Editorial: No union for me

Posted: April 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

For many years now, faculty member, June Beck, has publicly posted that I should “get on board” and be part of the union work instead of pointing out problems as I see them.  Well, June, I need to say this.  For ten years, this union has not allowed me to join.

For those of you who don’t know this silly saga, spearheaded by Mark Tomes and Allison Merzon, the union told me, after I was out of office, that I owed CCFT $180 for cell phone use.  And, they created a new clause just for me in its Bylaws: that if anyone owes the union money, she can’t be a member.  It didn’t, however, supply me with sufficient information I needed and asked for to see if they were correct.  Even so, my former treasurer wanted me as a member so that I could vote on important issues and gave a check to the union for the full $180, just in case it was her accounting error (which it wasn’t).  The union refused the check, saying it had to come from me directly (which it didn’t).

So, just very recently, as I sent in, once again, my membership application to the current treasurer, the union rejected it, and had their lawyer write me a letter, saying now there was another reason I couldn’t join. I offered to give them what they asked for, ludicrous as it was, but they did not accept it.

So, their actions have forced me to file an Unfair Practice Charge against the union with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).  This is so pathetic–and corrupt.  Members need to know that the union will be spending–and has already spent–a great amount of money–your dues money–to their lawyers to keep me out of the union.  I guess I am so scary that they didn’t and don’t want me anywhere near it.

I will not let this matter drop.  It is wrong.  And, it is important enough to pursue so that this or something like it, won’t happen to other faculty. I will keep faculty informed as this matter goes through PERB, including posting here verbatim the long letter from the union, giving me the two reasons I am not allowed to join.

So, June, that’s the story.

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Cuesta? No Show

Posted: March 16, 2018 in Uncategorized
  • All San Luis Obispo high schools and Santa Maria high schools
  • Some K-8 schools in the county
  • Cal Poly

All of the above had planned, creative, and powerful activities for National School Walkout Day, March 14, 2018, to demand school safety and common-sense gun reform.

Cuesta?  Nothing. Zero. Zip.  How embarrassing. How wrong.

Somehow, once again, Cuesta is out of step.

We so hope the Cuesta students, faculty, and staff are planning a local action to be part of the national, student-sponsored March For Our Lives action on March 24, 2018.

WWL would be very happy to be part of the publicizing of an event through this blog and our Facebook page.  Just let us know.shopping

 

 

Time’s Up

Posted: January 29, 2018 in Uncategorized

If you see a poster in your department, which speaks to the district’s non-tolerance of sexual harassment and discrimination, please read it carefully. It is so very important.

As was evidenced by the recent, second international Women’s March, the movement @resist has taken another step forward. The “Me, Too” movement has now morphed into “Time’s Up.” What’s the difference? It’s not only a woman’s acknowledgment that she has been a victim of sexual harassment. It’s now her taking the necessary actions to prevent it from happening again and her exposing the perpetrators—naming names. It’s also about running for political office.

This past week has been fraught with sexual misconduct and harassment news:

–The sentencing of Larry Nassar, MD to 175 years in prison, the cataclysmic fallout at Michigan State, and the forced resignation of the entire USA Gymnastics Board as a result of his decades of sexual abuse of young female Olympic athletes.

–Steve Wynn, casino mogul, has resigned as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

–And, even Casey Affleck has his problems. Because he was previously sued for sexual harassment, he dropped out of presenting the award for Best Actress at this year’s Oscars. Smart move.

This doesn’t include our own SLO grown horror: Uber driver, 39-year-old Alfonso Alarconnunez, is “being held at San Luis Obispo County Jail on $200,000 bail, on suspicion of eight charges, including two counts of rape of an unconscious victim and one count of rape of a drugged victim, as well as additional charges of grand theft, burglary and oral copulation of an unconscious victim.” (SLO Tribune)

What can you do, you ask? What should you do?

Well, the mission statement of @Time’s Up includes some answers to the question of “What You Can Do”:

  1. “Don’t be part of the problem. For starters, don’t harass anyone.
  2. If a person who has been harassed tells you about it, believe them. Don’t underestimate how hard it is to talk about these things.
  3. If you know someone who has been harassed, connect them to resources who can help, such as the ones found here.
  4. If you are a witness or bystander and see a harassing situation, you can help the person being harassed. You could actually intervene. You could confront the harasser. You could also help the person get out of the harassing situation. If you cannot do any of these things, you can still support the harassed person by corroborating and confirming the account of what happened.
  5. You can support those affected by sexual harassment by donating to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund.
  6. If you are part of an organization, look at the workforce and the leadership (management, officers, board of directors). Does it reflect the market where you operate and the world we live in? If not, ask why not and do something to move it closer to that goal.
  7. Acknowledge that talent is equally distributed, but work and career opportunities are not. Mentor someone from an underrepresented group in your industry. If you are in a position to do so, hire someone who can diversify the perspectives included in your organization; your team will be better and stronger for it.
  8. You can vote with your wallet: in your purchasing, in your investing, and in your charitable giving. Spend or give to companies and organizations who have more equitable leadership and opportunities for all.”

The issue is not only global. It is national. It is local. And, it is at Cuesta. Whatever you do, do something.

Don’t forget that

SILENCE IS CONSENT

The below photos are from the women’s marches across the country and from the SLO Women’s March:

A HISTORY OF FACULTY RAISES AT CUESTA 1999-2018

I was asked by a colleague for help in finding a history of faculty salary increases from 1999-2008. Since I’ve been asked about salary history by others in the past, we thought we’d post it here. Thanks to the always-great work of Gaye Steil in HR, we got that data. One item of particular note can be found in the 2002-2005 CBA below. This was the first and only time that part-time faculty got a parity increase—and a sizeable one at that, spanning two years: “For academic year 2002-2003, the 2001-2002 Temporary (Part-time) and Full-time Overload Salary Schedules shall be increased by 7.0567% as of July 1, 2002; and shall be increased by 1% as of January 1, 2003.”

The only way that we were able to achieve that for our part-time colleagues was if full-time faculty agreed to a raise of only 1% for 2001-02. The full-time faculty rose to their best instincts and agreed to that to help their exploited sisters and brothers. Times have changed.

1999-2002 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)

Academic Salaries

4.5           The new Faculty Salary Schedules for regular and temporary faculty members shall be attached to this Agreement as Appendix B through B-3, reflecting an increase of 1.00% over the 1998-1999 schedule for 1999-2000, and 5.85% over the 1999-2000 amended schedule for 2000-2001, plus the addition of new Column G and modification of column unit criteria effective July 1, 2001. The schedule does not yet reflect implementation of the 2001-2002 Salary Formula.

4.5.1       Step and column movements for eligible faculty members will be granted as of July 1 of each academic year in which this Agreement is in effect.

4.5.2       Extra duty compensation for faculty members is set forth in Appendix B-5, Extra Duty Compensation.

4.5.3       Compensation for work experience classes shall be at the rate of $50 per enrolled student plus an additional $25 for each student who completes the class, for a maximum of $75 per student.

4.5.4       (Retroactive) For each academic year of this Agreement , the Faculty Salary Schedules shall be determined by application of the Compensation Formula which is attached as Appendix B-6. The 1999-2000 salary schedule shall be effective as of July 1, 1999. The 2000-2001 salary schedule shall be effective as of July 1, 2000. The 2001-2002 salary schedule shall be effective as of July 1, 2001.

2002-2005 CBA

Academic Salaries

4.5     The Faculty Salary Schedules for regular and temporary faculty members shall be attached to this Agreement as Appendix B through B-3.

4.5.1  Step and column movements for eligible faculty members will be granted as of July 1 of each academic year in which this Agreement is in effect.

4.5.2  Extra duty compensation for faculty members is set forth in Appendix B-5, Extra Duty Compensation.

  1. Compensation for work experience classes shall be at the rate of $50 per enrolled student plus an additional $25 for each student who completes the class, for a maximum of $75 per student.
  2. For academic year 2002-2003, the 2001-2002 Full-time Faculty Salary Schedule shall be increased by 1% as of January 1, 2003.
  3. For academic year 2002-2003, the 2001-2002 Temporary (Part-time) and Full-time Overload Salary Schedules shall be increased by 7.0567% as of July 1, 2002; and shall be increased by 1% as of January 1, 2003.

2005-2008 CBA

Academic Salaries

4.7           The Faculty Salary Schedules for regular and temporary faculty members shall be attached to this Agreement as Appendix B through B-3.

4.7.1       Step and column movements for eligible faculty members will be granted as of July 1 of each academic year in which this Agreement is in effect.

4.7.2       Extra duty compensation for faculty members is set forth in Appendix B-5, Extra Duty Compensation.

4.7.3       Compensation for work experience classes shall be at the rate of $50 per enrolled student plus an additional $25 for each student who completes the class, for a maximum of $75 per student.

4.7.4     3% increase from June 6, 2007 to July 7, 2008

4.7.5       For academic year 2005-2006, the Full-time Faculty Salary Schedule, Temporary (Part-time) and Full-time Overload Salary Schedules shall have an off schedule two percent (2%) increase applied to payments due under those schedules. Such amount shall be off schedule, shall not be the basis for calculating the increase in 4.7.6, and shall terminate as of June 30, 2006.

4.7.6       For academic year 2006-2007, the Full-time Faculty Salary Schedule, Temporary (Part-time) and Full-time Overload Salary Schedules shall contain a six percent (6%) increase from the existing version of those schedules, effective as of July 1, 2006.  

4.7.7       For Academic Year 2006-2007, a fixed aggregate total sum of $1,500 is hereby established for distribution among all faculty supervising student internships that have been approved by the Vice President, Student Learning. A joint CCFT/District committee shall be formed to determine how to equitably distribute this fixed amount.

4.13        The District and Exclusive Representative agree that the list of fourteen (14) districts attached as Appendix F shall be used by the parties as information for purposes of negotiations when comparing salaries for persons represented by the Exclusive Representative.

2008-2011 CBA

Academic Salaries

No change in salary from previous contract.

(A year is lost from the contract cycle. The one below should have begun with 2011: 2011-2014)

2012-2015 CBA

Academic Salaries

All Faculty 1% increase retroactive to January 1 2014.

All Faculty 1% increase effective January 1 2015.

2015-2018 CBA

Academic Salaries

$1,500 per person off-schedule in 2014-15

5% on schedule increase for FT and PT in 2016 (You might recall that the union bargained away new full-time faculty positions for this salary increase).

Plus  ???

 

 

Faculty,

What CCFT has asked you to do is untenable on so many levels.

1.) First, let’s see if I got this right. The union is in mediation and fact-finding (mega dues $$$ used on legal fees), for 1% more for the prior academic year, 2016-17. I have one question to ask: Why?  If a union team can’t pry 1% from the district without all this, they might think about doing something else.

Our union went to salary mediation only several times in its first 14 years. And, each time, it was for something noteworthy. We never came out of mediation with less than a full 3% salary raise in addition to anything else we may have agreed to prior to mediation. One mediation session was particularly memorable. At the close, we ended up getting everything we wanted. In fact, Mike Hargett, then CBO, asked us, after we signed the mediated agreement, why we got everything and they got nothing (it’s true; they didn’t get anything). He seemed surprised. I told him that next time might be better for him. The district wasn’t happy with the outcome and fired their chief labor negotiator, upset that the union was getting a lot of stuff and the district wasn’t. That’s what supposed to happen.

The point is that we–every one of our negotiation team–knew what we were doing. We worked to be one step in front of the district at all times. This union is reactionary. Bad place to be, especially with the virulence of the anti-union animus that Cuesta has been famous for statewide for decades.

2.) CCFT is asking part-time faculty to either participate in this campaign only if they want to but if they don’t, “we instead ask that you support your full-time, tenured colleagues who are participating.” You’ve got to be kidding.

These are the full-time “colleagues” who overwhelmingly voted against their part-time “colleagues” in the small-step-toward-parity vote in the last contract ratification election in May 2016. Some, or many, of these full-timers who voted against the part-timers had formerly been, at least I thought they had been, strong part-time supporters. Not so. Part-timers appear to have a handful, at best, of full-time supporters–supporters not in cheap words, but in the true sense: that they would absorb some pain for their part-time sisters and brothers.

These are the full-time faculty who did nothing to put the union president on the hot seat last Fall for failing to make a serious case for part-time parity with the district in October 2016 as she promised.   She lied—true–to the part-timers when she was hustling to get their vote that they should be patient, that the union will go back and get the district to move toward parity in October, blah, blah, blah. From what I hear, the union is putting a lot of energy toward getting increased part-time office hours and can’t get them. The increased office hours are nothing compared to a salary increase. Part-timers already told you in all of the many surveys you’ve sent out that salary comes first, including a move in parity.

And, the union is asking the part-timers for solidarity.

3.) CCFT is proposing that faculty jump on the “Work to Contract” campaign bandwagon. Shame on any faculty that have been working more than what their contract requires all these years. I’m kind of doubting that this is a great number of the rank and file, but I certainly may be wrong because I know very little about this Cuesta.  Many faculty I know are keeping their heads down, doing their job, and doing nothing more. Or, they’re trying to teach online.  And, they’re keeping an eye on their retirement count-down calendar.

Why do you think one of the biggest tenets of unionism is that workers get paid for all their work? Because it was the blood of the worker that was spilled in that fight. Don’t you see? Unions are supposed to set a level playing field since it is the bosses that have all the power. When you work for free, they laugh at you. They know they are in charge. What good has playing nice, like the NAGS (New-Approach Group) wanted done for faculty? How many new full-timers can barely afford to rent in the county much less in SLO proper? How do you think the low salaries of our part-timers fare?

But, you go right ahead and be proud of the 20 faculty who tagged along to the administration building when mediation started. You think that makes a hoot of difference with those on the hill? Do you really think that “work to contract” will make the least bit of difference here? If you don’t get that it won’t yet, I’m not sure what will clue you in.

When I was booted out of office in 2008, Cuesta full-time faculty ranked overall (with the exception of low starting salaries which was next on our planned to-do list) at approximately 35/72 districts. And, some individual faculty pay categories were even higher. Part-time salaries were in the upper quartile. Now, we have fallen to the bottom ranking due to this union and its predecessor.

All the hard work done over the prior years that we all worked together to achieve—gone.

Truthfully, I’m not surprised at the results. It was a game, a competition to them. What I am very surprised about is that the faculty think so little of themselves and their value to this institution and its students that they fall for any of this and just don’t get stinking mad and do something.

 

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Please consider a donation on this Day of Giving to this very worthy perpetual endowment fund.

CuestaCollege_logo_vert_fullcolor_whttxt

  Foundation

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Title of Endowment:

JANET POLLOCK GILLETTE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWMENT

Endowment Established by: MATTHEW T. GILLETTE

Purpose:

To establish a perpetual scholarship fund to honor the memory of Jan Gillette, who overcame poverty and a fatherless childhood to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, an instructor, a founder of the Office of Employment Training, and founder of the Addiction Studies Program at Cuesta College.

Specifications for distribution of earnings (companion to ‘Article I. Purpose’ in Endowment Agreement Form):

The Janet Pollock Gillette Memorial Scholarship provides scholarships for students who want to pursue a career in Social Work or Counseling.

Qualifications to be met by recipient:

The student(s) awarded must be, or planning to be enrolled in at least 12 units, and maintain a cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 and indicate that they are pursuing a career in Social Work or Counseling. Preference is given to re-entry women who are minorities, disabled, or low income.

Attachment “A’ Developed By/With:

Matthew T. Gillette

 

The Board of Trustees of the San Luis Obispo County Community College District affirms that no person shall, on the basis of race, color, religious beliefs, gender, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientation, or marital status be unlawfully subject to discrimination under any program or activity of the San Luis Obispo County Community College District