On July 1, 2021 our current, full time faculty contract will expire as we reach the end of its 3-year length. The FA is currently preparing for the negotiations and has had informal conversations with the district regarding the basic approach we are likely to take. The negotiation team is comprised of myself, dara, Mary Gross, Joe Salamon, and Annie Ngo. Mark Whitney will participate if the negotiations involve issues related to evaluation.
The process we will follow will be quite similar to the approach taken in the 2018 negotiations. No doubt you’ve already seen messages from the FA requesting faculty to submit proposals regarding any issues they would like the FA Council to consider and prioritize. Those were due on Wednesday, November 13.
So as not to tip our negotiation hand, prioritization will, as always, occur in a closed session meeting of the 20+ members of the FA Council and Executive Committee. Individual faculty members or groups of faculty may put forth ideas for prioritization.
How does that process work?
First off, note that certain issues are negotiated through the Fringe Benefits Committee and not Contract Negotiations. These involve funding for the various insurance options, including health, vision, and dental, as well as a variety of other fringe benefits that are currently being selected.
For those that are negotiable through the upcoming process, Council will focus on a number of factors in determining priority. In no particular order, these include:
The number of Full Time faculty impacted by the proposal.
The cost of the issue to the district.
The likelihood the district will consider approving the proposal.
Whether or not opening that section of the contract might lead to a counter proposal that is harmful to the faculty.
Priorities will be set by the end of November, if not sooner.
The district will also establish their negotiation issues and both—in accordance with state law—will be made public at a meeting of the Board of Trustees, most likely sometime in December or January. This so-called Sunshine List will not be specific regarding the issues. Rather, it will refer to the sections of the contract that will be open to negotiations. Once those sections are open, both sides may propose changes, regardless as to whether or not they were responsible for sunshining the particular section.
Actual negotiations will occur in the spring, most likely starting around March 1. Once we reach a tentative agreement with the district, all full time faculty will be asked to ratify the new contract. The same will be asked of the Board of Trustees.
Statewide, most negotiations run beyond the expiration of the contract, though thus far the FA and the MCC district have managed to complete the process prior to the contract expiration. We hope to do the same this time.