Faculty Contract negotiations
Report on September 2nd contract bargaining session
by Marianne Kaletzky, AFT 1493 Executive Secretary and Negotiating Team Member
Below is a report on the most recent bargaining session between AFT and District negotiators on a new 3-year faculty contract (July 2022 – June 2025) that took place on Friday, September 2. To read reports on all previous bargaining sessions, see the Negotiations Reports page.
AFT: Negotiators: Joaquín Rivera (Chief Negotiator), Monica Malamud, Marianne Kaletzky; observers: Eric Brenner, Rika Yonemura-Fabian, and Lori Slicton
SMCCD District: Randy Erickson, Julie Johnson, Mitch Bailey, David Feune, Aaron McVean, Max Hartman, Joe Morello, Charlene Frontiera
After refusing to even negotiate over an MOU at our last bargaining session, the District opened this session with a proposal to continue the provisions of the MOU from Summer 2022. AFT offered a counter, but the District would not agree to several of our proposals, and discussions on the Fall 2022 MOU will continue at our next session. The parties also discussed contract articles on union rights and part-time seniority.
At the last AFT/SMCCCD negotiations session on August 24th, the District’s bargaining team refused to even negotiate over AFT’s proposal for an MOU covering Covid-specific conditions, including the District’s recent adoption of a framework that makes indoor masking optional in some circumstances. District chief negotiator Randy Erickson argued that faculty no longer need an MOU as we have returned to the status quo.
At this negotiation session, the District changed course and proposed an MOU for Fall that continues the provisions of the brief Summer 2022 MOU, namely:
- The District will continue providing N95s as well as surgical masks to employees, students, and community members.
- Faculty will have access to an interactive process to determine if a reasonable accommodation is available if a) the faculty member themselves has a health condition that necessitates accommodation so they can continue doing their job amidst the new masking framework or b) the faculty member lives with someone who is immunocompromised, under 1 year of age, or medically documented to be at higher risk of complications from Covid.
While the summer MOU was necessary to offer essential protections to faculty working in summer, summer is a very short term, and AFT believes that additional MOU provisions would do more to ensure that student learning continues as smoothly as possible during Fall 2022, even amidst the inevitable disruptions of Covid. AFT negotiators responded to the very brief MOU proposed by the District with an MOU that has far fewer articles than the Covid MOUs from Spring 2022 and prior, but that nonetheless provides key support for faculty. AFT’s MOU proposal included, in addition to the articles proposed by the District:
- The right for faculty to temporarily pivot to remote delivery if they have to isolate or quarantine, yet feel well enough to continue working remotely. This provision would also allow faculty to temporarily pivot to remote delivery if they have to care for a household member who must isolate or quarantine. In this case, rather than having to hope a substitute is available and risk disruption to their students’ experience, faculty will be able to continue working remotely for a short period.
- The guarantee that the District will provide the additional Covid sick time buckets currently guaranteed by California law—even if that law expires on September 30th, as originally specified by the state. While indications are that Supplemental Paid Sick Leave may be extended, AFT’s proposal would guarantee that faculty who contract Covid or must care for someone who has to stay home due to Covid-related reasons will have additional sick leave available, regardless of state law.
- The guarantee that the District will provide synchronous technical support to students between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Without guaranteed tech support provided by the District, faculty may face a higher workload if they are forced to provide tech support for students who need it while continuing to carry out their primary duties.
The District rejected these proposals. In response, AFT submitted one more counterproposal on the MOU just before the close of negotiations at 5 p.m. The District did not respond to this counter on Thursday, and indicated they will respond at our next negotiations session on September 20, 2022. While we would rather have an MOU in place sooner, it unfortunately has not been possible given the dates we have on the calendar and the approach the District has taken.
AFT and the District additionally continued negotiations over Article 1 (Union Rights) and Article 19 (Part-Time Employment) of our multiyear contract. However, we were unable to reach agreement on either article.
Upcoming bargaining dates:
- Tuesday, September 20: 1-5 p.m.