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3-Year Contract : Union Asks College for 15% Increase

May 12, 1988|ESTHER SCHRADER | Times Staff Writer

The Glendale Community College teachers union has asked the college Board of Trustees for a 15% raise, plus cost-of-living adjustments, over the next three years.

The contract demands, outlined at a board meeting last week, marked the first time the union, the Glendale College Guild, has sought a multiyear agreement and also the first time it has tried to tie faculty living allowance increases to state funding.

"Faultiness of things or not, there's got to be some justice here, some equity," history professor Leonard R. DeGrassi said at the meeting. "Surely the education of its children must be worth more to the community than it is giving now."

The union is seeking raises of 5% a year supplemented by living-cost increases equal to the cost-of-living adjustment that the state makes each year in its funding for 70 community college districts.

Until now, the college has negotiated a contract each year and has not guaranteed cost-of-living increases. Negotiators for the district said the college cannot finance the raise the union is demanding.

"The likelihood of that even being financially feasible is out of the question," said Donald Averill, the college's director of personnel with certification, "It is just not a realistic offer at this point."

The union said the increases are needed because the current contract gave its 400 members short shrift, awarding a 1.5% raise.

Construction Cited

Teachers said the raise was below that given other community college faculty last year. In the 1987-88 fiscal year, when the state raised its funds for community college districts by 4.8%, college districts responded by raising faculty salaries an average 4%.

Union representatives attribute the gap in Glendale to the cost of several construction projects under way on campus.

"We are concerned that this is a trend that will continue, along with the construction, that as the facility improves, faculty salaries will continue to slide," said Ronald K. Harlan, a professor of marine biology and a former Guild president.

Glendale Community College President John Davitt said the construction, which includes a 3-story classroom building and renovation of existing facilities, has been paid for by the sale of land.

"In the future, if we should not be able to dispose of some of our surplus land, then the matching costs for the construction would have to come out of district revenues," Davitt said. "Until now we have not dipped into faculty salaries at all."

Some trustees said at the meeting that they are concerned that faculty salaries are lagging behind those in other community college districts in the county.

Glendale teachers were paid $39,093 on the average in 1987. The average salary for community college teachers in the state is $40,047, according to the state chancellor's office, which oversees community colleges. In Los Angeles County, the average is $44,345.

"There's the fear that we are sliding down the salary scale of community college districts," said Trustee Robert Holmes. "But there is the equal fear that 85% of our budget is now devoted to personnel, and that is going to creep up. That tells me we can only raise salaries if we have a smaller pool."

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