District Faces Potential Faculty Strike in Fall Semester

The Glendale College Guild Association and District signed a tentative agreement seeking negotiation on the matter of a long awaited pay raise.

The Guild initially proposed a series of three 4.75 percent raises for 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18. For 2015-16 they proposed a 5.5 percent raise or just a 4.5 percent raise if the District offers at least one percent more classes.

So  far, the District is offering a 1.5 percent ongoing raise plus a 3 percent one-time bonus, which would disappear in July. The District’s offer to address these items comes with a reduced offer of a 0.5 percent ongoing raise plus a 2.75 percent one-time bonus.

According to the Guild, they have been flexible and offered a reasonable “ongoing raise.”

A salary agreement that led to a faculty strike at the California State University’s 23 campuses resulting in an increase of salaries by 10.5 percent which was determined on April 8.

Before the agreement was reached, the union had demanded a 5 percent increase for 2015-16, but the university had said it could only afford 2 percent. On April 7 the district’s negotiating team said that they refuse to give pay increases on July 1 and in 2017.

Guild negotiating team has proposed that the 2.75 percent portion of the 2015-16 raise should continue, rather than allowing it to expire on June 30.

If actions aren’t taken by the District before May 10, there is talk of impassement and if that doesn’t work out, strikes could ensue as early as the beginning of the fall semester.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, Guild President Zohara Kaye initiated a discussion along with three faculty speakers and community speaker Sylva Manoogian.

“We the faculty have proven that we step up during hard financial times to help make ends meet,  including pay cuts if that’s what it takes,” Kaye said. “Now that money is flowing again, make the faculty and students a priority.”

Professor of anthropology, Wendy Fonarow, was one of three faculty speakers who shared her concerns with the Board of Trustees.

“The negotiations for no raise is egregious,” Fonarow said. “You’ve invested in the rooms, but where is the investments in the teachers working in those rooms? Invest in the people who bring that building to life.”

Trustee members stayed impassive as attendees chanted and waved signs around the room demanding a change. Signs read: “The Districts offer lowest raises in LA County,” “Work for food, no raise, will be homeless.”

Glendale College is set to witness a significant uproar from faculty if a change isn’t ensued.