May 1 Negotiations Session

Negotiators present: AFT:  Joaquin Rivera, Monica Malamud (by phone), Paul Bissember

SMCCD District:  Mitch Bailey, David Feune, Joe Morello, Max Hartman

In this bargaining session, the AFT bargaining team received responses from the district on several of our initial proposals including leaves, Faculty Load Credit (FLC) allocations, and class size.  The session included a discussion on these issues, as well as a presentation of AFT counter proposals.

Article 11 – Maternity/Child Bonding Leave:

The first topic we discussed focused on faculty leaves.  In particular, the district responded to our initial proposal of 1 month paid Maternity/Child Bonding leave.  First, the district reviewed the current maternity leave policies based on FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act).  They gave a hypothetical example of a faculty member, early in her career who has not yet accrued much sick leave.  For the first 30 days of the leave, the faculty member needs to exhaust all of their sick leave.  So, if a faculty member has accrued 5 sick days, she would use up those sick days, and then the district would pay 1/2 of her salary for 25 days (per FMLA).  After 30 days, she would go on ‘disability’ and receive 2/3 pay for 6 to 8 weeks.

We acknowledged this current practice, but expressed the need to have paid maternity leave.  Our team responded that “we’re one of the few industrialized countries in the world that do not have maternity leave” and that our proposal of one month paid leave is minimal compared to other countries and would help faculty who are planning to start a family.  In addition, we urged the district to consider this proposal and explained that they could be a leader among the community college districts by providing this benefit for faculty.  The district’s team indicated that solving a national issue is outside the scope of these negotiations and that they currently have a very generous set of benefits and are not inclined to give one month paid maternity/child bonding leave.

Appendix G – Faculty Load Credit (FLC)

Based on the feedback from faculty from Music, Art, Physical Edu, and Science and the need to push for parity around load calculation, AFT proposed increasing the FLC for these labs up to 1.0.  The district responded that they could consider an incremental change, depending on the class, but moving the FLC up to 1.0 would be a big jump that would increase their costs substantially.  They also made the argument that increasing the FLC would only hurt part timers as deans would have to reduce class offerings for those who went above 67%, and that their pay would not increase.  Our team responded that these allocations have not changed in 30 years, even as the amount of work has increased significantly.  We also pointed out that if Part Time faculty were compensated based on FLC, and not by hour, then an increase in FLC for the lab schedule would value their work higher than it currently is.  Additionally, in our counter we proposed a change to coaches’ load based on a document that they put together.  Finally, we proposed bringing faculty from these disciplines to the May 16th bargaining session to speak to this issue and the district agreed.

Article 8 – Class Size

There was a brief discussion on our class size reduction proposal.  The district asked why 40 students per class is the magic number for a class size, which we responded why is the current limit of 70 the magic number?  The district indicated that they cannot concede to 40 but that they are looking into this to see if there is room to negotiate a different cap.

District Communications with Members and Investigations

The district indicated that they completely disagree with the union on the issue of district communications around bargaining with bargaining unit members.  They said they would follow the law, but that the district has the right of free speech as do employees.  Regarding the investigations, the district has not yet come up with a counter to our proposal.  However, they acknowledged that this issue is a priority for our union and will work on having a response by May 16th.

Article 8 – Part Time Pay for Non-Instructional Work + Pay and Allowances

Our bargaining team informed the district that they haven’t yet responded to our proposal for Part Time Faculty to be paid for participation in division meetings and other non-instructional work.  We reminded them that one of the findings from the Workload Committee Report was that Part Time Faculty should be paid for all the work they do.  The district responded that they would look into this.  They did indicate that they would like to clean up the contract language relating to Part Time pay, Article 8.8, to remove all language relating to Full Time Faculty.

As part of the AFT counter proposal, we proposed a big change relating to Article 8 – Pay and Allowances.  We’ve heard from Faculty that the ‘special rate’ has been used inconsistently and that there isn’t a clear definition of when this should be utilized.  So, we proposed that we have only two types of pay rate used for Part Time Faculty and Full Time Faculty overload: (1) Faculty who work on any activity that involves student contact be paid at the current lecture rate, and (2) and the current lab rate would be used for activities not involving student contact.  This would eliminate the current ‘special rate.’

Article 13 – Professional Development (PD)

Following the district’s rejection of our proposal to increase PD from 1% to 2%, we put together a counter proposal with collaboration from leaders in the Academic Senate.  We proposed allocating 1% towards short and long-term projects, and another 1% that would go specifically towards extended leave and sabbaticals.  Additionally, we are proposing that all faculty be eligible for PD funds.  Moreover, given the pressures that faculty have been facing to utilize PD funds for district/statewide initiatives and software/data management trainings, we outlined unacceptable uses of PD funds.  The colleges should be providing funding for these activities outside of PD funds.  Some examples include trainings around: Guided Pathways, Dual Enrollment, Basic Skills, Canvas, Sales Force, and TracDat.  Finally, during our last discussion on PD, the district indicated that all of the campuses had PD money left over so they didn’t see a need to increase PD.  However, in this session, our Chief Negotiator submitted evidence that both CSM and Cañada have run out of PD money.

Upcoming Bargaining Dates:

We had initially planned our next bargaining date on May 7th, but the district canceled this session.  Here are our upcoming bargaining dates:

  • May 16th, 9am-12pm
  • May 23, 10am-5pm
  • June 12, 1pm-5pm
  • June 18, 10am-5pm
  • June 24, 10am-5pm


April 11th Negotiations Session

Negotiators present: AFT: Joaquin Rivera, Monica Malamud, Paul Bissember;
: Mitch Bailey, David Feune, Joe Morello, Charlene Frontiera, Max Hartman (by phone)

Scheduling upcoming bargaining dates

During this round of bargaining, we began by establishing upcoming bargaining dates.  We agreed on the following dates for our next negotiations sessions:

  • May 1, 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • May 7, 12:00pm-2:00pm
  • May 16, 9:00am-5:00pm

District responds to AFT proposals

For the rest of the session, the District’s bargaining team presented a document responding to our initial bargaining proposals.  Firstly, the District requires more time to respond to several of our initial proposals.  They indicated that they should be able to offer counter-proposals to the following items by May 3:

  • 7: Communication with members
  • 8: Part-Time Salary Schedule
  • 14: Large Class Pay
  • 9: Maternity/Child Bonding Leave
  • 17: Grievance Procedure
  • 18: Summer Session Employment
  • Appendix G: Evaluations
  • Class Assignment – Class Cancellations (new language)
  • Complaints against a unit member (new language)
  • Just Cause and Progressive Discipline (new language)

District accepts some AFT proposals

Next, there were some proposals which the union proposed clarifying edits, or updated language due to changes in state/federal law that the District found acceptable.  Click here to review these proposals.  These proposals include:

  • 4: List of unit employees and job information
  • 2: Definition of Academic year
  • 5.1: Pay and Allowances – Two years of service at Step 23 are required for advancement to Step 25
  • 14: FMLA and CA Family rights act (CFRA) Benefits
  • 1: Layoffs

In addition, there was a positive response from the District regarding our proposal around Article which would grant part-time faculty pay, at the special rate, for attending flex day activities that fall on days that a part-time faculty member is not scheduled to teach.

District rejects numerous AFT proposals

There were a number of AFT proposals that the District rejected altogether and offered no counter-proposals at this time.  See below for those articles relating to the AFT proposals, along with brief notes to provide context, which the District rejected:

  • 5: Workweek for Full-time Instructional faculty – AFT proposed removing the hourly requirement for faculty to be present on campus. Currently, full-time faculty are required to be on campus for 25 hours per week.
  • 9: Health and Welfare Benefits – The union proposed language for faculty teaching in the District Study Abroad Program to receive medical insurance that goes beyond emergency care. In the discussion on this issue, the District made it clear that this was not a question of money, as there are not many faculty who teach in this program. They argued that teaching a study abroad course is a choice that faculty make, not a requirement, and, therefore, the District should not have to provide this additional medical coverage for faculty.
  • 6: Public Service Leave – The District rejected this proposal indicating that it represents a limited scope (only 2 members affected) and that the District receives no direct benefit from and has no interest in this “personal, elective employee activity.”
  • 19: Part-Time Employment – In an effort to strengthen part-time faculty seniority and load rights, and to follow recent California state law (AB 1690/SB 1379), the union proposed edits in Article 19 to base part-time faculty’s class assignments on the highest load ever assigned to them. The District rejected this proposal.
  • Appendix F: Faculty Load Credit (FLC) Allocation – Our union has heard from many members from the Sciences, Art, Music and Physical Education/Athletics to prioritize increasing the FLC for these classes. While the District disagreed with the AFT proposal, citing that “it is not consistent with the Carnegie Unit allocation for such assignments,” AFT bargaining team members responded that the Carnegie unit is not relevant to this issue; it’s a question of parity and compensation.  Additionally, there are several other community college districts that already have language like this in place.
  • XX: Additional Faculty Rights – Evaluation of Administrators – The District responded to our proposal that it “finds no compelling rationale for including additional language relating to this matter as it does not relate to traditionally-bargained issues such as employee wages, benefits, hours, or working conditions.”

District counter-proposals

Next, there were additional AFT proposals that the District disagreed with, but provided counter-proposals.  See below for these counters along with a brief explanation:

  • 8: Employee orientation – The District proposed the following additional language to our proposal – “the union will participate in these new employee orientations in a structure, time and manner agreed to by the District and the Union prior to such orientation.” We discussed the need to review current practices around new faculty orientations. Additionally, we discussed ways to involve new part-time faculty employees (i.e. through flex days, online orientation, etc.) who do not currently participate in District orientations.
  • Compensation – The District proposed to maintain the current total compensation formula for one year – if we do not reach an agreement by the expiration of the contract. We have sent out a survey to get feedback from members on how our union should allocate compensation (i.e. salary, benefits, part-time parity, etc.)
  • Article 13: Professional Development Funding – The District rejected our proposal to increase funding from 1% to 2%. In addition, they proposed language to change the composition of the Professional Development committees to 3 members appointed by the Academic Senate and 3 members appointed by the administration.  This change would increase the number of administrators on these committees and decrease the number of faculty members.

March 7th Meeting

In the round of bargaining held on March 7th, faculty and administration members from the District Workload Committee–Anne Stafford, Doniella Maher, and Aaron McVean–provided a presentation on their workload report and answered questions from the bargaining teams. The Committee members shared the history and formation of the Workload Committee and described the two major challenges of how to determine what is a reasonable workload and how to compensate faculty who exceed a reasonable workload. Following the hour-long discussion with Workload Committee members, the District’s bargaining team proposed ending the meeting citing the need to work with their team to work on the union’s proposals.

Highlights from the Workload Committee presentation:

• Workload committee received a high response rate after surveying the faculty indicating a strong interest in this issue.
• The committee operated in a consensus model. Due to diverging perspectives within the committee, the workload report’s recommendations were not as specific as committee members would have liked them to be.
• Many faculty have reached a breaking point due to workload with many feeling demoralized, discouraged, and others talking about moving and retiring early.
• AFT and Academic Senate members are working together to try to identify specific recommendations of how to resolve issues relating to workload.
• The District currently does not have any proposals on how to remedy workload issues.

Key priorities/suggestions from the faculty members on the Workload Committee:

• Faculty need more time to do their work. Suggestion that compensation for excessive work can be made through release time and/or banking time.
• Contract expectations are vague which have led to new tasks being included as part of a faculty’s workload. Need to clarify faculty responsibilities.
• Suggestion to increase in FT faculty hires to help redistribute workload, especially tasks coming from state mandates. (District rejected this suggesting citing low enrollment).
• Use Dean’s assessment of non-teaching responsibilities to document issues of faculty who do not participate in division work. Faculty evaluations are related to teaching and the Dean’s assessment is about other duties. However, faculty not participating is not a major issue. We were informed that Kathy Blackwood from the District acknowledged that this is a small problem.

While there are many important issues to resolve through these negotiations, there is limited time until our current contract expires (June 30, 2019). We have been actively working to schedule as many bargaining sessions as possible between now and then. Please stay tuned and reach out to us to learn more and get involved! We’ll need your voices, feedback, and active support to win a contract that can make improvements to these many challenging issues.

February 28th Meeting

The bargaining teams met again on February 28th. During our second bargaining session, the District began by addressing workload. Firstly, they recognized that workload is a big, ongoing issue for faculty. Mitch Bailey indicated that they would like to invite members of the Workload Committee, both faculty and administrators, to the following bargaining session to answer questions around workload and share ideas on how to resolve this issue.

The rest of the bargaining session included some preliminary responses to AFT’s proposals. For the most part where contract language needed to be updated to follow new state laws (i.e. new employee orientation, elimination of agency fees etc.) or clarified to incorporate current practices, the District made general indications that they could agree with our proposals. These include proposed language changes in the following articles:

• 2.4 List of Unit Employees and Job Information
• 2.7 Agency Shop
• 7.2 Definition of Academic Year
• 8.5.1 Pay and Allowances
• 9 Health and Welfare Benefits
• 14.1 Union will be notified of potential layoffs

There were other AFT proposals that the District indicated a willingness to consider but wanted to continue to discuss and/or do more research. These included demands around reassigned time for union business, flex day pay for part time faculty, tuition reimbursement, extended sick leave, maternity/child bonding leave, professional development funding, full time temporary faculty evaluations, and complaints/investigations.

Finally, there were several AFT proposals that the District either expressed concerns about or did not want to consider at this point (although AFT negotiators will continue to raise these proposals in upcoming bargaining sessions.) These included proposals around:

• 1.7 District Communication with Members
• 7.5 Workweek for Full-time Instructional Faculty
• 8.14 Large Class Pay
• 11.16 Public Service Leave
• Article 17 Binding Arbitration
• Appendix F – Faculty Load Credit (FLC) Allocation
• Academic Freedom

Our bargaining team expressed a willingness to engage in discussion and review any counter proposals around any and all of these issues to work towards a resolution. During that negotiations session, the District had not prepared any contract language in response to our initial proposals.


February 7th Meeting:

On February 7th, AFT 1493’s negotiations team–Joaquin Rivera, Monica Malamud, and Paul Bissember–had their first bargaining session with District negotiators–Mitch Bailey (District Office), David Feune (HR) Charlene Frontiera (CSM), Joe Morello (Skyline), Max Hartman (Cañada)–on a new three-year contract (July 2019 to June 2022.)  The meeting consisted in AFT Chief Negotiator, Joaquin Rivera, presenting the union’s initial proposals point by point while engaging in questions and answers from the District around specific proposals.  Our bargaining team emphasized our union’s goals of addressing issues around workload, part time equity, salary and benefits, class size, leaves of absence, professional development, grievance procedures, faculty load credit allocation, evaluations, class assignments, academic freedom, investigations, and disciplinary procedures.

Following our bargaining team’s presentation, the District’s Chief Negotiator, Mitch Bailey, then presented their initial proposal.  While they offered nothing specific, they indicated that they are willing to hear and discuss our proposals and priorities, and importantly, they did not propose any takeaways from the current contract.  Bailey stated, “We value faculty.  We want to have a collegial relationship.  We have limited resources.  We want to follow our student-centered mission.”

January 2019

In preparing to begin faculty contract negotiations, the union conducted a survey of District faculty on areas that could be improved or added to our contract and what should be priorities in negotiations. In total, 187 faculty members completed the survey and the survey responses were used to help develop AFT’s initial contract proposals for the new round of negotiations. See a summary of faculty responses to the Negotiations Survey.

The bargaining team used the survey responses, along with outstanding issues from previous negotiations, and new issues that had arisen since the previous negotiations, to develop AFT’s initial contract proposals for the new round of negotiations.

See our Spring 2019 Opening Day flyer summarizing AFT’s negotiations priorities.