The Contract is Dead

Posted: April 22, 2013 in Uncategorized


~~Second in our series, “WILD, WILD QWESTA–a place where anything goes.”

We’ve been trying for a while now to come up with a catchy title for this second article in our series.  Then, it became clear.  Faculty don’t need “catchy.”  They need truth.  So, now you have it.  The contract is dead.

First tenet of Union 101: Management will attempt to circumvent the contract whenever possible–unless it serves their needs. That is wrong, yes, but is only to be expected.

Second tenet of Union 101:  It is the union’s responsibility to do all that is necessary to right the above wrong.

Seems pretty basic.  But, just the opposite is happening at Cuesta.  There are no checks and balances anymore.   There is one team only: management.

This has become painfully clear.  In this post, we relate one occurrence.

An adjunct faculty member was undergoing a “NI” evaluation in Fall 2012.  “He” was in the process of selecting his committee.  Two of the members of the committee had been agreed to.  The faculty member then made a choice of his third member and was denied by both his chair and his dean.  We then supplied the chair, the dean, and the union grievance officer the below agreement.  None of the three–NONE–responded to the faculty member.



Office of the Vice President, Instruction


To:  Marilyn Rossa, CCFT President

From: Susan Dressler

Date:  February 10, 2003

Subject: Off-Cycle Evaluations of Faculty

There are two sections of the CCFT contract that provide contradictory information about the number of individuals assigned to the peer review team in an off-cycle evaluation (sections and 7.12.3).  The purpose of this memo is to formally acknowledge the request of CCFT as conveyed in Jim West’s email message to me on February 10, 2003 that CCFT prefers to use Section 7.12.3 for off-cycle evaluations.  “For the peer review component, a three member peer review team will be created.  The first member will be selected by the Division Chair (designee).  The second will be selected by the faculty member who is being evaluated (Bolding added). The third member will be selected by mutual agreement of the Division Chair (designee) and the faculty member who is being evaluated.” The District agrees with this approach and will proceed to do off-cycle evaluations with teams of three peers.

Please acknowledge that this is what was discussed and agreed to by signing this memo and returning it to me.  Thank you.

I agree with this summary and approve the process for an off-cycle evaluation of faculty.

Marilyn Rossa, CCFT President                   Date

C: J. West

B. Workman

The above is a signed, contractual agreement between the district and the union in 2003 and codified in the contract in 7.12.3.  The point in question couldn’t be clearer.  When this was shown to the faculty member’s dean and the  HR Director at this faculty member’s grievance meeting, the HR Director said, “Who’s Susan Dressler?” We told him.  He refused to read the agreement.  We were informed that an email from the current president of CCFT stated that the faculty member DID NOT have a choice in the selection of his second evaluator.  When we told the district that the contract superseded an email from the union president, they said that this was the way they “chose” to interpret it.  The union also said that the faculty member did not have the right to have a witness of his choosing at a grievance meeting (of course, in violation of the contract).  Although there are many more details and injustices in this matter, as a result of this trumped-up committee and the apparent collusion between the union, the chair, the dean, and HR, the long-term faculty member was terminated.

The contract is dead.  Faculty have lost their jobs because of it.  It should break your heart as it does mine.

UPCOMING POSTS:  Why division chairs have become redundant and lots more–

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