Each of our weekly messages include a quick survey on your thoughts about the current District and AFT proposals on an issue by issue basis (see Negotiation FAQs).

After reading this Action Update, let us know your thoughts regarding the District’s stance on counselors’ rights and any feedback you have on our union’s proposal.



FACT: This past Wednesday, AFT proposed contract language that allows counselors to carry out “prof time”—their 8 hours per week of preparing for appointments, updating records, and following up with students–at a time and place of their choosing. 

AFT also proposed that when students choose to schedule virtual counseling appointments, counselors should be able to conduct those appointments remotely.

FACT: The District rejected BOTH of AFT’s proposals, with District Chief Negotiator Randy Erickson saying: “The location of where paid services go—that’s management’s decision.”

In other words, the District wants deans to be able to force counselors to be in their offices to take remote appointments. They also want to control where and when counselors do non-student-contact work such as email follow-up with students.


As AFT negotiator Monica Malamud pointed out at Wednesday’s Board meeting, the District’s insistence on dictating where counselors carry out their work creates inequities among faculty

Our contract allows instructors to teach online from wherever they want and to do prep and grading at a place and time of their choosing.

Why is the District treating counselors differently?









EQUITY! SMCCCD counselors share their thoughts about the District’s insistence on controlling where they do prof time and where they take remote appointments:

“We (counselors) pour our hearts into the work we do with students. As faculty, we live by a professional and ethical code. When the District forces us to come into the office to write an email, it shows a lack of respect and trust for counseling faculty and diminishes our spirit.

This issue is akin to teaching online/hybrid classes and holding remote office hours; it would be absurd to require faculty to be in their Skyline office for those activities. We should have autonomy, as faculty, to carry out our responsibilities where we see fit.”

—Lorraine DeMello, FT counselor


“Our lives have shifted just like our students and having the flexibility to perform our duties remotely (how we currently operate) has been just as effective. Having to commute many hours to work, just to be in the office for zoom appointments all day is irrational.”

—Brianna Clay, FT counselor


“As an adjunct living far from Skyline College, and required to be in-person 50% of my assigned hours, I have to squeeze in 9 in-person hours to save on gas. If I have to be back 100% in person, I’ll have to work two 9-hour days. But, on an average 15 back-to-back student meetings in one day, only four would opt for in-person counseling.”

—PT counselor


Many students like the flexibility of zoom counseling appointments and it helps me to more quickly respond to students’ needs. Online faculty instructors are trusted to provide the same quality instruction as in-person courses from off campus, why aren’t counselors trusted to do the same?

– Kevin Sinarle, FT counselor

Each of our weekly messages includes a quick survey asking your perspective on proposals made by both AFT negotiators and the District. Please click the “Take Survey” button at right to share your thoughts. Every bit of feedback helps us act strategically to win a fair contract!