The California School Employee’s Association has finalized negotiations on the new three-year faculty contract.
The contract applies to the Saddleback and Irvine Valley College part-time and full-time faculty, updating their salary schedules.
According to instructor Lee Haggerty, the previous salary schedule involved 20 to 30 steps that an entry level faculty member must climb.
Each rung on this ladder involved a pay increase of about about 1 to 2 percent each year. A teacher would climb these rungs in their tenure of teaching at either the Saddleback or IVC campuses.
“[When updating the contract] we were concerned about the lower faculty members and the part-time workers,” Haggerty said when describing the changes.
With the updates, the lower two steps will actually be taken out so entry level faculty members will start with a slightly higher pay.
“Having those two steps taken out, it will attract more highly qualified faculty members due to the increase in pay and in turn will also make them want to stay longer,” Haggerty said.
According to Haggerty, there were also over 50 faculty members who are at the highest level of the salary steps. And these people have not received the money due from being at the highest step since the financial recession.
“Instead of a raise in pay, they’ll receive one more step to climb that was taken from the lower steps,” Haggerty said.
This is called a longevity step. This step was negotiated to allow more time for the state to pay back the teachers who have been sitting at the top of the salary steps according to Haggerty.
Another perk as per the contract is that the Cost of Living Adjustment money given to Saddleback or IVC will go directly to the teachers. COLA is a fund that is given by the state to the education system.
“Unfortunately the COLA is at zero because the state is not giving money because of the deficit,” Haggerty said.
Due to the overwhelming majority of part-time faculty at Saddleback and IVC, a policy was made to help close the gap between the two called parity money. The parity is a little extra money that is given by the state to part-time employees.