Dear AFT 1493 members,
We want to acknowledge the uncertainty and fears we’re all experiencing as we navigate the enormous changes brought about by the Coronavirus. As we wash our hands and wipe down our phones, take care of our families and try to figure out how to live our lives under these unprecedented conditions, we’re receiving a flood of messages from the Chancellor, our college presidents, deans, supervisors and directors — many with the theme of the importance of maintaining “instructional continuity.”
Your union has questions and concerns about what should be considered reasonable expectations of faculty at this time. Many of you have communicated your concerns to your union reps, and you’ve let us know which issues are most important to you. Your union leadership has contacted Chancellor Claire who has agreed to negotiate around the effects of the coronavirus measures on a number of areas of faculty working conditions.
This is an ongoing process, but we want to tell you what we know so far. Here are some of the issues and recommendations our union leadership will discuss with Chancellor Claire:
Workload beyond preparing and teaching classes and supporting our students should not be considered “required” work during this emergency.
Counselors, librarians, tutors, Middle College faculty and child care professionals should not be required to conduct face-to-face work with colleagues and students. All faculty must be protected equally.
The District Academic Senate and AFT 1493 are recommending postponement of some faculty evaluations:
- If the classroom observation component of the evaluation has NOT been completed for an individual instructor, the evaluation process, for this instructor will be moved to the fall 2020 evaluation cycle.
- If the classroom observation HAS happened for an individual instructor, the evaluation process for this instructor (including student surveys, portfolios, self-assessments, and Deans’ assessments) will be concluded virtually with adjusted deadlines. *Note: If an evaluee has already begun work on a hard copy portfolio, they should make individual arrangements with their evaluator for the delivery of that portfolio.
Flexibility Around Online Instruction
Faculty must be given the flexibility and freedom to determine the methods of online instruction or distance education best suited to their abilities and their students’ needs without interference or reprimand.
Part-time faculty must be fully compensated for cancelled classes and receive additional compensation for any training and prep time required to move into online instruction. Full-time faculty assigned to teach cancelled classes must also be compensated.
Dual enrollment faculty
Instructors teaching off-site should not be required to teach throughout the closures of schools. These faculty should maintain current pay and benefits.
All faculty should be allowed up to 14 days of paid leave away from work to respond to emergencies or personal needs without questions asked or loss of sick-time or other pay.
Incurred Expenses for Cancelled Conferences
All expenses incurred by faculty for cancelled conferences, trainings and workshops should be reimbursed by the District when not otherwise refunded.
We will share additional information as soon as it becomes available. It’s important that we continue to hear from you — please email your questions or concerns to your union reps.
Your union is working closely with the California Federation of Teachers (CFT.) Members are welcome to join CFT’s Tele-Town Hall on COVID-19 this Wednesday, March 18 at 4:30 and 6:30pm. Sign up to join the discussion on the latest developments related to public education in California. If you are concerned about migrating to online instruction, we recommend that you read “What Does the Transition to ‘Remote Learning’ Mean?” by AFT Guild, Local 1931 President Jim Mahler.
We are committed to ensuring that faculty rights are protected so we can continue serving our students and taking care of ourselves as best we can in this very difficult time.
AFT Executive Committee