Monthly Archives: October 2013

November 2013

The Advocate – 37.2
November 2013pdf icon

In this issue:



November 2013 Advocate

Eight Days a Week

First of a two-part report on the AFT 1493 Workload Survey

by Teeka James, AFT Local 1493 President

As you probably recall, last semester AFT 1493 asked faculty to share their perceptions of the workaday life at our three colleges. As The Advocate previously reported, 377 faculty members participated in the workload survey. Respondents were almost equally split between full-time and part-time faculty members (51 and 49 percent respectively), with 80 percent identifying themselves as classroom instructors, 10 percent as counselors, 7 percent as librarians, and 4 percent as non-instructional faculty. With the survey data, we first wanted to quantify, to the degree possible, how much time full-time faculty members spend on the various contractual components of our job duties, with the critical delineation being between teaching and non-teaching duties. In this first of our two-part report on the survey findings, we focus on the second of our purposes, which boils down to this: has faculty workload increased beyond the scope of our contractual duties? The short answer seems to be yes, indeed.

The Increasing Volume of Work

    Most faculty see teaching duties as encompassing all activities connected to working directly with students, everything from being in the classroom to grading to developing curriculum. Program review, SLO reporting, requesting and ordering equipment, organizing advising committees for CTE programs, grant writing—all of these non-teaching tasks came up again and again as draining and distracting for faculty, and virtually all survey respondents commented in some way that their non-teaching workload has increased over the course of their careers. One faculty member explained that “the expectations of all of us are expanding—but not just a little—exponentially! Every semester there is yet another new requirement and time commitment thrust upon me/us. It is time for some change. Pay is not the answer because time is a finite resource!” Faculty who work in small departments feel particularly burdened by non-teaching responsibilities because, oftentimes, all non-teaching work falls into the lap of a single faculty member. Others, in departments large and small alike, commented that the number of full-time faculty who do not pitch in with committee work makes what would be a manageable job overwhelming: “Faculty members who do not participate (at all or equally with others) in contractualized, non-teaching duties are not penalized. This is unfair and needs to be addressed in full-time faculty evaluations or another measurable way.” Still other faculty see much of the reporting work as being the rightful responsibility of administrators, and several faculty believe that no one ever reads these reports, which makes the work so frustrating. One faculty member’s comment summed up what many others felt about these points:

A great deal, perhaps most, of the additional non-teaching work is a complete waste of time. We are required to write reports no one will read so that some administrator can check some box on some form. I understand the theory behind accountability and measuring results. I have no problem with accountability and measuring results. But SLOs, Peer Review, Program Review, Advisory Committees (for CTE) and similar requirements are consuming a huge amount of time with no discernible benefits. If you want accountability and measured results let’s find a better method that takes less time and really works.

Extra-contractual Labor

    In the survey, faculty answered a series of questions that asked them to define ambiguous references to specific duties, such as “submitting reports on . . PieGraph-web. other matters as required,” and to quantify how much of their work time is consumed by tasks across all categories of responsibility: tasks required of all, additional professional responsibilities (required of full-timers only), and voluntary activities. After having thoroughly reflected in this way on their patterns of usual, contractually defined work tasks, faculty answered this question: “Do you believe you routinely perform duties that are not specifically required of you by your contract?” A definitive 70 percent of faculty respondents answered yes, over half reporting that those extra-contractual tasks consume up to 20 percent of the average work day.

    Faculty identified extra-contractual work tasks in multiple ways, but several common experiences emerged in the responses. While most faculty say they appreciate the utility of electronic communication between colleagues and with students, many experience email as an enormous time-suck, feeling as if they must be ever-at-the-ready. “The ease and accessibility of email has dramatically increased the amount of time that I work,” explained one faculty member. “With so many people using this means of communication, I find it a job in its own to keep up with the daily onslaught of email messages most of which require a somewhat immediate response.”
    Faculty also noted the time required to learn what seems like an ever-changing suite of reporting software and distance education platforms. As one faculty member reported, “There has been a dramatic increase this year with the simultaneous implementation of transfer curriculum, SLOs, use of CurricuNet and TracDat, and now annual program planning. These have all been imposed either without discussion, or worse with discussion and dissent followed by never mind, just do it.” CurricuNet and TracDat seem to be considered counter-intuitive and universally disliked. One faculty member contributed his or her analysis of the crux of the issue:

I understand the need for curriculum development but Curricunet was a lousy purchase.  It is so filled with bugs [that] faculty require extensive assistance to do simple curriculum development. It often takes 2 full-time people to sit for hours on end trying to get through one page of Curricunet only to have it disappear. It is an enormous waste of human resources, and the District should be shocked at this waste.  We are basically doing Quality Assurance for Curricunet because it was so poorly done (if at all) before [the software] went [on] sale.  Inordinate amounts of uncompensated time on technological debacles–who would want to develop a new class?  I am dreading the updates necessary for Program Review.

    Student Learning Outcomes were one of the most cited specific tasks that faculty took issue with. Concerns ranged from hatred of reporting software to frustration with what amounts to so much busywork. Some faculty acknowledge the intrinsic value in SLO assessment but feel the related work tasks, when driven by accreditation fears, become oppressive and futile. One person commented that “the SLO work we are doing is not in our contract but we feel pressured to do it,” and another faculty member lamented that “everything SLO is set up to only please the accreditation commission.”



Faculty Confusion about Job Requirements

    A surprising number of faculty hold misconceptions about how the contract defines our job duties. Some faculty wrongly believe that faculty job descriptions include an “other duties as assigned” clause. As one person notes, “The non-teaching work I do is within the scope of the contract.  ‘As assigned’ in ‘other duties as assigned’ opens a very large umbrella.” Faculty take note: there is no such umbrella in our contract. The statement that comes closest is this: “submit timely and accurate reports of attendance, grades and other matters as required” (CBA Appendix D; emphasis added), but being the third item in the list following “attendance” and “grades,” those “other matters” clearly refer to additional types of reports related to classroom duties (reporting disruptive student behavior, for example).
    Though not as clear cut as the previous misunderstanding, many faculty believe that they are not specifically required to attend department, division, and college meetings and listed “meetings” as examples of work not required by the contract. This is not completely accurate. The contract specifically states that full-time faculty are required to “attend and participate in official division and college faculty meetings called by the college administration,” but this particular duty heads the list of “additional professional responsibilities,” which are subject to the following caveat: “It is not the intention of the parties to this Agreement to imply that all unit members will be assigned all of the responsibilities listed under B.  Certain of these responsibilities may be appropriate for assignment to a given unit member who would not be paid additional District compensation for discharging them.” This means, for example, that faculty do not lose sick time for not attending division meetings, but it also means that attending college meetings is an official component of the full-time faculty position.
    Taken as a whole, the survey data reveal a number of points about workload:

  1. Technology has increased workload, both in terms of the amount and pace of the work expected of faculty and the types of extra-discipline knowledge and skills faculty must master.
  2. The demands of extra-institutional agencies have imposed completely new categories of work on faculty.
  3. Non-teaching work comes in fits and starts, which make tasks difficult to plan for and overwhelming to complete.
  4. Non-teaching tasks are experienced as interruptions to the more important work of teaching.
  5. Faculty view top-down initiatives from administrators as a coincident feature of meaningless work.
  6. Part-time faculty feel pressured to perform non-teaching duties when there are no full-time faculty in their departments or when winning full-time positions seems predicated upon their participation in non-teaching work.

“Everything necessitates more time at the computer so that when you go home, you are never done with non-teaching related tasks. We need to rebalance our time and spend more time doing teaching-related work and less time doing time-consuming tasks that do not advance teaching or learning.”

“I am overwhelmed by the tasks required of me including assessments, SLO, IPSLO, Trac-Dat inputting, advisory committee organization and coordination as well as attending other advisory committees…”

“Program review, accreditation, SLO assessment: all of these are forms of educational research or administration that should be done by educational researchers or administrators—people with training, time, and compensation to do the enormous amount of work required if these things are to be done well…”

“Deans and upper administrators appear to be unaware and not particularly concerned about faculty workload issues…”

 To be continued in the next issue…






Forum on CCSF accreditation struggle to be held at CSM on Oct. 28;
Speakers to include Ron Galatolo and CCSF instructor, student and board member

As our District’s colleges are undergoing evaluation site visits by teams sent by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), City College of San Francisco (CCSF) continues to fight to prevent the loss of their accreditation. The latest information on the accreditation situation at CCSF will be discussed at a public forum at CSM on Monday, October 28, from 2:00 to 4:00 in Building 10, Room 195. Three CCSF representatives–an instructor, a student, and a Board member–will discuss how City College, one of the largest community colleges in the country, is being threatened with closure in June 2014 by the ACCJC.
    SMCCCD Chancellor Ron Galatolo will introduce the panel of speakers and will also make extended comments of his own at the beginning of the forum. Chancellor Galatolo has raised serious concerns about the ACCJC’s actions and has recently sent letters to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) formally challenging the ACCJC’s recognition which is currently being reviewed by the DOE. (See letters on pages 8-11.)
    The speakers will be:
• Jaime Borrazas, an ESL instructor at CCSF for 32 years, who just retired earlier this year, and is now devoting himself to helping CCSF save its accreditation.
• Ariel Hiller, a Labor and Community Studies major at CCSF, an Israeli immigrant who started at City College as an ESL student and has been taking classes there for the past several years.
• Rafael Mandelman, a member of the CCSF Board of Trustees. After the ACCJC, in disapproving of a San Francisco Chronicle Op Ed that he wrote, demanded that the Trustees “speak with one voice,” he said, “I don’t think accreditation requires giving up first amendment rights.”
    Time will be provided for questions and answers from the audience.
    ACCJC’s actions at CCSF are only the most extreme example of the wide range of sanctions the agency has handed down to dozens of colleges in recent years and, if they succeed in shutting down CCSF, it will set a devastating precedent that will negatively impact all other colleges under their jurisdiction.
    For more information on the current situation at City College, please go the AFT 1493 website:





Galatolo sends formal critiques of ACCJC to the U.S. Dept. of Education

Editor’s note: Click here to read a copy of a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) on September 25 by Chancellor Ron Galatolo which suggests that the DOE should require the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to develop a Closure Report similar to Closure Reports that colleges that the ACCJC places on “Show Cause” status are required to produce. The Commission is currently undergoing a recognition review by the DOE to determine whether it should be allowed to continnue as an accrediting agency. Galatolo sent a second letter (and attachment) to the DOE on October 7 (click here to read the Oct. 7 letter) which identifies criteria showing that the ACCJC appears to be out of compliance with several standards required by accrediting agencies. 







AFT 1493 supports CCSF in their struggle to remain accredited

Editor’s note: Printed below is a solidarity statement written by AFT 1493 President Teeka James in support of CCSF’s fight to maintain their accreditation.

AFT 1493 stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of CCSF, for we are all too aware that their experience could be ours, that in numbers we have strength, and that silence masquerades as complicity.
     City College San Francisco provides the people of San Francisco County a critical bridge towards the achievement of their full human potential. As is stated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), “Education is a fundamental human right and essential for the exercise of all other human rights. It promotes individual freedom and empowerment . . . . Education is a powerful tool by which economically and socially marginalized adults and children can lift themselves out of poverty and participate fully as citizens.” CCSF, along with the rest of California’s COMMUNITY colleges, is the sole avenue by which many of us in San Francisco County can exercise our most fundamental of human rights: the right to develop our intellect and empower our lives. AFT 1493 unequivocally supports CCSF, its faculty, staff, and students, in their struggle.
(Quote from: UNESCO The Right to Education <>)
















Performance Evaluation Task Force lists what has been accomplished so far and what remains to be done

The following is an update by Vice Chancellor Harry Joel, a member of the Performance Evaluation Task Force (PETF), on what has been accomplished by the PETF as of October 4. The next meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for October 28.

    Revised the Student Evaluation of Faculty form to use in either classroom or distance education classes.  The form was piloted over the summer and 202 students completed the survey.  We have made some revisions to the form and reduced the number of questions to make the form more user-friendly. 
    Revised the following components of the faculty evaluation procedures:
a.    Written descriptors of the components of student learning outcomes for incorporation into the procedures
b.     Rewritten the procedures for the Evaluation Process for Regular Classroom Faculty – Need to finalize with Task Force
c.     Rewritten the procedures for the Evaluation Process for Non-instructional Faculty – Health Services Nurses, Counselors, Librarians – Need to finalize with Task Force
d.    Rewritten the procedures for the Evaluation Process for Adjunct Faculty – Need to finalize with Task Force
e.    Rewritten the Peer Observation Report
f.    Rewritten the Faculty Self-Assessment to include Student Learning Outcomes
g.    Rewritten the evaluation ratings from Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory to Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Needs Improvement and Unsatisfactory
h.    Rewriting the Tenure Review Policy and Procedures for completion next week
i.    Rewriting the Class Observation Evaluation Form for completion the week of October 14th
j.    Rewriting the procedures for the Evaluation Process for Distance Education Faculty for completion the week of October 28th











AFT and District agree on new grievance/complaint procedure

The Vice Chancellor of Human Resources & Employee Relations and AFT 1493 have just agreed to begin using a new grievance/complaint procedure. Both parties will now meet once a month, with the Union providing the agenda. The agenda will include whatever issues, possible grievances, complaints and any other topics that would be of mutual interest for both parties to discuss. The number of agenda items will depend on how many issues need to be discussed.  
     This new procedure will allow the District’s Human Resources department and the Union to work to resolve issues, make agreements, and resolve potential future grievances before actual grievances become necessary.  
    These monthly meetings will be attended by the AFT 1493 President and the AFT 1493 Executive Secretary, who will then provide reports of these discussions to the AFT 1493 Executive Committee.
    If any faculty member has a problem that involves a possible grievance, which means a violation of the AFT contract (available on the AFT website,, or has a complaint or concern regarding working conditions, please contact the Chapter Chair for your campus or contact Dan Kaplan, AFT 1493 Executive Secretary, by phone (574-6491) or email (



















Please join AFT 1493 in celebrating our

50th anniversary (1963 – 2013!)

Friday, November 15th 4-9 PM

Cañada Vista Clubhouse
(on the Cañada College campus)

Food, Music, and reminiscences from early members of the union















AFT Endorsements for November 5 School Board Elections

AFT Local 1493 has endorsed incumbent Trustee Richard Holober and Tom Mohr, past President of Cañada College, for the San Mateo County Community College Board of Trustees in the November 5 election.
    For the Jefferson Elementary School Board, AFT Local 3267 has endorsed Dr. Rebecca Douglass, incumbent, Marie Brizuela, incumbent, and Joseph Water, parent and De Anza College instructor.

















AFT 1493 set to launch new organizing campaign

by Katharine Harer, AFT 1493 Co-Vice President

Education is taking hits from all directions.  We experience it everyday in our workplace.  The forces attacking education are powerful, rich and politically savvy.   Recognizing the need to strengthen the ability of our faculty union to defend and support what teachers, staff, students and community members know works best, our local is launching a new organizing campaign.  The details aren’t hammered out yet, but the general purpose of the campaign will be to increase active membership in the union as well as forge stronger bonds with the communities we serve.  
    We will be working with a new California Federation of Teachers initiative, the Quality Public Education Campaign (QPEC) committed “…. to address the issues of equity, access, pedagogy, funding and other elements needed for progressive educational improvements.”   Lead by Katharine Harer, experienced union leader and organizer, we hope to receive funding and professional support for our local campaign from the CFT for the academic year 2014-15.

CFT Campaign for Quality Public Education

    The CFT passed a resolution at the 2013 Convention dedicating its support and resources to working with community partners on the Quality Public Education Campaign. The overall QPEC goal is to identify important educational issues and problems while fostering solutions that work locally, to consider the needs of a school’s surrounding community and defend the integrity of educators in the process. The CFT’s new initiative recognizes that high-quality education is a human right and a public good.

Our Local’s campaign

    The Executive Committee of our local has given Katharine the go ahead to begin designing a district and community-wide campaign.  The goal is to start the first stage of the organizing effort in spring semester 2014 with seed monies from our union and to apply for a QPEC organizing grant for the 2014-15 academic year.
    Katharine, as well as other union reps, will be talking to you – old-fashioned talking, one-to-one — not email, not even meetings or forums.  We want to tailor our organizing campaign to speak to the needs of our colleges from our unique points of view, not the administration’s or the accrediting commission’s.   Armed with your good ideas and with the support of the CFT, we envision an energetic and relevant organizing drive that will be effective in building support for quality public education.  This is for all of us – for the people who do the work and for those who come to us to learn.





Expanded staffing plan approved by Skyline’s Governance Council, Institutional Planning Committee

by Paul Rueckhaus, Skyline College Part-Timer Co-Rep.

At two forums held in September, Skyline College President, Regina Stanback-Stroud and Vice President of Instruction, Sarah Perkins, reviewed an ambitious 5-year strategic plan for new and expanded initiatives and prueckhaus-webthe staff (administrators, classified and faculty) that would operate those programs. For those—like myself before attending these meetings—unfamiliar with the funding structure of a public school district under the banner of basic aid, it basically means that our district’s property tax revenues exceed the funding that we would otherwise receive under state formulas (see Academic Senate for California Community Colleges). This is alternately referred to as “community supported” as the district is primarily supported by local, rather than state, tax dollars. What this means for Skyline is greater autonomy and control in determining how the college develops its academic and other campus programs than when the district is dependent upon a greater share of state funds. The purpose of the forum was to share with Skyline faculty and staff how realization of the community supported funds will inform the College’s Strategic Plan and, in turn, what implications that will have for expanded staffing.

New initiatives, new hires and new agenda

    The strategic staffing plan is divided into six priority areas outlined in the documents linked below. Instead of a focus on developing basic skills or discipline-specific programs, the emphasis for the 2012-2017 strategic plan is on infrastructure-building for student success & financial sustainability, and interdisciplinarity as the new initiatives will focus on programs that cut across disciplines. Some implications for staffing patterns include an emphasis on administrative and support positions, revenue generating positions and instructional positions that reside in special programs as well as their departmental “homes.”
    Among these special programs and initiatives that are planned to expand are the Career Advancement Academies (cohorted learning communities that integrate general education with career & technical ed.), technology-supported instruction, international student services & study abroad, SparkPoint (a comprehensive vocational, social & material support agency on the Skyline campus) and transfer programs (a proposed Middle College, and transfer degree of ferings) to name a few. The specific areas named in the plan are expected to see increased staffing with approximately 20 instructional positions and 30 non-instructional classified positions.
    The staffing plan will create new upper-administration positions, as well. As the new plan emphasizes technology-supported instruction as well as digital library services, a new dean position of learning technology will be created. A new dean position of global learning/international programs will also be created to oversee CTE programs in international trade as well as international student and study abroad programs. Also in the plan is a dean of student support services to oversee SparkPoint and other services that boost students’ academic success potential. Finally, a new vice president of administrative affairs will be added to oversee soft money and revenue generating projects (e.g., facilities rental) among other endeavors concerning fiscal sustainability and business development. The details of the staffing plan can be found by downloading the slides on the Strategic Plan Home Page or by reading the entire Human Resource Plan.







Group of DART members attend Black Watch play in SF;
Next event:  AFT 1493 50th anniversary party on November 15

by John Searle, President, District Association of Retired Teachers

Back in June, 2013, DART (District Association of Retired Teachers) purchased fifteen tickets for ACT’s production of Black Watch, providing a discount for the members and friends to attend the performance.  The general feeling was, once you got used to every phrase/sentence/utterance containing profanity (realism??), it was an exhilarating and challenging experience. The story line focused on two themes: the first being on the unconventional nature of the war being fought in Afghanistan, and the failure of the western military organization being able to adapt to this style of fighting; the second, a history of the Black Watch regiment, a sort of mercenary unit used by the British government in every colonial war fought in the last two hundred years, and indirectly, why the controversy over the present government’s decision to disband the regiment based on austerity reasons. 
    The play was put on in the San Francisco Armory, which is in the Mission district.  For a number of us suburbanites, simply travelling in the daylight (a matinee performance) from BART to the theatre was an educational experience (slightly unnerving ??) with the stark contrast between the colorful mixture of the locals, stretching the definition of poverty, and the interspersed upscale business establishments (such as coffee shops and restaurants) catering to the new affluent youth.
    The social function culminated in a meal and drinks at a locally recommended restaurant, though true to the district, it had changed hands a number of times in the last two years, which provided a problem in direction finding and coordinating a meeting.
    For the immediate future, the DART organization will be co-sponsoring the AFT 1493’s celebration of its founding 50 years ago. I was not around then, but I do have vivid memories of Pat Manning and John Kirk (in their collective youth) establishing (via election) the “union” as sole negotiator in contract talks with the District, and the inevitable visit of Joe McDonough to answer to as to why we as individuals should join the union.
    If the membership of DART desires (a sort of “if Barkas is willing”), we can organize a separate Christmas/New Year celebration of our own, say in early January 2014. As always, I can be reached at:, so please share your opinion with me. (Please make note of my new email address!)








Unions work to develop social media strategies to communicate more effectively with their members and the broader community

by Michelle Kern, CSM Part-Timer Rep.

An online advocate for politics, social justice, or labor is faced with a dilemma: a baffling array of attractive tools virtually clutters up the internet, each appealing in its own unique way—for use in furthering outreach, boosting interest in organizational campaigns, or just to enable a more effective and wider sweeping reach.

Which to use– Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr…?

    What is the most effective strategy for broadening a base of supporters? The wide range of Internet social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, email blasts and others, which seem to emerge regularly, all have their own strengths and weaknesses in communicating messages and goals.  
    There is a temptation to represent an organization by signing up for all forms of social media and hoping that scattering a wide net will bring in more readers.  However, this may not be the most effective use of social media. Strategies to focus an effective way to target Internet work are called for.  
    The non-profit organization AspirationTech recently conducted a two-day workshop at the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education providing hands-on training to burgeoning social media activists in trade unions.  AspirationTech specializes in connecting non-profits and “e-advocates” to accessible technology, with a variety of tools available on their website, as well as introducing best practices for use and evaluation of these and other tools within an organization.  

Reach your audience where they already are

    The first goal of any organization, recommends AspirationTech, is to conduct an internal survey to locate the media already employed by the organization’s current, and potential, audience.  Several demographics use different forms of communication more often than others, for example young people tend to communicate using phone texting more than email.  It is far more effective to reach your audience where they already are then to try to pull people toward the media channel they may not be comfortable with or use often.  
    Understanding the difference in how various online channels are employed by new users should be the next goal.  A website presence is an organization’s “front door.”  Users discover this presence in an Internet search, ascertaining basic information.  Others interested in greater detail will make the effort to seek out the organization’s extended presence in social media, which should be accessible from the organization’s website.  

Facebook reaches the widest demographic

    On the other hand, if community building and dialogue are an organizational goal, a Facebook page can be key for users to seek out updated information on news or to participate in building community with other users.  Facebook is the social media platform that reaches the widest demographic of users; however new users face a high learning curve when facing the many tools it employs.  Make sure that this platform is already popular with a potential user base.
    Content, and how it is delivered, are also factors to consider when choosing a social media channel. Platforms like Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram that specialize in smaller bursts of information can attract new readers, but must be refreshed at shorter intervals, as feeds can drift by quickly and change hour by hour.  If an organization is using these channels to support a blog or a newsletter, it can be a challenge to find ways of presenting this information so it stays fresh and reaches new users.  
    Organizations using these micro-blogging platforms need to keep an eye out for opportunities to build new relationships with other users and organizations.  Find an event related to the work the organization is engaged in and create messages that link events, happenings, tweet-chats, etc. to existing content.  Search out and use hashtags (words with a # symbol placed in front of them that create links on social media) created for events to direct your content into streams where people will be searching for content related to the event or issue.  

Narratives can connect people to your purpose

    Also, it should be remembered that one key in advocating for an issue is creating narratives connecting people to the underlying purpose of your messaging, especially when launching an event or campaign.  One of the strategies AspirationTech presents is a model called the “two P’s and the two F’s”: pain, passion, fun and fame.  These four different “filters” can give people who might be interested in a cause more ownership through the personal connection that can be built through tapping into mutual interests and needs—from posting “shout-outs” recognizing their organizations to highlighting the positive end-result hoped for from the project.  
    Strategies for sharing content can even be plotted out on a calendar a few weeks or months in advance.  Follow a schedule for a predetermined amount of time and then analyze the trends and statistics on how much content has been shared and viewed.  Try spacing posts across the week or day, at different times, to see when your audience tends to be looking for content.

Use data to understand users’ interactions

     Changes should be made slowly and only after a solid period of observation.  Don’t switch the plan every week based on daily stats, but examine a period of months, or a year, to discover where and when messages have been received or read.  Facebook and some email programs will keep detailed statistics that can be downloaded and examined. Data is the story of readers’ interactions with your organization’s goals and so it should be considered a part of your organization’s informational assets.  
    Statistics on sharing and views on Twitter and other micro-blogging platforms are trickier to obtain, except through amounts of user shares.  The use of the URL shortener such as can, however, provide information about how many users clicked through a link in a post.
Ultimately, real personal connections are key

    Realistic goals will encourage rewards that can be built on.  AspirationTech reports that it is normal for a message, such as an email blast, to have only 17-20% open rates; feeling a need for obtaining 100% contact is unrealistic.  Social media should be considered in the same light, as it is unusual for any organization that has not achieved widespread celebrity already to get millions of shares. Gradual gains over a period of time are more usual, and it is important not to lose existing connections with users just to chase large groups of new people.  
    In the end, social media and e-advocacy are only supplements to personal relationships we have already cultivated. 




October 2013 Advocate


Faculty vote to support new contract by over 98%

District faculty voted overwhelmingly to ratify the new contract agreement by a vote of 277 (98.57%) to 4 (1.43%) in the online vote that took place from Tuesday, September 24 through Friday, September 27.

The details of the new contract are shown below. The three-year contract provides a salary increase of 3.25% for this year (2013-14) and it guarantees a minimum increase of 2% for each of the next two years. Since our District is now a Basic Aid District, the agreement includes a clause that would trigger larger raises for 2014-15 and 2015-16 if property values increase more than 3% a year. (Property values in the county increased by 6% in the last year.) The contract also includes an additional 1% for Step 11 of the part-time salary schedule.

The medical cap the District pays towards faculty health benefits will increase starting in January 2014 when most of the plans increase their rates. The new monthly caps paid by the District will be $704 for Single, $1,026.34 for 2-party and $1,333.74 for family. Increases in the medical cap for the next two years will be renegotiated each year. The medical reimbursement for part-time faculty will be increased by $100 per semester.

Given that most community college districts around the state that have negotiated a new contract this year have typically been getting around 1% plus the state COLA of 1.57%, we are proud that our negotiating team was able to work collaboratively with the District to come up with a well-rounded and fair overall agreement.

New contract will increase pay 3.25% this year, then 2% each for ’14-’15 and ’15-’16, with greater increases if property values go up more than 3%

1. Three year agreement July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016

2. Wage increases for all full and part-time faculty as follows:
3.25% effective August 19, 2013
2% effective with the beginning of the fall semester 2014
2% effective with the beginning of the fall semester 2015
Increase Step 11 of the Part Time salary schedules by 1.0% effective 8/19/13.

3. If the assessed valuation of property, as determined by the San Mateo County Assessor’s Office, increases by more than 3% for 2014-15 or by more than 3% for 2015-16, 60% of the assessed valuation increase above 3% will be added to the 2.0% compensation increases stated above effective with the beginning of the fall semester of that year. In no case shall the total increase for each year exceed 4.5% above the 2% noted in number 2 above. For example, if the assessed valuation increases 8.0%, then 60% of the 5%, i.e. 3.0%, will be added to the 2% of the given year.
The dates for measuring the assessed valuation to determine the calculation above are as follows:
For 2014-15 – July 11, 2014 and for 2015-16 – July 10, 2015
AFT determines how to allocate the additional compensation increase between full and part time faculty.

4. Increase medical cap as follows effective 1/1/2014:
Single: $50.00 per month
2 Party: $75.00 per month
Family: $100.00 per month
Medical Cap increases for 1/1/2015 and 1/1/2016 shall be negotiated as soon as medical rates for those years are provided to the District from PERS.
Increase part time faculty medical reimbursement $100 per semester for a total reimbursement of $600.00 per semester effective January 1, 2014

5. Previous tentative agreement on Article 7.11, Flex Day Obligations. (Provides more opportunities for part-time faculty to participate in flex day activities. See full language on AFT 1493 website.)

6. The District agrees to re-open negotiations on two non-economic items identified by AFT in 2014-15, and 2015-16.





Disparity in student loans? How adjunct instructors are being excluded from the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

By Jeramy Wallace, CSM

Most community college instructors are undoubtedly saddled with a great amount of debt from their undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. For many, student loan debt can reach into the tens of thousands and, for many of those, that debt is held by the Department of Education. But many community college instructors do not know that the Department of Education has a loan forgiveness program called the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF), which clears their outstanding balances after ten of years of public service and loan repayment.

PSLF requires either full-time employment or an accumulated 30 hours/week

As employees of a local government agency, community college instructors do qualify for this program. The PSLF requires that community college instructors are either full-time employees or work the full-time equivalent of 30 hours (which can be accumulated between institutions). Additionally, for teachers, the Dept. of Ed has stipulated that the eight-month academic year qualifies for the program (so those summer loan payments count). All instructors need to do is fill out the PSLF application and employment verification, enroll in a qualified loan repayment plan, and make the 120 on-time payments.

Sounds great, right? Not so fast. For full-time instructors, the PSLF program is pretty straightforward. Human Resources signs off that they are in fact full time and financial prosperity is just ten years away. But for part-timers, it is not so simple. The Department of Education stipulates that part-timers must work, between their various schools, the equivalent hours of a full-timer. This is where it gets tricky. Unlike full-time instructors, adjuncts are only paid for the time they spend in the classroom. So SMCCD adjuncts are only credited with working a maximum of 10 hours a week. If only that was the case! The district does not incorporate preparation, grading, or other professional activities in adjuncts’ hours. And because they don’t, part-time instructors are effectively excluded from the PSLF program.

Translating hours to percentages can give credit for actual hours worked

But there is a way for adjuncts to get credited for the time they actually work. Well, that is on the PSLF verification form, anyhow. It just requires a little arithmetic. Full-time employees spend a maximum of 15 hours in the classroom. Yet they are credited with 30 hours of work per week. The easiest way for adjuncts to calculate their own “true” hours is to calculate their percentage of full-time and to multiply that by 30 hours. So, for example, if an adjunct teaches 9 units, he or she would be 60% of full-time. Now, take that 60% and multiply it by 30 hours and the result is 18 hours of “true” work per week – not nine! Of course, it is easier to just double the teaching units, but this method does not logically illustrate the disparity between how full-time and part-time hours are calculated. And, yes, it is a pain that adjuncts must jump through so many hoops to participate in this program.

IRS finally realizes that adjunct hours should be calculated as a percentage of full-time

But hope is on the horizon. On January 2, 2013, the IRS questioned how colleges and universities calculate part-time hours. As noted in the Federal Register, a federal government journal, “some [IRS] commentators noted that educational organizations generally do not track the full hours of service of adjunct faculty, but instead compensate adjunct faculty on the basis of credit hours taught” (II.B.4). As mentioned above, “credit hours taught” does not recognize the time it takes to grade papers or exams, prepare for class, and, in some community colleges, meet with students outside of class. The article goes on to propose potential solutions to this disparity by “comparing the number of course credit hours taught by the adjunct faculty member to the number of credit hours taught by a typical non-adjunct faculty members working in the same or similar discipline who are considered full-time employees.” In other words, the IRS believes that educational institutions should calculate part-time hours as a percentage of full-time, just as above. Although this solution is not law, it is a sound basis for adjuncts trying to enroll in PSLF.

If you are an adjunct instructor interested in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, visit the Department of Education’s website for details and repayment plan options. But when you go to have your employment verified, be prepared for resistance from Human Resources. They are not acting maliciously nor are they deliberately discriminating against you. They are simply using the information in front of them – your faculty load. But if you present the numbers as demonstrated above, you should be able to receive credit for your “true” hours worked. If not, contact your union representative. Unfortunately, this process will not get easier until the district updates its reporting formulas, which may not happen until the IRS acts on their recommendations.



As Community Colleges’ Mission Is Challenged, Senates’ Need to Highlight Colleges’ Positive Roles

By Leigh Anne Shaw, President, Skyline College Academic Senate

I should really know better than to check Facebook before bedtime. I logged on the other night to see that a researcher friend of mine at the UC had posted something that arrogantly disparaged community colleges. Oh, how conveniently we forget. Forget that the UC owes us a debt of gratitude for providing them with a steady stream of successful transfers to make up for the freshmen who drop out in the first year. Forget that Uduty callsC itself states in its literature that CCC transfers are every bit as successful as native UC students. Did you ever see that “Someone is wrong on the internet” meme on Yeah, that was me at 11:00pm, crafting a rather scathing deconstruction of my friend’s false notion right on her timeline. And you know what? I’d do it again because I’ve simply had it with those outside my area of expertise telling me my business.

A year ago, the chair of the ultra-conservative group, California Competes, lambasted Senates for our hard-won roles in participatory governance. SB 1143 put Senates on the defensive with challenges to elements of the 10+1 such as professional development and policies regarding student preparation and success. Our mission is being called into question as the state aims to limit it to only transfer and certificate/degree awards. And even though we may be rejoicing in the US Dept of Ed’s scrutiny of the ACCJC, what it amounts to for the public is yet another negative image of CCCs. Each day we encounter a maelstrom of criticism by people who question our expertise and disparage our best efforts.

As Senates, I believe we need to work together to counter the fear and negativity that we’ve seen of late and change that conversation to a focus on what we do extraordinarily well: prepare students for transfer, careers, and a better life. To do that, I believe we need to exert more leadership and action in the following areas:

Policies regarding student preparation and success:
Who better than faculty to determine this? The curriculum debacle over repeatability and making serial courses available to students to ensure mastery is a prime example of how faculty need to be at the forefront of changes in legislation so that we can advise as to the likely scenarios that will result and avoid the issues we’re seeing now.

Degree and certificate requirements:
We need to engage collaboratively with the CSUs and UCs on transfer degrees while still advocating for the maintenance and integrity of local degrees (ASCCC Resolution 09.02 Fall 2012).

Educational program development:
As we attempt to better align our offerings with the needs of a community that supports us directly with property taxes, we must ensure that faculty are on the ground floor of any plans to create new programs.

Policies for faculty professional development activities:
Faculty need to be actively engaged in determining what training we need, and how we should get it.
As the old adage goes, “if you’re not at the table, you’re the main course.” Senates need to be proactive in asserting the 10+1 and preserving education for our students. This implies action at the state level, continuing down to the area, district and college levels, and even right on down to the conversations you have with people every day. Together, Senates need to ramp up a commitment to changing the conversation through direct action and showing California why community colleges are the best educational opportunity in the state.


Long-time AFT 1493 activist Chip Chandler steps down from union positions to pursue research work

At the end of the Spring, 2013 semester Chip Chandler (photo below) stepped down from his positions as the Skyline Chapter Co-Chair and the AFT 1493 Grievance Officer. At that time, Chip informed the AFT Executive Committee that he wanted to pursue other activities, including a new research project.

ChipWhile continuing his work as a kinesiology professor, Chip’s current research concerns brain plasticity using Wii balance games, mirror exercises, a rebounder and Interactive Metronome. In fact, Chip has had one or more research projects on-going for the past four years–now starting his fifth year. All projects are funded from the Skyline College President’s Innovation Grants and are collaborative research with Biologist, Shari Bookstaff, who provided Chip with the inspiration to do brain research due to her brain/body response to a brain tumor surgery. All of Chip’s subjects are students enrolled in Adaptive Kinesiology.

Chip began his work as an AFT activist at Skyline in 1989. Without any formal grievance training at that time, Chip gathered information on complaints that came to his attention, and phoned this information to John Kirk, the AFT Chief Grievance Officer.
Chip was already a San Mateo County Mediation Officer and as such was called upon regularly to mediate disputes between students and instructors and disputes between instructors and Deans. These meetings were held in the Vice President of Instruction office. Over the years he worked with Susie Stevens, Del Anderson, and then Regina Standback-Stroud when they occupied this position at Skyline.

Chip received formal grievance training at a CFT summer school held at U.C. Santa Cruz in the summer of 1992. He next received arbitration training at the summer school in 1994.

Chip then handled his first grievance at Skyline, which concerned the denial of an adjunct faculty member’s seniority rights. Skyline President Linda Salter granted the grievance at Level I. From this experience Chip says: “I learned if I was well informed and reasonable, most administrators and faculty were amenable to negotiate and discuss possible solutions without the absolute necessity of filing a grievance as a first step to resolution.”

Over the years, Chip defended the AFT contract by gathering information from the Cañada and Skyline campuses when problems arose. He assisted the AFT Grievance Officer with three arbitrations by helping prepare witnesses and subpoenaing witnesses for the arbitration hearing.

Chip realized that the Academic Senate (AS) and AFT needed to work together on behalf of faculty. So he joined the Academic Senate at Skyline in 1990 as the Kinesiology, Dance and Athletics representative. He then began acting informally as a liaison between AFT and the Skyline AS. He later served as Vice President of the Skyline Academic Senate in 1995 and President of the Skyline AS in 1996.

From 1990 through May 2013 Chip served in some capacity in both AFT 1493 and the Skyline Senate. This included serving as the Skyline AFT Chapter Chair or Co-Chair.

Chip also served with John Kirk and Paul Stegner as the AFT Representatives on the first Performance Evaluation Task Force, which was then called the Trust Committee.

When asked what the motivation was for his union activism over the years, Chip mentioned his own personal experience while working in the District.

“I was illegally held out of my tenured job (tenured seven years at the time) for three years after a serious rugby injury in 1983 that paralyzed my right arm and hand that necessitated six major surgeries.”

AFT 1493 represented Chip in three separate grievances all related to his right to return to work. Chip says about his situation: “The absurd circumstances of denial of my tenured employment and conditions of return have been unparalleled in the SMCCD.”
Chip concluded his reminiscence: “That three ring circus prepared me for grievance work unlike any formal training could have. I realized then that administrators are in general poorly trained in human relations, nor do they usually have any understanding of the AFT contract. The fact is administrator training is inadequate and how to deal with real issues and the exact contract language seems to be lacking.”

The faculty in the San Mateo Community College District certainly owe Chip Chandler a debt of gratitude for all of the years he has spent representing their best interests. We wish Chip good luck in all of his future endeavors.


AFT 1493 endorses Richard Holober and Tom Mohr for November 5 Board of Trustees election

Four candidates are running for two seats on the San Mateo County Community College Board of Trustees in the November 5 election. AFT Local 1493 has endorsed two candidates — incumbent Trustee Richard Holober and Tom Mohr, past President of Cañada College. Holober and Mohr have each written articles (below) presenting their perspectives on their reasons for running and their goals for the Board.

Richard Holober

It has been a privilege to serve as a Trustee of the San Mateo County Community College District. I share AFT Local 1493’s commitment to excellent and affordable public higher education. I greatly appreciate the sacrifices your members made to keep the Holoberdoors to college education open since the economy collapsed in 2008. We are now emerging from a long period of deprivation. I want to work closely with our faculty as we rebuild the promise of a higher education for all who seek it.

Five years of relentless budget cuts from Sacramento harmed public education from kindergarten through our college and university systems. Facing an unprecedented assault, I led our Board in placing the Measure G parcel tax before voters. Its passage has helped limit the damage to our District from the prolonged recession.

I joined my colleagues on the Board in directing our administration to avoid layoffs and pay or benefit cuts to our frontline educators. I’m proud of our track record during these tough times, especially when you compare our District to the statewide picture of dreadful staffing and compensation cuts in many other K-14 districts.

I thank our faculty for shouldering increased workloads and foregoing compensation increases. You are a key reason our College District’s core educational programs stayed intact during the lean years.

I am troubled by the growing wage and wealth gap between the top one percent of Americans and the rest of us. Sacrifice in tough times should include those at the top. Votes that I cast as a Trustee reflect my belief that while union-represented faculty and classified employees were enduring a multi-year pay and benefit freeze, it was only fair to expect the same of other, more highly compensated District employees.

As a Trustee, I strive to be open-minded, objective and independent in evaluating proposals around curriculum and pedagogy. Our goal should always be to enhance student success. Certain innovations in instructional technology are beneficial to our faculty and students. But labor cost-cutting is not a justification for substituting large distance education courses for the essential in-person classroom learning experience. When considering education technology proposals from business vendors, we should never lose sight that our student population includes many who enter our campuses lacking the preparation for college-level coursework. Your perspectives as educators matter greatly, and I ask you to participate in reviewing and commenting on these proposals.

Many of you are familiar with my career fighting for economic justice. I spent over two decades in the labor movement. For the past decade I’ve run a non-profit consumer rights organization. We work for better laws and regulations to protect working and retired Californians from corporate rip-offs when we spend our hard-earned pay. Throughout my working life, I have campaigned shoulder to shoulder with college faculty, classroom teachers, counselors, librarians, and your union for tax fairness and proper funding for public education and other vital social services.

Cañada College enabled my late wife Nadia to afford a college education. From Cañada, she went on to graduate from UC Berkeley and UC Hastings College of the Law, eventually becoming Mayor of Millbrae.

Her story is repeated thousands of times over each year in San Mateo County. We must have strong community colleges to preserve the American Dream for millions of Californians. I am committed to working closely with our outstanding faculty and certificated employees, and other District stakeholders to strengthen our College District for our students. As your Trustee, I will continue to honor our faculty’s extraordinary work serving our students.


Tom Mohr

It would be an honor to serve as a Trustee on the San Mateo County Community College District Board. When I started working at a Cañada College, I quickly found that what happens at a community college is transformative, that lives are TomMohrchanged, that great teaching and opportunity to learn inspires individuals to become all they can be. This was an especially fulfilling experience for me because it connected with all the values, ideals and aspirations I had at the beginning of my career that caused me to become a teacher. It was for me, a sort of realized “Ithaca”, a journey I wish to continue.

One cannot overstate the importance of the three community colleges to the destiny of the county and to its people. They are the places where the majority of citizens engage in higher education and prepare themselves to transfer, or receive career and technical training and then become gainfully employed. They are today, for most families of the county, the major avenue to affordable education. For so many of the people the colleges serve, they are the lone, available opportunity they have to advance the quality of their lives, to set goals and eventually join the ranks of those who compete successfully in a very challenging and dynamic economy. Without affordable education and training, provided in high-quality, state-of-the-art institutions of learning, the economy of the county, the very commonweal of its society, is seriously eroded and the presence of the democratic ideals of justice and opportunity to pursue a better life fall away.

A major challenge to all community colleges involves a clear imperative to increase the completion and graduation rate for those who enroll, most of whom indicate that their primary goal is to transfer to a university and complete the baccalaureate. Regardless of their manifest goal, however, the loss rate after one or two semesters is dismaying. We must put forward every effort to ameliorate this vexing and complex problem. There are models of innovation in various places where this situation is seen to be improving. I believe that the policy makers, those who have the ability to shape the direction of the district, can assist greatly through conscious and deliberate oversight, review of progress and most importantly, through investing in faculty, staff and programs that rigorously and professionally address the problem.

I am a strong advocate of District Strategic Planning. A good Strategic Plan is based on collected evidence, references the values and mission of the institution and sets forth the goals and accompanying plans for the district to pursue. It is neither lengthy nor arcane. It is most importantly the basis for communication and exchange of ideas between policy makers and practitioners. It becomes the basis for decisions that call upon the resources of the district. Major decisions of the Board reference quite naturally the Strategic Plan and its progress.

I believe that the progress of the District as an institution of teaching and learning, within which the most basis mission of all is the delivery of curriculum, is connected with the imperative to invest in great and effective teaching. The hallmark of a profession is the continual development of knowledge and skill that advances successful outcomes. Much of the communication between district and faculty should involve how the professionals of the organization are given genuine, meaningful opportunities to continually get better at what they do.

There are other matters a candidate for the Board thinks about, e.g. strengthening ties with business and labor market leaders in order to have the most advanced Career and Technical training or the various ways we might increase the number of students in the pipeline for science and engineering, but regardless of the goal, the desired outcomes of any educational plan require highly trained professionals delivering a carefully pondered curriculum.

It goes without saying, I hope, that the well being of the District and its academy, is rooted in the good health of the liberal arts. The educated person, facing huge societal issues, can apply the big ideas of history, philosophy, economics, the natural sciences and literature, and through these vehicles acquires inter-cultural understanding and vision. Let’s not forget, either, in our attention to the more immediate and practical, the impact of our sustaining the presence of the performing and visual arts.


Board Candidates Town Hall to be held at CSM on October 15

ASCSM-logoCSM’s Associated Students Advocacy Board will present a Town Hall for the four San Mateo County Coard of Trustees candidates on Tuesday, October 15 from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. at CSM’s Bay View Dining Room in Building 10. The four candidates who will speak at the Town Hall are Samuel J. Diaz, Richard Holober, Tom Mohr and George Yang.

Come learn more about the candidates, ask questions and become a more informed voter.

For more info Contact The Center for Student Life and Leadership Development at:



District makes deal with hedge fund group to sell KCSM-TV’s public airwaves to wireless companies

Blackstone Group to pay District $900K per year for 3-4 years and will then receive 38% of proceeds from sale of station’s “spectrum holdings”

by Tracy Rosenberg, Executive Director, Media Alliance

Time is running out for KCSM-TV. The 5th largest public television station in California, whose license has been owned by the College of San Mateo since 1964, has been placed in the safe-keeping of Locuspoint Networks, a commercial entity founded by former wireless executives. Locuspoint’s activities in “spectrum speculation” are described by Ben Mook in an article in the February 26, 2defend-public-media013 issue of Current. Locuspoint, which is a 99%-owned subsidiary of one the nation’s largest hedge firms, the Blackstone Group, is described as one of three for-profit firms gambling on the upcoming TV auction to hit the jackpot buying and disposing of television stations around the country, including noncommercial ones like that belonging to the College of San Mateo.

So what does that mean for us here in the Bay Area? Local media watchdog group Media Alliance has observed the transactions surrounding KCSM-TV’s demise for more than two years and has filed several public records act requests to get more details on the actions of the SMCCD board. The requests have not always been responded to promptly (one filed in April of 2012 took more than six months to get any response at all), but the most recent one has provided supporting documentation for the Locuspoint deal. If you’d like to look at the documents, they have been posted on the Media Alliance website and can be downloaded.

Disturbing implications

Given the massive amount of lawyers involved, one can assume the legal dots have been connected at a significant cost, but the gist of the agreement has some disturbing implications. Here’s a quick version of what we’re looking at:

Locuspoint will subsidize the operations of KCSM-TV at the cost of $900,000 per year for the next 3-4 years. The District will operate the station at substantially reduced costs for this period, which indicates a program schedule consisting of a feed from one national program supplier, aired without closed captioning for the hearing-impaired or elderly, to cut station costs. Should the TV auction go forward during this period, on the receipt of a bid at or above the unknown number described as the “minimum acceptable bid” (which is blacked out), the station’s spectrum holdings will be surrendered to for-profit wireless companies and broadcasting will cease. The Blackstone Group via their “tactical opportunities division” will receive 38% of the proceeds in a massive shift of millions of dollars in public assets to the private capital firm.

Should the national spectrum auction not proceed within the designated time, then the speculator may exercise an option to sell off KCSM-TV’s license to any FCC-qualified bidder of their choice, with no right of refusal from the District. In practical terms, an FCC-qualified bidder can be any California not-for-profit corporation, including national chain Christian broadcasters like Daystar (a bidder in the earlier RFP). The District, in order to meet financial obligations to a hedge firm, has signed away the ability to exercise any discretion over the invasion into Bay Area broadcasting of entities who may not be desired or appreciated by the viewing community. The members of KCSM-TV, past and present, the college community, and the viewers will have no say. It’s up to the Blackstone Group.

Loss of airwaves = loss of public expression

This loss of control over college property poses some questions about the District’s interpretation of the preamble to their mission statement: “The District actively participates in the economic, social, and cultural development of San Mateo County. In a richly diverse environment and with increasing awareness of its role in the global community, the District is dedicated to maintaining a climate of academic freedom in which a wide variety of viewpoints is cultivated and shared”.

The financial pressures on higher education, and the California community college system in particular, are intense and should not be minimized. But by turning down an offer for $6 million dollars received last year, in search of greater short-term riches, the District’s Board of Trustee’s have brought to the campus community the kind of irresponsible speculation that has defunded public education and a host of services and damaged our economy – all to hand over a piece of the campus for profiteering.

It’s a real question whether the campus community, the viewing community and the residents of the Bay Area would have agreed to this if the District had ever asked them.


Campaign for a Healthy California organizing for Medicare for All

The Campaign for a Healthy California (CHC) is a new coalition of unions, senior organizations, worker justice centers, and community organizations committed to winning improved Medicare for All (a single payer system) in California. The CHC, which has been meeting since April, 2013, is committed to building and broadening a grassroots movement to replace private health insurance with guaranteed healthcare for all Californians.

The CHC supports many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but that Act does not establish healthcare as a human right. The insurance industry continues to control our healthcare system, and patient care continues to be delivered based on ability to pay instead of health need.

Economists project four to six million uninsured Californians by 2019, and healthcare negotiations continue to consume money that would otherwise be available for cost-of-living adjustments. This situation drives down the standard of living for everyone.

The California Labor Federation is playing a prominent role in helping to launch this new effort for true health care reform. At this time the U.S. remains the only major industrialized country in the world that fails to provide healthcare as a fundamental human right for all of its citizens.

The San Mateo Labor Council has already endorsed this Campaign, as have many other unions in the Bay Area and throughout the State.

The AFT 1493 Executive Committee will be discussing its endorsement of this Campaign at its October meeting. In fact, AFT Local 1493 sponsored a single payer resolution at a CFT Convention several years ago, which unfortunately did not pass at that time. Later a single payer bill actually made its way successfully through the California legislature, only to be vetoed by then Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

So this is an idea that is long overdue, and whose time has perhaps finally come in California. For those interested in more information on this new Campaign, take a look at the CHC website: