December 2022 Advocate: AFT & CSEA leaders speak out

Contract Negotiations

AFT and CSEA leaders call on Trustees to push District bargaining team to present reasonable salary and benefits proposals

At the December 14th SMCCCD Board of Trustees meeting, AFT 1493 President Monica Malamud and AFT 1493 Co-Vice President and Chief Negotiator Joaquin Rivera spoke, once again, about their frustrations with the lack of movement from the District bargaining team and called on the Trustees to urge district negotiators “ensure that the district’s negotiating team and district staff are prepared for negotiations, and treat our team respectfully.” Watch their presentations below:

Click here to or read the text of Monica and Joaquin’s presentations.


Text of Monica and Joaquin’s presentations

Good evening.  My name is Monica Malamud.  I’m the president of AFT local 1493 and a member of our negotiation team.

As our negotiations don’t show any movement on non-economic proposals, since they’re basically in the parking lot, our faculty are growing increasingly impatient with the silence from the District’s negotiating team regarding economic matters, both salary and benefits.

We were hoping to get a compensation proposal from the District at our last negotiation session on November 21, but instead, what we got was simply a presentation by Richard Storti in which he stated that we’re in a volatile economic situation due to decreasing home sales, which could impact the District’s revenue from property taxes, and potential rising unemployment, which could impact the small portion of revenue the District receives from sale and use tax.  Still, a smaller number of home sales does not directly imply that the district’s revenue from property taxes will decrease.  In fact, San Mateo County’s property tax assessment is already around 4% above last year’s assessment, even though we’re not even halfway into the fiscal year, indicating that we can expect a substantial increase in property tax revenue by the end of the year.  Additionally, Storti himself said several times that “The District is in a very strong financial position.”

Considering the District’s strong financial position and the very high inflation that we have been experiencing, and the fact that San Mateo county is a very expensive place to live in, we are looking forward to a fair compensation proposal from our District at our negotiation session tomorrow.

Also regarding salaries, we expect the District to make a significant contribution towards closing the pay parity gap for part-time faculty.  As a reminder of the District’s commitment, I will read article 8.15.D from our contract:

“The District acknowledges that parity is not an abstract concept, but a clear goal that it is contractually obligated to achieve. To that end, the District further acknowledges that parity cannot be achieved without the district allocating funds to adjunct compensation over and above faculty raises. The district therefore commits to dedicating additional funding for instructional adjunct salary increases above and beyond salary increases for all faculty until parity is achieved.”

Good evening, I am Joaquin Rivera, AFT Local 1493 Co-Vice president and Chief Negotiator

With regards to health benefits, we’re waiting for the District’s response to our proposal on medical caps for full-time faculty, as well on a response to our proposal for part-time healthcare benefits, which we presented almost three months ago.  I would like to remind you that the California budget includes over $200Mill dedicated to part-time healthcare benefits, and districts which offer its part-timers quality, affordable plans are eligible to be reimbursed for up to 100% for the cost of these plans.

At the last negotiation session 3 weeks ago, the district stated that the cost of offering healthcare to part-timers was very high.  The District’s Chief Negotiator said that the cost was $20 Mill.  We asked the negotiating team how they had arrived at this cost estimate, and since they could not provide the answer themselves, Bernata Slater and Peter Fitzsimmons were invited to provide the rationale for this estimate.  I’m not going to go into all the details because it would take too long, so let me give you just one example:  the district’s estimate assumed that part-time health care was offered to 1296 part-time faculty. Is that a reasonable estimate?  Not at all.  When did our district have 1296 part-timers?  Never. The district knows how many part-timers it currently employs. How many?  Currently 505.  So the number of part-timers that the District used to estimate their health care costs is over 2.5 times the current number of part-timers.  It’s also over 5 times the number of part-timers who would have been eligible to choose District-provided health plans based on having a load of at least 40% of FTE in SMCCCD this fall.  Did the District Chief Negotiator and district staff think that we would not catch on their outrageous assumptions?  Does this district think that faculty are dumb?  How can we, or you, believe any of the numbers the District presents after this fiasco?

Things have not improved since the last time I was here in front of you.

I’m imploring the Board to do everything in your power to ensure that the district’s negotiating team and district staff are prepared for negotiations, and treat our team respectfully.  Thank you.