El Camino faculty union, college district to start next round of contract negotiations


The El Camino College Federation of Teachers President Kelsey Iino (left) leads a march around campus with faculty, staff, employees and students on Tuesday, Feb, 28. The Federation has been campaigning to renegotiate details of their contracts with the El Camino College district to discuss issues concerning adjunct faculty healthcare, class sizes, a cost of living adjustment and more. (Khoury Williams | The Union)

Contract negotiations between El Camino’s faculty union and the college district are set to continue this Friday, March 10, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The contract between the El Camino Community College District and the El Camino College Federation of Teachers, which expired Dec. 2022, has had several points of contentions, including debates over the current cost-of-living adjustments, or COLA, and how covering healthcare for part-time faculty should be handled.

The lack of agreement in negotiations between the Federation and the district boiled over into a protest by Federation members and their supporters on campus on Feb. 28.

The protest began at the Federation offices in the Communications building, before going across campus and through the Administration building as protesters shouted in support of better healthcare and wages.

The Federation is fighting for expanded healthcare coverage by the district and increased pay that matches other college districts, Federation Vice President Troy Moore said.

“What we’re looking for are fair and safe work conditions that are competitive and comparable with our peers in Southern California,” Moore said. “If they’re 20 minutes away, they’re making ‘X’ amount of money, we should be making money in that range.”

The district has remained tight-lipped on its end of the negotiations. The Union spoke with Robert Suppelsa, the vice president of administrative services, who could not give a statement on the negotiations.

“It’s not really appropriate for me to comment on negotiation activities with the district or any bargaining group,” Suppelsa said. “I am actually not in the room with the exception of the presentation of financial information.”

The Union also sent an email to Jane Miyashiro, the vice president of human resources on Wednesday, March 8. Miyahsiro did not respond, however, The Union was given a  response by Director of Public Information and Government Relations Kerri Webb explaining that Miyashiro could not comment on the basis that she is part of the negotiations.

Healthcare for part-time faculty is another major point in the contract negotiations, with the Federation wanting part-time faculty to have the same amount of healthcare that full-time faculty are getting.

The district proposes that part-time faculty can submit documentation that they have paid for healthcare, which the district can reimburse up to $1,500 to each person who applies for it. The district can then get 50% of that money reimbursed by the state.

However, Moore claims that the district can get up to 100% of those reimbursements back from the state, citing an expanded budget for part-time faculty healthcare from the State of California.

“A budget has been put in place in excess of $200 million in the state… saying if you offer your part-time faculty just as much healthcare as full-time faculty, we’ll reimburse you up to 100%,” Moore said.

The negotiations are set to continue on Friday, with plans to have a gathering of Federation supporters outside of the Administration building for the duration of the negotiation.

The negotiations will be a closed-door session, Moore said.

“I wish it were open,” he said. “I really wish that everyone could see and hear what’s talked about at the table because I think it would be really enlightening.”

This is a developing story. Check back for new updates.


Editor’s Note:

  • Information about the method The Union contacted a source was updated and moved further up in the story on March 13, 2023, at 11:56 a.m. 
  • The Union incorrectly reported that a proposal by the district was already made available; that has since been corrected on March 16, 2023, at 1:11 p.m.