KNOW YOUR RIGHTS DURING CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY MEASURES

AFT successfully bargained with the District around emergency actions relating to the Coronavirus Pandemic and agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that addresses many of the effects faculty have been dealing with.  Below are clarifications and answers to questions related to the MOU.

 

Instructions for requesting 10 hours of added pay for transitioning to online instruction:

 

Forms for COVID-19 Leaves of Absence:

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides new leave programs to assist employees through this time.
Download this FFCRA Leaves Information and the necessary forms:

  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave Form – If you cannot work (or work remotely) due to a COVID19 related reason, please complete this form.
  • Extended Family & Medical Leave Form – If you cannot work (or work remotely) because you are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to a COVID-19 related reason, please complete this form. 

 

Questions and Answers

NOTE: For any situations where a faculty member runs into an obstacle in claiming new benefits, they should contact either:
1) AFT Executive Secretary Paul Bissember (bissember@aft1493.org) or 2) their AFT Chapter Chair or Representative

 

Overload Compensation & Reimbursements

Q: What is the reimbursement process. Will there be a form to fill out?

A: See instructions above.

 

Q: For the agreed upon 10 hours of additional pay for each faculty member, can any hours spent on conversion to teaching online be applied? Does it need to be formal training?

A: It does not need to be formal training, just time spent on any work needed to prepare to teach online or to adjust materials if a faculty member was already doing online teaching. The union encourages all faculty to claim this benefit.

 

Q: Have faculty already received pay for the cancelled classes on March 12-16?

A:  Both full time and part time faculty should have received this pay. The District is still figuring out the process for the extra pay for these three days for adjunct faculty.

 

Q: Do faculty contact Deans for compensation for time spent moving online?

A: Yes, faculty should contact their Deans. See instructions above.

 

Q: How long should faculty wait before applying for reimbursements/additional 10 hours pay?

A: Faculty should not wait. The Union encourages faculty to put in their requests now by contacting their Deans. See instructions above. If they run into barriers, faculty should contact their AFT Chapter Chair or Rep or Paul Bissember (bissember@aft1493.org

 

Leaves

Q: What happens to classes that faculty can’t teach if they take one of these leaves?

A: It’s the District’s responsibility to find a sub, not the employee’s. (The District may be unprepared since it’s a brand new process). If a faculty member has problems, contact the union for help.

 

Q: Does parental leave for schooling apply to high school aged kids?

A: Yes, as long as they are under 18. The rules are based on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

 

Q: Should faculty take a leave if they are having mental health and other challenges?

A: Yes, we encourage this! It’s an emergency relief benefit the Union has negotiated for faculty and part of the reason the Union is reaching out to faculty. It’s faculty’s RIGHT to take the leave and this is a legal agreement.  Faculty are still able to use sick leave to take time off for leaves that fall outside of the FFCRA eligibility.

 

Q: Do faculty need to take a full leave or can they take a partial leave or reduction in classes/shifts?

A: Faculty should tell HR what they feel they need to do given their situation. It need not be all or nothing. Faculty have an option to decrease their load; for example, teach one less class.

 

Q: Do part-timers have the same eligibility as full-timers?

A:. Yes. All provisions in the MOU apply to both part and full time faculty.

 

Q: Who do we contact for leave requests?

A: HR at the District:  David Fuene. Faculty may choose to cc their supervisor/Dean when making the request. However, faculty do NOT request leave through their supervisor or Dean.

 

Q: Will faculty lose their standing for Fall if they take a leave?

A: No. Deans cannot retaliate or change faculty standing/seniority based on leaves of absence. The MOU is a legal document, so retaliation is illegal.

 

Q: Can faculty take sick leave if they don’t have COVID?

A: Yes, they can take sick leave FOR ANY REASON. 

 

 

Equipment

Q: Will any equipment purchased for working from home be considered “district owned?”

A: Yes. 

 

Contract/MOU

Q: Are Deans aware of the new MOU, that faculty will be requesting compensation pay or reimbursement?

A: The information may not have reached them yet.  AFT has encouraged the District to streamline communications with administrators.

 

Q: When does the MOU end?

A: The MOU goes through May 30. However, it could be extended or modified through negotiations after this date. 

 

Workload

Q: If a faculty member is being asked to continue serving on a committee, what should they do?

A: They should notify the Union.  Continuing to work on a committee is not required during this period.

 

Q: If faculty’s required duties (from Appendix) have expanded,what should they do?

A: Keep a record of time spent. Only do essential work as laid out in the contract. Faculty can refuse all other work including Division meetings, etc.  It’s faculty’s right to ask for a reduced load – this would be through HR, not the Dean. 

 

Scope of negotiations

Q: Are summer and fall still up in the air in terms of negotiations around COVID-19?

A: Yes. However, AFT has sent dates to the District for continuing negotiations around our regular, ongoing contract negotiations.