Palomar Part-Timers Get Equity Pay Held By College Since 2001

Palomar College and its faculty union agreed Thursday that $2.8 million in state money aimed at boosting the pay of part-time teachers will be freed up, a move that clears a major hurdle toward finalizing a first-ever teacher contract, the college and Palomar Faculty Federation announced.

The agreement, which calls for raises of up to 2 percent to be paid retroactively to part-time teachers, comes on the heels of a call from the college’s governing board at its Aug. 10 meeting, led by board member Darrell McMullen, to use the so-called parity money. The estimated $2.8 million comes from the state’s general fund and has been accumulating in Palomar’s coffers since 2001.

Though both union and administration negotiators agree that the college’s part-time salaries are not competitive, the administration has held the view that the parity money should be paid out only when all elements of the contract were settled. Thursday’s agreement allows for that salary boost to be paid out as soon as September, with approval of the college governing board, even though contract issues remain.

Better pay for part-time faculty was a key issue that sparked the drive to organize a faculty union at Palomar in 2000. The

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