By Marco Siler-Gonzales/News Editor
Part-time teaching is a misleading concept, implying the teacher only works part of the week, but for many City College part-time instructors, it’s a full-time responsibility.
Fifteen hours a week delegates part-time work, but with additional responsibilities such as committee participation, preparation, subbing to make more money or working part time at other schools, it becomes a full-time job.
Part timers are paid 3.5 percent under the 2007 salary level.
Although City College part-time faculty are paid 36 percent more on an hourly basis than part-time faculty at other community colleges in the bay area, many argue they are still grossly underpaid.
In an update by the Employees Relations office, the district proposal to increase restorative wages pertains only to full-time teachers.
According to the update, “To the best of our ability, the goal is to address this inequity in full-time faculty salaries.”.
The district’s compensation proposal for part-time faculty only offers a cost of living adjustment– a cumulative increase of 3 percent over three years.
In a Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 22, part-time teacher Kate Frei said these adjustments are not able to compete with the cost of living in San Francisco.
“Since then (2007-08) inflation has gone up, cost of living has gone up about 16 percent, so that amounts to another pay cut,” Frei said.
In a response as to why part-time faculty are not offered restorative pay, Employees Relations office director Mickey Branca said they are committed to sustaining fair wages for all City College employees, but are using their limited funds to address the inequity in full-time faculty and classified staff.
Full-time faculty and classified salaries are significantly below what similar employees who work for bay area colleges earn.
“Unless we increase the salaries of our full-time faculty positions, we risk losing the best candidates for our open faculty positions to other bay area colleges,” Branca wrote.
Part timers may temporarily be upgraded to full-time schedules and pay rate, like ESL instructor Pattie Gallagher, but this does not guarantee job security.
“I still need to substitute teach to make hay while the sun shines, but I don’t know if next semester I’ll be so lucky,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher taught a full-time load in the summer, but for the few weeks before classes started and after they ended, Gallagher went on unemployment.
Gallagher used to work at three community colleges in the bay area, but she cleared her schedule in hopes of making permanent full time at City College.
“You have to have time for committee work and check off all the boxes,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher will work up to six days a week in order to save for next semester.
The district’s latest proposal to cut 25 percent of classes over the next five years would reportedly eliminate 356 full-time instructors. There are two and a half part-time instructors for every full-time instructor employed by the college.
Due to a plunge in enrollment, the district reasons the cut in class offerings is necessary to align the school’s budget with state funding and the actual number of students the college has.
“I still need to substitute teach to make hay while the sun shines, but I don’t know if next semester I’ll be so lucky.” —Pattie Gallagher
Many City College teachers think the drastic cut in class offerings is a step to downsize the college, and have taken matters into their own hands to draw in more students.
Part-time ESL instructor Danny Halford not only wears a sign that advertises City College is indeed still accredited and accepting enrollment, but is also a co-organizer of the Volunteer Enrollment Campaign to help boost City College enrollment.
ESL instructor Susan Lopez, women’s studies instructor Leslie Simon and Halford formed the campaign in July 2013, which has relied on 200 volunteers to pull in any prospective students around the city.
Interim Chancellor Susan Lamb and the Board of Trustees officially recognized the Volunteer Enrollment Campaign’s efforts on Oct. 23 via the Adult Education Block Grant (AB86), which will fund a full-time position for Lopez and some paid hours for a small group to work on the development of student enrollment this spring semester.
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