ASG brings salary debate to students

The Associated Student Government is focusing on the issue of staff and faculty pay, and they are taking their message directly into the classrooms. With the board of trustees meeting, ASG is taking the opportunity to raise the pay for Bellevue College’s faculty and staff. No longer just holding open air protests, ASG aims to raise awareness about the issue in a classroom setting. “The main thing we’re doing now is collecting signatures to petition the board of trustees. We already have over 500 signatures on the petition most of which are collected in classroom visits,” states Komalpreet Kaur Sahota, chief justice of ASG. “We hope to get this to the negotiations team to show our support in the board of trustees meeting to help with negotiations.” If ASG is successful, professors and adjunct professors alike will receive higher wages for the work that they are doing. “Professors are paid for 30 to 40 hours a week, but they work closer to double that because they’re grading homework on the weekend, staying after even though they don’t get paid to do it,” said Adelai Gomez, ASG emerging technology and entrepreneurial representative. “I think its long overdue, and they definitely deserve it.”
ASG’s position is not considered to be straightforward. “I know that they are in a weird kind of limbo. They are actively supporting the faculty, however, they aren’t actually allowed into the contract negotiations meeting,” stated Brandon Lueken, program coordinator and ASG’s faculty advisor. “I think that this is an issue that ASG thought that they could put their own weight behind. I mean, when you get down to the nitty-gritty, students come here to learn from professors who help facilitate learning in their own style. The students’ learning is the nuts and bolts of what holds the college together, so if something is preventing that, then things will start falling away to help make that happen.” “We’re planning on continuing our class visits, getting as many signatures as we can,” Sahota stated. “We are going to as many classes as possible. I’ve been to Biology, Accounting, English, Communications […] We are hitting across the board as much as possible. The goal is to go to as many classes as possible, and as you can see, we already have quite a few.”
“When professors are dissatisfied, the students notice.” says Lueken. “It can be extremely destructive to the learning environment when a professor doesn’t want to be here.” With the board of trustees meeting in progress, Bellevue College’s faculty should know whether they will see progress on this issue. “The issue of faculty is not one that will resolve itself quickly. It will take time, it will take money, and it will take many steps. We want to see signs that the college is taking steps to help their faculty. That is our ultimate goal,” said Sahota.