SAN MARCOS – Each year, the California Federation of Teachers recognizes American Federation of Teachers and CFT locals and individual members with the Women in Education Award for promoting the rights of women and issues of gender equity within an educational workplace.
During the Annual CFT Convention last week, Palomar College faculty members Barbara Baer and Jenny Fererro were honored with this prestigious award for their work in advocating for the funding of healthcare benefits for part-time faculty members throughout the state.
Both Professors Baer and Fererro admit that it has been the dedicated work of many that has resulted in the realization of improving parity between full-time and part-time faculty.
Baer, a professor of Economics, said, "there is no way for one person to be successful at making this kind of change on their own. There have been numerous advocates throughout the years and countless hours have been spent to get us to this point in time." She added, "I accepted the award on behalf of everyone at Palomar College. I am so proud of the work we have done."
The Palomar Faculty Federation has never let up in discussing the needs of part-time faculty members, many of whom work at multiple community colleges in order to earn a livable wage to provide for their families.
Fererro has been active in the PFF since she was hired at Palomar College as a professor in the Child Development and Education program. She said, "we do our best work when we work together and are focused on solutions that are mutually beneficial for all employees."
She echoed Baer's statement of pride in receiving the award and added "the impact of this work is incalculable. It makes me proud to work at Palomar College."
Both Baer and Fererro are leaders who have set the stage for educators who are just starting their careers. They both exemplify the dedication that it takes to ideate change and see it come to fruition. They want every employee to know that they can be a part of the solution and encourage them to get involved in whatever way they can to have a well-rounded experience at Palomar College.
"As I have come to know and work with Barbara and Jenny, I realize that their dedication goes beyond contributing to the success of the PFF. They are committed to the success of Palomar College students and this institution. For this, we are grateful, and we are incredibly proud that they have been recognized at the state level with such an important award," said Dr. Star Rivera-Lacey, superintendent/president of Palomar College.
Submitted by Palomar College.