Volume 45 Number 45
By Ron Norton Reel, Ph.D.
What a year it has been! With the school year over, CCA members and its leaders can take a brief respite before we do it all again. This marks a good time to recall the past year, recharge, and then prepare for next year’s challenges. Here are a few to think about.
ACCJC Accreditation & Sanctions: CCA locals saw fewer sanctions issued by the The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges. Solano College went from “Show Cause” to “Probation” — a far better rating — because of the action taken by faculty, staff, CTA Legal Department, and CCA leadership. Because of CCA’s strong advocacy directly with the Commission CEO and meetings with many of our locals, accreditation scare tactics from both administrators and the ACCJC lessened. CCA is hosting a two day SLO workshop August 12-13, 2010. Local chapters are asked to bring the chapter president and their SLO faculty coordinator. All expenses for the workshop will be reimbursed by CCA.
Faculty Job Security Challenges: CCA found itself in the middle of assisting local chapters in gaining information regarding exactly how many faculty members lost their jobs due to the statewide budget crisis. In many instances the districts did not have the data available for our locals. The Chancellor’s Office contends it won’t have those specific numbers until around September. What we do know is that over 5 percent of all class offerings were canceled resulting in thousands of section cuts. Many part-time faculty had their loads go from 60 percent to 40 percent. Others resulted in lowering their loads from 40 percent to 20 percent. We estimate over 3,000 lost their entire teaching load. A similar projection for next year is unfolding.
Possible Fee Increases and PE Cuts for Next Year: The Legislative Analyst Office is recommending that the current $26 per unit fee be increased to $40 for next year. At this time, faculty organizations are lobbying against this recommendation. Also, important to our members, students, and communities is the fact that the Chancellor’s Office is recommending to reduce PE class sections by 50 percent on each community college campus. CCA is speaking out against such a move.
Conference Training & Recognition: CCA experienced a larger number of attendees at our conferences and trainings this year than we have had in the past. The topics, break-out-sessions, and special activities helped to motivate delegates from our locals to attend in mass. At the CCA Fall Conference, state Assembly Member Tom Torlakson (D-Antioch) was honored as CCA Legislator of the Year. CCA recognized his dedication to education at both the K-12 and community college level. Over 150 delegates attended the three-day training session held in San Jose. The CCA Winter Conference in San Diego also had the largest number of delegates attending that conference. Dedicated and continued bargaining training strands allowed delegates to attend three 1½ hour sessions on specific topics. An entire day of four break-out-sessions regarding part-time faculty issues allowed part-time faculty to examine very specific bargaining issues. Finally, the CCA Spring Conference held in Las Vegas attracted more delegates than we have ever had at a CCA Conference. With 250 delegates, CCA Officers, Board, Staff, presenters, and special invited guests and winners of our We Honor our Own (W.H.O.) awards, the conference celebrated local achievement at its highest level. In addition to the local awards, I, Ron Norton Reel, was awarded the prestigious CTA Higher Education W.H.O. One of the highlights at the conference was a special Chapter “Fair Share” Break-Out-Session. Chapter Presidents were treated to a fantastic presentation by staff consultant Robin Devitt and a special visit by CTA Secretary Treasurer Gail M Medes who later served as the emcee of the W.H.O. Ceremony.
Local Chapter Visitations by the CCA President: I had the opportunity to visit leadership of the following chapters: Long Beach Part-time Faculty, Long Beach Full-time Faculty, Napa, Merced, Shasta, North Orange College District, South Orange College District, Coast Community College District, Mendocino, Hartnell, Gavilan, Lassen, Sierra, San Joaquin Delta, Victor Valley, San Bernardino, Mt. San Antonio, and Imperial Valley College.
Consultation, Board of Governors, Legislative Testifying: Both CCA Vice President, Lynette Nyaggah and I represented CCA and our views before the Chancellor’s Office Consultation and Community College Board of Governors speaking on behalf of faculty issues. We stood firm regarding faculty workload issues, utilization of district reserves to reducing the impact of faculty lay-offs, and advocated on behalf of student rights to gain access to classes. I had the honor of testifying before the legislators regarding the California Master Plan Hearings, Budget hearings, legislation regarding rehire rights for part-time faculty, legislation regarding the 50 Percent Law, and also regarding the need to hire additional full-time faculty members and to stop relying so heavily our part-time faculty.
What a year! It all begins again in three weeks.