October 9, 2013


San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at Cañada College

EC members present: Lin Bowie, Zev Kvitsky, Eric Brenner, Nina Floro, Michelle Kern, Sandi Raeber-Dorsett, Vicki Clinton, Elizabeth Terzakis, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Paul Reuckhaus


1. Welcome and introductions (we all know each other)

2. Announcements:

Zev: There will not be any special grant money for this spring. So we can get started in the fall with grant money. Also, CFT is worried about Tom Torlakson. He’s been an ally in unexpected ways in the past (e.g. around CCSF), and he’s pushed back against the federal gov’t around K-12 testing. It looks like opposition forces are gearing up to run against him. The opponent is expected to have backing from Gates, M. Rhee, and other anti-union friends. CFT will ask locals to contribute to Torlakson. Watch for this in Teeka’s email

3. Minutes: Minutes of the September 11 AFT meeting approved without change. MS; 7 yea; 0 nea; 1 abstention

4. Moved to the bottom of the agenda

5. AFT 1493 Grievance Structure: Dan proposed we adopt the grievance model used by San Jose/ Evergreen (SJ-E). It works like this: the union collects complaints, things that may turn into grievances. Then once a month the executive secretary and the president of the local meet with the district’s head of human resources and the chancellor. The union constructs the agenda for this meeting. SJ-E’s experience is that problems are resolved very quickly. The way it is now, we start at the bottom (deans first and on up the chain of the command). SJ-E starts at the highest level. Dan had a preliminary conversation with Harry Joel about this. Harry said that CSEA uses a similar process and he thought it would work well. Are there down sides? What about the timelines for filing a formal grievance (X number of days after AFT becomes aware of the issue)? One way to cover ourselves is to do an MOU. Harry didn’t know if Ron would want to participate. We should ask CSEA about how this works for them. Vicki says that the CSEA experience might not be comparable. CSEA has the meetings when issues become serious. Zev says that this model likely works best at avoiding grievances, not actually pursuing grievances. We decided to try this model. Dan and Teeka will report back once there is something to report.

6. PETF Update: PETF met at the end of last month and discussed what they have left to do. Harry compiled a list of what’s been accomplished and what’s left to do. Harry and Regina think PETF will be finished this semester. AFT has not received this list yet, but apparently it has been sent out to the District Senate president. In rewriting the procedures, it was suggested that the evaluation guidance committee would be eliminated. Nina did not like that. Harry later agreed that it would be important to have a union rep on that committee. Though Nina and Elizabeth did not want to go through the list at our meeting, Elizabeth emailed the document to Teeka. Here it is:

1. Revised the Student Evaluation of Faculty form to use in either classroom or distance education classes. The form was piloted over the summer and 202 students completed the survey. We have made some revisions to the form and reduced the number of questions to make the form more user friendly. Revised the following components of the faculty evaluation procedures:

a. Written descriptors of the components of student learning outcomes for incorporation into the procedures

b. Rewritten the procedures for the Evaluation Process for Regular Classroom Faculty – Need to finalize with Task Force

c. Rewritten the procedures for the Evaluation Process for Non-instructional Faculty – Health Services Nurses, Counselors, Librarians – Need to finalize with Task Force

d. Rewritten the procedures for the Evaluation Process for Adjunct Faculty – Need to finalize with Task Force

e. Rewritten the Peer Observation Report

f. Rewritten the Faculty Self-Assessment to include Student Learning Outcomes

g. Rewritten the evaluation ratings from Satisfactory and Unsatisfactory to Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Needs Improvement and Unsatisfactory

h. Rewriting the Tenure Review Policy and Procedures for completion next week

i. Rewriting the Class Observation Evaluation Form for completion the week of October 14th

j. Rewriting the procedures for the Evaluation Process for Distance Education Faculty for completion the week of October 28

Elizabeth says that when the PETF is done with the process, faculty should just vote. Then AFT needs to think about what to do if it gets voted down. She says the most controversial issues will be SLOs, adjunct evaluation, timelines (these are things about which folks have shared a wide variety of opinions). We discuss whether the vetting needs to take place. Teeka thinks yes; Elizabeth and Nina think no. The logistics are difficult.

7. BOT election discussion and labor council phone banking. The San Mateo Labor Council has started its phone banking. Do we want to participate? Since they’ve endorsed candidates for our BOT race, they would like us to take a night and help out. Are we interested in phone banking? Jefferson AFT locals have taken October 17. Maybe we could join with them. Dan will put out an email to work on that night.

8. AFT Local 1493 50th Anniversary: The date has been set: Friday, November 15, 4:00 to 8:00 or 9:00 at Cañada Vista. We should make a real attempt to publicize this. We want to highlight the accomplishments of this union. Beth Brand, who catered John Kirk’s retirement party, is able to cater for us. Rudy Ramirez, a CSM professor and musician, is willing to play at the party. How many will attend? Perhaps 100? We should do invitations, perhaps e-vite? Dan has reached out to all the founding members who are still alive. John Searle, our DART leader, will be helping to invite retirees. Program: food, music, speeches about the early history. Dan has some nice photos, etc., in his office that will look nice on display. Lin can do flower arrangements for us. Chocolates with “50” on them. AFT 1493 The Movie—could be played on a loop. Videographer—do oral stories of what the union’s done for me. Check with the film students, perhaps.

9. AFT Local Budget: We are $46,984 in the black. Last year we were in the red -$18,911. Our legal bill for the DA case was largely paid by a national AFT insurance policy that covers all AFT locals. Zev knew about this policy and brought it to the Local’s attention.

10. CCSF Forums at the three campuses: CFT wants us to host a series of forums to educate folks and discuss the CCSF accreditation situation. Dan suggests focusing on CSM, since no one responded to his email on this subject a few weeks ago. There would be CCSF board members, students, and faculty speaking about their personal experiences. If we decide to do this, we would need to do a flyer and/or an e-news. Dan will call Ron Gallatolo to ask for his participation.

11. Campaign for a healthy California: The AFL-CIO in California has passed a resolution in support of this campaign, which is about single-payer health care. Dan says this is somewhat astounding. The San Mateo Labor Council, among others, has endorsed this campaign, too. The buildings and trades unions are mad about Obama Care because they will lose their “Cadillac” health plans. Dan thinks this is why AFL-CIO has endorsed the campaign so quickly. Dan thinks we should become an official endorser of this campaign. In the past, we were out in front of this issue. With the AFL-CIO behind this plan, it might be quite difficult for the governor to veto it, which is what happened previously (if it gets through the legislature). If it passed, California would be the key example for how this system would work in the United States. We will vote on this next meeting.

12. Report on Sept. 28 CCC Meeting: Michelle—it was fun and densely packed! This was the first time Michelle attended this meeting. She is on the Labor in the Schools committee. Right now it is working on there being labor curriculum in all the schools across the country. CFT is a model for labor curriculum in the schools. They are working on a farm labor comic book being drawn by Spain Rodriguez. They are looking for funding. How can we tie into first annual labor history month in May. Their focus is primarily K-12, but the folks on the committee are mostly community college teachers. Teeka is on the Issues in Education committee and on its online education subcommittee. Her group worked on logistics around drafting resolutions for the convention. The Community College Council meeting was focused on ACCJC and CCSF.

13. District Participatory Governance Council: The Council has now finished with the review of all the board policies. CSM student government voted against BP 2.30 (political activity). One thing we might bring up there is how the DPGC is connected to the campuses’ college councils. AFT reps on budget and senate do not uniformly have votes on those bodies as AFT reps.

14. Skyline College strategic Plan: 2012-2017 (Paul and Nina): At the end of September, the Skyline administration had a community forum about the plans for hiring at Skyline in the next four years. Paul sent out notes to all of us on email. It was good to see what the staffing plan was going to be (they held two meetings over two days). With the community- supported funds, they will hire 30 classified positions and 20 faculty positions, but many of those will be faculty coordinators (who do not work directly with students); there might also be more faculty hires that go through a separate process. Some of the part-time coordination positions will be converted to full-time coordinator positions. Is this hiring administrators and calling them faculty? (It seems like it.) What were the hiring committees like for these? How many adjunct coordinators are there? Are they being exploited? Having full-time faculty coordinators who do no teaching seems like pseudo administrators. What are the job descriptions for these positions? Are the new faculty hires in the strategic plan on top of the regular faculty hires? Skyline has already hired an extra VP of Administrative Affairs position. The forums were really just informational, not a real discussion.

Meeting adjourned 5:01

Minutes respectfully submitted by Teeka James