February 17, 2016

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

February 17, 2016  – Skyline College

EC members present:  Najla Abrao, Eric Brenner, Victoria Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Katharine Harer, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Teeka James, Doniella Maher, Monica Malamud, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Janice Sapigao, Elizabeth Terzakis, Rob Williams, Shaye Zahedi.

AFT members:  Sue Broxholm (Skyline),

Guests:  Jessica Beard (CFT Organizer), Zev Kvitky (CFT Field Rep), Paul Bissember (CFT Organizer),

Facilitator:  Teeka James

Meeting began at 2:36 p.m.


  1. Welcome and Introductions



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



  1. Minutes of January 27, 2016 AFT meeting

Minutes approved with two abstentions.


  1. Negotiation Update – Joaquin Rivera

The AFT and the District signed an agreement on the FT medical caps for 2016, and the Board will be approving it tonight.

The whole contract is open for negotiations.  Joaquin sent to the EC the first batch of union proposals:

  • Article 3: set window to revoke union membership to June 15 through July 15.
  • Article 5: eliminate no strike clause
  • Article 7: 4. Expand definition of office hours. 7.5. Delete requirement of 25 hours on campus. Discussion:  On the one hand, it’s good to have faculty on campus.  On the other hand, faculty can have a strong presence on campus and involvement with college life even if not physically present.
  • Article 13: increase funding for professional development
  • Article 17: add binding arbitration as the last step in grievance procedures
  • Article 22: increase banking to 30 FLCs
  • New language on class assignment: consider faculty preferences, limit preparations to 3.
  • New language on class cancellation: set timing and % below which class cannot be cancelled
  • New language on reassignment of faculty with cancelled classes: options to complete FT load; if not possible, then 3 years to make up the deficit.
  • New language on Academic Freedom

Question:  Should PT be guaranteed an interview for a FT position?

Consensus:  Yes, if they meet certain conditions:  PT would need to meet all the requirements of the job posting, and in addition meet certain conditions (such as length of employment in the district, satisfactory evaluations).


  1. Union relations

Our local needs to have a working relationship with CSEA, especially in the context of negotiations, but also for grievance related matters.  Elizabeth reported that since she and Lezlee have a very good relationship with CSEA at Cañada, perhaps they can persuade CSEA at Cañada to put pressure on the CSEA leadership at the district level to get them to work more collaboratively with AFT.


  1. Police on campus

The District has hired a consultant to help the Board decide whether there should be armed police on campus.  There was a unanimous vote to direct Teeka to strongly oppose the presence of armed police on campus.  The EC’s position is that the focus should be on preventing the kinds of incidents that may prompt police to fire arms.


  1. Building Power organizing campaign

Regardless of future changes in the composition of the Supreme Court, we need to continue building power in the union.

The counts of conversations and filled out cards was tallied and posted for all to see.  This is a way to have accountability.

How did you manage to talk to people?

  • Go to mail room
  • Office mates/neighbors
  • Catch faculty as they’re exiting the classroom


  • Other stuff occupied our time
  • Procrastination
  • It’s hard to find people


  • Team-up with someone else
  • Talk about issues (such as workload), not about the union as a whole
  • Sign up to have Paul B help you


  1. Strategic Campaign Initiative Organizing Project update – Katharine Harer, Michelle Kern

Katharine and Michelle updated the EC on the Education Conference scheduled for March 19.  They have been busy with the Building Power campaign.  Katharine is submitting an application requesting a third year grant for the SCIO.  Katharine and Rob will attend training in Southern California this weekend.


  1. A conversation about ethics – Elizabeth Terzakis

The president at Cañada was asked to leave under undisclosed circumstances.  Eugene Whitlock contacted Elizabeth to ask her if faculty thought that the District should disclose the reasons for this separation.


How does the union feel about asking the District to disclose this kind of information?  What if this kind of information is disclosed about faculty who leave the District?

Consensus:  reasons for separations may remain undisclosed, but the union should ask Ron to make faculty whole.


  1. Senate discussion of class size issue – Doniella Maher

The Senate discussions at Cañada about class cancellations and class size have gone away.  Individual faculty brought up these issues at Senate, but then they were not interested in participating in a larger conversation about these issues.  It seems like faculty at Cañada are on a wait-and-see attitude, given that the process for hiring a new president has started.


  1. Prevention of sexual violence and domestic abuse – Shaye Zehedi

Shaye is very involved in a community collaborative project working on prevention of abuse and violence: Project Survive.  Project Survive focuses on prevention and education.  Suggestions:  check with Skyline professor who teaches Human Sexuality, check with Wellness/Health Centers on campuses.


  1. Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda Items


– Nina is interested in coming back to the union EC.

– Leigh Anne Shaw would like release time to be increased for Academic Senate Governing Council and Curriculum Committee.


-Eleven faculty members are going to the CFT Convention

-Party at Paul’s on April 9, 3-7 p.m.


  1. Closed Session – CONFIDENTIAL

Due to lack of time, Dan reported on ongoing issues with only one faculty member.


Meeting adjourned at 5:23 p.m.