AFT 1493 E-News, September 13, 2011

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

As I said on Opening Day, the District and AFT 1493 negotiating teams reached a Tentative Agreement (TA) this summer for a new collective bargaining agreement, and, as I promised, the AFT Executive Committee (EC) considered this TA at its August 19th retreat. At that time, the EC voted to submit the TA for ratification to the faculty, with a recommendation that faculty vote in favor of ratification.

Subsequently, on August 24th, the Board of Trustees voted 4-1 to approve salary improvements for academic and classified supervisors, a group of employees not represented by any union (Board Packet 9.7.11, see Minutes of 8.24.11).

In voting in favor of these salary improvements, the Board relied on faulty assumptions regarding faculty salary comparisons to other districts. Board Report #11-8-2A stated, “To be consistent with the District’s salary range reviews of AFT and CSEA, staff determined that new classified and academic supervisory salary ranges should rank within the top three or four of the comparison districts” (Board Packet 8.24.11, see Exempt Academic and Classified Supervisory Salary Schedule). This statement rests on an erroneous assumption that AFT members’ salaries are already within the top three or four of the comparison districts, but in fact the salaries of a majority of our faculty are below the top three or four districts.

The Board minutes from the August 24 meeting indicate that the District conducted a salary survey to determine comparable compensation for academic and classified supervisors in Spring 2011. At no time during negotiations with AFT, however, did the District negotiating team give any indication that while it was asking faculty to accept a wage freeze, the District was concurrently studying a salary increase for supervisors.

In light of this recent Board action, AFT held a special meeting on September 7th. Considering that during more than two years of negotiations and mediation our team was repeatedly and forcefully told that there was no funding for any salary improvements, the Executive Committee voted to rescind its prior recommendation that faculty vote in favor of ratification (those EC members that serve on the negotiating team have recused themselves from this process).

Accordingly, AFT 1493 will submit the TA to the faculty for a ratification vote as previously announced, but without its prior recommendation in favor of ratification. The Executive Committee came to this decision in order to uphold the principle that all district employees should be treated with fairness and equity.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter.

In Unity,

Monica Malamud
AFT1493 President