Much Ado About Dues
by Billy Gunn, Treasurer
As Treasurer of the MiraCosta College Faculty Assembly, my main role is maintaining a budget, while keeping track of our revenue and various expenses. Our revenue comes from the generous contributions of approximately 70% of full-time faculty, most of whom contribute 0.4% of their paychecks. The expenses incurred by the FA cover a wide range of categories, from legal counsel to institutional memberships to basic operating expenses. The purpose of this short article is to explore why folks pay FA dues and what that money goes toward.
Why Contribute to the MCC FA?
I contribute to the MCC FA because it enables the FA to negotiate for higher wages, maintain better benefits than other institutions, and improve our working conditions. I have seen firsthand how the FA protects its members, and I value how the collective bargaining process affords everyone a voice.
I contribute to the MCC FA because I have been a life-long supporter of labor organization. Specifically, at MCC, I pay my FA dues because I have seen, first-hand, how our assembly works to support all full-time faculty. Lastly, I pay MCC FA dues because it's the fair and equitable thing to do; the FA represents all of us, so we should all pay our fair share.
I contribute to the MCC FA because I value the wisdom and expertise of our FA leaders. I am grateful for the work the committee does to negotiate our contracts, working conditions, and employment issues at MCC. I feel supported knowing we have experienced faculty working on our behalf at MCC!
What Do My Dues Actually Do?
Our ability to do things like negotiate for higher wages, secure better fringe benefits, and advise and represent faculty members under investigation are only possible because of your financial contributions, which help to pay for specific services. See our proposed budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year for a complete breakdown of anticipated expenditures:
I would like to highlight a few categories in this document:
Legal Counsel: Legal fees continue to be the FA’s largest expense each year. We partner with an experienced attorney who helps us navigate legal issues related to the scope of our contract, past practice, defending faculty members under investigation, and district overreach.
CCCI Membership: At last count, there are only about a dozen community college districts in California with independent faculty unions, so our membership fees for the California Community College Independents (CCCI) provide a rich resource for identifying and dealing with the issues that most pertain to districts like ours.
Reassign Time: The FA Council has identified some ongoing needs related to cleaning up contract language, continuing negotiations, and special projects that will require us to purchase additional reassign time from the district. The money allocated for this category will ensure our faculty rights are being protected, and it will also provide fair compensation for faculty members engaged in the work.
Philanthropy: Over the last few years, the FA has increased contributions to charitable causes, such as student scholarships, that align with our values. The FA Council has decided to continue pursuing opportunities for charitable giving in the future by increasing this line item in our budget.
We’re In This Together
The FA’s ability to work on behalf of all full-time faculty depends on our collective financial support. If you are not already contributing to the FA, please consider filling out the Payroll Deduction Form and becoming a full dues-paying faculty member.