February 2020 Advocate: Feb. 5 Bargaining Report
Feb. 5 Bargaining Report
By Paul Bissember, AFT 1493 Executive Secretary and Negotiations Team Member
At the February 5th bargaining session, the District presented counter proposals on investigations and binding arbitration. Additionally, we had a discussion on Progressive Discipline. AFT presented counter proposals on the Distance Ed MOU and the FLC lab allocation.
District Counter Proposal to Complaints Against Members and Investigations
We had a good discussion on the topic of investigations, and we are getting closer to an agreement here. The District is conceding to AFT language on the mutual respect for a fair investigative process. They still want to limit the information provided to the AFT to ‘general’ instead of ‘specific’ complaints. The AFT argued that according to a recent Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) ruling, the district should provide specific relevant information. The District disagrees with this PERB interpretation, but will review and get back to the AFT. AFT also requests that a new notice about the complaints be issued if the District has new information prior to the investigatory interview. AFT will return to the table with a counter proposal.
AFT Counter Proposal on Faculty Load Credit (FLC) Lab Allocation
In response to the District’s counter proposal on FLC Lab Allocation, which would not change anything and refer the issue to be studied by a committee, AFT proposed an increase in the FLC for Sciences, Art, Music to 0.9 (the initial proposal was 1.0). The AFT proposal also included an increase for the Tier 1 and Tier 2 Sports of 0.8FTE (12FLC) and 0.75FTE (9FLC) respectively. In addition, AFT would agree to the district’s proposal to appoint a committee to study further increases to these allocations as well as other lab classes.
The District said that it did not have enough information to change any FLC allocations for labs right now and that AFT’s request to increase lab FLCs may not be fair to faculty. AFT reminded the District that AFT’s initial proposal came from discipline faculty, and that faculty representatives took the time to come to negotiations to present on this issue. The District responded that they require more time to study this issue. AFT said that we could dedicate more bargaining sessions to this issue, and spend more time looking at the specifics. The District said they could be open to this, but rejected the AFT proposal.
District Counter Proposal on Binding Arbitration
The previous AFT proposal for an MOU on Binding Arbitration was to include Part-Time faculty. The District agreed to include Part-Time faculty, but with two stipulations: (a) the MOU would apply only to Part-Time faculty who have received two (2) consecutive satisfactory evaluations and have been given an assignment of at least nine (9) FLCs per semester for eight (8) consecutive, and (b) the following topics would be excluded and not eligible for binding arbitration: assignment and retention. AFT argued this is a very high threshold to meet and would exclude the vast majority of Part-Time faculty and issues. AFT will prepare a counter proposal.
AFT Counter to MOU on Distance Education
At the last bargaining session, the district proposed a ‘technical’ change to the MOU eliminating the $1,500 stipend for faculty participating in Distance Ed trainings, and instead paying faculty at the special rate. The problem is that this would result in a decreased amount for many faculty participating in these trainings. AFT argued that if this is simply a ‘technical’ change, we should ensure their proposal doesn’t decrease the current agreed upon amount of $1,500. Therefore, the AFT proposed $60 per hour or the special rate, whichever is higher – this way faculty would receive at least $1,500 for Distance Ed trainings. The District will look into this and get back to the AFT.
Next Bargaining Session: Feb. 19th
We will be meeting for our next bargaining sessions on Feb. 19th, 10am – 12pm and Feb. 25, 1-3pm. The AFT asked the District to respond to our Part-Time Pay Parity proposal and about the Counselor’s workload grievance. The District agreed and will prepare a response for Monday.