GCC may reduce more summer classes

The number of Glendale Community College summer school classes to be offered, and the salaries paid to the faculty who teach them, was thrown into doubt this week after the Board of Trustees put off voting on an agreement.

College officials and faculty union representatives Tuesday initiated emergency negotiations to rework the provisions of the deal struck on April 22 that would allow them to proceed with summer school, despite a projected budget reduction of $6.7 million to $10.7 million in the coming fiscal year.

The original agreement included a 40% reduction in the number of classes offered compared to summer 2010, and a 40% reduction in faculty pay, the latter of which represents a savings of $500,000.

Language in the agreement also stated the Faculty Guild would receive “credit” for the savings accrued by the scaled-back summer school and the probable cancelation of the 2012 winter intersession as their proportionate share of the college’s budget deficit.

At the time of the announcement, college administrators and union representatives lauded the outcome of the negotiations as a testament to Glendale Community College’s student-focused environment. But at the Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay said the deal was flawed and would leave other employee groups — management and classified staff — to absorb a disproportionate percentage of budget reductions.

“Quite frankly, the language that we as a district wrote in that we have to assume responsibility for dealing with giving the faculty credit for the differential in reduction in class offerings for both summer 2011 and winter 2012 seemed really unfair to the other constituency groups on campus,” Lindsay said. “We heard…managers that were really upset, we heard it from [California School Employees Assn.] as far as their concerns about how this is disproportionately impacting them.”

The board of trustees authorized the college to return to the negotiating table to try and reach a modified agreement, Lindsay said. One option is scrapping the deal altogether, reducing the number of classes to be offered from the previously proposed 160 classes to 100 classes and paying teachers at their full rate. A decision is expected to be announced Friday.

Scrapping the deal altogether will harm students looking to enroll in summer classes, and teachers who were counting on the work.

“This is a terrible situation to start with for our students,” said Michael Ritterbrown, chairman of the English department. “To go to 160 classes in summer is a terrible hardship for them. But to go lower than that would I think be disastrous.”


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