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CCA Health Benefits MOU Aug. 15 2016 (PDF)

Sept. 22, 2016 Update PDF.

Sept. 22, 2016

Dear Faculty,

CCA members have approved the one-year proposal, or Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, to change from the current self-funded health plan and move into the SISC pool (see attached MOU). Aug. 15 Health Benefits MOU, PDF.

Almost 80 percent, or 115 faculty members, voted to approve the proposal and 20 percent, or 29 faculty members, voted against the proposal. Ten voters, or 6.5 percent, abstained. The 154 votes cast represented a 73 percent turnout of 210 members.

All faculty and retirees should select one of the plans in the SISC pool and send in the required plan paperwork by Oct. 1 to Judy Marty, Human Resources district benefits specialist, so this can be processed. (Faculty also can send this paperwork to Judy through their campus HR office, which will forward it to her.) The new pool plans will start on Nov. 1. Those who don’t select a plan will have the 80 percent plan chosen for them.

Information about the plans, the forms, and the pre-tax payroll deduction form (this is called “Employer Cafeteria Plan Salary Redirection/Reduction Agreement”) can be found on the district website at https://www.kccd.edu/benefits-update.

Faculty or retirees with specific questions should contact Judy Marty at the district office at (661)-336-5145.

I would like to thank chief negotiator Tom Greenwood, BC, and negotiators Ann Marie Wagstaff, PC, and Matt Crow, CC, for their hard work in reaching this one-year agreement. I also wish to thank Mary O’Neal, KCCD CCA Rules & Elections Chair, for running the election so well and certifying the results with the help of election officers Richard Goode, PC, and Isabel Stierle, BC.
CCA negotiators will continue working on the issue of faculty health benefits once negotiations start this fall on our next contract.

Kathy

 

KCCD - Plan Comparison Certificated Faculty Employees and Retirees Effective November 1, 2016

Health Benefits Timeline PDF

Health Benefits Timeline

2011-Present

∗  After reaching an impasse on health benefits with the district, CCA proposed contract language that requires employees to be responsible for “excess premium costs” if the reserves fall below 32.5 percent of prior year health claims.

∗  CCA members approved this language in the 2011-14 contract when health insurance reserves were robust. This is still current contract language.
Fall 2015

∗  CCA and district discussions on health benefits began in fall 2015 due to declining reserves in the self-funded plan.

∗  During Fall 2015, CCA negotiators began work to determine if we could remain self-funded or if we would have to join the larger SISC pool.
Spring 2016

∗  In Spring 2016, CCA surveyed faculty and faculty retirees. The majority of working faculty said they wished to remain self-funded. Retirees, many on fixed incomes, agreed with staying self- funded but voiced concerns about paying for a district plan when they already were paying for Medicare.

∗  In spring elections, CCA members were asked if they were willing to pay $190 a month to remain self-funded. A strong majority approved of this.

∗  In April 2016, CCA negotiators made a proposal to remain self-funded. The Board of Trustees rejected this proposal saying it was too expensive for the district.
Summer 2016

∗  In summer 2016, when it became apparent that CSEA was exploring joining the SISC pool, CCA negotiators studied the possibility of faculty staying self-funded on their own if classified and management employees joined the pool.

∗  CCA learned that no one, including SISC, would recommend this option because a small, self- funded group faces higher risks of increased health costs should a few large claims occur.

∗  In July 2016, CCA announced we had reached a one-year agreement with the district based on the assumption that CSEA and management would join the pool.

∗  Later that month, CSEA held meetings and an election on its proposal to join the pool. The majority of members voted to join the pool.

∗  Management employees are joining it as well.


Fall 2016

∗  CCA negotiators hold eight campus meetings (four at BC, two at PC, and two at CC) regarding the proposed MOU and the negotiated pool plans and the Sept. 20-21 election. The outcome of the election will determine the direction of faculty health benefits

∗  If the CCA proposal, or Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), fails to be ratified, the district could charge faculty members “excess premium costs” for the current self-funded health plan.

∗  CCA estimates this cost would be $425 per month, a cost few working and retired faculty could afford.

∗  If the MOU is ratified, faculty and retirees will be asked to choose from six possible plans in the Kern SISC pool by Oct. 1. Changes will take effect on Nov. 1, 2016 and continue through September 30, 2017.

∗ No matter the outcome, CCA will negotiate health benefits as part of our next contract when talks commence in October 2016.

Pros of Joining the Pool

∗  Faculty may pick a health plan they can afford rather than paying $425 a month for the existing self-funded plan. (An equivalent plan in the pool costs $255 a month.)

∗  CCA negotiated a basic plan with no monthly out-of-pocket costs other than co-pays and deductibles.

∗  Five of the six plans offered many of the same benefits as the current self-funded plan. The sixth plan, Kaiser, offers low-cost benefits to those who live near a Kaiser Center.

∗  Payroll deductions for more expensive plans would be made on a pre-tax basis for working employees, which may help some at tax time.

∗  KCCD joins the larger 300,000-member SISC pool, which means no health reserve is required.
Cons of Joining the Pool

∗  KCCD employees have to pay for health plans that exceed the cost of the basic plan. For many, this will be the first time they have to compare plans and pay for health benefits. Retirees will be expected to make payments for their health benefits, too.

∗  Co-pays, deductibles, and prescription costs also may be higher depending upon the plan selected.

∗  KCCD employees lose autonomy and must agree to SISC pool-mandated changes in benefits and
costs.

∗  We are unlikely to go back to being self-funded once KCCD joins the pool due to high costs of
creating a reserve and a lack of health claims history.

∗  Employees may be directed more often to SISC for information rather than rely solely on the
district office. They may encounter more bureaucracy.
Source: CCA PowerPoint that was shared with members at eight campus meetings in Fall 2016.

 

Aug. 27 Update PDF

Aug. 27, 2016

Dear Faculty,
 
CCA has heard from some faculty retirees who will be unable to attend the upcoming campus meetings on proposed changes in health benefits. Some retirees are unable to travel to attend the meetings, while some others will be away enjoying fabulous travels. They wanted a way to learn about the proposed plans and enrollment process should CCA members vote to approve the move to the SISC pool.
 
Based on these requests, CCA asked the district to post the proposed faculty health plans and enrollment forms on the district’s Human Resources benefits website. The SISC plan comparison, a benefit summary of each plan, and the faculty enrollment forms now have been posted at https://www.kccd.edu/benefits-update so you can read the plans in detail before the campus meetings are held.
 
The enrollment forms are there only for review, so do not fill these out and send them to the district. CCA members will vote on the proposed health changes Sept. 20-21, and the outcome of the election will determine if you fill out enrollment forms. Faculty who are CCA members as of Sept. 14 will be able to vote.
 
The forms and plans are posted so you can learn more about the proposed changes and bring any questions you have to the campus meetings. A SISC representative also will be there to answer questions on the plans.
 
The district will videotape one of the presentations at Bakersfield College and post that on the website so those faculty or faculty retirees who miss the meetings can stay informed.
 
The campus meetings will be held at these times and locations:
 
Bakersfield College:
Tues., Aug. 30, in SPArC Indoor Theatre: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees.
Wed., Aug. 31, in SPArC Indoor Theatre: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees.
 
Cerro Coso Community College:
Mon., Sept. 12, in IWV LRC 604, KRV 5, Mam 228, and BIS 197: 12:30-1:30 p.m. for faculty.
Fri., Sept. 16, in IWV LRC 604, KRV 5, Mam 228, and BIS 197: 10-11 a.m. for faculty retirees.
 
Porterville College:
Wed., Sept. 7, in Student Center Conference Room: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees.
 
We look forward to seeing you there.
 
Sincerely,
 
Kathy Freeman                       Ann Marie Wagstaff
KCCD CCA President           Negotiator
Bakersfield College                Porterville College
 
Tom Greenwood                    Matt Crow
Chief Negotiator                     Negotiator
Bakersfield College                Cerro Coso Community College

 

Aug. 20 Update, PDF

Aug. 20, 2016

Dear Faculty,

Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed a break during the summer so you are refreshed and ready for a busy fall semester.
Before that happy chaos of the first week of school begins, please take a moment and mark these important dates in your calendar so you can attend a CCA campus meeting where we will explain proposed changes in faculty and faculty retiree health benefits. A SISC representative also will attend to answer your questions about the proposed health plans.

Bakersfield College:

Tues., Aug. 30, in SPArC Indoor Theatre: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees. Wed., Aug. 31, in SPArC Indoor Theatre: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees.

Cerro Coso Community College:

Mon., Sept. 12, in IWV LRC 604, KRV 5, Mam 228, and BIS 197: 12:30-1:30 p.m. for faculty. Fri., Sept. 16, in IWV LRC 604, KRV 5, Mam 228, and BIS 197: 10-11 a.m. for faculty retirees.

Porterville College:

Wed., Sept. 7, in Student Center Conference Room: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees.

Election Chair Mary O’Neal sent information this week announcing the Sept. 20-21 election on the proposed changes. She explained Sept. 14 is the deadline to join the union to be eligible to vote. Only CCA members can vote, so if you wish to have a say in your benefits, please complete one of the attached application forms.

We will explain the proposal in detail at our campus meetings, but if you read our July 19th CCA update (see attached update), you know negotiators and district officials reached a tentative one-year agreement called a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, regarding faculty health benefits based on the expectation that classified and management employees would join the larger SISC health insurance pool by fall. Since then, CSEA members have voted to join the SISC pool, and management employees are joining it as well.

Most of our faculty opposed joining the pool because we would give up the autonomy of being self-funded, and we must accept SISC pool-recommended changes to our benefits and premiums. That’s why CCA proposed an option to stay self-funded last spring. Trustees rejected that proposal saying it was too expensive for the district. We also explored the option of faculty staying self-funded on our own while classified and management joined the SISC pool. We learned that few groups would choose this option because small self-funded groups face higher risks of increased health costs should a few large claims occur.

We also had to consider the possible financial impact: If we did not join the SISC pool and faculty attempted to remain on their own as a self-funded group, could faculty afford the monthly cost? What about retirees living on fixed incomes? We decided having faculty and retirees choose the plans they could afford in the pool would be better than faculty and retirees paying more for our current self-funded health plan. We negotiated a range of pool plans, including a base plan with no monthly out-of-pocket cost other than co-pays and deductibles.

If approved, the CCA proposal to join the pool would prevent the district from charging faculty for “excess premium costs” for our current health plan, per existing contract language. We estimate this cost at about $425 a month, which many faculty, and most faculty retirees, simply can’t afford. (This price does not include adding to our dwindling health plan reserves fund, a fund that SISC recommends for any self-funded plan. If we contributed to the reserves, this estimated monthly amount would increase even more.) The same price for a similar plan in the pool is $255 per month for working faculty. For retirees over 65 on tiered rates, the plan costs nothing for a single retiree and $58 per month for a couple.

For working faculty, all deductions for health insurance costs would occur on a pre-tax basis, so the actual expense would be a bit less. Retirees do not have this pre-tax advantage. If they choose plans costing more than the district’s contribution, they would make payments. However, only retirees, and not working faculty, can opt out of the district health insurance. Retirees also can re-enroll during the next open enrollment period.

We have attached the proposed MOU and a comparison of the plans for your review. The district’s contribution for medical insurance of $1,164 a month, or $13,968 a year, per faculty member, is slightly higher than before. This amount does not include the cost for dental, life, and disability insurance the district will buy for working faculty members; it also does not include the cost of dental insurance the district will buy for retirees.

For working faculty and retired faculty under 65, the pricing for twelve monthly deductions for the five SISC PPO plans would be: 100-A plan, $291; 100-C plan, $255; 90-C plan, $151; 90-G plan, $89; and an 80-G plan, which is the base plan, $0. SISC also will offer an inexpensive HMO Kaiser option. Because it costs less than the district’s contribution, those who choose Kaiser can expect a $96 annual refund.

For retired faculty over 65, SISC will offer the same plans at tiered-rates for single, two-party, and families. If single, they can expect to pay no monthly out-of-pocket costs for any of the plans other than co-pays and deductibles; if a couple, the monthly costs would be: 100-A, $78; 100-C, $58; and for the 90-C, 90-G, 80-G, and Kaiser plans, no monthly cost. An inexpensive Kaiser option also will be offered with no monthly cost.

We have been told that all retirees, with the exception of one person in the district, fall under the single or two- party category. The district and SISC officials have said retirees with eligible dependents will be able to choose between the tiered-rate plans or plans for working faculty so they can receive the least inexpensive family rates.

And those faculty members who retired before July 1, 1983 will continue to receive fully paid health benefits from the district through the 100-C plan, a plan that provides 100 percent coverage, per contract language.

We know you will have many questions regarding this proposal to change health benefits. Please bring these with you to the campus meetings. The district also hopes to videotape one of the sessions to post for those who are unable to attend.

This MOU is only a one-year agreement. We start negotiations on a new contract in fall, and we expect health benefits, and the district’s contribution, to be a major area of negotiations.

In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at one of the meetings. Sincerely,

Kathy Freeman, KCCD CCA President, Bakersfield College
Tom Greenwood, Chief Negotiator, Bakersfield College
Ann Marie Wagstaff, Negotiator, Porterville College
Matt Crow, Negotiator, Cerro Coso Community College

Aug. 15 Health Benefits MOU, PDF

Health Plans Comparison

health plans comparison

July 19, 2016 Update.pdf

Dear Faculty,

CCA negotiators and district officials recently reached a tentative one-year agreement regarding faculty health benefits based on the expectation that classified and management employees will join the larger SISC health insurance pool by fall. Today classified negotiators announced they reached an agreement last week with the district to join the pool. We expect management
employees also will join the pool soon.

If union members and district trustees ratify these agreements, our district no longer will offer self-funded health benefits. Instead, under the CCA proposal, you will be asked to select one of six possible health plans offered through the SISC pool. The five SISC Kern pool health plans offered for working and retired faculty include the same benefits; it is the amount paid for deductibles, office visits, and prescriptions that varies. The sixth plan would be a low-cost HMO Kaiser option for those who live near a Kaiser center.

Faculty would join the SISC pool by Oct. 1 with changes starting Nov. 1

This change means many of us will start paying a portion of our health insurance costs through monthly payroll deductions beginning Nov. 1. Others may decide to choose a basic health care plan we have negotiated that provides the same benefits at no monthly cost to faculty other than co-pays and deductibles.

We realize most of our faculty opposed joining the SISC pool because we would give up the autonomy of being self-funded, and we must accept SISC pool-recommended changes to our benefits and premiums. That’s why CCA proposed an option to stay self-funded to trustees last year. Trustees rejected CCA’s proposal that employees and the district each contribute on a monthly basis to offset health costs and to remain self-insured because trustees believed the proposal was too expensive for the district.
We also explored the option of faculty staying self-funded on our own while classified and management joined the SISC pool. We learned that few groups would choose this option because small self-funded groups face higher risks of increased health costs should a few large claims occur. As you may recall from our June 12 update, faculty that split from the pool as self-funded at two school districts ended up going back to the pool because this split did not work out well.

CCA considered costs for faculty and retirees

While the prospect of paying for health benefits is disappointing, negotiators believe choosing a health plan you can afford in the SISC pool is a far better option than paying more for our current self-funded SISC health plan. If approved, the CCA proposal, which is a Memorandum of Understanding or MOU, would prevent the district from charging faculty for “excess premium costs” for our current health plan, per contract language. We estimate this cost at about $425 a month, which most faculty and faculty retirees simply can’t afford. (This price does not include adding to our dwindling health plan reserves fund, a fund that SISC recommends for any self- funded plan. If we contributed to the reserves, this estimated monthly amount would increase even more.)

Besides the cost of health benefits for working faculty, we considered the cost of benefits for faculty retirees on fixed incomes. Those over 65 already are paying for Medicare, and they told us loud and clear they simply could not afford a high monthly cost for their secondary health insurance. That’s why under the proposed MOU, those faculty members who are over 65 and who retired after July 1, 1983 will be offered tiered-rate plans. Retirees under 65 will be offered the same plans and rates as faculty who are working. Those who retired before July 1, 1983 will continue to receive fully paid health benefits from the district, and they will receive a plan that provides 100 percent coverage, per contract language.

All faculty would be offered a range of six plans, five PPO plans from the Kern SISC pool and a low cost HMO Kaiser option, under the proposal. The district agreed to a slight increase in its contribution to offset health premium costs, and based on that, we can provide estimates of expected costs. (Actual costs of the plans will be included in the final version of the MOU that will be presented at CCA campus meetings in fall.)

Plans and estimated costs for working faculty and retirees under 65

SISC will offer two 100 percent plans similar to our current health care plan, with estimated monthly costs of about $380 for the most expensive plan and about $289 for the less expensive plan; two 90 percent plans, with estimated monthly costs of about $185 for the most expensive plan and about $123 for the less expensive plan; an 80 percent plan with no monthly out-of-pocket cost other than co-pays and deductibles; and the inexpensive Kaiser option for those who live near a Kaiser center.

Plans and estimated costs for working faculty and retirees over 65 who left after July 1, 1983

SISC will offer the same plans at tiered-rates for single, two-party, and families. If single, they can expect to pay no monthly out-of-pocket costs for any of the plans other than co-pays and deductibles; if two-party, the two 100 percent plans have estimated monthly costs of $112 for the most expensive plan and $92 for the less expensive plan, with no out-of-pocket costs for the two 90 percent plans or the 80 percent plan other than co- pays and deductibles. An inexpensive Kaiser option also will be offered for those who live near a Kaiser center.

The family rates for retirees on the tiered schedule are much more expensive, but we learned only one faculty retiree in the district now provides insurance for a dependent. At CCA’s request, the district has agreed to work with this retiree to reduce the family’s cost for insurance during the proposed MOU. (SISC officials said future retirees 65 or older with dependents could reduce health care costs by shopping for separate insurance for dependents so the retirees can qualify for the two-party or single plans with no monthly out-of-pocket costs.)

Plans and estimated costs for retirees who left before July 1, 1983

Retirees who left before July 1, 1983 will continue to receive fully paid health benefits from the district, and these retirees will receive a SISC plan that provides 100 percent coverage, per contract language.

Under the MOU, working faculty members who choose a more expensive plan would have payroll deductions done on a pre-tax basis; working faculty who choose a plan that costs less than the 80 percent plan would receive a monthly stipend for the premium difference.

Retirees who choose a more expensive plan would make monthly payments. They also can choose to opt out of the district’s health insurance entirely to shop for their own insurance, and they may choose to re-enroll in the district’s health insurance during the next open enrollment period, under the MOU.

CCA will continue negotiating health benefits for the next contract

This MOU would remain in effect from Nov. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017. In the meantime, CCA negotiators will continue bargaining health benefits this fall when we start negotiating a new three-year contract. As part of the MOU, the district has agreed to negotiate in fall the creation of a voluntary catastrophic leave bank for faculty who face serious illness; the district also has agreed to negotiate kin care provisions, so faculty members could use their own sick leave to take care of seriously ill children or relatives.

The MOU also states that any health reserves from the self-funded plan that remain once faculty members have moved to the pool would be applied as a one-time payout for faculty. Any payout for retirees would be deposited into the district’s non-revocable account of the OPEB trust fund to help fund retiree benefits.

CCA will hold fall campus meeting on health plans

Since this is the first time faculty will have to select health plan options, we have scheduled meetings for working and retired faculty at each campus to explain the final MOU and the proposed pool plans. Following these meetings, faculty will be asked to sign-up for a plan by Oct. 1; failing to do so will result in working faculty receiving the 80 percent insurance plan by default. Retirees who fail to sign up for a plan risk being dropped from district coverage entirely unless they can show some type of extenuating circumstances.

These important campus meetings with CCA and SISC officials will be scheduled as follows:


BC:

Tues., Aug. 30, in SPArC Indoor Theatre: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees.

Wed, Aug. 31, in SPArC Indoor Theatre: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees.

CC:

Mon., Sept. 12, in IWV LRC 604, KRV 5, Mam 228, and BIS 197: 12:30-1:30 p.m. for faculty.

Fri., Sept. 16, in IWV LRC 604, KRV 5, Mam 228, and BIS 197: 10-11 a.m. for faculty retirees.

PC:

Wed., Sept. 7, in Student Center Conference Room: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees.

We began this letter by explaining we expect classified and management employees to join the SISC pool by fall. If for some unexpected reason this does not happen, our proposal states CCA and the district will continue using interest-based bargaining to reach an agreement.

Only CCA members will be able to vote on this proposed MOU or on any other proposed changes in health benefits. If you are not already a member, we encourage you to join now so you, too, can have a say in your health insurance coverage.

Sincerely,

Kathy Freeman, KCCD CCA President, Bakersfield College
Tom Greenwood, Chief Negotiator, Bakersfield College
Ann Marie Wagstaff, Negotiator, Porterville College
Matt Crow, Negotiator, Cerro Coso Community College
Barbara “Barb” Walls, Adjunct Negotiator, Cerro Coso Community College

 

June 12, 2016 Health Updates (PDF)

June 12, 2016

Dear Faculty,

CCA negotiators met with district officials Friday in what was the first of several summer sessions to negotiate possible changes in health benefits. During the all-day meeting, we learned a great deal from SISC officials, who met with us most of the morning answering negotiators’ questions.

As you may recall from our May 13th update on health benefits, the board of trustees rejected CCA’s proposal that employees and the district each contribute on a monthly basis to offset health costs and to remain self- insured because trustees believed the proposal was too expensive for the district. Meanwhile, SISC reversed its position that all labor groups must agree to either stay self-insured under the current plan or to move to the larger SISC pool. SISC representatives said that CSEA and management could move to the pool, while faculty could stay in the self-insured plan.
We wanted to find out if such a split had worked for other districts, how much this split could cost faculty and retirees, and if SISC would recommend this arrangement for our district. We asked to meet with SISC representatives because negotiators wanted to explore this as one way to keep our health plan self-insured.

We learned that while employee groups could choose to split between a self-insured group and the larger pool, few groups have actually made this choice.

The reason is strength in numbers: A large number of employees in a health insurance plan helps offset the impact of high medical claims on health care costs. A small number of employees in a plan doesn’t have this same protection, and a few expensive claims could cause costs to increase. While such a split is possible, SISC officials did not recommend it because of the lack of stability for a smaller self-insured group.

SISC officials cited the experiences of two school districts, both members of the larger SISC pool, that had tried such an arrangement, and neither split worked out well. The Fresno County Office of Education tried this split in 2010, and within two years, faculty chose to come back to the pool. The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District tried the split in 2012, and faculty returned to the pool within two and a half years. Because of the faculty’s high rate of health claims while self-insured, Panama-Buena Vista teachers paid a slightly higher rate for their pool insurance premiums the first year they returned.

We then looked at what could happen if KCCD faculty attempted this split, with active faculty members and retired faculty as a small self-funded group with our current benefits. Without an increase in district funding, the costs for a self-funded plan similar to what we have now would cost too much for the majority of our faculty members, and this expense becomes prohibitive for retirees. Retired faculty members 65 years or older already pay for Medicare, so for these retirees, the district health insurance becomes a supplemental policy. If these retirees paid a tiered or less expensive rate for the district’s plan, the rates for working faculty members would increase even more.

These estimates don’t include the additional cost of a health plan reserve, a fund SISC recommends for any self- funded group. SISC officials said Friday they would not recommend a split that created a smaller self-funded faculty group unless a reserve account was created. But a reserve account for a smaller group of employees could be exhausted if high claims occurred due to a higher risk of fluctuation of claims within the group. Based on hearing what happened to Fresno and Panama Buena-Vista, district officials said they could not recommend a split at all since it is too financially risky.
While we know this isn’t news you may want to hear, we believe it is important information you need to know. Our faculty hoped to keep their health plan as is and stay self-insured at a reasonable cost. However, if the cost for faculty is much more expensive than anticipated, joining the larger SISC pool with a selection of plans and costs may be a much more reasonable alternative.

But just to make sure we examine all possibilities to stay self-insured, CCA has requested that SISC provide an estimate of costs of a self-insured plan for faculty and retirees based on our last three years of health claims. We will share this along with other possible options being discussed.
We want to reassure you that any changes in health insurance plans must be negotiated and approved by a vote of CCA members. That vote won’t occur until we have proposals to present to you during the fall.
We will keep you posted. Sincerely,

Kathy Freeman, KCCD CCA President, Bakersfield College
Tom Greenwood, Chief Negotiator, Bakersfield College
Ann Marie Wagstaff, Negotiator, Porterville College
Matt Crow, Negotiator, Cerro Coso Community College
Barbara “Barb” Walls, Adjunct Negotiator, Cerro Coso Community College

May 13, 2016 Health Benefits Update (PDF)

May 13, 2016

Dear Faculty,

During our negotiations session today on health benefits, the district presented new information from SISC that changes much of what we had understood up to now.

We are sharing this information with you in case you hear about it over the summer, but we want to reassure you that any changes in health insurance plans must be negotiated and approved by a vote of our members. That vote won’t occur until we have proposals to present to you during the fall.
Here is what we learned today:

1) The board of trustees has rejected CCA’s proposal that employees and the district each contribute on a monthly basis to offset health costs and to remain self-insured. The board decided against this option because it was too costly for the district.

2) SISC has reversed its position that all labor groups must agree to either stay self-insured under the current plan or to move to the larger SISC pool. SISC representatives now are saying that CSEA and management could move to the pool, while faculty could stay in the self-insured plan. CCA negotiators have many questions about this change, including potential costs to faculty and to faculty retirees, and whether such an arrangement would be sustainable over the long term.

Because CCA realizes health benefits are a priority, we also have offered to negotiate health benefits during the summer if negotiators are paid for their time. The district is considering this offer and will let us know.
We will keep you updated over the summer as new information becomes available. Sincerely,

Kathy Freeman, KCCD CCA President
Tom Greenwood, Chief Negotiator, Bakersfield College
Ann Marie Wagstaff, Negotiator, Porterville College
Matt Crow, Negotiator, Cerro Coso Community College
Nicole Celaya, Adjunct Negotiato,r Porterville College

Update April 26 2016.pdf (See "Health Benefits" section)
 
Dear Faculty,

I am writing with some good news to share about the CCA election and an issue directly connected to all of us, and that is faculty salaries.
 
It has been a privilege to work with dedicated officers on behalf of faculty this past year, so it was wonderful to see many of them agree to run again as chapter and campus officers. I want to thank returning officers, faculty members who ran to fill vacancies, and faculty who accepted positions after being nominated as write-in candidates. Our faculty voice is stronger thanks to their willingness to serve. Below are the results of last week’s election, which had a 71 percent turnout of 206 possible voters.
 
CCA Spring Election Results
 
2016-17 KCCD CCA Executive Council

President: Kathy Freeman
Vice President: Mary O’Neal
Secretary: Gloria Dumler
Treasurer: Sheri Burgess
Adjunct Representative: To be determined depending upon response from write-in candidates.
BC Chair: Isabel Stierle
CC Chair: Joe Slovacek
PC Chair: Ann Marie Wagstaff (a write-in winner who agreed to serve)
 
Representatives:

BC Rep: Ann Tatum
BC Rep: Pam Boyles (a write-in winner who agreed to serve)
PC Rep: Terry Crewse
CC Rep: Jan Moline
 
Adjunct Representatives:


BC: Unfilled
CC: Barbara Walls
PC: Unfilled
 
2016-17 MOUs and Bylaws’ Change:

CCA members also ratified three memorandums of understandings, or MOUs, for 2016-17, and approved a bylaws’ change: Chair compensation (94 percent); contracts for librarians and counselors (98 percent);
instruction in prisons (94 percent); and the bylaws’ change (99 percent).
 
Health Benefits:

Members overwhelmingly approved staying self-insured rather than joining the larger SISC pool, with 97 percent voting to pay $190 monthly to stay self-insured, and 3 percent voting to join the SISC pool. When asked if a less expensive health insurance plan should be offered as a second option if we stayed self-insured, two-thirds (66.7 percent) agreed while one third (33.3 percent) disagreed.
 
A total of 86 percent agreed with some or all of the recommended SISC Pool Plan changes to save on health costs: 73.5 percent agreed with some of the recommended SISC changes; 12.5 percent agreed with all of the recommendations; and 14 percent said they could not agree with any of the recommendations. Here is the list of the SISC recommendations and its approval percentage:
 
• Emergency room co‐pay increases from $50 to $100 (waived if admitted): 84 votes, 63.7 percent
 
• Custom molded orthotics (therapeutic shoes or inserts) are limited to two pairs per calendar year. (These are unlimited in the current plan.): 80 votes, 57.5 percent
 
• Hearing aid coverage changes from $1,000 every 36 months in the current plan to $700 every 24 months: 77 votes, 54.8 percent
 
• Therapy services for autism would be added through ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). (Autism is not covered in the current plan.): 77 votes, 52.7 percent
 
• Transplants and bariatric surgeries are covered if done in SISC-designated Centers of Medical Excellence; patients would receive travel benefits: 61 votes, 41.8 percent.
 
• Inpatient surgery for hip, knee, and spine must occur in a Blue Distinction Plus facility: 37 votes, 25.3 percent
 
• Chiropractic and physical therapy services would require pre-authorization by American Specialty Health (ASH) review. The current plan does not require pre-authorization: 30 votes, 20.5 percent.
 
• X‐rays, lab tests, DME (durable medical equipment), and physical medicine services (chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical and occupational therapy) only will be covered if done through a network provider: 29 votes, 19.9 percent
 
• Outpatient prescriptions would be limited to SISC pool list to limit costs. (Current plan has fewer prescription limits.): 23 votes, 15.8 percent
 
• Out‐of‐network limits to be aligned with SISC standard. SISC pool will pay $600 per day for a non-contracting hospital. (Current plan has no limit.): 17 votes, 11.6 percent
 
Kern Ranks Among Top Faculty Salaries:

At the recent state CCA spring conference held Apr. 15-16, CCA officials shared their annual salary survey. Thanks to the salary schedule negotiated in our last contract, Kern Community College District now ranks consistently among the highest paying college districts in the state. Of 72 districts listed and ranked by faculty salary schedules, here is where Kern stands:
 
Ranked Masters Step One:

District                       2015-16                      
1. Mira Costa              $71,679          
2. Kern                        $68,559
3. So. Orange              $67,648          
4. San Mateo               $65,268          
5. Ohlone                    $65,004          
           
Ranked Non Doctorate Step 15:

District                       2015-16          
1. Mira Costa              $131,936        
2. So. Orange              $111,560        
3. Kern                        $110,911
4. Mt. San Antonio     $109,601        
5. Ohlone                    $106,910        
 
Ranked Highest Earnable Salary with Longevity and Doctorate:

District                       2015-16          
1. Mira Costa              $145,671        
2. So. Orange              $136,511        
3. Ohlone                    $125,226        
4. Mt. San Jacinto       $122,203        
5. West Valley             $121,686        
6. Santa Clarita           $119,364        
7. Mt. San Antonio     $119,349        
8. Kern                        $118,673
 
But there’s even more good news, since faculty can expect another salary increase next year.
 
2016 Salary Raises

According to the 2014-2017 contract, faculty salaries are adjusted every year on July 1 based on our comparable districts. Contract language states that faculty salaries have to be at the same level as the fourth-ranked comparable district based on the highest salary that does not require a doctorate degree. Here are the comparable salaries for this year:
 
CCA Comparable Districts: Salary Review for 2016-17
(rounded to the nearest dollar)
 
Santa Clarita $117,768  
Sequoias $115,742  
West Hills $115,074  
Riverside $112,933  
State Center $112,043  
West Kern $111,818  
San Joaquin Delta $109,031  
San Bernardino $105,499  
Yosemite $103,694  
Antelope Valley $101,926  
 
KCCD: $110,910.76 $110,911  
 
The percentage difference with Riverside is 1.823% and this will be rounded up to 1.83%. This increase will be applied to all steps on the salary structure. Faculty will see the increase in their first paycheck of the 2016-2017 academic year. All faculty should see a 4.38% increase from their current salary this year (2.5% step increase and 1.83% raise, compounded). Since this raise takes place at the beginning of the academic year, there is no retroactive pay. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail Tom Greenwood, chief negotiator, at tgreenwo@bakersfieldcollege.edu.
 
Our negotiators (Tom Greenwood, chief negotiator, BC; Ann Marie Wagstaff, PC: Matt Crow, CC; and Nicole Celaya, PC) have done a tremendous job on behalf of faculty.
 
If you care about your salary and health benefits, and you are not yet a member, now is the time to join CCA.
 
Kathy

Mar. 28, 2016 Health Benefit Update
 
Mar. 28, 2016
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
We have some important news to share with you regarding health benefits.
 
As you know from recent SISC college presentations, all employees are being asked to consider the pros and cons of staying in the SISC Self-Insured health plan compared with the pros and cons of joining the much larger SISC statewide pool. The three employee associations (faculty, classified, and management) must agree on one option or the other due to our dwindling health plan reserves. Enclosed is a quick comparison of staying self-funded versus choosing the larger SISC pool.
 
To stay self-insured, we are contractually obligated to have health plan reserves of 32.5 percent, or an estimated $7.2 million for 2015-16 (we began 2015-2016 with $2.8 million in reserves). This means employees would have to pay into the reserves until the account is back on solid financial ground. If we move to the larger SISC pool, no reserve payment would be necessary. We’d be expected to pay for the cost of the plan we choose, with the option of choosing among four plans of varying coverage and costs. Once we join the pool, we will no longer be able to make autonomous decisions regarding administrative changes to plans but would need to abide by the decisions of the SISC board, a board comprised of district administrators of participating schools.  
 
SISC has estimated that the employee’s cost of a plan in the pool that is similar to the coverage we have now would be about $300 per month. To stay self-insured, and to pay back the health plan reserves within a year, district officials have estimated a total monthly cost for the employee of about $600 per month, a prohibitive cost for most of us. For that figure to be reduced, the health plan reserves would have to be paid back over several years.
 
After a careful examination of costs, CCA has proposed an option to the district for remaining self-insured in which all employees would pay $140 a month in pre-tax dollars and the district would pay $140 per employee a month, for a total of $280 a month per employee, to start repaying the health insurance reserves fund. The district also would continue to pay its contractual obligation of $1,212.54 per month for each employee’s health plans, a total of approximately $20 million per year.
 
We estimate that after four years of payments, we will have restored the required reserves amount. While no one likes the idea of paying for health insurance, we believe this proposal is one possible option for staying self-insured.
 
We are waiting to hear if trustees will approve this proposal. If they do approve it, faculty and CSEA would know how much staying self-insured would cost compared to the cost of the plans in the pool, and this would allow both groups to decide which direction they prefer. Once that decision is made, negotiators would be able to start the process of selecting health plans.
 
If trustees do not approve this proposal, that decision also would tell us where we stand. We will keep you posted on what we hear, but we wanted you to know that we are working on your behalf to come up with possible options. We also will send a survey out to all faculty members and retired faculty to hear your feedback on this important issue. While we want to know how all faculty feel, as you know, only CCA members as of Feb. 22, 2016 will be able to vote and decide this and any other proposed contract changes during the spring CCA election set for April 20-21.
 
In other election news, it appears we also may have a draft agreement for CCA members to vote on regarding faculty working in prisons or correctional facilities. During our last negotiations session on Fri., Mar. 18, CCA and Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Abe Ali agreed on a draft memorandum of understanding, or MOU, on this issue.
 
Our next negotiations session is set for Friday, Apr. 15.
 
Sincerely,
 
Kathy Freeman
KCCD CCA President
 
Tom Greenwood
Chief Negotiator
Bakersfield College
 
Ann Marie Wagstaff
Negotiator
Porterville College
 
Matt Crow
Negotiator
Cerro Coso Community College
 
Nicole Celaya
Adjunct Negotiator
Porterville College
                                                         

Comparison of SISC Self-insured or self-funded plan with SISC pool plan:

SISC Self-Funded (Current) SISC Pool


Comparison Chart
 
SISC Pool Exceptions:

• Emergency room co‐pay increases from $50 to $100 (waived if admitted).
• Chiropractic and physical therapy services would require pre-authorization by American Specialty Health (ASH) review. The current plan does not require pre-authorization.
• Transplants and bariatric surgeries are covered if done in SISC-designated Centers of Medical Excellence; patients would receive travel benefits.
• Therapy services for autism would be added through ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis). (Autism is not covered in the current plan.)
• Hearing aid coverage changes from $1,000 every 36 months in the current plan to $700 every 24 months.
• Inpatient surgery for hip, knee, and spine must occur in a Blue Distinction Plus facility.
• X‐rays, lab tests, DME (durable medical equipment), and physical medicine services (chiropractic, acupuncture, and physical and occupational therapy) only will be covered if done through a network provider.
• Custom molded orthotics (therapeutic shoes or inserts) are limited to two pairs per calendar year. (These are unlimited in the current plan.)
• Out‐of‐network limits to be aligned with SISC standard. SISC pool will pay $600 per day for a non-contracting hospital. (Current plan has no limit.)
• Outpatient prescriptions would be limited to SISC pool list to limit costs. (Current plan has fewer prescription limits.)
 
 

SISC Meetings at Three Campuses & District

Mar. 9, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

To assist employees in understanding proposed health insurance changes, the classified association, CSEA, has invited SISC representatives to make presentations to all employees at our three campuses and at the district office on the pros and cons of staying in the current SISC self-insured health plan compared to joining the larger SISC pool. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend one of these meetings:

Bakersfield College: Tues., Mar. 15, 5:45-7 p.m., in Forum 101.

Porterville College: Fri., Mar. 18, noon-2 p.m., in the Cafeteria.

Cerro Coso Community College: Fri., Apr. 1, 12:15 -2:15 p.m., in Room LRC 604.

District Office:

Mon., Mar. 21, 3-5 p.m., in the Atlantic Room.

The district also will contact retirees to invite them to these meetings as well.

In our discussion of health benefits, CCA and the district agreed that before any decisions can be made on changes in health benefits, our members must be surveyed on the important question of whether they wish to stay in the current SISC self-insured plan, a plan that covers all of KCCD’s employees, or whether they wish to join the much larger SISC pool, a group that includes more than 300,000 school employees. There are pros and cons to both decisions, so please plan to attend one of these meetings and bring your questions for SISC representatives.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about this important issue.

Kathy


Mar. 4 Update, PDF

Mar. 4, 2016
 
Dear Colleagues,
 
Today CCA and district negotiators made progress on their discussions of health benefits and teachers working in prison. In addition, both sides signed two agreements regarding proposed changes in faculty chair reassigned time and the continuation of 185-day contracts for counselors and librarians. CCA members will be asked to vote on ratifying these memorandums of understanding, or MOUs, during our election in spring.
 
In our discussion of health benefits, CCA and the district agreed that before any decisions can be made on changes in health benefits, our members must be surveyed on the important question of whether they wish to stay in the current SISC self-insured plan, a plan that covers all of KCCD’s employees, or whether they wish to join the much larger SISC pool, a group that includes more than 300,000 school employees. There are pros and cons to both decisions, so today both sides agreed to the following common interests as part of the interest-based bargaining process:
 
1.     Provide excellent and affordable health care to all eligible, active employees, and retirees.
2.     Provide financial sustainability.
3.     Monitor health care costs.
4.     Attract a high quality workforce through the KCCD benefits package.
5.     Promote employee education regarding the realities of managing health care costs and benefits.
 
To meet those interests, we also agreed to the following rules or guidelines:
1.     All three associations (faculty, classified, and management) must mutually agree to be either self-insured under the current plan or to join the larger SISC pool. (SISC recommends that the three groups decide on this together to avoid what is called “adverse selection,” an insurance risk that occurs if the unhealthiest employees choose the most expensive plan, and the healthiest employees choose the least expensive plan.)   
2.     If the three groups choose to remain self-insured in the current plan, they can choose up to a total of two plans. (Based on our number of employees, three or more plans would create the risk of adverse selection, according to SISC.)
3.     If employees choose to remain in the current plan, the three groups would be required to have the SISC- recommended 32.5 percent medical reserve.
4.     If employees join the larger SISC pool, administrative changes recommended by SISC in the plans shall be implemented. If we remain in the current plan, those items would be negotiable.
5.     If employees join the larger SISC pool, each employee association could choose up to four plans.
6.     Both active faculty and faculty retirees (post-1988 retirees) need to maintain the same plan and costs.
7.     If employees choose to leave SISC for another Blue Cross provider, employees have to sit out using that provider for a year and instead find transitional insurance. (A transitional insurance plan could be expensive for the district and employees.)
8.     If employees choose the pool, the district and employees no longer will have to maintain a reserve.
9.     Current faculty contract language regarding health benefits will stay the same regardless of the venue we choose.
10.   A 75-day notice to SISC is required to move to the pool. Any plan changes require a 45-day notice.
11.  If employees move to the pool, the distribution of any remaining reserves would be negotiated.
12.   Both CCA and the district will commit to meet on a timely basis to discuss reasonable solutions. If needed, a smaller work group comprised of the chief negotiators and the district chief financial officer will agree to meet to explore options to resolve the issue in a timely matter.
 
 
To assist employees in understanding proposed health insurance options, the classified association, CSEA, has invited SISC representatives to make presentations to all employees at our three campuses on the pros and cons of staying in the current plan compared to joining the larger SISC pool. The district will send out an announcement next week with details of the times and locations at each campus. As of today, we do know SISC officials will be at Bakersfield College on March 15 from 5:45-7 p.m. and at Cerro Coso Community College on April 1. Porterville College’s meeting details will be decided next week. The district also will mail notices to retirees to invite them to attend these meetings as well.
 
On the issue of teaching in prison, CCA and the district made progress on draft language that slightly modified the existing MOU, and the district team agreed with the existing language that any assignment to teach in a prison or correctional facility must be voluntary. This means no KCCD faculty member will be assigned to teach in a prison or correctional facility on an involuntary basis.
 
In addition, both sides signed a proposed MOU regarding changes in faculty chair reassigned time. If ratified by our members this spring, these changes would start in the 2017-18 academic year. We also agreed to renew and sign the MOU regarding the 185-day contract for counselors and librarians so it continues into the 2016-17 academic year. Members also will be asked to vote on this MOU as part of the spring election.
 
For the health benefits discussion, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Abe Ali represented the district. CCA negotiators were joined by faculty members of the district’s Fringe Benefits Committee: Mary O’Neal, KCCD CCA vice president and grievance chair; Andrea Garrison, former KCCD CCA president and former chief negotiator; and Dr. Jack Hernandez, director of the BC Norman Levan Center for the Humanities and Philosophy Emeritus Faculty, and faculty retiree representative.
 
For the prison MOU, the Vice Chancellor was joined by Corey Marvin, Cerro Coso Community College Vice President, Academic Affairs, and Dena Rhoades, Human Resources Manager, Bakersfield College.
 
Both the district and CCA will keep you posted on the upcoming SISC health insurance meetings at our colleges.
 
Our next negotiations session is set for Friday, Mar. 18.
 
Sincerely,
 
Kathy Freeman
KCCD CCA President
 
Tom Greenwood
Chief Negotiator
Bakersfield College

Ann Marie Wagstaff
Negotiator
Porterville College
 
Matt Crow
Negotiator
Cerro Coso Community College
                 

Nicole Celaya
Adjunct Negotiator
Porterville College

Dec. 5, 2015 Update.pdf

(See paragraph five for information on health benefits).

Dec. 5, 2015 Update

Dear Colleagues,

CCA negotiators met Friday to continue our discussion of faculty chair duties and compensation with Abe Ali, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, and Dr. Emmanuel Mourtzanos, Dean of Instruction at Bakersfield College. We were joined by Jennifer Johnson, chair of the BC nursing department, to discuss professional experts hired by the department.

This was our last meeting to wrap up the duties of the Chair Assignment Review Task Force (CART), a group made up of chair representatives from each college that gathered information this semester from current and recent department/division chairs to review chair duties and compensation. We have surveyed chairs, gathered information on departments/divisions at each college, researched other contracts, and discussed possible formulas for chair compensation. Through this process, we have exchanged ideas and agreed the ultimate goal of any changes should be to recruit and retain faculty chairs.

We will present a summary of our progress to the Board of Trustees at its Dec. 17 meeting. In January, we begin negotiations on faculty chair compensation. The CCA and management teams will use a facilitator to assist us with the interest-based bargaining process. On Jan. 22, we will meet for a one-day session with facilitator Brigett Bodine, and if needed, we will meet again with Ms. Bodine in March.

On Friday we again exchanged ideas and reviewed the process outlined in the contract for approval of any changes in contract language. We expect to have much more information for you as negotiations progress, and CCA members will be asked to vote to ratify any proposed contract language that could affect chairs’ release time and extra duty days. We expect this election to occur sometime next spring.

We also discussed possible changes in health benefits. The overall question that faculty and classified employees will be asked to answer in spring will be whether we want to stay as a self-insured SISC program, or whether we want to move to the SISC pool, a large group of school districts throughout our area that also receives health benefits through SISC. Both options have pros and cons, so come spring, CCA, CSEA, and the district will work with the Fringe Benefits Committee and come up with an informational letter that lists these pros and cons that we can send out to everyone. We will then seek feedback from you to know which option you prefer. That will be the first step in determining how our benefits may change and how much that change may cost.

No matter what is decided, a change will be needed because our health insurance reserves account is diminishing. Right now we are below the SISC recommended reserve limit by more than $3 million. We expect to discuss health benefits this spring as part of negotiations and bring possible plans to CCA members for approval. This would require CCA members to vote to ratify these changes through an election, with any approved changes expected to start in October 2016.

If you are not a member of CCA, and you would like a voice in your health benefits or in faculty chair compensation, please join now. We have attached the fulltime and part-time membership forms for you.

Sincerely,

Kathy Freeman, KCCD CCA Presiden,t BC Grievance Officer
Tom Greenwood, Chief Negotiato,r Bakersfield College
Ann Marie Wagstaff, Negotiator, Porterville College
Matt Crow, Negotiator, Cerro Coso Community College
Nicole Celaya Adjunct Negotiator Porterville College

October 15, 2015 Update

Dear Colleagues,
 
Just a quick update on a few important items:
 
Health Benefits: On Tuesday, Oct. 13, CCA negotiators and members of the Fringe Benefits Committee received information from the district that supports the need to evaluate alternate health care plans. While we are in the early stages of this evaluation process, based on 10 of 12 months of data that was reviewed, the district estimates the employee out-of-pocket cost of our current health plan would be $332.44 a month, a cost that is too expensive for most KCCD employees. CCA will continue to work with the committee and district officials to evaluate and to recommend alternative health plans, a process that will take several months as we continue to gather information. 
 
Have You Been Reimbursed for Mileage?: CCA has filed a grievance on behalf of a part-time BC English instructor and all KCCD faculty for reimbursement of mileage owed to her after she taught at two campus locations in Spring 2015. If you have received mileage reimbursement in the last 10 years, CCA would like to hear about it to add to our list of examples of faculty who have been paid for mileage. Please e-mail a brief explanation of where you taught and when you were reimbursed to kfreeman@bakersfieldcollege.edu. Thank you for your help.
 
Dues Adjustment: As we reported in our last Union Advance newsletter, we recently learned that CTA requires local dues to be at least 30 percent of the combined state dues for a local chapter to receive arbitration assistance. Based on this formula, our local dues should be a total of $61 this year and not the $51 we now charge for full-time faculty, and part-timers’ local dues would increase from $4.99 to $5.99 per year. CCA officers recently voted to raise local dues $1 a month for full-timers, and $1 a year for part-timers, so we are in compliance with these arbitration assistance guidelines. This decision protects your right to arbitration, a process that can be expensive without CTA’s assistance. You will see these changes in this month’s paychecks.
 
Know Your Rights to Representation: If you are in a meeting and find yourself being reprimanded or being questioned at length by a supervisor or administrator, you have the right to request that a CCA representative be called to be present at that meeting. If a representative is not available immediately, you have the right to request that the meeting be postponed until a union representative can attend. If you are asked to voluntarily give up your rights to union representation so the meeting can continue, politely refuse and again request a union representative. Do not lose your temper, tell off the boss, or walk out of the meeting, since these actions can be seen as insubordination. Instead, know your Weingarten Rights to union representation since it is up to you to demand your right to be represented.
 
Based on the 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) vs. Weingarten, union employees are entitled to have union representation at meetings with supervisors that are investigatory or that could lead to disciplinary action. To invoke Weingarten Rights, a union member should say: “If my response to your questions could lead to my being disciplined, I request union representation at this meeting, and that the meeting be postponed until my union representative arrives.”
 
CCA is here for you. Thanks again for your support of a strong faculty voice.
 
Kathy

____________________________________________________

October 9, 2015 Update

Oct. 9, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

CCA negotiators and Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Abe Ali met today to continue our discussion of department/division faculty chair responsibilities and compensation. Bill Henry, Porterville College Vice President, Academic Affairs, and Kimberly McAbee, District Payroll Specialist, also participated in the discussion. Negotiations went well and we have requested additional information to help develop possible contract language related to chair duties.

We will meet Oct. 16 with members of the Chair Assignment Review Task Force (CART), a group made up of chair representatives from each college, to discuss final wording of a chair survey that will be sent to current and recent department/division chairs as part of the task force’s information-gathering process.

We did not discuss the issue of potential health benefit changes today. We hope to have more information on this issue following the Fringe Benefits Committee meeting on Tuesday.

Sincerely,

Kathy Freeman
KCCD CCA President
BC Grievance Officer

Tom Greenwood
Chief Negotiator
Bakersfield College

Ann Marie Wagstaff
Negotiator
Porterville College

Matt Crow
Negotiator
Cerro Coso Community College

Nicole Celaya
Adjunct Negotiator
Porterville College

____________________________________________________

October 2, 2015 Update

Oct. 2, 2015
 
Dear Colleagues,
CCA negotiators met with Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Abe Ali today to discuss department/division faculty chair responsibilities and compensation. We also briefly discussed the process for reviewing and negotiating potential changes to our current health benefits.
 
The discussions were collegial and constructive. As a result of language in the 2014-2017 faculty contract, a Chair Assignment Review Task Force (CART) made up of chair representatives from each college is gathering information from current and recent department/division chairs and faculty directors to review chair duties and compensation. As a part of this review, district and CCA negotiators agreed today to the following common interests:
1.     Recruit and retain department/division faculty chairs and directors.
2.     Fair and equitable workloads.
3.     Fair and equitable compensation.
4.     Communication between faculty and administrators.
5.     Maximize benefits for faculty chairs with regard to CalSTRS.
6.     Maintaining experienced faculty in the classroom.
7.     Opportunity for faculty leadership development.
 
We also reviewed possible questions for a chair survey that will be sent out soon as part of the information-gathering process. This survey will be sent to current and recent department/division chairs once the Vice Chancellor and CART representatives have approved the final wording. CART representatives will review the survey language during a meeting with CCA negotiators on Oct. 16, and the Vice Chancellor has been invited to attend that meeting.
 
Our discussion regarding potential health benefit changes also was cordial and productive. On Sept. 22, the Vice Chancellor notified CCA that based on the annual budget analysis, the district is projecting that the excess health plan reserves will be exhausted during the 2015-16 academic year. This projection was shared with the Fringe Benefits Committee at its Sept. 8 meeting.
 
The Vice Chancellor and CCA negotiators agreed that a common interest is to evaluate current data regarding the excess health plan reserves, and if warranted, to research potential health care options in a responsible and thoughtful manner. Negotiators and the district will work with the Fringe Benefits Committee this year as we examine possible options.
 
Sincerely,
 
Kathy Freeman
KCCD CCA President
BC Grievance Officer
 
Tom Greenwood
Chief Negotiator
Bakersfield College

Ann Marie Wagstaff
Negotiator
Porterville College
 
Matt Crow
Negotiator
Cerro Coso Community College
 
Nicole Celaya
Adjunct Negotiator
Porterville College

____________________________________________________

Dear Faculty Members:


At the Sept. 8, 2015 KCCD Fringe Benefits Committee meeting, Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Abe Ali announced district employees will have to pay part of their health benefit premiums every month starting in January 2016 due to low reserves in the district’s health plan fund. When reserves are low, he is obligated to inform labor groups. CCA has not received official notification of this yet, but once we do, we will demand to bargain on this important issue.

At the meeting, the Vice Chancellor said he would use old agreements that employees signed in 2012 indicating each employee’s out-of-pocket plan choice; however, after CCA and CSEA representatives objected, he agreed to ask employees their choice again regarding staying with the current health plan or choosing an alternative one.

The Fringe Benefits Committee has not had the opportunity to vet alternative heath plans for 2015-16, a step that should occur before alternative plans are presented to employees. CCA representatives on the committee have requested the district provide recent data from Self-Insured Schools of California (SISC) regarding KCCD's medical insurance reserves before alternative health plans or increases in premiums are considered.

Since so much information is not known at this point, we will provide you with updates as we learn more. Besides e-mailing you, we soon will post information on a page called “Your Health Benefits” on the KCCD CCA website so you can find health benefits updates easily in one location.

In the meantime, thank you for your support of CCA.

Kathy Freeman