Statement on Faculty Negotiations
August 27, 2020
Dr. David Bordelon spoke at the meeting of the Ocean County College Board of Trustees on July 23, 2020, and made several assertions about the status of negotiations. This is the College’s response:
The negotiation committees of Ocean County College (“College”) and the Faculty Association of Ocean County College (“FAOCC”) mutually agreed to meet for a negotiations session without the State-appointed fact finder on July 16, 2020. The purpose of the meeting was to attempt to resolve the remaining issues and achieve a settlement of the successor collective negotiations agreement (“CNA”). At the July 16 meeting, the College proposals, made in good faith, were wholly consistent with those previously presented in the final mediation session on January 17, 2020. As such, the College’s negotiation position has remained constant, with no new demands and no regressive bargaining throughout the entire process. In fact, the College proposed an increased salary package during the July 16 meeting, with no response from the FAOCC. The College’s salary proposals, over the five-year contractual term, include a 2.5% increase, plus a $500 non-pensionable ratification bonus in the first year; 2.6% in year 2; 2.7% in year 3; 2.8% in year 4; and 2.9% in year 5.
In short, the FAOCC has rejected all of the proposals made by the College, and has failed to offer a counter-proposal to resolve the major contractual issues between the parties. Additionally, the College’s position on retroactive pay has also remained consistent since the last meeting with a mediator from the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (“PERC”) on January 17, 2020. In that meeting, the College informed the FAOCC that it would not agree to retroactive pay increases unless an agreement was executed by no later than March 1, 2020. In essence, the inflexibility and delays by the FAOCC since negotiations began nearly two (2) years ago in October of 2018 have caused the prolonged and continued impasse in negotiations toward a successor agreement to the collective bargaining contract that expired on August 31, 2019. In the meantime, every member of the FAOCC has continued to receive the same full-time salary provided in the 2019 contract year.
Nevertheless, the College Administration and the Board of Trustees emphasize that we stand ready and willing to return to the table and continue negotiations, in good faith, to reach a contract settlement that serves the interests of both the FAOCC membership and the College.
Jon H. Larson, Ph.D.
Ocean County College President