Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Part-time faculty members still advocating for health benefits

Lyndsey+Lefebvre%2C+English+instructor%2C+lightening+the+mood+while+advocating+for+covered+health+insurance+for+part-time+faculty%2C+Nov.+15.+
Emanuel Guadarrama
Lyndsey Lefebvre, English instructor, lightening the mood while advocating for covered health insurance for part-time faculty, Nov. 15.

Over 17 faculty members gathered once more to advocate for health coverage benefits during the board of trustees meeting on Nov. 15.

Assembly Bill 190, which was also brought up during the previous board meeting, is an ongoing budget by the state legislature that would allow community college districts to provide healthcare coverage for part-time faculty with full reimbursement.

During the comments from the audience, 17 faculty members, 10 in person and seven online, each shared their experiences and concerns as they urged the board to negotiate with the Cerritos College Faculty Federation, to adopt AB 190.

“A lot of part-time faculty here do have a lot of contributions to campus and I don’t think it should be unrecognized,” said Dante Gaffield, ASCC cabinet director of sustainability, who was the first to comment on the topic of AB 190.

“Their sacrifices should not go unrecognized and their labor should not go without compensation, thank you,” Gaffield said.

Desiree Montenegro, a part-time faculty member, advocated for the adoption of covered health care for part-time faculty again, she shared some statistics about the population of part-time faculty.

“According to the California Community College Chancellor’s Office management information system data mark, 49.59%… that is half of our Faculty Community, which is more likely a higher percentage today,” Montenegro said.

She then highlighted the importance of adopting AB 190, “Number one it shows institutional equitable practice, number 2 it’s pragmatic and essential, number 3 it shows that we are forward thinking and early adapters to good practice and policy,” she said.

Lyndsey Lefebvre, a part-time faculty member and English instructor, helped lighten the mood while advocating for covered health insurance benefits.

“The state has the money, I didn’t think that would ever happen but now here we are… We can be on the forefront of this, other schools have done it, we can do it, you’ve been doing it, we can do it more, we could do it better,” Lefebvre said.

There were a few more faculty members who also shared their experiences and struggles such as Glenn Johnson who used to be a full-time faculty member at another school but after COVID-19 was replaced by three part-time faculty members.

Bobbi-Lee Smart, a part-time faculty and sociology instructor shared her financial struggles and how she’s had to warn her students who want to become teachers to have a way out ready due to it being harder every year to make ends meet.

“I talk to a lot of students who want to teach… and I’m like no you don’t cus I don’t make shit… and my retirement is a joke,” said Smart, “Why am I teaching college, telling my students that this is the route to success, to a better life when it’s led me into poverty.”

“If the state’s going to reimburse you, I don’t see why we’re not doing this, please give us the health care that we deserve because we are professionals.”

Dennis Falcon, faculty president, voiced his support for his colleagues.

“I’m going to get behind it 100% and I will do everything I can in my capacity… to support the work that the CCFF does to negotiate and fight for the working conditions and the compensation of my colleagues,” he said.

Dr. Lynn Wang, president of CCFF gave an overview with more context on AB 190 to encourage the district to adopt the assembly bill.

Within Wang’s presentation, which has all of its sources cited in the last slide, under the current Article 10.7, the reimbursement pool is $137,000 and the district is only reimbursed 50 cents on the dollar.

With the adoption of AB 190 with the $200 million state budget the district would be reimbursed dollar for dollar with no significant cost to the district.

“Fully enacting AB 190 will allow many of our part-time colleagues to breathe a little easier and support our students more because we know faculty working conditions are student’s learning conditions… It’s time we step up and make it happen now,” Wang said.

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About the Contributor
Emanuel Guadarrama, Co-News Editor
Emanuel Guadarrama is the returning news editor for Talon Marks, who’ll be covering any and all newsworthy events or stories on campus. When he isn’t working on his news section, he enjoys listening to various genres of music and reading. He also likes going on hikes, walking with his dog and spending time with his friends and family.
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