April 13, 2011

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

April 13, 2011 at Cañada College

EC Members Present: Eric Brenner, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Lisa Suguitan Melnick, Sandi Raeber Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Masao Suzuki

Other Attendees: Violeta Grigorescu, Margaret Hanzimanolis (Part-Time Organizer)

Meeting begun: 2:25

Facilitator: Katharine Harer


1. Welcome and Introductions


2. Statements from AFT (non-EC) Members on Non-Agenda Items

A.   Violeta Grigorescu reported on the impending demolition of Building 20 at CSM (referred to as the “Edison Project”). The building, the adjacent garden, and three greenhouses, all of which are used for the Floristry and Horticulture programs, are slated for demolition. Two student groups and a number of faculty are actively working to prevent the demolition, which almost went ahead last June, before it came to the attention of faculty and students in Spring 2010. They believe that the plan is a misuse of taxpayers’ dollars, as the money being used for the demolition was originally slated for renovation. A group of faculty have devoted many hours to a formal proposal to save the building and garden, but have made little headway, despite the two student groups having made a presentation directly to the Board. At least one Board member emphasized that such presentations are unlikely to be effective, especially given the current budget situation, which makes the elimination of programs inevitable.

The two affected programs are currently going through a modified PIV process, perhaps lasting just a few months. The demolition of the building, garden, and greenhouses is scheduled for almost exactly the same time the PIV process will end, making the demolition appear to be a fait accompli. Monica believes that because college programs will be affected, the Senate must take the lead on this. The affected faculty are primarily PT.

Dan, Diana Bennett, and Violeta will draft a letter to   .   And Violeta will check whether CSM has a standing Facilities Committee, which might be the appropriate group to work on this.

B.    Tom Mohr (President, Cañada), who was expected to speak briefly during this segment of the meeting, actually came near the end of the meeting to talk about forming a “coalition” of AFT, Senate, and Administration to study the Tianhua initiative, a proposed collaboration with a private university in China.


3. Minutes of March 9, 2011 AFT Meeting

Approved: 13 “yes,” 1 abstention


4. Community College Budget: State and District

Masao reported that the Community Colleges will see cuts of at least $300,000,000, but Kathy Blackwood believes that they will likely be significantly higher and that Prop. 98 will be suspended (if tax extensions are not approved). She said that our District should get by without huge cuts for 2011/2012, but program elimination and layoffs are likely in 2012/2013. Decisions about these cuts will have to be made in the upcoming year. Masao said it is likely that we will go Basic Aid, which may have the unintended consequence of reducing incentives to increase enrollment.


5. Negotiations Update

There have been no additional negotiation sessions since our last meeting on March 9, 2011. There was some confusion over the appointment of a new mediator, but we are now working with the same mediator once again.


6. P/T Faculty Organizer Report

Part-Time seniority lists:

Margaret asked that the Chapter Chairs encourage Deans to make the seniority lists public. Joaquin pointed out that the best contract language we’ve been able to get states merely that faculty can request to see the lists; Deans are not required to post them. The EC agreed that Chapter Chairs will post them in the work rooms for each division. The EC (Margaret?) will notify faculty when they are all posted.

Trust Committee:

Margaret requested that the EC commit to including a PTr as a standing, permanent member of the Trust Committee when it is reconstituted. Some members felt that such a commitment was premature, given that we have been working on reconstituting this committee for such a long time and have no way of knowing if or when this will happen, and given that the committee will likely have only four members and must represent the three campuses as well as various faculty constituencies across the District. Others felt that such a commitment at this time was important. The EC had previously committed to, at a minimum, the inclusion of PT faculty through focused working groups.

Because this item was not listed as an action item on the agenda, we could not take an official vote, but we did vote on two questions:

  • Should we table this issue until a future meeting?

Yes: 5;  No: 6;  Abstain: 1


  • Do we support the following statement?

“The AFT EC will make every effort to include a PT faculty member on the Trust Committee, as one of its four standing members, when it reconvenes.”

Yes: 9;  No: 9;  Abstain: 2

7. Update on AFT/Academic Senate Trust Committee Statement

Diana Bennett gave a presentation on the issue of reconstituting the Trust Committee, and the joint AFT/Senate statement about doing so, at the March 23, 2011 Board of Trustees meeting but experienced technical difficulties with the presentation.

One Board member wanted to know why the committee couldn’t include an administrator with a full vote.


8. Discussion of Overload Issue

Joaquin had requested data from the District office regarding Spring 2011 FT faculty overloads in order to help the EC determine whether the practice is widespread enough for us to consider negotiating contract language to limit the amount of overload FT faculty can take. The information provided shows that 19 FT faculty are teaching overloads of more than 6 units, and 6 FT faculty are receiving release time of more than 6 units for non-instructional assignments. Ten FT faculty are teaching overloads of more than 7.5 units, and 4 FT faculty are receiving release time of more than 7.5 units for non-instructional assignments.

Some EC members feel that the number of faculty taking overloads, and the size of the overloads, is not a seriousness enough problem to warrant contractual limits, and that it may be possible to stop most overload abuses (which we have not yet defined) through other methods.

Margaret pointed out that despite the data, we still do not know the actual impact on PT faculty of FTs taking overloads but agreed that we should not raise the issue during the current contract negotiations. We all agreed that we need more detailed information. Though there are inherent problems with collecting information about each faculty overload, we may not be able to get an accurate picture of the situation without knowing where each faculty member’s overload is coming from (non-instructional assignments, a four-course English comp load including 4 or 5-unit courses, unit banking, etc.).

Eric feels we need an article for The Advocate, but acknowledged that we are not ready to write one. Margaret drafted a statement for the EC to consider publishing in every issue of The Advocate:

Whereas economic instability and budget cuts are affecting the employment status and livelihoods of Part-Time faculty in the San Mateo County Community College District,

Be it resolved that the AFT 1493 Executive Committee recommends that Full-Time faculty members seriously consider refraning from taking on excessive overloads in situations in which Part-Time faculty members will be displaced from course to which they would otherwise have been assigned.

Some members felt that we should postpone running the above statement until we are also ready with an article. The vote on this proposal was as follows:

Yes: 2; No: 11 Abstain: 1


A second vote on whether to run the statement indefinitely, starting with the May issue was as follows:

Yes: 12; No: 2 Abstain: 0


9. District Shared Governance Council Report

There has been no meeting since AFT 1493 last met.


10. FSA/Equivalency Procedure

The District Academic Senate took the lead on revising the process for determining FSA’s. Diana Bennett announced at the April 11 District Academic Senate meeting that the EC would be discussing the document at our April meeting. Monica has reviewed the new language, but has not received much feedback from the EC. She believes the document needs only minor changes, which can be made easily. In a straw vote, the EC agree that we would approve the document with minor corrections by Monica, and that we would conduct an electronic vote in the next week.


11. Proposed Changes to the AFT 1493 Constitution

Monica reiterated that we need to make some changes to our Constitution. Because she has not received feedback from most of the EC, we will bring this agenda item back to our May meeting. At that time, Monica will highlight her suggested changes. We agreed to discuss this issue early at the meeting and to make it an action item.


12. Grievances

  • Nina requested that issues/potential grievances be directed to Chip as she will be stepping down as a grievance officer after this semester.
  • Chip had no formal grievances to report.


13. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

Monica stated that she want to know our current expenses for the year-to-date at our May meeting and would like a preliminary budget at that time.


Meeting adjourned:             5:20