OP-ED: Keeping Cerritos College stronger for students

Cerritos College is a special place where the lives of thousands of students have been changed since 1955. Many of our students are now successful local and national leaders and productive members of their own communities. The Board of Trustees greatly values all of the faculty and employees and believes the work they do for the students is remarkable.

It is the responsibility of the Board to ensure that it keeps the College strong. That means we must maintain strong financial resources to serve all of our students, employees and the community as the College has for the past 60 years.

The Cerritos College Board is open and willing to work with the Faculty Union to finalize a contract, and we believe we are on the way to doing so.  

The District appreciates all of the faculty’s efforts to inspire and teach our students, and has remained competitive with faculty wages to attract the best educators for our students. The District is willing to give a 10% raise to full-time faculty and 16% to part-time faculty over the next three years to continue to make faculty salaries highly competitive. 

The Union is requesting a 14% raise for full-time faculty and an 18% raise for part-time faculty. These requests are in addition to automatic yearly salary increases and an attractive health and wellness benefits package. To be clear, The District has also increased full-time faculty salaries by more than 10% since 2012.

The Board’s responsibility is to keep the College financially strong for our faculty and students. During the worst economic recession, the District did not have to furlough or lay off any employees because of our strong rainy day fund. If the District agrees to the Faculty Union’s salary requests, this could potentially result in cuts to critical student support programs, decreased course offerings, and potential employee furloughs and layoffs. Having a solid rainy day fund keeps the District strong and students in the classroom in the face of economic changes.

The Board is very proud to serve all of its students with innovative programs and job training opportunities. We are also happy with the progress we’ve made to make Cerritos College a great place to work for all employees. The Board will continue to make the hard decisions to protect tax-payer dollars and maintain a strong financial foundation to ensure student success.  

 This op-ed was written by the Board of Trustees for Cerritos College.