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District still refuses to consider re-employment rights and continues to ignore new state law.
Your union’s negotiating team first met with the administration on February 3, 2017, to begin negotiations on a successor agreement to our contract. At first, negotiations were difficult but progressing: after 15 sessions, the union had accepted the district’s offer of a 4.56% across the board salary increase, had finally convinced human resources to institute an automatic step increase for part-time faculty (previously one had to apply), and had, in principle, agreed to pay for some professional development activities. Other union goals had to be curtailed or delayed. Then came the discussion of the new state law giving part-time faculty some re-employment rights based on seniority for assignments, dependent on positive evaluations, and requiring the district to negotiate “policies for termination,” also based on positive evaluations. Here the district balked, refusing completely to consider any system, arguing that part-time faculty’s reemployment rights are contained within the following (from 6.3.5 of the contract): “It is understood that although a Unit Member may meet the requirements as provided in section 6.2 (basically preferred consideration) of this article, this does not create any guarantee, right, or entitlement of the Unit Member to assignment or employment and nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as creating any obligation of the District to employ, renew the employment of, retain, or continue the employment of any Unit Member. . .” Your union refused to accept this.
We went to impasse, with the state sending a mediator to help resolve the conflict. He failed. Christmas came and went. Next step, in spring, the state appointed a fact finder, who, in April convened a 14-hour ONE-DAY session in which each side argued its positions for her. She has yet to issue her written report, but it should come soon.
YOUR 4.56% RAISE FROM LAST YEAR? The district has refused to implement the parts of the contract upon which we all agree. This means the raise from last year is STILL BEING HELD HOSTAGE! If you taught an average load last year, this means the district is holding approximately $500 of your money.
How to shake it loose? Once the fact finder’s report is received (and acted upon by the district Board of Trustees), the union is free to engage in various job actions, trying to force the district to comply with state law on re-employment rights and to pay you the raise that full timers and classified employees have already gotten. Please be sure the union has your current email address so we can contact you. Email us at email@example.com. Meanwhile, start exercising those picket sign waving muscles!!! Also note the District Board of Trustees recently approved a $3,000 per year increase in salary for top administrators.
Yes, this is still going on (and on and on).
Mediation failed and now the union and the administration go to “fact finding,” which means a neutral fact finder is appointed to review the proposals of both sides and determine the “facts.” If the fact finder cannot push the two sides into a compromise, she issues a public written report that the Board of Trustees may use to force a settlement — if it gets to that point, the union will need YOUR help to lobby our Board of Trustees. The union is pleased that we were able to get Ms. Bonnie Prouty Castrey as fact finder; in our previous experience, she is not afraid to stand up to the administration when she thinks they are in the wrong. The fact finding hearing is set for the 19th of April. Your negotiations team is preparing a “book” on the 10 issues separating the union and the administration.
One “issue” is the salary increase of 4.56%. The administration continues to hold this increase hostage, trying to get the union to agree to give up completely on the issue of reemployment rights. The union has responded with a resounding NO, we will not completely bargain away reemployment rights! More than once the union has proposed implementing the raise, since both sides agree, and continuing to bargain the other issues. The administration has refused.
On the “issue” of reemployment rights (and the new state law), the administration continues to include in their proposal the words, “The District shall retain all customary and usual powers, functions and authority with respect to the employment, retention and termination of temporary faculty members to the full extent of the law, any provisions of this Agreement notwithstanding.” And the law to which they refer says part time faculty can be fired at any time for any reason (“at will” employment). Thus the administration feels the new law is meaningless. Your union does not think so! Neither does Assembymember Jose Medina who stated in a letter that the new law “will provide similar rights and protections to part time faculty that are afforded to full time faculty at California’s Community Colleges.”
Your union continues to fight for you!
Your AdFac negotiations team met with the district on June 27, 2017, at district headquarters in Anaheim. Negotiations had been moving slowly forward prior to this, but once AdFac began talking about re-employment rights (under the new state law), the district began dragging their feet. The district claims that our present Article 6 (with “preferred consideration”) satisfies the entirety of the new state law. AdFac pointed out that the law requires “policies” for termination, which is not at all addressed in our old Article 6 (except where it says “this does not create any guarantee, right, or entitlement of the Unit Member to assignment or employment” in 6.3.5). The district insists this is a re-employment right under the state law! That is, according to the district, there is no re-employment right. Your negotiation team finds this completely unacceptable.
During the previous meeting on June 19, 2017, the district introduced their “revised” proposal on Re-Employment Rights, which they presented after forcing the union team to wait in the conference room for 52 minutes before the district showed up. (This pattern of the district being regularly tardy by 15 to 30 minutes shows disrespect for members of our team who were volunteering their time from other summer jobs in order to be there.) The district’s revised proposal on re-employment rights was a disaster: They made at least 10 different aspects of their prior proposal more difficult, including adding more time before you reach “preferred consideration” status, lowering the number of courses you have “preferred consideration” for, and adding at least 9 different new ways you could lose your “preferred” status, all the while not addressing the termination-of-employment issue. But to show their largesse, the district did go through Article 6 and changed all references to “preferred consideration” to “Re-Employment Preference.” AdFac considers the proposal to be regressive bargaining, which is illegal under state law, making the district guilty of “bad faith” bargaining. The union will be filing a complaint on this issue with the Public Employment Relations Board.
Your negotiations team indicated to the district that the union will NOT accept this regressive proposal. Your team strongly believes our part-time faculty deserve REAL re-employment rights: If you are doing a good job (no bad evaluations) and the work is there, you should be re-hired. The union continues to insist that one test of whether or not you have real re-hire rights is that you cannot be fired for minor transgressions of district rules such as, a department chair emailing part-time faculty the Sunday before the semester began, that if your syllabus is not in to the chair before the first day of classes the next Monday, you wouldn’t be re-hired. Obviously, this does NOT mean you may ignore the paperwork requirements of your job – but the district needs to be reasonable about what constitutes a fire-able offense. Part-time faculty, after years of service to the district, deserve the respect of reasonable policies for termination.
So AdFac will be filing impasse papers with the state. Next comes the appointment of a mediator to try to get us to resolve the open issues. Then finally union and district would go before a factfinder. In the meantime, all aspects of the negotiations are held in abeyance until final settlement. These processes will take months, but your team believes that part-time faculty need to make a strong stand on principle. Together we can overcome!
Your Negotiations Team trying to make your life better