January 18, 2012

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

January 18, 2012 at Cañada College 

EC Members Present:

Eric Brenner, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Lisa Suguitan Melnick, Lucia Olson, Sandi Raeber Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Doug Sherman, Anne Stafford, Masao Suzuki, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware, Rebecca Webb

Other Attendees:

Margaret Hanzimanolis, Zev Kvitky (CFT Field Rep)

Meeting begun: 2:30

Facilitator: Teeka James


Welcome and Introductions


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


Minutes of December 7, 2011 AFT Meeting

– Approved unanimously: 14 “yes”


Evaluation Procedure: MOU Developments

Monica reported on a December 12, 2011 meeting attended by Diana Bennett, Fermin Irigoyen, Harry Joel, Ron Galatolo, and herself, at which the PERC MOU language was discussed.

AFT 1493 intends to stick with its original language. If the District administration and District Academic Senate do not agree, we will have to negotiate the evaluation procedures at the bargaining table, something we had hoped to avoid.

Monica intends to put this issue on the next District Academic Senate agenda.


Fact Finding Update

Joaquin sent a letter to the District officially requesting that we move to fact finding. However, when he checked in with PERB recently, he learned that PERB had not received the letter. Though the timeline for the fact finding process is rather tight, AFT 1493 has agreed to a two-week postponement to starting the process.

Joaquin has agreed to serve on the mediation panel, but if he takes on that role, we will need somebody else to make our presentation to the panel. The fact finding panel will be comprised of one member appointed by AFT 1493, one member appointed by the District, and one neutral, state-appointed member.


Organizing the Contract Campaign

AFT 1493’s efforts to enlist broad faculty support during the fact finding process will be organized on each campus. EC representatives and other interested faculty will begin by circulating a petition in support of the Negotiation Team. The signature gathering will enable us to reach out to faculty and provide them with information about our current contract negotiation.


Results of PERB Informal Conference 

PERB has filed a formal complaint against our District over its inclusion of SLO’s in the faculty evaluation process. There was a brief informal hearing in December 2011.

AFT had proposed that since a committee would be formed to address issues related to faculty evaluation, the District should cease and desist any inclusion of SLO involvement in the faculty evaluation process, and any should expunge the records of any faculty who have been negatively impacted by their failure to participate in SLO work. The District disagreed and continues to assert that faculty must include course SLO’s on their syllabi.

There will be a full formal PERB hearing in April.


Academic Freedom, SLO’s, and the Course Syllabus

In connection with agenda item #5, we discussed what information Deans are allowed to require faculty to include on their syllabi. Some Deans are requiring faculty to include course SLO’s and other specific information not spelled out in the contract. It seems there is significant variation across Divisions and across the three campuses in terms of what Deans are asking for and how they are requesting it (suggesting, requiring, etc.) 

A part-time EC member asked what AFT will do to protect part-time faculty who opt not to include SLO’s on their syllabi.

While we recognize that Deans are feeling pressure from upper administration, in part in response to demands of the accreditation process, we are seriously concerned about the loss of academic freedom and the standardization of community college education.

The EC agreed that we need to run an article about this issue in an upcoming issue of The Advocate and that we will continue the discussion at a future meeting.


Resolution in Support of the ILWU in Longview, WA

AFT 1493 voted to support the “Resolution Endorsing Solidarity Caravan to Longview, WA in Support of ILWU Local 21.”

            13 “yes”

            1 “abstain”

AFT 1493 voted unanimously to contribute $250 to support the same solidarity caravan to Longview, WA.

            15 “yes”


Resolution in Support of March 1 and March 5 Actions in Defense of Public Education

Dan worked with San Francisco Labor Council to draft a resolution in support of two planned days of action in support of public education and social services. The March 1 Day of Action will focus on local actions, and March 5 State Capitol Occupation will take place in Sacramento. There was an organizing meeting at Laney College on January 14, 2012. On January 31, Cañada will conduct a panel discussion of the two events.

The EC voted to support the resolution.


Electronic Vote on Constitutional Revisions: January 23-26

Because the AFT 1493 Constitution states that a ballot must be made available to members two weeks prior to an actual vote taking place, we will keep the electronic voting on revisions to our Constitution open until February 1, 2012.


Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items



Grievance and Complaint Issues: Closed Session

The District has been encouraging some faculty to accept incentives for early retirement; all faculty who have been approached by the District, except one, have agreed to accept the offers.

Chip reminded us – and wants AFT to remind all faculty – of the importance of having a union representative present at meetings with Deans and other administrators whenever faculty suspect that their contractual rights are being violated, or feel that a Dean or other administrator is not being totally candid with them.

Some members expressed a desire to continue both the discussion about the specific issue of faculty feeling pressured to retire early, but also a broader discussion about how formal grievances as well as complaints are being communicated to, and discussed with, the EC as a whole.


Meeting adjourned: 4:55