The Los Angeles College Faculty Guild and the Los Angeles Community College
District ended an 18-month battle this weekend over benefits and pay raises.
By Cesar Martinez and Lon Dominguez, Staff Writers
After an 18-month standstill between the LACCD administrators and its faculty, a tentative agreement has been made to extend their contracts to the teachers’ terms.
The year-long gridlock of negotiations between the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild and the LACCD Board of Trustees arose over job security, cost of living raises, and reimbursements for health benefits; in the meanwhile, academic staff proceeded working with an expired contract since June.
“The problem is significant because it is a considerable cost to the district,” said Larry Nakamura, chapter president of the American Federation of Teachers, “but it is an important benefit that we have negotiated in the past and do not wish to lose.”
Although contact with district negotiators were unavailable, a resolution between both parties resulted in a three year-deal which includes an across-the-board pay raise for all faculty. Additionally, separate negotiations focusing on the Health Reimbursement Accounts and district contributions to the adjunct faculty’s medical coverage are close to completion.
“A raise in all faculty salaries at least 2 percent each year of the three year contract” was eventually accepted by the district negotiators according to the local AFT website. “An additional raise on the adjunct salary schedule for years of service… will enable adjuncts to acquire district health insurance.”
Following a walk-out demonstration held in front of Valley College the day before Thanksgiving, both full time and adjunct faculty flashed their signs and and received supportive honks to address a year long-silence from the district. The delay lasted past their contracts after nearly a year.
The protest, which took place on Nov. 22, was the result of the frustration and “disrespect” that adjunct faculty had over the stalled talks with the district regarding issues over pay raises and health benefits. The aftermath of the faculty’s demonstration made their voice heard by the district administrators.
“The board needs to demonstrate respect for its faculty,” said Joanne Waddell, guild president of the AFT local 1521, “including teachers and counselors who come into daily contact with students to help them succeed.”
Savannah Simmons contributed to this story