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The Monterey Peninsula College faculty, of which I am a member, have been without a contract since June 2013. That year, and the year before, the faculty agreed to pay cuts of 2 percent to help the college get through financial difficulties. Also that year, we got a new president, Walt Tribely, and a new HR director, Susan Kitigawa. Since their arrival faculty have not been able to achieve a current contract–it will be four years in June!

In the school year 2013-14, the college continued to claim a “structural deficit” but the end-of-year actuals showed almost a million dollars in new money.  Faculty filed a grievance to get the 2% cut from 2012-13 restored and an additional 1% owed by contract’s salary formula. We had to go to mediation to get a 1% raise that was contractually owed.

In 2013-14, the college requested more sacrifices and offered no raises. The faculty had agreed to a considerable compromise on health care.  In the midst of voting on the contract an email from the state surfaced that showed the president had lied to faculty about the state of the college’s budget. Early in the year he had claimed the state had put the college on warning about the budget and he used this as leverage to force concessions during negotiations. While faculty were voting we discovered the state had written to him and said that in fact the college was not under warning and that employee salaries were not at all unusual–in fact, they were below average.  This discovery ended negotiations that year and the contract was not approved.

In 2014-15, the district negotiators continued to seek concessions and offered nothing in return.

In 2015-16, faculty learned that the college budget actuals again showed new money and our salary formula dictated a raise of 4.39% retroactive to June 2015.  But the college refused to honor the contractual obligation and we had to grieve. Again it went to mediation. The mediator agreed with faculty but because we are out of contract we couldn’t go to binding arbitration. In order to give our faculty the first meaningful raise since 2007-2008 we agreed to 3% when we were owed 4.39%, and we agreed to defer it–with 1% in 2016-17 and 2% in 2017-18, and we agreed to remove the salary formula from our contract.

Each of these years the college has claimed a structural deficit anywhere from $1 million to $2.5 million. Yet again in October, 2016, the college revealed that its end-of-year actual for 2015-16 showed $2.5 million in unspent money, despite a budget for 2015-16 that projected a $2 million deficit. Thus, the college missed on the budget projection by $4.5 million on a $35 million dollar budget. And in negotiations for 2016-17 they continue to maintain that the college is in deficit and they continue to seek workload concessions that will lead to larger class sizes, faculty with more classes, and less time to grade and prepare for class.  All of these clawbacks will hurt students.

On April 21 the college regressively bargained: they had a 2% raise on the table going back to October and had not brought salary up all year during negotiations. At that meeting they said they could not offer any salary increase to full-time faculty and a 1% raise only to part-time faculty. Throughout negotiations that year the district had sought to coerce unpaid work from part-time faculty who are among the lowest employees of the college, have no job security from semester to semester, and who are only paid for the time in the classroom (no pay for time spent grading or prepping).

We had been fighting to get the district to recognize long-time part-timer faculty by allowing them to receive two-year extended contracts if they had a positive evaluation record and had taught at the college for at least seven years, but the college refused to do so.  We also had fought to ensure that part-time faculty who often teach at two or three colleges just to survive would not be required to do unpaid work, but the college continued to seek language that would allow them to coerce part-timer faculty to do unpaid work like program evaluation.

To give you some perspective: a part-time faculty person makes about $3,000 for a semester-length course.  To make $50,000, they would need to teach 17 courses. They get no benefits. Plus, they are prohibited from teaching more than three courses/semester at any one college.  Fifty percent of our courses are taught by part-time faculty.

The salary for our faculty is 61st out of 72 community colleges in the state and we are the lowest paid faculty in the area: as much as $10,000 a year lower than Hartnell and Gavilan, and nearly $20,000 less than Cabrillo and Foothill.

Meanwhile, this year the college has embarked on an ambitious expansion of administration and is in process of hiring five new deans and a new vice president for planning. It has reclassified the director of the foundation as a vice president, giving her a $100,000 raise.  They are spending over $800,000 a year on lawyer fees. They ignored faculty’s recommendation to bring in the state accountants to get an objective fiscal audit that would tell us the true state of the budget.

On May 5 after leading us to believe they wanted to make a deal, they gave us a last and best final offer that includes all kinds of workload concessions that are bad for students as well as other clawbacks in benefits, with no proposed raise to the salary schedule.  They are offering some raises to coaches and some small pay for part-time office hours; that’s it.

Please come out to support us at the next board meeting, 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 31,  at the Marina Center, 289 12th Street, Marina, room MA-404.  Public comment starts at 1:30.

Also, the board has scheduled an “emergency” meeting for 8 a.m. Tuesday  to evaluate the president. That meeting is at MPC’s Sam Karas Room, next to the library. We fear that they are going to extend President Tribely’s contract! This would be a huge mistake.

Please share with friends who care about labor and education.  And if you can come to either meeting to speak or show support, we appreciate it.

Haffa teaches at MPC and is a member of the Monterey City Council.

{ 46 comments… add one }
  • Bob Coble May 7, 2017, 9:06 pm

    If the MPC faculty decides to strike or just demonstrate I will be happy to walk their picket lines. I was a student at MPC back in the late 1950’s, and it saddens me to see the college being led by such regressive administration.

    • Terry J Tetter May 8, 2017, 11:45 am

      Hi Bob,

      Steff and I thank you your your support on this issue!

      Dr.R

  • Natalie Gray May 7, 2017, 10:05 pm

    I wish I could come that day Alan, but I’ll be in my nutty last week of school. I will come as soon as I can though. Ridiculous how Monterey treats ALL of its teachers, from MPC down to Kinder.

  • Patty Cramer May 7, 2017, 10:06 pm

    The faculty at MPC has my support. I am appalled that these teachers, who are molding the future of our country by teaching students are being treated so poorly. Viva La Union! Let’s get behind our teachers!!! Their jobs aren’t easy!!

  • Beverly G Bean May 7, 2017, 10:13 pm

    So President Tribely has repeatedly lied to the faculty about the budget and finances of MPC and squeezes the non-tenured, part time faculty which carries 50 per cent of the teaching load. They are underpaid and forced to do extra work without compensation. They are denied a contract or any benefits for years and at the same time, large amounts are being spent on increased administration.
    Has the faculty senate has voted “no confidence” in Tribley? Has there been any previous publicity about this situation? How has this gone on for so long? Where is the Board of Trustees oversight?

    I am appalled by this situation and hope that many Partisan readers will show up at 8 am Tuesday to let the Board know that Tribely has failed in his responsibility to the teachers and students of the College.

  • Jane Haines May 7, 2017, 10:14 pm

    I will speak in support of the faculty at the May 31 Board meeting. Thank you for letting us know what’s happening. Jane Haines (MPC Board member 1987-91)

  • Jane Haines May 7, 2017, 10:18 pm

    I will speak in support of the faculty at the May 31 Board meeting. Thank you for letting us know what’s going on. (Jane Haines, MPC Board member 1987-91.)

  • Doc Jones May 8, 2017, 5:55 am

    Right on the mark. I am fortunate to have retired from MPC before the “small hands” Tribely years. The morale of faculty and staff is low because of this out of state carpetbagger and his antics and “alternative facts.” However the morale of working with students is very high and students who transfer to CSUMB and UCSC have high praises for the MPC faculty.
    Part of the problems is that MPC has had a few excellent administrators, but many have been clowns and are petty and ineffective. Two problems have caused this. The first is the Board of Trustees, they do not vet outside and in house applicants as well as they might. In the future the MPC Board needs a house cleaning and new blood and direction. The second area of concern is the values, morals and ethics that incoming administrators have. There needs to be much work done in this area. Good luck to the MPC faculty and staff.

  • Alex May 8, 2017, 6:32 am

    MPC is a valuable community resource and the administration has always managed to short-change the excellent faculty. My son, who is finishing up his third AA-T this semester and will start CSUMB in the Fall, has always had excellent things to say about his instructors. I can’t believe they are hiring five more deans and a VP before taking care of the faculty, who are the ones actually making a difference in young lives!

  • Kelly Stack May 8, 2017, 7:36 am

    For more information about the MPC Teachers Association, our contract, and our history of negotiations with the district, please visit mpcta.org.

  • Gregory D Lee May 8, 2017, 7:39 am

    What is it about California school administrators that prompt them to be dishonest with staff and make boneheaded decisions? MPC definitely needs new leadership.

    • Bob Oliver May 8, 2017, 8:26 am

      The whole Country needs new Leadership. Who killed JFK, MLK, RFK, Oswald, and the rest? We know. Stop the Denial! Where are the riots in the streets? Where are the rallies of peaceful march!
      911 an Inside Job.

  • sam May 8, 2017, 2:30 pm

    If I am correct, since the arrival of President Tribely, MPC is on the verge of losing its accreditation.
    Can someone verify if this is a fact?

  • bill leone May 8, 2017, 2:32 pm

    This is why Unions (not Associations) are important to all workplaces & communities, regardless of their zip code.

    As a result of my working experience, in the military, in the retail sector, having my own business for
    20 years (The Bagel Bakery), working for United Airlines at the Monterey Airport, working as a teacher for over 15 years at the Monterey Unified School District, in addition to various & sundry jobs in the US & England…..& studying Organizational Behavior at the graduate level at UCSB, I have found the following principal to hold true regarding All types of organizations: Organizations which treat their employees well will also treat consumers of their goods &/or services well; that is, in a compassionate, fair & honest manner. Inversely, organizations which are administered without compassion, fairness & honesty toward their employees, will treat their consumers, customers, or Students in the same way.

    Think: Trump University.

    Organizations that exploit their employees do not make a positive contribution to our community & must be changed or eliminated (MPC Amin, You’re Fired!).

  • bill leone May 8, 2017, 2:36 pm

    Correction: not “principal,” but “principle.”

  • William Lindsay May 8, 2017, 3:41 pm

    Sounds like not much has changed since I retired in 1997. When I arrived on campus in 1967, the President was Bob Faul and the first thing I remember him doing was giving the faculty an additional 3% salary increase because there was “money left over”. Things got worse as the faculty made less and less while the administration made more and more. I’m sorry for this state of affairs. I loved MPC then and I hate to see the diminishment of the institution as time goes by. It appears that Mr. (Dr.?) Tribley ought to look for a new job.

  • Michael Beck May 8, 2017, 4:48 pm

    Through the years, what has made MPC formidable, has been the commitment of faculty to help students’ dreams come true in receiving an enriching college education. Faculty enjoy MPC’s environment because the focus remains on the student and teaching, not grants, not publishing, not necessarily research, but rather teaching and guiding students in the college milieu. The Monterey Peninsula has always been supportive of MPC. Don’t stop now. Recognize the true jewel of MPC, the instructors, that make MPC great.

  • Alan Washburn May 8, 2017, 5:30 pm

    Where is the other side here? Surely some members of the MPC administration have read this. If what MPC is doing is reasonable, please say why.

  • Karl Pallastrini May 8, 2017, 6:58 pm

    As a former MPC student, and now an inductee into their hall of fame, Alan has a point. We are hearing only one side of the issue here. If we look at the situation…MPC is transitioning to more of a college prep institution, having to limit or reduce the Gentrain programs, as dictated by the CSU and UC system schools, and state Legislature. This is a result of the tremendous application interest in both the CSU and UC system schools, both from within the State and Beyond. It is the “Beyond” that is the problem. Out-of-state tuitions are far higher than in-state, making it difficult for both systems to turn down qualified students and….the difference in tuition which is significant. Probably the best way to present this issue to the public is to show the difference between local Community Colleges, i.e. Hartnell, Cabrillo and Gavilan in regards to actual salary data. What are the issues between community-based programs and college-prep requirements. MPC admin is likely to have an institutional “muzzle” regarding salary and negotiations. Regardless, there is more to the story than we know. I do know this…if it had not been for MPC back in the late 1960’s, I would be no where. The faculty at that time was far beyond the quality that I encountered at the University. How about these names…Winona Trason – Biology / Mel Bristow – Geology / Homer Bosserman – Astronomy / Dr. Jack Leach – Politics / Eddie Karas – English / Dr. Dutton – Economics / N. Ray. Gilmore – US. History / Chris Pappas – Physical Education / and I could go on. Joan Baez played at the flag pole on a regular basis, and the MPC football field was the home of the over-flow itinerate crowd needing a place to sleep during the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. I still love the place.

    • sam May 8, 2017, 7:14 pm

      MPC is NOT transitioning to more of a college prep institution.
      MPC IS at very high risk of losing its accreditation.
      IF/WHEN MPC loses its accreditation, MPC’s grads will NOT be able to transfer to a 4 year college.

    • sam May 9, 2017, 3:17 am

      Karl Pallastrini is forgetting back when he was a student in the 1960s, all those professors he listed were probably full time because back in the days of Gov. Pat Brown, almost all professors were full time. Now fully 50% of courses are taught by part timers who receive $6K per course and are limited to a maximum of 3-courses per year. 50% of the professors canNOT earn more than $18,000 per year at MPC.

      • sam May 9, 2017, 3:18 am

        Correction: that is $6K per course/per year (not semester).

  • Tom May 9, 2017, 1:30 am

    Teachers, like any other tax payer funded salaries, shouldn’t be unionized – even FDR agreed with that. Teachers already make enough for what they produce. Maybe someday when we can reach a balance of 50/50% conservative-liberal teaching staff, then maybe we can talk about what educators are worth. Meanwhile, poisoning young minds full of socialist mush is already over paid.

    • sam May 9, 2017, 3:22 am

      Tom stated “teachers already make enough” 50% of MPC’s professors are part-timers limited to 6 courses per year, $18K per year. Tom, 50% of MPC’s professors are making less than a high school dropout working at McDonald’s.

      • Tom May 10, 2017, 1:37 am

        If any of them are complaining about not making enough because they are part time, maybe they should look for another school or some sort of different career. There are plenty of school districts that are short handed and need more teachers. I’m sure that there’s some Jr. High some where that needs help……teaching is teaching. Go where the jobs are. It’s the individual responsibility of each teacher to find some place to fit their skills……not the tax payer’s responsibility to pay more to keep them in their preferred location.

  • sam May 9, 2017, 3:26 am

    Walter Tribley gets $220K+ benefits while 50% of his faculty is prohibited from earning more than
    $18K per annum and NO benefits.
    http://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2015/monterey-peninsula-college/walter-tribley/

  • sam May 9, 2017, 3:36 am

    FACT: MPC staff (e.g., secretaries, gardeners, janitors) are paid more than 50% of the professors.
    And, the secretaries, gardeners and janitors receive benefits (e.g., health insurance and retirement) that are NOT received by 50% of the professors.

    • sam May 9, 2017, 3:37 am

      Reminder: 50% of the professors are limited to a maximum of $18K per year. MPC janitors make considerably more than $18K per year. And the janitors are given medical and pension. 50% of the professors receive neither.

      • Tom May 11, 2017, 12:25 am

        Come on Sam! How many janitors are there compared to how many profs?…..and no, they aren’t “given” medical & Pension, I’m sure an investment amount is deducted from their checks. Are you one of those who think your pay check is what you read on the bottom line? Go up to the top item that is listed as “gross” – that’s what you should have been paid before the gov’t stole all the other deductions. “Withholding” was pure genius on the part of gov’t. If everyone had to write a check for what they owed in taxes and other deductions, the size of gov’t would be an entirely different picture from what it is today.

        • Helga Fellay May 13, 2017, 12:13 pm

          why do I have the uncomfortable feeling that “Tom” is probably a Trust Fund baby who has never worked a day in his life and feels that university professors don’t deserve to be paid more than $18,000 per year (which would make them homeless, because in this town people pay more than that in rent alone (without utilities). Nobody with both feet on the ground and in touch with reality could possibly say such idiotic things, and don’t get me started on such unchristian things, such callous and hateful things……………..

  • Karl Pallastrini May 9, 2017, 7:05 pm

    Sam…yes MPC is transitioning to a College Prep program (which has always been in place) in order to meet the serious enrollment issues at the CSU and UC system schools. Applications to those colleges and universities are far beyond the ability of the system to accommodate. Forget about the why’s or oversight failures of the state University system, and get a clue that Community Colleges are now asked to play a greater role in creating opportunities for students who are not getting accepted as freshman to the 4 year schools. Included in those are students who are not ready to be start college after high school. One thing is for sure…what you get at MPC and most Community Colleges is a far better 2 year program than you would get from the State University System. The CSU and UC schools largely provide Graduate Teaching Assistants in the first two years of general education requirements. Students often do not know who the actual Professor really is. Not true in the Community colleges. No question that the funding for what were once Junior Colleges has changed, but careful with your observation that MPC, Hartnell, Cabrillo, Gavilan et. al are not moving forward with a re-designed purpose, courtesy of the state of California. The charge? Provide a quality 2 year education, so that graduates can apply and be accepted for years 3 and 4, which focus on the students major course of study…rather than General Education Requirements. I agree that full-time instructors need to be fully compensated. Part-time staff, in either the K-12 system or Community College system have always been a bargain. They work hard to provide a quality program without watching the clock. They are also taken advantage of..(sorry for ending the sentence with a preposition). It is common knowledge that they are often kept below the required minimum load in order to keep them off of the Health Benefits schedule. No argument there.

  • bill leone May 9, 2017, 10:17 pm

    Anyone who has worked at MPC for Any length of time, will tell you, the “necessary” changes that have been made at MPC have resulted in the school becoming Less of a COMMUNITY College, & more of a Junior College that weeds out “undeserving” students (usually poor & minority students) on the basis of their “low academic performance.” Case in point: many of the academic requirements & policies have become more restrictive & difficult to overcome. At the same time support services for underprivileged students are being eliminated. For example, there was once a Food Pantry, located in the pink “Women’s Studies” building, which was open to all students, men & women, during most school hours; they served soup & stale bread (from the school cafeteria) to undernourished students, had spare clothing for students who were in need of warm clothes, & provided books, small loans & emotional support to any student who was in need. One particularly mean, nasty administrator came, saw, & vanquished the entire Food Pantry project on a whim. Needless to say, she no longer works at MPC, but has moved on to do more damage at another Community College (no doubt); the woman who started & maintained the Food Pantry Project lost her job. Other examples abound.
    Perhaps the reason these draconian measures have been (& are) taken is due to the mentality of Neanderthals who believe the main function of higher education is to indoctrinate vulnerable young minds with “socialist mush,” & would prefer, instead, the sober teachings of White, Christian, Nationalist Propaganda.

  • Karl Pallastrini May 10, 2017, 8:46 pm

    Bill…that is not the MPC that I know. And I know from being a High School Principal that sends students to MPC. The Community College engaged itself in Gen-train, as I mentioned in an earlier e-mail. Those are largely fee-based programs for anyone in the community interested in taking high interest classes that are not about the the next steps in the college going culture. There is a good argument for them, in that local taxpayers pay for MPC, as a part of their tax base. They are also revenue producers for a state under-funded Community College budget. This is similar to the UC / CSU system schools catering to out-of-state students who pay much higher tuition rates. You are either unaware or mis-informed about the charge of the Community Colleges. There is no “weeding out” of under served students. Anyone can enroll…even High School students through con-current enrollment. You do not need a high school diploma to enroll. The diploma can be achieved with con-current college approved classes. Essentially, there are no academic enrollment requirements at MPC, or any of the Community Colleges in California. There may be issues regarding the costs of enrollment, but the door is open to all comers. Your comments about closing support programs for the under served students is credible, and sad. Regardless, MPC along with all Community Colleges throughout the state are being called on to address the overload at the UC/CSU system schools. Times have changed. The Junior College approach is one of the best opportunities for under-served students to get into the University system. They will be applying for Junior standing…and that is a world of difference in regards to applying as a Freshman…right out of high school. There chances of acceptance as Juniors is almost guaranteed. You have to be on the inside of the issues facing Community Colleges, CSU and UC entrance requirements and expectations. I have been there…and continue to be.

  • jim guy May 11, 2017, 8:25 am

    I believe instructors at public colleges work hard at their jobs. At the same time, I wonder if we should connect this post to the one below and ask the question: Are they as public sector workers, more entitled to support than the tire monkey at the local service center, or the fry cook, or the farmworker or the journalist?
    Public employees are often able to chose their bosses through the ballot process in a way that private sector workers cannot and sometimes seem to have a sense of entitlement that has in turn led to out-of-wack unfunded pension liability that is careening out of control in California. It’s a fair question to ask if that is equitable to everyone. So, should the college raise taxes to better serve its instructors at the expense of those who may be paid less, with no protection at all?

  • bill leone May 11, 2017, 6:54 pm

    Karl, much of what you say is true. However, I strongly suggest you speak with someone who has worked with students on Financial Aide, Student Veterans & other students without significant means,
    to get a sense of the impact recent changes in MPC’s policies, course requirements & procedures have had on its student body.
    There is a reason why 72% of incoming students at MPC will Not meet their academic goals. Sure the requirements for registration are for almost Anyone, but the idea of taking courses at MPC is to get a vocational certificate, get an AA or an AS, or transfer to a four-year college, & a Lot of students are Not doing any of those things. In the meantime, MPC is planning to hire more Administrators, & not
    put more resources into teachers’ salaries or remedial programs. What sort of message does that send to the Community, of which MPC is (by way of my property taxes) is a part?
    I know this, because I’ve talked to many people who have worked & still work at MPC for a long time.
    Moreover, I attended MPC in the late 1950’s.

    • sam May 13, 2017, 10:44 pm

      Mr. Leone states he attended MPC in the late 1950s, that was 60 years ago!
      MPC and ALL California Community Colleges are vastly different than they were 60 years ago!

  • Karl Pallastrini May 12, 2017, 7:18 pm

    Bill…you have a point. There is some kind of dis-connect between student success, Faculty and Staff salaries and the addition of Administrative staff. It is probably a good idea to read MPC’s Annual report to see what the data indicates. Adding Certificated Administrative staff is certainly questionable at best. We have to remember that any Staff salary increases to “all-staff” have a proportionately higher return to the higher salaried individuals. 1% to Professors is different than 1% to cabinet level administrators. A full expose would be in the best interests of the public. Given the level of Staff concern about the proceedings…something is amiss.

  • bill leone May 13, 2017, 10:04 pm

    Here’s a suggestion: instead of hiring More Administrators to administrate Less Students, since student enrollment is down by a significant percentage at MPC, why not use the resources that would be paid out in Administrative salaries to instead bolster student support programs, since course requirements are getting more difficult to meet each passing semester. Or, give current full or part-time teachers extra pay to come up with creative support classes in the subjects & requirements that 72% of students fail to achieve; that is Math, English, Speech, & the TEAS Nursing School exam. Most, if not all, of these course requirements could be handled by almost Every student with the proper coaching, tutoring, test-taking strategies, & Anxiety-reduction techniques.
    Otherwise, MPC, as a Junior College…that is just a feeder school for 4-year colleges….will be a rubber-stamp verification of an unjust system of economic inequality, racial discrimination, & social stratification.

  • bill leone May 14, 2017, 2:35 pm

    Sam, it is true that Community Colleges have changed (they were once called Junior Colleges) in many ways in the past 60 years, including MPC; however, judging from Mr. Lindsay’s comment, MPC has been denying teachers’ fair & deserved salary increases, while, at the same time, hiring more Administrators & paying them ever higher salaries (in spite of decreasing enrollment) since 1967, that’s 50 years!

    Some things do Not change.

  • bill leone May 15, 2017, 12:25 pm

    Correction: No apostrophe in “…denying teachers….”

  • Bev Kreps May 19, 2017, 9:40 am

    A recent article in The Herald by Walter Tribley said that community college graduates could look forward to “…nearly triple their pre-degree earnings after five years in the workforce. About 48 percent of students who graduated with an associates degree earned $56,000 or more annually five years after getting their degree.” The part time MPC teachers ( half of the faculty) who have advanced degrees may well ask why Tribley wants them to work for a third of what their students expect. Teachers with no benefits and such low salaries must be extremely self sacrificing, while Mr. Tribley sacrifices nothing on his inflated $200,000. Some comparison!

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