NORWALK – After nearly a year of negotiations, the Cerritos College Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new contract for the Cerritos College Faculty Federation last week.
The CCFF has been a commonly heard voice outside of the Board’s meetings, as they have held several rallies in their pursuit for a contract.
A tentative agreement between the CCFF and the Cerritos College district negotiation team was brokered in mid-August. Members of the union then went on to ratify the agreement –nearly unanimously – which was then presented to the Board of Trustees at Wednesday’s meeting.
The new contract will give full-time faculty a 10% raise over the course of three years, with part-time receiving 16.5% more over the same period of time. The number of paid office hours (including during summer session) are also increased.
The contract also includes an academic freedom article, regularizes funding for department chairs and program directors, and retains health and welfare benefits for full-time faculty.
Despite its eventual approval, the contract still managed to create its fair share of controversy when it arrived on the Trustees’ desks.
Many of the CCFF members were in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, clad in their usual red.
Upon the Board’s arrival from closed session, Board President Dr. Sin Liu explained to the crowd that the Board had yet to come to a decision and wished to discuss the matter further. The board then went on to discuss the school’s budget for well over an hour.
The obviously frustrated crowd of union members left the room, and it wasn’t long before the all-too-familiar chants of “What do we want” “A Contract!” echoed through the school’s halls once again.
The uproar successfully derailed the Trustee’s meeting; so much so that the Board was forced to go to recess until union members were able to settle themselves down. Eventually, the meeting was able to resume, and the Trustee Board was able to return to closed session to discuss the contract just a little bit more.
By night’s end President Liu announced that all seven members had voted to approve the contract.
Reaction to the news by the union was eerily silent initially. However, as the CCFF members quickly exited the room, cheers of joy would soon be heard just outside of the Cheryl A. Epple Board Room.