Archive for October, 2013

It’s too important not to

Posted: October 31, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dear Faculty,

WWL is no longer allowed to send out notices of new posts to you on the Cuesta all-faculty email list.  So, we are accomplishing it another way.  Please forgive any errors or duplication this time.  We are entering it all by hand.

If you sign up to be a follower of the site, you will automatically be notified the next time we send out a series of posts.


The staff

Many of you were around when Grace Mitchell was Cuesta’s president.  You might recall her proposal to get rid of division chairs.  You might also recall our collective outrage at this proposal and our refusal to even put it on the table.

Well, we have come to the realization that Mitchell may have been right.  But, for different reasons, of course.

We believe that the culture at Cuesta has changed so dramatically that division chairs are now redundant.  It may be time for them to go and have the substantial sums of money being paid them go in the faculty pot for salary increases.

Just hang with me for a moment here even though this may strike you as unthinkable.  Let me list for you some current and recent actions of division chairs.  Can you identify your chair in the following list?

A chair collaborated with her dean to terminate a long-time, successful part-time faculty member in blatant disregard of the contract–even when they were presented with the actual language.  The dean said, “I choose not to see it that way.”

A chair is being sued for harassment and retaliation.

A former chair (5 years ago) collaborated with his dean to attempt to have a full-time faculty member fired.  The matter ended in a winning arbitration for the faculty member and the chair being identified as “an agent of the district” by the arbitrator.  The dean was let go.

A chair allows the dean without question to take on bargaining unit work, displacing faculty who formerly did the work, in violation of the Ed Code, EERA, and HEERA.  The chair is not affected, however, because he has retained his share of the work for himself.

A chair has allowed the dean to have inappropriate interference with a new full-time faculty member’s tenure process.

A long-time faculty member and short-term chair quit abruptly, saying that she had had enough.

A chair pursued a personal vendetta against a long-term, full-time faculty member in her division with no basis in policy or contract.

There are more.  Division chairs seem to think they are managers–that they actually “supervise” their faculty.  Of course, they don’t.  Did you know that you don’t have to do anything your chair tells you to do?  Unless you hear it from management, you’re good.

There is no reason for us to have chairs if they are just “mini-me’s” of their dean.  Let the deans, who love to micromanage, do what they want–without having to pay for chairs who give lip-service to faculty and free rein to their deans.

Chairs need to read their job description.  They are not managers.  They have no power.  Their main role is to fight for and advocate for all their faculty.  They, by and large, are not doing that.

I propose that each division have a coordinator, instead of a chair, who checks off the schedule and coordinates evaluations.  If we don’t have the advocacy of the chairs, all we need is a numbers cruncher.  Let the deans do everything else.  Why?  Because they’re doing it anyway.

Now, I realize this seems radical.  And, it is.  But, I ask that you look closely at the culture of Cuesta.  It is now management-driven, with no checks and balances and no interference by the union.  The faculty need a raise more than they need division chairs.

Of course, you may have a lovely chair who does everything a chair should do–the way it used to be.  But, you are a minority.  All faculty deserve better than they are getting.

I welcome your comments.

We have a new union president.  We wish her well.

We do think, though, that the union president should learn the contract before telling faculty falsehoods.

Why is it that no one in the union or in management seems to understand Article 5 of the contract?  The same untruths are being spread by this new union president as the one before her.

SHORT SCENARIO:  Suppose a division has one overload class available and two faculty who want it.  Both are qualified and have the same seniority.  Who gets the class?  What is the decision based on?

No one in the union has given the right answer in over 5 years.  You should care about this–whether it affects you or not.

This union president has just recently said to faculty,  “Management wants to be sure that they follow the contract, no more no less.”  WHAT????  The union needs to stop attempting to “play nice” with management and advocate for faculty.

And, I would also caution the union against playing favorites.  The union has a new VP.  And, just as soon as she came on, she and her long-term friend from Social Sciences, Mark Weber, put forth a proposal to pay them more for large lecture classes.  The entire faculty has received no financial gains for years.  It is not the time to reward special interests.

And, this silly key policy that has taken front and center.  The proposal that management has put forward is ill-conceived.  However, this is not a union issue.  It would have no place in the contract, and, consequently, is not able to be grieved or taken to arbitration.  This is clearly a Senate issue—shared governance, budget, etc.  It is a policy (bad one, for sure) that may be on its way to becoming Board Policy—but, not one that will or should end up on the bargaining table.  The issue should be given to the Senate where it belongs.  And, then the union can sign on in support if it chooses to.

I hope this new president will take the time to learn the contract.  And, that she will do what’s necessary to get a raise for all faculty.

President Debra Stakes
Vice President Nancy Mann
Secretary Mark Tomes
Treasurer Mark Tomes
Grievance Officer Victor Krulikowski
COPE Chairperson
Part-time Faculty Representative
Communications Chairperson
Council Liaison Tom Patchell
Council Liaison Cynthia Wilshusen
Part-time Faculty Council Liaison Cynthia Wilshusen

A Scary Tale

Posted: October 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

Once upon a time, in 2008, a new union president came on board.

College president gives union president, upon the start of her position, a faculty award.

Union president achieves nothing for faculty in 5 years and puts union in the red.

College prez gives union prez, upon her leave the leadership award, and the rest of us are dead.

The End

(No, really.  It is the end)


To the CCFT Executive Board

Posted: October 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

Dues Increases

Speak the truth always no matter the cost.