By Ann Marie Galvan
On April 25, 2023, City College and AFT 2121 — the college’s faculty union — signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that changed the eligibility requirements for health insurance. The MOU, which is a non-binding agreement between parties that lays the foundation for a future formal agreement, allows more faculty to qualify for medical coverage.
This expansion of benefits comes free of cost for City College. The college is eligible for 100% reimbursement from the state, and the state will reimburse City College for money spent already on part-time faculty benefits. AFT 2121 said that this will bring “$800,000 each year in additional funding to the college.”
Starting immediately, part-time faculty can access medical insurance, and faculty who are not otherwise eligible for City College-paid insurance can now buy into the college’s plans, paying both the employer and employee portions of the premiums.
Additionally, part-time faculty who work for multiple public community colleges are eligible for partial reimbursement of insurance premiums, and if their combined workload across all schools reaches at least 40%, they can receive partial compensation.
This agreement was reached in the wake of an Unfair Labor Practice complaint filed by the union against the district, which, in April, prompted the Public Employment Relations Board to order City College administration to cease their failure to negotiate in good faith with AFT 2121.
The complaint was specifically filed in reaction to bargaining over the restoration of faculty salary concessions for 2021-22, the union said. In 2021, AFT 2121 agreed to 4-11% salary cuts in an effort to stave off layoffs, as well as a reduced course schedule, and the union said that “Chancellor David Martin and his negotiating team have refused to engage in good faith on this matter.”
The union wants the district to shift its investment priorities towards the classroom, instead of allocating resources to “reserves, transfers, trust funds, supplies, and consultants.” By prioritizing educational services and ensuring adequate staffing, City College can better “serve students and build enrollment,” AFT 2121 said in their budget projections.
Bargaining between AFT 2121 and the district is still ongoing.