KCCD angers staff

Maryann Kopp

Roughly 50 classified employees working for the Kern Community College District picketed in front of the Weill Institute where the KCCD Board of Trustees meeting was being held on Nov. 6.
Circling around in front of the east entrance to the building with signs, some of the picketers chanted in response to one another, “What do you want?” “Fair contracts.” “When do you want it?” “Now.”
Others stood with signs, some which read, “KCCD targets the lowest paid,” and “Health care shouldn’t hurt.”
The demonstration was organized by the California School Employees Association in response to having to work a year and a half without a contract, all the while having health fees deducted from their paychecks.
Classified workers include janitors, secretaries and campus security as well as myriad other workers at BC. They are the lowest paid workers on campus and are the only ones, thus far, receiving the health fee cut from their paychecks.
“We want to negotiate for a fair contract for all,” said Marco Sifuentes, the Bakersfield College chapter president for the CSEA. “The district hasn’t given us a contract in over a year.”
The vice president for the BC chapter of the CSEA, Patti Rapp, was also present.
“There are parts of the contract that we might want to update or revise, but the administration hasn’t come forward to negotiate yet,” Rapp said. “And now they are taking more health fees in addition to the ones they were already deducting. We haven’t moved forward in a year and a half.”
Classified employees have shown their dismay on campus with signs displayed in their cars or on the door of their offices that read: Kern County College District KCCD Board of Trustees Members Dennis Beebe, John Corkins, John Rodgers, Rose Marie Bans, Kay Meek, Stu Wilt, Pauline Larwood: Shame on You! Classified employees deserve a fair contract NOW!
When asked for the district’s side in the matter, KCCD Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, Abe Ali, responded on Nov. 12 with “I am about to send an update to all classified staff today. That will be the district’s factual involvement attempting resolve on CSEA negotiations.”
A copy of the update was not made available to The Rip.