California Teachers Association representatives arrived at PCC on Aug. 30 to defend their position as union for Pasadena City Colleges’ teaching staff.”The CTA/CCA has been representing the teaching staff at PCC forever,” according to one its representatives, Carolyn Debrower.
But the question asked by the one of the members of the union, a part-time instructor, echoed the sentiments of others: “What has the union done for us lately.”
Although some PCC faculty support the notion that their salaries are low, the CTA/CCA doesn’t see it that way.
“PCC’s salaries are not at the top of the charts, but they are also not at the bottom, “said Debrower, who also provided statistics to support her statement.
However, recent salary adjustments to teaching salaries were made by the state legislature and not negotiated by CTA. PCC instructors just want a chance to discuss these issues, while other members expressed their opinion, that a change to an independent union might be a better option.
Carolyn Debrower disagrees.
“CTA has a history and relationship with PCC, it has the political clout necessary in Sacramento, to get legislature on the books which benefit teachers. It provides independent representation to employees with work related problems. Something a local independent organization would not be able to do,” said Debrower.
Though the PCC’s staff wants answers, some wonder where are the answers coming from; the CCA/CTA or PCC Leadership?
Though CTA/CCA did not provide names of the PCC Leadership, letters have passed between Suzanne Anderson, the local PCC Leadership representative, and Ron Norton Reel, the CCA president. These letters from Anderson, give a different picture of the concerns.
According to the first item on the list, ” Responses to July 24, 2007″ letter it states, “Local PCC Leadership has tried to prevent CCA/CTA staff and Statewide Leadership from assisting the local chapter for the past five years.”
Two meetings were held on Aug 30, one was a lunch for CTA members at the Heidar Baba Restaurant, and the other, held in the sculpture garden on campus.
Both meetings were held at noon, though lunch was not provided in the sculpture garden.
The meeting in the sculpture garden was announced by a bright blue flyer, sponsored by the PCC/CTA/CCA.
Other members were notified through an email sent Aug 27, by CTA/CCA. Representation of the teaching staff will be decided in a couple of months, but as Debrower, said “You can’t please all of the people.”
This “splinter group has managed to acquire enough signatures”, to send to the Public Employees Relations Board and to question the organizations ability to represent the teaching staff at PCC.
The other meeting was called by an email sent to members along with the “secret ballot” issued by the Public Relations Board on August 27, 2007. The CCA/CTA representatives included, Robin Debitt, CCA/CTA Regional UniServ Staff and Carolyn Debrower, a retired member, who provided answers to the questions poised to her.
About 40-70 members participated in the events, and each group has some positive things to say about the organization and its dedication to its members.
Both sides have valid points but, the ballots are not due until Sept. 18, and PCC awaits the results.
With ballots yet to come on, some may wonder, will the CTA be in or out at PCC
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