September 2015 Advocate: Executive Committee makes plans for 2015-16 academic year


AFT Local 1493’s Executive Committee makes plans for 2015-16 academic year at annual retreat

By Katharine Harer, AFT 1493 Co-Vice President & Strategic Campaign Initiative Lead Organizer

The Executive Committee (EC) of AFT 1493 held a very productive annual retreat on Friday, August 21, at Cañada Vista, with representatives from all three campuses participating.  The retreat was made sweeter due to the presence of Salumeh Eslamieh’s baby, Kasra, a good-tempered and happy addition to the group.

Planning for the year ahead
Two lively sessions on increasing union activism were led by local President, Teeka James, and Strategic Campaign Organizers, Katharine Harer & Michelle Kern. Together we pumped up our energies and honed our commitments, talking honestly about our roles as EC representatives and what each of us plans to do in order to support faculty in our district.

After a brief break, the EC learned more about the planned March 19, 2016, Public Education Conference that is being organized by various AFT Locals in San Mateo County.

During the second half of the Retreat, Chief Negotiator, Joaquin Rivera, discussed the outcome of the Contract Mediation session held over the summer.  A compromise agreement was tentatively reached on the Part Time Medical Stipend issue, and we talked about how to enact substantive improvements for Part Time Health Care in the next contract period. (See articles on Tentative Agreement ratified & Part-timer medical benefits.)

Board of Trustees election
Rivera also filled us in on some unexpected news regarding the upcoming Board of Trustees election: incumbent Pat Miljanich decided at the last minute not to run for the Board, and we will be interviewing candidates to see who we may want to endorse. (The week after the retreat members of the EC interviewed four Board candidates. Following the interviews, the Local was excited to endorse new candidate Maurice D. Goodman and we also endorsed incumbents Dave Mandelkern and Karen Schwarz.)  (See Board election article.)

At the end of this energizing half-day, we sat on the patio eating a light dinner, sipping libations and enjoying a little time away from work and worry.  In other words, we socialized!  Thanks to the local’s Executive Secretary, Dan Kaplan, for bringing all the great refreshments.

Your union leadership is revitalized and ready for action!