The Advocate – December 2010


Part-time faculty to vote this week on State Disability Insurance

Part-time faculty in the District will vote this week and next on whether to participate in the California State Disability Insurance Program. The District and AFT Local 1493 agreed to conduct the election, in accordance with state law governing State Disability Insurance.

California State Disability Insurance (SDI) is a partial wage-replacement insurance plan for California workers. Workers who have SDI are covered by two programs: Disability Insurance and Paid Family Leave Insurance. The SDI programs are funded through employee payroll deductions. SDI provides affordable, short-term benefits to eligible workers. The cost of participating in the program will be borne by each part-time faculty member. The current contribution rate is 1.1% of gross salary.

A majority of the votes cast will determine whether the program is implemented or not for part-time faculty in the San Mateo CCD.  A link to the online ballot will be sent to all eligible part-time faculty, and the voting period will be from December 1 through December 15.

AFT believes that the recent legislation that makes part-time faculty participation in SDI possible to be an important new benefit for part-timers, and for that reason urges part-time faculty to vote YES in this upcoming election.

In memoriam:

Joe McDonough, long-time AFT 1493 leader

joe2-colorJoseph Manning McDonough died October 22, 2010 in Palo Alto at age 85 after a full life in academia and social action.
Joe was raised in New York City and Philadelphia. During WW II he served for 3 years in the navy participating in 4 major battles, and won the Purple Heart when his destroyer was sunk by a kamikaze off Okinawa killing 40% of his shipmates.

Joe attended Princeton after the war, where he majored in Psychology.  He married Leah Brooks in 1949, after which he earned his MS at U. Miami and they both earned their PhDs in Clinical Psychology at Michigan State.  They moved to Palo Alto in 1961.

Joe spent the first half of his career with the VA Palo Alto’s Menlo Park division, running psychiatric wards, working with schizophrenics and administering work-for-pay rehab programs helping psychiatric patients return to the community. At age 43, he left hospital work and for the next 25 years was a professor of psychology at the College of San Mateo. He was an early activist in the anti-Vietnam War movement, was president of the teacher’s union, AFT 1493, and won the California Federation of Teacher’s highest state award in 2000.

He is survived by Leah, his beloved wife of 61 years, his daughter Susan, his son-in-law Warren Mar, and his granddaughter Caroline. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Louisiana Veterans Memorial Foundation, USS Kidd Veterans Memorial, 305 South River Road, Baton Rouge LA 70802-6220; or to the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, 3801 Miranda Avenue, Palo Alto CA 94304 (label donations: “For General Fund # 2202”).

President’s Letter

For-profit colleges: good business models, lots of student debt, limited educational outcomes

by Monica Malamud, AFT 1493 President

monicaCalifornia Community Colleges are woefully underfunded.  UCs and CSUs have increased tuition to stay afloat.  At the same time, private for-profit institutions of higher education are doing great business:  they enroll lots of students and their revenues increase year after year.  One is almost tempted to start thinking that perhaps the private for-profit model is the one we should emulate.  But is it really?

While I cannot even attempt to begin a comprehensive analysis of the state of public and private for-profit higher education, I will share some information about student access, persistence, success and education funding that may help put the comparison in perspective.

Kaplan deal fizzles

Given the state of the budget for California Community Colleges, and the fact that there is more student demand than the system can accommodate, earlier this year, California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, came up with an idea, which materialized as an MOU:  to allow community college students to take some of their courses online at Kaplan University, a private for-profit institution.  Kaplan would offer these courses at a deep discount of 42%.  Still, the discounted courses would have cost over $200 per credit, as opposed to $26 at a community college.  Not precisely a bargain for our students.  For Kaplan, this deal would have made their recruitment efforts easier by providing an ongoing stream of students—after all, there are lots of students who cannot get into the classes they need at our community colleges.

The MOU was terminated in less than a year, after complaints mostly from faculty in the community colleges, and the realization that courses taken at Kaplan would not transfer to UCs and CSUs.

For-profit schools’ education not better than at community colleges

Keeping enrollments up is a real struggle in the for-profit world:  57% of students (and as many as 75% in some institutions) drop out in less than two years; in other words, only 43% of the students continue to be enrolled after two years (U.S. Senate Committee).  In the California Community Colleges, the fall-to-fall persistence rate is 68% (ARCC); this means that after two years, about 46% of the students are still enrolled.  So there is not much of a difference between persistence rates at California Community Colleges and those at private for-profit institutions.

What about student success?  According to a report by the Center for Community College Student Engagement, 28 % of first-time, full-time students seeking an associate degree finished a certificate or a degree within three years.  According to the 2010 ARCC Report, in the California Community Colleges, among students who enrolled with the intention to transfer, earn a degree or a certificate, 52% achieved their goal within six years.  In comparison, according to a report by the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, data from 16 for-profit schools showed that after two years, 62% of students seeking an associate degree had dropped out, 27% were still enrolled, and only 8% had obtained their degree.

For-profits use huge amounts of federal funds for revenue, but leave students in debt

Many of the students who enroll in private for-profit institutions can hardly afford the cost of their education.  So they end up getting student loans and grants.  For example, in 2007, over 95% of students attending two-year for-profit schools took out loans, compared to 16.6% of students enrolled in community colleges. At the 16 for-profit private institutions, about 90% of their revenue came from federal funds:  mostly from the Stafford loans that students took out and the Pell Grants that they received (U.S. Senate Committee), in other words, financial aid programs supported by tax payers.

In sum, students do not accomplish their educational goals at higher rates in private for-profit institutions, and, unfortunately, most of them leave with nothing but debt.  These may be good business models, but they do not seem to be good educational models.  And disturbingly, they appear to be almost as “publicly funded” as public institutions.

In my opinion, public education should provide access to affordable, quality education to all.  The only way to guarantee that education is affordable to all is for it to be publicly funded and free for students. Perhaps some of the funding deficiency in public education could be addressed by making sure that taxpayers’ money not be used to fund a private education that will leave students with considerable debt and for-profit institutions with considerable profits.


Accountability Reporting for the California Community Colleges (ARCC), 2010.

Center for Community College Student Engagement. “The Heart of Student Success: Teaching, Learning, and College Completion,” 2010.

United States Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “The Return on the Federal Investment in For-Profit Education: Debt without a Diploma,” September 2010.


Joe Marchi to speak at December 7 DART event

by John B. Searle, DART President

Fellow retired teachers,

joemarchi1DART (the District Association of Retired Teachers) will be hosting a social event at the College Vista Clubhouse (behind the District Office) on Tuesday, December 7th, beginning at 3:00pm in the afternoon. The featured speaker/entertainer is Joe Marchi (pictured at left), who both taught at Canada, and who was a regular personality on KCSM. He will give a presentation (which will include music) on the American Musical, beginning at 4:00pm.

DART extends the invitation to present faculty, as well as retired teachers to enjoy the activity, which will include the now renowned refreshments (snack food, wine, beer, soft drinks, coffee and tea).  Please contact John Searle for more information at: or 650-595-4426

We hope you will be able to come.  If you plan to attend, please email John Searle at: so that appropriate amounts of refreshments can be provided. To help the organization stay current with your email address, please email John Searle, even if you are unable to attend.

The organization also needs a volunteer treasurer and secretary.  Please let me know if you are interested.

Another idea to make the organization more robust is to form an adhoc committee to come up with events and activities that members would enjoy.  I am all ears to suggestions for events for the coming year.




In memoriam

Joe McDonough, 1925 – 2010

Joe McDonough, longtime AFT Local 1493 leader, died October 22, 2010. A brief overview of his life is presented above. Below we are reprinting an article from the April 2000 Advocate which reported on Joe receiving CFT’s highest honor, the Ben Rust Award, and following are numerous faculty members’ memories of Joe.

From the April 2000 Advocate, pp. 4-5:

AFT 1493’s Joe McDonough Receives Highest Honor at CFT Convention

joe1At the annual convention of the California Federation of Teachers, Joe McDonough, retired CSM psychology professor and AFT activist, was given the highest honor bestowed by the CFT– the Ben Rust Award. Marty Hittelman, CFT Senior Vice President, gave the award to Joe at a luncheon in his honor. Before Joe gave his mandatory, thought provoking and inspirational speech, his longtime colleague, John Kirk, introduced him. John’s introduction covered a number of incidents involving Joe and his unique and effective methods of recruiting new members to the AFT. It was highlighted by the showing of a video of Joe looking directly into the camera and telling a potential recruit, “We need you in the union.”

The following text is from the CFT’s Ben Rust Award brochure.

An activist in AFT 1493 for over three decades

For over three decades, Joe McDonough exemplified activism in AFT Local 1493, the San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers. In politics, in bargaining and in membership recruitment, Joe showed the dedication and commitment that helped build and sustain a strong local union.
Joe thought of himself as a propagandist, not a dirty word in his vocabulary, but defined as someone who knew something about public relations and practical politics. He advocated forming a COPE committee in Local 1493, wanting to see a certain viciously anti-faculty member of the Board of Trustees defeated. Joe helped set up the infrastructure that led to his ouster and to the establishment of the local as a political force.

Joe got everyone to join

Although Joe held virtually every position possible on Local 1493’s Executive Committee, including two terms as President (1982 and 1987), and terms as Vice-President and Chief Negotiator, the position he held for the longest time was that of Chair of the Membership Committee. In this capacity, Joe’s union work became legendary in the district. He kept a list of all the faculty on his office wall, a blue pin next to the name of each non-AFT member. His goal was to remove, one by one, those blue pins. Joe would go to each newly hired faculty member, introduce himself and the Union, answer questions, and almost always return with a signed AFT membership form. Even after Joe was on his post-retirement contract, he kept that list of faculty on his office wall, still added the names of all new hires, and still made his regular AFT membership recruitment visits. As a result of Joe’s efforts, almost 90% of the full-time faculty became AFT members, and Local 1493 won three membership growth awards from the CFT in 1984, 1990 and 1991, and a national award from the AFT in 1989.

Joe’s “Blue Sheets” always had facts the District wanted hidden

As a negotiator, Joe took on the crucial function of communicator for the team. Whenever contract negotiations weren’t going well, Joe put out the AFT Faculty Times. Known as the “blue sheets” because of the blue paper used exclusively for them, these bulletins contained facts and statistics that always refuted the nonsense the District put out. Joe documented that each year the district overestimated its expenditures and underestimated its income, resulting in large ending balances. In fact, Joe became one of the local’s best budget analysts in the course of working on his beloved Faculty Times. He became very adept, for example, at discovering the different areas of the budget where the administration temporarily hid monies in their efforts to claim none existed for decent faculty raises. He once got the CFO to admit that she had hidden over $1 million in a special account. She said she had just “parked” it there. Joe’s hard-hitting analyses of the budget and related issues caused the District to lose much credibility. The AFT Faculty Times won first place for Best Bulletin Series in the CFT’s statewide Communications awards in 1995.

During WWII, Joe served on a Navy destroyer off Okinawa. A Japanese torpedo plane came in under radar, and deliberately crashed into the ship. Half the crew was killed. Joe was picked up from the water’s flaming surface by a nearby ship, but he sustained second-degree burns. Perhaps this experience caused him, decades later, to fret about the concentration of Local 1493’s leadership in one building at CSM. “We’ve got to spread out the leadership onto other campuses,” he would worry out loud. “One block bomb could take out Building 15 and we’d all go with it.”

Before turning to teaching, Joe worked as a staff psychologist in a locked ward in a mental hospital. This served him well in the San Mateo CCD. He put his knowledge of psychology to use as a union recruiter, and as one of the most popular teachers at the College of San Mateo. He amused and delighted, as well as educated, his always-full classes for over three decades. Joe’s daughter, Susan, inherited her father’s enthusiasm for social justice and the cause of unionism. She works for SEIU Local 715 in Santa Clara. Her husband, Joe’s son-in-law, works for the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute in Oakland and teaches community college labor studies classes.

When he retired, Joe McDonough was honored by his Assemblyman with both a ceremony at the College of San Mateo and a proclamation from the California Legislature. It is fitting that the CFT now honors Joe McDonough with the Ben Rust award, its most prestigious honor, for his dedication and commitment over the years to the building of a strong faculty union.

Remembering Joe

On hearing of his death, numerous faculty members sent us their memories of Joe, which are printed below.

Joe was a master of knowing how to unify the faculty behind the negotiation demands of the union.  By trade he was a behavioral psychologist, and he knew that some of the most powerful human emotions are triggered when one feels that he or she is being treated unfairly.  So Joe researched and composed a series of one page union flyers (AKA Blue Sheets- for the color of the paper) wherein he compared our faculty salaries to those of the administration, or our salaries to those of faculty in nearby districts, etc.  These flyers were very successful in making the faculty feel they were not being treated fairly.  They not only angered the faculty but also energized and stimulated them to back the union negotiators and, thus, strengthen the bargaining position of the union.  Joe insisted that the information on the flyers and his calculations be checked and rechecked for accuracy.  We all benefited from Joe’s work.
John Kirk, Economics, CSM

About the time super sleuth Joe McDonough discovered a missing million dollars in the SMCCCD budget and delightfully detailed the financial faux pas in the “blue sheets”, there appeared to be energy in the faculty for an assertive act. Ken Kennedy, Academic Senate President, Joe and I, not exactly the holy trinity, requested time at the next SMCCCD Board Meeting for our presentations. As I recruited faculty to attend the board meeting, not most peoples’ idea of a good time, I asked Joe what I should say. With that wry Irish smile that he always had, he said: “You’re the leader”.

On the night of the meeting, there were many more faculty than the board room could accommodate, a rare event. TV cameras and newspaper reporters were everywhere and the atmosphere was electric. Ken presented his points with all the savvy of his discipline, Political Science. Even though you could see through those steely blue eyes of Joe McDonough deep into his fiery soul, he delivered a dispassionate repertoire full of facts, figures and fortitude. In stark contrast, with more limbic than cerebral firing of the neurons I concluded the faculty presentation to the board.

When I asked Mary K., my wife who was second only to Joe in the recruitment of faculty to membership in AFT 1493, how she thought the meeting had gone, she replied “Joe was really cool, calm and collected”. I queried “And?” Her response was “Joe’s presentation was replete with relevant data.” I realized, now, Joe was not only my friend but my mentor. As a result of Joe’s dedication, the faculty and administration received salary increases of 6 1/2% and 5 1/2% in 1990 and 1991.
Paul Stegner, Psychology, Cañada

I am sorry to hear about Joe. He was one of the first people who poked his head in my office when I was a new faculty member at CSM–and I was a dues-paying member of the AFT before he left my office.
Michael Claire, President, CSM

I have many fond memories of Joe, which go back to the 1960’s when we both lived in Palo Alto. He was a warm and humane human being, who knew how to get things done (e.g. the idea of hiring an Executive Secretary for our union).

As a very young man, he had been a Navy sonarman on a destroyer, which was sunk by a kamakazi attack during the battle of Okinawa. He was part of that generation of Americans who fought in World War II and then went to college on the GI Bill.

My first encounter with Joe did not go smoothly. As a newly hired part-timer, I was assigned an office to share with Jack Atthowe, a full-time psychologist who, like Joe, also worked with mental patients at the Menlo Park VA. Unintroduced and unannounced, Joe popped unexpectedly into my office a number of times to take a human brain in a jar off a shelf and then leave for his psychology class. After several such abrupt entries, I confronted him, alleging discourtesy, and we had words. A few months later I saw him a couple of times, once at a rally in East Palo Alto featuring Ted Kennedy, whose brother, Bobby, was running in the 1968 primary.  On another occasion I saw him at a Be-In event at a park in Palo Alto. It was the 1960’s of radical politics and counterculture, when new ideas, music, politics, etc. were part of a heady scene.  After those two sightings, we both realized we were on the same side and became good friends. When Nixon invaded Cambodia and appeared to be escalating the war in Viet Nam, we went out at night to Stanford to join the demonstrations and face the Tac Squad.

Years later, when I wrote some pieces for the Advocate criticizing James Tormey, a bully on the District Board of Trustees who was a consistently reactionary element, Joe used to tease me and tell me that “Tormey has your number and wants to see you.”  I’m sorry he’s gone, but our days in Palo Alto and at CSM are part of my memories of a time of hope and resistance in America.
Greg Davis, Political Science, CSM

Joe had a tough side when negotiating with administrators for faculty benefits, but a real warmth and concern when dealing with friends. Some years ago we co-taught a class and on the day I was to do the entire lecture a colleague stopped by and told me that my former pet turtle, which I had given to her children for their amphibian room, had died. Joe saw me with tears streaming down my cheeks and when I blurted out that my turtle had died he didn’t miss a beat. He told me to go home and take it easy and he’d do the class. I never knew if he felt my pain or just felt I was loosing my marbles, but in either case he was ready to help. Joe was like that with most of the CSM faculty, except for those who didn’t join the union.
Anita Fisher, Psychology, CSM

I am very sorry to hear about Joe McDonough. Yes, he was one of my favorite CSM teachers, or rather, all-time favorites, one of those a part of whom I have internalized, helping to keep me alert and steady in my own dealings with students inside and outside the classroom. As it turns out, CSM remains at the core of my teaching persona; this, thanks to Joe McDonough, Greg Davis, and a few others.  I try to be for my students what CSM teachers were for me.
Ronald Puppo, a student at CSM in the early 70’s who went on to graduate from UCSC, study at the University of Grenoble in France, and eventually get a PhD at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He has been teaching translation for a number of years at the University of Vic (Catalonia.)

Joe was always for the working stiff.  I remember once when we had had lunch at some self-service place and I started to clear away some stuff, he said, “Leave it.  Give the folks who work here work for them to do so that they’ll be kept on.”
Al Acena, Social Science, CSM

I remember Joe well.  He was an inspiration to me in my involvement with the union indirectly. I am pleased he received this honor [the Ben Rust Award] he so richly deserved.
Chip Chandler, Adaptive P.E., Skyline

AFT 1493’s 2009 Budget

As the exclusive collective bargaining agent for all faculty in SMCCCD, AFT 1493 collects dues and fees from faculty members.  The table and chart below show all expenses incurred by AFT 1493 in 2009; these data are based on the annual audit that the Local undergoes, as required by law.  The total income was $606,878 and total expenses were $598,155.

2009 Income

Income from Dues and Fees: $606,336.41

Interest Income
a) Checking: $58.98
b) Savings:  $483.03
Total Interest Income: $542.01

Total Income
(from Dues/Fees & Interest): $606,878.42

2009 Expenses

AFT per capitas        94,246
CFT per capitas        202,281
Other per capitas        16,660
Members insurance        3,750
Costs for membership $316,937

Salaries            133,443
Payroll taxes        11,679
Workers compensation        1,883
Employees benefits        51,012
Minus: Formula funding rebate    (59,845)
Net AFT staff $138,172

Purchased release time for officers    43,680
Officers release time $43,680

Legal            109,233
Minus: Legal defense grant    (49,605)
Net legal costs $59,628

Office expenses        8,538
Printing            10,171
Depreciation            2,790
Conferences & convention    10,464
Good & welfare        1,163
Agency fee costs        6,612
Other expenses $39,738

Net Expenses            $598,155


AFT members eligible for union scholarships


There are many scholarships available to AFT Local 1493 members. Below are some CFT, AFT and AFL-CIO scholarships that may help your family pay for education:

1)  Raoul Teilhet Scholarship:

Scholarships of $3000 for students entering or attending a four-year university and $1000 scholarships for students entering or attending a two-year school, established in honor of Raoul Teilhet, CFT President in the 70’s, when California education employees won collective bargaining. Scholarships awarded to graduating high school seniors and continuing college students who are children or dependents of CFT members.
Deadline:  January 10, 2011 for high school seniors;
July 1, 2011 for continuing college students.
How to apply:, click on Scholarships.
To learn more, phone 714-754-6638.

2) Robert G. Porter Scholarship:

Scholarships of $8000 for high school seniors who are dependents of AFT members; continuing education grants of $1000 for AFT members.
Deadline:  March 31, 2011
How to apply:
To learn more, phone 800-238-1133, extension 4457.

3) Union Plus Scholarship:

Scholarships of $500-4000 offered by the AFL-CIO to union members, their spouses and dependents who are enrolled at an accredited institution of higher education.
Deadline: January 31, 2011
How to apply:

4) Union Leaders of the Future Scholarship:

The AFL-CIO offers scholarships of $3000 to qualifying union members who want to become union leaders (for women and people of color).
How to apply:

AFT 1493 opposes huge Cargill development in Redwood City salt ponds

At the September 2010 AFT 1493 Executive Committee meeting, AFT members urged the E.C. to take a position in opposition to a large and very controversial development project under consideration in San Mateo County. Cargill Inc. and DMB Associates, an Arizona-based luxury home developer, have proposed to build a new city of 12,000 homes, housing 30,000 people, behind a massive new levee on the San Francisco Bay in Redwood City. The new housing development would fill in about two square miles of restorable salt ponds, and would compromise acres of potential marshland, which is critical for, among other things, both water filtration and the sequestration of carbon dioxide to combat global warming.

As a region, we have made progress towards Smart Growth – promoting building in places near and within walking distance of jobs and transit, supporting vibrant communities, and preserving valuable open space. This development – 17 times bigger than anything approved on the San Francisco Bay in the past 50 years – represents a major step backwards.

After reviewing the details of the project, including the development’s impact on union jobs at the Port of Redwood City and the strong movement to restore the ponds back to Bay marshland (90% of which have been lost over past years), our Executive Committee voted unanimously to oppose the project.

The developers, having already spent an estimated $20 million or more to get their project approved, are actively courting labor organizations throughout the Bay Area and the state. AFT 1493 is happy to be working with a large and growing coalition that includes workers at the Port of Redwood City (ILWU Local 10), Port industry (the shippers association), over 150 elected officials, neighboring towns and cities, and scores of environmental and community organizations from Redwood City and around the region.