Members of the PCC Faculty Association will vote this week on a tentative agreement with the district that includes a retirement incentive, which could affect more than 10 percent of the full-time faculty.The retirement plan would give those who quit by June 30 up to 75 percent of their final pay.
“The negotiations were quite intense, but in a good way,” said PCCFA President Roger Marheine, at a meeting on Tuesday to inform members of the association of the proposals.
Though there were some moments of skepticism during the meeting, Marheine maintained positivity.
“[PCC President] Mark Rocha wanted to have meaningful movement on campus,” said Marheine. “This is the single greatest retirement incentive in 30 years for a community college.”
“There are 174 full-time faculty members who are over 55 years old with more than five years of service to the college,” said Marheine. “At least 60 to 70 members should seriously consider it, which is different than saying, ‘I’ll just take it.’
“People are tied into PCC so it’s a hard decision,” he continued. “There’s the incentive of money but it’s also a quality-of-life decision.”
Along with the incentive, the agreement also focuses on Large Group Instruction bonuses, overload pay, and pay for office hours for part-time instructors.
“A big thing for students is office hours [for part-time faculty],” he said. He added that the proposed fee increase from $26 per unit to $36 per unit is going to make students want, more than ever, to get their money’s worth.
“It’s a precedent-setting issue,” he said.
In the tentative agreement, faculty salaries will be maintained but the point was made that the faculty has not received a raise since 2006.
“The Board looks to be in a 4-3 split in some things,” said PCCFA Vice President Suzanne Anderson, so because the salary wasn’t adjusted for the upcoming contract term, it will be a “serious issue in the next go-around.”
During the meeting, Daniel Hamman, an instructor at the Community Education Center and member of the PCCFA recognized the current budget crisis and responded to those who thought it would be inappropriate to ask for a raise during this time.
“PCC is not like the rest of the state,” said Hamman. “They keep saying they don’t have the money but when they’re interested in something, they have it.”
According to Hamman, members of the administration gave themselves an average of 11 percent raise.
Julie Kiotas, an assistant professor of the social sciences and one of the grievance officers who helps mediate disputes between the faculty and adminstration, echoed some skepticism and asked PCCFA members to make sure they are vocal if portions of the contract are not being met by PCC’s district board.
“It’s up to us to make sure that the administration adheres to what the contract says,” she said at the meeting.