February 11, 2009

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

February 11, 2009, Skyline

Eric Brenner, Ron Brown, Chip Chandler, Alma Cervantes, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Sandi Raeber, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware

Guests: Maria Chacon, Pat Deamer, Salume Eslamieh, Masao Suzuki, George Wright

Meeting began at 2:25

Facilitator: Dan Kaplan

Welcome and Introductions

Minutes of the January 21, 2009 EC meeting

Approved unanimously with corrections.

Statements from AFT members on Non-Agenda Items:

A)        Teeka reported that she was not able to attend the last District Shared Governance Committee meeting, but wanted the EC to know that the new District Rules and Regulations 1.01 was presented there as final language rather than as a voting item.

B)        Katherine raised the issue of Kate Motoyama’s request for AFT sponsorship of a proposed speaker. Most EC members were not clear about exactly what Kate was requesting. Nina offered to call Kate for clarification, and Karen offered to help Kate with the event if the AFT does decide to sponsor.

C)        George Wright, a faculty member in History at Skyline College and member of the organizing committee for the CA Public Workers Conference on March 15 (“a statewide education conference of California public workers”) and the Statewide Day of Action on May 1 (intended to bring together “1.5 million public workers in California for a program to defend [their] conditions, benefits and public services for the people of California”), requested that AFT 1493 join other locals to endorse both events.

The EC voted unanimously to approve, and will discuss the May 1 event in more depth at our March meeting. Interested faculty can contact George at wrightg@smccd.edu.

D)        Dan collected names of EC members interested in getting AFT business cards.

E)         Dan announced “An Afternoon of Solidarity: A Benefit for the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions,” to be held Sunday, March 8, 1 – 4 p.m. in Oakland.

He also explained that AFT 1493 is currently an affiliate of US Labor Against the War (USLAW), and has been asked to join the Bay Area Chapter of USLAW, composed of the 5 Bay Area unions that are now affiliates of USLAW.

With one abstention, the EC voted to endorse the fund raising event for the Palestine Federation of Trade Unions on March 8.

Budget Crisis

In discussing the impact of the state budget crisis on our District, we focused on the following issues: faculty overloads, elimination of course offerings, and Administrative salary increases.

Faculty Overloads: Though some faculty members are concerned that overloads can result in the loss of PT positions, we recognized that overloads are allowed in our current contract. We agree to discuss this issue in more detail at a future meeting. This issue relates to the issue of large classes, which can also conceivably result in the loss of PT positions. However, at least one member pointed out that offering a few large classes can allow the colleges to offer some smaller ones.

Class Cuts: CSM cut approximately 120 sections from the Spring 2009 schedule; most of these cuts were made unusually early, in mid-December, and most (though not all) of the sections cut were historically low enrolled. Approximately 75-100 PT faculty sections were eliminated. It is important to note that while CSM cut more classes than the other two colleges, the policy about cutting low enrolled sections is a District, rather than a college policy. Some faculty feel sections were cut too early, as some of the sections might have filled eventually. On the other hand, the earlier cuts gave both students and faculty more notice. Faculty on the PT seniority list who were notified of cuts to their classes in mid-December were able to “bump” less senior faculty.

It was also pointed out that at least a couple of sections, and maybe more, were cut due to low enrollment which likely resulted from errors in the Schedule of Classes (classes listed at the wrong times).

Administrative Salary Increases: A number of faculty members have expressed renewed frustration to the EC over the 2007 Administrative salary increases in light of the current budget crisis, the number of sections cut at CSM, and their belief that faculty are unlikely to get pay increases in the next contract. Many faculty are frustrated that while our salaries have stagnated, Administrative salaries continue to rise.

Teeka did remind the EC that at a previous meeting to discuss the CSM and District budgets, Kathy Blackwood stated that all options for cost cutting/savings are on the table.

In addition, while there is no official hiring freeze for faculty or staff in the District, classified is trying to use managed hiring to save money, and faculty at CSM and Skyline have made no position requests.

Negotiations Report

Because of the budget situation, we cannot make any predictions. Negotiations probably won’t start for a couple of months. AFT will survey the faculty to determine which non-economic items they would like us to pursue. The entire contract is open for negotiations.

Trust Committee release time issue

Teeka spoke with Harry Joel on February 10 and reiterated faculty’s desire to work with the District to revise and update all of the faculty evaluation procedures and processes. If the Chancellor continues to deny AFT’s request for release for faculty to work on the Trust Committee, we will likely ask him to meet with a small group of AFT representatives, who will propose a smaller committee, members of which would receive release time.

We discussed the possibility of including the Trust Committee release time as part of the contract negotiations.


Chip emphasized the need to revise our faculty evaluation procedures, and to implement those procedures consistently across all disciplines at all three colleges, in order to avoid grievances. He feels that current procedures need to be made more explicit.

Nina is currently working with an adjunct faculty member seeking contract status, after having taught a load in excess of 60% for three semesters.

Ron raised the issue of the inconsistent use of the “re-set” on the PT seniority list. Administration currently considers retirement as a break in service, yet some Deans have re-set retired faculty while others have not.  Harry Joel and Susan Estes want an MOU addressing the following issues:

  • How should the re-set be used?
  • Is post-retirement considered a break in service?
  • Once the two above questions are answered, the District must ensure that the policy is applied consistently at the three colleges.

Teeka repeated a point she has made before – some of us on the EC feel we need more information about specific grievances in order to vote whether to proceed to arbitration. We will discuss this issue at our special meeting in April.

AFT Blog?

Tabled until the March meeting.

Ideas for communicating with membership

Lezlee talked about the new “Cañada’s AFT Express Report” that she and Elizabeth have instituted as a way to elicit greater faculty involvement in the union. They published their first report immediately following the January EC meeting and followed up with a 30-minute meeting, which was attended by just a couple of faculty, and which covered five different issues.

Cañada AFT also hosted an interactive workshop on the faculty contract.

AFT retreat date and discussion

Monica announced the CFT convention in Sacramento on March 20-22. She also mentioned the Union Leadership Institute (ULI), which will be held July 26-31 at UCLA.

The EC briefly discussed options for a retreat to be facilitated by Julian Menard. Possible times are late May, mid June, late August, or September. Because we were pressed for time, we were not able to reach a decision. We did briefly discuss doing something less formal, without an official facilitator.

Construction of next AFT budget

Monica wants us to start work on our budget in spring – even though we won’t have all of our information by then – since it is due to CFT in July. Anyone who wants to work on it with Dan and Harriet should contact Dan.

GASB 43/45

Tabled until the March meeting.

Open discussion/meeting critique

Meeting adjourned:   5:00

Next facilitator: ?