AFT Wage Negotiation Update, 4/27/2022

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Below is the text of an email update sent by David Krull (Negotiations Chair) on 4/27/2022 to all faculty:

All Faculty Negotiation Update

AFT met with representatives of Seattle Colleges yesterday to continue negotiating a pay raise.  AFT’s current demand remains at a 15% across the board pay increase.  SCD has offered a 0% pay increase for the entire 3 years of our current Contract.

To move the negotiations forward, AFT offered two paths forward, which SCD agreed to take back to College leadership.

1.     Our Colleges can immediately put a good faith wage increase offer on the table and we will begin the process of working with SCD to ensure SCD wages are at the top of the salary pay scale for comparable positions across community colleges.  OR

2.     If SCD refuses to put any money for faculty salaries on the table, AFT members will work with our community partners (including the City of Seattle/Seattle Promise partnership and our Running Start program with Seattle Public Schools) to force SCD to put students and education at the forefront of all budget decisions.  No more balancing the budget by closing classes and programs.  No more ignoring faculty’s rights to a living wage.

3.     AFT renewed faculty’s demand for a 15% pay increase in response to SCD’s offer of a 0% pay increase.

Open Negotiations – access to all joint negotiation sessions for all interested faculty members.

SCD is not willing to open all sessions to all faculty.  Based on faculty feedback,  AFT proposed to resolve this dispute with SCD by asking both sides to agree that when AFT hosts joint sessions, they will always be open to all faculty members.  When SCD hosts a session, it will not be open to faculty members.  AFT and SCD will agree to not let the existence of observers (or no observers at SCD sessions) limit good faith bargaining during all joint sessions.  AFT believes this best preserves our on-going rights to demand negotiations be conducted in the open, while allowing the current sessions to focus on a wage increase for faculty.

This joint negotiation session was scheduled to primarily discuss the demand for a faculty pay raise and to push back on SCD's financial presentation the prior session.  The 90-minute session was side-tracked for 60 minutes by SCD because the zoom session link was leaked to some members of the faculty, without the knowledge or coordination of the negotiation team members.  SCD's team used this as justification to not be responsive to our questions about their financial presentation and instead threatened to open their sessions to outsiders such as the "Freedom Caucus" which is known for publishing anti-union articles whenever public unions such as ours seek increase pay.  AFT is not threaten or put off by SCD's statements.

The organized and well attended protest outside Siegel Center during the negotiation session had a positive impact.  It was loud and SCD's team had members working from their offices in Siegel Center during the zoom session and they clearly heard the protest. 

Call to action for faculty.

Please participate as much as you feel comfortable with the variety of opportunities that will soon be coming your way to show unity within faculty for higher wages.  You will receive invitations to join in person protests, zoom protests, and letter-writing campaigns, in the coming months.  Sharing your personal stories and especially stories about the negative impact on our students and community by our leadership's continuing decisions to eliminate courses and programs to cut costs are vital to getting our message heard.

If you ever feel that you are being retaliated against for joining in any union efforts, please contact me or any other AFT officer immediately.  We are here to protect you and your rights to engage in union activities.