The Community Colleges of Spokane approved a controversial plan Tuesday to distribute $1.18 million to full- and part-time faculty members during the next two years.
The CCS board of trustees adopted a new pay schedule for full-time instructors that funnels the largest increases to top-scale employees who have been stuck for years with little means of increasing their wages. The change will allow the highest-paid teachers to earn up to $50,000 in four years, a level comparable to instructors’ pay at other community colleges across the state.
The board also OK’d a change in the way part-time teachers are paid.
Members of the Association for Higher Education faculty union voted, 161-125, last week to approve the new full-time teachers’ pay schedule.
But Susan Dimick, chairwoman of the mathematics department at Spokane Community College, made a spirited plea to trustees to stop the deal, saying it had been forged by the senior teachers who stand to gain the most. Approximately 110 top-scale instructors will get pay raises of $3,542 to $8,584 over two years, she said, while 100 less-experienced teachers will get from $5 to $542.
“It’s not fair; it’s not acceptable,” said Dimick, who is at top scale.
But Tom McLuen, a veteran history teacher at Spokane Falls Community College, said that top-scale faculty members have been subsidizing pay raises for their lessexperienced colleagues for many years with no reward.
“It’s time to balance the sheet in a different direction,” he said. “It’s time for some justice to be restored.”