September 2019 Advocate: Contract Negotiations


Red shirts on Wednesdays: District take warning!

By Katharine Harer, AFT 1493 Vice President & Outreach Organizer & Rika Yonemura-Fabian, Skyline Chapter Co-Chair & Outreach Organizer

In another saga of contract negotiations having lasted for seven months so far, most of our AFT proposals are going nowhere. The district team has said they don’t believe there’s a need to limit faculty workload or to pay part-time faculty to assist with non-teaching tasks. They’ve remarked that they don’t understand the need to increase FLCs for art, music, PE and science faculty, and they don’t see the necessity to provide one month of 100% paid maternity/child-bonding leave for faculty members. Their response to professional development is that they want to increase the number of administrators on the committees that screen the applications and decrease the number of faculty members. And this is just the tip of the melting iceberg. (See Contract Negotiations Updates at

In a recent AFT “negotiation coffee talk” at Skyline focusing on workload, faculty shared stories about the time-consuming challenges of dealing with more than 40 students in a distance education class and the exhausting tasks of carrying out Comprehensive Program Review, Annual Program Review, SLOs and other administrative tasks when you’re the only full-timer in a department. One person who agreed to take two Honors contract students discovered she worked an extra 25 or more hours in a semester just on that. Another person commented that there’s a culture of overwork on our campuses, and if you try to create limits for yourself, you’ll be met with: You must not be a dedicated teacher. And if it’s not said outright, it’s implied.

Faculty show support for bargaining team

While our AFT bargaining team–Joaquin Rivera, AFT President and Chief Negotiator, Monica Malamud, Past AFT President, and Paul Bissember, AFT Executive Secretary–sit huddled in a room at the bargaining table, faculty members are showing their support and solidarity by wearing AFT “Red for Ed” T-shirts on Bargaining Wednesdays. (See photos.) The bargaining teams have another session scheduled on Tuesday, October 8.

Wear your RED SHIRT on Tuesday, October 8, and if you don’t have one, contact your chapter chair(s) or AFT reps on your campus and we’ll get you a shirt. And please ask someone to take your picture, and then send it to us ( We’re compiling an archive of members wearing AFT shirts to help demonstrate to the district that faculty care deeply about the issues AFT has brought to the table.

We are scheduling Town Hall Meetings at each of our three campuses this month to talk with you about the bargaining process and the issues in contention:

Town Hall Meetings
to discuss contract negotiations
– CSM: Monday, September 23 2-4pm, Bldg. 14-117
– Cañada: Tuesday, September 24 2-4pm, Bldg. 3-117
– Skyline: Wednesday, September 25 2-4pm, Bldg. 4-273

Our working conditions impact our lives every single day. Your AFT bargaining team knows this and will continue to fight for fairness and protections for faculty, but they can’t do it without you. Wear your shirt, talk to your colleagues, come to the Town Halls on whichever campus works best for you. Get involved!