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Cerritos College Faculty Prepares for Possible Job Action as Admin. Plays Negotiation Hardball

 

Despite historic funding from the state and growing reserves, the college is offering $0 in ongoing raises

June 7, 2022~ After twenty months of frustrating negotiations, including an unsuccessful attempt at mediation, Cerritos College faculty are now weighing their next steps as the college administration continues to devalue the work of these critical educators. At issue is the lack of any ongoing wage increase by the administration, despite historic funding from the state and growing reserves for the college.

 According to CCFF president, Dr. Lynn Wang, faculty are extremely frustrated with the administration’s hardball stance at the bargaining table, especially their continued insistence on offering $0 in ongoing raises. Instead, the college is offering what amounts to one-time bonuses for three years.

 “While other area colleges are recognizing the hard work and dedication of their faculty with raises ranging from 5-7%, the Cerritos College administration has been stuck on a 0% ongoing wage increase for nearly two years,” says Dr. Wang. “It is disrespectful not only to the faculty but the students we serve.”

 Comparisons with other area community colleges show the Cerritos College administration’s offer at the bargaining table is well out of line with recent faculty contract settlements. This year El Camino College settled for a 7.2% ongoing wage increase with their faculty, Rio Honda College settled for a 6.07% increase, and Long Beach City College, Pasadena City College, Los Angeles Community College, and Santa Monica all settled for a 5.07% increase.

 Meanwhile, funding provided by the state of California continues to set new records. In the final budget discussions for the upcoming 2022-2023 fiscal year, Governor Newsom has proposed a 6.56% cost of living adjustment for most community college programs along with a total increase in funding of $8.4 billion of ongoing and one-time funding across the entire college system.

 Faculty also point out that Cerritos College is on sound financial footing. According to an analysis of the college’s budget conducted by the union, the Cerritos College is projecting at least a $5 million surplus following the 2021-2022 school year. The college also continues to sit on $46 million in unrestricted reserves, at least twice the amount recommended by the community college state chancellor’s office.

 While ongoing wage increases are a primary concern at the bargaining table for faculty, there are other critical issues where the faculty are far apart from the administration at the bargaining table. Chief among them are moving towards parity pay for part-time instructors, additional educational columns for part-time faculty, and longevity pay for long-serving full-time faculty.

 Negotiations are about to enter the fact-finding process, where a three-person panel led by a neutral chair will evaluate the proposals from each party and offer a report to help settle negotiations. Should an agreement not be reached following the report, the administration can impose their final contract offer, and the faculty can exercise their right to strike.

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