Monthly Archives: May 2014

April 23, 2014

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at CSM



AFT EC Members Present: Eric Brenner, Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Sec.), Michelle Kern, Monica Malamud, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis

Meeting began at 2:40 p.m.

Michelle Kern

1. Welcome and Introductions:

Not necessary.

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


3. Minutes of April 9, 2014 AFT meeting

Approved– all in favor, with one abstention.

4. Sports Facility at Cañada


5. The Board’s letter on Assembly Bill 2087 (Ammiano)
– Dan Kaplan

AB 2087 was introduced in response to the situation in CCSF, where an appointed Trustee replaced the elected Board of Trustees and, among other measures, approved a significant salary increase for certain administrators. The bill was recently amended and now it does not mention CCSF. The amended version of the bill does not change our Board of Trustees’ support for AB 2087. Our Board of Trustees (BOT) agrees that intervention should be allowed under certain conditions, but believes that current law gives the State Chancellor too much power to unilaterally replace elected boards with an appointed Trustee. Our BOT discussed proposing an amendment to specify financial mismanagement as the trigger for intervention, similar what already exists for K-12. Trustee Richard Holober will be in Sacramento to speak in support of AB 2087.

6. Dean’s Survey update

At a meeting with Katharine and Joaquin, Harry Joel suggested that union reps meet with him and Eugene Whitlock, and jointly decide what to do with the results. Joaquin reiterated that the CFT, not our local, is in charge of tabulating the results, that our local is well aware of the sensitivity of the survey results, and that this survey is one way to address the fact that there is not a consistent faculty voice in the evaluation of administrators across the district. Board policy on evaluation of administrators says that faculty may participate; the default should be that faculty have the opportunity to participate, but they are not obligated to, especially when they have a concern about being identified.

There was preliminary discussion about whether the District or the Union should be responsible for conducting dean evaluations in the future.

7. Spring AFT 1493 elections update – Dan Kaplan

We have had very good voter participation so far. Faculty who are not on the ballot are needed to tally the voting results; interested faculty should contact Dan.

The local could reach out to the faculty who cast a vote to get them more involved in the union.

8. AFT 1493 T-shirt/sweatshirt/AFT 1493 logo update
– Michelle Kern

Michelle showed her AFT 1493 T-shirt designs on models. The EC discussed: EC wearing these shirts on Opening Day, pre-ordering shirts for faculty vs. placing orders on demand, cost (free to faculty or not?), colors, T-shirt styles and other products. Dan will find out about price, Michelle will send everyone more designs to look at before the next AFT meeting.

9. AFT 1493 scholarships
– Teeka James

There were 291 applications total, and the Foundation sent 15 finalists who closely matched the AFT scholarship criteria to the AFT 1493 scholarship committee. Teeka, Eslamieh, Doniella, Lezlee and Dan read the finalists’ applications, and selected the winners: Larry Allen (CSM) and Jamella Brown (Cañada).

10. Performance Evaluation Task Force

At a meeting earlier today, Joaquin made it clear to Harry Joel, Ron Galatolo and Eugene Whitlock that the union and the senate still need to see what the PETF comes up with, and that the new evaluation procedures will need to be ratified by the membership.

Update from Elizabeth:

        Some counselors at Cañada were unhappy when they received a memo from Lezlee on April 18th asking them to give their input on the classroom observation form that was drafted for librarians. Elizabeth pointed out that this is not the first time they are contacted soliciting their input; originally, all counselors in the district were contacted, PETF members attended counseling meetings and requested their input at those meetings as well.

        Nurses: there is a student survey for students who use the Health Center. Nurses who teach may use classroom observation forms. Some forms for nurses are being adapted from those proposed for librarians. Peer observations seem problematic for nurses – a FT nurse would need to sit by the nurse being evaluated for a period of time, and what if no students showed up during that time? One possible solution is to do a peer observation only if triggered by a problem.

The PETF is meeting again on May 2nd. In the meantime, everyone in the PETF has homework to do. Elizabeth hopes that everything will be finalized at this meeting, but Jazmine (IT, District Office), who’s been doing the PDF-fillable forms, has been out sick for a while.

District Senate’s last meeting this semester is May 12th and AFT’s last meeting is May 14th.

A subcommittee of AFT EC will review the documents created by the PETF, then we run it by our lawyers, and then by District Senate. There has to be good faculty representation to review the document (including PT, non-teaching, different disciplines). Teeka, Eric, Joaquin, Salumeh, Anne, Michelle and Monica expressed an interest in reviewing the evaluation documents in early June.

11. Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda Items

Monica brought up the topic of classes taught in high schools for college credit. There seem to be different types of arrangements between the colleges and the high schools. It was suggested that the union should demand all existing MOUs on this matter and a list of instructors involved in these arrangements.


Meeting adjourned 5:09 p.m.

April 9, 2014


San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at Cañada College



AFT EC Members Present: Eric Brenner, Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Monica Malamud, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Janice Sapigao, Elizabeth Terzakis

AFT (non-EC) Members Present Doniella Maher (Cañada, English), Rob Williams (Skyline, English), Yolanda Valenzuela (Cañada, English), Masao Suzuki (Skyline, Economics)


Meeting began at 2:39 p.m.

Facilitator:  Doniella Maher

  1. Welcome and Introductions:


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

Masao Suzuki distributed materials about the District budget.

  1. Minutes of March 12, 2014 AFT meeting

Approved with corrections (with one abstention).

  1. District Committee on Budget and Finance – Masao Suzuki

Masao Suzuki, the AFT rep on this committee, reported on recent meetings.  The committee has been discussing the District’s allocation model.  This model, which was designed about 15 years ago, is based on enrollment (FTES) in each of the colleges, but the committee is considering some modifications.  Years ago, CSM had the highest enrollment of the three colleges; now, Skyline’s enrollment is similar to CSM’s, but its funding is not.  Additionally, there are minimum staffing levels at the three colleges that are not dependent on enrollment (for example, each College needs one president).

  1. Spring AFT Social at Skyline

The event at Skyline was held on Thursday before Spring break.  Skyline EC members (current and aspiring) organized the event and it was very well attended—almost 40 faculty.  Katharine led the discussion, Janice took notes.  Some of the issues that kept coming up, despite the fact that attendees did not stay for the entire time, are:

          Health care insurance

          Emotional drain of worrying about classes being canceled due to low enrollment

          Multiple semester contracts

          Benefits comparable to those offered to PT at CCSF

          Perceived unfairness around hiring (why don’t current part-timers have priority or some kind of advantage over outside applicants?)  EC Suggestion:  have a union-sponsored workshop on applying for a full-time tenure-track job.

EC members agreed that this type of event, an informal social gathering where PT faculty have the opportunity to voice their concerns and learn more about the union, should be done on a regular basis at the three campuses.  It was very successful and beneficial to all involved.


  1. The Board’s ACCJC resolution – Dan Kaplan

On March 26th our Board unanimously passed a strongly-worded resolution against ACCJC, the first such resolution passed by a CC Board of Trustees.  This resolution will be shared with all other CC Board of Trustees around the state.

Chancellor Galatolo has been receiving praise from his colleagues in other districts for being outspoken about the accreditation process.  Our District’s Board commended Ron too. 

  1. Dean’s Survey Update

A final version of the document is ready to be sent out to all faculty. 

  1. Spring AFT 1493 elections


President:  Teeka James

Co-VPs:  Joaquin Rivera and Katharine Harer

Secretary:  Monica Malamud

Treasurer: Anne Stafford

Chapter Chairs

Cañada:  Lezlee Ware and Elizabeth Terzakis

CSM:  Sandra Raeber Dorsett

Skyline:  Rob Williams and Janice Sapigao

PT Reps:

Cañada:  Victoria Clinton

CSM:  Michelle Kern

Skyline: Helen Zhang and Paul Rueckhaus

EC Reps:

Cañ: Salumeh Eslamieh and Doniella Maher

CSM:  Lin Bowie and

Shaye Zahedi

Skyline:  Steven Fredericks

èMotion to close nominations for AFT 1493 EC.  Approved.

  1. CFT Convention Report:

There were very good speeches by Reverend Barber and CA Attorney General Kamala Harris.  Nina, Katharine, Teeka, Dan and Monica attended interesting sessions on a variety of topics, such as social media organizing, human trafficking, student debt, CFT organizing grants, course repeatability at CCCs, Raoul Teilhet (a long-time CFT leader who passed away last year)

Our Local received four Communications Awards:  a 2nd place for the Advocate, Katharine received a 3rd place award for one of the articles she wrote for the Advocate, and the history panels created by Donna and Dan for the 50th anniversity celebration received awards in two different categories.

  1. District Participatory Governance Council – Teeka James

The Council was scheduled to meet on Monday but there was not a quorum, so Council members present discussed a few topics informally.

  1. Performance Evaluation Task Force – Elizabeth Terzakis

All sections are nearing completion, except the one on nurses.  Information is posted in SharePoint and all faculty can read it.  Elizabeth believes that the work of the PETF will be done by the end of April. The EC wants to have forums about the new faculty evaluation documents scheduled during Flex Days at the beginning of the 2014-2015 academic year. 

èTeeka will ask for the afternoon of Opening Day to have a district-wide forum, with follow-up meetings at each of the three campuses.

  1. AFT 1493 shirt/sweatshirt design – Michelle Kern

Michelle presented three designs and EC members liked best the one without the traditional AFT shield.  EC members discussed the possibility of printing shirts on demand, thus being able to select size, women’s/men’s style and background color. 

èDan will talk to a union shirt print shop about options and pricing.

  1. AFT Scholarships  – Teeka James

Dan, Lezlee and Teeka will be reading the scholarship applications.  Katharine can help reading finalists’ applications.

  1. Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda Items.

Elizabeth has received many concerns about the sports facility which is being planned for Cañada.  She would like to get information about the CSM Athletic Club and requests that we put this item on the next AFT meeting agenda.

Teeka:  the college president at CSM wants to teach.  Mike Claire has asked for permission to do so from the District.  Teeka informed him that if he were to teach, he would be considered PT faculty, and be bound by the AFT contract.

Joaquin:  there will be an election in November 2015.  We should work on increasing our COPE funds so that our local can endorse and support candidates.


Meeting adjourned 4:55 p.m.






March 12, 2014


San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at College of San Mateo


Present: Salumeh Eslamieh, Lin Bowie, Janice Sapagio, Joaquin Rivera, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Michelle Kern, Teeka James, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Vicki Clinton, Dan Kaplan, Eric Brenner

Guests: Zev Kvitky, Doniella Maher

1.Welcome and Introductions (if necessary)

Introductions were not necessary.

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

No statements were made.

3.*Minutes of February 12, 2014 AFT meeting

Minutes were approved.

4.An Online Teaching Proposal by the CSM Math/Science Division

Three science faculty from CSM are beginning a project, as described in their project proposal, “to enhance two online courses, each of which will serve between 100 – 200 registered ‘for credit’ students.” They hope to also make these courses available to “guests” who wish to use course materials for independent learning purposes. The proposed courses involved would be Health Science 100 and Survey of Chemistry 100, both of which are non-laboratory, general science classes (though Chemistry 100 is not listed in this year’s CSM catalog). The three faculty members asked to meet with AFT in January, and Dan and Teeka met with them to hear about their proposal. The faculty have also been in discussion with the CSM Academic Senate. The classes would be taught by our existing faculty, who would have student-tutors or other “personnel” to provide technological support to students. The faculty have found that online students’ technical difficulties with WebAccess, iTunes University, and so on tend to take quite a lot of instructor time, so they are thinking that if those aspects of course support are delegated to student-tutors or other “personnel” that the faculty will be able to serve more students while continuing to offer content support. Dan shared concerns about the transparency of the proposal process that were emailed to him by a CSM faculty member. The EC agreed that processes should be transparent but felt that in this case, the department would have to handle those concerns on its own. Dan also shared that an MOU might be needed to ensure the increased class size does not become generalized to all online classes as well as to address issues of fair compensation.

The union-related issues are 1) concerns about class size and setting a precedent for across-the-board increases, and 2) concerns that any “personnel” involved in course support who are not student-tutors need to be faculty who meet minimum qualifications and who are part of our bargaining unit (e.g. no outsourcing to corporate or private providers).

There is nothing to “do” at the moment, but AFT will keep an eye on the proposal’s progress. When it starts up we will then discuss how to mitigate our two concerns.

5.AFT Spring Social: the CSM experience

CSM and Cañada both had successful spring socials. CSM had roughly fifteen part-timers show up for pizza, cookies and conversation, many of whom were faculty colleagues whom we had not previously met or seen at union events. Besides almost universally saying that CSM was their favorite work place (primarily because of inclusive colleagues and designated office space which provided them with a sense of professionalism), part-timers had a terrific suggestion: AFT should sponsor a retirement workshop for part-time faculty. Those that are currently offered are almost exclusively targeted at full-time faculty.

Cañada’s event was also a success. They had five faculty attend, but those five stayed for a lengthy and deep discussion of working conditions and issues that concern part-time faculty. All who came said they would like AFT to do this type of event again in the future. Besides workload and concerns about parity in compensation (both of which are current union priorities), faculty at the event expressed a need for clarification on flex pay for part timers.

6.The AFT 1493 Facebook page

Michelle and Eric showed the EC our local’s new Facebook page in its fledgling state and encouraged those of us on Facebook to “like” the page. We talked about the sort of communication that might go on our Facebook feed, coming up with these sorts of items: political news (e.g. from CFT); “industry” news (e.g. Chronicle of Higher Ed.) such as the kinds of articles Dan sends out to the 1493 list; labor council updates; what’s the union doing for you—feature story profiles.

7.Quality Public Education Campaign update

Katharine has started to talk with faculty by meeting with new full timers. She started at Skyline and had an appointment with a faculty member at CSM after our EC meeting. While those she has talked to so far are thrilled to be full timers and are enjoying their “new” jobs, many have questions about tenure review (how is it supposed to work, etc.), teaching loads, and non-teaching work obligations for new hires. Katharine senses that new faculty perceive our colleges as having “workaholic” cultures. Even though we’re just at the beginning of our QPEC (and will be submitting our official grant proposal this semester), already we are gathering excellent insights.

8.Spring AFT 1493 elections: continuation of the discussion

Dan and Harriet and Mark (with a little help from Teeka) have stuffed a zillion envelops in preparation of sending out our official call for nominations for candidates for union positions. They went out on Friday, 14 March and are due back to the AFT office by 7 April. The ballots will go out 14 April and will be due back by 5 May. We are running the election using the tried and true paper balloting method.

9.Update on 2.30: Political Activity

Though Board Policy 2.30 went to the Board of Trustees last October, because the students asked the Board to delay discussion of the policy, AFT took a second look at it and discovered that the version of BP 2.30 that our attorney had negotiated with county counsel was in fact not the policy that had come before the District Participatory Governance Committee. Teeka and Bob Bezemek (via phone) met with Barbara Christensen and Harry Joel to discuss our concerns with the new BP 2.30. We had little trouble reaching consensus on the main points. The one thing left to figure out is the students’ desire to be able to use their funds, which are District funds, for political action as well as advocacy (e.g. specifically advocating for or against a candidate or ballot measure), which is not legal. Teeka proposed that the District look into creating a separate pot of money for the students funded by the vending machine sales, money that the students already get but which is lumped into one account. Everyone liked the idea, though Bob said our discussion was like a law school exam and he’d have to look into it. We decided in the end that Bob and county counsel would discuss the possibilities of the vending machine money and the law and get back to us.

10.  DSGC Report

The Academic Senate is revising chapter six of the Board Policies (over which the Senate has purview). One policy they want to change relates to our negotiating of the academic calendar. For some reason, the Senate is confused about how the calendar is negotiated and, despite the presence of the VPI’s staff curriculum experts being involved in the process, Diana Bennett reported that the VPIs want their offices to be involved in the process as well. Teeka and Harry Joel explained at the DPGC meeting that the faculty discussions take place at the AFT meetings, whose meeting agendas are well publicized. The Senate also requested a multi-year calendar. The EC decided we need to do another calendar article in the Advocate, at the least.

11.  Performance Evaluation Task Force update

PETF has been meeting weekly this semester and has made lots of progress. They are now consolidating the document and editing for consistency and clarity. They have removed redundancies throughout the document. They expect to be finished by the beginning of April.

12.  AFT 1493 T-shirt/sweatshirt ideas: a new AFT 1493 logo?

We looked at a few designs that Michelle had mocked up for us. Those present were leaning towards a shield-like design. Michelle will refine the drafts and check back soon.

13.  CFT Lobby Days: April 28-29

CFT Lobby Days are April 28 and 29 this year in Sacramento. Let Dan and Teeka know if you are interested and able to participate.

14.  Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda Items

There were no non-agenda statements made by EC members.