Monthly Archives: December 2012

In the News

News articles related to community college faculty issues and SMCCCD, selected from around the county, state and nation and updated regularly.  To receive these articles by email, send a request to be added to the AFT 1493 email list to Dan Kaplan at:

January 29, 2013— Community colleges reject charge of excessive faculty power (EdSource)

January 27, 2013— Editorial: Pushing community college reform too far (Los Angeles Times)

January 24, 2013— CFT President’s statement in response to Governor Brown’s 2013 State of the State address (California Federation of Teachers)

January 20, 2013— Brown seeks to reshape California’s community colleges (Los Angeles Times)

January 15, 2013— California to Give Web Courses a Big Trial (New York Times)

January 14, 2013— Accountability, accreditation test community colleges (EdSource)


December 2012

The Advocate – 36.3
December 2012

In this issue:

Message from CFT President

This has been an amazing year and normally I would share with you information on the CFT’s numerous activities and joshpechthalt-webcampaigns. But that can wait until the New Year. In the aftermath of the horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut our political and organizing successes, as significant as they are, seem less important. But I have neither the language nor the wisdom to make sense of these deaths.


October 10, 2012

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

October 10, 2012 at Cañada College, Building 3, Room 104

EC Members Present:

Teeka James, Rebecca Webb, Masao Suzuki, Eric Brenner, Michelle Kern, Lin Bowie, Joaquin Rivera, Victoria Clinton, Sandra Raeber-Dorsett, Dan Kaplan, Lezlee Ware, Elizabeth Terzakis, Zev Kvitky, Salumeh Eslamieh, Chip Chandler, Sarah Powers


1. Distribution of flyers and posters re: Yes on 30, No on 32

2. Invitation to reception/talk of Robert Reich Wednesday, Oct. 17th at Cañada 5’

3. Minutes of September 12, 2012 AFT meeting; Lisa Palmer; 5’


4. *ACCJC issues: building a coalition; Dan Kaplan and Teeka James; 20’

Sept. 25th Teeka and Dan met with Chancellor Galatolo who encourages us to create a coalition of all constituencies to create a better working relationship with the ACCJC. This seems very encouraging. We welcome the impetus to work together on this goal. CFT has prepared a report.

Q: Is Barbara Beno the real problem, or is she a puppet?

Q: Background? Has it gotten so much worse with her, or is what she doing fitting in with a wider political agenda?

DK: BB generated more grievances than anyone else in her position when she was President of Vista College; she appoints sycophants to the ACCJC.

Discussion to be continued at the next mtg.

5. 6.35: Academic Freedom; Joaquin Rivera and Teeka James; 15’

The Senate is working through its rules and regs; now on 6, academic freedom/controversial language.

Diana Bennett agreed to postpone discussion of this at Senate until the union has a chance to weigh in.

Joaquin: the district feels that academic freedom is not subject to collective bargaining; we feel that it is but agreed not to hold up current contract for this issue.

The district doesn’t want it in the contract because they don’t want associated grievances.

Other districts have this.

Next mtg.: Teeka and Joaquin will bring in additional information; we will determine how to move forward on academic freedom.

6. Propositions 30 and 32: phone banking at College Vista and Cañada Vista was cancelled; Dan Kaplan; 10’

Kaplan believes we should do it. The polls are getting closer.

Zev: if labor doesn’t turn out about 75-80% of union members, Prop 32 will pass (i.e. we will lose)

Zev hates phone banking too but it works—the data shows that talking to people on the phone or going door-to-door gets people to vote.

Zev: don’t walk the halls during work time. We could set up local phone banks; there is phone banking Mon-Thurs at the council; we could do some tabling.

Teeka: we can also go to local labor councils (in the counties in which we live) to volunteer.

All 3 colleges agreed to table; union reps will coordinate.

Katharine, Lin, Teeka, Dan, Zev will phone bank 10/16 evening; time TBD

7. *San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation request; Teeka James; 10’

Q: How about making it a scholarship for part-time students?

Q: $500-$1000 seems reasonable; we would form a committee to read applications

Q: We could also do fundraising for the scholarship

Approved: Two $1,000 scholarships, funded for the first year, and then fundraise for the subsequent years.

Lezlee, Dan, Michelle, Teeka will bring a draft to the next meeting.

8. Continuing discussion of candidate search for the 2013 Board of Trustees election

Lin met with former HMB mayor Mike Ferrera to discuss likely candidates.

Q: Did we discuss criteria? Masao thinks we should look for non-white candidates because the current board is 100% white whereas the district is only 42% white. Geographic diversity seems useful, too, as well as political experience.

Dan: the Board is working with a demographer to draw boundaries of districts; is currently holding public meetings to garner input and participants

Joaquin: we may have criteria, but at the end of the day we may not have many candidates

Teeka: agrees we should diversify the board in many ways

Rebecca: suggests looking at independent parties who are also interested in getting people into the local positions

Dan: Let’s encourage retired or close to retirement faculty to run.

At next meeting: we’ll revisit; see who’s available.


8.a. Eric Brenner stepping down from Distance Education Advisory Committee.

Lin nominated and approved with one abstention

Teeka will contact Jing


8.b. Joaquin discussion 2013-14 academic calendar

Are we okay with rolling over the calendar?

The split final exam week was approved by 3-college vote

Teeka: we might want to put in the day of grade submission, which should be 5 business days from the date of the last final exam.

We will put a discussion of creating a compressed calendar on the agenda for next meeting.

We agreed to roll over the current calendar to next year.


9. Performance Evaluation Task Force update; Lezlee Ware, Elizabeth Terzakis, Nina Floro 10’

Meeting October 15th

Setting up teams on each campus; Cañada will be meeting with administrators on November 6th/8th.

Also contacted Chabot and DeAnza to elicit information about their process.

Slow progress is being made; so far participants are eager and positive.

10. Concurrent enrollment; Michelle Kern; 20’

Counseling, enrollment, grading, lack of administration, and lack of technical support in the concurrent enrollment program.

The faculty want to have an administrator as well as a systemized process.


11. Continuing discussion of the Workload survey; Teeka James; 10’

Teeka asked faculty to edit survey draft.

We agreed to pay to use SurveyMonkey so we can branch.

Range will give more accurate data; also will elicit more participation.

We agreed that it should be set up so all answers are visible.

We think some of the answers should offer weekly hours; others will have per semester hours.

We agreed that question 9 is better answered with a range, not free-response.

Perhaps “when you participate in program review, etc., how many hours per week do you spend?” (i.e. make it clear that it’s asking about work that isn’t part of their regular duties)

Perhaps add common ‘extra’ duties such as reading email, doing equipment orders, assessing textbooks, etc.

Teeka will bring a revised draft to the next meeting.


12. PT parity campaign discussion; Sandi Raeber-Dorsett and Vicky Clinton; 10’

Sandi and Vicky are putting together a focus group to solicit ideas about how to define parity, etc.

Will send an email to part-time reps to get input

13. District Shared Governance Council report; Teeka James; 10’

Booted to next meeting.

14. The Advocate’s new look; Dan Kaplan; 5’

Look at the new look (4-colors) in the next issue.

Smaller paper run; digitally printed.

15. Statements from EC members on Non- Agenda Items

Should we have two shorter meetings/month? How do we increase participation? Our progress is impeded by lack of participation. Friday afternoon?



AFT 1493 Advocate Readership Survey – November 2012

The survey has 173 respondents.

How often and how much do you read The Advocate?
74 43% I read most articles in every issue
41 24% I read a few articles in every issue
19 11% I read some articles in most issues
35 20% I occasionally read a few articles in some issues
4 2% I never read The Advocate
In what format do you read The Advocate?
65 38% I just read print copies.
26 15% I just read the pdf versions online.
9 5% I just read individual articles on the website.
71 42% Sometimes I read print copies, sometimes I read online versions.
If the print version of The Advocate was discontinued and only online versions were available:
113 67% I would still read it the same amount.
49 29% I would be less likely to read it.
7 4% I would stop reading it.
If you read The Advocate online, which version do you prefer?
66 47% pdf version (the one that looks like the print version online)
32 23% individual online articles linked from The Advocate email message
3 2% individual online articles linked from the AFT website
40 28% No preference–I read the pdf version & online articles at different times.
What do you think we could do to improve The Advocate?
35 20%
  • The Advocate is well written and informative.
  • I would like to see more faculty contribute articles to the The Advocate. Additionally, I’d like to see a few state-wide or even nation-wide issues covered as they relate to more local issues.
  • Hear from more faculty who are not union activists to enlarge the faculty voice and sense of engagement.
  • more faculty info about what is working well for us.
  • The advocate is fantastic. Please keep sending it in print. If you make cheaper photocopies, that’s fine too. I end up printing it out anyway so that I can read it over lunch, etc.
  • Find some scholarly research articles on how to evaluate teaching. Update us on what the PEFT task force is doing. what approach are they taking?
  • I love it, and I’m grateful for your hard work!
  • Make it only an online communication (save $!). Include various perspectives
  • In the pdf it is some times hard to navigate from one part of an article to the rest on line.
  • Can’t think of anything. It’s pretty good now.
  • You are doing a good job. No need to change.
  • More on retirement issues.
  • Include a link to the minutes from union meetings. I have a hard time finding them.
  • I think that its great the way it is. Thanks for the hard work
  • I only read the printed version
  • I Like the format, the topics, and the clarity.
    Maybe add a question/answer box..FAQ’s?????
  • Make the connection between the union and other AFT members, relations with SEIU & the building trades on campus, interview an instructor, tell us where to go to work a phone bank, make the union relevant BEFORE an election, take a stand on propositions, include quick overview of AFT’s monthly meetings–inform employees of who the candidates are that are up for AFT positions!!!
    My co-workers state that the Advocate is dry and uninteresting to read.
    Thanks for keeping us informed, nevertheless!!!
    tell us in the email WHY this survey is important. In the Advocate tell us that there will be a survey.
  • I read only what is in the work room
  • stop campaigning for props
  • Excellent and informative! Thank you!
  • If you do go to an on-line only version, perhaps an active dialog/rebuttal-type page might be interesting.
  • More coverage of the data relevant to PTF: Number of faculty working, each semester. percent of classes taught (corrected for release time that FTF use), and number of PT faculty participating in the health coverage subsidy, subsidized housing, DB retirement and cash balance retirement. More notification of orientation sessions for new faculty. More information about sick leave accrual, usage rules and regulations (hrs vs days), and transfer to other colleges, for PTF. More information about the history of union negotiated raises for various groups. (30 year). When was parity closer? More complete information in charts –not just three steps or four steps. Clarification that PTF only have X steps! More information for how calculations were made, when complicated metrics are boiled down to “4th in bay area, etc. (note: one college could be 1 cent different and so these 3/4th/5th in bay area are not as useful as complete info about parity WITHIN the district between PT and FT faculty). More discussion of legislative initiatives relative to PTF. More information on trends within discplines for PTF –what disciplines are most/least represented. Data on FTF usage of overloads. Number of PTF this practice displaces, or could displace if there was a perfect lineup of quals and availability. Number of PTF who work at multiple districts. In short, more data, less analysis of things about which most people are fully aware. More information about for instance, how to transfer sick leave to another college, how to convert to DB from cash balance, how to file for unemployment, what parity is, etc. How to apply for subsidized housing, what is the financial arrangement between the “foundation” that “built” the housing units and the colleges. More information and analysis of the district’s CAFR . More information about board of Trustee meetings and what happens at them. More information about the lawsuit against Lehman brothers. The Advocate contains insufficient sustained analysis of issues important to PTF.
  • It is very informative as is.
  • Timely information to keeep us well informed.
  • I think you are doing a great job! I store back issues for reference.
  • Make the Advocate smartphone friendly. I would read it if I could open it on my smartphone. Also, you should have a twitter account like a lot of news publications do–see Washington post, New York Times, etc.
  • I am so busy, I am unsure which one of the union things I get at home is the advocate. no offense, just busy…
  • With so much important information to read, highlight the important points then on the paragraphs to follow tell of details.
  • Separate articles for part-timers and retired employees for easy locating and reading from the articles pertaining to all members.
  • Explain how they calculate FTES.
  • I prefer the print copies. However, since I am not on campus for most of the year, I should start reading the on-line version. Clear emails notifying me that it contains the Advocate would help. Thanks!
  • More information and data about the PTF presence on campuses. More focus on PTF issues.
Please identify whether you are a full-time or part-time faculty member:
89 52% I am a full-time faculty member
83 48% I am a part-time faculty member
Please identify where you teach:
72 38% I teach at CSM
41 22% I teach at Cañada
65 34% I teach at Skyline
12 6% I also teach at one or more other colleges
If you teach at one or more other colleges, please name which one(s)
17 10%
  • SFSU
  • College of Marin
  • Merced College
  • Foothill, West Valley College
  • Ohlone College
  • Merritt College
  • Holy Names University, Graduate Sophia Center – Oakland Ca
  • Columbia college, coast Guard Island, Alameda
  • Modesto Junior College, Diablo Valley College, & Delta Coll (Stockton)
  • De Anza, CCSF (both better paid by about 22-32% and better benefitted by a mile)
  • SJSU
  • Foothill, laney
  • Ohlone
  • College of Marin
  • Foothill
  • Chabot College