November 11, 2015

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

November 11, 2015  – Skyline College

EC members present: Najla Abrao, Eric Brenner, Vicki Clinton, Katharine Harer, Dan Kaplan (Exec. Secr.), Michelle Kern, Teeka James, Doniella Maher, Monica Malamud, Joaquin Rivera, Paul Rueckhaus, Janice Sapigao, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Rob Williams.

AFT (non EC) members: Steven Lehigh (AFT rep to District Budget and Finance Committee)

Guests: Laura Kurre (CFT Training Director), Zev Kvitky (CFT Field Rep)

Facilitator: Paul Rueckhaus

Meeting began at 2:38 p.m.


  1. Welcome and Introductions


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


  1. Minutes of October 14, 2015 AFT meeting

Minutes approved unanimously.

  1. Strategic Campaign Initiative Organizing Project update – Michelle Kern and Katharine Harer

Election campaign was a success, and the three candidates endorsed by the local were elected. On election night, we had a victory party, with all of Maurice’s family and Katharine, Michelle, Teeka, Najla and Monica in attendance. Maurice gave a very heartfelt speech, thanking our local for all the work and support to help get him elected.

There will be a meeting with Maurice to defrief on the election campaign, and document what worked, so that we can do it again in the future. Some of the campaign activities were: phone-banking (Katharine, Michelle, Teeka, Dan, Maurice and family), robo-call (Teeka), leafletting at grocery store (Michelle, Katharine and Teeka), yard signs, forum (CSM students), redesigning website (Michelle). Richard Holober also provided a lot of wisdom on how to run a campaign.

Katharine and Michelle are also working on the Education Conference, in conjunction with Jefferson Elementary and Jefferson Union High School AFT locals. The conference will be held at Skyline, and the college is hosting breakfast. There’s a website up and also a Facebook page. Our local is organizing four panels for the Community College segment of the conference.

Campus Equity Week was the last week of October. Michelle designed a flyer and Katharine and Michelle tabled at CSM. The focus was to inform part-timers about the medical reimbursement.

  1. Workload Reduction Campaign – Monica Malamud and Teeka James

For many years now, our local has recognized that the ever-increasing number of tasks that our members are asked to perform is a very concerning issue for faculty across our district. A few years ago, AFT 1493 conducted a survey in order to collect objective data about this problem.

Last year, union and senate leaders met to discuss the workload issue and identified possible courses of action to rectify it. Conversations were also held in senate meetings at the campus level.

As the entire contract is going to be open for negotiations soon, the union is prioritizing the workload issue with the goal of including it in upcoming negotiations and making improvements in this area. The CFT will be providing assistance for our organizing campaign.

In order to more accurately reflect the goals of this campaign, the EC agreed on a new name: Workload Equity Campaign.

  1. Building Power campaign – Zev Kvitky and Laura Kurre

The CFT has allocated resources to work on streghthening locals, in preparation for the Friedrick’s vs CTA case, which will be heard by the Supreme Court. A possible outcome of this case is that fee paying would go away, and they could also change union membership from an opt-out model to an opt-in model.

For their Building Power campaign, the CFT selected 16 locals in the state, with our local 1493 among them. The issue around which our our local will build power is Workload Equity.

On October 29 and November 4, Teeka, Katharine, Michelle, Monica and Dan met with Laura Kurre (CFT Training Director) and Zev Kvitky (CFT Field Rep.) to start planning this collaboration. Based on the conversations we had at these meetings, Laura prepared a Draft Proposal for our local’s participation in the CFT Building Power Campaign. The draft proposal was presented by Laura and Zev.

In their presentation, Laura went over our local’s membership numbers:

Total Bargaining Unit (BU) = 994 faculty

  • BU Full-Time Faculty = 313 (31%)
  • BU Part-Time Faculty = 681 (69%)

Breakdown of Bargaining Unit:

Union Members = 847 faculty (85% of total bargaining unit)

  • Union Members Full-Time Faculty = 287 (92% of full-time faculty)
  • Union Members Part-Time Faculty = 560 (82% of part-time faculty)

Fair Share Agency Fee Payers = 147 faculty (15% of bargaining unit)

  • Fair Share Agency Fee Payers Full-Time Faculty =26 (8% of full-time faculty)
  • Fair Share Agency Fee Payers Part-Time Faculty=121(18% of part-time faculty)

In our local, the Building Power campaign will aim to:

  1. Achieve a solution for the workload problem that benefits both part-time and full-time faculty.
  2. Be able to withstand a negative decision in the Friedrichs v CTAS. Supreme Court case and any subsequent anti-union “membership drop” campaign that may follow.
  3. Accelerate member organizing and leadership growth.

More specifically, the goals of the campaign are to contact union members through 1:1 conversations or by phone, convert fee payers into union members, increase union participation and identify activists and leaders.

The plan to accomplish this includes:

  1. Pilot Listening Tour to test out our message, questions, and outreach infrastructure (December 9 – end of finals);
  2. Listening Tour to discuss workload campaign

(Approximately 4 weeks: January – February 17);

  1. Schools Our Children Deserve conference to engage members and the community in quality public education issues (February 17 – March 19); and
  2. Contract Campaign Activities to win a workload solution (February – June).

Laura emphasized that organizing works when it’s systematic, there’s follow-up, and everyone feels collective ownership.

In a nutshell, the goal of the campaign is to have half of the union members being able to say what the union does and how it affects them.

  • For the next AFT meeting: each EC member will talk to 2 people and tell them to look out for the negotiation survey coming up. Write down names and dates for these contacts, to report at December AFT meeting.
  • A Steering Committee was selected: Katharine, Michelle, Teeka, Dan and Monica. The Steering Committee will meet with Laura, Zev and Paul (CFT organizer) within the next 10 days, to do more planning.

Before going on the Listening Tour, the Steering Committee needs to work on some proposed contract language. Zev has been doing some research on existing contract language dealing with workload in other locals.

  1. District Budget and Finance Committee – Steven Lehigh

Steven, the AFT rep on the District Budget and Finance Committee shared info from the last meeting. Highlights:

  • Property tax increased by 7.7%. Property taxes are the largest source of income for our district, 114Mill of 156 Mill.
  • Expenses: salaries constitute the largest district expense (this is the norm), 126 Mill out of 164 Mill.
  • There are 10Mill of one-time money.
  • If we were not Basic Aid, we’d have 35 Mill less. The district still gets money for categoricals.
  • Retirement Trust Fund continues to grow, with the goal of paying retirees’ health benefit from fund revenues at some point.
  • Last year our District barely complied with the 50% law (coming in at 50.1%), but this year we’re expected to be lower than 50%.

7. b. Negotiations – Joaquin  [item added to the agenda]

We had a negotiation session scheduled for this Friday, but it was cancelled. There is a negotiation session scheduled for next Wednesday.

The District is willing to increase contribution to health benefits premium by $35 for single, $85 for 2-party and $135 for family (700K cost). In this scenario, Kaiser enrollees would still pay about $300 out of pocket for their medical premiums in the family plan. ASFME and CSEA proposed increases of $100/150/200. Our proposal would cost the District 2.4 Mill. AFT is asking for an increase of $390.94 for 2-party and $506.82 for family medical premiums.

  1. Report on the Cañada All Faculty meeting and subsequent developments

Cañada faculty had an all-faculty meeting on October 22, hosted jointly by Cañada’s AFT co-chairs and the Academic Senate Governing Council. The meeting was held at Cañada Vista. Thirty-two Cañada faculty were in attendance. Faculty discussed concerns with the current administration, what we want in the new president and how to conduct the search/hiring process.

Faculty members present voted unanimously AGAINST the idea of not appointing an Interim College President, maintaining the 3 Vice Presidents for decision-making and starting the President search in Fall 2016.

Faculty members present voted unanimously “YES” for the idea of starting the search for a new President immediately.

On October 29, there was an All College meeting called by Ron. Among other things, he was told that the current administration does not have the characteristics that our faculty values in an administrator and that the search for a permanent VPSS should start immediately and not wait until there is a new president in place.

  1. Evaluations for District Administrators and Academic Supervisory Employees

On October 28, Eugene Whitlock announced via email “360-degree” evaluations for District Administrators and Academic Supervisory Employees. The EC discussed the following objections to the evaluation procedures:

  • “The Peer/Supervised Employee feedback will include individuals, selected by the Evaluator to provide feedback […]. The evalue is encouraged to suggest to the Evaluator individuals to provide feedback”: Why do the Evaluator and the Evaluee get to hand-pick who will provide feedback? In the case of faculty evaluations, feedback is requested from every student taking a class with a professor in the semester in which the professor is evaluated.
  • “In no case shall the Evaluator consider an anonymous response”: Why not? Student surveys are anonymous, which helps obtain candid and honest feedback.

Teeka will write to Eugene. Monica will go to the Board of Trustees meeting tonight and make a public comment.

  1. Drive toward efficiency: what is the policy? – Doniella Maher and Elizabeth Terzakis

Course sections have been cancelled in the name of efficiency. Is this the right way to make decisions? What about programmatic needs? Students unable to graduate because the class they need is cancelled in their last semester?

It seems like public education currently has a focus on preparing students for the demands of the workforce and business.

At CSM they developed forms to evaluate how every area of the college (not just courses) contribute to serving students; for courses, this includes considerations other than minimum enrollment.

  1. Search for the next State Chancellor – Dan Kaplan

Discussion was tabled. But Dan brought a resolution for the EC to consider, endorsing the Accreditation Report issued by the BOG Task Force.

  • The EC passed the resolution unanimously.
  1. Statements from EC members on Non-Agenda items

Doniella: Elizabeth will speak this Sunday at CCSF on Valencia St between 22nd and 23rd St., 10-5.

  1. Closed Session discussion of Faculty grievances and complaints – Dan Kaplan



Meeting adjourned at 5:11 p.m.