Up for Debate: Show appreciation for our unsung heroes

Tom Fallo is a pretty swell guy. Nobody can deny that he’s done a lot of good for EC. He’s helped to get two major construction bonds passed, and on a campus full of busy administrators with scarcely predictable schedules, he’s made the effort to keep his office open to anyone who’d like to speak to him. He’s also one of the most highly paid community college presidents in California.

When Fallo renegotiated his contract last year, he was given a $40,000 raise, along with a yearly 5 percent increase to his salary for three years. In contrast, the faculty and classified employees of EC have not received any sort of raise since 2008, and the increases proposed by the board of trustees roughly translates out to a net salary increase of five percent after three years.

Now, It’s not that Fallo didn’t deserve a raise, or that EC should be handing out $40,000 to every landscaper, painter, and teacher on campus. However, it’s important to remember that these are the people who ensure the day to day running of EC. They clean our bathrooms, fix our buggy computers, and teach our classes.

If you’d like to think about it in sports terms, Fallo is EC’s coach, and giving the coach a nice bonus is perfectly fine. However, without the team’s players, the faculty and classified staff who actually carry out the plays, who sweat and bleed for EC on a daily basis, it’s pretty damn difficult to win the game. When you consider it that way, only forking over the bare minimum mandated by the state feels a little thankless.

Now, some might be tempted to argue that by virtue of his position, Fallo was more deserving of a raise than some of the other EC employees.

However, take a look around campus and see if you can find anyone with an “easy” job. Picking up trash doesn’t sound difficult until you have to pick up after 22,000 students. Heck, some students have trouble remembering the names of all the other students in even one class, but many of the faculty are responsible for the educational outcome of hundreds of students at once.

Yes, there will always be money issues, and EC is right to want to conserve as much of the budget as possible. In this instance though, EC might have to bite the bullet and spend some money in order to ensure that it can actually keep making money.