March 20, 2013

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at Skyline College

EC members present: Eric Brenner, Chip Chandler, Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Monica Malamud, Sarah Powers, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Masao Suzuki, Rebecca Webb.

Other AFT 1493 members present: George Wright

Meeting began at 2:42

Facilitator: Katharine Harer

1. Welcome and introductions

2. Statements from AFT (non EC) members on Non-Agenda Items

3. Minutes of March 13, 2013 AFT meeting
Approved with some modificaions; two abstentions.

4. Contract issues, Program Planning, Participatory Governance
Masao Suzuki
There are several tasks that faculty are expected to do, which are largely bureaucratic, and take faculty away from teaching:
– TMC (Transfer Model Curriculum) involves updating courses in a discipline, in order to get CID for those courses, even if that discipline is not proposing to follow TMC.
– SLOs: We are expected to use TracDac. This requires faculty to get trained in TracDac (Part I of the TracDac is 77 pages long). Masao believes that the push to use SLOs and their assessments originated as a way to measure students’ learning in a more “absolute” manner, as compared to the “relative” method of grading on a curve.
– Program Review/Program Plan: Although Program Review can be a very useful process of reflection and planning, if we must do a Program Plan every year then there is no time for reflection or even planning—just cranking out a report. Also, the annual process is not very different from the Comprehensive Program Review that we perform every six years, which means that faculty must invest huge amounts of time every year now doing something that we used to do only once in six years in the past.
– CurricUNET: another tool that faculty are expected to use, both for currilum as well as for Program Review/Program Planning.
Masao said that these issues are related to our contract, because they greatly affect workload.

“Shared” Governance is now being called “Participatory” Governance.

There is a rumor that faculty may be docked pay for not attending division meetings.

Teeka read an email that George Buckingham, History Professor at Skyline, sent to Nina, in which he expressed the following concerns:
“(A) SLO’s are bogging professors down and taking their time away from ‘teaching’; isn’t that why we’re here? This is a major Union issue because I believe are work load now goes way byond contract. Serving on a committee AND doing the extra work of 2-3 committees in SLOS work is beyond what we’re being paid for.
(B) Additional work is being handed out by administrators like we’re their private secretaries. [In] our division meeting, the one that you [Nina] spoke in, we were asked to complete on a department level a yearly program review document that usually takes one year. WE WERE GIVEN FIVE WEEKS TO COMPLETE THE DOCUMENT. I haven’t been able to do the work and now am concerned that this could potentially impact any performance evaluation
(C) Free speech is being denied on campus. In the division meeting you [Nina] attended you witnessed the explusion of a professor for divulging his views. Later in that meeting, we were told that we would complete the document described in item B above, and there would be no discussion about it. If we can[not] use a division meeting for ‘shared governance’, where can we exercise it?
I’m of the opinion that we need the Union more now than ever, and I’ve been here since 1981.”

Teeka reported that at CSM, they are doing Program Plan Review on an annual basis. Monica said that the same has been happening at Cañada for a few years now.

George Wright said that he is in agreement with Masao’s and George Buckingham’ s views. At a recent division meeting, the dean tried to kick George W. out of the meeting. He refused to leave. Eighteen days after this incident, he received an email from the dean requesting a meeting to discuss his behavior.

George stated that there is an attack on public education. It started with K-12, and now it’s making its way to higher education. The goal is to corporatize education and to get rid of teachers and replace them with computers. George brought a proposed resolution with the following ‘resolve’:
“This local calls for all CFT Locals and affiliated bodies, including the San Mateo Labor Council and California AFL-CIO and national AFL-CIO, organized an emergency state-wide conference to: 1) discuss the roots, implementation, and implication of the privatization agenda; 2) dissect the role of the Accreditating Commission for Community Colleges and Junior Colleges in the privatization process; 3) construct strategies to oppose (and reverse) the further privatization and destruction of public higher education; and, 4) defend the democratic rights of faculty and other educational workers who voice opposition to these policies.”

Monica mentioned that instead of starting our own movement, we can join other organizations which are already working on these issues. For example, AFT Higher Ed is already discussing privatization and corporization of public education, and at the CFT Convention last weekend there were suggestions regarding accreditation and the role of ACCJC.

⇒ George’s proposed resolution will be re-worked and brought back to a future AFT meeting.

We also discussed the issue of evaluations of administrators. Board policy language is not forceful enough, in that it only says that administrators’ evaluations may include evaluations by those supervised. At CSM, faculty participate in the evaluation of their deans, at Skyline only selected faculty are invited to participate, and at Cañada faculty do not participate in the process at all.
⇒ The EC will communicate with Harry Joel about this disparity among the campuses, and request that all faculty be allowed to participate in the evaluation of administrators.

5. Faculty Workload Survey
Teeka James
We held a drawing for prizes for workload survey participants. Winners are: Bridget Fischer, Danielle Behonick, Wendy Whyte
and Nancy Wolford. They each will get a $50 credit card.

Teeka shared some of the survey results; she showed tallied results for faculty as a whole, and broken down by groups (for example, part-time/full-time, or classroom faculty/counselors/others).

⇒ Some suggestions for next actions:
– Download survey and send to EC
– Try to group open-ended comments into topics
– Write an Advocate article that has representative quotes

⇒ Teeka, Joaquin and Monica will work on analyzing the survey results.

6. Performance Evaluation Task Force update
The EC discussed the challenges that the PETF is facing as it tries to make progress in the revision of faculty evaluation procedures. Teeka will communicate with Diana Bennett, District Academic Senate President, to share the concerns expressed at this meeting.

7. Statements form from EC members on Non-Agenda Items
a) Teeka reported on CFT Convention last weekend. Our local was recognized on its 50th anniversary. We also won four communications awards: 3rd place for website, 2nd place on use of graphic, 3rd place for electronic version of the Advocate, 3rd place for best single effort.
b) Joaquin is working on Calendar Survey.
c) Joaquin and Teeka finalized negotiations on Policies with the District.

Meeting adjourned 5:00 p.m.