October 31, 2014

Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: What Part-time Faculty Need to Promote Student Success—Budget Request

Dear Governor Brown,

The California Community College System is charged with educating nearly 2.5 million students annually, and has for over 40 years presumed the dedication and charity of its part-time faculty to teach over 60% of all community college classes, while maintaining an exploitative system that disrespects this large group of hardworking educational professionals. The California Community College System currently employs more than 40,000 highly qualified part-time faculty—all of whom must meet the same minimum qualifications and are subject to the same evaluative standards as their full-time counterparts.

Over time, the California Part Time Faculty Association (CPFA) has undertaken diverse and disparate efforts on behalf of part-time faculty to address issues like pay equity, raising our maximum teaching load per district from 60% to 67%, paid office hours, health benefits, vesting in CalSTRS/PERS, re-hire rights, and part-time faculty participation in paid staff development and governance opportunities. What modest gains we have made have not come without sacrifice and setbacks. In fact, the past 40 years have proven, time and again, that part-time faculty are not well served by union negotiators who have as their first allegiance full-time, tenured, or tenure track faculty who control most local bargaining units throughout the system.

The Governor and Legislature have historically been modestly responsive to part-time sponsored legislative initiatives put forward by various statewide edu-unions and institutions, but the bottom line for part-time faculty has to do with actually receiving the aforementioned allocated, disbursed funds. It has taken us many years, but we have finally realized that legislation without absolute measures to guarantee compliance are meaningless, and therefore, our funding requests will specify timetables for disbursement and substantial monetary penalties for non-compliance.

Therefore, the CPFA wishes to propose that the Governor and legislature allocate $200,000,000 from the 2015 budget to bring a measure of redress and respect to the part-time faculty in the California Community Colleges throughout the state in order for part-time faculty to continue to contribute to Students’ Success.

Make no mistake, we are not necessarily interested in initiating rule changing legislation, but rather, we seek financial resources to address the following concerns:

  • Allocating and disbursing $60,000,000 yearly to proportionally raise our base salary toward parity as defined in AB 420; these funds would go into the general budget and not into categoricals that can be subsequently tampered with.
  • Allocating and disbursing $40,000,000 yearly to begin to pay all part-time faculty one (1) office hour per week, up to three (3) office hours per week, which is consistent with full-time faculty who teach a normal workload of fifteen (15) units per week with five (5) office hours per week, calculated at the same hourly rate that part-time faculty receive for teaching their assigned classes, thereby helping to facilitate student success as outlined in the SSTF guidelines.
  • Allocating and disbursing $98,000,000 yearly to narrow the salary gap between full-time and part-time faculty; that is, bringing part-time salaries up to the same rate that full-time faculty receive, but for working up to 67% of a load.
  • Creating a revolving reserve fund in the amount of $2,000,000 to be maintained and administered by CPFA, to which part-time faculty may apply for support of currently non-reimbursable governance activities, such as serving on the Board of Governors, serving as President of FACCC, serving on the governing board of the Statewide Academic Senate, or attending conferences and disciplinary meetings.

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you and members of your staff to begin a dialogue. CPFA is the only part-time faculty advocacy group not affiliated with a full-time faculty controlled education union/institution. We have been representing part-time faculty for almost 20 years and publish a bi-annual advocacy journal with 45,000 copies distributed to part-time and full-time faculty and college administrators throughout California.

Thank you for your kind attention to these matters.

Sincerely,

John Martin, M.A. ~ Robert Yoshioka, Ph.D. ~ Raymond Brennan, Ph.D.

cc: Speaker of the Assembly Toni Atkins
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León
Assembly Education Finance Budget Subcommittee Chair Al Muratsuchi
Senate Education Budget Subcommittee Chair Marty Block
Department of Finance Director Michael Cohen
Department of Finance Program Budget Manager Nick Schweizer
Community College Chancellor Brice Harris

CPFA Letter to Governor Brown ~ Printable copy