The Faculty Association claimed at an emergency meeting on Aug. 28 that the winter intersession did not need to be eliminated since the college has enough money in reserve to pay for it.
The college has about $20.7 million – 18.9 percent of its total budget â€“ in general reserves according to the PCC Operating Statements and Acting Vice President of Administrative Services Robert Miller. The minimum reserve mandated by the state is three to five percent.
Community Education Center instructor Daniel Hamman presented to the enormous group of faculty, students, and college staff alike the numbers provided from Board of Trusteesâ€™ packets supporting the FAâ€™s argument to keep the intersession.
â€œWe are continually told [by the district] that we are over spending and that we [have got to] cut back,â€ said Hamman.
The Board of Trustees explained at a previous meeting the college has an excess in reserves to prepare in case Proposition 30- the tax increase measure- does not pass in November. If the proposition does not pass, the college is expecting a $12.2 million deficit, according to the Operating Budget in the Board packet from Aug. 15. If the measure passes, the college will be given approximately $6.75 million more by the state.
According to Hamman, the possible $6.75 million more from the state could be used to add more class sections. â€œIf Proposition 30 passes, 675 sections can be paid for. If [the Board] cuts winter, where are they going to put the extra sections?â€ said Hamman.
Another issue raised during the meeting was the 2011 – 2012 Quarterly Financial Status Report, which stated there were no â€œsignificant differences in budgeted revenues or expenditures,â€ meaning the college is not currently in a budget crisis for this year or the next fiscal year.
But college President Mark Rocha later explained there was not enough funding from the state to support another winter intersession.
â€œNo matter what occurs with the new calendar proposal, there will be virtually no classes offered in winter because the state reduced our enrollment funding for additional classes,â€ Rocha said via email.
Faculty Association President Roger Marheine explained that it was a good thing the college had reserves. â€œNot to be conceited, but we are PCC. We have money, and we should be spending it wisely, which is on classes,â€ he said.
The Board of Trustees is scheduled to consider tonight a proposal for a tentative three â€“ semester calendar (excluding winter intersession). But final action can be delayed until on Oct. 1, so negotiations with the Faculty Association and consultation with the Academic Senate can continue until then.
Marheine expressed his concern over the Oct. 1 date, saying it felt like an ultimatum in regards to negotiations between the district and the Faculty Association.
â€œThe FA seeks to maintain the integrity of the process regarding calendar and other matters of collegial importance that directly reflect on shared governance and contractual legality,â€ he said.