A proposal for new contract terms from the Faculty Association (FA) was presented at its meeting on Oct. 10, where the FA also called out the Pasadena Area Community College District for not meeting with FA leaders since May 30.

“We have been frustrated with [Superintendent Mark Rocha,]” said FA president Roger Marheine. He also said that it seemed as if the FA and the District were in two separate “rooms” and that nothing was getting accomplished that way.

Marheine proposed that the two sides continue the negotiations without mediators and attorneys present. He felt that they would be able to move toward meaningful discussions that way.

Rocha has said that if the union did not accept the Districts’ terms back in March, negotiations would be mediated through an outside organization and that would prolong the process.

The Faculty Association’s proposal “was an extreme departure” from the independent Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) Fact Finder’s recommendations on June 5, General Counsel Gail Cooper wrote in an email.

“Our position since June 5 has been that the District is willing to accept the Fact Finder’s recommendations; the Faculty Association is not,” she wrote.

The Fact Finder’s recommendations are a nine-page statement officially known as the District’s Last, Best, and Final Offer. A deadline had been given for the Faculty Association to accept the offer before certain elements expire, such as a retirement incentive and salary increases, among other things.

The FA did not accept this offer and negotiations have since come to a complete halt. According to recent email correspondence, Rocha indicated to Marheine that the Oct. 16 Board of Trustees meeting will be the first opportunity to actually consider FA input and reopen contractual conversations.

“The negotiation team would not have been able to make any new proposal to [the FA] without consulting with me and the Board,” Rocha said in an Oct. 9 email. Rocha said that the negotiation team would do so at the Board meeting on Oct. 16.

Additional reporting by Emily Chang-Chien

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