Possible Teacher Strike Looms at Community College of Phila. As Talks Continue

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Community College of Philadelphia has put what it calls its “final” contract offer on the table for its instructors.

CCP president Stephen Curtis says the school’s final offer to 1,600 faculty and staff includes pay raises in four out of five years, and what he called “modest” increases in health care co-pays and the establishment of a medical deductible.

“The reduced government funding, the rising cost of health care… at some point there simply is a limit in terms of the money that we will have available to pay for a new contract,” he says.

The two sides have been negotiating for more than a year.  Their five-year contract expired last August.

Steve Jones, co-president of the Faculty and Staff Federation of CCP, says more talks are set for Monday and Tuesday.

“We’ve actually offered them concessions on health care that we were reluctant to do, but we think are very reasonable,” he tells KYW Newsradio.

Jones says the union has voted in favor of a strike authorization, but for now he’s focused on reaching an agreement.

The last faculty strike at CCP was a 12-day walkout in 2007.

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One Comment

  1. J says:

    the administrators should have the pay cut by 2/3

  2. Pete says:

    “Stephen Curtis says the school’s final offer to 1,600 faculty and staff includes pay raises in four out of five years”

    It should be noted that they ‘years’ in the contract aren’t 12-month years, but some arbitrary 18-month years. They may provide pay increases for 4 out of 5 of those, but the contract is only for 5 real years, so what they are actually offering is:

    2012-2014: 0%
    2014-2016: 1.5%
    2016-2017: 3% (unless the school loses 2% of its budget, which is essentially guaranteed with reductions in federal support and declining attendance)

    So it’s really only a 1.5% increase over 5 years, when inflation is at 3.16% annually. Essentially, every faculty member will be making ~$5,000 less per year by 2017, while CCP President Stephen M Curtis alone will have amassed 1.25 million dollars.

  3. Sick of Corporate Education says:

    What is offered the teachers makes sense in the current economy. It’s not a gross set of demands. However, the problem is that this contract applies to more than just Teachers. It applies to faculty like secretaries and custodial services and more. These positions start out in the the $20’s a year. Some of these workers are on food stamps because their pay is so low. They can’t afford expensive deductibles like some tenured professors and administration can. Meanwhile Administrative positions and costs have risen to unsustainable levels. Which is why the CCP administration cancelled the prestigious Becker Awards Ceremony put on by the CCP Center for LAW and SOCIETY and uninvited Senator Bob Casey from it’s rescheduled date. To keep anyone from seeing the information below. With the current admin costs, what happens when the college receives more than a 4% budget cut, like the universities facing 40+% cuts right now??



    CCP is funded partly by Philadelphia and Pennsylvania taxpayers and increasingly by student tuition payments. Its faculty have very modest salaries, while the wages of its secretarial and maintenance workers are so low that some must rely on food stamps. Yet the administration, offering tiny raises linked to big medical deductibles, would force faculty and staff to move backward rather than forward over the next five years, claiming there’s not enough money to offer contracts that keep place with inflation. So where did all CCP’s money go? It was used for the following hefty expenses.

    A glut of new administrators

    From 1998-2010, the total number of CCP administrators increased 64%, while the total number of full-time faculty increased only 9.5%

    A bloated administrative budget

    In 1998, administrative salaries consumed 14% of CCP’s total salary budget. But by 2010, administrative salaries increased to a full 21% of CCP’s total salary budget.

    If administrative wages had remained at 14% of CCP’s total salary expenditures, CCP could have saved thirty million dollars, more than enough for fair contracts for faculty and staff, who do the college’s real work.

    Big bucks for the top tier

    While faculty and staff salaries remain depressed, CCP’s President and high-ranking administrators earn handsome salaries, at taxpayers’ expense:

    0 CCP’s President Stephen Curtis earned about $230,000 in 2005 but his total compensation ballooned to about $300,000 by 2011, making him one of the most highly paid public officials in the state of Pennsylvania, earning more than Governor Corbett or Mayor Nutter. But unlike Mayor Nutter, who took a pay cut in response to Philadelphia’s budget problems, Dr. Curtis told students at his 2/7 Open Forum that he wouldn’t consider doing this, regardless of CCP’s financial situation. (This was after telling students that given the current economic crisis, we must all tighten our belts.)

    0 Thirteen of CCP’s other top administrators (including various Vice Presidents, Associate Vice Presidents, Directors, and Deans) earn between $116,000 and $180,000 yearly, for an average salary of about $162,000 yearly.

    Too many lawyers

    Over the past year, faculty and staff union leaders have spent hundreds of hours negotiating with CCP’s administration. At each negotiating session, the administration is accompanied by not one but two highly paid lawyers: one is their staff lawyer and the other is from Fox, Rothchild and O’Brien, one of Philadelphia’s most expensive corporate law firms. These two lawyers are paid with hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars. (The faculty and staff union has no lawyers at these negotiating sessions.)

    If you don’t like where your tuition and taxpayer dollars are going, support fair contracts for CCP’s faculty and staff, who do the real work here. Here’s how you can help us prevent a strike:

    Sign a POST CARD to President Curtis telling him to settle the contracts in a way that prevents faculty and staff from losing money. (Post cards are available at the Federation office, BR-63.)

    Faculty, staff and students:
    When Senator Casey comes to CCP for an award ceremony, come to the DEMONSTRATION asking him to persuade President Curtis to settle the contracts in a fair way.

    The demonstration will take place outside and inside the Center for Business and Industry (CBI building), (18th and Callowhill), from 8:00-9:15 a.m., on Monday, February 27.

    The Path to Possibilities should not
    lead backwards for ordinary people!

  4. The Truth says:

    This is a very sad story for America. Its ashamed to know that these professors aren’t getting fully compensated to be educators. Even Septa offer their employees the best benefit package. Most of them only have a H.S diploma. Sounds like our society doesn’t appreciate teachers who spends half their life learning and achieving the highest degree just to be limited while working as a professor. Some only get $15 an hour to teach. Septa overpays their workers $22 an hour, and most only have a high school education. You wonder why America is failing! !

    1. ScottY17 says:

      I don’t understand the comparison of a community college teacher pay structure to employees of SEPTA? There are professions and jobs that pay far more than SEPTA – so what? Go apply for those if teachers are underpaid.

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