Published in the February 18, 2015 Santa Maria Times.

It took nearly a year, but the Hancock College Part-time Faculty Association finally has a contract.

The Board of Trustees unanimously approved the deal Tuesday night at its regular meeting. If the rank and file ratifies the contract, the three-year deal will take the group through June 2017. Mark Miller, president of the association, said the members of the bargaining group were unanimous in their support of the contract when it was finalized this week, and that so far all of the ballots they have received from members also approve of the deal.

The agreement calls for:

  • An 8-percent raise over the next two years — a 4-percent increase effective this spring semester, a 2-percent raise this fall, and another 2-percent raise in fall 2016;
  • An additional 20-percent raise for service faculty above the 8-percent increase for counselors, librarians and nurses effective this spring;
  • A 50-percent increase in office hours for credit faculty starting in fall 2015;
  • An increase in professional development hours per semester for each semester-length class from 1.5 hours to 2 hours;
  • Free parking and more.

Part-time head coaches also benefit from the new agreement. They will receive the same stipend as head coaches who are on staff full time.

“It falls into line with what we were seeking. We got just about everything we were looking for,” Miller said in an interview.

The terms of the contract are cemented for three years, which is unusual. Miller said this is the first time the association negotiators have agreed to a closed contract. Normally, either the association or district administration can reopen portions of the contract after a year.

“There was advantages to having a closed contract this time,” Miller said. “We have one that is one of the best of its kind.”

Hancock President Kevin Walthers told the board members he thought the contract was fair and he liked the fact that it was a concrete deal for three years.

“It closes the gap on some parity issues we’ve seen,” he said.

“I’m personally appreciative of the three-year agreement,” board President Greg Pensa added.