Negotiations Update 15 November 2022
AFT met with the District on November 4th, 7th and 14th. The District presented us with Article 5 (Workload) on Friday the 4th and Article 3 (Salary) Monday the 7th of November. Our negotiations team returned Articles 3 and 5 on the 14th and received same day counters from the District. Additionally, we wrapped up Tentative Agreements on Articles 7 (safety), 8 (leaves), and 17 (federation rights). Given the exchanges on Articles 3 and 5, we are able to offer more clarity on resolved and unresolved issues.
Many of you have by now seen the financial agreement between the District and SEIU: Agenda Item 16.01 (Board Agenda).
In short, the agreement is an 8% increase in this year (retroactive to July 01, 2022) and a 4% increase on July 01, 2023. Additionally, there is a 2% one-time payment be made in 2023 for those working in the 2022-2023 school year. There is no scheduled raise for July 2024. The district has offered a reopener on salary in that year instead because revenues in this year are uncertain. AFT has also agree to this salary increase.
AFT 1828 understands the importance of compensation, but we also recognize that our contract also protects working conditions. For this reason, I spoke to the board on one of the key issues of this negotiations that we are still seeking resolution on, distance education. Our contract wasn’t written for the Distance Education world we live in today. I was upfront with the board that the lack of distance education experience on the District negotiations team has been an impediment to reaching an agreement.
The District team has been adamant that teaching online is the same as teaching in person. From their perspective, it may be. Classes are a way to capture FTES and in this sense they are universal. However, online classes require a significant amount of preparatory work that is different from, and represents and addition to, the work required for prepping an in-person class, particularly the first time the class is taught online. The District has refuse a better definition of preparations (the CBA limits the assignment of preps to 3 unless a faculty member agrees to more).
Our team has asked that they recognize that labs and lectures are separate preps, even when combined under the same CRN, as they can be assigned to different instructors. This has been rejected. The district also rejected our request to recognize different modalities as different preps and later rejected compromise language asking that online classes be recognized as a separate preparation the first semester a faculty member teaches it online.
The district is seeking to remove the right to decline an online assignment. AFT is adamantly opposing the district position. The loss of the right to decline an online assignment is broadly opposed by faculty, If the district is to get a concession from us on this item because it is essential to how they do business today, they must show data indicating that the declining of an online assignment prevents them from successfully managing the colleges and be willing to recognize a number of protections for faculty who teach online, including:
- recognizing online class development as a preparation
- protecting the integrity of the evaluation process for online classes, and
- protecting the property rights of faculty who develop and post content to their online classes
While this is just one of the outstanding issues in Article 5, I want you to know that our team is seeking to protect your working conditions.
Loss of Longevity
Additionally, the District is still seeking to remove longevity for FT faculty upon retirement. We understand that the District is misleading the Board of Trustees on this issue. They have suggested that full-time faculty are on the preferred list: This is untrue, the preferred list is only for part-time faculty. Retired full-time faculty may be placed on the preferred list if they are evaluated as excellent, just like part-time faculty.
Longevity is based on non-contract assignments, so any longevity possessed by a retired full-time faculty member is based on their commitment to the college in non-contract work. The Board has been sold on this concept, at least in part, as a DEIA initiative, but retired faculty may be members of underrepresented groups and the loss of ability to teach part-time may delay retirements resulting in a delay in availability of full-time positions. Ultimately, this effort on the part of the district is ageism and AFT opposes it. We find the District’s drive to push out faculty who have devoted their lives to their colleges disingenuous and offensive.
We are also negotiating unresolved issues that impact non-classroom faculty. While we don’t have a final answer on remote work yet, the District has changed its position slightly, increasing the importance of the Remote Work Workgroup as it may be tasked with developing remote work conditions. We have worked to ensure that faculty have a say in the remote working conditions for faculty. The District’s initial request on Article 5 sought to increase the workweek for non-classroom faculty by 5 hours (from 35 to 40hrs per week). We are happy to report that this change was not in the District’s most recent proposal. However, the District is seeking to remove the 3 hours of development project, professional growth, research, etc. granted to counselors. They have suggested a willingness to make the 5 hours of College Service for non-contract faculty a guarantee rather than a request that could potentially be denied.
Negotiations Update Webinar
AFT 1828 is scheduling a Zoom meeting this Friday, November 18, 2022 at 1:00 pm so that you may ask questions about the process and progress. We will seek to follow up with in-person meetings. We are prepared to provide more information as we go forward and seek to wrap up this negotiations cycle. We hope that faculty are prepared to reach out to the Board of Trustees and Chancellor on the issues that they are concerned about. We will provide more information on several issues to assist you in this process.
Ty Gardner, AFT Local 1828 President and Chief Negotiator