Archive for May, 2016

Details Matter

Posted: May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

Contract Notes

While you’ll be enjoying your retroactive check at the end of the month, you might want to take a look at the following for some clarity and perspective. The points were taken from a recent email from the union president.

1.) History of recent salary increases/negotiations:

2007-08         3% (Rossa)

2008-09         0% (Merzon)

New contract

2009-10         0%  (Merzon)

2010-11         0%      (“)

2011-12         0%      (“)

New contract

2012-13         0% (Merzon)

2013-14         0% (Stakes)

2014-15         1%; 1% (“)

New contract

2015-16         5% (Stakes)

2016-17           ?

2017-18           ?

So, that 7% spreads over two contracts:

The 2% increase for the 2012-2015 contract works out to 0.66% per each year of the contract.

The 5% increase for 2015-16 must be significantly enhanced in the following two years to make a decent annual increase for each year of this new contract, 2015-18.

2.) “The revised articles (4, 5, 6,7 and 10) will become part of our first new contract since 2008.” That can’t be the case. Contracts must be renewed every three years. So, this is confusing.

3.) Maybe someone can explain this to me:

“There is also just under $400K that will be distributed as a one-time stipend to all faculty as compensation for the extra workload for learning elumen and transitioning to Canvas.  The stipend will be distributed based on each faculty member’s highest percent workload between the Fall 15 and Spring 16 semesters. This distribution of the off-schedule money benefits part-time faculty and full-time faculty at the lower salary steps. “

We have been told that we were getting a 2% off-schedule increase (the above). I’m no mathematician, but no distribution that I can see gives anyone even close to 2% of $400,000. How does this benefit part-timers and other lower paid faculty more than it does anyone else? Again, I’m confused. If I’m enlightened, I’ll post the answer.

4.) While I along with other breeders are, I’m sure, happy to have the insurance pool continue, family insurance has increased from approximately $300 to $500 a month as a result of the new insurance tiers put forth by the union. So, even though the insurance pool helps, it does not cover the increase felt by families.

Just some things to think about . . . .

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The below statement was taken from the April 27, 2016 email from the CCFT president regarding one point of the recent contract ratification.

1) “Article 5 maintains the Workload Committee but removes the goal of setting FTES targets. The current college average workload goal of 15 FTES/FTEF is retained but acknowledges the ultimate goal of 17.5 FTES/FTEF.”

Check Article 5.8 of the contract for the language.

The memo from the Workload Committee last Friday, May 13, does NOT maintain the agreement that Debra Stakes told faculty would be maintained and is evidenced in the contract.

If the 18 or bust minimum is maintained, it is grievable because it violates the contract.

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Efficiency: P.S.

Posted: May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

The below should matter to you, folks.  Most or all the points in the below memo did not occur.  Or, if they did, the findings were not distributed to all faculty.

One last note: The union has, by the EERA, full authority with the district, over the Workload Committee.  CCFT has given away half of its power to the Senate, who has no legal authority to it.  This joins the Sabbatical Committee and Evaluations (and perhaps others) as articles in our contract that should be fully under the purview of CCFT but whose powers have been shared with the Senate.

Separation of legal powers is a good thing.  Weakening of the union is not.  I would say the same thing to the Senate: maintain your jurisdiction.


From an email from the CCFT president on February 27, 2015:

The Workload Committee: The Union and Senate Presidents met and agreed on the faculty appointees to the Workload Committee. Their names have been provided to the President’s office and are on the official Committee roster along with the VPAA and the three academic Deans as the District representatives. Kevin and I met with Deb Wulff on February 6 to discuss in more detail how this committee would function. Dr. Wulff assured us that the Committee would move slowly and deliberately. The initial meetings this semester would focus on developing processes for the Committee to follow. They would review historical data in assessing the target FTES/FTEF for each Division. The Committee will wait for the recommendations from the Curriculum Committee Class Caps Task Force. It is unlikely that the Committee would implement or propose any significant changes before next spring.  At best, this should be a College wide effort and each Division would have plenty of time to assess themselves.”

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Efficiency (gasp)

Posted: May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.” –Peter Drucker

We assume you all have read the email from the VPAA’s office on May 13 about “efficiency.” I’m not sure we all can see the ramifications of the “18 or bust” class enrollment minimum. Class cancellations may be widespread and devastating. To whom, primarily? Yes, to our part-time colleagues.

The memo reads:

“Cancellations of low-enrolled courses may begin three weeks prior to the first day of the term. Faculty load will be redistributed as necessary according to Section 5.12 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with CCFT.”

Full-timers will be bumping part-timers who do not have bumping rights. Some part-timers will lose all their classes and their health benefits. And, of course, some of those full-timers who are concerned about their own schedules will be losing overloads. Part-timers and full-timers will be at serious odds.

It will also be interesting to see which classes qualify for “exceptions.”

Workload Committee Membership

Article V, CBA (prior):

“The committee shall be composed of an equal number of unit members appointed by the Federation President and of managers appointed by the Superintendent /President. The chair shall be a unit member chosen by the membership of the committee. Decisions of the committee shall be made by consensus or, if consensus is not possible, by another method as agreed by the committee.”

The brand new article gives away a significant amount of union authority. The committee was originally set up to be a joint committee between union and district with the chair being a faculty member.  Now, the committee is chaired by management. And, the union has given half of its member-appointing power to the senate.

This year’s committee members are below:

Workload Committee

Members (alphabetical):

Greg Baxley, faculty

John Cascamo, Dean

Jason Curtis, Dean

Michael Jacobs, Interim Dean

Brent LaMon, faculty

Cherie Moore, faculty

John Stokes, Division Chair

Deborah Wulff, VPAA

Now, we don’t question the commitment of the above individuals to the process. But, the makeup of the committee is a bit slanted, don’t you think?

Wouldn’t it make sense to have a faculty member from English and/or Math, the two largest divisions on campus, and thus likely the most affected, to have representation in such a weighty decision? And, how about part-time faculty, who individually will be most affected: shouldn’t they have been asked to send a representative? Were all full-timers told there were openings and given the opportunity to be appointed?

Committee Decisions

That number “18” is almost arbitrary. You leave 17 students in an English 201A class (cap 28), and you still have 61% enrollment. You leave 17 students in a class with a course cap of 40, and you end up with 42% enrollment. Not efficient. Why wasn’t this figure a percentage? It helps the large classes because they are likely guaranteed at least 18 students while it penalizes those with lower caps. I understand the long-time, claimed need to have a minimum of 15 students per one faculty member to break even. But, there is a better, a more effective way to meet goals.

Why would classes be cancelled three weeks before the start of the semester? It doesn’t make sense. I don’t know about you, but I often get enough students that first week of classes to create a whole new, full section, enough to fill a lower enrolled class AND add another section. The week right before the start of classes and the first week are prime time for student enrollment.

Further, we must carefully watch where those “exceptions” are made: they must be made for pedagogical, and not for favoritism, reasons.


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This is how it’s done

Posted: May 16, 2016 in Uncategorized
SANTA MARIA, Calif. -May 13, 2016
Author: KEYT – KCOY – KKFX Newsroom Staff, KEYT – KCOY – KKFX Newsroom Staff

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Faculty Association reports that teachers voted to strike down a tentative agreement between the Faculty Association and the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District on Thursday.

The vote took place on Wednesday and Thursday with 58 percent of the Faculty Association members voting to reject the agreement.

“During the meeting, members applauded their bargaining team, but more than a dozen of those members spoke in opposition to the tentative agreement,” said the Faculty Association in a statement released to the media on Thursday. “Many of those who spoke cited the District’s lack of respect for teachers as the reason they opposed the tentative agreement,” the statement added.teachers-education-strike-jpg

The vote sends the School District and the Faculty Association back to the drawing board to come up with a “fair settlement,” or there is a possibility of a teacher strike.

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District released this statement: “We are looking forward to reviewing the fact finding report and continuing to work toward a fair settlement.”.


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If you are not a union member but rather a fair share fee payer, you might be asking:  what is the discounted rate, anyway? Since this has recently come up in discussion, we thought we ‘d answer the question.

If you are not a union member, you must, by law, pay your “fair share” for bargaining and grievance handling.  However, you don’t have to pay the full dues amount as a fee payer IF you choose the discounted rate.  That means you don’t have to pay for any activities that are union-related, such as union conventions, membership drives, political activity, etc. That percentage is deducted from your fee.  The fee varies generally between about 23%–28%, depending on the union’s activities that particular year.  So, if you request the discounted rate of the fair share fee, this year you can save yourself 23% of what you pay to CCFT.

So, if you are a non-member and choose the above option, be sure to contact treasurer Mark Tomes at this week and request the “discounted fair share fee rate.” Typically, it’s the first week of May of every year that a person needs to write to the treasurer to request this.

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