AFT and District present cases to Fact Finding panel, will meet one more time on June 11
On May 1 and 2, AFT Local 1493 went to Fact Finding* with administrators in the San Mateo Community College District. The Fact Finding panel consisted of Bruce Heid, on the District side, Barbara Hanfling (the Chief Negotiator for the Faculty Association, AFT Local 6157, in the San Jose/Evergreen Community College District), on the union side, and Wilma Rader, the neutral Fact Finder, and the Chair of the panel.
Representing the District was Kathy Blackwood, formerly the District’s Chief Financial Officer, and Harry Joel, from Human Resources.
In attendance on the union side was Joaquin Rivera, AFT 1493 Chief Negotiator, Monica Malamud, AFT President, and the members of the AFT Negotiating Team Katharine Harer, Vicki Clinton, Sandi Raeber Dorsett, and Dan Kaplan, AFT 1493 Executive Secretary. Patty Cox, CFT Research Specialist, and Zev Kvitky, CFT Field Representative, also attended for the Union.
The panel heard presentations from Joaquin Rivera and Kathy Blackwood on the first day. Both sides then answered questions that came from all members of the Fact Finding panel.
AFT asking for parity
The AFT is asking for our faculty to have the same standards that other employee groups in the District and other Districts in the Bay Area have:
- Salaries that rank within the top 3 or 4 in the Bay Area
- Binding Arbitration as the final step in the grievance procedure
- Academic Freedom Clause in the contract
On the second day, the discussion about the above three issues continued. And then AFT’s Joaquin Rivera made a closing presentation.
It was agreed that both sides will provide some additional documentation of their respective positions to the Fact Finding Chair by May 18. This will include a closing brief by the District administration.
On June 11 the members of the Fact Finding panel will meet one more time in closed session. If a resolution can’t be reached at that time, then the Chair of the Fact Finding panel will prepare a report that will be presented to both sides outlining her recommendations.
AFT salary proposal is based on Bay 10 comparisons
AFT’s salary proposal is based on an analysis of how our faculty’s salaries compare to others in the “Bay 10” community college districts. As is shown below, AFT proposed different salary increases for part-time faculty and for different grades and steps on the full-time salary schedule based on how each group ranked in the Bay Ten.
AFT’s salary proposal:
In order to achieve the Board’s and District’s goal that faculty salaries should rank within the top three or four of the Bay 10 districts and their commitment to equity for all bargaining groups, the District will:
a. Increase by 5% the AFT Part-Time Faculty salary schedule effective January 1, 2012.
b. Increase by 3% the following cells of the AFT Full-Time Faculty salary schedule effective January 1, 2012
Grade 1 Steps 18-23
Grade 2 Steps 18-23
Grade 3 Steps 14-23
Grade 4 Steps 11-23
Grade 5 Steps 11-23
c. Increase by 1% the other cells of the full-time salary schedule effective January 1, 2012.
San Mateo CCCD Rankings in the Bay 10 Districts
MA + 60
* = ranking among Bay 10 districts
|Init||*||Step 6||*||Step 12||*||Step 18||*||Highest||*|
|MA + 60||$60,410||2||$74,377||2||$85,455||4||$91,971||6||$94,782||6|
* = ranking among Bay 10 districts
Numbers show that the District can pay
Although the District claims that it cannot afford to pay for salary increases for faculty, based on their past history it is difficult to believe that is true. The actual revenues and expenditures (rather than the District’s budgeted numbers) shows that last year’s ending balance was over $20 million. The District expressed concerns about cuts from the State in the next few years (and thus the need for their excessive ending balance) but at the same time they admitted that because of the Basic Aid status the district will be shielded from these cuts. Furthermore, in January, Executive Vice Chancellor Blackwood reported that the District will receive an additional $2.8M (in ongoing monies) that would have gone to the redevelopment agencies.
District’s Budget 2010-11
Supplies and Materials Expenditures
The cost of the AFT proposal ($1.85 million) represents a small fraction (less than 10%) of the District’s Ending Balance for 2010-11.
Two other amendments to the contract are being proposed by AFT. They deal with the issues of binding arbitration and academic freedom.
AFT is proposing adding binding arbitration as the last step of the grievance procedure. This would make the decision of the neutral arbitrator “final and binding on all parties” rather than allowing the Board of Trustees to overrule the arbitrator’s decision, as is now provided for in the contract. The chart below shows that our district is one of the very few that does not have binding arbitration in the faculty contract.
Binding Arbitration Survey
District Binding Arbitration in contract
Contra Costa* YES
Los Rios YES
Rancho Santiago YES
San Bernardino YES
San Francisco* YES
San Jose* YES
South Orange YES
West Valley* No
* Bay 10 districts
The list of districts above was used by SMCCCD to justify raises for administrators in 2007.
AFT is also proposing adding an academic freedom clause to the contract. Academic freedom clauses are also very common among comparable community college districts, as is shown by the following chart.
Academic Freedom Survey
District Binding Arbitration in contract
Contra Costa* No
Los Rios YES
Rancho Santiago YES
San Bernardino YES
San Francisco* YES
San Jose* YES
South Orange No
West Valley* No
* Bay 10 districts
The list of districts above was used by SMCCCD to justify raises for administrators in 2007.
What is “Fact Finding”
An impartial three-person fact-finding panel reviews the arguments and proposals from both sides and issue a set of non-binding recommendations for a settlement. Prior to issuing this recommendation, the panel may again seek to mediate the dispute to reach a resolution. The District and the union each appoint one member to the fact-finding panel. Then they mutually agree on a neutral, independent fact-finding panel chairperson from a list of qualified labor relations professionals.
The panel holds private hearings where both sides present their last, best offers. The District and the union prepare extensive binders with comparative data and arguments defending their positions. The panel members meet in private to evaluate the positions and the data. Unless timelines are waived by the parties, within 30 days the panel is required to issue a report that contains findings of fact and non-binding recommendations. Before the report is made public, the parties have one more chance to meet in closed session to reach a tentative agreement. If they do not, then the District and union accept or reject the fact-finder’s report. By statute, this process can take no longer than ten days from the time the report is made public.
AFT charges District with selective prosecution and suppressing freedom of speech
Unfair labor practice charge filed in response to District’s prohibition of union’s emails for “political” advocacy and allegations submitted to D.A.
by Robert Bezemek and David Conway, AFT 1493 attorneys
AFT Local 1493 has filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge against the San Mateo County Community College District with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), alleging the District engaged in selective, discriminatory and disparate treatment of AFT 1493 in violation of the Educational Employment Relations Act (EERA.)
Last fall, the District demanded that a Union staff member “recall” an email he had received at his work email and then forwarded to his personal email “list” of about 50 colleagues and union officers, since that email contained “political” advocacy from a challenger-candidate to the District’s Board of Trustees. The District also demanded that the staff member not send similar “political” emails in the future.
Allegations submitted to D.A.
Subsequently, the District submitted criminal allegations against the staffer to the District Attorney stemming from that email, accusing him of violating Education Code section 7054, which forbids community college officers and employees to use “college district funds, services, supplies or equipment” “for the purpose of urging the support or defeat of any ballot measure or candidate.” AFT 1493 denies the District’s allegations.
The Union lawyers advised the DA that section 7054 did not apply to Union staff, because, among other reasons, the law is directed at the “political activities of school employees” and school officers. (Education Code § 7050-7051) The next day, the district emailed “all employees” notifying them the District was turning over employee emails to the DA as part of a criminal investigation. AFT has requested the District disclose whose emails it turned over, and how it searched through faculty emails for “political advocacy” materials.
District allows political communication by others
The Union’s ULP Charge alleges that the District concurrently, and for years, has permitted its administrators, Board members, and other employees use of its email and other electronic communication devices to engage in comparable political activities, and is now discriminating against AFT 1493 support of a challenger-candidate to the Board. At the District, electronic communications with political advocacy and endorsements have also been issued by the classified staff union through its newsletter, which is stored and available on the District-provided and supported webpage.
Employees’ rights restricted
When an employer discriminates against one union and its members, while treating another union or group of employees more favorably, it inherently violates the EERA. Cases hold that restricting a Union’s access to employees and refusing them permission to distribute campaign literature is inherently destructive of employee rights. Similarly, disparate treatment of employees is recognized as being inherently destructive of employee rights.
In this district, one union’s support of an incumbent, one administrator’s email about a District bond measure, and two incumbent Board members use of the Internet and an internet “connection” to SMCCD to distribute “political” advocacy did not draw the District’s ire. Yet the District objected to, and made a criminal accusation of, an AFT 1493 staff member’s similar or related political activities, but in support of a challenger-candidate.
AFT 1493 does not believe the internet uses discussed here violate Education Code section 7054, as interpreted in San Leandro, because the internet and the District’s internet connections are available to all sides and have multiple uses. The Union is pursuing this ULP to assure that the District ceases and desists in applying a different standard to AFT 1493, one that stifles its ability to advocate, and chills the exercise of Constitutional freedom of speech by all employees and the Union.
A version of this article is also being published in CFT’s Perspective newsletter.
Skyline Academic Senate passes resolution on impact of SLOs on faculty workload
Over the last few months the Academic Senates at our three district colleges have been discussing a set of resolutions dealing with student learning outcomes. The resolutions were initially brought to the Cañada College Senate in late February by Doug Hirzel, faculty co-chair for Accreditation. The motivations for these resolutions were laid out by Skyline College SLOAC Coordinator Karen Wong in a March 26 message to Skyline faculty:
“1. Now that the College has been engaged with the SLOAC for the past six years, and with the AFT’s concerns that were recently expressed in The Advocate, the College will benefit from revisiting principles that the College adopted at the beginning of the SLOAC initiative. Among the most important are that the SLOAC will be a faculty driven initiative which will be used as one means to improve student success. A second is that assessment results will not be used punitively against faculty…
“2. The Senate Resolutions are also a means for the Academic Senate to assert its primacy in academic matters…
“3. The College also needs to respond to the District Recommendation from our last accreditation visit..: ‘The team recommends that the district develop and implement appropriate policies and procedures that incorporate effectiveness in producing student learning outcomes into the evaluation process of faculty and others directly responsible for student progress toward achieving stated student learning outcomes’ (Standard III.A1.1.c). The Senate Resolutions begin to address this Recommendation to which we will be accountable during our upcoming accreditation visit. The Performance Evaluation Review Committee (PERC) will also play a critical role, though they’ll ideally work out more of the details…”
Initially four resolutions were brought to each of the three college’s Senates. Although each college’s Senate produced different versions with different wording, they basically called for: 1) the primary role and responsibility of faculty in SLO development and assessment, 2) opposition to the use of SLOs in faculty evaluations, 3) support for the inclusion of SLOs in course syllabi and in college catalogs and websites and 4) support for the Performance Evaluation Review Committee (PERC) to address the ACCJC requirement pertaining to SLOs and faculty evaluation.
When the resolutions were discussed at the Skyline Senate, many faculty raised concerns and questions, and a special college-wide forum was held to discuss the issues further. At the forum (on April 23), faculty members decided that there was a need for an entirely new resolution concerning faculty work load and the usefulness of SLO data. According to Sociology Professor Michael Moynihan, Senate Rep. from the Social Science/Creative Arts Division, “For me, it was the first time since the inception of SLOs that faculty openly discussed their frustrations with the SLO ‘mandate’ and implementation… For a one person department, like sociology, things like program review and SLO design and implementation are very much a burden and a burden without much payback. Some of the most vocal critics of the SLO process were SLO Committee members… All in all, it is clear from our added resolution that faculty, and not outside sources, take ownership of the process and that we will decide what is appropriate or inappropriate for the faculty and our students.” All of the resolutions, including the newly added one, were unanimously approved by the Skyline Academic Senate on April 27.
Below is the complete language of the newly added Skyline Senate resolution:
Support for a Meaningful and Sustainable Workload
WHEREAS, Faculty’s primary responsibility is to their students, some of whom face significant economic, academic, and social challenges;
WHEREAS, Faculty support student success in multiple ways that require their energy and time, ranging from engaging and innovative classroom curricula and instruction to individual assistance to formal processes such as program review;
WHEREAS, the SLOAC is one model required by accreditation to discuss student success and act on these realizations, so all departments should be engaged in it annually (Accreditation Standards, 2002);
WHEREAS, Faculty take ownership over the SLOAC process, ranging from determining which courses are most important to assess, how to assess, and how to interpret the results (Statement of Principles on Assessment, 2005);
WHEREAS, Faculty insist on a SLOAC process that is meaningful rather than perfunctory, that it makes a difference for our students;
WHEREAS, Some departments/ programs are staffed by only one full-time faculty member, and/or are staffed predominantly by adjunct faculty, and are therefore shouldering a disproportionate number of responsibilities for assessment purposes;
WHEREAS, adjunct faculty constitute a significant percentage of instructors and are welcome and strongly encouraged to participate in the SLOAC but may not be able to due to other professional obligations;
RESOLVED, That the Academic Senate of Skyline College support faculty participating in the SLOAC process while also determining what is manageable, sustainable, and meaningful for their respective department, given the resources that are available to them to foster student success.
CFT Convention Report
If We’re Not At The Table, We’re On The Menu
by Katharine Harer, AFT 1493 Co-Vice President
The 70th Annual California Federation of Teachers’ Convention held this year in San Jose April 12-15, brought together faculty and staff from Pre K, K-12, Community Colleges and Universities for an informative, inspirational and entertaining four day meeting. Given the escalating attacks against public workers and public education, the CFT, under newly elected President Josh Pechthalt, is working actively to stay “at the table”.
Public education is facing privatization schemes, slashed budgets, and “pension envy”
Velma Butler, President of the CFT Council of Classified Employees, used the phrase that I stole for the title of this article when addressing the General Session. Once a respected profession, today workers in public education are threatened on all sides with privatization schemes, budgets that have been cut to the bone, and “pension envy”. One of the most powerful statements I heard at the Convention – and it’s not a new idea – is that rather than try to decrease or remove teachers’ pensions, Americans should be fighting for fair retirement plans for every worker.
Pulitzer Prize-winner David Cay Johnston: Our tax policy is creating growing economic inequality
Convention guest speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, David Cay Johnston, gave a rousing talk during the Saturday morning General Session. Here are some of the highlights of his remarks: “Pensions are not a gift. They are earned and deferred wages. It is 100% your money. The question shouldn’t be why do we have pensions? It should be why doesn’t everyone have a pension?” Johnston is the author of Perfectly Legal and Free Lunch and his latest book, The Fine Print, will be out in September. An investigative reporter, he focuses on the ways in which the powerful class redefines the rules in order to steal from the rest of us.
His latest book looks at the way our tax money has been “diverted into private pockets.” According to Johnston, states can, and do, withhold income tax from workers and then turn around and give it to private companies and corporations. Johnston, like many of us, was outraged by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision: “The Supreme Court has ignored history and made up its own history. Corporations began in service to the state; now it’s the other way around. Corporations have no conscience. They can forcibly take money and give it to the rich. The Supreme Court has granted them full political power.” Johnston also educated us about the stagnant median wage: in the ten-year period between 2000 and 2010, the median weekly wage has risen by a mere $4.00 — from $507 to $511. But the top 1% of the top 1%, during the same period, have moved from grabbing every 33rd one dollar of income in the U.S. to every 11th one dollar of income.
CFT’s community partners
Johnston was followed by a panel discussion with several CFT coalition partners who have worked closely with CFT leadership, first on the Millionaire’s Tax and now on the new compromise tax initiative that the CFT negotiated with Governor Brown: The Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act –kind of a mouthful. The three panelists: Anthony Thigpenn of California Calls, Rick Jacobs of Courage Campaign and Christina Livingstone of ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment) all spoke to the fact that the only way to turn around the inequities in funding for education and human services in California is to get the people being affected involved and into the voting booth. The new tax measure, which they are all supporting, creates $9 billion dollars, a step in the direction of filling the void created by $20 billion in cuts to education in the last two years. They all spoke to the need to “change the electorate” in order to represent the under-represented — women, people of color, and the poor.
The Courage Campaign and ACCE are working together on a “Homeowners Bill of Rights” to give people who have suffered from foreclosures the right to fight for their homes in court, a right they do not currently enjoy. Thigpenn made the comment: “We need to develop a new narrative to restore faith in government. There’s a growing awareness in this country of income inequality. We need to reform corporate taxes and the new measure is a step towards progressive taxation.” The theme of this panel, and of many of the speakers, resolutions and workshops at the Convention, is that we must build solid organizational power outside of Sacramento.
President Josh Pechthalt’s State of the Union address
Next, CFT President, Josh Pechthalt (in photo at left), in his State of the Union address, stated that the economic crisis that we are currently experiencing creates a dangerous opening for “market reform of education: weakening pensions, instituting merit pay, and eroding salaries are all regressive measures masquerading as reforms.” He declared the CFT’s commitment “to value students and the men and women who work with them in all communities, not just those that are affluent.” The recent Santa Monica College attempt to create a two-tiered structure based on increasing the amounts students pay for certain classes is an example of what can happen when market driven decision-making drives the system.
Pechthalt said that the new tax initiative is the most progressive tax proposition in California history. The initiative gathered a half million signatures in the first three weeks of campaigning, which according to Pechthalt, is a sign of the strength of the union working with its community partners and the grass-roots movement of students, teachers and supporters of public education that caught fire around the Millionaire’s Tax.
Bill Fletcher calls for reinvigorating unions
During the General Session on Saturday afternoon, guest speaker Bill Fletcher, social justice activist, scholar and former educational director of the AFL-CIO, gave a scathing analysis of the current attacks on public workers in the context of global capitalism, which he referred to as capitalism on crack! He made a strong case for reinvigorating unions: “We need to rethink trade unionism. Unions in this country have stopped being at the vanguard of educational reform. We need to have a working peoples’ agenda that is not crafted in legislation but in the unions themselves. It must be their agenda.”
“Labor is stronger when it acts in its own interest”
The theme of building independent sources of power came up again and again at the Convention. Although the new tax measure was forged as a merged measure with Governor Brown’s earlier, more regressive proposal, more than one speaker spoke about the significance of the CFT’s campaign for the original version of the Millionaire’s Tax as a symbol of the strength of the union, its ties to the community, and the rightness of the message. Josh Pechthalt said it well when he stated: “Labor is stronger when it acts in its own interest and is not beholden to any political party. It gives us the ability to change the terms of the debate.” The next campaign, according to more than one speaker, must be to reform Proposition 13, to force commercial property owners to pay their fair share in taxes.
This year the following members of AFT 1493 attended the CFT Convention: Chip Chandler, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Monica Malamud, Karen Oleson and Joaquin Rivera. We attended a variety of workshops where we honed our skills and gathered information to take back to our Executive Committee to help us strengthen our local. We want to extend an invitation to all faculty in our district to join us at next year’s convention. Get informed, inspired and even entertained with us. It’s an experience of spirit and solidarity; it always makes me realize the strength and the power in our numbers when we act on what is best, and right, for faculty, staff and our students.
AFT 1493 wins Best Website in state–for third year in a row–plus four more CFT communications awards
For the third year in a row, AFT Local 1493 won First Place in the category of Best Web Site for locals with more than 500 unit members! If you haven’t already seen it, now is the time to take a look at aft1493.org. Kudos to the AFT 1493 webmaster, Eric Brenner. The judges said of the AFT 1493 website: “Excellent design, straightforward navigation, well-written and up-to-date copy. Good use of type style, color and shading to enhance readability. The photos are relatively numerous and well placed. Good home page organization and good use of sidebars. Clean, attractive look and feel.”
AFT 1493 also won Second Place in the category of Best Email Newsletter for locals with more than 500 unit members. The Advocate online is edited by Eric Brenner. The Local also won Third Place in the State in the category of Best Six-or-more Page Newsletter for locals with more than 500 unit members for The Advocate, also edited by Eric Brenner.
In addition, AFT 1493 won an Honorable Mention in the category of Best News Writing for Katharine Harer’s article “Faculty votes down Tentative Agreement; Frustrated teachers say they are ‘outraged,’ ‘appalled’”. Finally, the Local won another Honorable Mention in the category of Best Use of Graphics in a flyer that Joaquin Rivera, AFT 1493 Chief Negotiator, wrote entitled “Equity? Administrators’ and supervisors’ salaries increase at significantly higher rates than faculty salaries”.
Teaching and administration salaries 2007-8 to 2010-11
by Masao Suzuki, Skyline College Executive Committee Co-Rep. & AFT 1493 Rep. to the District Committee on Budget and Finance
The ship of education is sinking in California. But like the Titanic disaster of 100 years ago, not everyone is affected to the same degree. The following are actual expenditures on salaries in the San Mateo County Community College District between 2007/8, which was the peak in community college spending by the state of California, and 2010/11, the latest data available. The numbers are from the San Mateo County Community College District 2011-12 Mid-Year Budget Report, pages 120 and 121. See the chart below. All spending is in millions of dollars.
From 2007/8 to 2010/11:
|change||- $5.973||- $1.383||- $3.878||- $5.261||+0.382|
|% change||12.4%||- 6.7%||- 22.8%||-14.0%||+ 8.9%|
But what about monies from the measure G parcel tax which passed in June of 2010? The district did spend $3.452 million on certificated salaries (which includes both teaching and non-teaching salaries for teachers).
[Source: San Mateo County Community College District 2011-12 Final Budget, page 99.]
If ALL of this went to teaching, then the drop in teaching salaries would only be $1.809 million, or – 4.8%. But this still means that even with the extra money from the parcel tax, that the district still INCREASED SPENDING ON ADMINISTRATION WHILE CUTTING SPENDING ON TEACHING over the last three years.
Now we hear about even more cuts to class sections for the fall of 2012. If the district is to cut spending, I say that we CHOP FROM THE TOP.
AFT and District reach pact on SLOs and faculty evaluation
AFT 1493 filed an unfair practice charge against the San Mateo County Community College District alleging that it failed to negotiate changes to the parties’ evaluation procedure regarding faculty evaluation for Student Learning Outcomes (“SLOs”). Subsequent to the AFT filing its charge, the parties signed a memorandum of understanding regarding Faculty Performance Evaluations, establishing a Task Force to negotiate the parties’ evaluation procedure starting in Fall 2012. These Task Force negotiations will include the use of SLOs in faculty evaluation.
Because the parties have agreed to these negotiations over the evaluation procedures, including evaluating faculty on their participation in the development of SLOs, the parties concur that the District has satisfied its promise to the ACCJC on this matter.
Accordingly, to avoid the expense of a hearing, and because any ruling on whether or not faculty may be evaluated on the development of SLOs will soon be moot by the Task Force’s negotiations, the parties agree to settle this matter as follows:
1. The AFT agrees to withdraw Unfair Practice Charge SF-CE-2893-E against the District and cancel the hearing;
2. Since the Task Force MOU gives the Task Force the right and obligation to negotiate the faculty evaluation criteria, including evaluation criteria related to faculty development of SLOs, the parties agree that until the Task Force concludes its negotiations, and new evaluation procedures are implemented, the District will not evaluate faculty based on SLOs; and
3. By agreeing to this resolution, neither the AFT nor the District have changed their original positions on this matter.
Assembly approves bill limiting overloads
by Judith Michaels, CFT Legislative Director
The CFT-sponsored bill, AB 1826 (Hernandez)–limit on overload for full-time community college faculty-handily cleared the Assembly floor April 30 on a 48-25 vote. The bill, which would prohibit overload or extra assignments that exceed 50% of a full-time workload in a semester, will be sent to the Senate, which, according to our best intelligence, will begin hearing Assembly bills in mid-May. Thanks again to Assemblyman Hernandez for carrying this bill and to the many faculty, both full and part-time, who called their Assembly representative about this measure.
AFT 1493 discourages full-timers from taking on excessive overload
The following resolution was passed at the April 13, 2011 AFT 1493 Executive Committee meeting:
Whereas economic instability and budget cuts are affecting the employment status and livelihoods of part-time faculty in the SMCCCD,
Be it resolved, that the AFT 1493 Executive Committee recommend that full-time faculty members seriously consider refraining from taking on excessive overload in situations where part-time faculty will be displaced from courses to which they would have otherwise been assigned.
Part-Timer Unemployment Insurance Benefits
All Part-timers should remember that you are eligible for unemployment compensation benefits over the summer break and between semesters, unless you are working another job over the summer or between semesters and you are earning more than your unemployment grant would be. As soon as you give your last final exam, you should contact the local Employment Development Dept. (EDD) office and file a claim, or reactivate the one you have from last winter (if you applied between semesters). If it is a new claim, you will have a one-week waiting period before benefits start, so do not delay. You can also claim for the period between regular terms and summer school.
When applying, tell them about all your jobs, since your benefit is based on all your income over the previous year. When they ask if you have a job to go back to after summer break, you should answer: “Not with reasonable assurance. I only have a tentative assignment contingent on enrollment, funding and program needs.”
This is important. Do not just tell them that you have an assignment for the next semester or you will be disqualified.
According to the Cervisi decision of the State Court of Appeals, part-timers, as a class, do not have “reasonable assurance” of a job and hence are eligible for benefits between terms. If questioned further, mention the Cervisi case. Be sure to fill out all job search forms correctly, and appear as directed in person or by phone or mail. You should not have any problems, but if you do and are denied for any reason, call Dan Kaplan in the AFT office (650-574-6491) as soon as possible and the Union will advise you on how to file an appeal. Don’t be reluctant to file. This is your right, not charity.
Letter to The Advocate
A big thanks to Masao Suzuki for explaining to me how a basic aid district works in his excellent article in the March 2012 Advocate. I finally get it! It was well written and easy to understand and the graphs were a plus, too! Hats off to Professor Suzuki!
Anne Nicholls, Cañada College