Welcome to the All Faculty Association
Letter regarding Voluntary Load Relinquishment
As Dr. Chong has announced, the District is currently targeting a schedule reduction of 9 percent for Spring 2019, with further cuts planned for future semesters. For many of our colleagues, this will mean loss of hourly load (and potentially livelihood) in Spring 2019 and beyond.
While AFA has no purview over the schedule and no legal ability to prevent the District from making cuts, we are considering ways of reducing the pain of the schedule cuts, particularly for our most vulnerable and exploited unit members. As we mull over any contractual provisions that would enforce these ideas, AFA encourages those who are able and willing to consider sharing hourly load with colleagues. We want to first provide you with some information that may be useful in considering how you can help.
Established loads for hourly assignments no longer go down when load is reduced. When Article 16 was revised in 2016, a provision was added that prevents established load from decreasing when a faculty member turns down, loses, or opts not to request an hourly assignment. The result is that it is now possible for an hourly faculty member to go two semesters (and adjacent summers) without an assignment before losing their offer rights and place on the length-of-service list. As long as a faculty member who takes time off has an hourly assignment in the third consecutive semester, there is no change to their established load. Further, a faculty member who loses or gives up part of their hourly load but retains an assignment in any semester will retain their place on the length-of-service list and established load indefinitely.
You may have an opportunity to help a colleague. Not only were the new contractual protections designed to help faculty who lose hourly load involuntarily due to circumstances such as low enrollment or schedule cuts, but they were also designed to make it possible for faculty members to voluntarily reduce their hourly loads or take time off from teaching hourly assignments without having their established load affected in future semesters. In other words, if you decide to turn down an hourly assignment, you would be giving the opportunity of that load to a colleague lower on the length-of-service list without affecting your offer in future semesters.
Thank you for considering helping a colleague if you are able.
Karen Frindell Teuscher
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