Monthly Archives: November 2009

June 30, 2009

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

June 30, 2009, at CSM

Present: Alma Cervantes, Chip Chandler, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Anne Stafford

Meeting began at 1:25

Facilitator: Teeka James

Trust Committee update

Teeka recently created and emailed to the EC a thorough chronological history of her communications with Harry Joel regarding the formation of a new Trust Committee.

Yesterday Teeka and Monica met with the Chancellor Harry Joel to discuss the District’s resistance to meeting AFT’s funding requests for the Trust Committee, to hear his views about the task of the Trust Committee, and to listen to his proposals. Teeka and Monica emphasized to him the need to determine the funding before talking about the specific make-up of the committee. They also explained that although we desperately need evaluation procedures in place for Distance Education, AFT does not want to work on those procedures and issues separately from the procedures for all other faculty evaluation.

The Chancellor thinks the work of the Trust Committee is important (but he would prefer it to be called “Faculty Evaluation Task Force”), and has offered $10,000 in the form of stipends – not reassigned time – for faculty to revise the current evaluation procedures and documents. He also suggested that the District provide a classified staff member to call/schedule the meetings, take minutes, and actually write up some of the documents based on meeting discussions. He hopes that because the committee would be revising existing documents, the process should go relatively quickly. Ron reiterated that the District would not pay for reassigned time, but did suggest that perhaps faculty working on the Trust Committee could be released from some of their professional duties, such as serving on various department, division, and college committees. Ron says that he is eager for the committee to get started.

EC discussion:

  • Classified support staff: While we recognize the potential advantages (workload reduction, external documentation of work done and tasks accomplished), we are concerned about the potential loss of confidentiality and reduced opportunity for candid discussion.
  • Timeline: Despite the Chancellor’s eagerness to get this process going, those attending today’s meeting feel strongly that we cannot start until Spring 2010 for the following reasons: 1) Faculty schedules for Fall 2009 are already in place and it is not reasonable or practical to ask them to take on additional work at this time, especially a project as important and demanding as the Trust Committee. 2) The EC cannot make decisions about who will serve on the committee until we can have a discussion which includes a majority of our officers and representatives, a discussion that is not possible during the summer. 3) A number of people expressed concern about how far we can get in just one semester. Though it is true that we aren’t starting from scratch, the revision of existing documents and procedures is likely to be incredibly time-consuming. Because we have learned so much over the years about what is and is not working, we will have to go over every sentence with a fine-tooth comb and will need to consult with faculty who have expertise in a number of different areas: Distance Education, Counseling, Part-Time faculty issues, and Librarians, just to name a few. 4) In general the EC feels resentful about the Chancellor’s seemingly sudden interest in getting the Trust Committee underway; the District has had many, many months to respond to our proposals and has dragged its feet. To suddenly ask – during the summer, when many faculty are traveling, working on other projects, or otherwise unavailable – that we start the committee right away is unreasonable, and shows little understanding of the way in which faculty work and of the significance of the Trust Committee’s work.
  • Stipends versus reassigned time: AFT has already dramatically reduced its requested number of faculty representatives to the Trust Committee, but we still feel strongly about the need for reassigned time rather than stipends. In general, faculty are unwilling to take on the work of the Trust Committee without being released from other responsibilities. This sort of real “release” from duties is not the same as what the Chancellor suggested; his proposal would merely push the work that Trust Committee members normally do for their departments, divisions, and colleges onto their colleagues. The $10,000 proposed by the Chancellor would pay each of three faculty members (not the four we had most recently asked for) to work, at the special rate, for approximately 3 hours per week for one semester. We are concerned that that is not enough time to finish the majority of the work, and are worried about what will happen if the District discontinues its funding at that point. Once the group gets some momentum, it is important that it keep working until the job is finished.
  • Counter-proposal: A couple of people suggested that AFT chip in some additional funding (an idea Dan had proposed in the Spring and that we rejected at the time) to buy reassigned time for either three or four faculty members (one appointed by the Senate, and either two or three appointed by AFT). A rough calculation shows that it would cost approximately $12,500 to buy three units of reassigned time for three faculty members for one semester (or $17,000 for four faculty). These people could start working in Spring 2010, attempting to complete the majority of the work in one semester
  • Remaining questions/issues: 1) Can we get the District to commit to funding beyond one semester? 2) Do we even want to pursue this at all if the state budget crisis results in massive faculty layoffs? Giving a couple of faculty reassigned time, or even stipends, while others are losing their jobs, creates a genuine ethical dilemma and a potential public relations disaster (see Item 1A below). The fact is that although the current evaluation documents are far from perfect, we can continue using them if we have to.

Teeka will write a brief summary of yesterday’s (Monday, June 29) meeting with the Chancellor and of our ideas for a “counter-proposal.” Dan will include this in an email to the EC, asking once more about people’s availability for the August retreat, where we will need to continue today’s discussion. Also at the retreat we will discuss AFT’s process for choosing our two faculty representatives to the Trust Committee if we decide to go forward.

*Note: If we decide that we are willing and able to form a new Trust Committee, we must emphasize to the Chancellor the importance of the task and the need for sufficient time to do it right.

New Item: 1A: Budget cuts

When Teeka and Monica met with the Chancellor yesterday, he raised the issue of further funding cuts at the three colleges and the possibility for future layoffs. He said that the District is already talking with the other two unions (AFSCME and CSEA) and would like to start talks with AFT immediately. Our District may have to make cuts of 15 – 25% over a 24-month period. The District/colleges (?) may start looking at cutting entire programs if the state starts to dip into counties’ revenues.

The Chancellor mentioned the possibility of furloughs, step freezes, and layoffs, possibly reaching as high as recently hired tenure-track faculty.

**Completely separate from yesterday’s meeting with the Chancellor, some EC members have heard rumors of faculty being asked to take pay cuts in the future.

We agreed that we need to know more about any faculty layoffs in order to make a decision about the Trust Committee.

AFT 1493 decision-making process for the rest of the summer

Monica will send an email to the EC explaining that because she will be traveling for most of the summer and Dan will be out of town for a month, and because we may be faced with budget (or other) emergencies over the summer, we should all check email when we can. If people have something important to communicate to the group, they should include the word “urgent” in the email’s subject line, and all those who receive and read the email should let the sender know that they received it, even if they don’t have a specific response.

The process for having decided to send an email to the Board of Trustees regarding their comments about recent Advocate articles

Anne expressed frustration and disappointment over the decision to send what she felt was an unnecessarily speedy response from the EC to the Board of Trustees regarding their comments at their May 13, 2009 meeting about two recent Advocate articles. Within just 48 hours of that meeting, Monica sent a brief email to the Board, crafted by a small group of EC members, expressing regret over any misinformation in the articles. Anne was frustrated because she, and others, had suggested that the EC should not be too quick to respond and should continue to discuss how, when, and whether to respond, and was surprised when a response had, in fact, been sent.

At today’s meeting we agreed that in dealing with such sensitive issues in the future, if some people feel the need to take action quickly, they should specifically request a response from others in their emails. Nina suggested that since we are currently redesigning our website, we might want to consider setting up discussion boards for issues like this one.

AFT will probably respond more fully to the Board members’ comments in the next issue of the Advocate.

How to proceed/respond to the Board’s decision to overturn arbitrator’s decision

A) Unfair Labor Practice charge filed with PERB
B) Lawsuit in San Mateo Superior Court?
C) Settlement negotiations?

AFT retreat date? Friday, August 21 (1:00 – 6:00) or Saturday, August 22

See Item #1

Approval of new Advocate computer and approval of AFT website redesign

The computer Eric had been using to produce and edit the Advocate died. He has purchased a replacement computer and has asked AFT to reimburse him for half of the cost. We did not vote on this because we did now know the exact cost of the computer and because we did not have a quorum, but a straw vote showed unanimous support.


Rumors are circulating that the District is considering consolidating Divisions or perhaps even colleges. There is currently at least one vacant Dean position and some faculty have heard speculation that it may not be filled.

Meeting adjourned: 3:45


May 13, 2009

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

May 13, 2009, at Skyline

Present: Eric Brenner, Ron Brown, Alma Cervantes, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Sandi Raeber, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware


Guests: Rick Hough, Masao Suzuki


Meeting began at 2:40

Facilitator: Lezlee Ware

Welcome and Introductions


Statements from AFT (non-EC) Members on Non-Agenda Items

Minutes of the April 15, 2009 EC meeting

Approved unanimously with corrections.


Negotiations survey: preliminary results

*Items 4 & 5 are combined.

Survey is currently being conducted. Joaquin will compile results and send to EC over email in June and will start communications with the District. One member asked whether we have a formal agreement with the District to follow past practice and carry over our existing contract until a new one is negotiated. Dan asked Joaquin to try to get such an agreement.

Some initial thoughts & ideas were discussed.


Negotiations proposal


Binding arbitration educational campaign


An educational campaign would need to address topics/issues:

  • what a grievance is about (the process, not the person)
  • the concept of  “innocent until proven guilty”
  • the protection of faculty’s contractual rights
  • the reality that binding arbitration might mean we have to accept a decision we don’t like


We discussed creating and distributing a letter or petition that would include a brief summary of the events of the recent arbitration ruling overturned by the District and a statement of faculty support for AFT’s efforts to negotiate for binding arbitration. This document would be presented to both the District Administration and the Board of Trustees. Chapter Chairs might circulate the document in person to faculty on each campus


District Shared Governance Council report

Teeka reported that AB 1455, a bill that would allow our District to begin offering Baccalaureate degrees in a limited number of majors, is currently working its way through the State legislature. This process could take up to two years; nothing will happen in our District in the next academic year. Apparently the Board had not heard about this prior to the Chancellor’s announcement at the last Board meeting. The District believes that a significant number of people in the community would be interested, in part due to difficulties students are facing getting into CSUs. It is not clear whether any SMCCD faculty were consulted, and it is not clear who would teach the upper division courses (probably not our faculty).

Teeka reviewed a number of Board regulations that people at the last DSGC meeting had concerns about, or objections to. The EC needs to consider these and then discuss at our September meeting. Give feedback to Teeka for September DSGC meeting.

*Note: Joaquin said that our attorney has suggested we add language about faculty disciplinary procedures.


Improving communications (continued from April)

We agreed to discuss this item at our retreat in August.

CCC/District budget prospects

  1. Dan was asked by the Community College Council to help create a joint budget task force. He pointed out that we already have structure similar to this proposed task force (our District Budget Committee).
  2. Dan reported that the Chancellor has agreed not to “surprise” us with any major budget decisions or actions over the summer. Despite such assurances, some faculty believe that some decisions about cuts will be made “on the fly.” Elizabeth suggested we be ready to respond quickly over the summer, maybe even creating a traditional phone tree.
  3. PIV: The process has been awfully slow, and Diana Bennett reported that the Administration has said it might have to move faster. If there is a true crisis, and programs have be cut, it will probably be one, or more, of the four currently going through the PIV process, a reality that makes the program potentially problematic. While it is true that PIV is actually conducted by the Senates, the administration chooses which programs undergo PIV.


Jefferson Elementary School District Measure A contribution?

A small school district in San Mateo County has asked for contributions to help them pay off the costs of a campaign to put a parcel tax on the most recent ballot. AFT 1493 voted to make a contribution (yes-8, no-2, abstain-3).


AFT 1-day retreat: date and location

We were unable to decide on a date. Dan will send out a poll regarding two possible dates: Friday, August 21 and Saturday, August 22.



A Level 1 grievance was pending for a faculty member denied tenure after year 2. The grievance was denied, and the faculty member may decide to move to Level 2.

Statements from EC members on Non-agenda items

Open discussion/meeting critique

Meeting adjourned:   4:45


April 15, 2009

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

April 15, 2009, at Cañada

Present: Ron Brown, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Sandi Raeber, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware


Guests: Shirley Streifer


Meeting began at 2:30

Facilitator: Monica Malamud

Time Keeper: Yaping Li


Welcome and Introductions


Statements from AFT (non-EC) Members on Non-Agenda Items

Shirley Streifer, the only certified Learning Disability specialist at Cañada, informed AFT of the events that led to the elimination of her position in December 2008, and a proposal to shift student assessment from Cañada to a more costly private clinic and/or using psychology interns. Vicki Clinton is working on creating an information sheet about the situation, and Teeka suggested that Shirley contact people involved with the BSI Committee to determine whether Basic Skills students are more likely to use the services, and perhaps whether there might be some BSI funding available to reinstate some services.

Minutes of the March 18, 2009 EC meeting

Approved unanimously with corrections.


AFT Website Redesign and Communication Poll Data Analysis

Eric felt there was a lot of useful feedback from the survey, especially about the AFT website. EC members agreed that our website isn’t bad, but could definitely be improved. In particular, we need to make it easier for faculty to contact EC members, and will consider creating ways for faculty to provide feedback, suggestions, and questions. Eric will be working on an Advocate article, summarizing the responses.

More than one respondent requested more information and updates from Reps/Chapter Chairs. One idea is to include reports from Chapter Chairs in the Advocate. Monica suggested using Department and Division meetings as opportunities for updating faculty on current issues. Eric suggested including links to specific Advocate articles in AFT E-News updates.

We will be looking carefully at repeated themes and will bring ideas and suggestions for improving both the website and communications in general to our May EC meeting.


Apprenticeship Negotiations Issue

About a year ago, the Plumbers’ Union expressed interest in a separate salary schedule – which excluded office hour pay – for P/T faculty in the apprenticeship program. At the time, Dan and Ernie explained that we were not in the negotiations process. In response, the Plumbers’ Union pulled out of its arrangement with our District and moved to Foothill, whose contract, incidentally, includes office hour pay for P/T faculty.

Now the Sprinkler Fitters Local 483 are interested in the same separate salary schedule. The EC has no interest in developing a two tier salary schedule for the apprenticeship programs faculty.


Negotiations Update

Joaquin is working with Eric to create a survey to determine the issues faculty are most interested in AFT negotiating during the next round of contract negotiations. The survey will likely include a list of the various articles in our contract and will allow for faculty to suggest anything of interest, or concern, to them.

Typically, once our contract expires, we continue to follow it, in total, until a new one is negotiated.

The EC feels that in light of the Board’s recent vote to uphold the District’s appeal of an arbitrator’s ruling in a grievance, we must put binding arbitration on the table. In the past, the District has argued that because it had never appealed an arbitrator’s ruling, there was no need for binding arbitration. This discussion of bringing binding arbitration to the negotiating table, led to further discussion of the need to educate faculty about its importance. John and Dan are currently working on an Advocate article about the particular case involved. We also discussed the possibility of holding campus discussion forums, either this semester or in the fall, as well as bringing the issue up at Senate meetings.


UPWA Educational Forum in San Mateo?

George Wright is hoping that AFT will sponsor and/or facilitate a forum to highlight the concerns of United Public Workers for Action, as other Labor Councils are doing. We decided that AFT simply doesn’t have the manpower to get involved at that level right now. Dan will, however, propose such a forum to the San Mateo Labor Council, and will introduce George to its members.


Class Size Survey

According to the survey results, some faculty do feel that large classes are appropriate. The real issues is how to protect faculty from being forced, or coerced, to teach large classes. The current MOU refers to the need for Deans to consult with faculty, but this language needs to be strengthened. It is especially important for faculty to have more control since there is not consensus about large classes.


Hours by Arrangement

This item was tabled, as Cañada has developed a new plan for how to meet state requirements regarding Hours by Arrangement.



A)        AFT has directed our attorney to file an unfair labor practice charge in the current case in which the Board voted to overrule an arbitrator’s decision in a grievance. Ron stressed that pursuing this case is essential since we had already won it.

Our discussion around this issue once again highlighted the need for all faculty to be fully familiar with the tenure review and evaluation processes. Lezlee suggested that, in the event of a grievance, AFT make a clear statement to tenure review or evaluation committees/faculty that the grievance is not about them.

B)        Nina reported that our attorney recommended AFT file a Level 1 grievance over a March 15 letter issued by the District for a probationary faculty member denied a contract at the end of his/her second year.


Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda items

A)        Monica reminded us that AFT needs to approve a tentative budget at our May meeting.

B)        Dan reminded members that ULI will be held at the end of July.

C)        Dan announced that Dave Mandelkern would like to attend our May meeting. Members felt that we could not sacrifice 30 minutes of our last meeting of the semester, so we will invite him to meet with a smaller group of EC members 30 minutes before the official start time of our meeting.

D)        Elizabeth wants to rally faculty to oppose moving Learning Disability assessment at Cañada off-site.

E)         Joaquin suggested that Dan start sending out the EC packet electronically.


Open discussion/meeting critique

Meeting adjourned:   4:55


Next facilitator:  ?

March 18, 2009

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

March 18, 2009, at CSM

Present: Ron Brown, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Sandi Raeber, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware

Guests: Laura Demsetz, Jamie Marron, Barbara Uchida, George Wright

Meeting began at 2:28

Facilitator: Nina Floro

Time Keeper: Karen Olesen


Welcome and Introductions

Minutes of the February 11, 2009 EC meeting

Approved unanimously with corrections.

Statements from AFT (non-EC) members on Non-Agenda Items:

Representing the Math/Science Division at CSM, Barbara Uchida and Laura Demsetz asked whether the 2009/2010 academic calendar can be reconsidered. In working with their Dean to figure out the Fall 2009 schedule, Science faculty realized that the additional Flex days disproportionately reduce the time available for Monday and Thursday labs. However, the District has already said that it is not willing to renegotiate the calendar. Joaquin requested more information about the specific courses affected and the impact on students. A sub-group of the EC will meet soon with Math/Science faculty to discuss ways to avoid this problem in the future.

The EC agreed that even though a majority of faculty who responded to our Flex day survey indicated that they supported the addition of two days per semester, and even though a very small number of courses were negatively impacted by the addition of Flex days to the academic calendar, we need to work to ensure that in the future a majority decision doesn’t have a serious negative impact on a minority.

District budget priorities campaign: ideas for action

The EC discussed the seeming disconnect between recent Administrative salary increases and significant class cuts at CSM, especially in light of additional classified hiring. One member observed that classified positions typically get refilled, but faculty positions left open due to retirements often do not.

CSM’s situation, where all, or most, of the spring 2009 class cuts occurred, is in a somewhat unique situation. Our apportionment changed (decreased) recently, and the college spends all, or most, of its Hour-by-Arrangement money to operate labs and other services that directly benefit students.

One AFT member asked an EC Chapter Chair to point out that when the District talks about faculty salaries, it includes non-teaching faculty, thereby artificially inflating the percentage of the total budget designated to faculty salaries. She suggested that when these faculty members move out of teaching positions, they be removed from the calculation. The risk, however, of asking that the money that pays these salaries be moved from faculty to administration is that it never gets returned to faculty.

The EC agreed that some internal investigation is necessary before we advocate any action.



He is currently working on 2 cases.


Before winter break, she had started working on a case involving a P/T faculty member who had worked more than 60% for 3 semesters. Because the faculty member’s additional load was not in lecture courses, and was therefore considered non-teaching, AFT’s attorney recommended that we could not issue a demand letter, and recommended that AFT not pursue the case.


In March, AFT won an arbitration in the case of a probationary faculty member denied tenure, but the District chose to appeal the arbitrator’s ruling, which called for the District to reinstate the faculty member with back pay. In doing so, the District is relying on the advice of the attorney who lost the case in the arbitration process. The District has instituted new procedures for this case; there will be no further argumentation, and each side will submit a brief of no more than 10 pages. The Board will vote at its April 22 whether to abide by the arbitrator’s ruling.

The EC voted (13 “yes,” 1 “no,” 1 “abstain”) to authorize our attorney to request a settlement of a certain dollar amount; he is directed to consult with the EC if the District counters with less than a certain dollar amount.


He is currently working on 3 cases at Cañada, trying to resolve them before they get filed as actual grievances. The cases are mostly related to the faculty evaluation process.

We talked about the need for an Advocate article about the need for faculty to get to know their contract, to help them understand which actions are grievable and which are not.

Negotiations update

Joaquin is currently working to develop a survey, which should be ready in a few weeks, asking faculty to identify the issues they are most interested in having AFT bring to the next round of contract negotiations. We will return to some of the non-economic issues that haven’t been addressed in the past. Some possible issues: complete equity for part-time and overload pay (currently full-timers teaching overloads don’t receive office hour pay – but they do get full health benefits, which are not available to part-timers), moving future Fall Flex days from November to October, and binding arbitration.

Dan reminded us that we’ve been asked by those who run the apprenticeship programs connected to our District (pipefitters, . . .) to negotiate a separate pay scale for their P/T faculty that doesn’t include office hour pay. We will discuss this at our next meeting.

AFT blog?

Some people have suggested that AFT 1493 needs to be thinking of new ways to facilitate communication between the EC and our members, and between members. Is there a way for faculty to leave comments that will be confidential and secure? Whatever we create will have to be monitored, and perhaps facilitated, regularly. Teeka asked for an update on our redesigned Website. Dan said that AFT is considering hiring someone to finish the redesign; maybe we could pay a stipend for a P/T faculty member to work on it.

GASB 43/45

The committee hasn’t met since interviewing vendors over a month ago. There are two issues for the EC to discuss.

1)         Investment strategy for the $30 million set aside to pay for retiree health benefits: The money has accrued since 1991. Though Dan has been following the EC’s direction in advocating a conservative investment strategy, he fears his may be the lone voice on the committee – which will make a recommendation to the Board – for such a strategy and anticipates a battle with the District. The outside GASB consultant, who is relatively new to this particular kind of work and appears to have a lot of influence over the committee, is advocating a more aggressive investment strategy. EC members pointed out that this money is for faculty, and that we want our representative to the committee to be heard.

2)         Irrevocable trust:

The AFT representative to the District Budget Committee has expressed concern over suggestions from Kathy Blackwood that the District might not want to put the entire $30 million into revocable trust. She stressed that this money is for faculty and that all of it should go into the trust.

Hours by Arrangement


Class Size Survey

The AFT survey about large classes garnered about 20 responses, mostly from entire programs, departments, and divisions; the responses were extremely varied. AFT will compile and summarize the data and bring it to the EC for discussion.

Report back: California Public Workers Conference and Community College March

The United Public Workers for Action Conference took place Sunday, March 15. George Wright said that despite moderate attendance (about 45 people), the Conference was more successful than he had anticipated – it “felt like a major step.” The group is concerned about the impact on the public sector of a combination of economic, social, and political crises. Richmond’s Green Party mayor participated in a panel discussion, which was followed by 6 breakout sessions, addressing such issues as immigrants’ rights, housing, and labor concerns. The group is ultimately hoping to become a viable third party representing the poor.

Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda Items

A)        Teeka gave a brief update on the status of the Trust Committee. Though Harry Joel has indicated that the District might be willing to provide release time for 4 faculty members (3 units each per semester), it may be too late to get the committee formed and started in Fall 2009 because it is too late for most faculty to change their schedules. Despite Harry’s offer to do a good deal of the initial work on the revision/update of faculty evaluation procedures and documents, members emphasized that the work of the Trust Committee is not simply clerical; it is substantive.

B)        Lezlee Ware announced her interest in attending ULI in July.

C)        The Senate has requested someone from AFT to work on language regarding intellectual property rights. The Senate is working with the District and the Board on article 6, but article 6.32 deals specifically with the rights of faculty to sell their work in bookstores. AFT currently has a demand letter in to the District to negotiate this issue.

Open discussion/meeting critique

Meeting adjourned:   5:15

Next facilitator:  ?

February 11, 2009

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

February 11, 2009, Skyline

Eric Brenner, Ron Brown, Chip Chandler, Alma Cervantes, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Sandi Raeber, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware

Guests: Maria Chacon, Pat Deamer, Salume Eslamieh, Masao Suzuki, George Wright

Meeting began at 2:25

Facilitator: Dan Kaplan

Welcome and Introductions

Minutes of the January 21, 2009 EC meeting

Approved unanimously with corrections.

Statements from AFT members on Non-Agenda Items:

A)        Teeka reported that she was not able to attend the last District Shared Governance Committee meeting, but wanted the EC to know that the new District Rules and Regulations 1.01 was presented there as final language rather than as a voting item.

B)        Katherine raised the issue of Kate Motoyama’s request for AFT sponsorship of a proposed speaker. Most EC members were not clear about exactly what Kate was requesting. Nina offered to call Kate for clarification, and Karen offered to help Kate with the event if the AFT does decide to sponsor.

C)        George Wright, a faculty member in History at Skyline College and member of the organizing committee for the CA Public Workers Conference on March 15 (“a statewide education conference of California public workers”) and the Statewide Day of Action on May 1 (intended to bring together “1.5 million public workers in California for a program to defend [their] conditions, benefits and public services for the people of California”), requested that AFT 1493 join other locals to endorse both events.

The EC voted unanimously to approve, and will discuss the May 1 event in more depth at our March meeting. Interested faculty can contact George at

D)        Dan collected names of EC members interested in getting AFT business cards.

E)         Dan announced “An Afternoon of Solidarity: A Benefit for the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions,” to be held Sunday, March 8, 1 – 4 p.m. in Oakland.

He also explained that AFT 1493 is currently an affiliate of US Labor Against the War (USLAW), and has been asked to join the Bay Area Chapter of USLAW, composed of the 5 Bay Area unions that are now affiliates of USLAW.

With one abstention, the EC voted to endorse the fund raising event for the Palestine Federation of Trade Unions on March 8.

Budget Crisis

In discussing the impact of the state budget crisis on our District, we focused on the following issues: faculty overloads, elimination of course offerings, and Administrative salary increases.

Faculty Overloads: Though some faculty members are concerned that overloads can result in the loss of PT positions, we recognized that overloads are allowed in our current contract. We agree to discuss this issue in more detail at a future meeting. This issue relates to the issue of large classes, which can also conceivably result in the loss of PT positions. However, at least one member pointed out that offering a few large classes can allow the colleges to offer some smaller ones.

Class Cuts: CSM cut approximately 120 sections from the Spring 2009 schedule; most of these cuts were made unusually early, in mid-December, and most (though not all) of the sections cut were historically low enrolled. Approximately 75-100 PT faculty sections were eliminated. It is important to note that while CSM cut more classes than the other two colleges, the policy about cutting low enrolled sections is a District, rather than a college policy. Some faculty feel sections were cut too early, as some of the sections might have filled eventually. On the other hand, the earlier cuts gave both students and faculty more notice. Faculty on the PT seniority list who were notified of cuts to their classes in mid-December were able to “bump” less senior faculty.

It was also pointed out that at least a couple of sections, and maybe more, were cut due to low enrollment which likely resulted from errors in the Schedule of Classes (classes listed at the wrong times).

Administrative Salary Increases: A number of faculty members have expressed renewed frustration to the EC over the 2007 Administrative salary increases in light of the current budget crisis, the number of sections cut at CSM, and their belief that faculty are unlikely to get pay increases in the next contract. Many faculty are frustrated that while our salaries have stagnated, Administrative salaries continue to rise.

Teeka did remind the EC that at a previous meeting to discuss the CSM and District budgets, Kathy Blackwood stated that all options for cost cutting/savings are on the table.

In addition, while there is no official hiring freeze for faculty or staff in the District, classified is trying to use managed hiring to save money, and faculty at CSM and Skyline have made no position requests.

Negotiations Report

Because of the budget situation, we cannot make any predictions. Negotiations probably won’t start for a couple of months. AFT will survey the faculty to determine which non-economic items they would like us to pursue. The entire contract is open for negotiations.

Trust Committee release time issue

Teeka spoke with Harry Joel on February 10 and reiterated faculty’s desire to work with the District to revise and update all of the faculty evaluation procedures and processes. If the Chancellor continues to deny AFT’s request for release for faculty to work on the Trust Committee, we will likely ask him to meet with a small group of AFT representatives, who will propose a smaller committee, members of which would receive release time.

We discussed the possibility of including the Trust Committee release time as part of the contract negotiations.


Chip emphasized the need to revise our faculty evaluation procedures, and to implement those procedures consistently across all disciplines at all three colleges, in order to avoid grievances. He feels that current procedures need to be made more explicit.

Nina is currently working with an adjunct faculty member seeking contract status, after having taught a load in excess of 60% for three semesters.

Ron raised the issue of the inconsistent use of the “re-set” on the PT seniority list. Administration currently considers retirement as a break in service, yet some Deans have re-set retired faculty while others have not.  Harry Joel and Susan Estes want an MOU addressing the following issues:

  • How should the re-set be used?
  • Is post-retirement considered a break in service?
  • Once the two above questions are answered, the District must ensure that the policy is applied consistently at the three colleges.

Teeka repeated a point she has made before – some of us on the EC feel we need more information about specific grievances in order to vote whether to proceed to arbitration. We will discuss this issue at our special meeting in April.

AFT Blog?

Tabled until the March meeting.

Ideas for communicating with membership

Lezlee talked about the new “Cañada’s AFT Express Report” that she and Elizabeth have instituted as a way to elicit greater faculty involvement in the union. They published their first report immediately following the January EC meeting and followed up with a 30-minute meeting, which was attended by just a couple of faculty, and which covered five different issues.

Cañada AFT also hosted an interactive workshop on the faculty contract.

AFT retreat date and discussion

Monica announced the CFT convention in Sacramento on March 20-22. She also mentioned the Union Leadership Institute (ULI), which will be held July 26-31 at UCLA.

The EC briefly discussed options for a retreat to be facilitated by Julian Menard. Possible times are late May, mid June, late August, or September. Because we were pressed for time, we were not able to reach a decision. We did briefly discuss doing something less formal, without an official facilitator.

Construction of next AFT budget

Monica wants us to start work on our budget in spring – even though we won’t have all of our information by then – since it is due to CFT in July. Anyone who wants to work on it with Dan and Harriet should contact Dan.

GASB 43/45

Tabled until the March meeting.

Open discussion/meeting critique

Meeting adjourned:   5:00

Next facilitator: ?