April 14, 2010

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

April 14, 2010 at Cañada College


EC Members Present
: Ron Brown, Alma Cervantes, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Dave Danielson, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Lezlee Ware

Other Members Present: Deb Garfinkle, Lisa Melnick, Jesus Moya

Meeting began at 2:30

Facilitator: Dave Danielson

1. Welcome and Introductions

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

None

 

3. Minutes of March 17, 2010 AFT Meeting

Approved unanimously.

 

4. The Overload Issue

An AFT 1493 member has requested that the union reconsider our current policy on overloads and unit banking, arguing that it is unethical for FT faculty to request and teach overloads at the expense of PT faculty teaching assignments.

Unit banking and faculty overloads have negatively impacted some PT faculty through the loss of classes, but nobody has specific numbers at this point. When Yaping spoke with John Kirk about this issue, he made a distinction between overloads and unit banking. However, while unit banking does not actually take courses away from PT faculty, it does make scheduling and planning more difficult for PT’s since the FT faculty member’s entire course load must be covered in a single semester.

Some information about the overload situation at CSM (incomplete and anecdotal):

• Yaping surveyed her department (Speech) and found that very few FT faculty have been teaching overloads.

• In English, only two FT faculty taught overloads last semester. (The loss of a significant amount of reassigned time for English faculty, combined with the fact that four FT faculty were on sabbatical or banked unit leaves last semester and are now back, have resulted in an unusually dramatic reduction in the need for PT faculty.)

• In Social Science a very small number of FT faculty (perhaps only two or three) regularly teach large overloads.

It is important to note that overloads and unit banking are negotiated items in our contract and are therefore not something AFT can simply change on its own. Some FT faculty attending today’s meeting feel conflicted about the issue; they do not want to give up a contractual benefit, yet they understand the cost to PT faculty. Most, or all, members agreed that we should not consider sacrificing these contractual rights; rather, FT faculty decisions about teaching overloads or banking units should be individual and voluntary. In response to comments about making a distinction between reasonable and unreasonable overloads in a future Advocate article, a PT member expressed frustration about what she views as a lack of honesty and empathy among the FT faculty; overloads are extra for FT faculty and come at the expense of PT faculty opportunities to teach classes.

Two PT members also expressed their frustration, and that of other PT faculty, regarding a lack of clarity about how Deans determine which PT’s get classes and how many they get. Some PT faculty do not understand that decisions about class assignments must be based strictly on seniority, nor do they fully understand how the PT seniority list works. Deans are responsible for communicating with PT faculty about their placement on the PT seniority list and for communicating early about class assignments or the lack thereof.

One FT EC member argued that the union and the colleges have done a poor job of publicizing the way in which budget cuts have impacted PT faculty. Dan has requested this data from CSM’s President and will continue to pursue it.

We agreed that we need district-wide data on how many FT faculty teach overloads and bank units in order to know how many PT faculty are affected.

 

5. Discussion of Dave Mandelkern’s Campaign for San Mateo County Tax Collector/Treasurer

The Executive Committee voted to endorse Dave for San Mateo County Tax Collector/Treasurer.

Yes – 12
No – 1
Abstain – 2

 

6. Discussion of Stipend for P/T Faculty Organizer: Review of Past History

In the past, AFT 1493 has had two P/T faculty organizers, neither of whom was paid a stipend. However, AFT covered all expenses related to organizing efforts and activities. Dan proposed paying one P/T faculty a stipend for an appointed position similar to what we do for grievance officers and the Advocate editor position. He also proposed that this same person serve as our CFT P/T representative. Dan agreed to draft an initial job description, which we plan to discuss at our May meeting. Once we agree on a job description and on issues of compensation, we can send out an eNews announcing the position. Monica pointed out that we need to carefully discuss the budget implications of any compensation before making any decisions.

 

7. March for California’s Future: Culminating Rally: April 21 in Sacramento

CFT and other labor leaders are worried that turnout will be low, and there has not been much response from AFT 1493 members about joining in the march. Karen announced that CFT agreed to pay 50% of individuals’ train fare to Sacramento, and urged us to support the walkers.

AFT 1493 voted unanimously to endorse the march.

 

8. Online Privacy/Security: Legal Analysis

Faculty can go to the District portal to change their passwords if they are worried about security.

Joaquin will ask the District, at Friday’s (4/16/10) negotiations session, to agree to an “opt out” (of having W-2 information posted) option.

 

9. Advocate Policy

Approved unanimously.

 

10. Union Handbook

Dan asked again for EC members to give him feedback about the draft he sent out electronically the day before our last meeting (3/17/10). He especially wants feedback from people about the positions they currently hold or have held in the past.

 

11. AFT Employee Philosophy and Policy

Tabled.

 

12. EC Election Discussion

Nomination forms go out tomorrow (4/15/10) and must be received in the AFT office by May 7. Nominations will be discussed and additional ones accepted at the May 12 AFT meeting. Paper ballots will go out to all AFT members after the May meeting and must be submitted by May 31.

We discussed the possibility of asking nominees to write brief position statements, especially those running for contested positions.

In addition, Monica would like each grievance officer to write a report of the work they have done: number of cases, outcomes, etc.

 

13. Grievances

There are currently no formal grievances, but there have been an unusual number of complaints, mostly from PT faculty. Chip is concerned that, during these particularly stressful times, Deans aren’t communicating clearly and sufficiently with PT faculty about their individual situations and about how seniority works. We raised the issue of what AFT can do to encourage Deans to communicate more clearly with PT faculty, but due to the joint AFT-Senate meeting scheduled to begin at 4:15, we did not have time for a full discussion.

 

14. Negotiations Report

The District still has not agreed to negotiate the Rules and Regulations items, arguing that they are merely revisions. The District has asked for our proposals on these; Joaquin is working with AFT’s attorney on our proposals and hopes to have them by Friday.

 

15. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

None

 

16. Joint Union/Senate Meeting on Areas of Shared Responsibility

See May 2010 Advocate article (page 3) for a summary of the meeting.

 

Meeting adjourned: 4:20