District considers pay cuts

The San Diego Community College District is currently involved in negotiations to close the remaining $4 million budget deficit.

The district has proposed a “fair share” reduction in which contracted employee groups, such as professors, secretaries, lab technicians and others, would equally contribute to a temporary compensation reduction for the 2010-11 school year.

According to City College President Terrence Burgess, the compensation reduction would be less than 3 percent of the annual salary.

“The employee groups are free to determine how they will generate their fair share,” Burgess said. “This may include a combination of salary reduction, furlough days, suspension of sabbaticals, and/or increased employee co-pays on health insurance.”

Non-contracted employees, such as adjunct professors, who are hired on a semester-by-semester basis and consist of 45 percent of all professors, will not be affected by the reductions.

Due to diminishing state funding for higher education, 1,900 classes were cut district wide the past two school years, totaling a savings of $32 million.

At City College, 600 classes were cut, which resulted in a savings of $8 million. The district also incorporated a hiring freeze following the class reductions, which will remain in effect unless the American Federation of Teachers agrees to the “fair share” reduction.

The AFT has a contract with the district until June 30, 2011, and has no plans to negotiate their contract until its expiration, according to Jim Mahler, AFT Guild 1931 president.

When asked how the AFT is affected by the hiring freeze, Mahler replied that staff has “more work” and that there are “offices with three people doing five-person work.”

City College Police Officers Association has decided to make their fair share reductions by implementing seven furlough days for the upcoming fiscal year, reported Richard Ferrell, association President. This figure would then be reduced to five furlough days the following years, indefinitely, or until new state cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) could be used to buy back the furlough days.

COLA is an increase in funding that reflects the higher costs schools and community colleges experience due to inflation. A portion of the COLA is often used to provide annual increases to employees’ salaries.

“The SDCCPOA has a good relationship with the district, and we are committed to being part of the solution,” Ferrell stated. “We also wish to preserve the jobs of our law enforcement brothers and sisters.”

So far, the college district has saved in various areas by reducing conference expenses, travel costs, instructional equipment purchases and library purchases in order to protect contract employees. “Layoffs are our last resort,” Burgess said. Burgess added that, while classes had to be cut, a goal was to keep classes students need to transfer, career/technical classes and basic skill classes, such as English 101.

Donate to City Times

Your donation will support the student journalists of San Diego City College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, cover the cost of training and travel to conferences, and fund student scholarships. Credit card donations are not tax deductible. Instead, those donations must be made by check. Please contact adviser Nicole Vargas for more information at [email protected].

More to Discover
Donate to City Times

Activate Search
The news site of San Diego City College
District considers pay cuts