Two bills designed to improve the working conditions of part-time community college teachers were easily passed on Tuesday by the State Assembly’s Higher Education Commission, but doubts remain as to whether they will become law.
Bill of 1856, sponsored by Assemblyman José Medina, D-Riverside, the committee chairman, would allow part-time workers, usually called assistants, to teach up to 85% of the full-time teaching load in a single community university district. This would allow the deputies more stability and could reduce the need for some to teach in multiple districts for a living. Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed similar legislation that Medina sponsored last year, citing cost issues.
Bill 1752, sponsored by Assemblyman Miguel Santiago, a Democrat from Los Angeles, would create equal pay for part-time teachers and their full-time peers, who are paid higher hourly rates and compensated for work outside the classroom. , such as class preparation and meeting. with students. Attachments are usually paid only for time spent in the classroom and they complain that they usually meet with students, qualify for assignments, and prepare unpaid classes.
“There is a terrible inequality, not only in wages, but in what is paid and what is not paid. We ask that part-time instructors receive an equal salary, ”Santiago said during the hearing. “It’s about equal pay for equal work.”
The Santiago College was opposed on Tuesday by the Community College League, which represents local administrators and top administrators in the state’s 72 local districts.
“We really need to better compensate our part-time teachers and better working conditions,” Ryan McElhinney, the league’s policy and advocacy manager, told lawmakers. But, he added, “without a proportionate and significant budget increase, we do not think this bill will solve the problems facing our institutions today.”
Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2022-23 in January includes $ 200 million in new spending to improve complementary health care. But McElhinney noted that “California’s community colleges receive the lowest rate of funding per student in any state education system, and that forces them to make difficult decisions for our districts.” The improvement in additional pay, he said, is competing with compliance with pension obligations, free tuition and programs “to alleviate food, housing and student safety.”
Medina, a former deputy and trustee of the community school, came out strongly on Santiago’s account. He called part-time teachers the “backbone” of community schools and said he understands “the struggle they face to put food on the table” in the current system.
“Equal pay for equal work is almost as simple as it can be,” Medina said. There are “other forums” to discuss how much the project will cost districts and the state, he added. The draft has been approved and will be heard next by the Assembly Credit Committee.
The hearing came a day after two deputies from the Long Beach Community College district sued that district in a state court, alleging that they are routinely required to do homework such as preparing for classes and evaluating work for which they are not paid. They are asking a judge to certify the lawsuit as a class action, a move that would lead to hundreds of other district deputies as plaintiffs. Plaintiffs’ attorney said that if that happens, the district could easily face millions of dollars in damages for the loss of pay. A district spokesman declined to comment.
The suit could also have statewide ramifications. Deputies and their advocates say the practice of limiting overtime pay to classroom time and, in some cases, office hours, is common in all 72 local community university districts in California. Editors surveyed and interviewed for an EdSource three-part research series published in February often say they have to work for free to meet the needs of students.
Medina, who cited the series at a hearing in January, let supporters of the bill, the California Federation of Teachers and the Association of California Community College Faculties, push for committee support on Tuesday.
Michael Young, representing the teachers’ federation, said: “There are too many part-time teachers who have to drive from district to district to gather a full-time load … (and) spend more time on the highway than they do. essential to our students ”.
Newsom’s veto message last year on the Medina-sponsored similar bill cited general cost issues. Medina and others said some of those concerns involved health care costs. The individual contracts that districts negotiate with teachers’ unions often use the teaching load as an indicator for when adjuncts can qualify for health benefits.
Increasing the load makes more attachments eligible for coverage. State aid to districts to cover those costs was historically inadequate. But Newsom’s $ 200 million proposal is designed to fix that.
“We are working with the governor’s office to provide additional funding in the budget for any health care costs that may be associated with this bill,” Young said.
Bills to aid community college adjuncts advance in California Assembly Source link Bills to aid community college adjuncts advance in California Assembly