Nov. 2018 Advocate: Workload Committee making slow progress


District Workload Committee making slow progress

By Anne Stafford, AFT Rep. to the District Workload Committee

The District Workload Committee continues to make progress, albeit slowly due to the scheduling challenges of getting six faculty and three administrators in the same room at the same time.

As you know, our first step was to survey full-time faculty about all of the non-teaching work we do. The survey confirmed that increasingly heavy workloads are not figments of our imagination. The survey data show that, on average, full-time faculty are devoting more than eight hours per week to non-teaching duties, not including attendance at department, division, and committee meetings, or time spent on full-time and adjunct hiring. According to the written responses, faculty are frustrated by the overall workload, by the inequitable distribution of the work, by the amount of time we spend on SLO’s (widely viewed as pointless), and by the work created, rather than eliminated, by technology. Faculty repeatedly lamented the shrinking amount of time they are able to spend directly meeting the needs of students as a result of the increasing amount of time they must spend on administrative tasks, a problem that is particularly acute for those who are the only full-time faculty member in their department or program.

The committee’s next task is to draft a proposal for reducing overall workload, compensating –through reassigned time and/or overload pay – faculty who work more than is considered “reasonable” (a term yet to be defined), and distributing the work more equitably.

Finally, the Committee has requested that the Board of Trustees and administrators review the survey data, read all 28 pages of written responses, and take up the issue at a Board study session in the near future, in order to gain a more complete understanding of the ways in which faculty’s jobs have changed over time and of the frustration many faculty feel at not being able to devote more of their time and energy to their primary responsibility – teaching students.