In the wake of the recent elections, unions across the country face anti-labor legislation and lawsuits. To fight these battles, PFT must build a strong union that negotiates fair contracts for all faculty and grows its membership ranks. To do this, the PFT Executive Board resolved to circulate the letter below asking for signatures of support for an equitable contract and to recruit more PT faculty to our union.
The Ask: Last Fall, more than 500 people signed a petition asking that the district compensate part-time faculty fairly by giving them equal pay for equal work. It is now time for us to back up our words with action and a sign of true support. We are asking part-time faculty to stand up for the compensation they deserve, and asking full-time faculty to accept a little less of a raise in this contract in order to bring their part-time brethren closer to parity, a sacrifice we feel is reasonable given that we are all part of the same union and same faculty.
If you are in agreement, please sign at the bottom.
Dear Fellow Peralta Faculty,
Our union (PFT) negotiating team is close to reaching an agreement with the district’s negotiation team for a two-year employment contract, covering 2016-17 and 2017-18. The contract allocates money for faculty raises, but it is up to us, the PFT membership, to decide how to divide that money between full and part-time faculty. The total pot of money that is earmarked for raises is $1,849,646 (for the 2 years total). One proposal on the table is to give all faculty an “across the board” 2% raise in 2016-17 and 1.5% raise in 2017-18. Given the amount of current salaries, giving everyone the same percentage raise would mean that full-time faculty would get $1,233,714 (approximately 66.7% of the total money) and part-timers would get $615,932, the remaining 33.3% (keep in mind that this disparity is due to the fact that although part-timers outnumber full-timers, the majority of sections are still taught by full-timers since they have full 15 hour per-week instructional loads).
The Proposal: In order to address the longstanding inequity and lack of parity between full- and part-time faculty to do the exact same work (instructional work), we propose an alternative, which would be to allocate 50% of the $1,849,646, or $924,823, to full-timers and 50%, or $924,823, to part-timers.
The Rationale: In 2013, the PFT negotiated a part-time salary schedule with 25 steps, a big increase over the previous 7-step schedule. As a compromise in establishing the 25 steps, part-timers accepted less than 100% parity with their full-time counterparts with the understanding that over the next few contract negotiations, raises for part-timers would be negotiated to “fill out the steps” and bring us to full parity. Those negotiations are now upon us. Our above proposal does not bring us to full parity, but we feel it is a reasonable request that moves us closer to that goal. Furthermore, since it takes 30 equated teaching hours for step advancement and many part-time faculty have small teaching loads, it can take several years before part-time faculty can advance on the salary schedule, making this proposed increase in pay that much more important.
Brad Balukjian, Laney Biology Faculty and
Karyn Panitch, Laney ESOL Faculty