Monthly Archives: December 2014

Sept. 2014 Advocate – AFT survey of deans & managers to be continued


AFT survey of deans & managers leads to District commitment to continue practice at all colleges 

Many of you have told us that you were grateful to have the opportunity to evaluate your deans and managers last spring. Here’s some history and a report on the All-District Faculty Survey of Deans and Managers.

In response to complaints from faculty members across the district and across divisions about managers’ lack of collaboration and faulty communication and decision-making, we asked the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) to help us design and administer a faculty survey. Up until now, CSM was the only one of the three colleges that regularly gave faculty the opportunity to evaluate their deans and managers.

A detailed survey & strong response rate

During the early part of the spring semester, the CFT researched and compiled sample survey questions, which we revised and refined to suit the needs of our district. The survey questionnaire was detailed and thorough, consisting of questions that rated deans and managers in a variety of different areas and contexts, and it included options for personal comments.

The Managers Survey was sent electronically to all part-time and full-time instructors on April 10, 2014. The response period ended on May 5, 2014.

A total of 286 faculty members participated, a very strong response rate that represents nearly one-third of all district faculty. Of those, 162 were full time tenured faculty, 23 were tenure-track and 98 were part time faculty. Three respondents chose not to identify their FT or PT status.

In June, we shared the results of the survey with Chancellor Galatolo, Eugene Whitlock, the new Vice-Chancellor for HR, and Harry Joel, the outgoing Vice-Chancellor for HR. Although the majority of the district’s deans and managers received positive, or mixed, responses, Chancellor Galatolo expressed his concern about a small number that received very negative ratings. He said he was committed to meeting with college presidents and VPIs to address the most egregious problems.

Chancellor promises changes

Galatolo assured representatives of the union who attended this meeting that a number of changes would be instituted:
• “360 degree” evaluations of deans and managers by all full-time and part-time faculty will occur at all three colleges on a yearly basis
• Union leadership will be consulted and involved in this process
• All deans and managers will be shown the results of their individual evaluations
• Problem deans will be scrutinized and negative behavior will not be allowed to continue

As you know, faculty members are required to be thoroughly evaluated on a regular basis, and student surveys are an integral part of the evaluation process. In contrast, regular feedback from faculty has not been part of the evaluation process for deans and managers at two of our colleges. The result is that for many newer deans, an evaluation by their faculty has never occurred, and for senior deans, not for a very long time. Ideally, the evaluation process should be parallel. Now that the union has initiated a new procedure and the District has committed to continue it, this survey will have real “teeth”; it will be a regular and serious evaluation with serious consequences.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to participate.

November 12, 2014

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, November 12, 2014, at Skyline

EC members present:  Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Stephen Fredricks, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Doniella Maher, Monica Malamud, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Paul Rueckhaus, Shaye Sahedi, Janice Sapigao, Elizabeth Terzakis, Rob Williams.

AFT (non-EC) members present:  Tom Broxholm (Automotive Technology at Skyline), Masao Suzuki (AFT rep to District Committee on Budget and Finance, Economics at Skyline), Najla Breo Abrao, John Searle (president of DART – District Association of Retired Teachers)

Meeting began at 2:36 p.m. in closed session

Facilitator:  Teeka James

Closed Session — discussion of grievances, complaints and compensation issues

The EC met in closed session to discuss confidential matters.

Wecome and Introductions


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


Minutes of October 8, 2014 AFT meeting

Approved with some wording and spelling corrections. All in favor, one abstention.

Negotiations update

Joaquin distributed a proposed calendar for 2016-2017 which meets all the required parameters.
Motion to approve the proposed calendar for 2016-2017.  Seconded.  Approved unanimously.

Joaquin reported on the most recent negotiations session:

Health benefits:

Union requested increase of medical cap by $100 for single, $150 for 2-party and $200 for family effective January 1, 2015.  District insists on $50/75/100.  District presented data on the cost of their offer; union pointed out that their calculations were an overestimation.

Union requested increase of medical stipend for PT from $600 to $1800 per semester, effective 1/1/15.

Class assignments:

Union asked whether contract language about PT assignments can be extended to FT.  Eugene said that he would check on this with Deans.  Eugene sent a proposed MOU which only says that if not happy with assignment, then faculty can go to VPI and next to college president; but in this MOU, Eugene also included what the District wants in terms of administrators being allowed to teach, which had not been brought up before at the negotiation table.

Strategic Campaign Initiative Organizing Project update:

Katharine and Michelle have worked very hard and shared all the materials they have produced.  They have designed forms, flyers, information cards, etc.  The materials are very professional and they include quotes and pictures of faculty who are not on the EC.  Michelle and Katharine have been meeting with recently hired faculty members with great success; every faculty member they meet with receives an AFT 1493 tote bag, an AFT 1493 T-shirt, and printed materials.

Workload Survey and parity discussion

The survey had two goals:  to see if FT’s work load has increased (it has), and to help determine PT parity pay.  However, the survey showed that there was an uneven distribution of the non-teaching workload among FT faculty — some FT spend a considerable amount of time on non-teaching tasks, others spend most of their time teaching.  Both FT and FT are now feeling the pressure to participate in many committees and activities; there seems to be a culture of overworking in our district.  We will continue to discuss this topic at a future meeting.

The following two items (A and B) were added to the meeting agenda:

A. Resolution about repeatability

Dan passed a resolution drafted by Cabrillo College.  Cabrillo has been working to increase the number of times that students can repeat a class (which was reduced a few years ago and necessitated significant curriculum changes in order for repeatable courses to be compliant with the reduction).
Motion to approve this resolution, seconded, passed unanimously.

B. Website design

As decided at a previous AFT meeting this semester, a subcommittee has been making decisions about the AFT 1493 website redesign.  Since the subcommittee was not able to reach consensus on some design elements on the home page, four design options were presented to the EC.
Option #1 won by clear majority, with the other three options getting few or no votes.

District Participatory Governance Council:

Teeka reported on some Board Policies that were presented to the DPCG:
Added military and veteran status to the list of protected groups.
Presence of non-registered students in classes is prohibited unless expressly authorized by management.  The EC finds this problematic.
Outside employment:  District is proposing that employees give notice and details about the terms of outside employment.  Current policy is that District employees may have outside employment as long as it is not during work hours.  The EC believes that this proposed change infringes upon employees’ lives outside of their employment with the District.
Kathy Blackwood will be coming to the AFT meeting in December to talk about the District’s proposal to increase reserves to 15-30%.

Appointment of Najla Abrao as Skyline PT co-Rep

Motion to appoint Najla, seconded, approved unanimously.

Should PT faculty automatically be interviewed for FT jobs: third discussion

Tom proposed that a PT who has been teaching in the District for five years be given a priority interview status for a FT opening, provided the applicant fills out an application and meets all evaluation expectations.

Since hiring procedures are written by the Academic Senate, Tom was directed to take this conversation to the Senate.

District Association of Retired Teachers (DART)

John Searle, president of DART, gave an overview of the membership and activities of the association.  There are about 30 members, and they organize an activity for retirees a couple of times a year.

Monica shared that retirees are, since the last CFT Convention, a formally recognized group of the CFT.  There is also a retirement committee among the CFT Committees.  These are opportunities for retired faculty to stay involved in union issues, and contribute their time and valuable experience to the union.

Resolution to improve PT pay

Tabled for next meeting.
Adjourned at 5:03 p.m.

Repeatability regulations

Reform of Repeatability Regulations Needed

For background, see the overview article on this issue in the December 2014 Advocate


Click here to sign an online petition to support the reform of repeatability requirements

The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) passed the first resolution shown below at the fall plenary. It calls for local senates to gather information about the impact at the program level of the 2012 changes to the repeatability regulations and hold a breakout at the Spring 2015 Plenary April 9-11, 2015. The ASCCC will then research the impact of the changes, use the research to inform possible actions on the issue, and present the research at the Spring 2016 Plenary session.

Local Senates should research this issue on their campuses and engage in the discussion at the Spring Plenary (April 9-11, 2015.) For example, the Cabrillo College Senate passed the second resolution shown below. In summary, the Cabrillo Senate has committed to form a working group, in collaboration with the union to: research the effects of the regulations on Cabrillo programs; bring the results of that research to the ASCCC’s breakout session on the effects of repeatability regulations at the Spring 2015 plenary; contribute to the research that will be presented to the Spring 2016 Plenary session; and communicate the ongoing work of the group with other college faculty senates, with members of the ASCCC Executive Board, with various components of Cabrillo College, and with the Governing Board of Cabrillo College.

ADDITIONAL AVENUES for continued advocacy include:

  • Engaging with students that support reforming the regulations
  • Gaining support from local Governing Boards
  • Meeting with legislators
  • Working with community and educational allies to support


Resolution Passed at ASCCC Plenary – Nov. 15, 2014

Please Note: The language below is not yet officially adopted as the final language of the resolution, but the intent will remain the same.

9.08 – Impact of Changes to Course Repeatability

Whereas, Title 5 regulations concerning repeatability of classes in physical education, visual arts, and performing arts place active participatory classes into families of courses that are related in content;

Whereas, Under Title 5#55040 students are allowed to take only four courses from any given group with withdrawals and substandard grades counting toward the enrollment limit;

Whereas, Some degrees within the physical education, visual arts, and performing arts require four semesters of coursework within a content group (e.g., four semesters of applied music lessons for an AA-T in music), and students who withdraw from such a class face a significant obstacle to degree completion that can only be overcome through the waiver process in which the college forfeits apportionment for any repeats of the course beyond the limit; and

Whereas, This approach to content grouping represents both a barrier to student success and inequitable treatment of students;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges gather information from local senates about the impact at the program level of the 2012 changes to the repeatability regulations and hold a breakout session on at the Spring 2015 Plenary; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges research the impact of the program level of the 2012 changes to the repeatability regulations, use the research to inform possible future actions regarding this issue, and present the research at the Spring 2016 Plenary Session.

Contact: Elliot Jones , Santa Ana College


Resolution Passed by the Cabrillo College Faculty Senate

Whereas, the California Community Colleges (CCCs) have an essential and visionary mission to provide accessible high-quality education for the distinct and diverse communities throughout the state and taxpayers and the electorate continue to invest in CCCs through bond measures and tax initiatives in demonstration of their support for a vibrant CCC system that offers a breadth of opportunities to its citizenry;

Whereas, recent limits on repeatability have had uneven and adverse impacts on areas of education where repeated and varied practice of a skill is essential to the learning process, such as the arts and kinesiology;

Whereas, limitations inherent in the creation of “families” of courses related in content can raise barriers to student success, and arts education in the K-12 system has diminished significantly in recent years, creating student populations that often lack a foundation in these areas; and

Whereas, at its Fall 2014 Plenary ASCCC passed a resolution to “hold a breakout session on the 2012 changes to the repeatability regulations at the Spring 2015 Plenary to gather information from local senates about the impact at the program level of the new repeatability regulations,” to “research the impact of the…changes to the repeatability regulations, [to] use the research to inform possible further actions regarding this issue,” and to “present the research at the Spring 2016 Plenary session,”

Resolved, that the Cabrillo College Faculty Senate will create, in collaboration with representatives from the Cabrillo College Federation of Teachers, a working group on repeatability regulations and will research the effects of the regulations on Cabrillo programs; bring the results of that research to the ASCCC’s breakout session on the effects of repeatability regulations at the Spring 2015 plenary; contribute to the research that will be presented to the Spring 2016 Plenary session; and communicate the ongoing work of the group with other college faculty senates, with members of the ASCCC Executive Board, with various components of Cabrillo College, and with the Governing Board of Cabrillo College.

This version of the resolution was prepared by a joint group of the Faculty Senate and the Cabrillo College Federation of Teachers and approved at the Dec. 2, 2014 meeting of the Faculty Senate.


Dec. 2014 Advocate – Should District adjuncts get hiring priority?


Should District adjunct faculty have an advantage in hiring for full-time positions?
Let us know what you think

At November’s AFT 1493 Executive Committee meeting, a faculty member from Skyline College proposed that adjunct faculty should receive priority status for full-time job interviews. The proposal reads as follows:

All Adjunct Faculty who have been teaching within the district for a minimum of 5 years and meet all evaluation expectations be given a “Priority Interview Status”.  This status awards additional points to the application screening status for determining who to interview, provided that the applicant has properly filled out and submitted all the required documentation and meets the minimum job qualifications.
In addition it should be noted that adjunct faculty applying for a job cannot be knocked down in points for criteria that cannot be applied to all applicants, such as personal information.

    This issue had been discussed at length at October’s Executive Committee meeting. Some faculty agreed that some sort of priority treatment in full time hiring was warranted for adjunct faculty, but others felt that hiring committees, which are, in fact, chaired by and composed of faculty, currently follow a rigorous process that does not discriminate against current adjunct faculty.
    Faculty in these discussions at the AFT meetings have also suggested that AFT and the Senate host hiring workshops for adjunct faculty. It is the case that applying for full time jobs requires a very particular set of skills, and like all skills, they can be improved through instruction and practice—both in presenting oneself in the paper work and in the interview itself. AFT is very interested in developing such a workshop.
    AFT needs to hear from more faculty about their experiences in hiring—as hiring committee members and as adjuncts or former adjuncts applying for full-time positions. We would like to have a fuller discussion of this issue in an upcoming issue of The Advocate.  Please share your experiences and observations with AFT. Submit your opinions to Dan Kaplan, AFT 1493 Executive Secretary, at: