Details Matter

Posted: May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

Contract Notes

While you’ll be enjoying your retroactive check at the end of the month, you might want to take a look at the following for some clarity and perspective. The points were taken from a recent email from the union president.

1.) History of recent salary increases/negotiations:

2007-08         3% (Rossa)

2008-09         0% (Merzon)

New contract

2009-10         0%  (Merzon)

2010-11         0%      (“)

2011-12         0%      (“)

New contract

2012-13         0% (Merzon)

2013-14         0% (Stakes)

2014-15         1%; 1% (“)

New contract

2015-16         5% (Stakes)

2016-17           ?

2017-18           ?

So, that 7% spreads over two contracts:

The 2% increase for the 2012-2015 contract works out to 0.66% per each year of the contract.

The 5% increase for 2015-16 must be significantly enhanced in the following two years to make a decent annual increase for each year of this new contract, 2015-18.

2.) “The revised articles (4, 5, 6,7 and 10) will become part of our first new contract since 2008.” That can’t be the case. Contracts must be renewed every three years. So, this is confusing.

3.) Maybe someone can explain this to me:

“There is also just under $400K that will be distributed as a one-time stipend to all faculty as compensation for the extra workload for learning elumen and transitioning to Canvas.  The stipend will be distributed based on each faculty member’s highest percent workload between the Fall 15 and Spring 16 semesters. This distribution of the off-schedule money benefits part-time faculty and full-time faculty at the lower salary steps. “

We have been told that we were getting a 2% off-schedule increase (the above). I’m no mathematician, but no distribution that I can see gives anyone even close to 2% of $400,000. How does this benefit part-timers and other lower paid faculty more than it does anyone else? Again, I’m confused. If I’m enlightened, I’ll post the answer.

4.) While I along with other breeders are, I’m sure, happy to have the insurance pool continue, family insurance has increased from approximately $300 to $500 a month as a result of the new insurance tiers put forth by the union. So, even though the insurance pool helps, it does not cover the increase felt by families.

Just some things to think about . . . .

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  1. Greg says:

    Item #1: Interesting figures, thank you for posting. Can you please include salary increases starting from the 1999-2000 academic year, or close to it?

    Item #3: The 2% off schedule represents 2% of the total expenditure on faculty salary, which is about $20,000,000 per year. This is exactly equal to $400,000.

    The $400,000 is being distributed in a lump sum per unit load. I think it’s about $1200 per FTEF. This amount going to someone making $60,000 per year is a larger percentage of salary (2%) than what someone making $80,000 per year (1.5%). This is more progressive (in a dollar sense, not political) than an equal percentage increase, but this is not a value judgement on either method. PT faculty will earn $1200*highest load as a percentage.

    Item #4: Cuesta faculty with multiple dependents have exceptionally low combined salary/benefits. Our union not offered increasing fringe levels for increasing dependents since at least 2003. We did have composite rates, but there were still out of pocket expenses back in 2003. This is unlike any other college in the lower 60% of statewide salary rankings. Cuesta faculty with multiple dependents receive in fringe about $6,000 per year lower than the state average once the pool dollars are distributed.

  2. mimmsy123 says:

    1. The figures may be interesting, Greg. More importantly, they’re facts. As far as what the salary increases were starting in 1999-2000, no, I do not have those handy. Even the SRS study seems to begin in 2002. What I do know is this. The year, 2003-04, you might recall, was a very dismal economic period for community colleges. Colleges were laying faculty off up and down the state. And, we not only had no faculty layoffs but we got faculty a 1% raise.

    While I don’t have the time or inclination to try to find years of salary increases, I did research Cuesta’s salary ranking for 2007—our last full year in office:

    “Maximum Highest Non-Doctorate: Rank 37/72 $92015” (Year 2007)

    This column has always been the benchmark since most cc faculty will end up here. Compare that figure to Cuesta today in the same column:

    “Maximum Highest Non-Doctorate: Rank 62/72 $94776” (Year 2015)

    Our loss has been monumental.

    Also, the salary study includes a column called “Increase since 12/15/05 study.” Out of all 72 districts, Cuesta faculty was second highest in salary increases from that date until this 2006-07 salary study was put out: 14.18%. The only college that had a higher increase during that time period was Glendale at 18.44%. We were very pleased with that. Any faculty member can access those figures themselves, by the way.

    Lastly, one of our EB members during that period did the math to determine that between the first contract (1996) and our last contract (2007), we raised faculty salaries by over 50%. I was surprised, but he showed me the figures.

    3. The way you present it is not what we were told by Stakes. That might be why I’m confused. She presented it more than once that each of us would be getting a one-time 2% of that $400,000 amount. That is very different from what you said above. Yours seems more accurate since the differential, so to speak, benefits some faculty more than others. Stakes did not send out those figures. There is no way for each of us to get 2% and some get more. Very confusing.

    So, now, I don’t know if you’re right or if she is.

    4. Some families, but not all, may have had out of pocket health insurance costs, but those costs were much less than they are now. I had no out of pocket costs back then because I took, I think it was, the second lowest cost plan, and that was fully covered by my fringe. When you say “multiple dependents,” what do you mean? Family rate is family rate.

    Cuesta faculty need a major boost in benefits.

  3. cuestailos says:

    Debra Stakes sent an email on 3/28/2016 at 11:47 am detailing the payout of the off-schedule dollars, just as I described above. She used a sum of $1300 per FTE, not $1200, so expect something in that range (it’s a difficult calculation based on data I don’t have access to). She didn’t outline the 2% of total salary being equal to $400,000 divided among all faculty equally, but I think that was in a separate communication.

    By ‘multiple dependents’ I meant those who insure more than one dependent and do pay what we label as ‘family rate.’ Other districts use different terms for their insurance benefit/cost structures, so I tried to use a more descriptive term.

    When I started in 2004, I paid out of pocket for plan B medical and medical. It was less than it is now, but our structure then and now is very different than most districts.
    It leads to a big out of pocket expense for those paying for more than 1
    dependent, much bigger than what faculty at most other colleges must pay. Our fringe allowance/benefit cost for singles compares pretty well with that of other districts. To be more in line with other districts, the fringe amount for faculty with dependents would need to go up. That might not be popular for those who don’t insure dependents, but that is the reality we compete against when hiring faculty. Our district offers about $6,000 less in annual benefits for those paying our family rate, which really looks like $10,000 on paper since the insurance pool money is not a fixed amount.

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