An average class costs about $4,500 to $5,000, officials said.
Community colleges across California this past year saw enrollment spike by roughly 5% compared with the 2007-08 academic year, state education officials said. Glendale Community College has been wrestling with overcrowding this year, and was forced to reduce spending by $1 million to $86.9 million this year.
The college faces an estimated $4.5-million or $5-million deficit for 2010-11, and some of the employee concessions may be a down payment on future cuts, officials said.
Representatives from employee groups said they recognized they needed to share some of the burden.
“It was a no-brainer to help the college,” said Saodat Aziskhanova, president of the college’s classified employees union. “We have to balance the books, you know. That was important.”
When California cut community college spending in 2003, the classified union took a pay cut, but 33 staffers were ultimately laid off, Aziskhanova said.
“This time, we didn’t even talk about layoffs, but we had to do something,” she said.
Part-time faculty, which represent more than 600 of the college’s roughly 800 instructors, had their pay cut more than 3% this year, and faculty members did not want to see that happen twice, guild President Ramona Barrio-Sotillo said.
“For us, it was a way for us to share the pain with our part-timers,” she said. “We don’t want to lose our faculty, we want to maintain quality faculty at our college, so when the time came for us to make a decision, our full-time and our part-timers too felt this was what was best for all of us.”
The college is one of two California campuses where faculty and staff have made concessions because of the budget crisis, Lindsay said. The college cannot raise tuition or implement new fees either, as pricing is done by California Community Colleges System in Sacramento.
“And every time fees go up by $1, we have people who can’t afford it,” Lindsay said. “The [number of] international students has decreased because of the economy. We’re being hit in every possible direction.”
International students are a source of revenue for the college. They pay about $180 for every unit, but other students pay $26 per unit.
“We have more people coming back to school because of the economy, we serviced students that we weren’t paid back for,” Lindsay said. “We anticipate we’re going to have problems next year as well, and we’re trying to be as strategic as possible.”