May 11, 2011

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

May 11, 2011 at Skyline College

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

Other Attendees: Violeta Grigorescu, Margaret Hanzimanolis (Part-Time Organizer)


Meeting begun: 2:25

Facilitator: Monica Malamud


Closed Session Discussion


1. Welcome and Introductions


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

  • Violeta Grigorescu gave an update on the Edison Project. The faculty and student group working on preserving Building 20 and the greenhouses at CSM has been consulting with an attorney (pro bono) and is waiting for further comments from the community regarding the aesthetics of the project. One of their primary concerns is that the college has not conducted a proper California Environmental Quality Act study. The project is not on the calendar for the May 16, 2011 Board of Trustees meeting. There will be a student demonstration today.
  • The EC voted unanimously (14 ‘yes’ votes) to appoint Shawna Whitney as the new Part-Time EC representative for Skyline.


3. Minutes of April 13, 2011 AFT Meeting

Approved unanimously with corrections.


4. Proposed Changes to the AFT 1493 Constitution

Any changes to the Constitution must be ratified by a 2/3-majority vote of the general membership. At today’s meeting, the EC voted (11 “yes,” 0 “no,” and 1 “abstain”) that the word “membership” shall refer to “faculty.”


5. P/T Faculty Organizer Report

  • Margaret expressed her displeasure at the EC holding a special meeting on May 2, to discuss concerns over her job performance without her knowledge.
  • Margaret has been in contact with 46 PT faculty who feel fearful and vulnerable about their job status in this current budget crisis. She suggested that the union has not done enough to inform and educate PT faculty. As an example, she believes that up to 30 PT’s have incorrectly lost classes and may be unaware that they can file grievances over violations of the PT seniority lists. Some Deans, she stated, are unaware that they must continue to offer assignments to PT’s for five semesters. Other faculty present acknowledged that we need to work to do a better job of tracking the impact of budget cuts on PT faculty and keeping PT faculty informed, but that PT faculty also have a responsibility to read and become familiar with the contract.
  • Margaret has been in contact with faculty on all three campuses regarding the PT seniority lists. She requested that the union ensure all lists are correct, “invite” Full-Time faculty to forego overloads, and commit to solidarity with PT’s, possibly even offering to exchange course assignments. Anne reiterated an idea expressed at a previous meeting, that to have a productive and informed discussion about the overload issue, we have to know the specifics of each overload (which department[s], whether the overload is extra courses or reassigned time, what the reassigned time is for, etc.)
  • Margaret believes that the union made an insufficient effort to find out exactly how many PT’s lost classes in Fall 2010 due to budget cuts (144), and to correct all PT seniority lists.


6. Seniority

One problem with the existing seniority lists is that they all look different, making them difficult for both faculty and administrators to use effectively. Rebecca found some good examples of templates we might consider using as models.

The PT reps recommend the following:

  • Copy an existing template, or develop one of our own, to be used by all Deans across the District.
  • Post updated seniority lists each semester in the same place (TBD).
  • Distribute updated seniority lists to all faculty each semester.
  • Include only the date of hire for PT faculty and the date of first overload for FT faculty on the lists.

We discussed the need to include language in the contract about the updating, posting, and/or distributing of the lists. We want to make this a priority. 

After discussing possible steps to take immediately, we agreed that, using CSM’s Language Arts seniority list as a template, Chapter Chairs will work with the Deans to make sure that lists are correct. They will emphasize the importance of doing this now to ensure that no PT faculty lose classes who shouldn’t, to make Dean’s lives easier, and to avoid potential grievances.


7. TianHua Initiative Discussion



8. AFT Local 1493 Budget Review

CFT recommends that locals do a pass through to cover increased payments to CFT, a dollar amount beyond 1.2%. Some of our expenses listed on page 2 of our draft budget projections for September 2011 through August 2012 have been increasing (per capita dues to CFT and AFT, along with payments to the California Labor Federation and San Mateo County Labor Council).

Monica feels strongly that we cannot and should not continue to run deficits of the size we have been in recent years.  With a likely reduction in faculty (possibly as high as14%), our revenues are also going to decrease.

We briefly discussed areas where we might be able make spending cuts – stipends for faculty, conferences, publishing costs for The Advocate – but we made no decisions. Monica expressed concern about cutting spending for conferences.

We agree to hold a smaller budget discussion meeting in June for those who are especially interested in working on it with Monica and Dan.


10. Grievances

Nothing to report at this time.


11. Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

Anne suggested that we consider officially changing the ending time of our meetings in the future since we always run over, sometimes by a full hour (see below).


Meeting adjourned: 5:45