Delta faculty protests for higher wages


Signs around campus are the only public reminders of a protest by members of the California School Educators Association (CSEA) and the San Joaquin Delta College Teachers Association (SJDCTA) on April 19.

Union members asked for a pay raise during the board of trustees meeting.

“We have been without contracts for almost 18 months. The district has received special funds but after negotiation the district said they have to recycle our own money,” said Elizabeth Maloney, president of the SJDCTA, at the April 19 campus protest.

Dana Baker, president of the campus CSEA chapter which represents 380 people, said the desire is to have stable wages and a pay raise.

Baker said the hope is that benefits won’t come out of pocket for classified employees.

Union members commented publicly about other money being spent on campus.

According to Diana Gonzalez, the lead negotiator for the district labor contracts, neither the school district nor unions have come to a viable solution.

The protests were sparked by labor contracts with faculty members saying they’ve been left behind.

Faculty declared an impasse in negotiations.

The goal of the protesters from both unions is to obtain fairer contracts.

With the teacher’s unions protesting, there are fears classes may be cancelled.

Jason Schilling, an adjunct English instructor who also works at Sacramento State University, recently experienced a similar situation as a California State University instructor.

“We have been working on the CSU strikes for about a year now. It was a massive strike. If you chose to strike, the administration had no say so. If we did strike, we couldn’t have class nor could we email students. I personally had kept the course calendar so I didn’t participate. Ninety percent of teachers did, however, participate. At the end they got a 10 percent instead of 5, because an impartial organization came in to mediate. The past wages were stagnant for about ten years,” said Schilling.

This mirrors Delta’s current predicament according to Elizabeth Maloney as wages have been stagnant for 18 months.

The California State University system avoided a system wide shutdown in April after agreeing to increase faculty pay by 10.5 percent gradually over a three year period. So far, there has been no talk of strike at Delta.

Students at large didn’t know of the protest, but were aware of the signs spread across campus.

Randolpho Serrano, a student at Delta College, didn’t know about the protests, but agreed with his friends that the teachers do deserve higher pay.

While the unions and the school district have not yet come to any agreement, Gonzalez said there will be future meetings between the unions and the administration.

Baker backed this up. A meeting was slated for May 4.

According to Baker the protestors will be protesting at a planned luncheon today, and at the board meeting May 17.

“There is no agreement however, I’m hopeful we can reach an agreement the school district and the union members can support and ratify,” Baker said.