Still No Compensation Proposal from District, Still Awaiting Needed Budget Data
The AFT bargaining team is still awaiting a response from the District to the Union’s salary proposal. [link] At the Wednesday, August 27 session, the District once again deferred on wages. Meanwhile, the District is suddenly rushing to adopt a Final Budget for 2015/16, apparently after realizing that there is a statutory September 15 deadline to do so! This makes more urgent our renewed demand for meaningful budget information on faculty salary costs and other expenses. Such information is essential for salary negotiations, yet the District still cannot provide actual expense/revenue figures from last year’s budget, nor a detailed accounting of faculty expenses in the tentative 2015/16 budget.
Faculty Service Areas (FSA’s)
On Wednesday, the District presented its proposal for a new contract provision covering Faculty Service Areas, or FSA’s, which are required under the Education Code for determining “retreat rights” or the order of layoffs in the (unlikely) event of layoff of tenured and tenure-track faculty. However, FSA’s also serve to determine, along with minimum qualifications, areas where faculty are deemed qualified to work in accordance with negotiated competency criteria. In contrast to previous bargaining sessions, the District presented extensively, which allowed for an informative and productive exchange on this important topic. AFT will next consult with the Academic Senate on the academic matters related to FSA’s and the District’s proposal.
Accord Reached on 2016 Health Service System (HSS) rates
With Open Enrollment in HSS health plans (Kaiser, Blue Shield, and City Plan) approaching in October for calendar year 2016, AFT and the District have reached agreement on employer/employee premiums for 2016. The good news was that negotiations between HSS and Kaiser resulted in no increase for 2016, so both employee and employer will remain the same in 2016. Blue Shield, on the other hand, raised rates by 11.5%. AFT and the District has agreed that there will be no increase to Blue Shield health premiums to our members to be offset in forthcoming negotiations over salaries and benefits. Finally, for the few remaining faculty covered under City Plan, by far the most expensive of the three HSS plans, the District has agreed to pass on the dramatic 50% reduction in City Plan premiums to employees in 2016.