May 14, 2014


San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, at Skyline College


AFT EC Members Present: Eric Brenner, Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Doniella Maher, Monica Malamud, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Janice Sapigao, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Rob Williams, Shaye Zahedi

Meeting began at 2:38 p.m.

AFT (non-EC) members: Tom Broxholm (Automotive Technology, Skyline)

Guest: Zev Kvitky

Facilitator: Dan Kaplan


1. Welcome and Introductions:

Introductions were done, as we have non-EC faculty in attendance, as well as newly-elected EC members.

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

Tom Broxholm:

Tom sent an email to all EC members about an article which appeared on the Advocate, regarding our hiring procedures for FT faculty positions. He would like the union to take up the issue of giving District PT faculty an interview when there is an opening for the FT position, or at least offer some feedback about why they do not qualify for an interview. He cited several neighboring CCC districts which have language giving PT some kind of preference during the screening process.

3. Spring AFT 1493 election results and installation of new officers
– Dan

Dan distributed the results of the AFT 1493 elections. New EC members will be receiving an email from Teeka about their new email account. Dan will get access to the campus-wide or district-wide email distribution lists for those who need it. Congratulations to all newly-elected or re-elected union officers.

4. Minutes of April 23, 2014 AFT meeting
– Monica

Approved unanimously.

Strategic Campaign Initiative’s Organizing (SCIO) Grant application – Katharine

Our local is applying for a CFT grant to support organizing efforts. The grant will fund two positions: an overall organizer, Katharine, and a PT organizer, Michelle.

Katharine shared the goals of the campaign, as listed on the application for this organizing grant. The goals are divided into three areas:

  A. Internal goals: increase activism and develop a commited and diverse leadership

Target fee payers (15% of our unit members) and aim for a 10% increase in union membership

Map our campuses with respect to union membership

Identify faculty priorities

Establish division-based reps

B. Political goals: revitalize our existing COPE committee and achieve a 10% increase

Have a COPE committee that meets regularly

Intensify lobbying efforts

C. External goals: forge connections in our community

Work with neighboring districts and CFT

Work with districts that have independent associations (and help them become union chapters)

6. Dean’s Survey update

The survey closed and we received the results from CFT. There were 285 responses. For most Deans there are a good number of responses, so they can be assumed to be representative of faculty opinions. Joaquin is working on how to present the information to the District and what information can be released to faculty, considering that data may be sensitive.

There was discussion about the pros and cons of the union conducting this type of survey as opposed to the District doing it.

Benefits to the Union doing the survey:

Union is in charge of questions. We see the results.

It is useful for union leaders to have this information (such as if there is a recurrent problem with a certain administrator)

There is more accountability and it empowers the union

If the District does the survey:

It may look more “official”

7. Skyline Media Policy

Dan referred to the May 1st issue of the Skyline View, which has a front page article on this topic. Instead of a “policy”, now Skyline has media “guidelines”. AFT had objected to the original “Media Policy” that Skyline issued back in March, but it has now been thoroughly revised, and the new “Media Guidelines” look ok.

8. Administrators teaching in SMCCCD
– Monica

Monica shared her concerns regarding administrators teaching in the District:

  1. student perceptions/behavior/participation in class — students may be intimidated by a president teaching a class
  2. if there is an issue with a student, how does the “chain of command” work? If a college president is teaching a class and a student has a complaint, would a student bring up the complaint to the dean, knowing that if the process escalates it would go (back) to the president next? Or, if a dean is teaching a class and there is a problem that is not resolved at the professor (i.e. dean) level, is the dean (acting now as a dean) the next (and same!) person involved?
  3. What if there is an issue between a Dean who happens to be teaching a class and another faculty member? An issue between two faculty members would be brought up to the Dean as the first step, but in this case the Dean is one of the parties involved.
  4. Faculty evaluations: if a Dean teaches a class in his Division, then the Dean will be evaluated by a faculty member in the Division, while at the same time this Dean will evaluate said faculty member. This is not a true “peer evaluation”: a dean and a professor are not “peers” (one is faculty and the other one is an administrator, even if wearing a professor hat temporarily). What about a VP teaching a class? A VP is the last person signing off on evaluations—would the VP put the final signature on his own evaluation then?

It was suggested that perhaps teaching opportunities for administrators should be limited to those who were formerly tenured faculty in our District. The case of administrators with retreat rights was also brought up. While these limitations may guarantee that only administrators who are qualified to teach can have such assignments, all of the concerns stated above still apply.

Next steps:

Our local will send a request for information to the CCC list to see if administrators teach at other districts and how this is handled.

Monica will write up her concerns and send them to Joaquin.

The union may need to negotiate an MOU about administrators who want to teach in the District.

9. DART report


10. Draft USLAW-related resolutions for AFT Convention

USLAW would like AFT locals to pass two resolutions regarding U.S. military actions and spending. Some EC members expressed concerns about the resolutions: USLAW is seeking resolutions that require action and follow-through, but our local, while supportive of the spirit of the resolutions, may be limited in its capacity to spend time on these issues.

Dan will re-work resolutions and request an e-vote.

11. Review and (re)appoint AFT Reps to Committees
– Teeka

The following AFT reps were reappointed by unanimous votes:

Eric as AFT Editor of the Advocate and webmaster

Joaquin, Chief Negotiator, and negotiation team members Vicki, Sandi and Monica

Salumeh, Lisa Palmer and Kurt Devlin to Professional Development Committee at Cañada

Teresa Martin, Lyle Gomes, Daniel Keller to Professional Development Committee at CSM

12. AFT 1493 T-shirt/sweatshirt/AFT 1493 logo update
– Michelle Kern

Dan talked to Howard at Alliance Graphics about pricing. Sample prices:

T-shirts: $9

Crew neck shirt: $22

Hoodie: $39 (with zipper), $32 (no zipper)

Tote bag: $9

The EC voted on the T-shirt color: red (this is the color that EC members will wear on opening day; additional colors/styles may be purchased later). “Advocating for faculty since 1963” will be printed on the back.

The EC agreed on the following plan: order enough T-shirts for EC members to wear on Opening Day, plus some more (total = 100). Give T-shirts for free to faculty who request them on Opening Day. Everyone who wants a T-shirt needs to fill out a slip (this helps with mapping too).

Tote bags with union materials may be given to new faculty.

Cost of T-shirts/tote bags could be funded by SCIO grant.

13. New Sports Facility at Cañada
– Elizabeth

In response to Elizabeth’s bringing this up at the April meeting of the Humanities and Social Sciences Division, the college president, VPI and a recently hired kinesiology FT faculty attended the May meeting of the Division. President Buckley and VPI Anderson said that this facility is in very preliminary stages of planning, that there is no source of funding for this project, and that there are three faculty members in the committee.

14. Performance Evaluation Task Force

PETF will be meeting tomorrow. They’re working on Counselor evaluations; counselors will give their feedback to the PETF on May 23rd. Nurse evaluations are nearing completion.

How to present everything on Opening Day:

All faculty should hear the presentation together at Opening Day. Some of the ideas that had more support:

Message from PETF: “these are the substantive changes and this is why we think they’re an improvement”

Send all documentation to faculty in advance and tell them to come to Opening Day prepared with questions

Have a “big picture” presentation at Opening Day and then hold Q&A sessions at each campus on the first week of classes

At the end of morning session of Opening Day, classified go out to lunch and faculty stay for PETF presentation and have lunch in a second shift

Teeka has been discussing with Ron Galatolo how to present the work of the PETF to the faculty, and she will share the ideas from this AFT meeting with him, stressing the importance of devoting part of Opening Day to this topic.

15. Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda Items

Cañada AS President sent an email to Teeka and others asking about faculty duties and Appendix D of the contract, and saying that the Planning and Budget Committee may start delineating guidelines for reassigned time (for coordination for example). It was suggested that Teeka write to Doug asking for some context on this.

Dan Kaplan was presented with a card from the EC, celebrating his 20 years as Executive Secretary of AFT Local 1493.


Meeting adjourned 5:21 p.m.