April 2016 Advocate: New 3-year contract proposals
AFT and District present proposals for new 3-year contract; AFT includes workload equity proposal
by Monica Malamud, AFT 1493 Negotiating Team Member
The current faculty contract runs from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016. This means that the contract will expire soon after the end of spring semester, so, in preparation for negotiations, the AFT conducted a survey last fall, to identify and prioritize issues which faculty wanted to bring up in this round, when the entire contract is open for negotiations. The AFT considered the results of this survey, as well as other factors that impact the work of faculty, and put together an initial proposal for the new contract, which was presented to the Board of Trustees on February 17, 2016.
The District’s and the AFT’s negotiating teams have met twice already. In the first two sessions, each team presented its initial proposal.
The AFT’s set of proposals is quite extensive and comprehensive, and we urge faculty to read it in its entirety online on the union’s website, aft1493.org. A brief summary is shown below.
AFT’s proposals include, among others:
• Article 5: elimination of the no strike clause
• Article 7: re-definition of work hours to allow for conducting work in a virtual manner
• Article 8: re-definition of “large classes” and associated load
• Article 10: addition of certain privileges for retired faculty
• Article 11: expansion of family leave options, request for paid maternity/child bonding leave, new leave reason (public service)
• Article 13: increase in funding for Professional Development Program
• Article 17: binding arbitration
• Article 19: guaranteed right to an interview for part-timers applying for a full-time position
• Article 22: increase in unit banking to 30 units
• Appendix D: workload equity (see description here)
• Appendix F: changes in FLC for biological and physical sciences labs, and for cosmetology lab classes
Additionally, the AFT is requesting new contract language on:
• the class assignment process for full-time faculty
• clear class cancellation guidelines
• reassignment of faculty with cancelled classes
• academic freedom
• procedures for dealing with complaints against and investigations of a unit member
• just cause and progressive discipline
The most significant District proposals include:
• Article 7: elimination of flexibility for flex days for all faculty. A faculty member would be able to participate in non-District organized activities only if pre-approved in writing by a VPI or VPSS.
• Article 12: elimination of the clause that transfers of a full time faculty member to another college in the district shall only be denied if they would cause actual harm to the educational program of either college.
• Article 19: redefining “break in service” for part-time faculty as one that exceeds two semesters. Currently, a PT’s name is removed from the seniority list after a break in service that exceeds 3 semesters, or after 6 semesters if the PT requested, but was not given, an assignment.
• Article 19: allowing administrators to teach a course. Proposed language says that “an additional section of that course must be created specifically for that administrator so that no part time faculty are displaced.”
• Appendix D: additions to the list of duties and responsibilities required of all faculty.
• Appendix G: changes to the Faculty Evaluation Procedures, which include increasing the frequency of student questionnaires, making all tenured faculty evaluations “comprehensive” (as opposed to alternating between “standard” and “comprehensive”), requiring 3-5 faculty plus a dean observation for every tenured faculty evaluation, and adding a VP classroom observation for tenure-track evaluations.
Vice-Chancellor of Human Resources and General Counsel, Eugene Whitlock stated in the negotiations session that deans and Vice Presidents requested these changes to evaluation procedures. These changes are being proposed despite the fact that the faculty evaluation procedures went through a thorough examination and revision process that lasted two years; a task force composed of four faculty representatives, Skyline’s College President and the former Vice Chancellor for Human Resources was in charge of this process, and there was ample opportunity for participation and feedback before the new evaluation procedures went into effect, after they were ratified by the faculty and approved by the Board of Trustees.
The AFT negotiating committee will continue to provide faculty with regular updates as negotiations progress.