negotiations session we reached a tentative agreement (TA) with the District on faculty sabbaticals (article 13). You can read the entirety of the new language here. The summary, however, is relatively straightforward. We’ve tentatively agreed to increase the number of sabbaticals by a full 50% (from 8 to 12) per year, which we hope will reduce the backlog/waiting time for those seeking to pursue sabbatical projects.
In addition to article 13, we discussed evaluations and classification of faculty, articles 20 and 6, respectively. Our next meeting with the District is August 22nd. We will continue our discussions of evaluations and classification of faculty members. Following those articles, we’ll discuss grievance procedures (article 22), and work stoppage (article 23).
August 15, 2022 Update
The Federation and District bargaining teams last met on August 10th to continue our discussions regarding faculty evaluations and sabbatical leaves (articles 20 and 13, respectively). While we have not reached agreement on either article, we’ve been making solid progress and using our time efficiently. Additionally, we’re happy to report that the District heard our needs for regular and frequent meetings so that we could complete these negotiations in a timely fashion. At our August 4th meeting, the District agreed to meet with us three more times in August (8/10, 8/19, 8/23). To our knowledge, the Federation has never been this far into negotiations this long before the expiration of our contract.
As our discussions of faculty evaluations (article 20) continue with the District, both sides generally agree that our evaluation process is cumbersome and the evaluation article is confusing. The Federation has proposed language to clarify instructions for evaluators to ensure evaluatees are not held liable for administrative errors and missed deadlines, to de-emphasize student surveys in determining the overall evaluation rating (they are well-known to be biased), and to clarify the requirements for evaluations of DE courses. The District has proposed, among other things, adding additional requirements to our evaluations and extending the administrative timeline for completing all steps of the evaluations even later into the semester.
Negotiations of sabbatical leaves (article 13) are proceeding simultaneously. The Federation is seeking to increase the number of sabbatical leaves. Currently, the wait for a faculty member from one sabbatical to the next is around 40 years if all eligible faculty apply. The District seems tentatively amenable to a small increase in the number of sabbaticals.
Our next meeting with the District is August 19th. We will continue our discussions of evaluations and sabbaticals. Following those articles, we’ll discuss classification of faculty members (article 6), grievance procedures (article 22), and work stoppage (article 23). Since it is the District’s traditional and strongly-adhered-to position to negotiate “financial” articles after other articles, it may still be some time before we’re negotiating pay rates, salary, and healthcare benefits, but we will keep you posted as soon as those items are on the schedule.
If you have any questions, please reach out to us (email below) or come to one of our upcoming general membership meetings (below). To view all of our updates, see our negotiations update page at https://aft1388.org/2023-contract-negotiations/. Thanks for your time and engagement.
July 7, 2022 Update
The Federation’s bargaining team has begun negotiations for our next contract (our current one expires December 31st, 2022). We want to provide some context for this round of negotiations and a bargaining update.
First, for context, contract negotiations often move slowly at El Camino College. As a result, our contracts expire while negotiations continue. This means that faculty often lose out on months of improvements to benefits, working conditions, and compensation. Knowing this history, the Federation formally asked the District to start negotiations earlier than usual, in June, and field a District team that could meet with us on a weekly basis. The Federation also formally asked the District for open negotiations where our faculty, staff, and administrators could watch the bargaining as it happens. We believe that transparent, open negotiations would also help improve the process and college.
The Board of Trustees (BOT) did approve an earlier start and our first bargaining session with the District’s team was on Wednesday, June 29th. Additionally, our second session on July 5th was even shorter due to District meeting conflicts. We started with a discussion of ground rules–the rules that will govern what is permissible at our negotiating table–and it was immediately clear to the Federation team that our long-standing concerns are not being taken seriously by the District. The District stated that our request for open negotiations was unacceptable to them. They contended that open bargaining would hurt the process, broaden the voices at the table, and encourage grandstanding. It bears mentioning that none of the District’s team members have ever participated in open bargaining.
In previous negotiations, the District’s team had many scheduling limitations that delayed our negotiations, which is why we asked the BOT to send a bargaining team that is willing and able to meet weekly for our current round of negotiations. At both of our bargaining sessions so far, we have offered to meet weekly throughout the summer, including evenings, Fridays, sessions of more than four hours, and weekends. The District responded by proposing a total of only 3 dates total for July and August. For two of those dates, our principal negotiator is not able to attend half of the 4 hour sessions, as they’ll be teaching, which we shared with the District beforehand. The District’s reasons for selecting these dates were varied. For instance, one District team member will be unable to meet as they will be on vacation a good portion of July while other District team members indicated that they didn’t want to meet on Fridays.
The Federation is disappointed that the District did not take our meeting frequency request seriously and we are concerned that this will, in typical fashion, needlessly delay reaching a completed agreement for our members. We, however, remain committed to meeting weekly, or even more often, including Fridays, evenings, and weekends. The Federation and the District will resume negotiations over ground rules at our upcoming 3rd bargaining session on July 14th.
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