Welcome to the All Faculty Association
May 2019 Tentative Agreement
The AFA and District negotiations teams have finalized a Tentative Agreement for the 2019-20 contract. At its meeting Wednesday, May 8, the AFA Executive Council voted unanimously to approve the TA and recommend it to the Membership.
AFA notes that our last contract was ratified in May 2016, and expired in July 2017, that the District took AFA to impasse in November 2017, and that we returned to regular negotiations only in December of 2018, so this year’s TA is the result of an unusually long, difficult, and complicated process of negotiations. One indication of that is an unusually high number of Memorandums of Understanding (30). A more detailed summary of the TA, as well as markup and clean versions showing the full text of negotiated changes, is available via a link embedded in the electronic ballots. Here is a brief summary of important elements of this year’s negotiations:
- Salary: Application of the Rank 10 formula produces an average 4.62% increase for 2019-20 (pending state budget approval of the proposed 3.46% COLA). Raises vary by step.
- Benefits: For 2019-20 the District assumes the cost of an approximately 8% increase in medical benefits. Still no premium costs for Kaiser HMO, Kaiser ABHP and Blue Shield ADHP enrollees. The current 10.05.B premium costs for Blue Shield PPO and Blue Shield HMO enrollees are unchanged.
- Lab Equity: Three tiers (.75, .8, and 1.0) go into effect Fall 2020. (See Course Tier Placements.)
- Article 26: Preservation of the Rank 10 formula for calculating salaries. A new cap limiting total faculty payroll costs to 52.7% of the District’s unrestricted general fund revenue. The cap can only apply for as much as two years, after which salaries will return to Rank 10. For a more complete description of the Article 26 agreement, see Salary Agreement Announcement.
- Article 23: Sets forth clear guidelines, expectations, and faculty rights in matters of discipline. This article represents the achievement of a long-held goal of AFA.
- Adjunct Medical Benefits Program: The withholding from hourly salaries for this program will be reduced for 2019-20 from 2 percent to 1 percent.
- Canvas conversion compensation: Faculty who converted courses from Moodle or CATE platforms to Canvas are eligible for compensation, up to a June 30, 2019 deadline (see Canvas Conversion Compensation.)
- Waivers: With the expiration of the previous contract, AFA has exercised its right to remove contract language waiving our rights under labor law to negotiate a number of matters.
- Minimum class size: Increased from 20 to 22.
A more detailed summary of the TA, as well as markup and clean versions showing the full text of negotiated changes, is available via a link embedded in the electronic ballots. The TA is also posted on AFA’s web site (Tentative Agreement).
This has been a long and hard pull. All thanks and credit are owed to AFA’s stellar negotiations team and staff: Mark Ferguson, Robert Jackson, Sean Martin, Warren Ruud, Karen Frindell Teuscher, Julie Thompson, and Carol Valencia.
Chief Negotiations Officer, All Faculty Association
Resolution Regarding the Request by Representative Student Groups
to Increase the Student Minimum Wage to $15.00 per hour
Adopted March 13, 2019
Whereas, Santa Rosa Junior College has long espoused commitments to equity, living wages as economic justice, fair working conditions, and respect for its various constituent groups.
Whereas, the cost of housing and other associated expenses for living in Sonoma County over the last decade has made the current minimum wage rate untenable as a means of supporting even a single person who must pay for her/his living costs.
Whereas, Santa Rosa Junior College students, who are forced to work outside the college in order to pay their bills, face obstacles to success in their educational journey due to scheduling and school commitment concerns.
Whereas, our college relies on student employees to serve in vital support roles.
Whereas, AFA recognizes that situations of economic hardships are detrimental to students’ ability to excel in their chosen fields of study and impairs their ability to be a full and present member of a classroom community, which directly impacts other members of that community, including faculty.
Therefore, be it resolved that the All Faculty Association of Santa Rosa Junior College calls on the Board of Trustees and the District to honor its stated commitments to equity, economic justice, fair working conditions, and respect by raising the minimum wage rate for all student employees to $15.00 per hour and committing to dialogue and consultation with representative student groups regarding issues of fair working conditions.
Canvas Conversion Compensation
On Dec. 13 we informed the faculty of an MOU on compensation for faculty work in converting their courses from Moodle/CATE to Canvas (see Canvas Conversion MOU).
Under the terms of the MOU, faculty members will be compensated for their work in converting online, hybrid, blended, or web-enhanced face-to-face courses from the old platforms to Canvas. Payment is at the base hourly rate per unit, for each converted course (not for multiple sections), as follows:
- 10 hours for a three-unit course (3.33 hours per unit) for converting an online course from another platform;
- 6 hours for a three-unit course (2 hours per unit) for converting a hybrid course (greater than 50% online); and
- 3 hours for a three-unit course (1 hour per unit) for converting a blended and web enhanced face-to-face course (0%-50% online).
Faculty members can now apply for compensation for Canvas conversion work completed at any time in the past and finished up to June 30, 2019, which is also the deadline for faculty members to apply for compensation.
The procedure is to complete the Transition to Canvas Compensation Application form (Canvas Compensation Application Form), and forward it to your supervising administrator (Dean) for approval and routing.
Please contact Terry Mulcaire, AFA Chief Negotiator, (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions about completing the form.
Salary Agreement Reached--November 2018
We are pleased to announce that the District and AFA have come to agreement in our negotiations on Article 26: Salary Schedule Development, of the faculty contract. With this agreement, the impasse proceedings that began in December 2017 are at an end, and the additional salary deductions for a “strike relief fund” have been cancelled.1 The District and AFA negotiating teams will now return to normal negotiations on a number of contract matters, with the expectation that we will reach a Tentative Agreement (TA) on a new contract by this May, and put the TA before the faculty at that time for a vote. The new Article 26 is now in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that takes effect immediately (see Art. 26 MOU dated 11/21/18). The MOU will have no effect on 2018-19 salaries. It will become part of the TA in May, when faculty will have a chance to vote on it, along with any and all other agreements reached by the respective negotiating teams.
Here are the major features of the new Article 26 MOU:
- It preserves the Rank 10 mechanism for calculating faculty salaries, with one modest change to COLA adjustments: for state-funded COLAs above 3 percent, AFA and the District will share equally the portion of COLA greater than 3 percent.
- It preserves Article 26’s linkage of hourly and full-time salaries.
- It adds a new budgetary safety switch for the District. This switch takes the form of a “Revenue Cap.” Should the total cost of faculty salaries and linear benefits2 exceed 52.7 percent of the District’s total Unrestricted General Fund revenue, that cost will be capped at the 52.7 percent figure. We are well under that figure currently; however, when the post-fire “hold harmless funding” ends, and the new funding formula takes full effect in 2020, we currently project that the cap is likely to apply. We understand that faculty will have questions about this mechanism, which is the major new feature of Article 26. We urge faculty to ask any questions you have. We will answer them as soon as possible, and/or incorporate your questions into the Article 26 FAQ which we are in the process of writing. You may also bring questions to our General Membership meeting on Wednesday, November 28 (details below).
- Faculty salaries can be capped for no more than two consecutive years. In the ensuing year, faculty salaries will once again be determined by applying the Rank 10 formula for that year. Thus, application of the Revenue Cap may put faculty salaries behind the Rank 10 mark temporarily, but they will return to that mark at least every third year.
- In any year where the Revenue Cap applies, and an administrator or administrators receive a raise, faculty salaries will automatically return to Rank 10.
This last provision about administrative salaries is especially important. It was the District’s proposal, and by linking management raises to Rank 10, it expresses the District’s new commitment to Rank 10 as a critical feature of SRJC’s tradition of excellence. In turn, AFA’s agreement to the cap represents our commitment to the District’s ongoing fiscal stability. AFA has always recognized, and historically has acted on the recognition, that pressing for Rank 10 in cases of genuine budget crisis would be foolish. The new Article 26 represents a means for building into the contract both the District’s commitment to Rank 10, and AFA’s interest in and commitment to the District’s fiscal stability.
The AFA negotiating team thanks you again for your support over the last difficult year of impasse proceedings, and urges you to come to our General Membership meeting on Wednesday afternoon, November 28, at 4:30 pm, in Lark 2004. Zoom conferencing will also be available for faculty members to participate remotely.
1A detailed announcement about the strike relief fund, with directions for faculty who wish to receive a refund of those deductions, will be sent later today.
2Linear benefits include those benefits that are proportional to salary, such as Medicare taxes and employer CalSTRS payments, but exclude medical and dental benefits.
September 2018 Negotiations Update
The teams have recommenced regular meetings on the usual calendar, first and third Fridays of each month. Along with our ongoing work on Article 26 (Salary), we have in recent weeks negotiated, concluded, signed and put into effect several MOUs on matters that required immediate attention, for example, terms for paying faculty for work over the summer on AB 705 implementation, and on Guided Pathways. (A list of recently signed MOUs, with the text of the agreements, is at MOUs)
Article 26 remains the focus of our work. The two teams continue to work together in good faith, and to make progress, although perhaps more slowly than either team would wish. Both teams recognize that getting this right is more important than getting it done quickly. At such time as the two negotiating teams reach an agreement on Article 26, impasse will be legally over, and we will resume normal negotiations on the list of items that were remaining on the table when the district declared impasse in December 2017, as well as some other matters that have arisen since then.
The teams spent part of our first regular meeting reviewing the items that belong on that list. The collegiality and productivity of this session, we think, were representative of how substantially the atmosphere and conduct of negotiations have improved for the better. We will be aiming to conclude negotiations on those remaining items by May 2019, when a complete Tentative Agreement on a new contract, including the new Articles 26 and 23 (Discipline), will be put before the faculty for consideration and a vote.
Chief Negotiations Officer, AFA
Summer 2018 Negotiations Update
Dear Faculty colleagues,
As you recall, in April 2018, the District proposed a pause in impasse proceedings, and Dr. Chong authorized the District negotiations team to return to the table and recommence negotiations with the AFA team. Those meetings began in May, and they have continued into the summer. I can report that the two teams are engaged in good faith negotiations, are working hard, and are making progress. The AFA team remains hopeful that we and the District will come to a mutually satisfactory agreement by the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester. We are also prepared to continue negotiating if it takes longer than that to reach an agreement.
In the meantime, here are a few things you should know as the August 20 start date for Fall 2018 classes approaches.
Our negotiations are ongoing, and should we reach an agreement with the District before the start of Fall 2018 classes we will inform the faculty about details right away.
In case current negotiations are still ongoing at the start of Fall classes, faculty paychecks August 31 and September 10 will reflect the application of the Rank 10 formula for 2018-19. The complete salary schedule, showing the Rank 10 calculation for 2018-19, is at the AFA site here: http://www.afa-srjc.org/Contract/salary_sched.pdf . (This draft is still pending review by the District.)
In what we hope is the unlikely event that our current negotiations should stall, the District and AFA retain the right to restart impasse proceedings, moving on to the fact-finding stage. In case that happens, faculty paychecks during the Fall of 2018 will reflect the application of the Rank 10 formula for 2018-19, until such time as the fact-finding process is completed, and the PERB negotiator issues a settlement proposal.
Chief Negotiations Officer, AFA
Information about the recent Supreme Court Ruling regarding Fair Share Service Fees
Dear SRJC faculty colleagues,
As you probably know the Supreme Court, in its Janus v. AFSCME decision on Wednesday June 27, changed the law on the collection of fair-share fees from public sector employees who are represented by, but not members of a union. The legal precedent that was overturned by Wednesday's SCOTUS decision, set in 1977 by Abood v. Detroit Board of Education, held that fair share fees were legal but could be used only to cover costs of negotiating compensation and working conditions. The Janus decision holds that such fees are unconstitutional on free speech grounds, and orders that collection of fees be immediately stopped.
If you are a member of AFA, we thank you for your support. This decision changes nothing for you personally, at least for the time being. More broadly speaking, however, the Janus decision is a significant blow to public sector unions such as AFA, threatening to make it more difficult for unions successfully to represent their membership in matters of pay and working conditions.
If you are not a member of AFA, the decision means that a fair share fee will no longer be collected from your paycheck, starting with the first paycheck you receive after July 10. We can't predict how California and federal law will evolve in response to the Janus decision, but as of today, AFA continues to represent you in negotiations and other contractual matters, exactly as before. That includes negotiations with the District over the Rank 10 salary formula, which are ongoing through the summer. But the union will no longer have the support of your fees.
AFA is proud of its history of success in representing the faculty at SRJC. The loss of fair share fees, if left unremedied, threatens that record of success. And the remedy is simple: AFA urges all faculty members who have not yet joined the union to do so, as a means of defending and promoting your own personal interests and the collective interests of your faculty colleagues. Look for information coming soon about how to determine whether you are a member, and if not, how to join AFA.
Many of you are surely also aware of the larger national political stakes of the Janus decision. Look for further communications about this larger context at the beginning of Fall semester. The link below will take you to a Dialogue piece from 2016, addressing those stakes, in reference to a precursor case to Janus, Friedrichs vs. CTA. The link below that is a to a useful summary discussion of Janus and its implications by the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-sympathetic independent think tank.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Chief Negotiating Officer, AFA