Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Final Budget Countdown



With the release of the Governor's May Revise last week the California Budget negotiations have entered their final stages, and this is the last opportunity to influence the budget to include our priorities. While the budget is very generous to the Community College System, and while it includes $75 million for new full-time positions, it doesn't include any extra money for Part-Timer pay equity or office hours. If we want to have any hope of changing this, we need to pressure the powers that be in Sacramento now. The final budget bill will be passed by June 15, so we only have a few weeks to make changes. Here is a message from my union president, Jim Mahler, laying out the issues. At the bottom there is also a list of who we should be contacting. I mailed my letters today, now it's your turn!

Dear Colleagues,

Since last fall, we have been steadily advocating to everyone we could possibly meet with in the Governor's Office, the Department of Finance, and the Budget Committees in the Legislature to increase funding levels in three areas:
1)  $100 million to convert part-time faculty positions to full-time;
2)  $50 million to increase the categorical fund that already exists in the State Budget to close the pay equity gap between part-time and full-time salaries;
3)  $30 million to increase the categorical fund that already exists in the State Budget to additional fund part-time faculty paid office hours.

When the Governor released his May Revision to the budget last week, he included $75 million for more full-time positions, but nothing for the other two items listed above.

In the Senate Budget Subcommittee #1 on Education being heard today, chaired by Senator Marty Block, they are discussing the Governor’s proposed $75 million for more full-time positions, in addition the Senate Budget Subcommittee is proposing a slight COLA increase to the part-time pay equity fund ($300,000), and an increase of $3.5 million to restore funding to pre-recession levels in the part-time faculty office hour program.

While the latter two amounts are a far cry from what we are seeking, and in last year's budget the legislature included $6 million for part-time office hours (which the Governor vetoed) in comparison to their current proposal of $3.5 million, at least progress is being made.

You can help us achieve our goals as stated above by sending a letter to the attached list of addressees asking that these three categories be fully funded.  Here are some talking points you can use:

COST RATIONALE FOR BUDGET REQUESTS

1) $50 million in new resources to increase the salaries of temporary, part-time faculty as a first step toward achieving pay equity with their tenured/tenure-track colleagues:

Currently, temporary, part-time faculty earn considerably less than their tenured/tenure-track counterparts.  The average salary of a part-time faculty member teaching a full-time equivalent load is approximately $35,784 per year1.  Compare that to the $89,727 average salary of a tenured/tenure-track faculty member1.

Taking into account the fact that the part-time faculty member is only compensated for direct teaching and related duties, and he/she is not compensated for office hours or committee work as part of her/his base pay, the equivalent tenured/tenure-track salary would then be reduced to $56,0792.  Thus, an equity gap of $20,295 still persists between the average temporary, part-time faculty member and her/his tenured/tenure-track counterpart for performing the exact same duties.

Statewide, there are approximately 16,607 full-time equivalent temporary, part-time faculty.  Bringing all of these positions up to equity pay would require (16,607 X $20,295 =) $337,039,065.  The $50 million we are seeking addresses the first 15% of the current disparity.  If more full-time positions are created as per #3 below, the magnitude of this imbalance would be reduced accordingly.

2) $30 million in new resources to fund paid office hours for temporary, part-time faculty:

Utilizing the same 16,607 statewide number of full-time equivalent temporary, part-time faculty, and assuming each full-time equivalent faculty member would be required to hold five office hours per week (one hour per week for each course taught, on average) that would equate to (16,607 X 5 hours/week X 35 weeks/year =) 2,906,225 office hours per year.  Assuming a statewide average non-classroom rate of pay for part-time faculty of approximately $40.90/hour, $118,864,602 would be needed to fully fund this program.  The $30 million we are seeking would fund approximately 25% of this need.  If more full-time positions are created as per #3 below, the necessity for this amount of funding would diminish accordingly, as full-time faculty are required to hold office hours.

3) $100 million in new resources for the conversion of existing part-time temporary faculty to full-time faculty status:

Using the average salary of $35,784 per year for the full-time equivalent temporary, part-time faculty member and a modest $80,000 average starting salary (including all benefits) of a newly hired tenured/tenure-track faculty member, it would cost ($80,000 – $35,784 =) $44,216 to convert a full-time equivalent temporary, part-time faculty position to a full-time tenure-track position.

Using the statewide goal of 75% of all sections being taught by full-time faculty, this would require the conversion of 7,7621,3 part-time positions, or (7,762 positions X $44,216 per conversion =) $343,204,592 to reach the statewide goal of 75%.  The $100 million we are seeking would meet the first 29% of the legislature’s stated goal in Education Code § 87482.6.


1Fall 2013 California Community Colleges, Chancellor's Office Datamart Report.
2A typical tenured/tenure-track work week consists of 15 hours of in-class time, plus 10 hours classroom preparation time = 25 hours or 62.5% of a 40 hour workweek.  The remaining time is spent in office hours, committee work, curriculum development, etc.
3Tenured/Tenure-Track FTEF = 18,773.  Part-time, temporary = 16,607 FTEF for a total of 35,380 FTEF.  75% of 35,380 = 26,535 FTEF if we are to meet the 75% statewide goal.  Thus (26,535 – 18,773 =) 7,762 FTEF of existing part-time temporary positions would need to be converted.

Budget talks will be proceeding at a rapid pace in the Capitol over the next couple of weeks.  It's critically important to get as many letters in to the attached list as soon as you can, this week if possible.

Thanks in advance for you assistance in this critical budget advocacy!

In Unity,

Jim


Jim Mahler, President
Community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers
3737 Camino del Rio South, Suite 410
San Diego, CA 92108

And here is the list of addresses:


Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA  95814

Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins
State Capitol, Room 219
Sacramento, CA  94249-0078

Senate President Pro tem Kevin de León
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA  95814-4900

Assembly Education Finance Budget Subcommittee Chair Kevin McCarty
State Capitol, Room 2160
Sacramento, CA  94249-0007

Senate Education Budget Subcommittee Chair Marty Block
State Capitol, Room 4090
Sacramento, CA  95814-4900

Department of Finance Director Michael Cohen
915 L Street
Sacramento, CA  95814

Department of Finance Program Budget Manager Jeff Bell
915 L Street
Sacramento, CA  95814

Community College Chancellor Brice Harris
1102 Q Street, Suite 4554
Sacramento, CA  95811

Friday, January 9, 2015

Budget Summary Goes Live

So, the summary of the Governor's budget proposal has gone live, and you can find the details here (PDF). Here is my analysis based on a quick perusal of the document:
  1. Funding for Higher Ed shows a significant increase of 8.6% over last year's budget. This translates into an addition $1.116 billion.
  2. $200 million for Student Success.
  3. "The Budget provides an additional $125 million Proposition 98 General Fund to increase base allocation funding in recognition of increased community college operating expenses in the areas of facilities, retirement benefits, professional development, converting part time to full‑time faculty, and other general expenses." (Emphasis Added) 
  4. 1.58% COLA.
  5. Funding for a 2% increase in FTES's.
  6. $450 million to pay down debts and deferrals.
  7. A bunch of block grants for various specific programs (Adult-Ed, Non-Credit, etc.)
So, there it is. This is just the Governor's initial proposal, and this will likely change based on the actions of the legislature as well as the tax revenues that should start rolling in over the next few months. Overall it is not bad in that an increase is better than a cut, but it is certainly not everything we asked for. However, it is telling to see the phrase, "converting part-time to full-time faculty" included in the budget proposal. I would hazard that the appearance of this phrase is a product of our advocacy campaign. While the specifics of how to implement this are unclear, the fact that this kind of phrasing is entering the political debate and showing up in a official government documents is certainly reason for optimism, and is a testament to all the hard work we put in last year during and after Campus Equity Week.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Governor's Proposed Budget Due This Friday

According to the LA Times, Governor Jerry Brown will release his proposal for the next budget this Friday, January 9. As you know, a major goal of our effort during Campus Equity Week was a letter writing campaign designed to influence this very process. We will see how successful we were in just a few days.

You can find details of the governor's budget here when it gets released.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Campus Equity Week Makes the News

Here is a a link to an article about Campus Equity Week published by the City College newspaper.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Campus Equity Week: Day 4

This is it, the final day of Campus Equity Week. Tabling will continue at City, Cuyamaca, Grossmont, Mesa, and Miramar.

In addition, Ian Duckles will be giving a lecture and discussion on "Adjuncts in Crisis" at Cuyamaca College from 2-3:00 in H-133.

Lastly, check out our Ofrenda for Margaret Mary Vojtko at City College.



Here are some pictures from Wednesday's tabling.

Ian Duckles tabling at Cuyamaca

Robert Stafford and Thi Truong

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Campus Equity Week: Day 3

Campus Equity Week  continues! Day 2 went very well! We met lots of people and were able to get over 100 hundred letters to Sacramento signed and sealed.

Today we continue tabling at Mesa, Grossmont, Cuyamaca, and City. The tables at City will be moving across the street, so look for them outside the M building.

In addition, Arnie Schoenberg will be speaking at City on Priority of Assignment. His talk is in D-121 from noon-1:00.

Finally, folks will start tabling at Miramar. Look for them outside the H building.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Campus Equity Week at Grossmont

Tabling at Grossmont went very well today with many folks showing up. Here is a picture:

Brian Rickel tables at Grossmont