Part-Time Faculty Bargaining Updates

Contract negotiations updates specifically related to part-time faculty are included below.
Specific references to part-time faculty are bolded in red.

 

August 12th Negotiations Session

The District presented a counter-proposal on binding arbitration. Currently, faculty have access only to advisory arbitration: grievances that are not resolved through informal discussions or formal hearings with administrators may be heard by an arbitrator, who will issue a recommendation; however, the final authority on whether to follow the arbitrator’s recommendation rests with the Board of Trustees. Under binding arbitration, the Board would be held to the arbitrator’s decision.

The current District offer allows for a three-year pilot program in which binding arbitration would replace advisory arbitration, with the following conditions:

  • Nothing related to the tenure review process would be subject to binding arbitration.
  • Grievances related to part-time retention and assignments would be subject to advisory arbitration only.
  • Other part-time matters covered in Article 19 of the contract would be subject to binding arbitration only if the part-timer concerned has received two consecutive satisfactory evaluations or has been given an assignment for eight consecutive semesters with no negative evaluations.
  • During the pilot program, a maximum of three grievances per year would be eligible for binding arbitration.

The AFT will respond to the District’s offer on binding arbitration in the next negotiations session.

 

May 20th Negotiations Session

Wages and Benefits

The AFT bargaining team presented the following proposal on Wages and Benefits:

Wage increases as follows:

– 2% effective with the beginning of the fall semester 2019
– If the assessed valuation of property, as determined by the San Mateo County Assessor’s Office Local Combined Roll prepared by the County Assessor’s Office, increases by more than 3% for 2019-20, 60% of the assessed valuation increase above 3% will be added to the 2.0% compensation increases stated above effective with the beginning of the fall semester 2019. For example, if the assessed valuation increases 8.0%, then 60% of the 5%, i.e. 3.0%, will be added to the 2%.

Part-time faculty will be paid at 85% pro-rata.

Increase medical cap as follows effective 1/1/2020:

  • Single: $50.00 per month
  • 2-Party: $100.00 per month
  • Family: $150.00 per month
  • Increase part time faculty medical reimbursement $600 per semester effective January 1, 2020.

 

May 13th Negotiations Session

District’s Counter-Proposal on Discipline

To start off the discussion, the District’s Chief Negotiator, Laura Schulkind, shared that previously, in another district, she had successfully reached an agreement on a discipline article in two sessions.  Schulkind then walked through their entire proposed article.  She expressed that “having standards and procedures in place helps everyone.”

Overall, the District’s counter-proposal represents an advancement in bargaining as it includes many of the aspects that the AFT had been advocating for: notice to faculty around discipline, due process rights to evidentiary hearing on charges, just cause, and progressive discipline.  In addition, their proposal defines and outlines formal and informal discipline.  The major issue that the AFT bargaining team brought up to the District is that their proposal leaves out part-time faculty.  The District’s team caucused, and came back to the table to explain that they would write up new language to include eligible part-time faculty “who have met the load assignment criteria set forth in Article 19.2.4” providing them with rights around dismissal. Review the District’s entire counter-proposal.

 

February 18th Negotiations Session

AFT Counter Proposal on Discipline

In the AFT’s counter to the District’s last proposal on discipline, we added language to outline informal discipline processes, and rejected the District’s language to exclude Part-Time Faculty from disciplinary procedures.  The District will review and submit a counter.

 

February 10th Negotiations Session

The District took AFT’s proposal, reviewed, took out Ed Code language, defined some items that AFT had outlined including Just Cause, informal discipline, and disciplinary steps.

The AFT immediately noted that the district’s proposal excludes Part-Time faculty and would not be subject to the grievance process.  The District’s team responded that they “don’t see these two groups (Full-Time and Part-Time faculty) going through the same disciplinary procedures.”  Regarding grievances, their rationale for carving this out from the grievance process is that current Ed. Code relating to discipline would bring disputes to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), and our grievance process brings disputes to an arbitrator which could provide two contradictory rulings.   AFT argued that it is important to establish a disciplinary process for ALL faculty and that the grievance process would allow us to settle issues at the lowest possible levels, and resolve them informally without necessarily going to an outside arbitrator or ALJ.  The District encouraged AFT to include these questions/responses in a counter.

AFT Response Binding Arbitration

AFT agreed to part of the District’s proposal that would qualify Part-Time Faculty for arbitration cases who have received two (2) consecutive satisfactory evaluations or have accumulated 8.  In the AFT’s counter, we rejected the exclusion of article 19.2 (Assignment and Retention), and the 9 FLCs minimum requirement for adjuncts to be included or that the 8 semesters to qualify have to be consecutive.

District response on compensation and part time pay parity

On the Total Compensation Formula, the AFT had countered that 100% of new money, instead of 80% which the district maintains, be allocated to employee groups.  The current Total Comp. formula shrinks the total funding that employee groups receive over time.  In addition, AFT proposed defining Part-Time Pay parity in the contract at 85% and mirroring the Full-Time Faculty salary schedule.

The District proposed maintaining the Total Comp. Formula as is.  The District rejected defining Part-Time Pay Parity in the contract.  However, in their proposal, the district proposed matching up to 1.5% of the Total Comp. allocation that goes to Part-Time Faculty for this year (2019-2020) which would be incorporated into the salary schedule going forward.  So if 1% of the Total Comp allocation goes to Part-Time Faculty, the district would match an additional 1% (1.5% the District would match 1.5%, 2%, the District would give 1.5% etc.)

 

February 5th Negotiations Session

District Counter Proposal on Binding Arbitration

The previous AFT proposal for an MOU on Binding Arbitration was to include Part-Time faculty.  The District agreed to include Part-Time faculty, but with two stipulations:  (a) the MOU would apply only to Part-Time faculty who have received two (2) consecutive satisfactory evaluations and have been given an assignment of at least nine (9) FLCs per semester for eight (8) consecutive, and (b) the following topics would be excluded and not eligible for binding arbitration: assignment and retention.  AFT argued this is a very high threshold to meet and would exclude the vast majority of Part-Time faculty and issues.  AFT will prepare a counter proposal.

 

January 16, 2020 Negotiations Session

Binding Arbitration Pilot

AFT presented a counter to the district’s recent proposed Binding Arbitration 3-year Pilot.  The district’s proposal left out binding arbitration rights for Part-Time faculty, so the AFT’s counter added the following language to include adjunct seniority rights:

“issues under Article 19 will be eligible for binding arbitration for part-time faculty members that have received two (2) consecutive satisfactory evaluations or has been given an assignment for six (6) semesters with no negative evaluations.”

Part Time Pay Parity and the 50% Law

AFT presented updated information we received from the district relating to Part-Time Pay Parity and the 50% law (requiring that no less than 50% of district’s general expenditures go to classroom instruction).  Firstly, we reminded the district that it has been in violation of the 50% law for the past 5 years (in the 2018/19 academic year SMCCD was at 42.24%).  In addition, the district has never defined Part-Time Pay Parity.  As reported in The Advocate October 2012 issue, the state of California had asked all community college districts to “define, through the local collective bargaining process, a parity goal…the goal would be the percentage towards which negotiators try to move in future negotiations.”  In order to move us closer to compliance with the 50% law, and fulfill the mandate from the state to define parity in our contract, AFT urged the district to support our Part-Time Pay Parity proposal which would establish parity at 85%.   Here are the numbers we received from the district:

  • Increasing part-time from 60% to 85%, at a cost of approximately $10.6 million, would increase the District’s compliance by approximately 6.8%
  • Increasing part-time from 65% to 85%, at a cost of approximately $7.9 million, would increase the District’s compliance by approximately 5%
  • Increasing part-time from 70% to 85%, at a cost of approximately $5.5 million, would increase the District’s compliance by approximately 3.5%

 

Summary of Negotiations: August – December

At each negotiation session, different issues are slated for discussion. Here’s an update by issue as to where we are now.

WORKLOAD EQUITY FOR ALL FACULTY

The District’s latest proposal on workload failed at meeting the most basic recommendations outlined in the Workload Committee’s report. For full time faculty, the District proposed that division deans and full-time faculty should assign faculty to committees and other professional responsibilities, thereby bypassing the role of the Academic Senate. They also propose a new and onerous requirement: faculty must submit an annual workload report for review by their dean to determine if their work has met (still unspecified) expectations.

The District is willing to allow that faculty who serve on a third tenure-track hiring committee or tenure review committee can earn miniscule credit totaling 0.05 FLC.

The District has agreed to put in writing that they will compensate part-timers for work they are directed to complete by their supervisor.

Status: AFT has rejected this proposal

COMPENSATION: SALARY, BENEFITS & PART-TIME PARITY

AFT proposed that part-time faculty be paid at 85% of full-time salaries, considering the same number of steps and columns in the salary schedule. We demonstrated that over the past 10 years, the District has overestimated expenditures while underestimating revenues. (For example, last year $11 million set aside for academic compensation was not spent on faculty). The District has ample resources to allocate to faculty compensation.

Status: We are waiting for the District to cost out AFT’s proposal.

BINDING ARBITRATION

The District proposed a limited binding arbitration on terms that would exclude part-timers and almost all categories likely to be arbitrated.  AFT countered that we would only exclude tenure review decisions from binding arbitration.

Status: District rejected most recent AFT proposal on Binding Arbitration.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: IMPROVED PROCESSES & INCREASED FUNDING

District rejected Academic Senate/AFT Proposal on Professional Development to increase PD funds, broaden faculty eligibility for PD, and establish clear guidelines on how these funds should be used, in order to put limits on PD funding being used for District/college initiatives.  They instead proposed changing the composition to PD committees to include more administrators.

Status: AFT has rejected this proposal

We have reached Tentative Agreements on the following items:

  • List of unit employees and job information.
  • Academic year begins on the first day of instruction or flex day
  • Part time faculty will be paid for their attendance on flex days.