PUSH FOR BINDING ARBITRATION BEGINS
Dear Skyline Colleagues,
Over the past months, AFT 1493 has published in The Advocate a number of articles regarding “binding arbitration” and the reasons that it is a top priority in our current negotiations. We are asking you to support “binding arbitration” by clicking on he following link and signing our Union’s online petition for binding arbitration: http://www.petitiononline.com/aft1493/petition.html.
According to our current contract, decisions made by arbitrators are only “advisory,” meaning our District Board of Trustees can at any time overturn a decision that an arbitrator makes on behalf of any faculty member. Last year, the Board of Trustees exercised its power when it overturned a decision made by a highly respected arbitrator. In last year’s case, the arbitrator ruled that our District had violated the AFT contract and that the faculty member be awarded back pay and reemployment. However, the Board of Trustees rejected the arbitrator’s decision, leaving the faculty member with nothing, and leaving all faculty with a clear sign that the Board is, at any time, willing to overturn a ruling that it doesn’t agree with.
Keep in mind that, beyond tenure, our contract includes many other items that guarantee our rights and benefits as faculty. Without binding arbitration, if we file a grievance based on a contractual item, ranging from peer evaluation to transfers to benefits and more, and the arbitrator rules in our favor, the Board may overturn that ruling. In the long run, if a long, hard battle is fought for something that is guaranteed to us under our contract, it is not enforceable, even if an arbitrator rules in our favor…all this because we currently don’t have “binding arbitration.”
Let’s work together now to show our support for “binding arbitration.” An easy way to do this is by signing the petition that AFT 1493 has posted online. This petition calls for the District to agree to a change in our contract to “explicitly ensure that, when a faculty grievance goes to arbitration, the decision made by the arbitrator must be ‘binding’ rather than ‘advisory.’”
If you have any questions about binding arbitration, please feel free to contact the following people at Skyline:
Joaquin Rivera (x4159), Chief Negotiator
Katharine Harer, Co-Vice President and Negotiator (x4412)
Chip Chandler (x4286) and Nina L. Floro (x4414), Skyline College Co-Chapter Chairs
Eric Brenner (x4177), Advocate Editor
Alma Cervantes (x4368), Skyline College Executive Committee Rep.