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Chaparral 2014-2015: 23.4 Sacramento News

Sacramento News (March 2015)

Sacramento News: Your Paycheck, Your Pension, and a Few Other Things

by Mona Field

Professor of Political Science, Emeritus

As every GCC employee knows, the college budget is almost 100% dependent on what the state provides.  And this year, for the most part, GCC (along with all the other 112 community colleges in California) is in pretty good shape.

Governor Brown has been a strong supporter of community colleges, and has kept student fees at the same $46 amount for the past several years.  The old-timers remember much lower fees, and the really old-timers recall back in the 1970s, and prior, that our colleges had ZERO fees, but that is just an Obama dream....

Anyhow, right now, in the current proposed budget, the Governor keeps our fees at $46, and provides funds for 2% growth, 1.58% COLA and over one billion total dollars (to the entire community college system) for categories such as Student Success, Student Equity Plans, State Mandated Costs, Increased Operating expenses, etc.  In theory, this budget could be altered by legislative action, but this year chances are that only "tweaking" will occur in the legislature, since the dollar amounts are pretty generous.

How does all this impact you?  Recently, decisions were made in Sacramento that impact your take-home pay.  Your paycheck will reflect increased deductions for your pension costs.  Both the college and YOU will be paying more for your pensions -- STRS and PERS rates are going up to help cover the long-term costs of your retirement. 

And in terms of "working conditions" -- the amount of reporting demanded of colleges (and their employees) has grown enormously in the past ten years.  The college is now required to provide data to the state about student outcomes, equity, and many other required measures of "student success.”  Most, if not all, GCC employees have probably been asked to work on SLOs, PLOs, and all the other measures of student outcomes.  And many have worked on Student Equity data, accreditation data and many other required documents.  Lots of work, indeed.

Sacramento actions affect every single employee and every single student.  It's not necessary that every single person know all the details, but it's a really good idea for everyone to have a basic understanding of how state legislators and the Governor impact GCC.

You can thank John Queen and Kathy Holland for representing GCC at the recent FACCC Advocacy and Policy conference, and for keeping their eyes on the state budget and related community college legislation.  Many others on campus stay tuned into Sacramento and do their best to inform GCC about what's going on in our state Capitol.  The more, the merrier, so if you are interested in becoming more informed, I recommend website and of course, being a FACCC member.

Stay informed, and keep up your great work!

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