AFT Wage Negotiation Update, 4/14/2022

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Below is the text of an email update sent by David Krull (Negotiations Chair) on 4/14/2022 to all faculty:

 

On Tuesday afternoon your AFT negotiation team met with representatives of Seattle Colleges.  There were two items on our agenda:

  1. SCD’s response to AFT’s demand for a 15% general wage increase for faculty.
  2. Continuing discussion for AFT’s demand that faculty have full access to our negotiation sessions.

Thank you to the nearly 50 faculty members that gave up their afternoons to join in solidarity the joint negotiations zoom session on Tuesday!

SCD began with a short presentation describing their projected budget deficit for each of the years of our current CBA.

SCD then stated its counteroffer was a zero (0.0%) pay increase for all faculty over the entire 3-year term of our current Contract. 

Here are just a few reasons why SCD’s rationale for not offering faculty a pay raise should anger us all.

  1. SCD still has the highest enrollment and largest annual budget of any 2-year college in the state.
  2. Our competing colleges in King County, with lower enrollment levels, pay faculty substantially higher amounts than SCD.
  3. SCD pay for its non-unionized workers (Presidents, VPs, Vice Chancellors, etc) is the highest level among our competing colleges while faculty ranks 5th among its peers in King County.
  4. SCD, like all colleges, spends its entire annual budget each year.  It is misleading for SCD to claim that it has a budget deficit and therefore can’t pay fair compensation to faculty.  It’s simply that they are choosing to spend their money on other things than faculty pay.  In SCD’s case, they are choosing to continue to spend a higher level on overhead than competing colleges.
  5. There is enough money available at our current enrollment levels to fund our entire 15% pay increase – it only takes our Presidents and Chancellors agreement to spend less in other areas.  They refuse to do so.  In fact, they refuse to reduce spending by any amount to increase faculty pay.

Bellingham Community College, with enrollment levels that are only 12.5% of SCDs, still manages to pay its FT faculty 8.2% more than SCD.  When you factor in the lower cost of living in Bellingham, they are receiving even more in terms of "real wages."  Faculty in Bellingham also don’t qualify for the 5% regional pay boost.  If they did, they would be earning 13.2% more than us.  Bellingham’s Management team made the choice to invest a higher percentage of their annual budget into faculty pay than ours.  The important point for us to remember is that our management is making a choice – do not let them get away with claiming “there is nothing we can do….”

Yes, enrollment levels have dropped over the last few years - but that doesn't excuse the decisions made by our College Presidents and District leadership teams to disproportionately balance the budgets on the backs of faculty.  Faculty jobs have been cut 25%, while senior administrative positions at the Colleges and the District remain relatively unchanged.  Faculty compensation continues to drop compared to other colleges, while our senior leadership positions remain ranked #1 in compensation among their peers.  Administrators are now denying faculty any pay increase for three more years.  This is not right.

AFT will continue to demand that our Presidents and Chancellor prioritize equitable compensation for all faculty. 

OPEN NEGOTIATIONS

The second topic of discussion continues to be AFT’s demand that all our faculty have the right to observe these wage negotiations.  Faculty have the right to hear directly from leadership about the decisions they are making. 

SCD has proposed a limit of 8 observers per side, with restrictions on the ability of those observers to comment on what they observe.

AFT is considering whether to agree to a number of observers less than “all faculty” because at the present time, our faculty are only allowed to observe the joint sessions that AFT hosts.  When SCD hosts, no observers are presently allowed.  We are preparing a survey to solicit feedback from faculty on this issue.*  We look forward to hearing from you.

The next negotiation session is scheduled for April 26th 3:30pm-5pm.   SCD is hosting this session and will not allow any faculty observers into the zoom session.

Your AFT Negotiation Team

 

*Note: This survey is live as of 4/19/2022. Check your work email for the link.