The two members for the negotiations team for “part-time” faculty are Minoo M and Corrinne C. Here is their report:
This is an update on what has happened in the conversations we’ve been a part of: meetings with the Federation bargaining team, the joint negotiations with the administration bargaining team, and the subcommittee on part-time faculty and workload issues. There have been additional conversations between Ed, our lead negotiator, and the lead negotiator for the administration team.
We have had much discussion of the job security issues faced by part-time faculty and of the proposal we presented: giving a significant portion of part-time faculty a multi-year contract that would guarantee a minimum 1.5 FTE each year, enough to qualify for health insurance benefits. At this point, our proposal does not have support from the administration.
There is currently a proposal on the table to send the multi-year contract idea to a committee to continue discussing it and to consider it again in a reopener in two years. This means that we would not achieve this goal in this year’s contract.
Our position (coming from the Vice Presidents who represent part-time faculty on the Federation Executive Council) is that
- The current Assignment Rights system is valuable. We will continue to work toward an improved system that provides more job security for our members.
- We have given the administration specific proposals to address their concerns about flexibility in administering the multi-year contracts.
- We need to make progress on other proposals to increase job security for our members, such as a substantial payment for cancelled classes.
The concerns we have heard from the administration team that make them reluctant to accept the multi-year contract idea are that
- It would hamper flexibility in dealing with declining enrollment.
- It creates a bigger and more complex workload for deans and faculty department chairs, who would have to assess the current part-time faculty members (through some as-yet-to-be-determined process) to determine who would get these contracts, and that it would be more difficult for chairs to have to make these multi-year assignments.
- They don’t know what the process would be to determine who gets these contracts.
- They don’t know what to do about our current system of assignment rights and that it would be difficult to administer two different systems: multi-year contracts for some and assignment rights for those who don’t get the multi-year contracts.
- This would create anxiety and morale problems among faculty and would disrupt relationships by creating “winners” and “losers,” since not everyone would have a multi-year contract.
- Finally, it’s important to note that Ed has reported resistance from some department chairs (who are also members of our union) to this proposal.
This is where we need your support. We need to show the administration that we have many members who want more job security, not just for our benefit as employees, but also because it would allow us to better serve our students. Watch for emails from the Federation and from your campus coordinator regarding future events, such as attending bargaining sessions, board meetings, and rallies to show our solidarity. Talk to your part-time colleagues, and be sure they have signed a Federation membership form so they can receive our email updates and vote on the contract. If you want increased job security, you will need to step up, give some of your time and energy, and help us create the necessary pressure to enact changes that will benefit faculty, students, and the college as a community. Remember that the union isn’t a separate entity–it’s you and your colleagues, working together.
If you have any questions or comments about this information, please contact one of us, your two part-time faculty representatives on the Federation bargaining team.
Corrinne Crawford, email@example.com
Minoo Marashi, firstname.lastname@example.org