May 2016 Advocate: Gradual progress in contract negotiations
AFT & District negotiators making gradual progress towards new contract
by Monica Malamud, AFT 1493 Negotiating Team Member
The AFT 1493 negotiating team continues to meet regularly with the District’s team and to discuss the proposals that were presented at the two initial negotiation sessions. An overview of both parties’ initial proposals was given in the last issue of the Advocate and the complete document that the union presented to the District is posted on our union website.
The District and the union have already agreed to some changes in the contract and rejected others. For example, on the topic of payroll, the union is willing to accept the district’s proposal to pay future faculty hires from August through May (as long as faculty who are currently paid September through June can continue on this schedule), and to require direct deposit (as long as current employees who do not have direct deposit are not forced to switch). Regarding work hours, the District does not agree to the union’s proposal to update the requirement that faculty be present on campus so as to account for the work that faculty conduct virtually.
Several negotiation proposals are still under consideration. When dealing with more controversial issues, each team argues for its position and listens to the other team’s point of view, underscoring key desired outcomes. In successive negotiation sessions, the conversation has continued, as negotiators have made counter-proposals and tweaked details, with the goal of reaching a compromise that both parties can agree to. Some examples of topics where negotiations are ongoing are:
• Professional development: the union requested an increase in funding for this program, and the District countered with a proposal for a separate sabbatical program.
• Flex days: the District would like all faculty (full-time and part-time) to attend district-sponsored activities on designated flex days, but the union would like to preserve the flexibility of conducting other professional development activities as well on alternate dates.
• Leaves of absence: the District has agreed to allow faculty to use sick days as necessary (removing the current cap) to care for a sick relative. The union made a proposal for a new maternity/child bonding leave, and the District responded that it is considering a program modeled after the one recently approved in the city of San Francisco.
• Duties and responsibilities of faculty (Appendix D): the District proposed additions to the list of duties and responsibilities. The union presented a proposal to revise Appendix D, such that duties and responsibilities of faculty can be quantified, with the goal of achieving more equity in the workload of all faculty. The District team has indicated that they will respond after the Board of Trustees hears about this issue directly from AFT 1493 representatives on May 11.
The AFT has responded to all of the proposals presented by the District, and the District has now responded to all of the union’s proposals, but we have not begun to discuss compensation yet.
This article does not include all of the topics that have been discussed in negotiations so far, but simply provides examples and an overview of some key issues. If you have questions or would like to provide input on the proposals under consideration, please contact your AFT 1493 negotiation team members: