From trustee elections to part-time faculty workshops
Chapters successful in electing new trustees
Several faculty-friendly candidates were elected to community college boards of trustees this past fall, due to the hard work of local CCA chapters and assistance from CTA’s ABC Political Action Committee.
Elected to the board of trustees at Rio Hondo Community College was Mary Ann Pacheco, a retired English professor who spent 38 years teaching at Rio Hondo, and held several positions of leadership within CCA and CTA.
Citrus College Faculty Association helped unseat one trustee and elected Dr. Barbara Dickerson, a former educator and current executive director of a nonprofit organization working with at-risk youth.
Faculty at Chaffey Community College assisted in the re-election of two incumbents Kathleen Brugger and Katie Roberts.
The three chapters were also successful in obtaining campaign funding from CTA’s ABC Committee. Funds from the ABC Committee are not intended to finance a campaign, but rather to provide “seed” money for printing and mailing costs, which in many cases, is substantial.
Long Beach City College faculty hope to elect three trustees to the college board in the spring, with the help of a $9,000 contribution from CTA’s ABC committee.
For faculty associations considering supporting candidates, bonds or parcel taxes, the time to prepare is now. Once an association selects a candidate or ballot issue, it needs to organize a budget and send CCA’s ABC director Joan Sholars a letter of intent that it is going to apply for ABC funds. Letters of intent must be submitted at least 50 days before the election, while the application deadline is at least 35 days before. The ABC Committee then reviews the applications and makes its decisions. The link for the ABC Intent/Application is found on the CCA website for an easy download. Contact Sholars at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Merced Binding Arbitration
This past negotiation cycle Merced College Faculty Association had a significant win at the negotiating table: binding arbitration.
“I don’t think it is an exaggeration to claim that, over the years, we may find this to be one of our most significant victories for MCFA’s longstanding health,” said faculty president Keith Law. “Our new agreement will allow us to take any perceived violation of our contract, and that means a violation of any faculty member, to a third party arbiter for a final decision.”
In order to win binding arbitration, the faculty helped elect several new trustees and argued that legal fees paid by the district on past grievances were excessive and unnecessary.
CCA website to be unveiled
The redesign of the CCA website continues and should be ready to be unveiled by March. The website will have
a new feel, more content and easier navigation.
College of the Canyons
Faculty negotiators at College of the Canyons are successfully employing Interest-based Bargaining in their contract negotiations this round. Both sides are making progress on non-monetary issues and the faculty negotiations team is pressing the district hard on the claim that there is no additional money, despite a huge reserve and over $10 million from Prop. 30 this year.
CCA Book Club
CCA’s successful book club will continue in the spring with a discussion at the Spring Conference of The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why it Matters by Benjamin Ginsberg. The author is the David Bernstein Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. In his book, he takes stock of what ails higher education and finds a single, unifying cause: the growth of administration. The selection marks the third book that has been under discussion by members participating in the conference.
Rio Hondo Faculty Association makes discipline an issue
The Rio Hondo College Faculty Association is making faculty discipline a key issue in its contract negotiations this year. There has been a growing problem with the college handing out 15-30 day suspensions to unit members, sometimes for relatively minor infractions. There are no procedures in place in the contract and little consistency for application of discipline. While CCA has represented faculty well in these matters, it is fighting an uphill battle many times.
South Orange faculty association reaches out to part timers
The association is making a special outreach to its part-time faculty by offering targeted workshops. Workshops scheduled for this year include retirement for part-time faculty, applying for unemployment benefits, and the Affordable Care Act. In addition, the faculty survey on negotiations indicated a high priority would be salary increase for part-time faculty, securing paid office hours and improving the current part-time faculty health benefits.
Shasta College Faculty Association negotiates new contract language for adjuncts
Shasta College has negotiated new language for part-time faculty including “stipends for committee attendance and shared governance, $10,000 more in office hour funding, the same evaluation process as full timers to be applied and a guarantee of an interview for a full-time slot should the part timer have a satisfactory evaluation on the current period.
Dems release findings on adjunct faculty
The Democratic staff of the House Education and Workforce Committee recently released, “The Just-in-Time Professor,” a report on the state of contingent faculty in higher education. The findings from the eForum detail working conditions, the role those conditions play in affecting adjunct instructors’ career prospects and ability to earn a living, and how the instructors working conditions may impact teaching.
“What’s been happening to the higher education workforce during the last couple decades should give all of us pause,” said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), senior Democrat on the committee, who launched the eForum on the Working Conditions of Contingent Faculty in Higher Education in November 2013, after a witness testified before the committee about the difficulties she faces as an adjunct professor. “The number of part-time contingent faculty at institutions of higher education has been rising rapidly, with more than one million people now working as adjunct faculty, providing a cheap source of labor even while tuition is skyrocketing. These are people who have played by the rules and found employment in a highly skilled, in-demand field, but are being put under extreme stress—with some even living in or on the edge of poverty. The stories from this eForum have provided us with valuable insight into the world of contingent faculty and raised a number of issues that deserve further scrutiny.”
To view the report, http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/sites/democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/files/documents/1.24.14-AdjunctEforumReport.pdf.