Monthly Archives: February 2010

CSM March 4 Day of Action

Educating the Whole Student: March 4 at CSM

by Susan Petit, professor emeritus, CSM, English & French

CSM’s stimulating March 4 “March Forth” activities, called “A Call to Action: Educating the Whole Student,” focused on advocacy, student support services, and some of the academic areas most heavily threatened by budget cuts. The CSM Theatre and adjoining area were the site of continual action from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

In the Fine Arts Courtyard, Lisa Melnick (ESL and PE), Rudy Ramirez (Ethnic Studies), and Freddie Navas (student) invited all to attend through their resonant creative drumming. CSM Associated Students, aided by Aaron Schaefer (Student Activities), provided attendees with materials for writing to legislators and information about the March 22 demonstration in Sacramento, including forms for signing up for rides to Sacramento on buses provided by ASCSM. The ad hoc staff/student Teach-In Committee, which coordinated and facilitated the events under the guidance of Kate Motoyama (Speech), sold out its stock of red “No Cuts to Education” t-shirts at cost and provided computer stations maintained by Angela Skinner-Orr (Geography) so students could email legislators and the governor on the spot. A large white bedsheet on which faculty had posted comments, drawings, and photographs was displayed in the floor to ceiling windows.

3-4-csm-drumming1-web all photos on this page by Adam Paramore
Freddie Navas (white shirt), Rudy Ramirez (black shirt), Lisa Melnick (red shirt, seated), Sue Matthews (red shirt, standing),
Minu Mathur (blue sweater)

Attendees came and went according to the demands of their schedules; Teach-In Committee members Dave Danielson (Philosophy), Dan Kaplan (AFT), Kate Motoyama, and I (English and French, retired) facilitated events. ASCSM presented a video of Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie discussing “The Danger of a Single Story”—that is, having only one interpretation of life—, and Alex Quintana (ASCSM V-P) followed with a talk on the need for students to tell their own stories. Angela Orr used a video based on Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine as lead-in to her own vigorous analysis of the threats to education in California, “Shock and Awe: Privatizing Education.” Half a dozen ASCSM students—Brittany Murphy, Stephanie Chiu, Francisco Estrada, Tryn Miller, and Shaniel Maharaj, and facilitator Alex Quintana—then spoke passionately about their educational experiences and what those in the audience could do to become politically involved.

3-4-csm-susanpetit-web x x x x x 3-4-csm-studentspeaker-web
Susan Petit

Sanda Everette (student), whose yoga and Italian classes are threatened, provided voter registration cards and urged students to register and vote. Brayan Pelayo (student) got Eddie Britten and other student athletes in the audience to come forward and tell how the budget cuts would affect them. One of them, CSM basketball player Raphi Buenafe, introduced her teammate Janisa Jones, who had put in an extraordinary performance on the court the night her home in East Palo Alto was destroyed when a small plane crashed into it on February 17. This was not the only story in this moving session about using athletics to overcome hardship.


The student Jazz Combo performed under the guidance of Mike Galisatus (Music): Bilal Hasan, drums; Paul Federighi, bass; Alan Lee, piano; Rich Young, guitar; Danny Bereket, trumpet; Niko Larot, saxophone; Frank Phipps, trombone; and Jeanine Robertson, vocals. Their elegant performance of “Misty” and other numbers made me forget it was morning and I was on campus, not in a nightclub in the wee hours. Next, student composers, musicians, and singers Mike Pre and Oshyn performed their rap/hip hop “If We Could Change,” which they had written in response to the crisis. They would perform it again on stage that evening before the thousands at the San Francisco Civic Center. David Laderman (Film) used a clip from Inglourious Basterds to anchor “The Big Picture,” his exhortation to stand up and be counted, and Teresa Morris (Library) explained the dismal state of the library’s budget now and next year, using a video she had made in which the pitifully small numbers were projected for everyone to see. Nick Dellaporta (Library) added his plea for action to her account.

student Jazz Combo: Jeanine Robertson (vocals), Paul Federighi (bass), Niko Larot (saxophone), Danny Bereket (trumpet), Frank Phipps (trombone)

Alfred Banks, Michael Cardona, Allison Friedlander, Charles Porter, and Melissa Vizcarra, all students receiving various support services (access, learning disabilities, financial aid, counseling), responded clearly and movingly to questions by Danita Scott-Taylor (EOPS) about how cuts to these programs would impair their ability to remain in college. Then the threat to international students was discussed by a panel of students from around the world: Emanuela Quaglia, Zhan Lusha, and Jade Zoghbi. Students of Sarah Bolton (Dance)— Gloria Boehm-Yu, Elena Elshina, Ashley-Nichole A. Farabee, Diana I. Garcia, Vinette D. Gutierrez, Christina R. Hanlon, Ka Man Lei, Roxana M. Marrufo, Kassandra E. Moniz, Yoko E. Nagayama, Krystal J. Nelson, Amalia L. Personius, Nicole M .Quarry, Rhena A. Renner, Ann N. Scheley, Celease Joy C. (CJ) Sese, Angelica A. Sham, Angelica Suarez, Brittney E. Wagner, and Vivian S., Wang—did improvisational exercises on stage and performed choreography they had learned in her modern dance class. They were accompanied on drums by Lisa, Rudy, and Freddie, still going strong after over five hours of drumming. Sarah also showed footage of her dancers being interviewed by Emanuela Quaglia (multimedia student); the interviews were recorded at last fall’s dance concert, and the DVD including them is available for purchase through Sarah. The on-campus events concluded with a rousing performance of “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “We Shall Overcome” by Helen Souranoff (CSM Theatre manager), accompanied by Rudy Ramirez on guitar.

More information about the events and links to photos, taken primarily by students Hansel Vargas and Adam Paramore, as well as videos, can be found on the Teach-In Committee’s Facebook page at

Whether one attended a single session or was there all day, the presenters and performers made the events inspirational as well as informative. Students, faculty, and other staff united to remind everyone that support services, athletics, and performance classes are and should be part of the total college experience, and that activism is necessary to keep them operating.

February 2010

The Advocate – 33.4 – February 2010 (2.1 MB)

In this issue:

  • Hundreds attend teach-ins on budget crisis at all three colleges
  • District decision-making must be transparent and inclusive
  • Contract talks continue, but progress is slow
  • Senate leaders respond to budget crisis in our District
  • Opinion: One way to reduce college costs: Cut from the top
  • In memoriam: George Goth
  • AFT 1493 is looking for a few new leaders

January 20, 2010

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

January 20, 2010 at Cañada

Present: Eric Brenner, Ron Brown, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Dave Danielson, Nina Floro, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware

Guests: Mike Stanford

Meeting began at 2:30.

Facilitator: Karen Olesen

1. Welcome and Introductions

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

Mike Stanford reported that during discussions about contract negotiations, some faculty at Cañada discussed the possibility of accepting a step freeze (only for faculty earning above a particular salary) if, and only if District administrators agree to roll back their recent salary increases. In addition, they (the faculty members) would want faculty salaries restored to what they would have been when the budget improves.

This same group of faculty also expressed interest in learning more about Foothill’s system of offering financial incentives for faculty doing additional work (these pay increases become permanent). It was noted that Foothill has a higher ratio of full-time faculty to part-time faculty than we do in our District. EC members agree that we need to more about how Foothill’s system works before we can consider it seriously.

3. Ongoing Fight Against the Budget Cuts

Teach-Ins and/or other events – the goals of which are to inform students about the impact of the state budget on higher education in California, and particularly on the Community Colleges, and to lead up to state-wide events on March 4 & 22 – will be held at all three colleges on February 3 & 4. Faculty, staff, administrators and students are encouraged to address budget issues in whatever way they feel is appropriate. Some campus events will focus primarily on the state budget situation while others may target decisions made, and actions taken, by college and District administrators.

We talked about the role AFT should play in the upcoming events and the need to reach out to the media to help us get the word out to the community. AFT’s attorney is currently considering how to advise us regarding involvement and sponsorship of the events.

The EC voted to provide buttons and/or armbands as a symbol of faculty, staff and student solidarity against cuts to Community College education.

4. Additional AFT Meetings Discussion

We talked once more about the possibility of meeting more frequently to relieve some of the pressure on our fully-packed meetings. Though some members believe we could use our existing meeting time more efficiently, most feel that we simply have more business than we can handle in nine 2 & ½ hour meetings per year. At some times in particular, we need to meet more frequently than once a month. Dan pointed out that because the agenda for each meeting is so full, many issues are never discussed among the entire EC, and are instead resolved by a much smaller group.

After discussing a few options, we took a straw poll to determine where the EC stands. (It is important to note that a number of members were not present.)

Yes      No       Abstain

Would attend 1-2 additional meetings per semester:               10        1          2

Would attend 2 meetings per month:                                        6         6          1

Would be willing to experiment with conducting one
meeting completely online:                                                     10        3

Would participate in e-groups regularly:                                 10        3

We did not reach any final decisions.

5. Negotiations Discussion: Closed Session

Joaquin updated the EC on recent negotiation sessions. The District negotiating team has not yet responded to all of our proposals. Joaquin has requested that the District put all of its proposals and counter-proposals to the AFT in writing.

6. Minutes of October 14, November 18, and December 9, 2009 AFT Meetings: Closed Session

Approved pending changes recommended by Joaquin and Monica.

7. Proposed Change in Dan Kaplan’s SEP/IRA Contract Article – Closed Session

Tabled until February, 2010 meeting.

8. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Item


Meeting adjourned:             4:45

December 9, 2009

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

December 9, 2009 at CSM

Present: Eric Brenner, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Dave Danielson, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Sandi Raeber, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis

Guests: Kathleen Barber, Jim Bollier, John Heinbockel, Lewis Kawahara, Jesus Moya, Erin Scholnick, Angela Skinner-Orr, Rudy Ramirez, Kristi Ridgway, Rebecca Webb,

Meeting began at 2:30.

Facilitator: Sandi Raeber

1. Welcome and Introductions

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


3. District Shared Governance Council Report

Teeka gave a brief explanation of how District Shared Governance Council works.

Dan suggested that some of the Board’s Rules & Regulations be looked at by our attorney, who has explained to us that a number of these are negotiable items, in particular those related to the creation of free speech zones on campus (which were eventually pulled from the agenda of a recent DSGC meeting). According to Dan, a number of Community Colleges (nearly 30 of them) have been surprised to learn that their own colleges/districts had recently passed, or were considering passing new free speech regulations or policies.

Our representative on DSGC (Teeka) explained that recommendations from the Californian Community College League seem to have been the sole (primary?) justification for many of the Board’s proposed changes to existing Rules & Regulations.

4. Decision of Standing Committee of AFT Leadership to Make Decisions Between EC Meetings

Because so many EC members were absent today, we agreed to wait until our January, 2010 meeting to discuss formalizing a process for making decisions between meetings.

In the meantime, we approved the following temporary procedures; if an important issue arises over the winter break, or the EC must make a decision or take a vote on something, we will

  • notify the entire EC via email;
  • give people 72 hours (excluding weekends and holidays) to respond;
  • consider a “quorum” to be whoever responds;
  • ensure that the AFT President is contacted.

Yes No Abstain

8      0      3

5. Negotiations Report

There have been no sessions since our last AFT meeting (11/18/09); there will be a session Friday, 12/11/09 and another one next week. We can give any ideas/feedback to Joaquin.

At today’s meeting, we discussed some of the items:

  • Step freezes: AFT’s negotiating team agreed that a freeze is unfair since faculty were hired with the promise of being able to move up steps and since it will affect faculty unequally. Those at the beginning of a salary plateau will be most negatively affected. Across the board salary cuts would be more equitable.
  • Personal days: The District’s concern seems to be that some faculty are “abusing” their two personal days. Faculty hired before 1986 can rollover sick days and get paid for them when they retire. It’s possible that newer faculty are using more of their sick days.
  • Professional Development funding: The District’s current contribution is the equivalent of 1% of F/T faculty salaries: the District has proposed reducing that amount to .5%.
  • FSA Language: Dan will check with Patty Dilko to find out whether the Senates have already discussed this issue. He may need to consult with our attorney. The District is currently working to put together a minimum qualifications committee – it would be constituted by the District with help from the Senate. The EC agreed that this is not an AFT matter.
  • Binding Arbitration: Dan suggested that we launch a petition and education campaign in January. One member suggested we follow that with a petition to eliminate the current “No Strike” clause in our contract.

6. Apprenticeship Update

Jim Bollier, a member of the Sprinkler Fitters union and a long-time instructor in the CSM Sprinkler Fitters Apprenticeship Program, spoke about the future plans of the District to transfer the CSM Apprenticeship programs to the trade unions involved in apprenticeship training. Jim was speaking in his individual capacity, and said he wanted the AFT to support the apprenticeship instructors, who he said want to remain employees of the District and members of AFT 1493. Kathleen Barber, of the Electricians Union, and also a CSM Apprenticeship instructor, also made comments on this issue. Jim was asked to write an article for the Advocate regarding this matter, and he agreed to do so.

7. Ongoing Fight Against Budget Cuts: What’s Our Next Step?

The statewide Associated Students of California Community Colleges is planning a March 22 event, rather than participating in the previously planned March 4 events in Sacramento. We discussed holding local events at the end of February and/or on March 4, such as teach-ins, to help educate and involve students.

Katharine reported that at tonight’s meeting, the Board of Trustees will adopt a revised “Reaffirmation of Core Values and Principles,” a document that outlines the Board’s priorities for the District.

Masao Suzuki has created a 2-sided document with salary graphs, which Eric will ask him to distribute to all EC members.

8. P/Ter Group Report

The P/Ter group asked each of us to respond to five written questions by Wednesday, December 16, regarding our views on a range of issues affecting their employment. The group has voted to become a new PT Committee of AFT 1493.

9. How the Personal Affects Work (continued)

Tabled for a future meeting.

10. Minutes of October 14, 2009 and November 18, 2009 meetings

Tabled until January, 2010.

11. Grievances

None to report on.

12. Proposed Change in Dan Kaplan’s SEP/IRA Contract Article – Closed Session

Tabled until January, 2010.

13. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items


Meeting adjourned:             5:00


November 18, 2009

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

November 18, 2009 at Skyline College

Present: Eric Brenner, Ron Brown, Alma Cervantes, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Dave Danielson, 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: Jim Bowsher, Tom Broxholm, Patty Dilko, Kathleen Feinblum, Barbara Lowell, Bruce Maule, Claire Muller-Moseley, Masao Suzuki, Linda Vogel

Meeting began at 2:25

Facilitator: Monica Malamud

Welcome and Introductions

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


      A)        Tom Broxholm expressed concerns about the potential for identity theft, now that District employees’ W-2’s and other personal information are available on line; he is not confident that our information is fully secure.

      B)        Bruce Maule reported that money intended to pay for faculty post-retirement health benefits is currently held in a way that doesn’t mandate it be used for that purpose. The money can be, and has been, used for other purposes. He is concerned that given the current budget situation, the money will be used for other things in the future. He asked whether AFT has the legal standing to demand that all of the money (approximately $30 million) go into the recently established irrevocable trust. According to Kathy Blackwood, we do not. Bruce believes the District is currently responsible for $100 million of unfunded post-retirement health benefits. Dan reported that two weeks ago, the Board of Trustees voted to put $5 million into the trust.

      Minutes of October 14, 2009 AFT meeting



        This item was tabled until the December 9 meeting.

        EC Communication and Between-Meeting Decision Making Processes



          Teeka suggested that now might be a good time for the EC to consider empowering a subcommittee to make decisions, recommendations, etc, when we need to act quickly. Too often, we need to take action, vote, or make a recommendation between meetings. Getting input from the entire EC over email is often time-consuming and cumbersome, and on a number of occasions, a small group of EC members have ended up communicating about a particular issue and even taking action without consultation from the entire group. Some members stated that they want to be informed and consulted on all issues, but currently that doesn’t always happen, and even when input is requested from the entire EC, often just a couple of people respond. Some people feel it is unrealistic and too burdensome to expect everybody to keep abreast of all ongoing issues.

          We agreed to bring ideas and suggestions to the December meeting. A couple of possibilities raised were meeting more often (either twice a month, or holding one extra meeting a semester), or establishing a standing subcommittee that meets occasionally.


            Negotiations Update

            The District has proposed what amounts to a number of take-backs and has essentially said “no” to our initial proposals, in particular our proposal for binding arbitration, and any economic items. When our negotiators have raised the issue of eliminating our “no strike” clause, the District has argued that the “no strike” clause is needed to maintain peace and continuity. The District has also claimed that it is illegal for AFT to use faculty mailboxes for union business.

            Three more negotiating sessions are scheduled before the end of December.

            Following is a list of some of the District’s proposals:

            1. Bring non-instructional faculty (counselors and librarians) back up to 37.5 hours.
            2. No COLA for two years (2009/10 & 2010/11).
            3. Step freezes for two years. Faculty already got step increases for 2009/10, so the freeze would be for 2010/11 & 2011/12.
            4. Cut Professional Development funding from 1% to .5%.
            5. The District wants “clarifying language” about Flex days for PT faculty (ensuring that they can get paid only for District-sponsored activities at the special rate).
            6. No September-June pay option for new hires.
            7. Faculty must notify the District by July if they are going to move columns on the pay scale.
            8. “Clean up” language regarding post-retirement contracts. There is currently a 3-year guarantee.
            9. Eliminate faculty’s two personal days, which can currently be used without faculty having to state a reason for the absence.
            10. Change FSA language. The District wants to make sure that faculty can really teach in their secondary FSA’s. It wants Deans, or somebody else, to assess faculty’s “recency” and ability to teach in a given discipline. Some EC members questioned whether this is legal.
            11. Include language about SLO’s in faculty evaluations (“Include active participation in development of SLO’s).

            Joaquin is emphasizing during negotiations that faculty have had no pay increase for the last two years.

            Flex Days Discussion &
            Academic Calendar



              Responses to the Flex days survey indicated that most faculty want 5 Flex days per year. Scheduling the 2 spring Flex days before the start of classes allows us to end the spring semester before June, which most faculty want. Some of us feel very strongly – and have heard from other faculty members – that we need additional days to complete the various administrative tasks we are responsible for. Joaquin reported that the additional Fall 2009 Flex days allowed very little room for flexibility in the event of emergencies such as Skyline’s shooting incident, which closed down the entire campus.

              One person asked about observing the Veteran’s Day holiday on Veteran’s Day (November 11), but most faculty seem to prefer to observe it on Friday to get a three-day weekend.


              Yes                  No                   Abstain

              6 Flex days for 2010/11                                     4                      10

              5 Flex days for 2010/11
              (as presented on mock calendar)                       10                    4                      1

              Accept the entire calendar as presented            10                    2                      1

              Budget Cuts Discussion





                Most EC members agreed that AFT needs to make a public statement about how the three colleges are handling the budget cuts. More than one faculty member feels that the District’s claims of a true shared governance process are a sham and that Administrators knew what cuts they were considering making long before they shared their ideas with their respective faculties.

                CSM is facing the loss of 1.25 FT faculty positions and countless PT jobs. Skyline is looking at the potential loss of 6 FT faculty positions. Cañada will be losing approximately 120 sections and about 50% of its PT faculty. Because of the possibility of more senior FT faculty bumping less senior FT faculty, nobody is quite sure what will happen. Even though the District may be following the contract, some of the FT faculty threatened with job loss feel abandoned by the District, and even AFT. Skyline is not only facing the largest loss of FT faculty, but some of those faculty also feel that they are being pressured to sign retirement papers.

                Some faculty at Cañada feel that the allocation model has been unfair to Cañada, and that CSM and Skyline have been allowed by the District to overspend.

                Some EC members (and other faculty) feel the AFT has not taken an active enough role in responding to the current budget situation while others feel that decisions about cuts to courses and programs are the purview of the Senate and believe we should be working more closely with the District Academic Senate and the three colleges’ Academic Senates. And while some faculty argue that faculty must simply refuse to participate in any decision-making about cuts to programs and courses and continue to demand that the Colleges make no further cuts, others argued that cuts are going to be made and that refusing to participate is irresponsible. One member stressed the importance of looking at programs and courses District-wide rather than college by college, and of the three colleges collaborating. Patty Dilko, District Academic Senate President, emphasized that the Senates are working honestly and diligently to make the best recommendations possible in order to maintain the integrity of the three colleges and the District. She agrees that the colleges’ historic competition with one another is not a workable approach to the current situation.


                The EC agreed to put out a written statement to all CSM employees, College and District administration, and the Board of Trustees. We voted on whether or not to include the following 6 individual statements. Elizabeth will write a draft and get feedback from Katharine, Anne, and Eric before sending it out to the entire EC for approval.

                Yes                  No                   Abstain

                1. Oppose cuts to programs,
                courses, or staff.                                            11                    2                      3

                2. Make deeper cuts to Administration
                at the District Office and the
                3 colleges.                                                     15

                3. Roll back to 2006 levels, increases
                to Administrative salaries.                            16

                4. Stop harassment of faculty
                regarding retirement and
                “bumping” rights.                                         16

                5. Run a deficit.                                            5                      8                      3

                6. Sponsor legislation at the state
                level to change the current
                tax structure.                                               16

                P/Ter Group Report



                  Tabled. But the EC voted to endorse and make a $100 financial contribution in support of the vigil at CSM on November 23.

                  District Shared Governance Council




                    Resolution for a National March








                        There are no active grievances at this time.

                        Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items





                          Meeting adjourned:         5:35