May 12, 2010

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

May 12, 2010 at Skyline College

EC Members Present: Eric Brenner, Alma Cervantes, Chip Chandler, Dave Danielson, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware

Other Members Present: Deb Garfinkle, Masao Suzuki, Rebecca Webb

Meeting began at 2:30

Facilitator: Teeka James

Welcome and Introductions

Statements from AFT (non-EC) Members on Non-Agenda Items


Minutes of April 14, 2010 AFT Meeting

Approved unanimously with one correction.

Negotiations Report

A. Post-retirement contracts: The current language is contradictory (“[post-retirement contracts] shall be negotiated each year” and “shall be extended for three years”). Currently, post-retirement contracts are negotiated between the faculty member and his/her Dean, for a period of 1 – 3 years, with 3 years being the most common. Going forward, the District wants post-retirement contracts to be negotiated yearly for up to three years. Post-retirement contracts are not currently being granted, though John Kirk believes that the District cannot unilaterally make such a decision. AFT wants faculty to have the option to renegotiate after the first or second year, and wants to get rid of contradictory language.

Though post-retirement contracts are legally binding documents, at least one EC member has heard that not all existing contracts are being honored. We need to know exactly what is being honored.

If a F/T faculty member doesn’t teach an overload for more than three semesters, then he/she loses his/her place on the part-time seniority list.

B. FSA’s: The District is pushing for a “recency” requirement. It wants to be able to deny a faculty member’s right to teach in a discipline he/she has never taught in – or hasn’t taught in recently – despite having an FSA in that discipline. One possible compromise could be to require a comprehensive evaluation during, or after, the first year of teaching in the new discipline, but there are doubts about whether this evaluation could have any real influence, as well as concerns about who would determine which faculty need such an evaluation.

C. Faculty evaluations: The Scantron reading machine (for student surveys) is dying. AFT is adamant that no changes be made to the forms until the Trust Committee is reconstituted. The District doesn’t want to fix or replace the machines.

D. Sick leave: Partial sick days have not been calculated consistently throughout the District; some faculty have had to take a full sick day when they have missed only an hour or two while others have not. The District wants any absence to be counted as a full day, while AFT would like all absences to be calculated to the true fraction of the day missed. The District claims that such accounting would be too complicated. AFT is now willing to accept the option of faculty taking either a half-day or full-day.

E. District Rules and Regulations: The District’s proposal regarding “time, place, and manner” is the big issue. AFT believes it is unconstitutional. Our negotiating team would like to approach other constituencies (the other two unions, students, etc) at all three colleges. Our attorney wants to go to the ACLU if the District proceeds.

The Community College League has been pushing for such regulations throughout the state. The District claims that its proposed language has been in the Student Handbook for 32 years.

EC Election Discussion and Final Nominations

Since some positions are contested, the EC will request that candidates submit brief statements of purpose (200 words maximum) to be distributed along with ballots.

Budget Process

AFT 1493’s budget is due to the CFT September 1. We will have information from the District regarding the number of AFT members at that time. Though Dan usually can’t start on the budget in any meaningful way until mid-summer, Monica emphasized that she would like the process to be collaborative and requested that interested EC members volunteer to work on it over the summer. Sandi and Lezlee agreed to work with Monica and Dan. This sub-committee will report on their work at the August 20 retreat.

On a more specific note, Monica is waiting to hear from Dennis Smith, the CFT Secretary-Treasurer, regarding the appropriate size of our reserves.

Discussion of P/T Faculty Organizer Job Description

In the past, the P/T faculty organizer was paid a stipend, using the Special rate at step 10 on the salary schedule, equal to the teaching of one three-unit course per semester.

After some discussion, we realized there are still many unanswered questions about the official role of the P/T organizer:

  • Would the P/T organizer serve as support staff to AFT 1493 as Dan does?
  • Would the P/T organizer be an additional representative on the EC?
  • Would the P/T organizer “coordinate” the other P/T EC reps?
  • Would the P/T organizer have a vote on the EC?
  • Would the P/T organizer be expected to report to the EC at each meeting?
  • Given that there is no official P/T committee (even though one was recognized by the EC in Fall 2009), does it make sense to have a P/T Faculty Organizer?

Union Handbook

The draft of the Union Handbook will be discussed in detail at the August 20 retreat.

Chip suggested that tasks/responsibilities that are common to everybody be listed together, and that only those tasks/responsibilities unique to particular positions be listed separately for those positions.

Lezlee will send out an invitation for people to work on the handbook over the summer.

AFT Employee’s Philosophy and Policy


Harriet Tucker and Mark Mantell Contracts

Harriet and Mark have been working without a contract since January and have agreed to roll over last year’s contract, with no pay increase.

The EC voted on whether to roll over their current contracts:

Yes No Abstain

11      0        1

Evaluation of Grievance Work

Because he will be retiring in December, Ron Brown has decided not to continue his work as a grievance officer in the fall. We must, therefore, either appoint somebody today to replace him, or redistribute the reassigned units to the other two grievance officers. Though some members believe it is a good idea to have a grievance officer on each campus, for now Nina Floro and Chip Chandler will handle all of the grievance work and share the reassigned time.

The EC discussed the results of the survey Monica distributed regarding our current handling of grievances and the work of the three grievance officers. One important issue is that of communication between the grievance officers and the rest of the EC. Some members feel they are not given enough information about individual grievances before being asked to offer opinions or vote officially. Chip generally shares specifics only when a grievance has reached a higher level, when it is unusual in some way, or when he believes the grievant has been in contact with multiple grievance officers or other EC members. Chip also said that he views the Chapter Chairs as essentially “grievance assistants,” a kind of first-line contact for the faculty member. Chapter chairs are often able to help resolve issues before they become formal grievances.

However, not all Chapter Chairs (or other EC members who are approached by faculty when they have concerns or questions) feel qualified to answer faculty questions. Because it may not be possible to have a grievance officer on each campus, we briefly discussed the possibility of having a “grievance trained” EC member on each campus.

Some members stated that this discussion and the survey were useful, especially since we have had a new grievance team in place for the past two years.


There are no formal grievances at this time.

Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items


Additional Item: AFT 1493 Contribution to “Yes on G” Campaign

Monica was approached by Ken Burt, from the CFT, with a request that AFT 1493 make a financial contribution to the “Yes on G” campaign, to be used for customized mailers. The EC voted to support the mailers, and to ask the “Yes On G” campaign to make the necessary financial contribution:

Yes No Abstain

10     1         1


*Items to be discussed at the August 20 retreat:

  • The number of votes for people sharing elected positions.
  • The issue of whether or not to increase the number of EC meetings.
  • The Union Handbook.
  • The distribution of the reassigned time and workload for grievance officers.
  • Role/job description of the P/T Faculty Organizer.


Meeting adjourned:             4:30