Volume 44, Number 3 - March/April 2009
Several other hot topics aired
Activism, professional development and unionism brought several hundred faculty from across the state together at CCA’s Winter Conference in Costa Mesa.
In addition to spending part of their dinner time calling legislators urging them to protect education funding in the state budget, CCA members took part in a variety of trainings aimed at strengthening local chapters. Hot topics included negotiations, grievances, part-time faculty issues, membership, and diversity issues.
During his “State of the Union” address, CCA President Ron Norton Reel raised the issue of how the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges appears to be interfering with collective bargaining by requiring that Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) be incorporated into the evaluation process for faculty.
CCA is adamant that faculty evaluations tied to SLO’s has implications tied to employment which the state says is a bargaining right. Issues that have anything to do with tenure review also must be bargained as it relates to continued employment. Although CCA may consider legal action, Reel promised CCA leaders along with staff would attempt to meet with the commission to resolve the issue.
In the meantime, the discussion continued during in a lively workshop on SLOs later in the afternoon. Currently, there is no standard guideline for Student Learning Outcomes and every district has a different process for incorporating them. Although a variety of opinions were voiced, ranging from those who object to having to use SLOs at all to those who see them as a useful tool, the most important issue for faculty, however, remains that SLOs be bargained.
“We’re not opposed to SLOs,” said CCA staff Alan Frey. “But they must be bargained. As soon as you hear ‘SLO’ send a letter to your CEO demanding to bargain.”