“Following a long successful and hard to follow five years of leadership provided by Allison Merzon”

Posted: May 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

From Debra Stakes: “On July 1, 2013, I will be stepping into the role of CCFT President, following a long successful
and hard to follow five years of leadership provided by Allison Merzon“:

Under this leadership, Cuesta faculty earned a new distinction: Almost dead last in faculty salary in one category; close behind in the rest.

“Maximum Initial Highest Non-Doctorate (HND) Salary: Cuesta College– $60,749″  Ranking: 70 out of 72 community college districts

“Maximum HND Salary” (this is usually the benchmark when looking at CCC faculty salaries): “Cuesta College– $94, 776” Ranking 59 out of 72 community college districts

Step 22 “Cuesta College– $94, 776” Ranking 46 out of 72 community college districts.  This is the best that Cuesta faculty salary showed: 46/72.  This is 10 ranking points lower than prior to our unionization.


Prior to our forming CCFT, Cuesta adhered to the Kern study, which published annual faculty salaries statewide.  Cuesta administration paid Cuesta faculty at the median of all the community colleges as determined by the Kern study even after the debacle that was Proposition 13 as I’ve been told.  Former Cuesta College President, Frank Martinez, often said the faculty salary schedule was “sacrosanct.” Well, under Grace Mitchell, the faculty unionized in one short semester.  Why?  Because we knew were better than “median,” than the average.  We knew that the district had the money and wouldn’t give us a well-deserved increase.

And, now, you’re settling for a salary range 10 points lower than before CCFT?  Where have you all gone?  Not all of you have retired, have you?  What about the rest of you, those who’ve been hired since 1994?  Of course, the economy has been terrible.  But, look at the whole Santa Rosa Salary Study.  See what other colleges have been able to do.  And, not all of them have just benefited from bonds.  But, then again, we have had a perfect storm of bad leadership from the Board of Trustees (who Ken Burt, CFT Political Director, said was the most anti-faculty BOT he had ever seen), to the multiple college presidents, VP’s, HR Directors, Deans, and, we’re sorry to say, faculty.  Put that all together, and it spells disaster.

Cuesta has the further distinction of being only one of seven of the 72 community college districts who got its last raise 5 years ago–in 2007-08.  And, of course, it is no coincidence that it was the prior union, which got the faculty its last raise in 2007-08.

We no longer have checks and balances. The union has cozied up with management, and division chairs are in bed with deans.  Who is there for faculty?  As we’ve always said, “You only need a union when you need a union.” Things may seem just fine on the outside–unless you need a union. Then, everything looks different.

Under this leadership, over 100 part-time faculty have lost their jobs.

Under this leadership, the lack of any salary increase, no matter how miniscule, has forced faculty to postpone their planned-for retirement (See related story, “Retirement May be Farther Away Than You Think,” April 8, 2013).

Under this leadership, the faculty have paid many thousands of dollars to the EB for services.  Even with that, Stakes reports that all of the below positions (which are all compensated) are open:

Vice President

COPE chair

Council of Representative Co-chair

PT Faculty Committee Chair

PT Liaison from the Council of Representatives to the EB.

Chief Negotiator

Communications Chair

Aside from the Secretary/Treasurer and Grievance Officer (we’re getting to them next), that is just about the entire EB!  This is spellbinding.  And, frightening.  When Stakes stated, “We need to fill these gaps in our leadership teams to be better able to serve the faculty,” did she mean, by implication, that if no one steps up, the union will be run by Stakes, Tomes, and Krulikowski?  Why is no one interested in participating?  The Council of Reps meetings are poorly attended, often commencing without a quorum, and a number of divisions don’t even have reps.  Some divisions list Council Reps who are members of the Executive Board.  But, according to a provision (written by the current union) in the CCFT Constitution, EB members must not be voting members of the Council (unless, I guess, they want to be :-/). This is one example of multiple violations of their own constitution.

Under this leadership, a minimum of 5 faculty (2 full-time and 3 part-time) have lost their jobs because of active hostility on the part of the union and collaboration with management.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s