From meet and confer to collective bargaining
The following is a passage from CCA History Makers: The Story of CCA Told by CCA Leaders, by former CCA President Carolyn Inmon. The publication is a compilation of interviews with previous CCA presidents and CTA staff that support the organization. History Makers is available for downloading on the CCA website, at www.cca4me.org.
MILESTONE: Meet and Confer
In 1964, Senator Winton was successful in passing legislation allowing “meet and confer.” Under meet and confer, leaders dealt with non-bargaining issues such as insurance. Staff member Ed Romeo described them as “teachers clubs.”
There were no meaningful discussions of salary, working conditions or grievance procedures. Administrators, as well as faculty, were members of the chapters for 11 years from 1964—1974. The organizations were referred to as associations, never unions.
In 1968, the statewide Board of Governors (BOG) was created but granted limited powers. The BOG and the Chancellor were allowed to:
- Monitor the fiscal health of all campuses.
- Set statewide policies.
- Carry out a variety of coordinating activities.
In the early years, Southern California was growing rapidly. In the early 1970s, junior college faculty were primarily from K-12. These teachers were used to K-12 and CTA and fine with the structure.
Presidents during that time inched towards collective bargaining and political action. They helped to clarify the organizational structure including the relationship between CTA and NEA.
MILESTONE: The Rodda Act Changed Everything
Named for state Sen. Albert Stanley Rodda, (a history and economics professor at Sacramento City College turned legislator), the Rodda Act was passed by the Legislature and signed into law in 1974 by Gov. Jerry Brown. The Rodda
- Collective bargaining for K-14 on salary and working conditions
The failures of the Winton Act led to the Rodda Act. In the words of Ed Romeo, “The essential part of the Rodda Act was that it put .
teachers on an equal basis with the Board of Trustees. Instead of meet and confer, it was now meet and negotiate.”
- Public Employment Relations Board (PERB)
- Written Contracts which were binding and enforceable.
Boards had to submit to arbitration.
Internally, in both CCA and CTA, there was a conflict over collective bargaining. CTA was reorganizing. Community college faculty fell into three groups:
- Eager and prepared to adopt collective bargaining.
- Unsure about collective bargaining – organizers went in and organized
- Did not want to organize – the overwhelming majority of faculty fell into this category.
It was the job of leaders to convince faculty that their professionalism was not at stake as they joined the union and that everyone needed to join to have maximum power.