Update on Collective Bargaining with MPCTA (Aug. 29)
On August 29, 2017, the Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) bargaining team met with the Monterey Peninsula College Teachers Association (MPCTA) for collective bargaining. Regrettably, the only take away from the session was MPCTA’s belated rejection of a two-year contract offered by the College in June 2017.
You may recall that the parties met on June 28, 2017 after MPCTA asserted that the College walked away from the negotiating table on May 5th. The College agreed to meet again on June 28th to receive the counterproposal which MPCTA wanted to give on May 5th. On June 28th, MPCTA presented a comprehensive counterproposal to the College which still did not bring the parties to a full agreement on all terms. In response, the College presented a two-year contract proposal (click here to view 2-year contract with reopeners on unresolved issues)
The proposal would have: (a) Given unit members a multi-year contract, to lock in agreements that had been reached to date, and (b) Continued negotiations on the remaining issues in dispute (e.g., salary, benefits, workload, part-time faculty, and division chairs). In fairness, MPCTA initially proposed the concept of signing a short list T.A. to lock in agreed-upon progress while continuing negotiations. The College’s two-year contract proposal represented an adoption of MPCTA’s initial suggestion, and included several concessions on contract language that MPCTA had requested.
The June 28th proposal was neutral to both sides of the negotiating table. It would not have forced MPCTA to make any concessions on big ticket items, it would have put a contract in place for two years, and would have preserved MPCTA’s right to continue negotiating important items. At that meeting, MPCTA acknowledged and thanked the College for its concessions, but said that it was not prepared to respond.
MPCTA’s first available date to resume bargaining was August 29th. The College asked MPCTA to respond earlier to the proposed T.A., if possible, so that MPCTA could have a signed contract prior to the start of the new academic year. Unfortunately, there was no early response and the College first learned, on August 29th, that MPCTA rejected the two-year contract proposal. According to MPCTA, a significant reason for the rejection was that the proposal did not include a compensation increase in the salary schedule. MPCTA did not value the fact that, under the proposal, the parties would still continue to negotiate the issue of salaries. MPCTA also expressed disinterest in any proposal that funded a compensation increase largely by reducing the College’s expenses, if the savings were achieved through increased efficiencies.
Initially, MPCTA did not have a counter-proposal but it presented one upon the College’s request. Upon examination, the College learned that it was an identical copy of MPCTA’s June 28th proposal. The reissuance of MPCTA’s prior proposal is troubling, in that the lack of movement on any term indicates an unwillingness to compromise or bargain. The College reminded MPCTA that, contrary to publicly disseminated misinformation, College employees have received salary increases by several percentage points over the last ten years, both as step and/or column increases and salary schedule enhancements. Apparently, MPCTA does not believe this indisputable fact.
While the College seeks to increase employee compensation, the College also must maintain its fiscal solvency to ensure its survival as an ongoing institution. MPCTA has expressed an interest in completing negotiations at the next bargaining session on September 20th. The College shares that interest and is anxious to see if MPCTA will do more than simply reissue its June 28th prior proposal and expect the College to sign it.
See this webpage for a list of all current updates related to MPC's Collective Bargaining.