Monday, August 17, 2020
We have reached a tentative agreement with the District.
Unfortunately, it is clear that the VPs, President, and a majority of BOTs do not fully value what we do. Furthermore, the ongoing global pandemic and economic contraction have led to delays, budget tightening, and reduction of funding for education at every level. Amidst these challenges, we believe we have negotiated the best possible contract that will substantively improve pay and working conditions for all faculty while simultaneously providing the best security of employment possible. Below is a summary of the past year at the bargaining table.
In March, when the administration delayed closing campus despite the growing scientific evidence that remaining open posed a threat to everyone on campus, the Federation pushed for the closure of campus to protect the safety of all employees and students while maintaining some semblance of continuity of education.
When we abruptly transitioned to remote instruction with minimal time to prepare, the District made it very clear that the mountain of work associated with the transition to working from our homes should be done for free. We put safety and meeting our students’ needs first and for the rest of the term supported our students and did the work of the college. Once everyone was safe, we set to work rectifying this pay inequity for the additional work that we all had to do by negotiating a pair of memoranda of understanding (MOU) to further protect safety and provide some compensation for the extra work.
When the administration received federal CARES funding in the spring, they only offered to allocate some of the CARES funding for the following stipends for the transition:
- $600 – For Non-Instructional Faculty
- $800 – For Instructional Faculty who converted one class
- $1000 – For Instructional Faculty who converted more than one class
As you know, we worked hard to achieve more adequate compensation and negotiated the following on our behalf:
- $600 – For Part-time Non-Instructional Faculty
- 1000 – For Full-time Non-Instructional Faculty
- $1000 – For Instructional Faculty who converted one class
- $1400 – For Instructional Faculty who converted more than one class
- $1000 – For technology/instructional supplies for all Faculty
- $650 – For instructional faculty who complete SPOCK.
In that second MOU, we negotiated substantial job and safety protections as we did in the first COVID MOU.
For the 2019-2022 Contract negotiations, here is a summary of the proposed changes in our contract.
- Reduction of required weekly on-campus days from 4 to 3.
- Improvements to the part-time faculty Rehire Priority List (RPL)
- Improvements to the ease of understanding and implementation of evaluations (Article 20)
With this contract, we continue to fall behind our peers in overall compensation. But we did make some significant and groundbreaking gains.
- Single: District contribution increased from $590 per month to $717
- 2 Party: District contribution increased from $1022 per month to $1231
- Family: District contribution increased from $1328 per month to $1542
- District health care stipend of $75 for ALL part-time faculty, per semester
- Two paid office hours at the D-1 Step 1 Lecture rate for ALL part-time faculty, per semester
The District received 3.26% COLA for 2019/2020 and is fully funded in 2020/21. Funding for 2021/22 is unknown at this point, though it does not look promising. The District’s negotiating team explicitly said they and the President and Board of Trustees will not agree to any raise for the duration of this agreement. By the end of negotiations, after months of discussions, we even asked for a 0.5% raise and the District’s team remained firm in their position.
Lab/lecture pay parity process: This may positively impact workload and pay for faculty whose classes qualify and are granted this status (currently laboratory hours are paid at 75% the rate of lecture hours instead of 100% as they are at other colleges).
We have tentatively scheduled the contract ratification vote for September. We strongly recommend that you approve the agreement with the District. While this contract may not encapsulate every improvement that you wished to see, we sincerely hold that this is the best agreement achievable and, as outlined above, there are tangible monetary and non-monetary improvements provided to every faculty member on campus.
Additionally, we strongly recommend that you get involved in your union. We have the opportunity to change 3 of the 5 Board of Trustee (BOT) seats in November. The BOT has the power to set the priorities in our budgets and hire and release our administrators.
The Federation’s Executive Board has a two-year plan to build our union’s power. We encourage you personally to be involved in this process as well as the upcoming BOT elections. For more information, please see our website: aft1388.org
If we do not approve the contract, we will likely go to impasse and then mediation. This will further delay the contract, and the related gains in health benefits and non monetary changes. Additionally, the mediation process is not binding, nor will our tentative agreements hold. Accordingly, the District is free to offer the same language, or worse language, 6-12 months from now. Again, we strongly believe that ratification of this agreement and avoidance of the impasse/mediation process is in the best interest of all faculty on campus.
We will have general membership meetings to discuss the contract on Tuesday August 18, 2020 from 3-5 and Wednesday August 19, 2020 from 3-5. To join either meeting, here is the Zoom info:
Meeting ID: 856 4753 9567
For members, we want to remind you that we will have a member-only Zoom meeting on Friday, August 28, 2020 to vote on a much needed change in our Constitution to allow electronic voting and ratification. It will likely be in the afternoon, please mark your schedule.
John Baranski, Troy Moore, and Laura Saldarriaga
Federation Contract Negotiation Team