Monthly Archives: January 2014

October 21, 2013


San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, October 21, 2013, at Skyline College

EC Members Present:
Eric Brenner, Victoria Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Michelle Kern, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford

Other Attendees:
Zev Kvitky (CFT Field Rep)

Meeting began: 2:30

Facilitator: Katharine Harer

1. Welcome and Introductions

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

3. * Minutes of October 9, 2013 AFT Meeting

Approved (4 “yes”/4 “abstain”), pending changes to items #2 and #5.

4. Campaign for a Healthy California

Voted unanimously to support the campaign, which Dan presented at the last AFT meeting (see minutes for October 9, 2013).

5. Quality Public Education Campaign Update

Katharine has written an article for The Advocate about the upcoming Campaign for Quality Education (see minutes for September 9, 2013). Zev pointed out that the term “campaign” might be a bit presumptuous at this point as it is still really in the brainstorming stages.

Katharine emphasized the need for conversation and collaboration, and Teeka suggested that we try to engage PT faculty with a focus on the issue of parity. Dan suggested that since this is not merely a union effort, we should begin seeking out progressive groups/organizations in San Mateo to partner with, perhaps starting with some of the local churches. He also recommended that we run more articles about education in The Advocate.

6. Performance Evaluation Task Force: Looking Ahead

AFT will be holding a ratification vote on the new documents and procedures when then process is complete. Today’s discussion focused on the steps that need to be taken before that vote happens.

If the process is not completed by the end of this fall semester, and if not all members of the PETF wish to continue working on the task forces, a subcommittee of AFT and DAS will take up the work. It is ultimately the responsibility of AFT to ensure faculty have a “fair and rigorous” (Teeka) evaluation tool.

Even if the task force’s work is finished by the end of the semester, AFT will not be ready to hold the ratification vote until spring 2014. In preparation for the vote, AFT will follow procedures similar to those for contract negotiations, providing information and a rationale to faculty about the revisions to procedures and documents, and eliciting faculty input before holding the ratification vote. The EC agreed that AFT, AFT’s attorney, and District Academic Senate should have input before faculty have the opportunity to see final drafts of all documents.

7. October 28 CCSF Forum at CSM

On Monday, October 28, CSM will be hosting an important forum on the history and current status of CCSF’s accreditation and the recent actions of ACCJC.

8. November 15 AFT Local 1493 50th Anniversary Celebration

AFT 1493’s 50th Anniversary celebration will be held on Friday, November 15, from 4:00 – 9:00 at Cañada Vista.

9. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

➢ Teeka met with members of ACCJC this morning in her role as President of AFT 1493.
➢ Teeka and Michelle requested high-resolution photos of all EC members.
➢ New group photos will be taken at our November meeting.
➢ We are working to design a new AFT 1493 logo.

Meeting adjourned: 4:50

*Action Item

Minutes by Anne Stafford


October 9, 2013


San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at Cañada College

EC members present: Lin Bowie, Zev Kvitsky, Eric Brenner, Nina Floro, Michelle Kern, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Vicki Clinton, Elizabeth Terzakis, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Paul Reuckhaus


1. Welcome and introductions (we all know each other)

2. Announcements:

Zev: There will not be any special grant money for this spring. So we can get started in the fall with grant money. Also, CFT is worried about Tom Torlakson. He’s been an ally in unexpected ways in the past (e.g. around CCSF), and he’s pushed back against the federal gov’t around K-12 testing. It looks like opposition forces are gearing up to run against him. The opponent is expected to have backing from Gates, M. Rhee, and other anti-union friends. CFT will ask locals to contribute to Torlakson. Watch for this in Teeka’s email

3. Minutes: Minutes of the September 11 AFT meeting approved without change. MS; 7 yea; 0 nea; 1 abstention

4. Moved to the bottom of the agenda

5. AFT 1493 Grievance Structure: Dan proposed we adopt the grievance model used by San Jose/ Evergreen (SJ-E). It works like this: the union collects complaints, things that may turn into grievances. Then once a month the executive secretary and the president of the local meet with the district’s head of human resources and the chancellor. The union constructs the agenda for this meeting. SJ-E’s experience is that problems are resolved very quickly. The way it is now, we start at the bottom (deans first and on up the chain of the command). SJ-E starts at the highest level. Dan had a preliminary conversation with Harry Joel about this. Harry said that CSEA uses a similar process and he thought it would work well. Are there down sides? What about the timelines for filing a formal grievance (X number of days after AFT becomes aware of the issue)? One way to cover ourselves is to do an MOU. Harry didn’t know if Ron would want to participate. We should ask CSEA about how this works for them. Vicki says that the CSEA experience might not be comparable. CSEA has the meetings when issues become serious. Zev says that this model likely works best at avoiding grievances, not actually pursuing grievances. We decided to try this model. Dan and Teeka will report back once there is something to report.

6. PETF Update: PETF met at the end of last month and discussed what they have left to do. Harry compiled a list of what’s been accomplished and what’s left to do. Harry and Regina think PETF will be finished this semester. AFT has not received this list yet, but apparently it has been sent out to the District Senate president. In rewriting the procedures, it was suggested that the evaluation guidance committee would be eliminated. Nina did not like that. Harry later agreed that it would be important to have a union rep on that committee. Though Nina and Elizabeth did not want to go through the list at our meeting, Elizabeth emailed the document to Teeka. Here it is:

1. 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 28

Elizabeth says that when the PETF is done with the process, faculty should just vote. Then AFT needs to think about what to do if it gets voted down. She says the most controversial issues will be SLOs, adjunct evaluation, timelines (these are things about which folks have shared a wide variety of opinions). We discuss whether the vetting needs to take place. Teeka thinks yes; Elizabeth and Nina think no. The logistics are difficult.

7. BOT election discussion and labor council phone banking. The San Mateo Labor Council has started its phone banking. Do we want to participate? Since they’ve endorsed candidates for our BOT race, they would like us to take a night and help out. Are we interested in phone banking? Jefferson AFT locals have taken October 17. Maybe we could join with them. Dan will put out an email to work on that night.

8. AFT Local 1493 50th Anniversary: The date has been set: Friday, November 15, 4:00 to 8:00 or 9:00 at Cañada Vista. We should make a real attempt to publicize this. We want to highlight the accomplishments of this union. Beth Brand, who catered John Kirk’s retirement party, is able to cater for us. Rudy Ramirez, a CSM professor and musician, is willing to play at the party. How many will attend? Perhaps 100? We should do invitations, perhaps e-vite? Dan has reached out to all the founding members who are still alive. John Searle, our DART leader, will be helping to invite retirees. Program: food, music, speeches about the early history. Dan has some nice photos, etc., in his office that will look nice on display. Lin can do flower arrangements for us. Chocolates with “50” on them. AFT 1493 The Movie—could be played on a loop. Videographer—do oral stories of what the union’s done for me. Check with the film students, perhaps.

9. AFT Local Budget: We are $46,984 in the black. Last year we were in the red -$18,911. Our legal bill for the DA case was largely paid by a national AFT insurance policy that covers all AFT locals. Zev knew about this policy and brought it to the Local’s attention.

10. CCSF Forums at the three campuses: CFT wants us to host a series of forums to educate folks and discuss the CCSF accreditation situation. Dan suggests focusing on CSM, since no one responded to his email on this subject a few weeks ago. There would be CCSF board members, students, and faculty speaking about their personal experiences. If we decide to do this, we would need to do a flyer and/or an e-news. Dan will call Ron Gallatolo to ask for his participation.

11. Campaign for a healthy California: The AFL-CIO in California has passed a resolution in support of this campaign, which is about single-payer health care. Dan says this is somewhat astounding. The San Mateo Labor Council, among others, has endorsed this campaign, too. The buildings and trades unions are mad about Obama Care because they will lose their “Cadillac” health plans. Dan thinks this is why AFL-CIO has endorsed the campaign so quickly. Dan thinks we should become an official endorser of this campaign. In the past, we were out in front of this issue. With the AFL-CIO behind this plan, it might be quite difficult for the governor to veto it, which is what happened previously (if it gets through the legislature). If it passed, California would be the key example for how this system would work in the United States. We will vote on this next meeting.

12. Report on Sept. 28 CCC Meeting: Michelle—it was fun and densely packed! This was the first time Michelle attended this meeting. She is on the Labor in the Schools committee. Right now it is working on there being labor curriculum in all the schools across the country. CFT is a model for labor curriculum in the schools. They are working on a farm labor comic book being drawn by Spain Rodriguez. They are looking for funding. How can we tie into first annual labor history month in May. Their focus is primarily K-12, but the folks on the committee are mostly community college teachers. Teeka is on the Issues in Education committee and on its online education subcommittee. Her group worked on logistics around drafting resolutions for the convention. The Community College Council meeting was focused on ACCJC and CCSF.

13. District Participatory Governance Council: The Council has now finished with the review of all the board policies. CSM student government voted against BP 2.30 (political activity). One thing we might bring up there is how the DPGC is connected to the campuses’ college councils. AFT reps on budget and senate do not uniformly have votes on those bodies as AFT reps.

14. Skyline College strategic Plan: 2012-2017 (Paul and Nina): At the end of September, the Skyline administration had a community forum about the plans for hiring at Skyline in the next four years. Paul sent out notes to all of us on email. It was good to see what the staffing plan was going to be (they held two meetings over two days). With the community- supported funds, they will hire 30 classified positions and 20 faculty positions, but many of those will be faculty coordinators (who do not work directly with students); there might also be more faculty hires that go through a separate process. Some of the part-time coordination positions will be converted to full-time coordinator positions. Is this hiring administrators and calling them faculty? (It seems like it.) What were the hiring committees like for these? How many adjunct coordinators are there? Are they being exploited? Having full-time faculty coordinators who do no teaching seems like pseudo administrators. What are the job descriptions for these positions? Are the new faculty hires in the strategic plan on top of the regular faculty hires? Skyline has already hired an extra VP of Administrative Affairs position. The forums were really just informational, not a real discussion.

Meeting adjourned 5:01

Minutes respectfully submitted by Teeka James



September 11, 2013


San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, September 11, 2013, at CSM

EC members present: Lin Bowie, Eric Brenner, Victoria Clinton, Sandi Raeber Dorsett, Salumeh Eslamieh, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Michelle Kern, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Masao Suzuki, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware

Other Attendees: Tania Beliz, Bailey Girard (student), Charles Jones, Zev Kvitky (CFT Field Rep), Tom Mohr (Candidate, SMCCD Board of Trustees)

Meeting began: 2:35


Facilitator: Salumeh Eslamieh

Closed Session: Negotiations

Joaquin updated the EC on the most recent negotiating session on September 9, 2013 (the only session since our last AFT meeting.) He felt confident that we were very close to reaching a tentative agreement. The EC voted unanimously to accept the agreement, which includes, among other things, salary increases for all faculty. The base increases will go up in the second and third years of the contract if the assessed value of property in the county exceeds 3%.

1. Welcome and Introductions

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

3. * Minutes of August 21, 2013 AFT Meeting

Approved unanimously.

4. Board of Trustees Election

Tom Mohr, a candidate for the upcoming SMCCD Board of Trustees election in November, met with AFT to answer questions and express his views on a number of issues.

His two primary reasons for running:

· His interest in issues of equity and access to education, which he saw being directly addressed when he served as President of Cañada College.

· He misses being a part of Cañada.


Q: Do you have an agenda?

A: It’s a mistake to have too explicit an agenda, but he will focus on improving student success, graduation, and completion rates by working more closely with middle schools and high schools. SMCCD needs to invest in closer relationships with these schools and should be teaching more classes at the high schools during the day. He wants the District to have more of a presence at the high schools so that students have a better idea of what college is really like.

Q: Do you see Common Core filtering up to SMCCD from K-12, or filtering down from us to K-12?

A: That is up to faculty. He would like to see a greater investment in faculty development.

Q: Do you support district elections for the Board of Trustees?

A: Yes, in general, because this will result in greater diversity on the Board.

Q: What is your position on binding arbitration?

A: He feels it makes sense in terms of employee grievances.

Q: What are your thoughts on renewing the county parcel tax?

A: Doing so is essential. Tom talked about using the parcel tax to support transfer and career/technical study. He talked about the need to get closer to employee leaders in the area, and the need to keep new students enrolled in our colleges.

Q: Do you have any thoughts about how to improve the relationship between AFT and the Board of Trustees?

A: Tom suggested regular forums or meetings for AFT/faculty leadership and Board members. This helped strengthen the relationship with CSEA at Cañada.

Q: What are your feelings about shared (participatory) governance, specifically the process for faculty input in hiring four new administrators?

A: Decision-making should be transparent. He feels it is important not to move on decisions without a critical mass of support.

Additional thoughts:

During a discussion of ACCJC and its accrediting process, Tom said he feels strongly that Cañada’s and CSM’s warnings in 2006-07 were unjust, and that despite significant financial issues at CCSF, closing that college is “incomprehensible.”

Regarding SLO’s, Tom pointed out that there is no research showing that they actually improve student outcomes.

The EC voted to endorse Tom Mohr and Richard Holober for the Board of Trustees.

Holober: YES: 8 NO: 0 ABSTAIN: 5

Mohr: YES: 11 NO: 0 ABSTAIN: 1 NOT VOTING: 1


5. Strategic Campaign Initiative: Quality Public Education

CFT grants are available to locals for a variety of projects. These grants have been consolidated into the Strategic Campaign Initiative. At the moment, the focus is on a Campaign for Quality Public Education. Katharine has some time to work on this and is interested in putting together a proposal for fall 2014. She would like us to think about something we would really like to do, so that she can get started in spring 2014.


6. Performance Evaluation Task Force

Though Tania Beliz announced at the last District Academic Senate meeting that the PETF will finish its work by the end of this semester, DAS is seriously concerned that they won’t be finished by then. The task force still needs to develop the student evaluation form for non-teaching faculty, the appendices to the evaluation documents and procedures, and the peer evaluation materials for Distance Education. Some members of the EC also voiced concern that the task force will not have final versions of all of the necessary documents by the end of fall 2013.

Earlier in the process, the two administrators on the task force (Harry Joel and Regina Stanback Stroud) had conveyed a sense of urgency, but now feel that the task force is on track to meet the accreditation requirements that the colleges have procedures and documents in place for evaluating distance education and a method for including the development and assessment of SLO’s in the faculty evaluation process. Elizabeth and Lezlee stressed that Harry and Regina feel the necessary work will be completed on time. While the administrators on the task force have told other PETF members that the task force must only develop and test the Distance Ed student evaluation forms to satisfy accreditation standards, Teeka expressed concern that all related documents and procedures must be finalized to meet the standards. Task force members stressed that they have heard little from faculty, staff, and administrators working on accreditation regarding the urgency, or lack thereof, to finalize all documents and procedures to satisfy accreditation requirements.

AFT discussed the possibility of considering, and perhaps even ratifying, the Distance Ed documents and procedures, as well as the inclusion of SLO’s in faculty evaluation separately from the rest of the package.

It was brought to AFT’s attention at today’s meeting that one of the administrators believes that the PETF has the authority to vote on which documents and procedures to adopt; in fact, the MOU states that faculty must ratify all changes.

Katharine requested that in order to clarify for the District and campus senates, and for AFT, exactly which “pieces” of the work have been completed and which must still be done the PETF to compile a checklist. Lezlee pointed out that the information is on the Sharepoint site, but agreed that the task force would create a checklist. Diana Bennett asked for the checklist and a planning calendar to be completed in the next two weeks.

One PETF member believes that despite the pressure to finish quickly, the task force needs two more semesters to complete the entire process. We reminded ourselves that AFT and DAS were ready and willing to form the PETF and start working a long time ago; it was the administration that dragged its feet.


7. Introducing Skyline PTers, Paul Rueckhaus and Janice Sapigao

Janice could not attend today’s meeting, but Paul was present to introduce himself. The EC voted unanimously to appoint both Paul and Janice as AFT PT Co-Reps at Skyline.


8. AFT Local 1493 50th Anniversary Celebration


9. *Discussion of 2 Additional Dates for AFT Meetings Each Semester

Tabled – will vote on Doodle poll

10. AFT Local 1493 Budget


11. AFT Local 1493 Grievance Structure


12. Campaign for a Healthy California


13. 2012 AFT Local 1493 Audit


14. DSGC


15. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

– Eric and Michelle are interested in starting a Facebook page for AFT 1493.

– Salumeh suggested that instead of passing out calendars in the future, we think about T-shirts.

– Our extra AFT meetings for 2013/2014 will be held in October, November, March, and April. Please respond to Doodle poll to determine specific dates.


Meeting adjourned: 5:05


*Action Item



AFT 1493 History Panels