CCAHE General Membership meeting will be held December 7th, noon to 3 pm, location tbd. The agenda includes discussing the College's offer and holding a vote to approve a strike. Please RSVP here - CCAHE General Membership Meeting December 7th.
Faculty, this is our opportunity to make change happen. Many of us have expressed that the trajectory we're on is unsustainable, and that conditions for faculty at Clark need to change. Negotiations have dimininished into a power struggle. The faculty have done everything in our power to move the College including: communicating with the board en masse several times, wearing red on Wednesdays, holding several rallies and marches, conducting sick-outs, boycotting meetings, and writing letters to legislators. These efforts have brought only frustration and demoralization. It's time faculty take steps to ensure the future of Clark is brighter. If we want things to be different, we need to do something different.
What's at stake?
In 2017-2018, our instructional unit was made up of 230 full-time and 245 part-time faculty. Today, we're made up of 188 full-time and 363 part-time faculty. This is an 18 percent decline in two years. We need to reduce the incentive for the College to rely on part-time faculty.
With respect to full-time salaries, we're aiming for a salary schedule that will attract the best possible educators for our students. We're working to link the full-time and part-time salary schedules so that the part-time salary is a percentage (we're aiming for 75 percent) of the full-time starting salary. Our adjuncts literally make half as much as full-time faculty teaching the same load.
We've made every effort to come to an agreement including reducing our proposal by more than half (we're currently proposing 9 percent over a two-year contract). We’ve given up many negotiation items as well. Nonetheless, the College has declared their final offer which is 1 percent (2018-19) and 4 percent (2019-20) or 3 percent full-time and 5 percent part-time (2019-2020). This offer needs to double in order for our full-time top salary to reach the second-to-the-last top salary among our nearby community colleges with similar costs of living (see table above).
Adjuncts need full-time positions and full-timers need more full-time colleagues to share in the work of shared governance, guided pathways, assessment, advising, innovating, serving on committees, mentoring, and developing professionally. Students need faculty who are present and valued.
Link the part-time and full-time salary schedules at 70 or 75 percent of step A.
Increase full-time salaries.
What's ahead: Meeting these goals will enable us to move forward with our ultimate objectives of equal pay for equal work for adjuncts (80 percent of the starting salary, protecting our full-time positions and winning full-time salaries that are comparable with our nearby community colleges.
The College has the money:
Last year, Clark received $2.4 million extra in Running Start as a result of McLeary.
This year, Clark will see $2.5 million extra in Running Start as a result of McLeary.
Next year, Clark will receive ~$1 million for Guided Pathways.
Next year, Clark will receive ~$1 for high demand fields.
This year, the state is fully funding our COLAs.
Next year, the state is fully funding our COLAs.
The College has moved funds from instruction into the admin budget steadily for the last 10 years. We've gone from 230 full-time faculty two years ago to 188 full-time faculty today. We need to make sure these incoming funds land in the instruction budget.
Our president's salary increased by 20 percent in the last 5 years. Faculty salaries increased only for inflation.
What about the nursing $?
We've offered to sign an MOU, and the College refused to sign it. A half dozen other colleges have signed MOUs to release nursing educator funds.
See negotiation updates for more information.
Business Professor Gene Johnson, who taught at Clark for 39 years, passed away on September 5th. From what his colleagues had to share about him, Gene was truly committed to teaching and to his students:
Gene taught at least 22 different classes while at Clark, although his key subject area was transfer accounting.
He was truly an organized professor. When he was ill for a few weeks (a pacemaker was required), his chair prepared for another teacher to take his accounting classes for a few weeks. She walked into his office and found a well-marked notebook with lesson plans, tests, and key notes for each class.
In addition to his wide range of committee assignments at Clark, he served as a union senator for a few years.
Gene was very generous and always the first to assist his colleagues in any way possible. Also, he held parties at his home to celebrate the end of the school year as well as birthdays. He always supplied the food and refreshments.
Gene helped the college respond to the changing needs of the learners it served by encouraging the use of innovative, instructional methods and technologies. He was the first to use PowerPoint (judiciously) in his classes, he taught up to 89 percent of the online classes before other faculty would attempt to do so, and as a department head, required that we incorporate Writing Assignments (a minimum of five) in each of our business courses.
He provided financial markets and investing lectures for faculty and staff on campus.
He was awarded the Exceptional Faculty Award.
He was innovative in that he conceptualized, created, and implemented Business 140 and 141 – Entrepreneurship I and Entrepreneurship II for our students…complete with taped lectures (our faculty) and innovative notebooks, with step-by-step lesson plans.
He regularly attended the Northwest Accounting Educators’ Conference in Seattle, Wa. The Washington Association of Occupational Educators recognized him for excellence in teaching and outstanding service in support of occupational education in October, 1999.
Gene was committed to diversity. Each of his textbooks was tested for the appropriate reading level; his one-minute assessment questionnaires were famous in his classes; he carefully evaluated student comments at the end of his courses and checked for successful completion rates.
Gene developed three telecourses in economics that focused on the Pacific Rim and Latin American areas, along with an International Economics course.
In geography, Gene made the first “International Futures Simulation.” His students created various regional and world agricultural, ecological, industrial, and demographic scenarios, using the interaction of multiple input variables.
He was the Business Department Head from 1996 to 2000.
When the Business Division had been targeted to move to the Washington State University Vancouver campus, Gene created a five-year schedule (with classrooms) so that students could take all their courses and earn certificates and degrees from that campus. Classrooms, student labs, and office assignments were part of the extensive plan.
A leader in distance education, Gene lead the way in Blackboard, Moodle and Canvas systems. At one time, Gene developed about two-thirds of the online courses at Clark.
Gene truly loved his family and appreciated his friends. Gene will be missed.
I want to start my term by saying that I'm super proud to work with so many people who are so entirely devoted to student learning and success--and so committed to supporting each other. I also want to thank the volunteers, members, community support and WEA staff who joined forces last year to send a clear message that faculty salary increases are long overdue.
The truth is that last year was one of Clark's most challenging in recent history. By far the most tragic event was the death of one of our beloved, ECE Professor Lora Whitfield. Lora passed away unexpectedly on July 9th.
We also suffered our second reduction in force in five years which resulted in several people losing their jobs. In addition, it became clear that the College had little interest in rectifying our salaries which are about 20 percent less than our K-12 colleagues with comparable education and experience.
Despite challenges that all too often create divisions between colleagues, we continued to have each other's backs. Moreover, hundreds of us came out numerous times to demonstrate our collective belief that students deserve teachers who are paid fair and professional wages. Our community, the Board of Trustees, and the College now know we will stand together and fight for what's right.
It's for these reasons that I'm both proud and excited to serve as CCAHE president. I've served as a Senator since I earned my tenure in 2014, but my faith in collective bargaining spans decades. My dad was a member of the the United Steelworkers Union (USW) and the the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), and my mom was a proud member of the BCTGM Union for 37 years.
Looking forward, I'm confident that we will continue to stand united for a healthy Clark College and a fair contract for both part-time and full-time faculty.
I also look forward to hearing what's important to each of you as well as representing CCAHE throughout the state. Most of all, I'm eager to roll up my sleeves and get to work helping to increase our salaries, improve our working conditions and protect our academic freedom.
Thank you for your support!
~Suzanne Southerland, CCAHE President