Support staff earnings could change

Tracy Chamberlin

City College support staff salaries and job titles will see changes in the future as a result of an $80,000 classification study.

College officials said job descriptions and salary rates had not been examined and redefined in almost 25 years.

“We were concerned about not having enough career ladders for our employees,” said Sue Ehrlich, vice president of Human Resources and Legal Affairs at City College.

Ewing Consulting Services presented the study results at the Board of Trustees meeting in February.

“We have finally made the transfer from typewriter to computer keyboard,” said Ehrlich.

Patricia English is the Human Resources manager and member of the classification study’s advisory committee.

She said the study results showed City College was below the average salary median for comparable colleges like UCSB, Santa Barbara City Schools, Cuesta and Glendale.

Although results show most salary rates should be raised, not all are suggested to increase.

One chart in the study’s report compares the maximum salary rates of proposed job titles. The study results suggest, for example, two jobs that see no change in the maximum salary rate and seven others that have a lower recommend rate.

“We took a position that we would not lower anyone who came in under market value,” said President-Superintendent John Romo.

The cost of the study does not touch upon the cost of implementing its suggestions. College officials could not guess at the cost of making the suggested changes for two reasons.

First, implementation involves many things including changing both pay and job descriptions for many different titles and throughout many different departments.

Second, and most important, concerns the current negotiations going on between the college and one of the largest classified employees’ unions in the United States, the California School Employees Association.

Ehrlich said a standing committee was created so the college and unions could discuss matters and hopes to conclude negotiations at the end of summer.

Implementing changes from the classification study cannot begin until the contract negotiations are complete. Romo said the salary negotiations with the association and the implementation process of the classification study will be considered as two separate issues during talks with the union.

Ewing’s report says making these kinds of changes can take years and college officials agree it would take time. Ehrlich said it would certainly take more than a year and jobs currently advertised would receive the current pay rate.

Feedback for the study consisted of questionnaires and forums. English said more than 90 percent of the questionnaires were returned and was pleased with participation by the college’s employees. She said and the study would not have worked without it.