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Union: College district's deficit isn't certain

Colleges and UniversitiesUnemployment and LayoffsJob Layoffs

Coast Community College District's full-time faculty union isn't on board with a proposed 3% across-the-board cut meant to avoid layoffs, especially after learning that top administrators have received raises, a union representative said.

District officials say they need employees to take a cut on salary or benefits, which make up 90% of the budget, to fill in a projected $3-million deficit in 2012-13.

But the Coast Federation of Teachers doesn't believe a deficit is certain, and if it is, the district should explore other ways to close the gap.

"It's not the only option, and it doesn't seem like the best option," said Dean Mancina, federation president. "I think if it was necessary we would get on board, but it's not necessary."

The district's board of trustees — which oversees the Orange Coast, Coastline Community and Golden West college campuses — took a 3% pay cut Tuesday after approving a resolution asking employees to voluntarily slash their compensation.

Trustees say they are trying to stave off an estimated 30 to 40 layoffs for classified employees.

District officials couldn't be reached for comment on the deficit.

The cut to employees would be negotiable and instituted through furloughs, or cuts to salaries and benefits, according to the resolution.

Mancina said previous union concessions on health benefits should cover the projected deficit. Furthermore, the board's resolution isn't the way negotiations work, he said.

The union and district start with interests and explore different ways to get there, he said.

"I think it's another example of the district being disrespectful to the work of the faculty," Mancina said.

Coast Federation of Classified Employees President Ann Nicholson declined comment.

The president of the management association did not return calls, and the president of the part-time faculty union couldn't be reached.

The recent news of top administrator pay raises and mileage allowances also doesn't lend to the full-time faculty to reducing their pay, Mancina said.

The board approved more than $80,000 in administrators' raises and mileage allowances in November for the three college presidents and district vice chancellors, the news of which broke earlier this month.

The trustees have since defended the raises, contending that the administrators were hired at lower salaries and needed to be brought up to more competitive levels.

Some faculty and students, though, were outraged that raises were given when classes are being cut.

"This does not set the state for the faculty to take a pay cut," Mancina said.

britney.barnes@latimes.com

Twitter: @britneyjbarnes

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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