MENDOCINO Co., 10/22/18 — The Service Employees International Union local 1021 (SEIU), which represents about 150 of Mendocino College classified and temporary employees, will set up an informational picket at the Mendocino College’s Ukiah campus on Tuesday, October 23 to talk about their concerns over a proposal to deny them a standard cost of living allowance (COLA), pay increase.
According to the union, the pay increase (COLA) is provided by the state to the college, and has historically been passed onto the employees — however, this year their is a proposal to not pass on those monies.
In response, the union will be holding an informational picket at Pomo Plaza at the Mendocino College Ukiah campus.
Here’s the full press release from SEIU 1021:
Mendocino College Classified and Temporary Employees to Hold Informational Picket at Ukiah Campus, Tuesday, Oct. 23
SEIU 1021 calls on College Administration to address equity and fairness issues
Ukiah—SEIU Local 1021, which represents more than 150 Classified and Temporary employees at Mendocino Lake Community College District (MLCCD,) will hold an Informational Picket at the Ukiah Campus (1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah) on Tuesday, October 23 at 12:30pm to draw attention to concerns over fairness and equity at the college.
Classified and Temporary employees are picketing to share their serious concern with the broader college community regarding a dramatic change that is being proposed by the Administration at MLCCD, specifically issues of equity and fairness for temporary employees.
Each year the state provides the MLCCD funding for Cost of Living Allowances (COLA), and the College District has historically passed along the COLA to workers. This year the MLCCD has announced that they will not offer the state-provided COLA as a wage increase.
“With the ever-rising cost of living in the area, the annual cost of living allowance makes a huge difference in our lives,” said Ginger Bushway, who works as a Nursing Program Technician. “This is a huge departure from the District’s practices but also from its values of fairness and respect for everyone.”
“Mendocino-Lake Community College District takes pride in its attention to equity on campus, and rightfully so,” said Kimberly Pinson, a Financial Aid Technician. “We have been doing our part in developing innovative and proactive approaches to make the college a more inclusive and welcoming place for students, but the message that we’re getting is that if we can’t afford to work here, then we should go somewhere else.”
There is one group on our campuses that is facing particular challenges–workers who are classified as ‘Short Term Temporary Employees.’ These are employees, whose responsibilities range from Registration Assistants to Custodian to Laboratory Assistants for limited time periods. Many return year after year to meet the increasing demands of the District. Most are workers of color who are making low wages. Despite annual renewals of their “short-term” employees, they continue to be trapped in precarious jobs, with no guarantee of a regular schedule or a continuing position. They receive few benefits, and get paid a fraction of what permanent employees receive, for doing the exact same work.
Who: Mendocino Lake Community College Chapter members, SEIU Local 1021
What: Picket and Rally at Mendocino Lake Community College-Ukiah Campus
When: Tuesday, October 23, 2018, 12:30pm
Where: Pomo Plaza, Ukiah Campus, 1000 Hensley Creek Road
SEIU Local 1021 represents nearly 60,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs and schools throughout Northern California, including more than 800 Mendocino County workers. www.seiu1021.org
Statement from MLCCD Chapter President Toni Fort
My name is Toni Fort. I am the President of the Mendocino-Lake Community College Chapter of Classified and STNC employees.
And I am here at the request of our membership to alert you to a serious concern that we have regarding a dramatic change that is being proposed by the Administration here at Mendocino-Lake Community College.
Let’s be clear a one-time bonus is not a salary increase. A salary increase is when your wage goes up and stays up. A one-time bonus is temporary money that does not address the higher cost of living going forward. If we had one-time living expenses, this might work, but we don’t. The Cost of Living keeps going up and our salaries need to as well or we fall behind. The increase we are asking for is modest and is being funded by the State.
There is an actual salary increase being considered by the Administration, a rather large salary increase in fact, 20% over 4 years. The proposed increase is for Vice Presidents. Now, we don’t begrudge them there increase, I’m sure it is well deserved. But, this is all the more difficult to swallow when we only being offered a one-time bonus and being told the College’s financial future is uncertain. The College’s future is not uncertain. In fact, the District is well positioned and has a commitment from the State for three years of a guarantee that will hold harmless and maintain the current budget. At previous College Trustee meetings, the Administration has reported on how much better the budget is looking.
We believe that Mendocino-Lake Community College can meet the challenge of the new funding formula and excel. We are not frightened but committed to showing that our College can provide superior education for all our community’s residents.
All we are asking is for the College to invest in us, the same way we invest our time, energy and talent into this institution that we all love so much. For us this is an issue of respect. We work behind the scenes most of the time but we still like our work to be acknowledged and valued.
We are determined and committed to getting a fair and just contract. The State has provided the District with the funds to guarantee a basic level of security for its employees. We are merely asking that these funds be forwarded on in good faith.