November 2017 Advocate: Interest in alternative methods of responding to complaints

RESPONDING TO COMPLAINTS AGAINST FACULTY

AFT & Senates interested in alternative methods of responding to complaints

The AFT has been concerned about the District’s investigative and retributive approach to complaints against faculty over the last few years. The District has been conducting investigations using processes that were not negotiated and which are one-sided and unfair to faculty. It has been limiting the union’s ability to represent faculty in these investigations and has been removing faculty from their normally assigned duties and reassigning them to other duties or none at all, and they’ve placed faculty on administrative leave, without an explanation of what an administrative leave is.

The union’s Executive Committee has been discussing the idea of an alternative approach to complaints, conflicts and equity issues that would focus on restorative justice-type processes which would allow those affected by an alleged offense to take an active role in the process, would offer alleged offenders an opportunity to take meaningful responsibility for their actions, to right their alleged wrongs and redeem themselves, and would also involve a college equity officer early in the process in order to resolve issues through listening, discussion, education and training, and reconciliation.

Such alternatives to the investigative and retributive approach were also presented at the Skyline College Academic Senate meeting on September 21 and at the District Academic Senate meeting on October 9. The AFT Executive Committee had an initial discussion of alternative processes to deal with complaints against faculty at their October 18 meeting and the issue is again on the agenda of the November 8 meeting, which will be held at Skyline College.

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