District, UF agree on pact
Tentative agreement extends faculty salaries for 2012-13
Published: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 15:09
Facing more cuts to faculty and classified staff, the district and the United Faculty have agreed to another tentative agreement essentially allowing campuses to maintain their current workforces.
The UF’s newsletter, Table Talk, states that the district and the UF agree that the bargain is sustainable this year thanks to the district’s reserve fund of $7.8 million, according to a report found in the minutes of the Governing Board’s Sept. 12 meeting.
This year’s tentative agreement, ratified by the Governing Board at its Sept. 12 meeting, is the same as last year’s bargain, which includes no new cuts, raises or new contract changes for 2012-13.
“This is the first time the UF and the district have come to an agreement without either side trying to get something extra,” United Faculty President Jeffrey Michels said.
“The purpose of the tentative agreement is to maintain what we already agreed on (in 2011) and close negotiations off for some sort of certainty,” he said. “It’s very distracting working without knowing the status of your contract.”
Future negotiations depend on the Nov. 6 election and the possible passing of Proposition 30, which would raise state sales tax one half of 1 percent and Measure A, which taxes Contra Costa County property owners $11 per piece of land.
Both tax measures’ purposes are to generate revenue for California’s public school and community college systems.
The UF must submit its votes for the ratification of the tentative agreement by Thursday.
Reductions to faculty and staff have been necessary in recent years due to district budgetary cuts totaling more than $21 million over the previous four years.
Failure to pass the tax measures will result in more cuts for the 2013-14 academic year, district Vice Chancellor Eugene Huff said.
Cuts to faculty and staff result in lower course sections, meaning larger class sizes and less personal instruction from professors.
“I feel that there are so many things to cover, and with 50 students asking questions, teachers can’t get through lesson plans because there are too many students,” sociology major Jose Tijero said about his Math 120 class. “I’ll do what I have to do to pass, but there are people who aren’t getting enough attention.”
Tijero said that on the first day of instruction there were 60 people in the class and now there are 50.
Some staff members question the fairness of the budget cuts.
LMC Web Administrator Eloine Chapman said three weeks worth of work time were cut from her yearly schedule as a part of the marketing department’s reductions early in 2012.