BY HANK REICHMAN
For the past three years I have been posting about the ongoing issues regarding accreditation at the City College of San Francisco (CCSF) and the subsequent disaffection of virtually all of California’s community colleges with their current accreditor, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). This past spring attention focused on contract negotiations between the CCSF administration and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 2121, which represents the college’s faculty. In March 92 percent of union members voted to authorize a strike. Soon afterward, dozens of teachers were arrested in downtown San Francisco following a march and rally that ended with a sit-in that blocked the office door of Jeff Sloan, the chief negotiator for the college’s administration. On April 27, AFT 2121 staged a one-day strike to protest the administration’s refusal to bargain in good faith.
Now comes the welcome news that after an intense two days of mediation AFT 2121 and the CCSF administration have reached a tentative agreement. And it sure sounds like a victory for the much-beleaguered CCSF faculty. CCSF faculty members won a total salary increase over the life of the contract, which runs through mid-2018, of 14% or more, depending on enrollment growth. And while the union was unable to win class size reductions, it successfully beat back dangerous administration proposals that would have corrupted the peer evaluation process.
On behalf of the AAUP and as an individual I extend my heartiest congratulations to the CCSF faculty, who have stood strong through an extraordinarily trying three years of nearly non-stop struggle. And our congratulations as well to the leadership of AFT 2121for their hard work and persistence. This contract will not bring to an end the fight to save CCSF and California’s community colleges from the havoc wrought by a rogue accreditor, but it marks a critical victory in that ongoing battle.
Here is the full text of AFT 2121 President Tim Kilikelly’s statement on the agreement, taken from AFT 2121’s website:
The goal of our contract campaign was to win a contract without concessions that supports the College that San Francisco deserves, and make sure that our Union would emerge more organized, united and stronger to continue the struggles yet to come. This Tentative Agreement will support faculty in delivering quality and accessible public higher education. During the last few years faculty at City College of San Francisco have gone above and beyond to defend improve and rebuild our College. Our united power was clearly demonstrated during our high-participation strike, which was supported by community, students and elected officials, and moved the District to make a deal before the issuance of the fact finding report. We did not give into the District’s tactics of trying to divide students from faculty and pit faculty against each other. That was key to reaching our goals.
The Executive Board and the Negotiating Team have unanimously recommended support for the Tentative Agreement to our Delegate Assembly and membership.
I also want to give special thanks to all the members of our Negotiating team who have volunteered countless hours to help make this happen.
This Tentative Agreement has significant gains on pay. In addition to restoring the lost salary step advancement from 2009/10, we negotiated an additional step on the schedule for all faculty. All our members will see an 11.4% increase in salary by 2017/18, with retro pay of 9.4% for 15/16. The majority of our membership will get a step restoration or step increase, which will bring total pay for most of our members by 17/18 to at least a 14% increase.
We made some progress on our goal of moving all lab loads toward load factor 1. The lowest labs factor (0.67) has been eliminated, and those labs will now be paid at the 0.75 rate. The District refused to move further. We hope to make further progress in our next round of negotiations.
The agreement includes:
A retroactive on-going pay increase of 9.4%. (3.7% restoration, 1.02% COLA plus 4.68%)
A “lookback” for possible additional money (if there is additional unanticipated funds available at the end of the year, we will negotiate for our share of increases to employee compensation)
0.67 load factor is removed and will be replaced by 0.75.
1% ongoing increase to base salary for all members
For a majority of our members:
-Restoration of lost step (from a 2.6% to 4.0% increase depending on an individual’s current position in the salary schedule)
-New step 17 for full-timers and step 13 for part-timers (from a 2.6% to 4.0% increase depending on an individual’s current position in the salary schedule)
A “lookback” for possible additional money
Projected 1% increase (state COLA)
Potential additional increases subject to enrollment growth formula.
A “lookback” for possible additional money
Total increase over the life of the contract (including additional steps): 14% or more
We were not able to unlock all of these moneys without agreeing to some conditions.
2.0% of the raise from 15/16 will be ongoing from 11/16 and thereafter only if the District desired early renewal of the parcel tax passes: The District also agrees that:
1) the Parcel Tax oversight committee shall meet and issue its report;
2) the District will report expenditures in a transparent manner; and
3) the District does not anticipate requesting a waiver of 50% law for 15/16 or 16/17 and agrees it will consult in good faith with AFT if it believes that such a waiver may be necessary.
Additionally, 2.68% ongoing from 15/16 through 17/18 will continue thereafter based on a formula to be calculated in 17/18:
The formula states that for every 500 FTES above current enrollment that City College grows, AFT 2121 members will receive an additional 1% increase in ongoing salary.
The 2.68% will be ongoing for the life of the contract (from 15/16 through 17/18). It will continue thereafter only if enrollment growth targets are met, and additional money is possible if even greater growth occurs.
The team felt comfortable agreeing to this condition because 1) this formula is more reasonable than prior proposed formulas based on “productivity” and is realistic to achieve, especially if our Free City College plan occurs and 2) if the goals are not achieved, we will still receive the money for the life of the contract and can re-negotiate terms in 2017-18.
We were able to reach a compromise on the most contentious non-economic issues. The District backed off on the worst provisions of their evaluation proposal that would have corrupted the integrity of the peer evaluation process.
Although the District refused to budge on our proposal to reduce class size minimums, we beat back a concession desired by the District that would have made it easier for them to cancel low-enrolled classes, keeping current contract language.
They refused to accept our proposal on conference lab and music lab. However, faculty who were previously teaching conferences will continue to be held harmless in terms of pay or load credit if those courses are changed to labs.
After indicating a willingness to provide lifetime health benefits for categorical full time employees, the administration rescinded their offer. We will continue to push for this in future negotiations.
Together over the last 4 years we have endured so much at the hands of the ACCJC, Special Trustees and administration. This Tentative Agreement was only was possible because of our resolve and unity. Let’s continue to move forward together.
Details about next steps in the process of member ratification will follow.
President, AFT 2121