September 10, 2014

San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493

Minutes of General Membership/Executive Committee Meeting

Wednesday, September 10, 2014, at CSM

EC Members Present: Lin Bowie, Eric Brenner, Victoria Clinton, Salumeh Eslamieh, Stephen Fredricks, Katharine Harer, Teeka James, Dan Kaplan, Michelle Kern, Doniella Maher, Sandi Raeber Dorsett, Joaquin Rivera, Paul Rueckhaus, Janice Sapigao, Anne Stafford, Elizabeth Terzakis, Lezlee Ware, Shaye Zahedi

Guests: Zev Kvitky, Wendy Whyte

Meeting started: 2:35

Facilitator: Katharine Harer

CLOSED SESSION: Discussion of Grievances/Complaints

Dan updated the EC on a number of recent faculty complaints.

Welcome and Introductions

Agreed to move this item before CLOSED SESSION

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

Agreed to move this item before CLOSED SESSION

  • A faculty member expressed concerns about a Dean violating seniority rights when scheduling classes: Dan proposed meeting with the faculty member and the appropriate dean.
  • Zev reminded us of the importance of the upcoming race for Superintendent of Public Instruction – Katharine urged EC members to distribute fliers supporting Tom Torlakson for Superintendent.

Skyline PT EC Co-Reps Issue

Both of the current co-PT EC reps at Skyline are no longer part-time: one was recently hired for a tenure-track position (Hellen Zhang) and the other is serving in a temporary full-time coordinator position (Paul Rueckhaus). We discussed the possibility of allowing both faculty to continue as co-PT reps since they were PT when they were elected.

Because there is another PT faculty member at Skyline interested in getting more involved with the union and serving on the EC, we agreed that Hellen Zhang and Stephen Fredricks would share the position of EC Rep at Skyline, and                                                 and Paul Rueckhuas would share the position of PT Rep at Skyline.

* Minutes of May 14, 2014 AFT Meeting

Approved unanimously with one abstention.

Strategic Campaign Initiative Organizing Project Update

Katharine and Michelle attended a two-day (CFT?) training last weekend focused on how best to use our Strategic Campaign funding. They are currently working to create a welcome packet for new faculty. Katharine is reaching out to new FT faculty while Michelle is doing the same for PT faculty.

They are also working to include photos and quotes from all EC members to include on the AFT1493 website. They want to include more photos of non-EC members to emphasize that the union is not just the EC.

AFT 1493 2014 Budget

For 2014, AFT 1493’s income decreased by approximately $65,000 at the same that our expenses went up. While we do have reserves to cover this year’s deficit, we cannot continue to operate in the red. We discussed briefly the possibility of raising dues. Faculty currently contribute 1.2% for their AFT dues, which is relatively low compared with other locals. Increasing dues to 1.5% would raise over $130,000 for AFT 1493.

One faculty member suggested raising the dues only for FT faculty.

Academic Calendar, Negotiations, Faculty Survey on the AFT’s Contract Reopener


            We examined the two possible academic calendars for 2015/16.

  • The District is asking for a two-year calendar.
  • Administration has asked for 6 Flex days in response to the Flex Coordinators’ requests.

            Contract negotiations reopeners

  • Employee contributions to health insurance premiums will be going up in January 2015 for every plan except Kaiser. Teeka suggested that in the next round of negotiations, we advocate for an increase in the stipend PT’s receive for health insurance.
  • We need to develop contract language that addresses issues of how Deans schedule classes – there is currently nothing.
  • We still want to strengthen contract language related to seniority.

An MOU for Administrators Teaching in SMCCD?

Monica raised important issues and questions at our May meeting about how to handle requests from administrators who want to teach classes (Who will pay the administrator/faculty union dues? How do we ensure that no PT’s are “bumped” in the process? Who will evaluate Deans’ classroom teaching? Which administrators can teach? How will any student complaints be handled?)

We agreed that individual administrators should pay their own union dues, that they should be evaluated by a faculty member from another campus within the District, that only former faculty may teach, and that an administrator must not “bump” a PT faculty member.

Should PT Faculty Automatically Be Interviewed for FT Jobs?

There will be an article by Barbara Christensen the next issue of The Advocate including statistics about the percentage of FT hires in the district who were previously PT faculty.

Granting interviews to all internal candidates could become an unreasonable burden for some departments.

While we recognize the importance of confidentiality, we agreed that hiring committees should be able to tell PT’s who weren’t interviewed why they weren’t.

Grievance Committee Training


Dean’s Survey: Next Steps


Statements from EC Members on Non-Agenda Items

  • One EC member expressed concern over an apparent increase in the number of faculty and classified staff being fired and stated that that some faculty are feeling vulnerable in their positions and are afraid to speak out.
  • A number of adjuncts are falling through the cracks – between Employer-provided health care and eligibility for the Health Care Reform subsidy.


Meeting adjourned:             5:00


* Action Item