February 2020 Advocate: Minimal progress on workload and compensation?
Why so little progress on workload and compensation? A review
AFT 1493 has been negotiating with the District for over a year now and on the issues of most concern to most faculty–workload and compensation—we’ve made virtually no progress. Let’s review our workload and compensation proposals and how the District has responded to them.
Failure to address excessive non-teaching workload
The District’s latest proposal on workload failed at meeting the most basic recommendations outlined in the Workload Committee’s Report by not establishing a reasonable workload and not setting a workload limit. For full-time faculty, the District proposed that division deans and full-time faculty should assign faculty to committees and other professional responsibilities, thereby bypassing the role of the Academic Senate. They also proposed another requirement: faculty must submit an annual workload report for review by their dean to determine if their work has met (still unspecified) expectations. In addition, the District’s team questioned the “arbitrary assignment” of values for the AFT’s proposed point system, without offering any counterproposal to determine values for the duties that faculty take on outside of their classroom work. This again fails to address the Workload Committee Report that states: “There was a recognition by the committee that there is a need to define a reasonable workload…In order to work toward establishing a reasonable workload, there should be a value placed on specific duties and responsibilities, and a maximum expected value for full-time faculty to engage in each semester.”
[Read the history of AFT’s attempts to get the District to reduce excessive non-teaching workload going back to 2013.]
AFT’s proposals for equitable load for lab classes rejected
Based on feedback from Music, Art, Physical Education and Science faculty and the need to establish parity around load calculation, AFT proposed increasing the FLC for these labs up to 1.0 over the life of the contract. On October 30, 2019, the District proposed to set aside AFT’s proposal in order to study the issue for one year. AFT pointed out that the District had made the same offer regarding Workload, and no positive progress had resulted. At the February 5 session, the District rejected AFT’s counterproposal to increase in the FLC for Sciences, Art, and 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 did said they could be open to more bargaining sessions on this issue, and spending more time looking at the specifics.
District has not agreed on a resolution to counselors’ workload violation
The contract for counseling faculty suggests that counselors are supposed to see about 24 students a week, but when a new scheduling system (introduced around 2001) set up 30 minute appointments, it allowed counselors to see up to 50 students/wk. When counselors raised this contract violation with the District in March 2019, HR indicated that it would make sense to recalculate the load and rewrite contract language to reflect the actual work that counselors do. Since that time, however, the District has not followed through with any resolution. AFT filed a grievance over the issue on December 5 and is attempting to negotiate a settlement in contract bargaining, but no agreement has yet been reached.
Compensation: Salary, benefits & part-time parity
AFT 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 demonstrated that over the past 10 years, the District has overestimated expenditures while underestimating revenues. (For example, last year $11 million set aside for academic compensation was not spent on faculty). The District has ample resources to allocate to faculty compensation. We are still waiting for the District to cost out AFT’s proposal. On January 16, District negotiators stated that they still want to maintain the current Total Compensation Formula with 80%, while the AFT countered 100%. AFT explained that the current formula would continue the downward trend with regards to the 50% law, and that we need to see if the District agrees to Part-Time Pay Parity before our union can agree to the Total Compensation Formula proposal.