November 2017 Advocate: Workload Committee launches
AFT, Senate & administration begin to look at how to resolve workload inequities
by Nina Floro, Skyline AFT Executive Committee Representative & Workload Committee representative
Members of the Workload Committee met for the first time on September 25. Committee members will carry out their work with understanding that:
AFT and the District recognize that faculty perform extensive duties outside of the classroom. Some of these duties are enumerated in Appendix D. The parties would like to distribute those duties among all faculty. Sometimes the distribution is not even, and one or more faculty members end up doing more than their fair share. The purpose of this committee is to develop a mechanism for distributing those duties, and when a faculty member ends up with too many, a mechanism for compensation and when a faculty member ends up with too few, a means to address that.
Three AFT and three Academic Senate appointments from each college will represent faculty. For AFT, they are Doniella Maher (Cañada), Anne Stafford (CSM), and Nina Floro (Skyline). Academic Senate appointments include Michael Hoffman (Cañada), Rosemary Nurre (CSM), and Leigh Anne Shaw (Skyline). District Administration appointees include Human Resources Director, David Feune, Executive Vice Chancellor, Kathy Blackwood, and CSM Dean of Math/Science, Charlene Frontiera. Aaron McVean, District Vice President of Planning, Research, & Institution Effectiveness will serve as a resource to the committee.
The Workload Committee was tasked to begin its work on May 19, 2017, with a goal of making recommendations to the negotiating teams no later than Dec. 15, 2017. However, with its late September start, committee members conceded the likelihood that their task may not be completed until Spring 2018.
During the months of October and November, faculty committee reps will visit division meetings at their respective colleges to provide faculty with Workload Committee updates. It was clear to the Workload Committee members that more specific guidance and instructions for faculty will be needed on the survey to capture useful data. Thus, the Committee will need to develop a new survey with clear, consistent instructions, and some “outside-of-the-classroom” categories that will help guide faculty in their survey responses.
At the September 25th meeting, AFT reps initiated a discussion about including part-timers in the survey and some administration reps stated that part-timers are paid for their work outside the classroom. Faculty reps on the committee responded by saying that adjunct compensation for work outside the classroom, including attending meetings, is not consistent across divisions or campuses, and a lot of extra work taken on by adjuncts is indeed not compensated. AFT faculty reps on the committee feel that it would be prudent to use the data gathering tool and workload data request from full-time faculty as an opportunity to also gather information from part-time faculty in case it’s needed in the future.
Workload Committee members are also recommending that faculty prepare for the new workload survey by thinking about the professional activities in which they engage beyond the classroom. Faculty are advised to consider the depth, quality, and preparations involved in their non-instructional activities, as well as the differences in the types of meetings, activities, preparations, memberships held, among other considerations.