March 9, 2011

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

March 9, 2011 at CSM

EC Members Present: Eric Brenner, Victoria Clinton, Dave Danielson, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Lisa Suguitan Melnick, Mike Noonan, Sandi Raeber Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Masao Suzuki, Elizabeth Terzakis, Rebecca Webb

Other Attendees: Waldo Esteva, Deb Garfinkle, Margaret Hanzimanolis (Part-Time Organizer), Judith Michaels (CFT Legislative Director), Angela Orr, Ali Shokouhbakhsh

Meeting begun: 2:25

Facilitator: Dan Kaplan


1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Statements from AFT (non-EC) Members on Non-Agenda Items

A)   Ali Shokouhbakhsh emphasized the importance of continuing our disucussion of the overload issue, which will be discussed under Agenda item #7.

B)   Deb raised the issue of current attempts in Wisconsin (and other states) to crush public unions, and asked what actions AFT 1493 wants/intends to take. One AFT member stressed the importance of joining the March in March (3/14 in Sacramento); he mentioned that some By Area high school principals were encouraging their faculty to attend.

3. Minutes of February 9, 2011 AFT Meeting

Approved with corrections, with one abstention.

4. No-Strike Clause in AFT Contract

The discussion on this agenda item was brief because the interested faculty from Cañada were not in attendance to discuss it. Elizabeth and Yaping reported that approximately 30 petition signatures supporting the removal of the “no strike” clause from our contract were gathered in Fall 2010 at both CSM and Cañada (60 signatures total). Joaquin emphasized that any campaign we engage in to remove the “no strike” clause must have full faculty support in order to be successful.

Elizabeth Terzakis instead used this time to request that AFT 1493 make a small contribution to pay for lunches for students attending the March in March (3/14). The EC voted unanimously to contribute $200. Neither Skyline nor CSM students are planning to send busses to Sacramento this year.


5. P/T Faculty Organizer Report

A)      Margaret, Lisa, Monica, and Judith Michaels (CFT Legislative Director) reported on a meeting held with Chancellor Galatolo immediately preceding today’s AFT meeting. The goal of the meeting was to get the Chancellor’s support for SB 114 (Leland Yee, SF). The bill would place part-time faculty on salary steps comparable to those of full-time faculty, in an effort to come closer to pay equity for part-time faculty, and would mandate that districts report part-time faculty salaries to both CalSTRS and the faculty members themselves as a percentage of full-time salaries in an effort to make it easier to accurately compare part-time salaries and to more accurately calculate and report part-time faculty service credits (see “SB 114: Transparency in Pay for Adjuncts: An Approach to Achieving Equal Pay for Equal Work,” by Judith Michaels,  in the March 2011 issue of The Advocate for more information about SB 114).

Though the Chancellor did not agree to write to State Senator Yee expressing his support for SB 114, he did state that he would no longer oppose the bill. Judith felt good about the meeting, noting that SMCCCD had been the only District opposing the bill until now. She also pointed out that STRS also supports it.

B)   Rebecca Webb has started a Facebook page for part-time faculty in the District and  continues work on its development.

C)  Masao said that he would like to see salary schedules for other community colleges in the area (De Anza, SF City College, and Evergreen).

D)  Margaret emphasized that part-time faculty should contact her with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

6. Update on AFT/Academic Senate Trust Committee Statement

Immediately following our March 9 meeting, a few EC members discovered that the most recent draft of the joint AFT/Academic Senate Trust Committee statement was indeed what had been agreed upon by both constituencies. However, some EC members had conflicting memories about what was agreed to at our March 9 meeting. A few members thought that even though the current language had apparently been agreed to by both AFT and the Academic Senate, we had decided at that meeting that we wanted to remove the language about including SLO’s in the faculty evaluation process. Other members recalled that we had agreed to let the language stand and address the issue in the Trust Committee itself whenever it is reconstituted.

Due to the potential conflict of interest created by Ray Hernandez’s appointment to the position of Interim Dean of the Math/Science Division at Skyline, the draft will now go to the new District Academic Senate President, Diana Bennett, who had planned to read it at the next Board meeting (March 23). Katharine, Nina, Monica, and Teeka will work on finalizing the document and will contact Diana Bennett to discuss it.

7. Discussion of Overload Issue

This agenda item was a continuation of the discussion at our March 9 meeting.

Though some members feel the issue is simple and straightforward (a teaching load of more than 15 units is over-employment), others argued that we must consider the specific needs of each department and program. Most of us can think of faculty who we believe abuse the right to teach overloads, and we recognize that students may be negatively impacted when faculty teach overloads, while others of us can think of colleagues who teach overloads while serving their students extraordinarily well.

What is the solution?

Most agreed that giving up our contractual right to teach overloads and to bank units would be a mistake. But some also argued that we could decide to limit the amount of overload. We agreed that we must be careful about getting into debates about which faculty members are more deserving or more needy.

We agreed that in order to have a fully informed discussion of the issue, we need data regarding the number of full-time faculty actually teaching overloads, the number of units being banked by full-time faculty, and the number of full-time faculty overload units taken as reassigned time for special projects. Once we receive that data from the District, we will put the issue back on the agenda.

Katharine suggested running an article in The Advocate, acknowledging both the inequities and the complexities involved in the issue, and perhaps running a brief, regular statement of AFT’s position once we come to some agreement.

8. District Shared Governance Council Report

Teeka reported on 4 Board Policies and other issues of concern to AFT.

  • 5.16:             Managers: Evaluation. Changes included eliminating the clause which listed the acceptable factors in evaluating managers (5.16.3), including “evaluation by peers and others (including those supervised).” Teeka requested some language be reinstated to provide input by subordinates in managers’ evaluations. The Board policy will be up for a vote at DSGC’s May meeting.
  • 5.26:             Academic Supervisors: Evaluation. Same as above.
  • 2.08:             DSGC process. Barbara Christensen recommended changing the definition of a “quorum,” from 11 members to 50% + 1. AFT opposes this change.
  • 8.70:             Fees and charges. Students receiving Financial Aid and carrying a balance with the District beyond a certain amount would be placed on a payment plan. If they do not meet the requirements of their plan, they would not only be prohibited from registering for new classes, they would also be disenrolled from existing classes. Although many EC members oppose this idea, in order to take an informed position, we want information about which students would be impacted by this new policy; we are concerned that our poorest and most disadvantaged students will be further disenfranchised. Though DSGC agreed to bring this issue back to its next meeting, that meeting will take place before AFT has the opportunity to discuss it again at our next AFT meeting. CSM’s Academic Senate has already opposed the policy; we are hoping that the Skyline and Cañada Senates will adopt the same position.

9. FSA/Equivalency Procedure

Tabled until April.

10. Proposed Changes to AFT 1493 Constitution

Tabled until April.

11. Grievances

Nothing to report at this time.

12. Negotiations Update: Closed Session Discussion, Including:

A) PERB Unfair Labor Practice Charge – Linking SLO’s to Faculty Evaluations

The deadline to file is March 10, 2011. Joaquin asked our attorney to send it to us tomorrow.

B) Spring Semester Faculty Letter Writing Campaign

Tabled until April


13. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

An EC member asked that at future meetings we be mindful about not veering too far from our agenda at future meetings. Our meetings often run late, resulting in the departure of some members before we have discussed all of the most important agenda items.


Meeting adjourned:             5:10