Chaffey's First Governing Board Meeting of the Semester
Story by Emily Sullivan
The Agenda Meetings of the Governing Board for Chaffey Community College District was held on January 25, 2018 in the Board Room of the Marie Kane Center for Student Services. It attracted a larger than usual audience filled with faculty members, classified staff, police officers, dreamer representatives, and students, as well as agenda meeting participants there to protest, voice grievances, and give impact statements.
Among the classified staff waiting to give an impact statement was Kim Noseworthy, who wore a large sign on her back depicting the wage increase percentages that clearly favor the administrators of the college and leave the classified staff out to dry. Kim stated, “Salary increase since 2010 has been 7% [for classified staff], administrators at this college have received increases over 10%, we’re talking 15% and 20% . . . and some even more. We went a three year contract and we took no raises, no step increases, no advancement for anybody in our whole bargaining unit and a week after we signed that contract the administrators at the college all received a minimum 10% raise, so we tried to help the college at a time when they needed it and they pretty much kicked us in the face, so we’re trying to stand strong.” Classified employee Kim is Chaffey College’s Distance Education Support Specialist and has been with Chaffey since 2001. She started as a specialist handling distance education, managing twelve online sections. Today the same two-person support staff handles almost 300 sections. Kim is tired, she wants a raise and she wants to feel appreciated.
Also representing the classified staff and waiting to give an impact statement was Monica Han, Chaffey College Administrative Assistant, and California School Employee Association Chapter 431 President, speaking on behalf of classified staff members and specifically Skyler King, giving a report on CSEA conditions. Han stated, “We love what we do; we’re passionate about serving students and building the union because if people are happy with their jobs and with the people they work with, they’re going to perform better. It’s all about attitude, if you have a good attitude that’s going to translate and students pick up on that, we’re all about morale, and building solidarity. Contract negotiations have been difficult this time around because our employees are falling behind in the economy and Chaffey college practices equity which we fully support we just want to ensure Chaffey practices equity through all aspects of the college which includes labor relations. Without meaningful movement in our contract we will have a minimum wage contract, and when we talk about Chaffey being a world-class institution, does having a minimum wage contract support that? That’s what we’re fighting for, better working conditions because better working conditions support better student learning conditions.”
According to transparentcalifornia.com, wage increases for the highest earning member of Chaffey College Administrative Staff from 2015 to 2016 was $48,877.81 and wage increases for a classified staff member, like Kim or Monica, from 2015 to 2016 was $5,193.36.
Story by Ayannah Dimas
After using her personal vacation time Sarah Schmidt, an Instructional Assistant at the Fontana Success Center spoke at the Governor's Board meeting to address some issues that were brought to her attention and the attention of others. Sarah expressed that the school is not providing the equity classified staff requires to live day to day. Sarah is a single mother who commutes from Hesperia to Fontana which she calls her "community." She expresses her pain when staff members are struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living. She knows first hand how this feels. In an interview Sarah explained how there have been certain years in the contracts of classified workers where they have not received raises, 2010, 2011, and 2012 in particular. They received slight raises in their most recent contract but it is not enough. She explains how ever day she fights for an equitable experience for her students yet the institution will not consider an equitable pay for those doing the work.
Story by Amalia Escobedo
Every student at some point in their college life has complained about the injustices that take place on campus, but how many of those problems get resolved. The real question that should be asked is, are those problems being discussed to the right people. Chaffey College has a Governing Board that consist of five community elected members and one Student who has been chosen by the student body. This means that this one person is in charge of representing all of chaffey's students. This one individual hears and pleas for the needs and rights of the students, before the higher up's in Chaffey's administration. The crazy part is that students pay for this representation and yet half of them don't even know what that means or why Board Meetings take place. Board Meetings are open to the public and they take place every fourth Thursday of the month in the administration building. During these meetings, decisions are taking place that will in the future affect the staff and Students in Chaffey.
This year's elected Student body president and trustee is Diana Contreras. She is dedicated, strong willed and has a heart for Chaffey Students to thrive and succeed on the road to a better education. She wants everyone to be engaged and attend these types of board meetings. She cannot stress the fact of how important it is for students to be aware of the administrative decisions taking place on their behalf and they way they can have a say so on what is happening. Knowledge is powerful and she wants to let individuals know that they have a voice and it needs to be heard.