Thanks to all 18 unranked faculty members who attended the last bargaining session with CCA administration, and to everyone who wore stickers to the faculty meeting and held banners. CCA administration has continually characterized CCA union proposals as “a solution in search of a problem” and suggested that there are “many” unranked faculty who are happy with how things are and don’t need job security or fair compensation. Every time you demonstrate publicly that the bargaining team represents the members’ priorities, the process improves.
The CCA union bargaining team has submitted another comprehensive proposal to the administration that includes all outstanding items. We have mostly resolved all the boilerplate contract provisions, and what remains are the issues of job security and reciprocal commitment to the CCA community, and money. We have been asking the administration bargaining team repeatedly since July to give us a formal response to the opening economic proposals we gave them a year ago. The administration has refused to bargain over economics, but has instead vaguely condemned our proposals as “stratospheric.” They are essentially demanding that we bargain against ourselves.
Members who visited the bargaining session on August 24 witnessed how the administration’s team arrived without a counterproposal and spent almost an hour in a separate room preparing it while the union bargaining team waited. The returned counterproposal on Classifications had just one sentence revised from the administration’s previous response from May.
This is how CCA administration has been “negotiating” since April 2016 on the core issues relating to job security – offering miniscule, essentially cosmetic changes to the status quo. Clearly the administration aims to lock the current system in place. On job security, the administration maintains an absolute right for discretion from the Provost to decide whether to promote unranked faculty, to offer longer-term teaching contracts, or to assign courses. Leaving everything to the whim of the Provost entirely undoes the point of a union. Unranked faculty make up less than 10% of the budget of CCA, so CCA could easily afford significant raises to unranked faculty for the cost of one overpaid administrator.
We informed the administration’s bargaining team starting on August 11 that we did not think it would be productive to keep meeting until everything was on the table. We will be happy to meet with them again when they’re ready to try to reach an agreement.
The Bargaining Team and the CAT
Below is our response to the most recent administration update. We have also sent this to our ranked colleagues.
The update you received from the administration was misleading. We would have appreciated the courtesy of a formal response at the bargaining table before they tried to negotiate in public via communications to the school. Here are our corrections:
Unranked Faculty Salaries: CCA Non-ranked Faculty Union proposes a living wage and has always been open to negotiating the “meaningful raises” that are “due" to us. From the start we have understood that negotiations are a give-and-take compromise, but we have not received ANY counterproposals on this issue, which is the heart of why the process has been “impeded."
Unranked Faculty Benefits: We have proposed health insurance benefits be extended to faculty teaching two courses per academic year. Under the current system, unranked faculty must teach three courses per year on an annual contract. This effectively eliminates most faculty teaching studio courses from ever receiving benefits. Administration has made no counterproposals.
Course Teaching Assignment: Under the current system, faculty who have taught at CCA for years can arbitrarily have their lines cut or assigned to someone else, regardless of their experience, student evaluations, or service to the college. This is devastating to unranked faculty. Without some sort of contractual assurance, nothing we have gained with our contract would matter, because the college would be incentivized to replace higher paid faculty with lower paid new hires.
Classifications and Promotional Opportunities: We believe that classifications and promotions should be clear, objective, measurable, and grievable, and not based on the sole decision of the Provost. Ranked faculty have the right to grieve adverse promotional decisions: we want the same.
The administration is still playing hardball with its unranked faculty. We have yet to see any sort of meaningful compromise, only more of the same shaking of fists.
After two years, with half of our bargaining sessions held through federal mediation, it’s become clear that the kind of contract the administration wants is one that locks the current unfair system into place.
A good union contract will make CCA a better school and a better place to work. Contracts based on our proposals have already been implemented at Mills, St. Mary’s and Dominican College; our contract proposals on job security contain standard aspects of union contracts at California state universities and the UC system as well. Instead of fighting tooth and nail against most of the faculty that teach at CCA, the administration could actually do something creative, groundbreaking and progressive, and resolve these issues as swiftly as possible.
CCA Unranked Faculty Union, SEIU 1021