February 12, 2014

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, February 12, 2014, at Skyline College

AFT EC Members Present: Eric Brenner, Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Monica Malamud, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Janice Sapigao, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis.

AFT (non-EC) Members Present:  Doniella Maher (Cañada, English)


Guests:  Zev Kvitky (CFT Field Rep)


Meeting began at 2:42


Facilitator:  Eric Brenner


  1. Welcome and Introductions:


  1. Statements from AFT (non EC) members on Non-Agenda Items:


  1. Minutes of January 15, 2014 AFT meeting:

Approved unanimously.

  1. Spring AFT Social: planning update

Skyline:  trying to keep it simple, maybe have a raffle.  Date has not been set yet, but it will probably be in March.  Janice would like to frame it as adjunct appreciation and discussion about PT issues.

CSM:  food and beverages on February 24 in the Faculty Lounge.

Cañada:  probably in March at Cañada Vista. Doniella designed the invitation.

  1. Performance Evaluation Task Force: Spring semester timeline and new MOU

The MOU to extend the work of the PETF for spring 2014 has already been signed.

Elizabeth updated the EC on the work of the PETF; she said that the work of the committee will be done by the end of spring semester.  The PETF is cleaning up the existing language on evaluations.  Before striking language that does not make sense or does not seem to apply, Elizabeth is seeking the opinion of EC members (recommendation:  send email to all EC members, not just a few) and researching what the rationale was for including this type of language originally (by contacting John Kirk and Ernie Rodriguez).  Elizabeth suggested that it would be a good idea if all three campuses held information forums on the second flex day at the beginning of fall semester.  A ratification vote will follow early in the fall.

Q:  Should tenure review committee members rotate in and out or should the committee composition remain the same through the entire evaluation process?

A:  There are advantages to maintaining the current system of staggered rotation with the committee chair (a faculty expert) staying on the committee for the duration of the tenure review.  Some advantages are that a) by having more tenured faculty members serving on a committee through the four years there is an opportunity to give more feedback from different points of view, b) there is a sense of shared responsibility for granting tenure from faculty members of a large department .

The idea of making it optional to rotate committee members was suggested but discarded, noting that it would be difficult to assign responsibility for exercising such option, and that it might lead to grievances stemming from the fact that tenure-track faculty are not evaluated using the same process.

Q:  What about the training of evaluation committee members?

A:  This is currently being handled in different ways in the three campuses.  It was agreed that this training is important for new committee members and it is a useful refresher for those who have been through the process already.  It was suggested that the Evaluation Guidance Committee be in charge of training for tenure review committees, since this committee is already supposed to do the orientation for peer evaluations.

  1. Professional Development: continuation of the discussion

Teeka meet with Rick Hough, chair of Professional Development Committee at Skyline:

          Frequency of meetings:  There is tension about the frequency of meetings; administrators seem to find it hard to make it to meetings.  The Committee always meets face to face to discuss sabbaticals, but they tend to do short term approvals via email. 

          Rubric:  The rubric that has been recently implemented at Skyline has not resulted in any denials of professional development requests, so faculty discomfort with this new rubric may be due to resistance to change.  Teeka noted that this rubric most likely stemmed from Teeka’s request to the three Professional Development Committees to devise a method to prioritize requests, should the requested funding be higher than the available money. 

Teeka drafted an email to seek input from Cañada and CSM regarding how their committees work, but she has not sent it out yet.

Discussion about professional development funding:

          Funding for Professional Development is 1% of regular FT faculty.  It may be that the percentage should be based on ALL faculty salaries, including PT, as is the case in other locals in the state.

          It was suggested that AFT request the District to fund professional development activities which are required to obtain or maintain licenses, especially in CTE, from a different funding source.

          A source of funding that could be tapped for professional development is the California Career Pathways Trust Grant.  

  1. Quality Public Education Campaign: update – Katharine Harer

Harriet gave Katherine a spreadsheet with recent faculty hires from the last few years.  Harriet and Dan will put together a welcome packet for these faculty members.  Katherine will be visiting faculty members who may be interested in becoming involved with the union.  She will start with Skyline, and then schedule visits at CSM and Cañada.  Katherine will send emails to EC members to get some ideas of faculty she should try to visit at each campus.

It may be a good idea to write an article about the increase in the number of administrators, which is happening in our district as well as nationwide.  There was a recent article on this topic in the Chronicle of Higher Education; Dan will contact Masao to see if he would like to contribute to this article.

  1. Spring AFT 1493 elections: beginning of the discussion

At Dan’s suggestion, current EC members shared whether they would like to continue in the EC and everyone present expressed an interest in continuing in their current positions. 

Unfilled positions:

          EC Rep for Skyline

          Co-chair at Skyline with Nina

          Grievance:  current system seems to be working well.  Emphasis is on dealing with issues locally at each campus early on, by AFT EC members on each campus or Dan.  Dan has been supporting and coordinating grievance work, and information is centralized in the AFT office.  Zev will conduct grievance training for interested EC members.

  1. Status of 2.30 – Teeka James:

2.30. Rules and Regs on Political Activities.  The core idea in this policy is that District resources cannot be used to support or oppose a ballot measure or a candidate, but it is acceptable to do advocacy before something or someone gets on the ballot.  Policy 2.30 had gone through the review process in all constituencies and it was ready for Board vote, but students objected to the latest version and pulled it from the Board agenda.  It was revised, so it is now going back to constituencies.

  1. Recent grievances and complaints – Dan Kaplan:

a)      Dan dealt with an attack on Academic Freedom against a faculty member.  District verbally agreed to a resolution of this issue, but when Dan wrote up this agreement, there was resistance.  It seems to be close to resolution now.

b)      Dan has been successful in bringing together deans and faculty when they have had disagreements, especially regarding class assignments.

c)       Salumeh and Dan have been working on a case about an assignment of a FT faculty member, who would have liked to fill a new position within the current department.

d)      There was a case of a faculty member who had been teaching a certain class for a period of time, and expected to continue to do so.  However, no faculty member “owns” a class, and seniority does not apply during summer (and this is when the class was scheduled).

e)      A faculty member failed to submit a book order to the bookstore in a timely fashion, and then faulted the bookstore for not having the books available to students at the beginning of the semester, allegedly yelling at the Bookstore manager.  Dan has counseled faculty member about proper behavior on campus.

f)        A faculty member who has been teaching a hybrid class was informed by the dean that the class will need to be taught face-to-face.  The faculty member has a disability and failed the STOT training, presumably because the STOT instructor did not make appropriate accommodations for the disability.  So this may be an ADA-related case.

  1. AFT 1493 video discussion

Dan suggested the EC endorse this project.  The video can include interviews with current EC leaders, in addition to the footage obtained from past AFT 1493 leaders at the 50th Anniversary celebration.  It was agreed that Eric and Dan will start work on this project.

  1. Close the Commercial Porperty Loophole resolution

Dan shared a resolution to support a “split” of Prop. 13, allowing for more regular reassessment of commercial properties while keeping in place existing protections for residential properties, and directing additional tax revenues generated to fund local schools.  The Democratic Party has endorsed this resolution.

èMotion:  to support the resolution.  Approved unanimously.

  1. March 2014 CFT Convention

For delegates only:

          Hotel:  block of CFT rooms is sold out.  CFT is working to get block of rooms at other hotels.

          Flight:  book ASAP.

  1. 41st Annual National Labor-Management Conference (April 6-8 in NYC)

Katharine and Monica have attended in the past, and shared that this is a very worthwhile conference.  The agenda for this year is particularly interesting and timely.  EC members are not available to attend, so Dan might go.

  1. Consumer Federation of California membership

The San Mateo Central Labor Council wants affiliates to consider membership with the Consumer Federation of California (CFC), a non-profit organization which advocates for consumer rights.  Richard Holober is the current Executive Director of the CFC. 

èMotion:  that we join the Consumer Federation of California, with a contribution of $150.  Approved unanimously.

  1. Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda Items.

Teeka:  Portland Association of Teachers is considering a walk-out.  Would EC consider passing a resolution in support?  Yes.  Teeka will draft a resolution, and EC will have an electronic vote.

Zev:  forum about CCSF’s struggle with accreditation has been held at different districts, starting with SMCCCD.  Would our district be interested in holding another forum?  Yes, perhaps at a different campus, since the first one was held at CSM.

Dan:  newly elected Board member Tom Mohr called Dan to say how much he liked the last issue of the Advocate.


Meeting adjourned 4:55 p.m.