For every full time faculty member at GCC, we have 3 adjunct faculty - most of whom have no benefits and no job protection - and well over half of the courses at GCC are taught by adjunct faculty which is a far cry from the 75% FON (Faculty Obligation Number) established under AB1725 in 1989, which states that 75% of instruction hours should be taught by full-time faculty.
Yet, when the Board of Trustees were informed earlier this academic year that GCC can hire additional full time faculty with FON money allocated from the state, one of the trustees questioned the need for hiring additional full time faculty members since enrollment at GCC was expected to go down. This trustee also requested a five-year plan of projected expenses and incomes for the college.
The request for a five year budget forecast resulted in a report produced for the Board of Trustees, which overestimated expenses and underestimated incomes, and concluded that even the slightest raise given to employees during the best budget year GCC has seen since the recession of 2008, would result in a budget deficit within the next five years.
That report set the tone to negotiations for the 2015-16 salary raises, which were ratified in December 2015 for ongoing raise of 1.75% (for full time) and 2.75% (for adjuncts), and an additional 2.75% for all faculty with an expiration date of July 1, 2016. The District’s negotiating team has refused to renew the 2.75% for the next year. Furthermore, they started the 2016-17 salary negotiations with an offer of 0%.
In response to this unacceptable salary offer, over 150 faculty and allies attended the Board Meeting in April and May of 2016 to show their dissatisfaction. Our students held up signs “We Support Our Teachers.” Faculty speakers shared their comments and read comments from others who could not attend the meeting. The question remains - what are GCC's priorities? A premier institution does not happen because the buildings are beautiful or because there are highly paid administrators. A premier institution is dependent on the quality instruction provided by faculty dedicated to their students. Our dedication is evident in our transfer rates (highest in the region), and also in all the unique opportunities we provide our students, including programs such as Study Abroad, Scholars Program, La Comunidad, Black Scholars, undergraduate research opportunities, and more. Our faculty are unusually dedicated to this campus and its success. Is the District doing its part to ensure that this level of dedication continues? If our students are a GCC priority, then we must also make faculty a GCC priority!
The District’s negotiating team has since moved from its 0% position, and the slight raise in their latest counter proposal will be presented to the Guild membership at its meeting on May 31, 2016.
If you support fair and affordable salary raises at GCC, we ask you to wear blue on Tuesdays. Blue Tuesdays will continue until we settle a fair and affordable salary deal and renew our contract which expired 11 months ago.
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