CCP Strike

As you may have heard, the faculty and staff at Community College of Philadelphia are on strike. College President Stephen Curtis posted a statement on their web site explaining the administrative position. After reading a few articles about the union conflicts, I’m inclined to agree with him.

To be completely honest, we are at a little bit of a loss to understand why the union leadership has authorized a strike this evening. The facts are that our final and best offer, which we put forward earlier today and which was rejected a short while ago, continues to provide free health care for all of our employees and their families (that is, it requires no employee contributions toward premiums) and a salary increase that averages 3.62 percent annually for the life of the five-year contract.

A guaranteed annual 3.62% raise over five years and free healthcare? Free?! That’s unheard of in most industries, as are pensions. CCP employees contribute 5% and the employer 10% to their pension plan. This all sounds quite cushy to me.

No matter how much reading I do I can’t seem to find a clear statement from the union about what they want aside from a contract. Can anyone shed some light on this?

33 Comments so far

  1. jacob (unregistered) on March 14th, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

    I agree with you, and I am currently enrolled as a honor student at CCP. This has changed my whole perspective, and regretfully lowered my opinions of some of my teachers who have chosen to support and organize this strike. It saddens me that when I ask supposed “intellectuals” about their reasons for strikin, after the final offer by Curtis, that many of them waver in their answers. At this point it seems that greed has reduced both sides to childish rhetoric. And ultimately it is true that I am the loser in this situation, since indeed it is I who have paid my tuition to be taught between a given period of time. Shame on the teachers who have gotten all their demands and still press for another small amount of money, after they have received some of the best healthcare that is possible. To them I ask where is my free healthcare as a student?


  2. Cathy (unregistered) on March 14th, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

    If this happened at your job, you would want more rights and more perks as well. Working in education, I can understand their reason for striking. I am taking classes at CCP as well and feel the annoyance of delayed classes. However, if their union does not agree with the terms of a contract then everyone that is in that union should join together regardless of how they feel about their students. A strike doesn’t work if only one person shows up.

    As far as the raise and free healthcare….I know that where I work, we are in a union and get a 3 percent raise every year, BUT when we get our raises, the place where I work also jacks up the health insurance prices. So in essence, you really are not getting a raise.

    I may not know all the terms of their contract, but if the union decides to strike, everyone, I feel should do what the union dictates.


  3. jen (unregistered) on March 14th, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

    in this case, however, they were offered a 3%+ raise AND totally free healthcare. no opportunity for jacking up prices.


  4. Brian Seymour (unregistered) on March 14th, 2007 @ 5:42 pm

    Jen thanks for opening this dialogue. Much light needs to be shed. It is difficult to understand complex labor negotiations after reading a few articles and I am confident that with some background information you would not be so inclined to agree with the disingenuous comments of the president (or those carefully crafted for him by the college’s attorneys and PR office).

    CCP faculty and staff are not asking for anything that they don’t already have – they seek to continue the status quo from the previous contracts. It is in fact the administration who is offering them a lower salary increase since their last contract, which does not cover the cost of living, especially in a metropolitan area, and a decrease in healthcare coverage which amounts to tremendous savings annually for the college upwards of a half a million dollars a year.

    The saddest part is the suggestion that faculty are greedy and have it easy, or worse that they don’t care about students. Remember that CCP is not a corporation driven by cost cutting and profit – CCP is an open-access public institution whose mission is to provide open access to low cost, high quality education. Faculty devotes their lives to teaching students. Many of them could be at colleges and universities where lives of publishing and graduate work would pull them away from students, but they choose a life of teaching. Far from cushy lives, consider that CCP faculty, even with PhDs can start at 36,000 a year. That’s embarrassing. Staff begin as low as 17,000, that’s criminal. What is 3.6% of 17,000 anyway? Faculty and staff are obviously not in it for the money, but having said that they certainly don’t want to let go of what little they do have.

    We must resist comparing CCP teachers and staff to corporate employees. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that CCP students are not consumers of education but are members of the community who often have one chance at an education and CCP is it.

    Sincerely,
    Brian Seymour
    Faculty, Community College of Philadelphia

    For clarity: we have a generous TIAACref 403-B plan, it is like a 401K, certainly not a pension plan.


  5. Brian Seymour (unregistered) on March 14th, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

    “Totally free” healthcare if it refers to no-premiums paid is accurate, but you must consider that there are significant increases in co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses that come with the propsed cuts in our health care plan. This makes our health plan much more expensive and not nearly as comprehensive.


  6. Jacob Gable (unregistered) on March 14th, 2007 @ 9:47 pm

    Brian

    Thank you for being the first to step forth with some solid figures as it relates to this topic. It is indeed infuriating as a student to receive information that would lead one to use the term “greedy” in the present situation. Indeed it seems hard to come by any solid figures that come out of the teachers or federation. I was under the impression that indeed the teachers had decided to strike after not receiving this final .10% increase in their annual salaries. I was also under the impression that the healthcare issue had been settled and indeed seems to be of liking, and of highest ranking among other schools in the area and country.

    Just as the federation demands top administrators at school open their books and reveal salaries, would it not be beneficial to students if the teachers did the same for them? For in fact it is our loans, salaries, and tax dollars that also fund the teachers salaries, and for that matter the presidents salary. Indeed in your response you have started to provide some solid numbers in response to what the president’s PR has produced, and for that I give respect to you. It just becomes infuriating that we as student lose days, or are asked for a extended semester, when in fact we have done nothing except pay for an education. Indeed I have receieved what I consider one of the best learning experiences of my life these past two semesters in the honors program at CCP, but it becomes tainted when I have to go through a experience which I have never been through before. It is also maddening that when I have pressed certain people for solid answers that none have been provided, even on the federation’s website this seems to be the case. Hopefuly all will end in a manner that is suitable to everyone, and respect can be gained among all parties involved in a seemingly complex situation.

    Jacob Gable
    Honors Program CCP


  7. Dan Reed (unregistered) on March 15th, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

    As a faculty member of CCP I am saddened we had top go on strike to keep our existing benefits.

    Being on strike flat out sucks, I’d much rather be teaching. I enjoy teaching, and I enjoy my students.

    What a lot of students don’t realize is that none of us can really ever “ask for a raise”, thus, these small percentages are key for me and my family to keep up with the cost of living.

    The other thing is the healthcare at CCP was very good.

    And for a lot of us, it makes up for the fact that we already make less then most other schools.

    The “new” plan, while yes, Blue Cross/Blue Shield is still 100% paid, IT IS A LESSER PLAN! Its 100% of a lesser plan, that would cause our visits to the doctors office, or emergency room to more then double in most cases! (For example, right now it costs me $40 for an emergency room visit, under the new plan, its $100)… and that’s just one example of how much “better” the new plan is. You might not think that’s a big deal, but to someone with a family it is… it’s a very big deal..

    I feel sick that the administration has turned this into a “faculty VS students” issue, when in reality it is a “CCP VS poor public funding and planning issue”. I care deeply about my students, and want to see them do well, but I refuse to earn less, or pay more to see a doctor then I do now in order to do that, when I already make far less then other instructors at other schools in metropolitan areas.

    The numbers CCP has put out are one sided. The numbers are from Allegheny County. Last time I checked, it costs FAR more to live, and WORK in Philadelphia then Allegheny County.

    And, for what its worth, I get “info” as fast as the students do. I wish a quick end to all of this… I wake up hoping that things will be corrected..

    Dan Reed
    Faculty Department of Transportation Technologies


  8. Jesse Merlin (unregistered) on March 15th, 2007 @ 5:49 pm

    What has been bothering me the most about this whole “strike” is the use of the students as leverage in the process, and the constant propaganda being layed at our doorstep. Not only have I received administrative emails on my ccp account (that seemed to act suspiciously innocent and ignorant of whats going on) but now im receiving emails on my personal accounts on third party sites such as myspace to blogs and other sources of “information” from the union. This is offensive since as a student, I am the one being hurt here, and have absolutely no say in the process yet am being treated like my opinion matters.

    In response to the following:
    “Faculty devotes their lives to teaching students. Many of them could be at colleges and universities where lives of publishing and graduate work would pull them away from students, but they choose a life of teaching. Far from cushy lives, consider that CCP faculty, even with PhDs can start at 36,000 a year. That’s embarrassing. Staff begin as low as 17,000, that’s criminal. What is 3.6% of 17,000 anyway? Faculty and staff are obviously not in it for the money, but having said that they certainly don’t want to let go of what little they do have.”

    First off. No ones putting a gun to your head to work at CCP. At most jobs if you are unhappy or feel you are being treated unfairly you always have the option of moving on. Just like we the students have the option of dropping your class. If we dont like your grading system, we cant hold out on coming to class and force you to change. If you really could be contributing to valuable research at other more prestigious institutions and making a better life for you and your family rather than “devoting your lives to us students”, by all means go for it.

    As for starting salaries, they seem pretty reasonable to me, and they are starting salaries. Which means if you dont like them, you dont have to start.

    Also, why do you need to know what the administration makes? Will it change anything? The only reason i could see it being useful is so that you can point fingers and say “look! look! this is how they are mismanaging OUR money!”. Then all we will have is a few hundred more “administrators”.

    In response to:
    “We must resist comparing CCP teachers and staff to corporate employees. Furthermore, we must bear in mind that CCP students are not consumers of education but are members of the community who often have one chance at an education and CCP is it.”

    I feel comparing teachers and the administration to corporate employees is now more appropriate than even. The college is a business, just like any other. I pay money to be here. Every day of class i miss costs me somewhere around $30. I could attend other schools for the full 4 years, pay more money and put myself in debt like others have, but that would be a poor business decision since my degree wouldnt be worth anymore in the end.

    If the students really are a member of this community, how come we are the ones paying money to be here yet have no say in the process and are truly the victims of this strike. Is that how community members are treated? Its unfortunate to see disenchanted students who believed in this ideal become bitter and feel removed from the education experience. I hope its worth the price in the end.

    In the end all i really care about is maintaining my status quo. I dont care what any of the proffessors make, or the administration for that matter. I’ve paid for a semester of classes which i’m currently not getting, and feel like a child being forced in between two fighting parents who are both slinging mud at each other. Personally if this semester or summer classes get cancelled that would mean I wont get my associates and will be forced to put off transferring for another semester. That will ultimately put me 6months behind entering the workforce. So if I were to start a job out of college for 36k missing a semester would cost me about 18k, not to mention loss of any advancement in such a job.

    Overall this has been a very disenchanting experience for me, and I believe for other students as well. Anyway, thats it. I’m done venting, hopefully this mess will all be over soon.


  9. Gerald Savage (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 3:02 am

    In life there are many learning experiences, maybe some of you will have a chance to learn some life lessons from this. First off, if this is a real crisis for you, you better get yourself a tougher hide FAST. These days will be made up. If you think 17,000 dollars a year is a fair starting salary, you have much to learn, sure they could go dig ditches and make more, but they choose to teach and join a Union. If you are unfamiliar with a union, it give employees the RIGHT to strike. I had a union job for 20 years and seen a few strikes. It is not an easy decision to go on strike, you are suddenly out of work, no pay, no food shopping, bills pile up. It is a hardship that is very very difficult to rebound from, it is not just on a whim to exclaim, lets go on strike and stick it to management. Your union rep must feel it is absolutely neccessary to call a strike, because even when you win, believe me you rarely get ahead. To say that greed is driving a strike is ludicrus. These days you don’t strike to gain anything, you strike to maintain the status quo. You are playing right into managements hands by buying their bullshit, that they are the poor misunderstood good guys in all this and it is the greed of the teachers. DON’T BUY IT. They would crush this union and bring in people to work for half their salary with no benefits, and you will get teachers who are not as qualified to go to the college, much less teach. I think it is a big deal that management will not open it’s books, Why? have you asked yourself that, what have they got to hide? Wouldn’t it confirm their charges about the union? These are the techniques that management has used to get people against unions. They would all be happy to do away with unions all together. If not for the union, there would be no minimum wage, no health coverage, no overtime pay, no safety rules, no limit to the amount of hours that you work and that goes for the non-union companies that exist today, for w/o the unions these laws would never had been passed. Of course in any situation you will have some that take advantage and make the whole thing look bad, but even the unions that were run by gangsters provided decent wages to the workers while stealing what they could. So take it easy on the union, some day they may be your union brothers and sister.
    Brother Jerry Savage
    Gold card member, United Paperworkers local 375


  10. Dom Isabella, CCP PT Faculty (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 3:31 am

    Quoted here:

    “”No matter how much reading I do I can’t seem to find a clear statement from the union about what they want aside from a contract. Can anyone shed some light on this? “”

    Let’s look at some facts:

    I just left a Federation strike meeting and here are some (truthful) facts, to clear up any confusion that has been imputed in the resent College communications …

    1) The College is NOT offering us, as individual Union members, a “3.62% per year for 5 years” …. Fact is, the last, best Administration offer is miserly 1.2067% per Federation worker per year for five years!!!! Sounds like they are using voodo math to me!

    2) The administration says (regarding Healthcare):
    “These have come in the areas of health care (the College’s health care costs have nearly doubled in the last seven years) and wages. We have tried to be as fair as possible within this framework. In fact, the College’s last offer to the union, which was rejected, continued to offer a health care plan that ranks among the very best in the nation, with free coverage for employees and their families. ”

    … part time faculty, the largest teaching-employee head count in the College, do NOT get “free [medical and drug] coverage for employees and their families”. Never happened! …. The only teaching faculty that gets this is the Full Time teachers unit. Further, we would like the current Medical Plan to stay in place … They want to reduce it to an inferior plan which will require more out of pocket dollars for coverage.

    3) Further, if the Colleges health care costs have gone up so much in the past 7 years, (and especially since the student head count has declined over time for whatever reason), then the Administration should *LOWER* rather than *RAISE* College administrative overhead expenses and costs, as it has been doing without any reasonable restrain.
    Since the last strike, there have been sixty NEW administrative positions created at great overhead expense to the College!

    4) We, the teachers, are “direct profession labor” — We work if there are classes of tuition-paying students to teach, otherwise, there is no work (and no pay or benefits).
    College administrative overhead employees of all different titles (which are not teachers or the essential Federation support personnel), are always a cost-burden to the College, driving up tuition and fees.

    So, I hope this has cleared up the “math” and some issues concerning the real cost burdens which affect student tuition and fees.

    We as Federation members, want a fair raise per individual per year for the five years of a new contract (please, no more voodo math!) and to maintain the current health care plan.

    Plain talk … and a valid strike, as this could have been settled up to one year before the strike started.

    I hope this has cleared things up for the students.


  11. Emma (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 10:09 am

    I just want to start out by saying that I completely support the Unions in their need to strike. I am a CCP student, who like many others are scheduled to graduate in May and transfer to a 4- year university in September. I am sure this will post- pone graduation which is upsetting, but we all are in this no matter how everyone may feel about it. From personal experience, many of my professors at CCP are there because they truly believe in teaching and aren’t in it for the paycheck. However, they still have the right to demand what they feel fair to them. The administration is absolutely hiding something, and if they aren’t then why won’t they release their financial records when the majority of other colleges and universities (including private ones) make them public. They are crying poor to the teachers and faculty, because there has been a decrease in student enrollment… If this is so, then why is it necessary to continue to hire administration who make more than teachers. As far as health insurance is concerned, it is one of the most important securities to have in this day and age. I don’t understand why the administration would be willing to consider lowering their Health Care package when they know it is not something they would want for themselves? At this point, all the administration is doing is hurting themselves because I feel as though this is going to cost them a lot of students as previous strikes have done. In all reality, I have always found the teachers to be more of a help than the administration when it comes to administrative issues. I hope everything comes together so that we can be back in class next week, but understand 100% if we are not because the Unions and their members need to stand up for what they believe is fair for them.


  12. Diane DeKelb-Rittenhouse (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 11:04 am

    Here’s a link to a “living wage” calculator that can tell you what you need to earn in order to support yourself if you live in the Philadelphia area: http://www.livingwage.geog.psu.edu/results.php?location=29489

    1) In previous negotiations, the College has said it couldn’t afford salary increases or health care premiums. (We took lower wages, or compromised on benefits at those times.) They aren’t saying they can’t afford the increases we’re fighting for, NOW. In fact, they have something like 16 million in surplus, which they have chosen to invest.

    2) Faculty and staff have been taking lower wages than we could earn elsewhere as a trade-off for better, fully paid health benefits. As a result, 6% of Classified staff (housekeepers, secretaries, techs) earn less than the living wage for one adult in the area; 15.1% earn less than $20,000 a year; starting salaries for new faculty are comparatively low; and, on a course-per-course basis, part-time faculty earn less per course than full-time faculty with the same qualifications and experience.

    3) In current negotiations, medical benefit concessions were considered that would save the College money on premiums, so they would have more money to give us in salary.

    In any negotiations, there’s give and take. But, it seems that the union had done all the giving, and the college has been doing all the taking.

    Dr. Curtis, who refused to open the books on adminsitrative salaries and benefits during negotiations, has been quoted in media interviews as saying his salary is $185,000. He didn’t say what he gets as a housing allowance or a car allowance. We don’t begrudge him those, but, isn’t it just a little ironic for someone earning that kind of money at a public institution to call people earning $17.647.50 a year “greedy” for demanding a cost-of-living raise?

    Diane
    Local 2026


  13. Jacob Gable (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 11:21 am

    After reading and thinking on this topic I would like to state:

    1. I am not a pawn in a game.

    2. I have no opinion on outside issues. Further my primary purpose is a student whos goal is to learn.

    Due to these final conclusions, I will state that I have lost respect for no one, and refude to side with either of the parties involved.

    Jacob Gable
    Honors Student CCP


  14. A.P. Tiwari (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 11:37 am

    A funny thing happened to me while on Spring Break. About half way through the week, I mentioned to a friend that I actually missed school. Anyone that would have known me before I attended CCP would have laughed till his stomach hurt and handed me a shot of something over proof to get my head back together. I couldn’t readily believe those words came out of my mouth. But they did, and the sentiment was true: I missed school. The thought of a strike and prolonged absence from actual higher learning was disconcerting to say the least. It was easy to say that we as students weren’t thought of, and we wanted a quick solution, which tended to lean towards the faculty to give in and do the right thing for the students.
    Well, those four words of, “Dude, I miss school,” would never have left my mouth if the faculty had not done the right thing since I started attending CCP last summer. Upon entering the Community College I was immediately impressed by the level of dedication some of the faculty, and luckily for me, my professors, showed. I relate my experiences here to some family and friends that have been through higher education at all levels, from undergrad to doctorate programs, from state schools to Ivy League Universities, and the sentiment that reverberates from all is how lucky I am to have professors who actually want to teach, and some, one might dare say, who are passionate about their chosen career.
    The technological wonders of the internet and e-mail should in theory allow for better communication and information readily available at the touch of a button thereby bringing parties closer together. But information must be dissected carefully, truth must be separated from spin, all in order that alliances and solidarity should not be dissolved because of a slight of hand and misdirection.
    It is not only important to remember that all information must be cautiously examined in order to find truth (as I foolishly did not do in the beginning), but it is important to remember this idea of community Professor Seymour spoke of. This notion of community is strongest with those who long to learn and those that love to teach. We, as students can chose to be selfish, but in doing so, we are acknowledging that we live in a bubble, if our needs supercede everyone else’s needs in our community. This of course is not the case. There are times when our professors have gone beyond the call of duty for us and it is time for we, as students to stand beside them when they need to stand strong for what is important and necessary to them. This is the essence of community, and it should not be discarded in lieu of bureaucratic entanglement that ultimately stifles our academic pursuits.


  15. joanna kete-walker (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 11:53 am

    i’ve been attending ccp for four semesters. i have attended a couple of other schools, and the quality of education that i am receiving at ccp is unsurpassed. i think most students recognize that ccp provides a quality and comparably affordable education, and that is why they are upset that this is on hold because of the strike.

    but the reason that ccp draws in so many good educators is because of the benefits and working conditions. the union members are fighting to maintain high academic standards, by ensuring that ccp continues to keep and hire quality professors.

    rather than be angry at the union members for refusing to compromise on pay and benefits, i feel that we should pressure the administration and the city to resolve the strike immediately so that we can continue receiving the education that we deserve.
    -joanna kete-walker
    ps. why not use the extra time to get ahead and make sure you ace your finals. everyone should have his or her syllabi and textbooks by now, right?


  16. Barbara (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

    Could someone, please, compare these two statements and explain?

    Statement # 1) posted in the above discussion:
    “The College is NOT offering us, as individual Union members, a “3.62% per year for 5 years” …. Fact is, the last, best Administration offer is miserly 1.2067% per Federation worker per year for five years!!!! Sounds like they are using voodo math to me!”

    Statement # 2)posted at http://www.ccp.edu/site/college_news/salary_clarification.php (College News From: Lynette Brown-Sow, Vice President for Marketing and Public Relations):

    “The College further offered to the Federation that, at the Federation’s discretion, the actual average annual percentage increase for each individual bargaining unit could vary from unit to unit. In other words, everyone could get a 3.62% increase, or one unit could receive an increase slightly higher than 3.62% that is offset by a slightly lower increase to another unit.”

    What, in the above statement “In other words, everyone could get a 3.62% increase…” means?


  17. ccpteacher (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 3:17 pm

    There’s a parallel dialogue about the strike going on at my MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/ccpteacher) if any of you would like to get in on it there….

    Thanks!


  18. Barbara (unregistered) on March 16th, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

    That’s hardly an answer……………..


  19. stringbeef (unregistered) on March 17th, 2007 @ 5:48 pm

    It’s all very messy isn’t it? I’m a CCP student and I spent an afternoon with the strikers. I was excited, at first, to get some extra time off. The uncertainty of the strike kept me up at nights, but that was probably because I didn’t finish all my homework over the actual spring break. So I set out on to the street to get some answers.
    I learned that the 3.62 percent yearly wage increase was to be distributed between the three bargaining parties. The division would not be 1.2067 percent each, as some assume. The break down would be:

    3.2 % for the full time faculty
    3.5 % for the part time
    4 % for the classifieds (the people who run the labs clean the floors and fix our pipes).
    * This break-down involves no actual figures sanctioned by either side its just to illustrate that the percentage is NOT divided, its distributed proportionally.

    The three bargaining units have decided the classified should get more of an increase then the part timers and the part-time faculty more then the full time. The reasons for this aren’t clear. But my assumption that it’s because the cost of co-pay is the same no matter how much you make.
    One of the things that I heard was agreed upon during the pre-strike talks was the reduced health-care benefits with increased costs contingent on the agreement of larger annual wage increase than the last contract. This was what the negotiations in the year prior to the strike lead everyone to believe would be in the new contract.
    The teachers, though not thrilled with these compromises, assumed it was going to be the case. That was until the administration took everything off the table and instead gave them this 3.62 percent to be distributed among the three parties. This act, according to the former classified negotiator I talked to, is against negotiating regulations.
    In my opinion, the classifieds (the people who keep the lights on, the floors clean and the labs running) have the biggest burden of anyone out there. They make the least amount of money of the three bargaining parties and a strike hurts every participant’s financial situation. I would understand the urge to go back to work on the part of the classifieds especially in a theoretical second week of striking. But by holding out they stand to gain the largest yearly percentage wage increase in the new contract.
    Another important thing that I don’t understand is why President Stephen Curtis will not make the administrations payroll public knowledge? Who are these people and how much do they make? This, if anything should be the simplest of all the conflicts.


  20. Arthur (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 6:07 pm

    Jacob it would have been really better if you were able as an “honor student” to understand a simple fact: Union and Administration could not reach an agreement from August of 2006 up until now. If I were a teacher, I would definitely go on strike. Have you seen their salaries? It’s a joke! Moreover, if Administration was giving Union everything they ask for, do you really think that staff would still be on strike?


  21. Jacob Gable (unregistered) on March 18th, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

    In fact Arthur I have not seen their salaries, and if you would have read further I thanked Brian for shedding light on that issue. To me that is part of the annoyance, for in fact it seems hard to come by these numbers, and as much as teachers have demanded the CCP administration to reveal economic numbers, I feel as a student it would be equally beneficial to have a clearer understanding of the teachers economic numbers. I am well aware that this is not always possible due to many factors such as PR teams, lawyers, and the media, for in fact they place restriction on the information that is released regarding this matter that is important to us as members of a learning community.

    Also to answer you as a honrs student I have been taught to question seemingly “simple facts”, what initially seems as a given fact is not always so solid, or in other words as a “honors student” I have come to understand and deal with the complexities and nuances of the many issues in our world and it’s contextual atmosphere. This week I have discussed this issue with almost everyone that I have come in contact with. Due to this ongoing dialouge I’ve had with my immediate surroundings, I have come to realize that I refuse to take any sides in this battle. This is partialy due to the fact that I keep receiving different answers. More importantly, that in order to get a full picture of the situation it is important that I choose not to stare to closely at the strokes of the painting and instead stand back to perceive the whole picture.

    Jacob Gable


  22. Jesse Merlin (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

    People seem to be obsessing over how much the administration makes. Why does it matter? Assuming the teachers/staff found out how much the administration makes what good would it do.


  23. Heidi (unregistered) on March 19th, 2007 @ 7:58 pm

    There is a rumor going around that if this strike lasts long enough, the semester will be cancelled and the grade we know have at this midterm will be considered our final grade. Is this true? Or will we just continue to hold classes through the summer if the strike continues?


  24. David (unregistered) on March 20th, 2007 @ 12:23 pm

    The school will just continue to hold classes through the summer if the strike continues, but might terminate summer classes. Let’s hope that does not happen.


  25. Lisa Handler (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 7:59 pm

    Heidi,

    The rumor about the midterm grades being a final grade is a rumor. Today a group of students who met with the president of the college were reassured that they would get their credits from this semester. That suggests that, as we’ve all been told, the semester will be finished. Hopefully, it will be finished before the summer sessions are scheduled to begin. That’s what students want, it’s what faculty and staff want. Feel free to send your concerns to the president of CCP (Dr. Stephen Curtis at scurtis@ccp.edu).


  26. Randy Libros (unregistered) on March 21st, 2007 @ 10:45 pm

    I’m a faculty member at CCP and I’ve been trying to keep my students informed by sending them emails through MyCCP. I’ve received many emails
    from students expressing appreciation for the information I have sent out.

    Apparently the administration has not appreciated it, since my access to MyCCP was terminated tonight. Perhaps the administration only wants their own viewpoint expressed to students.


  27. Kim Medio (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 8:16 am

    Yes, Randy, I, too, noticed that access to myCCP account has been terminated. I am really disheartened over the fact that the administration would stoop so low.


  28. Gary Newman (unregistered) on March 22nd, 2007 @ 9:26 pm
  29. Anne (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 9:36 am

    Does anyone have a comment about the issues of sexism and racism in setting salaries? I saw a news article that mentioned that there is “some evidence” of a history of “women and ethnic minorities” being underpaid over a 36-year period in college’s history. It seems to me that although the pay-schedule strategy may help to correct the inequities among select groups, i.e. support staff, people often don’t want to discuss the “isms” that most certainly will seep through in side discussions.


  30. Rebekah Higgins (unregistered) on March 24th, 2007 @ 10:01 pm

    Free healthcare for sale!

    Anyone who claims that you or anyone else is getting something for Free should be carefully scrutinized
    or there really is no such thing as a free lunch…

    There is no doubt that we have very good health care and benefits at the college. The benefits package has and continues to be the primary attraction to find and keep good staff, but it has been far from FREE. Over many years we have had to fight long and hard for that health care and that sometimes included going on strike. It wasn’t just served up on a silver platter. We would like to keep what we have fought for, no more and no…
    actually we have even agreed to less to try to avoid a strike. A compensation package is exactly that, a package, consisting of benefits, perks, bonuses and salary. When a compensation package is being discussed all of these things are part of the picture. Faculty and staff as CCP chose to accept lower saleries than their peers in exchange for better benefits, so we have and do continue to “pay” for our healthcare. It is simply a matter of that money having been deducted before our wages are paid rather than after. The administration’s continued demands that we contribute further is essentially asking us to pay twice. Can you understand why the incredulous ” but we’re offering them Free heathcare” soundbites might be infuriating to someone who has paid and will continue to pay for it in their lower than average salaries? When should we strike? When they ask us to pay 3 times? or 4? Thanks to our teachers we are smart enough not to be bullyed or snookered into paying for the same thing twice. We hope you never will be either.

    Sincerely,

    Rebekah Higgins


  31. Rebekah Higgins (unregistered) on March 24th, 2007 @ 11:02 pm

    Anne,

    I unfortunately can not answer your questions completely, but I can at least tell you what I have come to understand. As part of the full time faculty union and a community based work environment I can not ask for a raise as an individual but rather as part of a group consensus on what all of our raises and benefits will be every five years. This reduces, although I’m sure it doesn’t eliminate the abuses of sexism and racism that you asked about. I would add favoritism and a few more to that list also. The full time faculty have a salary schedule designed to create equitable salaries based on educational background, teaching and professional experience as well as years of service. Race, religion, sex and sexual orientation are out of the equation as well as nepotism and butt kissism. This also does mean that some lousy teachers make exactly as much as the terrific ones. As one of the terrific teachers -), I am more than willing to accept that deal to prevent abuses and because truly at CCP I have never actually experienced a lousy teacher ( I have been a student there as well as a teacher). I’m sure there may be some.

    Did you know that while the difference in raise percentages requested by the faculty and offered by the administration appear nominal ( note the word appear), that if the full time faculty accepts less that 3.75% this salary schedule we designed and refined over many years to protect us from “ism” abuses would be decimated?

    As far as I know the classified staff does not have such a salary schedule, and thus protection. Also the administration, yes that’s right I said the administration doesn’t have one either. There is know way to know whether there are sexist, racist or other discriminatory practices there because how their compensation packages are determined isn’t known to any of us.

    So maybe a bit off the initial topic, I would like to take this soapbox moment to address the issue of wanting to know the administrative salaries. Community College is a publicly funded institution and as such its books and I mean all of its books should be made public. So far the only salaries made public have been ours and often in misleading ways. While some of your teachers have been willing to discuss their own salaries and the processes through which they are determined both on public blogs and in person to students while on the picket line, have any administrators opened their pay stubs to your scrutiny?

    Why do we care about that? We don’t care about anyone’s individual paycheck even although we are being directly asked to discuss ours. At least I don’t care. What we do care about is how much money the college actually has to work with and how that money is being spent. The college leadership is crying poor, while at the same time spending huge sums of money on PR campaigns and hiring many additional high paid administrators while enrollment has decreased and the number of available classes are being reduced. Oh yes, and we our being asked to reduce our raises and benefits…and our escalators keep breaking. We want to know and we want the students to know where the money is being spent on salaries, on facilities and on every enchilada so we can at least have honest and open discussion.

    Sincerely,

    Rebekah Higgins


  32. Rebekah Higgins (unregistered) on March 24th, 2007 @ 11:07 pm

    I just wanted to apologize for the typos and grammatical errors above. I am very tired, forgive me. Good night.

    rebekah


  33. kurt jarcik (unregistered) on March 26th, 2007 @ 2:26 pm

    Easystm.com will give Coverage of short term health insurance as early as the next day… just a few simple medical questions to answer. Best of all, you can choose to receive your policy electronically!

    http://www.easystm.com



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