Archive for June, 2017

(The following is a reprint I sent as a recent all-faculty email.  Since Union Plus offers multiple benefits, including legal assistance, to union faculty, I asked CCFT to let all faculty know of these benefits.  The union chose to not inform the faculty.)
June 20, 2017
Dear Faculty,
When I was a member of the EB, I know that we truly did not pay close enough attention to Union Plus.  What I remember most is that the folks there would give us some money if we put one of their ads in our newsletter, and so we obliged.  But, maybe, some of you took advantage of their benefits.  That’s a good thing.  They provide a great service to union members.
I am happy to say that I am now a member of the Union Plus Legal Services (UPLS) panel of attorneys. CCFT is a participating union in Union Plus.  Each union member is entitled to Union Plus benefits, of which there are many.  And, Legal Services is one such benefit.  Briefly, per its webpage, a member is entitled to
  • Free Initial Consultation
    Up to 30 minutes with a lawyer (in person or over the phone).
  • Free Simple Document Review and Explanation
Members can avoid mistakes by understanding what they sign. Members are provided with an oral interpretation of personal documents like leases, insurance policies and free installment sales contracts.
  • Free follow-up Services
    Including a simple letter or phone call, if likely to resolve a legal matter.
  • Most Additional Services are Discounted by 30%
    Includes lawyer’s hourly rates and flat fees for most common legal cases. 
  • Written fee agreement
    Protecting members and preventing any surprises.
More information is available on the Union Plus site.
While I am by no means the only UPLS attorney, I am the only one in San Luis Obispo County.  Within 100 miles, the closest is Santa Barbara to the south, Bakersfield to the east, and I’m not sure how far up to the north.
No matter which participating attorney you may contact for legal help, the availability of these resources can be immensely important to members who may not be able to afford other legal assistance.  I hope you check out all that Union Plus has to offer, including scholarships, credit cards, and insurance.  All of it can really help, especially in hard times.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions. They also sent me a bunch of brochures, which I would be happy to disperse.
(Don’t want to miss a post?  Follow We’re What’s Left.)

Mark Miller, Part-Time Faculty Association president, speaking to the Hancock Board of Trustees.

I was able to attend Allan Hancock’s Board of Trustees Meeting earlier this month.  I came at the invitation of Mark Miller, president of the Part-Time Faculty Association, to stand in protest of the Board’s unjust firing of part-time faculty member, John Miller (Please see our previous post for details of the firing).  The board room was packed, and campus police were quietly positioned at the rear of the room.  I guess the administration was expecting “trouble.”  There was no trouble; there were only heartfelt, impassioned petitions to the Board to rescind the overturning of the arbitrator’s decision, which found for John Miller (no relation to Mark Miller).  Mark’s comments were powerful and courageous.  It was so heartening to see a roomful of part-time faculty coming together and standing united for a part-time faculty brother.

I asked Mark if the entire Board sided in favor of Miller’s firing.  He said all but one–Dan Hilker.  Hilker supported the arbitrator’s decision and stood in solidarity with the part-time faculty.  As we know, rarely does a trustee not stand in lockstep with the college president. Kudos to Dan Hilker.

Dan Hilker, trustee (in the middle), supported the part-time faculty’s position.

I learned something else at this meeting.  I hadn’t been aware that Hilda Zacarias was a Hancock trustee.  She looked very smug throughout the faculty public comment.  You know that look. If you go to enough Board meetings, you’ve seen that look. The one that says “I have to pretend like I’m listening, like I care, but, really, my mind is made up.”  Zacarias voted against the arbitrator’s decision–against justice for John Miller.  Truthfully, I was very surprised.  Never again will I support Zacarias for any public office.

Mark is an effective leader of the part-time faculty union.  I applaud his and the other part-timers’ courage in this matter.  Cuesta can learn a lot from them.

Hilda Zacarias, trustee (on the right), supported the college president’s position and voted for the termination of John Miller.

The below is a call to action by the President of the Part-Time Faculty Association, Mark Miller.  A great injustice was done to a part-timer.  Although this is late notice, please join the action if you can.


Come to the Allan Hancock College Board of Trustees Meeting

5:00 Tuesday June 13, 2017

Board Room (Building B)

Justice At Hancock College


Injustice Anywhere Is A Threat to Justice Anywhere

In 2015 the Hancock Administration fired John Miller for bringing a pellet pistol on a wilderness hike in order to protect his students.

He obtained permission from his supervisor before putting it in his backpack and taking it along.

Nothing was done to the supervisor who gave John permission. But John was fired.

An arbitrator heard the case in January, 2017.

In April he ruled in John’s favor.

But on April 25, the Board of Trustees overruled this decision and imposed a decision of their own.

This kind of contempt for the rule of law and justice has to be protested.

Come and show your support for John and for justice! 5:00 Tuesday June 13, Building B, Hancock College

For more information call 805-352-0145.

(Don’t want to miss a post?  Follow We’re What’s Left.)