A couple dozen full-time faculty members of College of the Canyons gathered Monday to call for changes in their contract with the college as they prepare for another negotiation session later this week.
“The full-time faculty were out participating in informational picketing in the pouring rain on the first day of classes,” said Wendy Brill-Wynkoop, president of COC’s Faculty Association.
The group of educators who braved the weather on the college’s first day of the spring semester said they plan to stand on the corner of Rockwell Canyon Road and Circle Drive by the Performing Arts Center — with their signature green “Fair Contract Now” signs — every morning until they meet with college leaders on Wednesday for negotiations.
“All this activity you see is to try and generate activity and interest — not only on the campus but the wider community, as well. We intend to keep doing this and we intend to only ramp it up as it goes on,” said Faculty Negotiator Garrett Hooper, who is employed as a counselor at the college. “We’re not asking for the moon. We simply believe we deserve a fair contract,” and the group doesn’t think a 3.71 percent increase is enough to make a significant difference.
“When you look at our salaries over the last 10 years and the administrator salaries over the same period — after you adjust for cost-of-living increases — our salaries have decreased by .07 percent, so any increase (faculty) has received hasn’t done anything to improve their earning potential,” Hooper said. “When you look at our administrators’ salaries over the last 10 years, they increased by 15 percent. So when you talk about fair contract now, that just doesn’t seem fair.”
A statement from COC spokesman Eric Harnish said college leaders are confident the bargaining process will yield a fair and positive outcome for all. “The college values and recognizes the role that all employees play in the success of our students,” the statement said.
Hooper also expressed optimism that the two sides can reach an agreement.
“Faculty prides themselves on being the heartbeat of the college,” Hooper said, “so we’re absolutely 100 percent willing to have open dialogue about creative solutions and constructive ideas that can benefit both sides.”