Monthly Archives: April 2013

February 2013

The Advocate – 36.4
February 2013

In this issue:

March 13, 2013

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, March 13, 2013, at CSM


EC members present: Eric Brenner, Chip Chandler, Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Nina Floro, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Monica Malamud, Sarah Powers, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware, Rebecca Webb.

Other AFT 1493 members present: Diana Bennett


Meeting began at 2:37

Facilitator: Dan Kaplan


1. Welcome and introductions

Not necessary, as everybody who was present at the beginning of the meeting knew everybody else.


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




3. Minutes of February 13, 2013 AFT meeting

Approved unanimously.



4. March 14 Rally in the SF Civic Center

Dan Kaplan and Teeka James

A rally in support of CCSF will be held March 14.  Our contingent will carry the AFT 1493 banner.

The CCSF Board of Trustees has been making it very hard for the public to make comments at their meetings, by having Public Comment scheduled at the end of the meeting.

Several union organizations in the Bay Area used our resolution in support of CCSF as a model for their own resolutions, including the San Mateo Central Labor Council.  In addition to this resolution, Dan also shared with other locals our email to faculty urging them to participate in the March 14 rally in San Francisco.


5. AFT summer party/scholarship fund raiser planning discussion

AFT 1493 is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013.  The local was chartered on November 29th, 1963.  We will have a party to celebrate the occasion in November.

There was consensus to have a family-friendly picnic around International Labor Day; this would be an annual tradition that can serve both to build community among members and also as a fundraising opportunity for the AFT 1493 scholarship.

Other suggestions:  have a smaller committee in charge of organizing these events (contact Dan if interested), start advertising on opening day, do a Doodle poll to decide on a date, add a reference to the 50th anniversary in our logo.


6. AFT member organizing drive discussion

In our local we have about 200 faculty who are not union members, but rather fee payers.  Agency fee payers have a right to claim a rebate of the non-chargeable portion of the fees paid, but do not enjoy the many benefits of union membership.  The AFT 1493 website has a “Join the Union” page now, and the form that faculty need in order to sign up as union members can be downloaded from this page.

Action plan:

–        All EC members will approach two faculty members each between now and our next AFT meeting.

–        Non-union members will be getting an email to encourage them to join the union.


7. Performance Evaluation Task Force update

Nina has visited some of the divisions at Skyline.  She was welcomed in general, but not at one.  Faculty reacted negatively to the proposal of including SLOs in the faculty self-assessment.

Lezlee and Elizabeth have visited each division at least once, and Humanities and Social Sciences twice.  Counselors would like to form a group to work on an evaluation tool for counselors.

The PETF has a draft of the student survey.

The PETF will schedule faculty forums.

At CSM, the divisions are scheduled to be visited.


–        Post fillable forms online

–        Let faculty know that they do not answer specific questions when they get them, but they are free to send feedback at any time.

–        When PETF members give reports, it would be good for them to have specific talking points, to make sure that reports are accurate.

Discussion about the work of the PETF will continue at next week’s AFT meeting.


8. Status of negotiation of Board policies

There was agreement on one of the policies:

–        Computer and Network Use

There are three outstanding policies:

–        Intelectual property: we are very close to reaching an agreement.

–        Freedom of speech:  the sticking point is the definition of “public forum”.  There is a difference between a “designated public forum” and “open forum”.  The problem with a “designated public forum” is that it can be removed at any time.

–        Use of District Communications:  policy is very narrowly tailored to a past communication issue that the District had with the union.



9. District Shared Governance Report

Teeka James

There’s a shift from “shared” governance to “participatory” governance.


10. MOOCs

At the District Academic Senate on Monday, Diana Bennet said that at the DEAC presentation by Udacity there were a lot of unanswered questions, and at the Board retreat board members had concerns that were similar to those expressed by faculty.  DEAC and DAS will hold an open forum for faculty to discuss MOOCs in April.  The District would like to have a pilot MOOC created by our own faculty.  Dan believes that the District will be entering into a contract with Udacity in the near future.


11. The Keystone XL Pipeline issue



12. Selection of the Survey Workload data analysis committee

We had very good faculty participation:

–        373 started the survey.

–        270 completed the survey.

–        Part-timers and full-timers participated in almost equal numbers

–        About 80% of responders were classroom faculty, but other groups were also well-represented.

Survey Workload data analysis committee:  Teeka, Joaquin, Monica, Lezlee.



13. Continuing discussion of the 2013 Board of Trustees




14. Selection of the AFT scholarship committe

Committee has alredy been selected:  Teeka, Lezlee, Dan.


15. Statements from AFT members on non-agenda items

  1. Rebecca will be leaving the EC after the end of this semester; she is moving abroad.
  2. Grade submission deadline for summer:  Tuesday, August 13, at noon.
  3. Nina read a “thank you” email to the union for conducting the workload survey.



Meeting adjourned 5:00 p.m.

February 13, 2013

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at Skyline College

EC members present: Chip Chandler, Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Monica Malamud, Sarah Powers, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware.

Other AFT 1493 members present: Grace Chen, David Locke


Guests: Zev Kvitky (CFT field rep)

Meeting began at 2:36

Facilitator: Katharine Harer


1. Welcome and introductions

Not necessary, as everybody who was present at the beginning of the meeting knew everybody else.

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




3. Minutes of January 16, 2013 AFT meeting

Approved unanimously.

4. PT parity campaign: status of email to all PT faculty

Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Vicky Clinton

Sandi distributed a draft of an email that will be sent out to PT faculty.  The goal of the email is to encourage PT to participate in focus groups, in order to gather information so as to come up with contract proposals that would strenghthen contract language around PT issues.  Sandi requested everyone to send feedback on the email text.

It was suggested that we ask our CFT field rep for help setting up conference calls, since it’s difficult for PT to meet in person, and email exchanges may not be as fruitful as synchronous discussions.

5. PT parity goals discussion

In our district, we are trying to determine what the parity goal is in terms of the teaching component.  It is problematic to ask and expect PT to do program review and hiring justifications, for example; we should not depend on a PT to get this work done.  It’s good to encourage PT to participate in tasks other than teaching, but it seems more appropriate to pay PT for these tasks on a stipend basis.

6. Workload survey update:  flyers, posters, tabling

One hundred and twenty faculty have already started filling out the survey, and 93 completed it already.

Some EC members have been working on the design of a flyer and a poster.  Dan will have them printed.  They will be posted at various locations in the three campuses.

Chapter chairs at each campus will organize the efforts to get faculty to participate in the survey (posting flyers/posters, tabling, etc).


7. Status of our demand to negotiate Board policies, including Academic Freedom and8. District Shared Governance Report

Teeka James, Joaquin Rivera

Teeka and Joaquin met with Harry Joel and Ron Galatolo on January 30th.  Harry Joel was very willing to work with AFT on these policies.  They were able to reach agreement on three policies:

2.10. Nondiscrimination

2.60. Resignations

6.35. Academic Freedom

In addition to becoming Board policy, the Academic Freedom policy will be incorporated in our contract, with the caveat that it is not subject to arbitration.

Joaquin is now preparing proposals on other policies, such as computer privacy issues, intellectual property rights and freedom of speech.  We are making good progress in all of these.  Union and district are not far apart in their positions, and our negotiator is confident that agreement will be reached on several additional policies in the near future.

Ron would like to start negotiations right away; the District is in a good financial position, and there is more financial stability due to the district becoming basic aid.  The District would like to have a settlement before the end of the fiscal year because this would allow the District to plan for the future more accurately.  We need to decide on the non-economic issues for our re-openers.


9. MOOCs

DEAC’s meeting today included the topic of MOOCs on its agenda.  Elizabeth was at this meeting with her students, who had voted to do this as a class field trip, because they want to inform themselves about issues that may impact their education.  Salumeh attended the DEAC meeting as well.  Salumeh reported that for the MOOCs agenda topic, DEAC invited a representative from Udacity to make a presentation.  This representative showed examples from Physics and Math and said that there is a lot of peer interaction among students in the courses.  The Udacity representative also answered questions:

Question:  What about Humanities and Social Sciences courses?         A: none yet.

Question:  What is the role of faculty in the long term?                              A: the role of faculty will change.

Question:  What is the success rate in these MOOCs?                              A: 15% in a MOOC offered by Stanford

Some of the points brought up during our discussion:

–        Courses need to go through Curiculum Committee.  If faculty don’t do them, then they won’t happen.

–        MOOCs as currently conceived do not align with Title 5 (“frequent and effective contact” between professor and students?)

–        If other colleges offer MOOCs, why can’t we just accept transfer credit for them, instead of offering them in our district?

Peter Bruni and a faculty member have been asked to create a pilot MOOC in our district.

MOOCs are being discussed in other forums:

–        At the last DAS meeting, Dolores Davison, from the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges, said that the state Academic Senate will probably be taking up the topic of MOOCs.

–        CFA is supportive of MOOCs.

–        The Board held a study session on MOOCs on January 9th.



10. 2014-2015 Academic Calendar survey.  Compressed Calendar.

Joaquin Rivera

Some issues that were brought up when discussing previous academic calendars:

–        Length of winter break

–        Split finals week

–        Later start in August

–        End before Memorial Day or go into June

–        Number of flex days

–        When to schedule flex days

–        Compressed calendar

Joaquin will be putting together a survey to poll faculty on these issues and others as necessary, in order to get input for the design of the Academic Calendar 2014-2015.  Please send any ideas for this survey to Joaquin.  In the survey, it may be useful to include information about the process of designing an academic calendar and about the trade-offs that are involved (for example, a later start in August with our current semester length means that finals will be right before the holidays, trying to end by Memorial Day forces us to start by a certain date in January).



11. Performance Evaluation Task Force update

Nina Floro, Lezlee Ware, Elizabeth Terzakis

At the last meeting of the PETF there was a misunderstanding regarding the inclusion of SLOs in the Dean’s Assessment; at this time it has been decided that SLOs will not be included in the Dean’s Assessment.  PETF members voted on whether SLOs should be included in the faculty self-assessment (yes: 5, no: 1).

Currently, there is inconsistency among the campuses regarding what documentation needs to be turned in when a faculty member is being evaluated.

PETF has a draft of student surveys to be used for faculty evaluations.

In terms of satisfying ACCJC, the report will state what the PETF has been discussing.  However, anything that the PETF decides will have to be ratified by the faculty and approved by the Board.


12. AFT 1493 CCSF resolution

Teeka James

Teeka showed a petition that has been circulating in San Francisco, demanding that Parcel Tax (Prop A) revenues be spent in the manner they were intended.

Dan participated in a meeting called by AFT 2121 yesterday.  He spoke at this meeting and his remaks were very well received by attendees, who also urged him to mobilize faculty in our district in support of City College of San Francisco.

Dan drafted a resolution in support of the struggle at CCSF.  It was approved unanimously.  AFT 1493 will forward this resolution to the San Mateo Central Labor Council and urge them to pass a similar resolution.


13. CFT Leadership Conference Report

Teeka James, Dan Kaplan

The current focus of the CFT is the “Campaigning for Quality Public Education”.  CFT is asking locals to contribute to this campaign by discussing what constitutes “quality public education”.

Randi Weingarten gave a very inspiring speech on Thursday evening.  A union activist from the Chicago public schools talked about their experiences organizing a strike.  Bezemek’s workshop on legal issues focused on accreditation and the ACCJC.

Suggestion:  work on increasing our union membership, by having a modest and achievable goal per semester.


14. AFT summer party / scholarship fund raiser planning discussion

Executive Committee

Tabled to next meeting.


15. Statements from EC members on Non- Agenda Items

We had a great meeting.

We need to have a committee to analyze workload survey results.

We need readers for the scholarship applications.



Meeting adjourned 5:07 p.m.

January 16, 2013

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, January 16, 2013, at Cañada College

EC members present: Lin Bowie, Eric Brenner, Chip Chandler, Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Monica Malamud, Sarah Powers, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Suzuki, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware, Masao Rebecca Webb.

Other AFT 1493 members present: Jessica Kaven, Tania Beliz, Diana Bennet, Patty Dilko, Karen Olesen, Lorraine Barrales-Ramirez, Doug Hirzel, Ali Shokouhbakhsh.

Guests: Zev Kwitky (CFT field rep)

Meeting began at 2:30

Facilitator: Sandi Raeber-Dorsett


1. Welcome and introductions

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

The CFT President sent a letter to ACCJC calling the ACCJC out on process (for example, not posting agendas on time). CFT will continue to watch ACCJC closely and document irregularities in their processes.

3. Minutes of December 12, 2012 AFT meeting

Approved with minor corrections


4. PT parity campaign: comparison of different community college contracts in State

Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Vicky Clinton, Rebecca Webb

Sandi, Rebecca and Vicky looked at the percentage that other districts use as their definition of parity- it varies considerably from district to district. They will send out an email to faculty asking them to participate in focus groups.

AFT has been in communication with the IRS about the fact that PT hours are not counted correctly for the purpose of eligibility for health care coverage.


5. Workload survey: Flyers, Posters, and EC member to lead the campaign

This is the main thrust of the union for this semester. The survey will be ready to be rolled out in a week. Time estimate to complete survey: 20-30’. Teeka will send the survey link for review. Goals of the survey:

a) gather data to define parity,

b) quantify workload of faculty (especially non-teaching tasks).

How do we get faculty to participate?

– Put out an email alert, informing faculty why it’s important to fill out the survey (Teeka)

– Have tables (campus co-chairs to organize)

– Prepare a flyer to distribute at tables (Dan and Lezlee)

– Send out reminders, but not on a daily basis

– Have a poster in division offices (Michelle)

– Announce it at division meetings

– Prices: gift certificate for lunch/dinner

– Front page story in the Advocate (Eric)

– Have survey close just after Flex Day, so we can make one last pitch for it then


6. Interview with possible candidate for the 2013 Board of Trustees election

Lin Bowie

Lin prepared and distributed an outline for a profile that we can use for each potential candidate, so that it will be easier for us to compare them.

In order to expedite the process, we can have a subcommittee that interviews potential candidates. Elections by district are cheaper than if done county-wide. If elections are by district in November 2013, then it may be better to focus on districts that do not have an incumbent running. Lin, Dan and Joaquin will work to get some names for people to contact.


7. District Shared Governance Council report and

11. Status of our demand to negotiate Board policies, including Academic Freedom

Teeka James, Joaquin Rivera

The first meeting of DSGC is first Monday in February.

Joaquin and Teeka are planning to meet with Harry Joel, to talk about the four policies that the union has demanded to negotiate. In 1997, an Academic Freedom policy was created, and it was even approved by the Board then. Joaquin and Teeka will talk to Harry Joel about the inclusion of an Academic Freedom clause in our contract.


8. District Academic Senate concerns regarding MOOC

Teeka James

On February 9th there will be a Board retreat on this topic. The Board already had a study session on this topic. Sebastian Thrun, one of the founders of Udacity, presented at this study session. San Jose State is starting a trial with Udacity. Udacity’s plan is to offer remedial courses at community colleges. Governor Brown is in support of MOOCs, and sees it as a way to solve, at least in part, the problem of insufficient funding to higher education in the state.


– outsourcing of faculty jobs

– two-tier education (online is cheaper, face-to-face if student can afford it)

– increased “flexibility” (i.e., continued over-reliance on part-timers).

Our contract does not have good language on distance education. Should we wait until something happens in our district or should we find out more about it? General consensus was to stay tuned to any developments in this area and encourage faculty to voice their concerns.


9. San Mateo County Community Colleges Foundation scholarship application draft discussion

Lezlee Ware

Lezlee distributed a draft of the Agreement between AFT 1493 and San Mateo Community Colleges Foundation.

We agreed on the following application requirements:

– an essay on a topic that deals with social justice

– any major

– require evidence of activism

– minimum number of units

– minimum GPA: 2.5

– one of the two scholarships will be for a student who started in Basic Skills classes


10. Concurrent enrollment update

Dan Kaplan and Teeka James

Dan and Teeka met with Susan Estes (VPI at CSM) and Jennifer Hughes. Concurrent enrollment students do not pays fees. Administrators will put together a Handbook for Concurrent Enrollment Students.


11. [Moved up with agenda item 7]


12. Performance Evaluation Task Force update

Lezlee Ware, Elizabeth Terzakis, Nina Floro

PETF members reported on their progress:

– They created a new “grading” system for the classroom observation form, to replace the current A-B-C system.

– They assessed time-line of their work, especially with reference to ACCJC demands for inclusion of SLOs in the evaluation process. A proposal that is being considered is to have faculty include their participation in SLOs in their self-assessment.

– They developed a survey to use at Division meetings asking for feedback on evaluation forms.

At this time, the proposals for the new “grading” system and inclusion of SLOs in faculty self-assessment are being presented to faculty in the three campuses in order to get feedback on them.

From now on, emails from PETF will be distributed district-wide, instead of by campus.


13. Compressed calendar survey discussion

Executive Committee

Tabled to next meeting.


14. AFT summer party/ scholarship fund raiser planning discussion

Executive Committee

Tabled to next meeting.


15. Statements from EC members on Non- Agenda Items

a) CFT Leadership Conference is February 8th-9th, in Oakland. It is free. Interested EC members please register and attend.

b) We need to plan extra meetings for this semester. Teeka will send out a Doodle poll to help select dates.


Meeting adjourned 4:55 p.m.