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Good News from Your Negotiations Team

Hello Faculty Colleagues,

The PFF Negotiations Team has some important and good news to report. On Wednesday (yesterday), our team and CCE's negotiation team met with Dr. Kahn, acting VPHRS Linda Beam, acting VPFAS Yulian Ligioso, and District negotiator Lisa Norman. The District team admitted that they overbudgeted $4.5 million, meaning that the expected District deficit, rather than being $11.7 million (as has been being used as a weapon to back up threats of faculty salary cuts and RIFs for classified staff) is instead closer to $7.3 million. With the additional savings that PFF has identified and contributed towards, including 25+ faculty retirements, we are essentially looking at close-to-a-balanced budget for next year, assuming the same revenues. Quite a change from the panic-inducing information that has been disseminated up until now!

It is extremely important to note that a large portion of credit for this "find" is due to the fact that the PFF and CCE negotiation teams were persistent and careful about continually calling out errors in the data and numbers provided by the District. Weeks prior to yesterday's announcement, PFF had noticed these types of discrepancies, and has been alerting the District's negotiations team - providing charts and excel documents with numbers extremely similar to the "found" money. Without our doggedness, it is likely that faculty would have faced significant cuts with long-term impacts. Our team has spent weeks poring over data, running calculations, and finding and correcting errors. We are extremely grateful that Dr. Kahn and the District team were forthcoming with their verification of our suspicions, and were open with the campus community about the errors during the Wednesday afternoon Budget update Zoom call. We are also optimistic that Dr. Kahn and Mr. Ligioso's planned changes to fiscal and budgetary processes at Palomar will help us avoid similar situations in the future.

Dr. Kahn made it clear to our team that the District is not comfortable asking for any sort of salary rollback or layoffs at this time, given this "new" information. This is a HUGE win for us, as we were facing the very real possibility of salary cuts and furloughs.

Our work is not done, however. We will continue negotiations to ensure that the benefits changes are reasonable and effective, and we also need to recognize that the upcoming CA state budget is likely to be very challenging for the community colleges. We will be facing difficult negotiations over challenging and impactful decisions over the next year, but we will continue to be careful, diligent, and stubborn in our protection of faculty.

We continue the fight...

In unity,

Jenny Fererro, PFF Lead Negotiator

Barbara Baer and Teresa Laughlin, PFF Co-Presidents

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