May 1, 2013

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at CSM


EC members present: Eric Brenner, Chip Chandler, Vicki Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Monica Malamud, Sarah Powers, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Rebecca Webb.

AFT (non-EC) members present: Tania Beliz

Meeting began at 2:45

Facilitator: Katharine Harer

Closed Session: Grievances/Complaints

Closed Session: Negotiations

1. Wecome and Introductions


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


3. Minutes of April 10, 2013 AFT meeting

Approved unanimously with some corrections.

4. Performance Evaluation Task Force update

Teeka James

Teeka expressed concerns on the Distance Education piece. The PETF had proposed that we have a pilot on the faculty evaluation and student survey for distance education, with the hope that this would satisfy the ACCJC in terms of progress on evaluations for distance education. Teeka does not believe that we should going forward with a pilot that has not been vetted by the faculty at large.

Q: Would an MOU be necessary in order to do this pilot?                                           

A: No.

Q: What about doing a pilot using materials that faculty have not seen?                                  

A: This is not the kind of process that we embarked on with the PETF. Everything that the PETF proposes should be run by faculty, there should be an opportunity for input, feedback, etc. This pilot would not be inline with the terms of the MOU. It is important to keep the process of revising evaluation procedures transparent and open for faculty. Besides, doing this pilot would most certainly not satisfy the accreditors.

One possible suggestion: for the PETF faculty members themselves to test out the materials they’re thinking of for DE.

Tania will report to the PETF on AFT’s opinion on this pilot. Teeka will summarize this discussion in an email to faculty members on the PETF.

5. AFT 1493’s Call for a Statewide Conference to Discuss Privatization



Dan introduced Tracy Rosenberg, from Media Alliance. She gave an update of what’s going on with KCSM.

She recommended attending the May 15 BOT meeting.

KCSM has existed since 1964, and it includes a radio and a television station. Having a radio and TV license is quite unusual for CCCs, and it’s been quite an asset to our students. Currenty, the radio station is mainly a jazz station. TV station has been a drain on the District’s budget.

The District took six bids from nonprofits in the first round of bidding for KCSM radio/TV. The district turned down those bids. Media Alliance put in a public records request. SMCCD holds the 5thlargest public broadcast license in CA. District said they would not fulfill the public records request (did this for six months, then they fulfilled it). BOT said they’d release the information once they finished negotiating with the bidders. Media Alliance says what’s the point for public input once the process is over? Seems pro forma. The District turned down a $5.8 million dollar bid—from Independent Public Media Now. Media Alliance has not gone the legal route yet because it will be very costly. The district started a bid process over in June-July 2012. The first rounds of bids were for someone to take over the operation of the stations. It seems that the new bids are coming from spectrum speculators—folks who sell off the bandwidth to wireless companies, and dissolve the broadcast license. It looks like in 2014, 2015, or 2016, there would be a spectrum auction. This could be quite lucrative for the district. But it takes the stations away from the public good.

The District was given the broadcast bandwidth for free, initially. It would be profiting from its sale. It’s like auctioning off any other District property.

Tracy believes the District has obligations to the public. To sell off the stations betrays the public and the stations’ public broadcasting members. The station is not super popular—viewers and listeners have not come out to advocate on its behalf.

The stations have not been well run over the past many years—and there are lots of explanations for this. Also, the BOT’s decision (spectrum auction) has not been publicized. Tracy’s nonprofit is the one group that has been engaged in this struggle. She sees it as a moral issue. What do we owe to the community? She hopes we can join in her work on the issue.

She has filed a second records request. The process seems designed to make public pressure difficult to garner. She wants there to be more folks at the board meetings.

KCSM is on 60 cable systems (municipal TV systems) in ten counties. The constituencies are far beyond San Mateo County.

The bandwidth would be repurposed for wireless telephones. Public airwaves get turned into for-profit assets.

Legal recourse? FCC in general is not a big advocate of the public interest. There probably will not be a federal intervention. We would probably win a legal battle, but no one’s really in a position to pay for that type of litigation. The BOT’s refusing the public records requests is just egregious, in Tracy’s view. The BOT keeps changing their agendas, which is a huge organizing struggle. There seems to be one top bidder. She thinks it’s Locus Point Networks, but doesn’t know for sure. They bid in cycle one. They are a wireless spectrum organization. The group would take over the operation of the stations for X-number of years and then take a percentage of the profits from the spectrum auction. District seems to want to have the investor take all the risk with the District getting guaranteed profit.


7. Statements from AFT members on non-agenda items


Meeting adjourned at 5:05 p.m.