Monthly Archives: July 2011

April 13, 2011

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

April 13, 2011 at Cañada College

EC Members Present: Eric Brenner, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Lisa Suguitan Melnick, Sandi Raeber Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Masao Suzuki

Other Attendees: Violeta Grigorescu, Margaret Hanzimanolis (Part-Time Organizer)

Meeting begun: 2:25

Facilitator: Katharine Harer


1. Welcome and Introductions


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

A.   Violeta Grigorescu reported on the impending demolition of Building 20 at CSM (referred to as the “Edison Project”). The building, the adjacent garden, and three greenhouses, all of which are used for the Floristry and Horticulture programs, are slated for demolition. Two student groups and a number of faculty are actively working to prevent the demolition, which almost went ahead last June, before it came to the attention of faculty and students in Spring 2010. They believe that the plan is a misuse of taxpayers’ dollars, as the money being used for the demolition was originally slated for renovation. A group of faculty have devoted many hours to a formal proposal to save the building and garden, but have made little headway, despite the two student groups having made a presentation directly to the Board. At least one Board member emphasized that such presentations are unlikely to be effective, especially given the current budget situation, which makes the elimination of programs inevitable.

The two affected programs are currently going through a modified PIV process, perhaps lasting just a few months. The demolition of the building, garden, and greenhouses is scheduled for almost exactly the same time the PIV process will end, making the demolition appear to be a fait accompli. Monica believes that because college programs will be affected, the Senate must take the lead on this. The affected faculty are primarily PT.

Dan, Diana Bennett, and Violeta will draft a letter to   .   And Violeta will check whether CSM has a standing Facilities Committee, which might be the appropriate group to work on this.

B.    Tom Mohr (President, Cañada), who was expected to speak briefly during this segment of the meeting, actually came near the end of the meeting to talk about forming a “coalition” of AFT, Senate, and Administration to study the Tianhua initiative, a proposed collaboration with a private university in China.


3. Minutes of March 9, 2011 AFT Meeting

Approved: 13 “yes,” 1 abstention


4. Community College Budget: State and District

Masao reported that the Community Colleges will see cuts of at least $300,000,000, but Kathy Blackwood believes that they will likely be significantly higher and that Prop. 98 will be suspended (if tax extensions are not approved). She said that our District should get by without huge cuts for 2011/2012, but program elimination and layoffs are likely in 2012/2013. Decisions about these cuts will have to be made in the upcoming year. Masao said it is likely that we will go Basic Aid, which may have the unintended consequence of reducing incentives to increase enrollment.


5. Negotiations Update

There have been no additional negotiation sessions since our last meeting on March 9, 2011. There was some confusion over the appointment of a new mediator, but we are now working with the same mediator once again.


6. P/T Faculty Organizer Report

Part-Time seniority lists:

Margaret asked that the Chapter Chairs encourage Deans to make the seniority lists public. Joaquin pointed out that the best contract language we’ve been able to get states merely that faculty can request to see the lists; Deans are not required to post them. The EC agreed that Chapter Chairs will post them in the work rooms for each division. The EC (Margaret?) will notify faculty when they are all posted.

Trust Committee:

Margaret requested that the EC commit to including a PTr as a standing, permanent member of the Trust Committee when it is reconstituted. Some members felt that such a commitment was premature, given that we have been working on reconstituting this committee for such a long time and have no way of knowing if or when this will happen, and given that the committee will likely have only four members and must represent the three campuses as well as various faculty constituencies across the District. Others felt that such a commitment at this time was important. The EC had previously committed to, at a minimum, the inclusion of PT faculty through focused working groups.

Because this item was not listed as an action item on the agenda, we could not take an official vote, but we did vote on two questions:

  • Should we table this issue until a future meeting?

Yes: 5;  No: 6;  Abstain: 1


  • Do we support the following statement?

“The AFT EC will make every effort to include a PT faculty member on the Trust Committee, as one of its four standing members, when it reconvenes.”

Yes: 9;  No: 9;  Abstain: 2

7. Update on AFT/Academic Senate Trust Committee Statement

Diana Bennett gave a presentation on the issue of reconstituting the Trust Committee, and the joint AFT/Senate statement about doing so, at the March 23, 2011 Board of Trustees meeting but experienced technical difficulties with the presentation.

One Board member wanted to know why the committee couldn’t include an administrator with a full vote.


8. Discussion of Overload Issue

Joaquin had requested data from the District office regarding Spring 2011 FT faculty overloads in order to help the EC determine whether the practice is widespread enough for us to consider negotiating contract language to limit the amount of overload FT faculty can take. The information provided shows that 19 FT faculty are teaching overloads of more than 6 units, and 6 FT faculty are receiving release time of more than 6 units for non-instructional assignments. Ten FT faculty are teaching overloads of more than 7.5 units, and 4 FT faculty are receiving release time of more than 7.5 units for non-instructional assignments.

Some EC members feel that the number of faculty taking overloads, and the size of the overloads, is not a seriousness enough problem to warrant contractual limits, and that it may be possible to stop most overload abuses (which we have not yet defined) through other methods.

Margaret pointed out that despite the data, we still do not know the actual impact on PT faculty of FTs taking overloads but agreed that we should not raise the issue during the current contract negotiations. We all agreed that we need more detailed information. Though there are inherent problems with collecting information about each faculty overload, we may not be able to get an accurate picture of the situation without knowing where each faculty member’s overload is coming from (non-instructional assignments, a four-course English comp load including 4 or 5-unit courses, unit banking, etc.).

Eric feels we need an article for The Advocate, but acknowledged that we are not ready to write one. Margaret drafted a statement for the EC to consider publishing in every issue of The Advocate:

Whereas economic instability and budget cuts are affecting the employment status and livelihoods of Part-Time faculty in the San Mateo County Community College District,

Be it resolved that the AFT 1493 Executive Committee recommends that Full-Time faculty members seriously consider refraning from taking on excessive overloads in situations in which Part-Time faculty members will be displaced from course to which they would otherwise have been assigned.

Some members felt that we should postpone running the above statement until we are also ready with an article. The vote on this proposal was as follows:

Yes: 2; No: 11 Abstain: 1


A second vote on whether to run the statement indefinitely, starting with the May issue was as follows:

Yes: 12; No: 2 Abstain: 0


9. District Shared Governance Council Report

There has been no meeting since AFT 1493 last met.


10. FSA/Equivalency Procedure

The District Academic Senate took the lead on revising the process for determining FSA’s. Diana Bennett announced at the April 11 District Academic Senate meeting that the EC would be discussing the document at our April meeting. Monica has reviewed the new language, but has not received much feedback from the EC. She believes the document needs only minor changes, which can be made easily. In a straw vote, the EC agree that we would approve the document with minor corrections by Monica, and that we would conduct an electronic vote in the next week.


11. Proposed Changes to the AFT 1493 Constitution

Monica reiterated that we need to make some changes to our Constitution. Because she has not received feedback from most of the EC, we will bring this agenda item back to our May meeting. At that time, Monica will highlight her suggested changes. We agreed to discuss this issue early at the meeting and to make it an action item.


12. Grievances

  • Nina requested that issues/potential grievances be directed to Chip as she will be stepping down as a grievance officer after this semester.
  • Chip had no formal grievances to report.


13. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

Monica stated that she want to know our current expenses for the year-to-date at our May meeting and would like a preliminary budget at that time.


Meeting adjourned:             5:20

March 9, 2011

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

March 9, 2011 at CSM

EC Members Present: Eric Brenner, Victoria Clinton, Dave Danielson, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Lisa Suguitan Melnick, Mike Noonan, Sandi Raeber Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Masao Suzuki, Elizabeth Terzakis, Rebecca Webb

Other Attendees: Waldo Esteva, Deb Garfinkle, Margaret Hanzimanolis (Part-Time Organizer), Judith Michaels (CFT Legislative Director), Angela Orr, Ali Shokouhbakhsh

Meeting begun: 2:25

Facilitator: Dan Kaplan


1. Welcome and Introductions

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

A)   Ali Shokouhbakhsh emphasized the importance of continuing our disucussion of the overload issue, which will be discussed under Agenda item #7.

B)   Deb raised the issue of current attempts in Wisconsin (and other states) to crush public unions, and asked what actions AFT 1493 wants/intends to take. One AFT member stressed the importance of joining the March in March (3/14 in Sacramento); he mentioned that some By Area high school principals were encouraging their faculty to attend.

3. Minutes of February 9, 2011 AFT Meeting

Approved with corrections, with one abstention.

4. No-Strike Clause in AFT Contract

The discussion on this agenda item was brief because the interested faculty from Cañada were not in attendance to discuss it. Elizabeth and Yaping reported that approximately 30 petition signatures supporting the removal of the “no strike” clause from our contract were gathered in Fall 2010 at both CSM and Cañada (60 signatures total). Joaquin emphasized that any campaign we engage in to remove the “no strike” clause must have full faculty support in order to be successful.

Elizabeth Terzakis instead used this time to request that AFT 1493 make a small contribution to pay for lunches for students attending the March in March (3/14). The EC voted unanimously to contribute $200. Neither Skyline nor CSM students are planning to send busses to Sacramento this year.


5. P/T Faculty Organizer Report

A)      Margaret, Lisa, Monica, and Judith Michaels (CFT Legislative Director) reported on a meeting held with Chancellor Galatolo immediately preceding today’s AFT meeting. The goal of the meeting was to get the Chancellor’s support for SB 114 (Leland Yee, SF). The bill would place part-time faculty on salary steps comparable to those of full-time faculty, in an effort to come closer to pay equity for part-time faculty, and would mandate that districts report part-time faculty salaries to both CalSTRS and the faculty members themselves as a percentage of full-time salaries in an effort to make it easier to accurately compare part-time salaries and to more accurately calculate and report part-time faculty service credits (see “SB 114: Transparency in Pay for Adjuncts: An Approach to Achieving Equal Pay for Equal Work,” by Judith Michaels,  in the March 2011 issue of The Advocate for more information about SB 114).

Though the Chancellor did not agree to write to State Senator Yee expressing his support for SB 114, he did state that he would no longer oppose the bill. Judith felt good about the meeting, noting that SMCCCD had been the only District opposing the bill until now. She also pointed out that STRS also supports it.

B)   Rebecca Webb has started a Facebook page for part-time faculty in the District and  continues work on its development.

C)  Masao said that he would like to see salary schedules for other community colleges in the area (De Anza, SF City College, and Evergreen).

D)  Margaret emphasized that part-time faculty should contact her with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

6. Update on AFT/Academic Senate Trust Committee Statement

Immediately following our March 9 meeting, a few EC members discovered that the most recent draft of the joint AFT/Academic Senate Trust Committee statement was indeed what had been agreed upon by both constituencies. However, some EC members had conflicting memories about what was agreed to at our March 9 meeting. A few members thought that even though the current language had apparently been agreed to by both AFT and the Academic Senate, we had decided at that meeting that we wanted to remove the language about including SLO’s in the faculty evaluation process. Other members recalled that we had agreed to let the language stand and address the issue in the Trust Committee itself whenever it is reconstituted.

Due to the potential conflict of interest created by Ray Hernandez’s appointment to the position of Interim Dean of the Math/Science Division at Skyline, the draft will now go to the new District Academic Senate President, Diana Bennett, who had planned to read it at the next Board meeting (March 23). Katharine, Nina, Monica, and Teeka will work on finalizing the document and will contact Diana Bennett to discuss it.

7. Discussion of Overload Issue

This agenda item was a continuation of the discussion at our March 9 meeting.

Though some members feel the issue is simple and straightforward (a teaching load of more than 15 units is over-employment), others argued that we must consider the specific needs of each department and program. Most of us can think of faculty who we believe abuse the right to teach overloads, and we recognize that students may be negatively impacted when faculty teach overloads, while others of us can think of colleagues who teach overloads while serving their students extraordinarily well.

What is the solution?

Most agreed that giving up our contractual right to teach overloads and to bank units would be a mistake. But some also argued that we could decide to limit the amount of overload. We agreed that we must be careful about getting into debates about which faculty members are more deserving or more needy.

We agreed that in order to have a fully informed discussion of the issue, we need data regarding the number of full-time faculty actually teaching overloads, the number of units being banked by full-time faculty, and the number of full-time faculty overload units taken as reassigned time for special projects. Once we receive that data from the District, we will put the issue back on the agenda.

Katharine suggested running an article in The Advocate, acknowledging both the inequities and the complexities involved in the issue, and perhaps running a brief, regular statement of AFT’s position once we come to some agreement.

8. District Shared Governance Council Report

Teeka reported on 4 Board Policies and other issues of concern to AFT.

  • 5.16:             Managers: Evaluation. Changes included eliminating the clause which listed the acceptable factors in evaluating managers (5.16.3), including “evaluation by peers and others (including those supervised).” Teeka requested some language be reinstated to provide input by subordinates in managers’ evaluations. The Board policy will be up for a vote at DSGC’s May meeting.
  • 5.26:             Academic Supervisors: Evaluation. Same as above.
  • 2.08:             DSGC process. Barbara Christensen recommended changing the definition of a “quorum,” from 11 members to 50% + 1. AFT opposes this change.
  • 8.70:             Fees and charges. Students receiving Financial Aid and carrying a balance with the District beyond a certain amount would be placed on a payment plan. If they do not meet the requirements of their plan, they would not only be prohibited from registering for new classes, they would also be disenrolled from existing classes. Although many EC members oppose this idea, in order to take an informed position, we want information about which students would be impacted by this new policy; we are concerned that our poorest and most disadvantaged students will be further disenfranchised. Though DSGC agreed to bring this issue back to its next meeting, that meeting will take place before AFT has the opportunity to discuss it again at our next AFT meeting. CSM’s Academic Senate has already opposed the policy; we are hoping that the Skyline and Cañada Senates will adopt the same position.

9. FSA/Equivalency Procedure

Tabled until April.

10. Proposed Changes to AFT 1493 Constitution

Tabled until April.

11. Grievances

Nothing to report at this time.

12. Negotiations Update: Closed Session Discussion, Including:

A) PERB Unfair Labor Practice Charge – Linking SLO’s to Faculty Evaluations

The deadline to file is March 10, 2011. Joaquin asked our attorney to send it to us tomorrow.

B) Spring Semester Faculty Letter Writing Campaign

Tabled until April


13. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

An EC member asked that at future meetings we be mindful about not veering too far from our agenda at future meetings. Our meetings often run late, resulting in the departure of some members before we have discussed all of the most important agenda items.


Meeting adjourned:             5:10