LRCCD full-time faculty receive workplace benefits at the cost of part-time faculty

Contract negotiations are not as positive as the campaign first thought


Full time employees in the Los Rios district have benefited the most from the new contract proposals while part-time employees don’t receive those benefits. The campaign for Family Workplace Justice previously attended a March 8 Board of Trustees meeting to advocate for better staff benefits at the Los Rios District Office. (Photo courtesy of Sara Smith)

The campaign for Family Workplace Justice spent time advocating for better benefits for all Los Rios staff this year. The contract agreement was settled on April 28 and wasn’t as beneficial as staff initially thought.

“We have been advocating for 12 weeks of fully paid parental, family caregiving and serious health leave,” representatives for the Campaign for Family Workplace Justice said in an email sent out to all Los Rios staff. “As well as improvements to our bereavement leave and child and family-care subsidies.”

Wins included an increase from five days to eight weeks of paid parental leave for full time and part time employees. Up to 12 weeks of sick leave can also be added for up to 20 weeks of parental leave.

Sara Smith, professor of history at American River College, considers the eight weeks of paid parental leave as a win for full-time and part-time staff. 

“This would have not been possible without the commitment and hard work of our union leaders,” Smith said. 

Family caregiving leave improved from a guaranteed seven days and now adds up to six weeks leave, but only for full time staff.

Other wins include the ability to use sick leave not only for physical health, but also mental health days.

Losses include the four weeks of catastrophic leave that can be added to the caregiving leave for full-time, but not part-time employees.

Smith said that she is disappointed that the agreement doesn’t extend to part-timers.

“Part-timers are already more undervalued in our district, and as a union,” Smith said. “We need to do everything in our power to prevent the deepening of disparities between full-time and part-time faculty.”

Paid parental leave has been something that all employees benefit from, but part-time employees are excluded from family caregiving and serious health leave.

The campaign was also advocating for a sick leave donation bank where employees can donate some of their sick leave hours to benefit other staff that may need it, however this was not a part of the new agreement. 

There was no change to bereavement leave, where the campaign was asking for five to ten days depending on the miles required to travel.

There was also no change in child care or family care subsidies.

Another loss for part-time faculty is that if unpaid leave exceeds three days per year, advancement on the salary schedule is withheld. 

Although the campaign did not get exactly what they were advocating for they said their work is not done advocating for family workplace justice.

Smith extended her appreciation to the Los Rios College Federation of Teachers for all the work that they did to help the campaign.

“I feel it’s important to thank the LRCFT bargaining team for their hard work and responsiveness to our campaign,” Smith said. This would not have been possible without the commitment and hard work of our union leaders.”