We were pleased to see some movement in yesterday’s (July 8) bargaining session, with both sides inching closer to a deal. You can read the play-by-play on PCCFFAP’s twitter thread. Here is a summary:
Administration continues to be very concerned about enrollment declines, and doesn’t seem to want to acknowledge 1) the cost savings of facility closures, a hiring freeze, and cancelled sections, 2) the $54 million in federal relief money the college has received, or 3) the extra $21 million in unanticipated state funding the college will receive for the 2021-23 biennium. They want us to believe there is no money to honor their COLA (cost of living adjustment) commitments. Their first offer yesterday was:
- 1.825% COLAs in 2021-22 and 2022-23 (an increase from their original offer of 1%, but not the 2.5% of salary that we bargained for in 2019.)
Citing the 4.7% increase in the consumer price index, on top of the multiple challenges of the past year, PCCFFAP countered with:
- 4% COLAs in 2021-22 and 2022-23, plus a lump sum payment of $200 per month through June, 2021, retroactive to April, 2020. (This would amount to roughly $3,600 per employee).
The lump sum payment addresses administration’s oft-stated concern about federal relief money being one-time only. We get it. But we also think some of that relief should be passed along to employees who have kept providing services to students through a pandemic, social unrest and racial justice protests, and a climate crisis that has led to multiple hardships for members, from wildfires to ice storms to an historic heat wave.
At the end of the meeting, administration presented a verbal offer of 1.825% COLAS, plus 0.675%/year in a lump sum payment. This gets us to 2.5%, but only 1.825% of that would be permanent. So, progress, but obviously we can’t accept what is essentially a cut to our COLAs.
The meeting ended on a sour note as FFAP offered to set up the next meeting and administration staunchly refused, because they don’t want observers at the meetings. They stated, “We are not going to continue having a conversation about observers.”
It’s very telling how administration doesn’t want observers. It’s almost like they know that their argument for cutting COLAs would not go over well with our members!
Remember to save the date for our in-person solidarity event next week – July 16 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (venue and other details TBA)