I hope you all have enjoyed this spring break week. Last week-end was the 100th Anniversary Convention of the California Federation of Teachers. This is our state affiliate of the AFT. I was in attendance along with other VCCCD union faculty who asked to be delegates. I will be providing information gained at this event in our April 15th Newsletter.
The Board of Trustees began open session on Tuesday, March 19 at 5:40 pm and it ended at 11 pm. Below are some highlights..
On this day in labor history...
Toronto printers strike for the 9-hour day in what is believed to be Canada’s first major strike - 1872
First “Poor People’s March” on Washington, in which jobless workers demanded creation of a public works program. Led by populist Jacob Coxey, the 500 to 1,000 unemployed protesters became known as “Coxey’s Army” - 1894
A total of 146 workers are killed in a fire at New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a disaster that would launch a national movement for safer working conditions - 1911
An explosion at a coal mine in Centralia, Ill., kills 111 miners. Mineworkers President John L. Lewis calls a 6-day work stoppage by the nation’s 400,000 soft coal miners to demand safer working conditions - 1947
By Steve Hall
AFT Local 1828 and management have exchanged sunshine proposals, which list the articles each side would like to open during negotiations. Nine articles were not opened by either side, which means they will remain the same and will not be discussed in negotiations. A complete list is given below.
Summary of Sunshine Proposals, February 10, 2019
By Steve Hall
We have learned that the District’s claims of increases in faculty benefits costs have been overstated? It was reported by our Insurance Benefits Consultant (Burnham) at the Thursday, February 7 Health Benefits Committee that lower claims rates from faculty were pooled with higher rates from ASCC group for at least this year and last year. AFT Local 1828 is now questioning the validity of the cost of FT faculty health benefits that has been reported by district management. If true, this shocking revelation is of extreme importance to every faculty member as increased insurance costs was used by management during the last negotiations cycle to justify no raises for 3 years for FT faculty and minimal raises for part-time faculty. This has the potential to be a major issue in our upcoming negotiations.
Below is the latest contract negotiations update from your union negotiating team:
Negotiations Update #3
March 10, 2019
The meeting began with the district team presenting their proposals on Article 12 (Evaluations) and Article 21 (Term).
We presented our proposals on Article 8 (Leaves), Article 11 (Tenure), Article 12 (Evaluation), and Article 13 (Department Chairs). A summary of the proposals distributed today are given below.
By Renee Fraser
For faculty new to teaching in the community college, there is a whole new language to master. There are acronyms (FTES, SLOS, CLOS) there are college specific terms (admin) and there is FLEX. So what is Flex, and how does it affect you?
The Flexible Calendar Program (Flex) was instituted by the California State Legislature, and consists of staff development activities in-lieu-of regular instruction.
It's found in Title 5, the section of law that governs community colleges (CCR, title 5, division 6, chapter 6, subchapter 8, article 2, section 55724, item a-4). Flex activities can be, but are not limited to, training programs, group retreats, field experiences, and workshops in activities such as course and program development and revision, staff development activities, development of new instructional materials, and other instruction-related activities.
Your union's negotiations team will continue to send updates to all faculty as we work through the negotiations process. Below is Steve Hall's report from yesterday.
Negotiations Update – Meeting #2
March 6, 2019
After brief housekeeping items, we presented our proposal for Article 14 (Transfers). The intent is to provide a way for full-time faculty members to initiate a voluntary transfer to another college in the same discipline and classification on a temporary basis. The proposed language recognizes the information and pedagogy sharing benefit to the district and individual colleges through allowing faculty members to temporarily serve among colleagues at other colleges. The District verbally and later in writing indicated that they were in general agreement with the intent of our proposed language, however, expressed concern over the proposed procedure for implementation which requires faculty consultation and approval.
What if I was asked, “what is it like to be President of the VCCCD faculty union?” We have 3 campuses with approximately 1200 full and part-time faculty. We provide services for approximately 30,000 students. The vast majority of our faculty are union members. Well, I suppose the word “demanding” would first come to my mind in terms of answering such a question. Union business is 24/7. While many might think we are just involved in contract negotiations and the grievances that can result, your union is involved in many other activities. There is fiscal oversight of union funds, networking and cooperation with other unions including at the state and national level. We are involved in supporting legislation to benefit our students and faculty and we will be working to increase our local efforts in this sphere. There is a union office to maintain, record keeping, audits, website and social media outreach along with many other activities necessary to maintain a professional organization. And, of course, attending and reporting on the Board of Trustee meeting and other District committees is on our plate. We have a Committee on Political Education (COPE) that was actively involved in endorsing 2 recent Board of Trustee candidates who were both elected and are now serving. And, of course, one of the most important things for me is to respond quickly to all types of questions and concerns that reach me. I receive daily emails and messages that are left at the office. I teach online courses and firmly believe that a DE instructor must respond to students in a timely matter. My personal goal is to always respond within 24 hours. I bring this same passion for answering questions and concerns that I receive from faculty.