Enhancing Retirement Education and Sick Leave Advocacy for Part-time Faculty
March 19, 2023


Whereas, temporary or part-time community college faculty have historically faced more challenges to a stable retirement and benefits due to inequities in salary as well as re-assignment rights; and

Whereas, California PreK-14 school districts are required to offer the CalSTRS Defined Benefit (DB) pension as an option for all educators, including part-time community college faculty; and

Whereas, starting contributions to a CalSTRS DB system early in one’s career greatly increases service credit, and therefore retirement income, as well as the enhanced value of sick leave; and

Whereas, California community college school districts offer alternative retirement plans, such as Apple, CalSTRS Cash Balance, Social Security, and/or some alternative plans to part-time educators, in which case unused sick time has no value for part-time faculty; and

Whereas, newly hired part-time faculty often do not receive sufficient information on employer contribution rates or the complexities of these different retirement systems; and

Whereas, there is an inherent conflict of interest because the district contribution rates to these alternative plans are significantly lower than the contribution rate to the CalSTRS DB plan; and

Whereas, many districts enroll newly hired part-time educators in these alternative plans, often without explanations of the ramifications of their retirement options; and

Whereas, many CFT members have had their retirement income reduced, often by hundreds of thousands of dollars, because they were not informed of their options and defaulted into a less expensive alternative; and

Whereas, part-time faculty employees often are not informed of their sick pay leave accruals and the potential service credit of these days for CalSTRS DB plan; and

Whereas, part-time faculty employees on alternative plans have sick days with no value upon retirement, with potential losses of thousands of dollars; 

Therefore, be it resolved, that the CFT supports the creation of a training program on retirement options for part-time faculty union members and their connection to sick leave; and

Be it further resolved, that as part of the onboarding process, human resources departments be required to provide newly hired employees a chart with their retirement system options, as well as the opportunity to meet with their union representatives before enrolling in retirement plans; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT help locals compel all districts to provide complete information concerning retirement system options to all newly hired employees and require employee signatures on the retirement options forms within 60 days of hire, and also inform them that they can change their selection from Apple, Social Security, CalSTRS Cash Balance and other programs into CalSTRS DB, but once DB has been chosen, no change is possible; andBe it further resolved, that the CFT will demand that all education districts conduct an audit of part-time employee signatures on their retirement options forms; and

Be it further resolved, that the CFT conduct a survey of current retirement options in each district for part-time faculty; and

Be it finally resolved, that the CFT advocates for a cash payout or an alternative value for unused sick days for part-time faculty who are enrolled in retirement plans other than CalSTRS DB.

  • Submitted by the Retirement Policy Committee and the San Francisco Community College District Federation of Teachers, Retiree Chapter, Local 2121-R