GCC officials, faculty guild strike deal

Glendale Community College officials announced Wednesday that they had reached a modified deal with the faculty union that would set the number of classes to be offered during the summer session at 200 — a 70-class reduction as compared to last year but double what might otherwise have been available.

The deal, struck during emergency negotiations this week, includes previously agreed upon faculty salary concessions of 40%, saving the college about $500,000 — which would be credited toward any pay reductions that may have to be borne by adjunct instructors next fiscal year, officials said.

The credit for adjunct faculty — agreed to by the full-time counterparts — had arisen out of a sticking point in the first deal announced last month that college officials said would have disproportionately affected managers and classified staff next fiscal year.

Part-time instructors are especially vulnerable as the college faces projected cuts of $6.7 million to $10.7 million to its roughly $85-million annual budget, said President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay.

“[The bargaining unit] very graciously gave their percentage not just to the faculty in general, they truly did what they said they wanted to do…which was to have the impact of this hit the part timers the least,” Lindsay said.

Incoming Faculty Guild President Isabelle Saber noted that the agreement will not be finalized until ratified by guild executives and college trustees, which is expected to occur by week’s end.

“If this latest agreement is ratified, there will be slightly more classes so people who have been promised classes before will not have anything taken away from them,” Saber said. “But it all depends on how the next couple of days go.”

Uncertainty about the Glendale Community College summer session — whether it would take place at all, and if so, how many classes it would include — has swirled for months. In March, Lindsay said the college would have to cancel summer school unless the faculty union made concessions. On April 22, college and union officials announced they had reached an agreement that would allow for 160 summer classes at 60% of faculty pay.

But the deal came apart when other constituent groups voiced their opposition to the cost savings credit. Without a final agreement, the college was poised to offer just 100 classes, but at 100% faculty pay.

The unsettledness posed a logistical nightmare for staff and students counting on the six-week intersession for work and credit. Summer school is scheduled to begin on June 20, with priority registration kicking off Monday. But the college has yet to release a course catalogue indicating what classes will be offered and when.

Ron Nakasone, vice president of administrative services, said the list of classes will be accessible online Friday morning.

“We normally print some hard copies, but because we are so late we weren’t able to do that,” Nakasone said.

A half-dozen faculty members and students urged the college Board of Trustees during their meeting on Monday to make sure the class count did not drop to 100. The trustees responded by authorizing college administrators to return to the negotiating table, and to increase the number of proposed classes by 40 to 200, which represents $184,000 in additional costs.

“We are putting our money where our mouth is,” said Board of Trustees President Anita Gabrielian. “We are putting students first. We are making sure that they have as much as possible and doing the best in these challenging economic times.”

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