Monthly Archives: March 2016

AFT 1493 reps attend 2016 CFT Convention

AFT 1493 reps (from left to right) Monica Malamud (AFT 1493 Secretary), Katharine Harer (AFT 1493 Co-Vice President), Michelle Kern (CSM Part-Timer Rep.), Teeka James (AFT 1493 President) and Nina Floro (Skyline, Convention Rep.) at a general session of the 2016 CFT Convention

AFT1493ersAtCFT2016Convention-webAFT 1493 reps (front row, from left to right) Dan Kaplan (AFT 1493 Executive Secretary), Katharine Harer (AFT 1493 Co-Vice President), Monica Malamud (AFT 1493 Secretary), Eric Brenner (Editor, Advocate newsletter & AFT 1493 website); (back row, from left to right) Teeka James (AFT 1493 President) (behind Katharine), Michelle Kern (CSM Part-Timer Rep.), Rob Williams (Skyline Chapter Co-Chair), Joaquin Rivera (AFT 1493 Co-Vice President) (behind Eric) and Nina Floro (Skyline, Convention Rep.) at Community College Council session of the 2016 CFT Convention







February 17, 2016

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

February 17, 2016  – Skyline College

EC members present:  Najla Abrao, Eric Brenner, Victoria Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Katharine Harer, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Teeka James, Doniella Maher, Monica Malamud, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Janice Sapigao, Elizabeth Terzakis, Rob Williams, Shaye Zahedi.

AFT members:  Sue Broxholm (Skyline),

Guests:  Jessica Beard (CFT Organizer), Zev Kvitky (CFT Field Rep), Paul Bissember (CFT Organizer),

Facilitator:  Teeka James

Meeting began at 2:36 p.m.


  1. Welcome and Introductions



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



  1. Minutes of January 27, 2016 AFT meeting

Minutes approved with two abstentions.


  1. Negotiation Update – Joaquin Rivera

The AFT and the District signed an agreement on the FT medical caps for 2016, and the Board will be approving it tonight.

The whole contract is open for negotiations.  Joaquin sent to the EC the first batch of union proposals:

  • Article 3: set window to revoke union membership to June 15 through July 15.
  • Article 5: eliminate no strike clause
  • Article 7: 4. Expand definition of office hours. 7.5. Delete requirement of 25 hours on campus. Discussion:  On the one hand, it’s good to have faculty on campus.  On the other hand, faculty can have a strong presence on campus and involvement with college life even if not physically present.
  • Article 13: increase funding for professional development
  • Article 17: add binding arbitration as the last step in grievance procedures
  • Article 22: increase banking to 30 FLCs
  • New language on class assignment: consider faculty preferences, limit preparations to 3.
  • New language on class cancellation: set timing and % below which class cannot be cancelled
  • New language on reassignment of faculty with cancelled classes: options to complete FT load; if not possible, then 3 years to make up the deficit.
  • New language on Academic Freedom

Question:  Should PT be guaranteed an interview for a FT position?

Consensus:  Yes, if they meet certain conditions:  PT would need to meet all the requirements of the job posting, and in addition meet certain conditions (such as length of employment in the district, satisfactory evaluations).


  1. Union relations

Our local needs to have a working relationship with CSEA, especially in the context of negotiations, but also for grievance related matters.  Elizabeth reported that since she and Lezlee have a very good relationship with CSEA at Cañada, perhaps they can persuade CSEA at Cañada to put pressure on the CSEA leadership at the district level to get them to work more collaboratively with AFT.


  1. Police on campus

The District has hired a consultant to help the Board decide whether there should be armed police on campus.  There was a unanimous vote to direct Teeka to strongly oppose the presence of armed police on campus.  The EC’s position is that the focus should be on preventing the kinds of incidents that may prompt police to fire arms.


  1. Building Power organizing campaign

Regardless of future changes in the composition of the Supreme Court, we need to continue building power in the union.

The counts of conversations and filled out cards was tallied and posted for all to see.  This is a way to have accountability.

How did you manage to talk to people?

  • Go to mail room
  • Office mates/neighbors
  • Catch faculty as they’re exiting the classroom


  • Other stuff occupied our time
  • Procrastination
  • It’s hard to find people


  • Team-up with someone else
  • Talk about issues (such as workload), not about the union as a whole
  • Sign up to have Paul B help you


  1. Strategic Campaign Initiative Organizing Project update – Katharine Harer, Michelle Kern

Katharine and Michelle updated the EC on the Education Conference scheduled for March 19.  They have been busy with the Building Power campaign.  Katharine is submitting an application requesting a third year grant for the SCIO.  Katharine and Rob will attend training in Southern California this weekend.


  1. A conversation about ethics – Elizabeth Terzakis

The president at Cañada was asked to leave under undisclosed circumstances.  Eugene Whitlock contacted Elizabeth to ask her if faculty thought that the District should disclose the reasons for this separation.


How does the union feel about asking the District to disclose this kind of information?  What if this kind of information is disclosed about faculty who leave the District?

Consensus:  reasons for separations may remain undisclosed, but the union should ask Ron to make faculty whole.


  1. Senate discussion of class size issue – Doniella Maher

The Senate discussions at Cañada about class cancellations and class size have gone away.  Individual faculty brought up these issues at Senate, but then they were not interested in participating in a larger conversation about these issues.  It seems like faculty at Cañada are on a wait-and-see attitude, given that the process for hiring a new president has started.


  1. Prevention of sexual violence and domestic abuse – Shaye Zehedi

Shaye is very involved in a community collaborative project working on prevention of abuse and violence: Project Survive.  Project Survive focuses on prevention and education.  Suggestions:  check with Skyline professor who teaches Human Sexuality, check with Wellness/Health Centers on campuses.


  1. Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda Items


– Nina is interested in coming back to the union EC.

– Leigh Anne Shaw would like release time to be increased for Academic Senate Governing Council and Curriculum Committee.


-Eleven faculty members are going to the CFT Convention

-Party at Paul’s on April 9, 3-7 p.m.


  1. Closed Session – CONFIDENTIAL

Due to lack of time, Dan reported on ongoing issues with only one faculty member.


Meeting adjourned at 5:23 p.m.


Sign the initiative to extend Proposition 30

Time is running out in the campaign to place a measure on November’s ballot that would extend Proposition 30.  Prop. 30 has been a game changer for public education in California.  The new ballot measure circulating will only ask to extend the top bracket income taxes for the very wealthy.  The revenue will help ensure that California continues to move forward toward funding education for all students from pre-school through university.

Prop. 30, a temporary tax passed by California’s voters in 2012 by a 55 – 45 margin, saved the state’s public sector by pumping $7 – 8 billion per year into state coffers from two sources.  About a billion dollars comes in from a one quarter of one percent increase in the sales tax, and the other six billion or so dollars originates in three tiers of 1, 2, and 3 percent bumps on taxpayers making $250,000, $300,000 and $500,000 per year.  Thus it is a mostly progressive tax, with the regressive portion—the sales tax—expiring at the end of this year.  The final year of the tax on the wealthy will be 2018, unless it is extended.

“We cannot afford to let Prop 30 expire,” says CFT president Joshua Pechthalt.  “Thanks to Prop 30, we have only just begun to restore the programs and positions lost to the Great Recession.  Without this tax, which asks millionaires to pay a little more in taxes so that all of us can benefit, public education will return to the devastating years of budget cuts, layoffs, and skyrocketing class sizes and tuition increases.”  CFT is partnering with the CTA, SEIU, and other unions to pass the extension.

The measure, called the “The Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act of 2016,” will extend the tax on the wealthy for twelve years.  You can help by contacting Dan Kaplan at the AFT 1493 office to find out how to sign or to circulate petitions.

Support CSU Faculty Strikers April 13-15 and April 18-19

The members of the California Faculty Association (CFA) at the California State University (CSU) system have voted overwhelmingly to strike from April 13-15 and April 18-19. The reason for this action is simple – CSU refuses to grant fair salary increases to its faculty.

The CFA membership is taking this principled stand because:

  • In 2008 & 2009, faculty received no salary increases
  • In 2010, faculty took a 10% salary reduction due to furloughs
  • Again in 2011, faculty received no salary increase

Because pay raises have lagged behind inflation, the purchasing power of CSU faculty is less today than it was ten years ago. It is also important to note that CSU management is not claiming an inability to pay, they are simply saying that they have other priorities.

It is for these reasons that CFA membership voted overwhelmingly (94%) in October 2015 to strike.

At the annual CFT convention several weeks ago, delegates passed a resolution in support of the CFA membership’s efforts to achieve a satisfactory contract agreement. In keeping with the spirit of that resolution, CFT leaders are asking Local members to support our CFA Sisters and Brothers by joining the CFA picket lines in their area for an hour or two during the strike.

Any help and support you can lend would be greatly appreciated.