September 10, 2008

Minutes of

General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

September 10, 2008 at CSM

Present: Eric Brenner, Ron Brown, Alma Cervantes, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Dave Danielson, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Sandra Raeber, Joaquin Rivera, Katie Schertle, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis

Guests: Salumeh Eslamieh, Jesus Moya, Mary Stegner, Paul Stegner, Yolanda Valenzuela

Meeting began at 2:25

Facilitator: Eric Brenner

 

1. Welcome and Introductions


2. Minutes of the May 14, 2008 EC meeting

Approved.

Teeka pointed out that it is important to track issues that we say we will carry over, like the Large Class Size MOU (what to do about classes with 45-69 students) and the Ethics Statement.

3. Statements from AFT members on Non-Agenda Items:

Jesus Moya expressed his concern and unhappiness over a deteriorating relationship with the new Dean of the Social Science/Creative Arts Division. After not seeing the classes he normally teaches listed in the schedule of classes for Fall 2008, and feeling that the Dean was intruding into his (Jesus’) relationship with his students, he went to talk with the Dean in the Dean’s office. After some discussion, the Dean threatened to call CSM security to escort Jesus out of his office. He feels he can no longer talk to the Dean and would like some help from AFT.

4. Negotiations Update

Future issue:

Many faculty have suggested adding additional Flex days to the Academic Calendar to allow us more time to complete the increasing administrative workload falling on faculty. The objective would be to increase faculty participation in tasks such as Program Review, SLO work, etc. Dan says that District Administration is eager to help us do this. Rather than adding the current number of days in the regular semester, these Flex days would replace existing instruction days. Cañada replaced one day of instruction in Spring 2008 with a Flex day to allow faculty time to work on SLO’s – the experiment was quite successful, and AFT and the District have already negotiated one additional Flex day for Spring 2009 (March 12).

AFT will poll faculty to determine whether they support adding two Flex days in Fall 2009 (November 11 & 12) and two Flex days in Spring 2010 (March 10 &11). AFT will write a rationale for additional Flex days and will consult with the Academic Senate before creating and posting the poll online.

Ongoing issues:

a) P/T seniority list:

AFT and the District have agreed to the following:

  • Deans will send the lists to Harry Joel’s office and AFT can then request the lists from Harry. It is still faculty’s responsibility to check that the lists are correct, but they can now ask Dan for the list, rather than having to request them from their Deans.
  • Administrators will have to provide a fuller explanation to P/T faculty (and F/T faculty on the seniority list) who are not assigned courses. To help with this, all Deans will be required to ask for faculty teaching requests in writing.

    Note: Not addressed in this round of negotiations – F/T’s positions on the seniority list count throughout the entire District while P/T’s positions on the list count only by campus. The list also does not apply to courses taught in summer. These items will be addressed in future negotiations.

  • If faculty request an assignment and don’t get it, they will stay on the list for five consecutive semesters (rather than the current three semesters).

    One question arose: Do all Distance Ed. courses count toward faculty load and affect their position on the P/T seniority lists? Joaquin said he would look into this.

b) Grievances:

AFT and the District have agreed to the following changes to current contract language:

  • Level 1: Filing time extended from 20 days to 30 days.
  • Level 2: If there is going to be a hearing, the Chancellor must schedule it within 10 days.

Binding arbitration: SMCCD is currently one of just three Districts in the Bay 10 that do not have binding arbitration. The District did not agree to binding arbitration, arguing that it is unnecessary since the Board always goes along with arbitrators’ recommendations.

c) Distance Education:

All of this language is completely new. Eric and Alma joined in the negotiations around Distance Ed. The District has agreed to the following:

  • AFT will be guaranteed membership on DEAC.
  • Compensation for developing Distance Ed. courses: The District hasn’t really acknowledged the additional work load involved in developing Distance Ed. courses. It agreed to pay faculty at the Special Rate (no more than 25 hours) if approved by the appropriate administrator.
  • Enrollment caps: The District wants the class size limits to be the same as for on-campus classes. As with course development, the District does not acknowledge the additional per-student workload involved in teaching many Distance Ed. courses.

The next bargaining session is Friday (9/12). The District’s position is that it will not negotiate on the three re-openers separately. They say we must accept their most recent offer on Distance Ed. if we want the proposed changes to P/T seniority and grievances. How do we want our negotiators to proceed? Some EC members felt is was most important to simply get some language in the contract about Distance Ed. Others felt we need to continue to push for enrollment caps and more compensation. We voted to settle on P/T seniority and grievances and continue to negotiate on Distance Ed. If the District refuses to “de-link” the three items, we will continue negotiating the entire package.

5. Trust Committee release time discussion

Compensation:

Teeka provided a brief history of AFT’s unofficial negotiations with the District regarding compensation for faculty who will serve on the Trust Committee. She began discussions with Harry Joel last semester (Spring 2008). The District initially said that it would not give reassigned time for Trust Committee members, but after AFT provided documentation that members of the original Trust Committee did indeed get some reassigned time, the District offered a $1,500 per semester stipend. Teeka is advocating for 3 units of reassigned time for each faculty member on the Committee (AFT wants 10 faculty on the Committee, three from each campus in additional to a faculty Chair) and wanted to know how the EC feels. John and Ernie, both of whom served on the original Trust Committee, were emphatic that faculty need to be released from part of their ordinary work load, rather than given a small stipend, in order to do the job well. We discussed the possibility of having AFT calculate the total cost to the District of provided 3 units of reassigned time to 9 faculty and presenting that information to the District.

Using SLO’s as part of faculty evaluation:

Members expressed concern over language contained in the District’s Response to ACCJC regarding the use SLO’s in faculty evaluations. This letter suggested that the Trust Committee would consider using the outcomes of SLO assessment in faculty evaluation. The language in this report was eventually changed to say only that the Trust Committee would consider linking the production and articulation of SLO’s, rather than the outcome, to the faculty evaluation process.

Dan mentioned that Bob Bezemek will give a presentation at the October 10 CCC meeting on this very issue. Dan suspects that if CFT is unhappy with WASC’s response to a proposed letter from Marty Hittelman, it may proceed with a lawsuit against WASC.

Some EC members felt we should push back hard against any pressure from the District to link SLO’s to faculty evaluation in any way.

In the end the EC voted unanimously not to move forward with the formation of the Trust Committee without 3 units of reassigned time, or the equivalent, for all faculty serving on the committee. Teeka agreed to contact the Senate Presidents and Harry Joel regarding our decision. AFT will clarify at tonight’s (9/10/08) Board meeting that the committee has not yet been formed, nor has AFT agreed to discuss the issue of linking SLO’s with faculty evaluations.

General:

Paul Stegner, a member of the original Trust Committee, made the following recommendations to the future committee:

  • AFT should insist on 3 units of reassigned time for all faculty members.
  • Use a Shared Governance model (including accurate and thorough documentation of all meetings, tasks, etc., and rotation of Chair position).
  • Consult with members of the previous Trust Committee on existing language, intent, rationale, etc.
  • Once the Board has approved the Trust Committee, form an oversight committee on each campus similar to the Peer Evaluation Guidance Committee.
  • Always ask for the EC’s approval before finalizing anything.
  • Develop and maintain a good relationship with the Academic Senate.
  • Continually portray the Trust Committee as something positive and beneficial for faculty.

6. Grievances

The EC voted unanimously to take the case of a faculty member who was terminated after his/her second year of the tenure process to arbitration – a hearing is scheduled for October 28 & 29.


7. “Food for Thought” discussion

This item was tabled until our October meeting.

8. Communications with Board/District

This item was tabled until our October meeting.

 

9. The Organizing Conversation

This item was tabled until our October meeting.

 

10. AFT Local 1493 2008-09 Budget

This item was tabled until our October meeting.

 

11. Proposed change in Dan’s SEP/IRA contract article

This item was tabled until our October meeting.

 

12. Open discussion/meeting critique

Meeting adjourned: 4:45

October meeting facilitator: Karen Olesen