Teachers union contract ratified yet again

David Gutman

The teachers union contract, also called The Academic Employee’s Master Agreement, was voted on last week and ratified on Oct. 24 by the board of trustees at Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College.

According to Lewis Long, the South Orange County Community College District faculty association chairman, the new agreement is going to be implemented by the district and will be put into effect until its expiration date on July 30, 2014.

“Most of our faculty recognize the difficult, almost catastrophic situation faced by our state and its educational systems, and recognize that in the face of those challenges, the contract we negotiated is an outstanding achievement,” Long said.

almost 57 percent of the faculty from both IVC and Saddleback voted online, with over 95 percent voting in favor of the contract as it stands, Long said.

there are few changes from the previous agreement even though the negotiations have been going on for 19 months, Long said.

“One significant victory in the negotiations was that faculty health benefits, and the district’s contribution to health benefits, did not change,” Long said about the negotiations.

Another major win for the faculty are the policy of sick leaves.

The sick leaves were charged in half-day increments. In the new contract the charges will be quarter-day increments, said Long.

“In the past, if a counselor missed one hour of work for a doctor’s appointment, they would lose one half day of sick leave,” Long said. “Now, they would lose only a quarter day, which is much more fair.”