December 2019 Advocate: Minor movement in latest round of bargaining

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

Minor movement in latest round of bargaining

by Paul Bissember & Monica Malamud, AFT Negotiating Team members

The November 26 bargaining session focused on workload, progressive discipline, investigations, part-time pay parity, and we also presented information about the district budget.

Investigations, just cause and progressive discipline

AFT presented a counter proposal on investigations, focusing the need for the union to be notified about any complaint about a faculty member with specific information about the complaint.  Next, we explained the need to have clear language and policy around just cause and progressive discipline that would apply to any discipline a faculty member may face.  The district’s bargaining team expressed general agreement with this sentiment and will review our counter to discuss at the next session.

Workload

On workload, the district has agreed to put in writing that part-time faculty will be compensated for work they are directed to complete by their supervisor.
On the workload issue for full-time faculty, the district has proposed that division deans and faculty assign faculty to committees and other professional responsibilities — thereby ignoring the role of the Academic Senate. The district’s most recent proposal also requires faculty to submit a workload report each year, which the dean will review in order to determine if each faculty member’s work has met (still unspecified) expectations. Faculty who serve on a third tenure-track hiring committee or a third tenure review committee, “above and beyond what is expected of a reasonable workload”, will earn a 0.05 FLC.

The district’s workload proposal fails to define a “reasonable workload” or what “meeting expectations” means, while maintaining punitive measures for faculty who do not submit a newly-proposed report or do not fulfill an unspecified workload. It only offers a meager fraction of FLC for working on a third tenure-track hiring committee or a third tenure review committee within the same year, while providing no mechanism to address any other workload issues.

Compensation

Our discussion then focused on compensation by reviewing an analysis of the district budget.  Through our presentation, we demonstrated that over the past 10 years, the District has been overestimating expenditures, while underestimating revenues.  From 2011 to 2018 the revenues have increased 83% and the expenditures have increased only 58%. Last year alone, the difference between overestimated expenditures and underestimated revenues was around $32 million. In particular, in 2018-2019 the district estimated academic salary expenditures at $72,668,634, but only spent $61,572,227, resulting in over $11 million that was actually set aside for academic compensation but not spent on faculty.

Part-time pay parity

Finally, on part-time faculty pay parity, our analysis indicates that, depending on where an instructional adjunct faculty is on the salary scale, they are paid anywhere from 54.87% to 71.71% of a full-time faculty members’ salary.  We have proposed that part-time faculty be paid at 85% of full-time salaries, considering the same number of steps and columns in the salary schedule. We are still waiting for the district to cost out this proposal. We know that our proposal will have a cost, but we have also shown that the district has ample resources that can be allocated to faculty compensation.