October 14, 2009

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of
General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

October 14, 2009 at Cañada College

Present: Eric Brenner, Ron  Brown, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Sandi Raeber, Joaquin Rivera, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware

Guests: Bruce Maule, Jesus Moya, Robert Schwartz, Masao Suzuki, George Wright

Meeting began at 2:25

Facilitator: Elizabeth Terzakis

Welcome and Introductions

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

There were no statements by non-EC members.

Minutes of September 9, 2009 AFT meeting

Minutes were approved unanimously.

AFT Response to Budget Cuts

General response to the state budget crisis and its impact on public education:

The United Public Workers for Action will be holding a Mobilizing Conference to Save Public Education at UC Berkeley on October 24. Elizabeth strongly encouraged people to attend and emphasized the need to demand that the State of California not simply reduce cuts to education funding, but actually strengthen public education in the state.

Many in attendance at today’s meeting stressed the importance of educating the public about what the Community Colleges are currently facing, and about the need for increased revenues to fund public education in California.

AFT’s response to the SMCCD budget situation:

We agreed that any response must stress unity, so that all of us are fighting to save the same pie rather than fighting against each other for a few crumbs. The EC discussed how specific and coordinated our response should be. Because the situations and processes for making spending reductions are different at each college, and because the amount of time we have to respond is limited, we agreed that a subcommittee of the EC will draft a general statement to go out to all faculty and the District and college administrations demanding that any cuts be kept as far from the classroom and students as possible, and that the decision-making processes at each college and at the District office be made transparent.

Many EC members stressed the need for faculty to be as informed and as actively involved in the decision-making processes on their campuses as possible.

Retirement Board of Authority/Budget Analysis

Bruce Maule, a full time accounting faculty and a CPA, agreed to serve as the AFT representative on the Retirement Board of Authority. The other members are Kathy Blackwood, Harry Joel, and Raymond Chow. He is concerned about the post-retirement benefits promised to faculty in our contract; there have been many cases in which these contract articles have been violated when employers face economic difficulties.

Bruce attended his first meeting three weeks ago. Contracts with Keenan and Associates were signed at this meeting. With a 5% rate of return, the District’s liability for post-retirement health benefits is approximately $135 million; with a 7% rate of return, the liability is approximately %116 million. The District has set aside $30 million, but that money isn’t currently legally designated for post-retirement health benefits. GASB 45/43? Mandates that the money be put into an irrevocable trust. At its last October meeting, the Board of Trustees will approve moving $5 million into such an irrevocable trust, and the District will put in more later (due to the current budget crisis). Kathy Blackwood intends to set aside an amount equal to 4% of faculty salaries each year going forward in order to build up the trust. Bruce explained that the RBA has advised the District to go with a discretionary trust rather than a directed trust. He also said that the investment strategy for the trust is relatively conservative, with a balanced portfolio of 50% stocks and 50% bonds.

Bruce’s membership on the RBA was officially approved by the EC – unanimously.

Dan also announced that AFT 1493 is currently looking for people interested in being trained, by Patty Cox from CFT, to learn how to do careful budget analysis

Negotiations Update

The District and AFT have met for four negotiating sessions to date; at the last of those sessions the District presented its general proposals. The District negotiating team cancelled the most recently scheduled session because it was not ready to present specific language. The District’s current proposals are as follows:

  • Eliminate the September through June pay option.
  • The District wants to be notified by July regarding faculty who are awarded additional degrees that will result in pay increases (currently faculty don’t have to provide evidence of degrees until October).
  • No COLA for two years.
  • Freeze column and step increases for two years.
  • Take away our two personal days.
  • “Tighten FSA’s”; AFT is not clear about what this means. They may want to limit faculty’s ability to bump other faculty on the basis of having another FSA.

The District has essentially rejected all of our proposals.

The District may raise the issue of including language about SLO’s in faculty evaluations; AFT questioned at today’s meeting whether the District can introduce this new issue. Language was included in reports from the colleges to ACCJC, claiming that AFT and the Academic Senate had discussed and considered this issue, as well as language suggesting that the Trust Committee will be reconstituted to revise faculty evaluation policies, procedures, and documents. Both of these reports are false.

Joaquin said he did ask when the Board would consider rolling back Administrative salary increases.

Negotiations Campaign

This item was not discussed separately.

Advocate Policy

Tabled until a future meeting.

September 24 P/Ter Meeting at CSM

Twenty part-time faculty from all three colleges attended a meeting on September 24 at CSM. The group will continue to meet – their next meeting will be October 23, just before the joint CSM Academic Senate and Committee on Instruction meeting addressing proposed budget cuts.

District Shared Governance Council

Teeka had requested feedback from the EC by today’s meeting on a number of revisions to the District’s Rules and Regulations, so that she can accurately represent AFT’s position at the next District Shared Governance Committee meeting on November 2. She also needed to know what the EC wants to do regarding our attorney’s October 2 email regarding a number of previously discussed revisions to Rules and Regulations.

As few people had fully read the materials Teeka sent, we agreed to forward feedback to her individually before the November 2 meeting.

Union Handbook

Monica proposed that we work collectively on creating some kind of handbook that clearly articulates the duties and responsibilities of each elected officer of AFT 1493’s Executive Committee. We can each choose to write a description of our own roles or we can let Dan work on this (he has already begun work on the project). Ron suggested that we begin by using existing AFT documents as models. Dan agreed to continue working on the project and will incorporate AFT materials and our work into what he has.

How the Personal Affects Us at Work

One member raised the question of whether AFT could, and is interested in, developing procedures to help Deans help faculty whose personal lives are negatively impacting their ability to fulfill their job responsibilities. The idea would be to intervene before the issue gets forwarded to Harry Joel for resolution. The EC agreed to discuss this issue in more detail at a future meeting.

Class Size Resolution

The Senates intend to drop this issue for now.

CFT Tax Reform Campaign

Elizabeth talked about a long-term campaign designed to change the tax revenue structure in the state of California. Language for an upcoming ballot initiative aimed at changing the 2/3 legislative majority requirement to raise taxes and approve budgets will be developed over the next couple of weeks or months. She encouraged all AFT members to talk to faculty on their campuses and hold meetings, even small ones, to educate faculty about the need for such changes, and to encourage faculty to become actively involved in working for such changes.


There are no formal grievances at this time.

Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

  1. Chip wants feedback about CSM’s negotiations forum.
  2. Eric reminded the EC that we need to develop the second, follow-up flex day survey, to solicit specific recommendations about how many flex days to have in the future and how to schedule them.
  3. Dan announced that there will be an anti-war demonstration in San Francisco on Saturday, October 17, protesting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and would like people to join him.

Meeting adjourned:               4:50