Last Friday, the joint bargaining team met with PCC administration to continue working toward an agreement on Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for 2021-22 and 2022-23. Administration continues to bar observers from meetings, refuses to allow meetings to be recorded, and refuses any type of accommodation that might let members observe what they are trying to do, which is cut our COLAs despite having received $54 million in federal relief money, $21 million in unanticipated state funding, and untold cost savings from cancelled sections and facility closures during the pandemic.
We recently learned that the College has decided not to increase tuition over the next two years, foregoing an estimated $11 Million in revenue. It’s worth asking why, if the College’s financial situation was as dire as they are trying to make it seem, the College would do this. And if the answer is: to support students, we posit that another way to support students is by NOT cutting COLAs of faculty and staff who have delivered services under unimaginably difficult circumstances over the last 17 months!
You can read a real-time account of the bargaining session in this Twitter thread. By the end of the session, PCC had come up a tiny bit, offering 1.9% COLAs plus a lump sum of .5% or .6%, subject to costing (they want to keep the cost of the lump sum under $2M). The offer is obviously not acceptable as it is a decrease from the 2.5% COLAs agreed on in 2019, and does nothing to compensate members for the added stress and workload of the last year and a half.
Our counteroffer was 3.4% COLAs, plus $200 per month lump sum payments through June, 2021, retroactive to April, 2020. Our next meeting will be August 26, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. We will continue pushing for observers and will keep you posted on that front.