CCFT remarks to the Board of Trustees prior to closed session on October 7, 2015
Remarks by Debra Stakes:
This is an unusual venue for me. I do not customarily speak before the closed sessions. But faculty are unanimous in our demand for a fair and significant increase in compensation for all employees.
The current offer from the District – at best – might prevent faculty from falling even further behind the cost of living, with faculty continuing to realize increases in their health care and retirement contributions, and already far behind from multiple years with no salary increases. We do not see any effort to mitigate the effects of substantial increases to our cost of living here in SLO County.
A close look at the District budget projections shows that after giving everyone a meager 2% raise the District will still have almost $4 million in so-called contingency on top of the 5% Reserve required by the Chancellor’s office. There is no requirement to maintain the surplus in the contingency, especially with the banner year for the California budget. The contingency was put into place during the recession, when there was no measure L and multimillion dollar deficits were predicted annually. This is not the current fiscal situation, however,
Even with the 2% raise from last year, the first since 2008, faculty are still:
- at the bottom of the cohort of comparative institutions,
- far behind the 16% cost of inflation for SLO county since 2006,
- actually losing money with the increases in STRS deductions and insurance costs.
So faculty are making less (in real dollars) than they did before the recession.
We wonder why the District is not more committed to compensating all of us, including faculty, for our work on accreditation, Measure L, SLO’s, eLumen, increasing FTES and every other demand placed upon us. When will the President and the Board of Trustees finally decide that it is time to invest in the fiscal and professional well-being of the employees of this College?
We say the time is now and the faculty will host a press conference/pep rally in a week to voice our concerns.
I urge the Board members to take the moral position, long overdue, to provide a fair and reasonable compensation package for faculty and other employees.
Thank you for your time.