October 8, 2008

Minutes of

General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

October 8, 2008 at Cañada College


Present: Eric Brenner, Chip Chandler, Victoria Clinton, Nina Floro, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Yaping Li, Monica Malamud, Karen Olesen, Sandra Raeber, Joaquin Rivera, Katie Schertle, Dietra Prater Slack, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis

Guests: Michael Stanford, Harriet Tucker

Meeting began at 2:25

Facilitator: Karen Olesen


1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Minutes of the May 14, 2008 EC meeting


3. Statements from AFT members on Non-Agenda Items:

A. Dan mentioned, and distributed a few copies of, the San Mateo Labor Council’s paper, Labor. The issue distributed contained an article about Dan’s discussion of education issues to candidates running for office in San Mateo county.

B. Dan reported that he had attended the PERB hearing for P/T Librarians. AFT 1493 was able to get one librarian a regular schedule that will last until retirement. The PERB officer recommended that we revisit this issue during the next round of contract negotiations.

C. John Kirk’s retirement part video is available – contact Dan if you are interested.

D. Monica relayed a request that AFT 1493 endorse “No on W,” a measure regarding open space in Redwood City. AFT 1493 does not, however, make political endorsements other than for Board of Trustee candidates.

E. Yaping mentioned that a CSM faculty member was traumatized by an incident in which a deer broke windows in two faculty offices, leaving behind broken glass and blood. The faculty member requested that Yaping distribute to the EC a letter she wrote about the handling of the incident. Dan will request an electronic copy and distribute to the EC.

4. AFT Local 1493 2008-09 budget

Harriet pointed out that we have no control over projected income or over the expenses listed on page 2 on the handout she distributed; we do have some control over staff salaries, taxes and benefits (item #2) as well as items #3 – 14. We have a new clerical assistant – Mark Mantell, who gets a $100 stipend for health benefits. The cost of Harriet’s benefits went down.

The budget was approved unanimously.

5. Toward a more efficient and effective union

A. Agendas and Meetings: Monica created a slightly new format for this month’s agenda, which designates action items. She suggested that in the future we list action items at the beginning of the agenda, and that statements from AFT members remain statements only, not items for discussion, and that they be limited to 10 minutes in total.

Teeka asked that in the future we talk about having additional meetings, especially when special issues come up.

B. Organizing Members: Teeka talked about some of what she learned at ULI this past summer, in particular the importance of face-to-face contact with members. She distributed a handout describing the “organizing conversation,” and including suggestions for effective communication with members.

Katharine suggested that we restart our yearly retreats (generally held in August). Elizabeth said that she is interested in creating flyers to help organize faculty, using issues like the use of SLO’s in faculty evaluations, Distance Education, etc. to foster faculty involvement.

C. Email: Anne requested that people use the “reply all” option judiciously, to help prevent email overload.

D. Communication with Board/District: The Board of Trustees is apparently not interested in our idea of “summit meetings” which would have included EC, Senate, and Board members along with administrators, meeting to discuss major issues of concern. Instead, they have suggested that a small group of us meet with the Chancellor. A small group of EC members agreed to schedule a meeting with the Chancellor.

Joaquin raised a question about whether or not the Board may have violated the Brown Act when they made their decision about this only in closed session, and failed to report this decision in open session.

Anne suggested that EC members consider signing up to attend one Board meeting a year as a way to show our interest in improving communication between the EC and the Board, and between the EC and Administration.

6. District Shared Governance Council

A. Revision of Rules and Regulations: 2.09: In spring 2008 the EC agreed that DSG’s decision-making process should no longer be called ‘consensus’; instead, it is simply democratic voting. DSG has essentially abandoned the consensus model.

B. Review of process for evaluation of delineation of functions: ACCJC is requiring a map, or plan, of our “process for evaluation of delineation of functions,” by which it means a list of who, or which constituencies, are responsible for which tasks.

C. Partial revision of Rules and Regulations: Section 6: DSG has proposed substituting the following statement from 6.12, section 1a (Definition of Credit Courses) – “The course shall be taught by a credentialed instructor – with “The course shall be taught by a qualified instructor.”

Teeka wanted to know what we thought about including a statement about SLO’s in 6.12, section 1g.

Teeka will send AFT the newest version when it is ready.

7. Class size MOU discussion

We’ve already renewed it until December 2008. Joaquin suggested we table the issue until our next meeting. Katharine suggested that it would helpful to have somebody do some research on what other colleges are doing. This issue of what to do about large classes will require a big discussion – it will be on the November agenda.

Decisions about large classes may also impact our language on Distance Education.

8. Flex days poll 2009-10 calendar

The online faculty poll resulted in some very mixed responses about converting teaching days to Flex days. A number of EC members feel conflicted about not wanting to do a lot of administrative work for free on the one hand, and not wanting to give up instruction days on the other hand. Teeka reminded us that one of our (the EC) primary obligations to our members is to work to obtain the highest pay and best working conditions – and this change to the calendar is an attempt to do exactly that.

The EC unanimously approved taking our proposal (to convert 4 additional instruction days to Flex days in the 2009/2010 academic year) to the Board. We intend to treat the change as a two-year experiment. Next year we will have to assess how the additional Flex days are working.

We need to communicate to P/T faculty that they can get paid for activities they participate in on days when they wouldn’t normally be teaching.

9. Trust Committee release time update

On 9/12 Teeka met with Harry Joel to discuss compensation – in the form of release time – for faculty who ultimately serve on the new Trust Committee. Though Susan Estes is very eager to move forward with the formation of the new Committee, the EC decided that we must follow the precedent set by the original Trust Committee (whose members did receive release time); if the District won’t pay participants, we will wait.

10. Alternative Calendar Task Force

Faculty recently received a proposal from Patty Dilko and Jing Luan about the formation of a task force to explore the possibility of changing to a compressed calendar. Monica explained that District Administration and Administration from all three campuses have done some modeling, saving faculty from having to do all of the groundwork.

The EC discussed how the task force and the AFT will fit together. Do we want to participate fully or merely weigh in once there is an actual proposal? Katie announced that she plans to participate, whether as an AFT rep. or simply as a faculty member.

The EC decided to continue this discussion at our November EC meeting.

11. Union and Senate roles discussion

Tabled until November meeting.

12. Grievances

There was no report.

13. Proposed change in Dan Kaplan’s SEP/IRA

Dan was previously limited to an Employer contribution of 15% of his gross salary to a SEP IRA (which, unlike the retirement plans of faculty, is a defined contribution rather than a defined benefit plan). The law changed in 2002 to allow for a contribution of 25% of his gross pay, but his broker did not notify him of this change. Dan requested that the EC approve an increase now to 20%, which would allow an additional 1% increase retroactive to the 2002 date at which time the law changed, with an additional 1% increase each year until he reaches 25%.

The EC voted unanimously to increase the contribution to 20% this year, and will decide next year on future increases.

Open discussion/meeting critique: Meeting adjourned: 4:50