February 2015 Advocate – Shaking things up in AFT 1493


Shaking things up in AFT 1493

by Katharine Harer, Strategic Campaign Initiative Organizer

A grant from CFT’s Strategic Campaign Initiative has funded two faculty members, Katharine Harer (Skyline English) and Michelle Kern (CSM Art) to carry out union outreach and member organizing in our District.  Katharine and Michelle are happily dispensing shirts, bags and a new packet of colorful and information-packed members’ materials which they wrote and designed, as well as looking for opportunities to make good things happen for faculty.  In each issue of The Advocate, we’ll fill you in on what we’re up to.

•  Part Time Medical Stipend Survey & Campaign – Along with EC member and Skyline Health Science Instructor, Paul Rueckhaus, we created a survey distributed to all part-time faculty members during the first two and a half weeks of the spring semester (see article, page 1.) Data from the survey will help our AFT Negotiating Team work to improve the current stipend amount and application process when they return to the bargaining table at the end of February.

•  Member Outreach & Visits – We are continuing our one-to-one visits with full and part-time faculty members who were hired in the last two-three years — and we come bearing gifts!  The purpose of the visits is to introduce newer instructors to the union, answer questions, listen to concerns and leave everyone with a tote bag, a new members’ packet, chocolates and a t-shirt.

•  Building AFT 1493’s COPE (Committee on Political Education) War Chest — Political campaigns cost money, and in order to support candidates who will be strong faculty and student advocates for District Board of Trustees’ positions (two of which are opening up next year) the union has to raise some cash.  Before the SCI project, our COPE fund wasn’t big enough to run a hamster for office, but after just a month of members’ visits in November/December, we’ve already tripled our monthly COPE contributions.  If you’re not contributing a little bit each month to COPE, let us know.  We’ll help make it happen.

•  SCI Organizers Asked to Present at CFT Leadership Conference – We’ve been asked by CFT staff to present a workshop at the statewide Leadership Conference, February 11-12 in Los Angeles, where we will discuss our outreach campaign and show off the array of new materials we’ve created for AFT 1493 members.

•  Part-Time Appreciation Events – We are looking forward to supporting our union Chapter Chairs as they organize gatherings on each campus to honor and create connections with our part-time colleagues.