The College administration is committed to ensuring that we can continue to provide a quality, affordable education for our students today and into the future. With that in mind, we are trying to reach fair agreements with our unionized faculty and staff.
You may have heard that the Faculty & Staff Federation of Community College of Philadelphia (the union), which represents the College’s full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, and classified staff, recently took a strike authorization vote. While this does not mean that a strike will occur, the union’s communications state that there is a possibility of a strike starting as early as the week of March 11, 2019.
Our conversations with the union over the last three years include discussion of increasing our ability to respond quickly to the workforce needs of the community and the need to ensure that we are implementing best practices to ensure student success.
We believe these negotiations will lay a foundation for future student success. They will affect how much more tuition students will pay — not only in the next academic year — but for years to come. The College administration has held firm on tuition costs, raising tuition only once in the last five years. We understand that many bright futures are at stake.
The offer from the College administration to faculty and staff ensures that our employees receive competitive compensation and comprehensive benefits that are the envy of this city including:
- Raises: Under our best and final offer, all full-time faculty, credit-teaching adjuncts, and classified staff would receive a 4.55% raise effective upon ratification, another 2.65% on September 1, 2019, and another 3.0% on September 1, 2020. Our faculty will be among the highest paid community college faculty in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The College’s offer also ensures that all classified staff make a minimum of $15.00 per hour by September 1, 2020.
- Health Care: Full-time employees making less than $40,000 a year will not make any premium contributions for their medical and prescription insurance. Employees earning over $40,000 per year will have modest contributions toward medical and prescription premiums that are less than 1% of an employee’s salary in the first year of contributions — even for family health care coverage. These contributions will remain the same in 2019-2020, and increase slightly in the last year of the contract. During the first year of contributions, 2018-2019, employees making between $40,000 and $100,000 will receive a one-time payment of $200 to offset the costs.
- Paid time off: Full-time non-exempt (hourly paid) staff and 12-month faculty will continue to receive generous vacation, personal and sick time, a winter break, spring break, plus a 4-day work-week for 15 weeks during the summer.
- Retirement: The College will continue to contribute 10% of each full-time employee’s annual salary and 5% of each adjunct’s wages to their 403(b) retirement accounts. Retirement accounts are 100% vested from the start date of participation.
- Tuition Remission: All full-time staff, spouse/domestic partner, and children will continue to be eligible to take courses at the College on a tuition free basis.
- Workload: Current full-time faculty may choose to maintain their existing workload at 24 credits per year or opt for a 30 credit workload which comes with a nearly $10,000 increase in compensation.
- Class Sizes: Contrary to misinformation, the College is not proposing any increases to class sizes. The average class size at the College is 23 students.
The College administration’s offer is generous. It shows that we value faculty and staff, and appreciate their impact on student achievement. Rest assured that we are working toward an equitable resolution to our differences that does not negatively affect students. We must make decisions that ensure the College remains accessible, affordable and capable of responding to the long-term needs of our community. For now, we ask that you check your email and the myccp.edu website for the latest factual updates and alerts.
In the event of a strike, the Main Campus and Regional Centers will remain open to assist students. Many student services such as the Library, Athletics Center, Career Connections, Enrollment, Registration, and Financial Aid and various student centers will remain open. You should report to your classes after the Spring Break until notified of any changes by the College administration. The College will update students on the status of classes on a regular basis. Administrative personnel will be on hand to provide updates, respond to questions and attend to student challenges that may arise. At all times, our students’ educational needs remain our highest priority.
Dr. Donald Guy Generals