Negotiations Update July 2015

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,
Minoo Marashi,

8 thoughts on “Negotiations Update July 2015”

  1. Thanks for your hard work on this. It’s true that if we continue on in exactly what we’ve got, it’s tricky to manage. But there needs to be acknowledgement that the system needs to change. More hassles for department chairs or administrators, in my view, is not a good enough reason to continue with the system we’ve got, which is inherently unjust to many dedicated part-time faculty

    1. I appreciate everyone’s hard work and good intentions, but I do not understand why the college seems to be dragging their collective feet about changing the way they do scheduling. An instant, free, albeit partial solution would be to simply put fewer classes on the schedule each term, staff them with long-term part-timers (perhaps even offering us 2 classes per term rather than 1!), and as those classes fill, open additional sections and hire additional teachers (it’s not as if there’s a shortage!). Why does the college continue to offer, say, 50 sections of WR121, then cancel 8 of them right before the term starts because the classes are low enrolled, leaving those teachers (always part-timers) unemployed or half-employed?

      This change would be so much easier on part-time teachers (who could again trust that an assignment means an actual job). It would also be easier on students (who wouldn’t have to scramble to find a replacement class at the last minute), and, I suspect, it would be easier logistically on clerical staff and administrators. It wouldn’t cost the college a cent. And it would go a long way towards giving part-time teachers a sense that their employer does value them. Perhaps there is a good reason this isn’t being done, but I don’t know what it is.

  2. The assignment rights system is valuable … but also vulnerable. I just celebrated 25 years as a part time employee at PCC by losing my job. My position in one program was cut and even though I am qualified to teach in other programs at other campuses, no one was able/willing to offer me a position because assignment rights are connected to positions/departments rather than employment. I’ve lost it all: top step pay, health benefits, retirement…and through absolutely no fault of my own. I realize this rarely occurs but it did to me and it shouldn’t have. I’ve given years of my working life to PCC and have been tossed away like an old Kleenex. This shouldn’t happen. Surely there’s a way to prevent what I’ve been through.

    1. Melissa – That’s terrible!!! I’m so sorry to hear about this. I wish I could do something. Sylvia

      1. Thanks, Sylvia. It is still hard for me to believe that no one can do anything to sort this out but apparently all avenues have been tried. The system is flawed and it has completely failed me but I don’t know if this happens often enough to make it worth fixing.

  3. 🙁
    It just seems so wrong. Couldn’t they even give you a thank you card or an acknowledgment? That’s just human decency. And of course, the job itself is what you actually need. . .

  4. My former manager has asked me to come in and pick up another plastic pin to add to my collecton but it’s pretty low on my list of priorities these days. And yes, it’s the job (and health benefits) that I really need.

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