Impasse Declaired

Dear CCFT Members;

Last Wednesday, management presented its “last, best, and final” offer on compensation to faculty of 3.21% on-schedule. The offer continued the District’s actions from this year and last in refusing to provide fair compensation to faculty, who remain the lowest paid of our cohort and who continue to fall behind the cost-of-living increases in SLO County.

The CCFT Executive Board voted unanimously to reject this unfair offer and request impasse from PERB.

The Executive Board has heard loud and clear from our members that management’s offer of a 3.21% increase to the salary schedules is not sufficient progress toward fair compensation, not reflective of the District’s fiscal health and not in line with the more significant increases faculty unions are obtaining across the State.

The District’s offer includes the 3.21% on-schedule increase to the salary schedule and also a 2.26% one-time, off-schedule payment to faculty. This one-time money would have no lasting impact for continuing faculty at the District and make no difference in the long-term effort of fair compensation for faculty.

The District’s offer also continues the supplemental benefits from the insurance pool. This year we modified the insurance pool to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for both two-party insurance rate-payers and family rate-payers. The District’s offer to the Union showed these supplemental benefits as an “ongoing” 1.25% increase to benefits based on the year-to-year MOU, which the District thus far has refused to permanently add to the contract. We reject the District’s characterization of these monies, necessary for basic healthcare for faculty, as equivalent to an on-schedule salary increase.

Finally, the District has accepted the Union’s demand to equalize the compensation for all 12 Division Chairs, but insists on subtracting the cost of this equalization from the 3.21% salary increase, so as to instead only provide a 3.1% on-schedule increase. The Union fully intends to demand such equalization for Division Chairs to reflect the hard work they do, and reject both 3.1 and 3.21% as absurdly low offers from the District for faculty compensation.

To summarize, the District is characterizing its “last, best, final offer” as a total compensation increase of “6.52%,” but this number conflates one-time money with a permanent increase and also unfairly characterizes the purpose and impact of supplemental health benefits. It is a fantasy.

We had hoped to able to work with management to address the problem of unfair compensation and the impacts it has on our members, our students, and the college community. We are extremely disappointed that management wouldn’t willingly do more to improve faculty compensation. The funds are available, and with a 3.1% increase, it would amount to only a 5% increase over the last eight years. Less than 1% per year. Unfortunately, management doesn’t currently value the work of faculty enough to move us up the district’s spending priority list.

But there is good news. First, we have a mechanism to continue our fight for more fair compensation: mediation, fact-finding, and if necessary, economic action. The time to start planning for all stages of this process is now.

The second piece of good news is that we have never seen our members so united, so angry with management’s spending priorities, and so committed to do whatever it takes to get the fair compensation we deserve. I’ll be letting our members know what specific actions we can take to achieve our goal. And if you have suggestions, please be in touch with me or with your Council Rep.

Please plan to attend the All-Member meeting now scheduled for December 3 at 3 pm in room 5402 with Polycom to N3213. We will discuss the next steps for us all to consider.

In Unity

Debra
Debra S. Stakes, PhD
CCFT President and Chief Negotiator
Cuesta College

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