April 15, 2009

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

April 15, 2009, at Cañada

Present: Ron Brown, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Sandi Raeber, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware


Guests: Shirley Streifer


Meeting began at 2:30

Facilitator: Monica Malamud

Time Keeper: Yaping Li


Welcome and Introductions


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

Shirley Streifer, the only certified Learning Disability specialist at Cañada, informed AFT of the events that led to the elimination of her position in December 2008, and a proposal to shift student assessment from Cañada to a more costly private clinic and/or using psychology interns. Vicki Clinton is working on creating an information sheet about the situation, and Teeka suggested that Shirley contact people involved with the BSI Committee to determine whether Basic Skills students are more likely to use the services, and perhaps whether there might be some BSI funding available to reinstate some services.

Minutes of the March 18, 2009 EC meeting

Approved unanimously with corrections.


AFT Website Redesign and Communication Poll Data Analysis

Eric felt there was a lot of useful feedback from the survey, especially about the AFT website. EC members agreed that our website isn’t bad, but could definitely be improved. In particular, we need to make it easier for faculty to contact EC members, and will consider creating ways for faculty to provide feedback, suggestions, and questions. Eric will be working on an Advocate article, summarizing the responses.

More than one respondent requested more information and updates from Reps/Chapter Chairs. One idea is to include reports from Chapter Chairs in the Advocate. Monica suggested using Department and Division meetings as opportunities for updating faculty on current issues. Eric suggested including links to specific Advocate articles in AFT E-News updates.

We will be looking carefully at repeated themes and will bring ideas and suggestions for improving both the website and communications in general to our May EC meeting.


Apprenticeship Negotiations Issue

About a year ago, the Plumbers’ Union expressed interest in a separate salary schedule – which excluded office hour pay – for P/T faculty in the apprenticeship program. At the time, Dan and Ernie explained that we were not in the negotiations process. In response, the Plumbers’ Union pulled out of its arrangement with our District and moved to Foothill, whose contract, incidentally, includes office hour pay for P/T faculty.

Now the Sprinkler Fitters Local 483 are interested in the same separate salary schedule. The EC has no interest in developing a two tier salary schedule for the apprenticeship programs faculty.


Negotiations Update

Joaquin is working with Eric to create a survey to determine the issues faculty are most interested in AFT negotiating during the next round of contract negotiations. The survey will likely include a list of the various articles in our contract and will allow for faculty to suggest anything of interest, or concern, to them.

Typically, once our contract expires, we continue to follow it, in total, until a new one is negotiated.

The EC feels that in light of the Board’s recent vote to uphold the District’s appeal of an arbitrator’s ruling in a grievance, we must put binding arbitration on the table. In the past, the District has argued that because it had never appealed an arbitrator’s ruling, there was no need for binding arbitration. This discussion of bringing binding arbitration to the negotiating table, led to further discussion of the need to educate faculty about its importance. John and Dan are currently working on an Advocate article about the particular case involved. We also discussed the possibility of holding campus discussion forums, either this semester or in the fall, as well as bringing the issue up at Senate meetings.


UPWA Educational Forum in San Mateo?

George Wright is hoping that AFT will sponsor and/or facilitate a forum to highlight the concerns of United Public Workers for Action, as other Labor Councils are doing. We decided that AFT simply doesn’t have the manpower to get involved at that level right now. Dan will, however, propose such a forum to the San Mateo Labor Council, and will introduce George to its members.


Class Size Survey

According to the survey results, some faculty do feel that large classes are appropriate. The real issues is how to protect faculty from being forced, or coerced, to teach large classes. The current MOU refers to the need for Deans to consult with faculty, but this language needs to be strengthened. It is especially important for faculty to have more control since there is not consensus about large classes.


Hours by Arrangement

This item was tabled, as Cañada has developed a new plan for how to meet state requirements regarding Hours by Arrangement.



A)        AFT has directed our attorney to file an unfair labor practice charge in the current case in which the Board voted to overrule an arbitrator’s decision in a grievance. Ron stressed that pursuing this case is essential since we had already won it.

Our discussion around this issue once again highlighted the need for all faculty to be fully familiar with the tenure review and evaluation processes. Lezlee suggested that, in the event of a grievance, AFT make a clear statement to tenure review or evaluation committees/faculty that the grievance is not about them.

B)        Nina reported that our attorney recommended AFT file a Level 1 grievance over a March 15 letter issued by the District for a probationary faculty member denied a contract at the end of his/her second year.


Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda items

A)        Monica reminded us that AFT needs to approve a tentative budget at our May meeting.

B)        Dan reminded members that ULI will be held at the end of July.

C)        Dan announced that Dave Mandelkern would like to attend our May meeting. Members felt that we could not sacrifice 30 minutes of our last meeting of the semester, so we will invite him to meet with a smaller group of EC members 30 minutes before the official start time of our meeting.

D)        Elizabeth wants to rally faculty to oppose moving Learning Disability assessment at Cañada off-site.

E)         Joaquin suggested that Dan start sending out the EC packet electronically.


Open discussion/meeting critique

Meeting adjourned:   4:55


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