Again stymied by the Gila Community College board chairman’s refusal to place topics on the agenda, board member Tom Loeffler marched to the podium during the public comment period at last week’s meeting to talk about employee contracts.
“You want to introduce yourself?” asked board member Bob Ashford.
Loeffler said he was concerned that faculty began this semester without contracts, which presents a huge liability to the district.
“Some might think this is a personnel issue,” he said. Boards are prohibited from discussing personnel issues in public.
Board member Larry Stephenson said, “I think he raises a procedural issue — a serious issue — that we should address.”
Stephenson said he has taught extensively as an adjunct faculty member and has always signed a contract before starting class.
After the meeting, Loeffler said he’s heard that at least one college faculty person was wary to renew a residential lease because the person wasn’t sure GCC would offer a contract. A professional institution should issue the forms before the semester, he said.
“I don’t think we should ever have anyone walk into a classroom without a contract,” added Loeffler.
Also this semester, one faculty member filed a complaint with the state labor board after Eastern Arizona College twice delayed pay dates and condensed the number of checks into two from three.
Eastern changed its pay practices as a result of the complaint. GCC contracts with Eastern for administrative and academic services because Gila County cannot run its own college. GCC formed after the state installed tax base and population thresholds, which Gila County does not meet.
April’s meeting marked the second time Loeffler approached the podium to counter Ashford’s refusing to place select topics on the meeting agenda.
In March, Loeffler requested discussion on several topics, including receiving budget information in an understandable format, scheduling a long-promised work-study session, and increasing the ability of all board members to receive information from Eastern, which runs GCC.
None of those topics appeared on this month’s agenda.