Marathon bargaining stalls on wages, OPEB
The AFT 2121 negotiating team and 100 members took part in two days of contract negotiations and discussions with the District Tuesday and Wednesday.
While significant progress was made on some items, representatives of CCSF’s administration left the bargaining table at 9:30 pm on Wednesday night without reaching agreement.
The district said they were unprepared to offer a counterproposal to the union’s most recent offer and wanted to wait until later in the fall semester to prepare a response.
The district initially suggested that we not meet again until August 20 because two of their team members are apparently going on vacation.
We have emphasized the potential harm to enrollment and accreditation in waiting and proposed that we meet during each of the next five days to bargain.
Unfortunately, we will enter yet another semester without a contract. The parties have tentatively scheduled the next bargaining dates for August 17 and 18.
We made very significant progress on some issues:
- We and the District agree that a contract should last through the accreditation effort, until December 31, 2014.
- The District accepts the union’s proposals retaining part-time faculty re-employment rights and 86% pro-rata pay.
- Status-quo on medical and dental benefits: the District agrees to maintain current level of employer contributions for all eligible faculty, part-time and full-time.
- The District conceded, late in the evening, that it would be unreasonable to ask faculty who will not receive health benefits after retirement to contribute a portion of their paychecks to an OPEB fund for post-employment health benefits.
- CCSF also accepted a union proposal on provision of more consistent financial information.
Unresolved issues in negotiations:
- District agrees to continue the 20-student class size minimum. However, they insist on language allowing cancellation or consolidation of classes over 20 where an alternate instructional assignment is available.
- CCSF wants to completely eliminate the reimbursement program for prescription drug copays. This is a cost item of about $120,000 per year for the District. They have rejected the Union’s offer to maintain this benefit only for the most vulnerable, chronically or catastrophically ill faculty, which would save more than $90,000 a year.
- We have not reached an agreement on whether, when, or how faculty who will receive post-retirement health care benefits might contribute to OPEB. Conceptually, the District accepts AFT’s offer to fund OPEB for three years through savings from cuts in pay for tenure review work and drug copay reimbursements. However, the District wants direct contributions from faculty paychecks into OPEB beginning in 2016/17, rising gradually to 2% of pay over several years, which we oppose.
- Most importantly, we have not reached an agreement on salary. CCSF acknowledged that faculty salaries need to be restored, but has said that it is impossible to make progress on this before 2013-2014. Despite a much healthier current year budget, their only offer is 0.5% (a measly half of a percent) off-schedule payment to all faculty in 2013-2014.
As the many members who attended bargaining over the last two days can attest, conversation about the college’s budget, its financial priorities, and ways to restore the pay cuts we have experienced has been extremely robust. We are very proud of our team and our members.
Keep your eye on your email for a second update with some action items for all AFT 2121 members.