LBCC faculty march

Faculty members at Long Beach City College march Tuesday toward a Board of Trustees meeting.

Long Beach City College faculty members say the college’s salary proposal comes up short.

A group of nearly 100 planned to picket the regular trustee board meeting on Tuesday, saying the college’s compensation proposal isn’t fair and equitable, LBCC Community College Association president and sociology teacher Janét Hund said.

“Our negotiators have met with the district 14 times since last September and they’re still unable to reach an agreement,” Hund said. “We want the district to recognize what we are proposing.”

The faculty’s current contract doesn’t end until June 2017 and negotiations are part of the re-opener, LBCC public relations and marketing associate director Stacey Toda said in an email.

Toda said LBCC’s proposal includes: ongoing salary increases averaging 1.48% for all faculty, one-time bonus of 1.5%, 10.5% increase to hourly overtime rates and 10.15% stipend pay increase. The college also is offering hourly pay for conducting evaluations of probationary and tenured faculty, as now it’s part of their college service hours, Toda said. Additionally, the college would provide an early retirement incentive, where those with 15 years of employment and at least age 55 would get 65% of their salary, she said. If the college has 24 retirees by June 2016, it will offer an additional 2% ongoing salary increase for faculty, Toda said.

LBCC president Eloy Ortiz Oakley said the faculty’s compensation has been one of the college’s main concerns.

“Providing fair compensation is a top priority of this college and we are committed to raising the pay levels for all our faculty,” Oakley said in a statement. “In recent years, the college district has made numerous changes in the CCA contract which mutually benefits both the faculty and the college… LBCC administration has worked diligently for months to negotiate in good faith with the CCA faculty union and has provided multiple offers that would further increase pay and working conditions. We are conscious of the state budget concerns and the concerns of our faculty. I feel we have made progress in the negotiations and I look forward to our teams continuing to work together to achieve an agreement.”

The current contract, which was ratified in November 2014, gave an across-the-board salary increase for full-time faculty, varying with individual experience and level of education on a step system. For example, a faculty member with a master’s degree received a $12,852 increase and those with doctorate degrees, $4,189 more per year.

CCA now is asking for a 4.25% base salary increase retroactive to July 2015 and a 3% increase beginning in July 2016, Hund said.

“We’ve come down substantially in our proposal,” Hund said. “We know we have the money.”

Hund said the college received $6 million this year and a 1.02% cost of living allowance from the state. She also said the college has $25 million in reserve money.

Oakley said the following in a previous statement:

“It should be noted that salary increases cannot be done with one-time funds, which are designated by the governor and legislature for deferred maintenance, instructional equipment and other one-time funds in order to improve student outcomes and for closing achievement gaps of underrepresented and economically challenged students.”

Hund, who’s worked at LBCC for 20 years, made $84,873.08 in regular pay during 2014, and $137,597.69, including regular, overtime, other pay and benefits, according to the Transparent California website. A Riverside Community College sociology teacher’s total pay and benefits was $152,272 in 2014.

“After working for 20 years, we know employment comes at a cost to our faculty,” Hund said. “We know we are at the bottom among comparable community colleges.”

Emily Thornton can be reached at ethornton@gazettes.com.

Emily is a staff writer covering higher education and other various topics for Gazette Newspapers. She has a background in weekly and daily newspapers and a bachelor’s in communication from La Sierra University.

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