After weeks of negotiations and demonstrations on campus, members of the Pasadena City College faculty association and campus leaders have reached an agreement that faculty say ensures a safe environment for everyone on campus.
A majority of CCP students and staff returned to campus in late January amid a dispute between the college administration and teachers, many of whom believed it was too early for in-person learning at the mid winter coronavirus outbreak.
Revamped testing protocols requiring students to submit a test within 72 hours of first returning to campus, in addition to one test per week, have resulted in long delays before entering campus for some students.
Brianna Akopian, Marcus Gomez and
Youjin Song is on campus helping out today.
They said it was a little quieter than normal, but that may be because so many people are waiting for a COVID test, which is required 72 hours before visiting campus and then once a week after. pic.twitter.com/tnCI4ygpkk
— Brennon Dixson (@TheBrennonD) January 24, 2022
Headteachers described the efforts as “going above and beyond to provide a healthy and safe learning environment“. The Pasadena City College Faculty Association, feeling otherwise, told union members who were concerned about their health to conduct their classes remotely, off-campus, during scheduled days and times.
The district and union had already reached agreement on key areas regarding masking, testing and verification for a safe and smooth return to campus, according to a Feb. 1 statement on the PCCFA website. “However, the district refused to agree based on one point: they want to punish teachers for performing their duties safely and effectively – even though they have spent millions of dollars training us to do so. To do.”
Union leaders have vowed to vigorously defend those who have chosen to teach remotely rather than in person. And they believe they have succeeded in doing so.
“As you are surely aware, it was a very difficult and protracted negotiation process. Over the past two weeks, representatives from the district and the faculty association have met for many hours over several days, including weekends to ensure that we are dealing with any ongoing issues,” a joint statement from Vice President of Human Resources Robert Blizinski and PCCFA President Mark Whitworth. bed. “And although the process was often tense, we were able to agree on several elements,” including mandatory testing and recalls, data reporting and financial incentives.
Full terms of the agreement are not yet available, but school officials expect to release the document with the college board agenda on Friday, February 11. The deal will then be ratified at the February 16 board meeting.
According to the union’s website, the agreement provides:
- The district is providing N95, KN95, or surgical-grade masks for faculty.
- Faculty testing will continue throughout the spring semester and participants will receive compensation of $75.00 per week.
- Notifications should be sent to the Faculty Association Board of Directors and the campus community when a positive case of COVID is confirmed, whether a student, staff member or of a faculty member.
- District provides weekly COVID data on CCP dashboard; and
- Faculty members, both teaching and non-teaching, may be temporarily assigned to perform their duties remotely if they have tested positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic, or are caring for a immediate household member who has tested positive for COVID-19.
“The biggest sticking point in the negotiations was discipline against professors working remotely. The district’s tactics relied in part on threats — from messages from deans to 15-day suspensions,” according to the union’s website. “Ultimately, the district’s biggest concern was not safety but discipline.”
Instead of suspensions, the agreement calls for a letter of advice to be sent to all faculty – teaching and non-teaching, full-time and adjunct – who stayed away from January 24, 2022 to February 6, 2022 due to issues. safety, the website says. This letter will not form part of the unit member’s personnel file or be used as part of the unit member’s evaluation and will be destroyed by the Faculty Association by December 23, 2022, at provided that no insubordination occurs within the time specified. period.
“While this agreement is not perfect, the (union) believes that these safeguards, combined with the steadily declining transmission rates in LA County, provide a safer and more transparent work environment,” the message concludes. The district and faculty association will now begin to negotiate a successor agreement to their collective agreement.
“We are grateful that we have been able to move forward beyond our differences so that we can begin this process in positive and collegial terms,” Whitworth and Blizinski said in the statement this week. “Both parties are grateful for the input and support of the university community.”