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Volume 45, Number 2 February 2014 Community College Council of the California Federation of Teachers American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO

Activist biographies make local leaders Solomon Namala worked on a literacy program with ‘untouchables’ in India, and Richard Kamei’s youth in East L.A. made him class conscious. Today both are AFT local presidents.

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$80 $60 $40

$54.33 $36.66 $35.38


9th Semeste


Pioneering part-timer salary study The CFT research department and the CCC’s Part-Time Committee have created a tool for contingent faculty bargaining. In the process, they came up with the numbers from every district to fill in the blanks.

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Gains for all, but extra for San Jose adjuncts The origins of their contractual pay increase may not be visible locally, but David Yancey gives credit to the statewide efforts to pass Propositions 25 and 30.

California Federation of Teachers 1330 Broadway, Suite 1601 Oakland, CA 94612

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Campaign to save CCSF picks up steam and prominent supporters page 5



February 2014

EDITORIAL President’s Column Jim Mahler, CFT Community College Council President

2014 shaping up to be a better year for community colleges

The California Federation of Teachers is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. The CFT represents over 120,000 educational employees working at every level of education in California. The CFT is committed to raising the standards of the profession and to securing the conditions essential to provide the best service to California’s students. President Joshua Pechthalt Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Freitas Senior Vice-President Lacy Barnes


s we head into 2014, we are looking forward to some good news as well as some challenges.

Thanks to the hard work of all of you in 2012 in helping to pass Proposition 30, this academic year of 2013-14 is the first time in six years that we will actually be receiving new resources from the State. The State has allocated new revenues in the form of both growth and COLA. Hopefully all of our members should be seeing a bump in their paycheck at some point during this fiscal year. We are also pleased to see more hiring starting to happen statewide as we pull out of the recession. While we welcome all our new full time faculty colleagues, we know that there is still a long way to go to reaching the ever-illusory goal of 75/25, and there are even bigger needs for hiring and replenishing our depleted classified staff. Too much paying down deferrals We are happy to see that the Governor’s budget proposal for next year (2014-15) includes a small increase in COLA and additional growth revenues, and recognizes that there has been a funding crisis for education and social services. But we are disappointed that his budget proposal focuses too much on paying down deferrals and redistributing existing funding rather than doing more to restore what has been cut over the last decade. As educators we all know that Proposition 30 was

effective in stopping further cuts, but didn’t do nearly enough to get us to where we need to be to rebuild California’s educational infrastructure. Just as the Governor is looking at the long-term health of our physical infrastructure he needs to address the next generation’s educational needs as well. This will ultimately mean that the Governor must make the Proposition 30 taxes on the rich permanent, and consider new revenue sources such as an oil severance tax to help fund the future. Prop 30 brought us approximately half way to filling in the hole in education funding dug by the Great Recession, and we weren’t exactly overfunded before that. In our conversations with legislators, colleagues, and the public we need to keep reminding them that growing economic inequality—the worst since the Gilded Age— has resulted in more income in the hands of the wealthy, more money that they put into politics, and lower tax rates than they paid from the 1930s to the 1980s. This just happened to be the time that income was most equitably distributed, and public education and services were best funded and most able to serve the needs of the vast majority. Restoring progressive tax policy has to be a top priority.

Set backwards Given this reality, it is particularly disappointing to see the Governor choosing to divert some of the Proposition 30 surplus to prison funding. It’s a shame, just as we had begun to reverse the wrong trends and headed in the right direction, to see this set backwards. We do hope we will be able to continue to shape this budget as it moves through the legislative process and bring even more revenue home to our campuses and classrooms for the next fiscal year. 2014 will also be a Gubernatorial election year. Jerry Brown and the rest of the incumbent group of statewide office holders are all expected to seek re-election (unless they are termed out). Locally, if you


CFT Convention, Manhattan Beach Marriott

April 11-13

AFT National Higher Education Issues, Hilton Baltimore

April 28-29

CFT Lobby Days, Sheraton Grand Sacramento

May 17

CFT Committees/Community College Council, Marriott LAX

May 18

CFT State Council, Marriott LAX

June 23-27

Cover: CFT president Joshua Pechthalt meets the press on December 26 in San Francisco Superior Court, as the hearing for a preliminary injunction to keep City College open takes a lunch break. FRED GLASS PHOTO

are planning on changing any of your Board of Trustee members, you need to start moving fast and finding candidates if your District will be having a primary in June. For those Districts, candidates need to file for office in March. Lastly, we continue in our rage against the ACCJC machine. Working with the City Attorney in San Francisco, we were successful in obtaining a temporary injunction against their proposed closure actions against City College of San Francisco. There are more court hearings to come, in addition to our continued political pressure. In the end, I am confident that we shall overcome! Happy New Year and wishing you all a successful 2014!

CFT Union Summer School, Kellog West Conference Center, Pomona

Perspective is published three times during the academic year by CFT’s Community College Council.

COMMUNITY COLLEGE COUNCIL President Jim Mahler AFT Guild, San Diego and GrossmontCuyamaca Community Colleges, Local 1931 3737 Camino del Rio South, Suite 410 United Labor Center Bldg. San Diego, CA 92108 Email Direct inquiries regarding the Community College Council to Jim Mahler Southern Vice President Dean Mancina Coast Federation of Educators AFT Local 1911 2701 Fairview Rd Costa Mesa, CA 92626-5563 Northern Vice President Dean Murakami Los Rios College Federation of Teachers AFT Local 2279 1127 – 11th Street, #806 Sacramento, CA 95814 Secretary Kathy Holland Los Angeles College Guild, Local 1521, 3356 Barham Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90068 Editor Fred Glass Layout Design Action Collective EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS Direct editorial submissions to: Editor, Community College Perspective California Federation of Teachers 1330 Broadway, Suite 1601 Oakland, CA 94612 Telephone 510-523-5238 Fax 510-523-5262 Email Web TO ADVERTISE Contact the CFT Secretary-Treasurer for a current rate card and advertising policies. Jeff Freitas, Secretary-Treasurer California Federation of Teachers 2550 North Hollywood Way, Ste. 400 Burbank, CA 91505 Telephone 818-843-8226 Fax 818-843-4662 Email Although advertisements are screened as carefully as possible, acceptance of an advertisement does not imply CFT endorsement of the product or service. Perspective is a member of the International Labor Communications Association and AFT Communications Network. Perspective is printed and mailed by Pacific Standard Print in Sacramento.

February 2014





Solomon Namala

The upside of an economist as union president


ometimes it pays to have an economist as union president. At Cerritos College Solomon Namala took over as local president two years ago. The union was in a difficult position. The district was very conservative financially, and had built up healthy reserves. But it was using the Great Recession as an excuse to cut sections, especially those given over the summer. Historically, instructors at Cerritos had used summer classes to make up for a substandard salary schedule. Those who taught during the summer were paid an additional pro-rated percentage of their annual salary for the classes they taught. This often made a significant addition to their annual income. “When the district began making drastic cuts in sections,” Namala explains, “I studied their financial statements, and saw they were moving a lot of money from their general fund to their capital outlay fund. I approached our colleagues in accounting. They didn’t necessarily share our perspective as a union, but they believe in fairness and justice. Together we focused on the basic issue. They confirmed the transfers.” In bargaining, then, the union proposed a basic change in

compensation. It convinced the district to raise base pay by 7 percent. And instead of basing pay for summer teaching on a pro-rata

Improvements for part-timers The local also pushed hard for improvements for part-timers, who make up 650 of the bargaining unit’s 900 members. The only column on the part-time salary schedule was expanded with two more, for instructors with masters, and with doctorate degrees. They also got pay for one office hour

Most of us are here because of our students, and most of them are the first generation in their families to go to college. They come from very humble beginnings. I was not as poor as many are, but I’m an immigrant like most of them, so I can relate to their experiences.” formula, the district agreed to pay a flat $5100 per section. “Most of our members broke even under this arrangement,” Namala says. “A few lost a slight amount, while others, like counselors who’d never received prorata pay, got a raise. All in all, we thought it was a fair tradeoff, especially since our pensions are based on base pay.”

every other week, at $40 per hour. Namala began teaching economics at Cerritos in 1999, after a year as a freeway flyer in the Los Angeles area. “I was always interested in the union,” he says. “My father was a bishop in the Church of South India in Chennai, in one of the poorest dioceses in the state. He had very progressive ideas, even before liberation theology came

Solomon Namala teaches economics at Glendale Community College.

along, and studied at the Union Theological Seminary when the faculty there included Paul Tillich and Reinhold Neibuhr.” His father came to the U.S. as a visiting theologian after his mother died, and Namala then went to Lewis and Clark College, and later did graduate work at the University of Utah. In between he went back to India, where he worked with his brother organizing literacy programs for landless untouchable laborers in Andhra Pradesh state. “But I came back to the U.S., fell in love, started a family, and here I am still,” he laughs.

Patient and interested Namala joined the union in 1999, when he arrived at Cerritos. At the time, the AFT didn’t have bargaining rights, which the union finally won in 2003. “At first I wasn’t tenured, so I wasn’t as active, but as time went by I wanted to get more involved. I ran for

treasurer, and then when the previous president left I took over.” A year after that, he was formally elected without opposition. “I do have a financial background, but anyone can understand district finances,” he says. “My advantage is that I’m patient and interested. But mostly, I’m motivated. I love teaching, and where I teach. Most of us are here because of our students, and most of them are the first generation in their families to go to college. They come from very humble beginnings. I was not as poor as many are, but I’m an immigrant like most of them, so I can relate to their experiences.” Being union president, he says, is a learning experience too. “We are still a young union, and we all need to learn a lot. But I really believe we can grow into something good.” By David Bacon

Richard Kamei

Community college and the fight for social justice Boyle Heights was earlier the home of LA’s mainly Jewish garment workers, but by the time Kamei was born, the Jews and his own community, descendants of Japanese farmers and immigrants, were moving out. It was, and still is, one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Monterey Park today is mostly Asian, with many Chinese immigrants and their U.S.-born children. In Kamei’s youth, though, it was delicately balanced between Japanese, white and Chicano families, most with middle class ambitions but working class jobs. “Class was an issue for me,” he says. “It made me interested in inequality.” It is still an issue for him. Later Kamei went off to college,

after a youth he laughingly calls “somewhat deviant.” There he found that “sociology helped me understand my own life choices, and then to expand that perspective to society in general.”

Vision for unions Today Kamei is president of the Glendale College Guild, AFT Local 2276. But that idea of combining local focus with a broader social perspective is still with him. In fact, it’s his vision of how unions should function. “I want our union to become more involved in fighting for social justice,” he explains. “Yes, we need to pay attention to wages, hours and working conditions. But we need to think bigger too. The problems we face are the

consequence of larger political and economic decisions that govern the way our world functions.” As examples, he cites the cost of health care. “Today we have healthcare benefits for our members, who don’t have to pay for them. But the district wants us to, and we’ll have to fight to keep what we have. They tell us other districts have compromised—why can’t we? We need a systemic change, like single-payer healthcare. And our union, with others, got the Sheila Kuehl bills through the legislature three times.” Other examples he cites are taxing oil when it’s pumped out of the ground, and undoing Proposition 13, both issues the CFT has fought on over the years. To fight effectively, Kamei believes unions should become closer to its members, and more militant—”I don’t think unions do enough.” But he’s an optimist.



lendale College sociology instructor Richard Kamei grew up as a homeboy, first in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of East Los Angeles, and then in Monterey Park, a little further out in the San Gabriel Valley. His youth made him conscious of class.

Richard Kamei (right) at labor rally in downtown Los Angeles, 2011. “I see the CFT and the AFL-CIO both taking steps in that direction,” he argues. “At the CFT leadership conference we talked about reaching out to parents and communities, advocating for quality education and stopping the charter schools. I hear AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka saying unions are going to reach out to non-union workers.” Kamei, who has taught in

Glendale since 2001, believes that unions have to make up for years during which they negotiated over bread and butter issues, but otherwise kept their heads down. “Partly this was the cold war influence, where progressive ideas were labeled as Communist or anti-American. Also, especially during the Reagan era, people were convinced that the American Continued on page 7




February 2014


Paying attention to paying for retirement


lthough the governor’s new state budget did not include specific language addressing long sought-after rate hikes for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), he did commit to begin meeting with key constituency groups over the next year to create a plan for long term solvency of the CalSTRS fund. The unfunded liability for CalSTRS is currently projected to be approximately $71 billion. CalSTRS’s actuaries say the fund will deplete all its assets in about 30 years, and report the unfunded liability grows by $22 million each day nothing is done. The Governor’s proposal, discussed as he released his annual budget blueprint in January, is likely to include higher contributions from all parties: teachers, school districts and the state.

Issues before us Most California public pension funds have the ability to raise annual employer rates when they need more money. CalSTRS needs legislation to raise rates. The budget calls for a CalSTRS plan that would be enacted in the 2015-16 fiscal year and phased in over several years. One thing left to be determined is whether the rate increase would be part of the

Prop 98 school-funding guarantee. Another issue is how much each of the three CalSTRS contributors will increase their contributions. Currently teachers pay 8%,

“vested right” protected by court rulings that also bar pension cuts unless offset by a new benefit of comparable value. Some are suggesting that the 2% cost of living adjustment (COLA) could become permanently guaranteed to offset any increase in teachers’ contribution rates. In a press conference after announcing his budget, Governor Brown commented, “I’ve set forth a period of time to meet with all the stakeholders and work it through. It’s going to be daunt-

Speaker Perez stated “Further delay only means further cost and further exposure for the state’s general fund. We believe there must be shared responsibility for a funding solution between school districts, the state and teachers. Our end goal is a State Teachers Retirement System that is 100% fully funded.” school districts pay 8.25% and the state pays approximately 5%. A CalSTRS legal opinion argues that the teacher contribution is a

ing. It has to be done, and sometimes it’s hard to get things done until people really see the disaster ahead.”

Like most other public pension funds around the country, CalSTRS faced a huge (25%) loss in its investment portfolio in 2009. The fund recently recovered to its pre-crash level of approximately $180 billion.

Not by investment returns alone There is general agreement that the gap cannot be bridged by investment returns alone, said Ehnes and Ryan Miller, a CalSTRS analyst with the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office. In addition to calling for a rate-hike plan, the governor’s proposed budget also looks at possible changes to how CalSTRS is funded, saying “The state’s longterm role as a direct contributor to the plan should be evaluated.” On January 29th, 2014 Speaker John Perez and Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Chair of the Assembly Public Employees, Retirement and Social Security Committee, announced that the Assembly


Update on CalSTRS funding and how the governor and legislature intend to act

Sharon Hendricks is the community college faculty representative to the STRS board.

would pursue a solution to the CalSTRS shortfall in the current legislative session. Speaker Perez stated “Further delay only means further cost and further exposure for the state’s general fund. We believe there must be shared responsibility for a funding solution between school districts, the state and teachers. Our end goal is a State Teachers Retirement System that is 100% fully funded.” Hearings are set to begin in February. As a CalSTRS board member and Retirement Liaison for AFT 1521, I will provide updates at our Community College Council meetings at the CFT convention and at other CFT events. By Sharon Hendricks

Misplaced priorities

California community college budget looking good, but…


any of you have already seen Governor Jerry Brown’s budget numbers for community colleges. Finally, a budget where I don’t have to figure out how many classes I need to cut for next year or how to pay for healthcare increases without affecting salaries. Thanks to all of you for your work to pass Prop 30, and I have no idea how some of these political pundits can say that Prop 30 was not needed….really??? Hard work begins now Governor Brown’s budget is just a draft proposal and the hard work begins now on how we can lobby to make adjustments. A paltry 0.86 Cost of Living Allowance (COLA) is almost insulting when we haven’t seen one in a long time. Brown wants to pay off the “wall of debt” with $592.4 million going to deferrals; but isn’t the COLA deficit built up over that past several years (over 15% currently) also a part of the “wall of debt?” I know that community

colleges have no legal guarantee to restore the COLA deficits, but it is built into the K-12 budget. The COLA deficit is a legal debt for K-12, so it can be argued that money above the statutory limit goes to pay down the wall of debt. Historically, when K-12 has gotten a COLA above the statutory limit, community colleges have usually been included. In our budget change proposal with the State Chancellor’s Office we requested to the Legislature and Department of Finance a

“super COLA” as one of our highest priorities. We will continue the fight to make that proposal a reality. In order to get the Legislature and Governor to move money out of deferrals into programs it will be impor-

this happen will require a lot of negotiating, but knowing that there is a $529.4 million budget category to work with does make it more likely. This achievement will require the cooperation of many constituent groups, and even if all of us

Governor Brown’s budget is just a draft proposal and the hard work begins now on how we can lobby to make adjustments. tant to make the argument that it will help to increase student success. Good proposals include: use the extra funds to hire more full-time faculty in order to make progress toward 75:25; put more funding into part-time equity; and make progress in the student/ counselor ratio. The exact budgetary changes to make

are on the same page, there is never a guarantee. Help for “high need students” Another category of funds is a nebulous $100 million designed to help close the achievement gap. It will target “high need students” that are economically disadvantaged. The Chancellor’s Office has to

determine how to define “high need students” and how the money will be appropriated to districts. However, don’t we already have programs that do this very well, such as Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS), and CalWorks? Why not use these funds to help important categorical programs that have been drastically cut? Why not use some of those funds to hire more general counselors, which will decrease the student/counselor ratio, so that students can do all of their required assessments and education plans? A lot of work to do, stay tuned! By Dean Murakami

February 2014






“Incalculable harm” if he didn’t do so

Judge issues preliminary injunction to keep CCSF open


he members of the San Francisco Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 2121, have traveled a long hard path defending their institution, their students, fair accreditation, and their jobs over the last several months, and they’re not out of the woods yet. But things look better today than they did last summer when the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) issued the stunning, inappropriate, and illegal order to disaccredit CCSF on July 3. Since that ugly day AFT 2121 has organized support from key elected officials, filed a lawsuit against ACCJC, fought off the worst demands of the school’s revolving door administration for takebacks in bargaining, went to Washington D.C. to testify at the Department of Education and talk with members of Congress, educated reporters on the issues and turned around media coverage, received a great preliminary legal victory, and is spreading the word to other colleges with in-person visits by teams of faculty, students, and trustees. Not bad for a college and faculty union written off as dead by the rogue accreditation agency last year. Preliminary injunction The biggest recent news is that after hearings on December 26 and January 2 in San Francisco, Superior Court Judge Curtis Karnow granted a preliminary injunction to keep CCSF open until the conclusion of the trial to determine whether the ACCJC acted in an unfair and illegal manner in sanctioning and disaccrediting the college. The judge granted the injunction request on the basis of the “incalculable harm” that would be inflicted on the students, faculty, employees, and broader community if he did not do so. He denied moves by the ACCJC attempting to dismiss the suits. The requests for preliminary injunction from CFT, AFT 2121, and the City Attorney of San Francisco asked the judge to ensure the school would remain open as long as the trial

proceeds, and the judge agreed that it was probably going to be after July 2014—the date set by ACCJC for closure—before the trial concludes. Temporary injunctive relief

Messer, CFT president Joshua Pechthalt, San Jose-Evergreen AFT local president David Yancey, along with students, CCCI president Rich Hansen, and Chancellor Ron Galatolo of the San Mateo CCD. Ammiano and Beall promised to write legislation. Various bills are in the works. Among them is one to hold CCSF harmless for the financial damage inflicted on it by the ACCJC’s sanc-

The month before ACCJC issued its disaccreditation decision, the CCSF Board of Trustees, thanks to a parcel tax passed by 73% of San Francisco voters, approved a balanced budget. Thus the current financial crisis of the college is now due solely to ACCJC’s sanctions and student reaction to the negative publicity around it. doesn’t indicate any final decisions, and doesn’t decide whether CCSF will get reaccredited. Granting an injunction depends on the judge’s view whether the plaintiffs would suffer harm, and how much, if such an injunction were not granted. The judge was clear about the harm that would result if CCSF were to close: “Those consequences would be catastrophic,” he said, to students foremost, but also to faculty, college employees, and the San Francisco economy. Picking up important support Even before the judge issued his injunction, the game was changing. At a forum hosted by congresswomen Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo at City College’s main campus on November 7, hundreds of students and faculty heard both issue assurances that City College would not close. State Senator Jim Beall and state Assemblymember Tom Ammiano also spoke, and AFT 2121 president Alisa

tions; Ammiano has already announced a bill to prevent the state Board of Governors from deposing elected trustees, as it did in San Francisco; and another proposes to make ACCJC more transparent and accountable. In January Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi visited the Chinatown campus of CCSF to hold a press conference, during which she too slammed the ACCJC decision and vowed to keep the college open. 2121 goes to Washington In mid-December six faculty members, seven students, and CFT president Pechthalt traveled to Washington D.C. to testify at a public hearing held by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), which oversees reauthorization of accrediting agencies for the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the hearing was for the NACIQI to evaluate its staff ’s recommendation that the ACCJC receive continued

From left, CCSF student Ariel Hiller, faculty member Tarik Farrar, and Trustee Rafael Mandelman speak at Palomar College. CCSF teams are fanning out around the state, talking about the situation at their college and how the out-of-control accreditation agency created it.

recognition as an accrediting agency for just one year, contingent upon coming into compliance with a number of standards that the ACCJC has violated. The Department has not yet issued its decision. While in D.C., the faculty and students also met with members of the California congressional delegation, sharing information and providing details about ACCJC’s violations of accrediting norms and law during its review of CCSF. Messer, Pechthalt, and AFT president Randi Weingarten met with outgoing Congressman George Miller. Impact on bargaining In addition to defending CCSF against the ACCJC’s illegal actions—a task declined by the administration, which is proceeding with its official appeal to the ACCJC as if the entire process is legitimate— the union was forced to bargain with the administration’s hired lawyers over the terms of an austerity contract, due to a plunge of 20% in student enrollment that followed the accreditation sanctions, and projected revenue losses to the district as a result.

Ironically, the month before ACCJC issued its disaccreditation decision, the CCSF Board of Trustees, thanks to a parcel tax passed by 73% of San Francisco voters, approved a balanced budget. Thus the current financial crisis of the college is now due solely to ACCJC’s sanctions and student reaction to the negative publicity around it. The union leadership insisted as a condition of bargaining that members be allowed to attend and observe the sessions. Scores turned out. “It really energized our folks, and got a lot of them actively involved,” said Messer. The administration sang a tune with one note to most of the faculty’s negotiations proposals: “We can’t do that because of the ACCJC.” The administration’s negotiators attempted but failed to reverse major gains won over the years in part-timer equity, including pro-rata pay and health benefits. The union also turned back a pernicious proposal that would have eliminated any minimum class size, allowing administrators to cancel or consolidate classes of any size for virtually any reason. The Continued on page 7

To bring a CCSF team to your campus to speak, contact Alayna Fredericks at, or call 510-523-5238. Also, many district academic senates have passed resolutions of support for CCSF. These help! A sample resolution can be found at community-college/news.html.




February 2014


Legislative Update Jim Mahler, CFT Community College Council President

Good riddance 2013, bring on 2014 In the legislative session that closed last September, CFT worked overtime to kill bad bills affecting higher education, leaving little time to promote good ones. The “Education Reformers” attempted various assaults. These ranged from expanding—and even mandating—classes taught in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) model (with little or no faculty input), to removing money from instruction by modifying the 50 percent law, to establishing a two-tier tuition structure. Fortunately, the CFT’s efforts either killed these bills or sufficiently eviscerated them to render them harmless. As we look forward to the 2014 session, we would like to first welcome aboard new Legislative Director Al Santana-Hernandez, and new contract Legislative Representative Ron Rapp. Both are experienced and resourceful additions to our legislative team, joining one year veteran Kendra Harris. Santana-Hernandez comes to CFT with 13 years of legislative lobbying experience in

Sacramento, and is a member of the Labor Commission in Berkeley. Rapp directed governmental relations for the Ohio Education Association (NEA) for six years. Legislative goals For this new legislative session, barring the usual interruptions for defensive action, we will once again attempt to make real progress in pursuit of a number of top goals. First, we need to improve the ratio of full-time/part-time faculty. While many Districts are indeed hiring more fulltime faculty this year, many of those “new” hires are just replacements for faculty retirements which weren’t replaced during the budget crisis. We hope to make some real progress on this front though both the legislative and budgetary processes. Second, we need to establish an educationally sound counselor/student ratio. There is always much talk regarding modifying the 50% law to take money out of instruction to fund student services, with the consequence of giving more “flexibility” and fiscal resources to management. We need instead to seek a legislative

mandate, along with the concomitant funding, that requires a minimum number of counselors per students served. Third, it is critical to develop a more stable funding system for community colleges. The Governor’s budget proposal does indeed contain some provisions that help in this area. We will be supporting making these changes permanent during this session. We also have to maintain our vigilance and keep up the fight against Senator Carol Liu’s bill, SB 173. This wrongheaded bill aims to dismantle Continuing Education programs as we now know them, replacing them with a top-down “Sacramento knows what’s best” approach, stripping Districts of their local control. We were successful in killing this bill in 2013. We hope to prevail again in 2014. Regulatory action On the Board of Governors front, we will be seeking important regulation changes in Title V. We need more options for course repeatability. Recent changes stripped many students of the ability to enroll in skillsbased courses multiple times. We hope to reverse this and

return to the previous status quo. We need less manipulation of the Faculty Obligation Number (FON) that establishes a base number of full-time hires. Some Districts—notably Coast CCD—have manipulated enrollment numbers in order to reduce the number of full-time faculty they need to hire. We must establish a career path for part-time faculty. Current regulations mandate that Districts advertise every position to the general public. These regulations could be modified to allow for a more accessible and stable career path for our part-time faculty seeking full-time positions. Lastly, we will be working

on crafting a regulation to implement last year’s CFT Convention resolution that seeks to reduce the possibility for fraud in online courses. As you can see, our legislative staff and council leaders will have their work cut out for them in 2014. That’s where you come in. The participation of the membership—leaders and rank and file, experienced and neophytes—has always been and remains crucial to making legislative change a reality. When you get that email alert asking for help in contacting your local legislator, don’t hesitate—act. The working conditions you improve will be our own, and the learning conditions you enhance will be our students’.

Vergara case a threat to teacher rights A wealthy Silicon Valley businessman is the newest entrant into the billionaires boys club “education reform” sweepstakes. David Welch is funding, to the tune of millions of dollars, a lawsuit, “Vergara v. California,” seeking to destroy K-12 teacher “tenure,” seniority, and due process rights in the name of equal access to education for students. The trial, which began in Los Angeles in late January, is expected to run for six weeks. The CFT and CTA joined the state of California in the suit. Go to for more on the case and the threat it represents to unions and teacher rights.

San Jose-Evergreen, Continued from page 8

outcomes, curriculum development and program review. The contract contains improvements for adjuncts in language governing seniority rehire preferences, and those who retire will have their preference reinstated if they’re rehired within a year, with their original date of hire, step and column placement, and access to email and free classes. All faculty, the agreement specifies, will work a professional work week and be on campus for all professional duties and obligations, including department and division meetings, committee meetings, and faculty meetings called

by administrators. However, there is no requirement to be on campus for curriculum development and other duties such as program review. Good relations Yancey credits good relations with trustees and district administrators for the union’s ability to negotiate the agreement. Both the union and the district undertook salary studies comparing San Jose/Evergreen with surrounding campuses, and then cooperated on a combined one. “Our argument was that we’d made sacrifices, and we needed to start repaying for the losses we’ve taken over the past seven

years,”Yancey explains. “Our work was to convince the trustees to tell the district that our argument was appropriate.” He and union negotiators met with trustees twice a month. There are seven trustees, with two conservatives among them. Yancey is a vice-president of the South Bay Labor Council, and the other trustees have to come before its COPE committee seeking support. “We know how to count to four,” he laughs. “And because we’re part of the CFT we know what the district has in terms of revenue. We know as much as they do, so there are no games of ‘hide the money.’”

Good shape The district is, in fact, in good shape. Five years ago the union and district agreed on Other Post Employment Bonds (OPEB), and as a result, it has no unfunded medical retiree liability. Last year it became a “Basic aid” district (where the income from property taxes is enough to finance its entire budget, without money from the state). Only six community college districts in California are in this category. “So the district has a solid source of income,” he says, “and we all know this. In the face of state mandated workload reductions and cuts in

services, our union served its constituency admirably, protecting faculty benefits as much as it could and making sure that the district did not impose any pay cuts. We fought reductions in our class offerings that negatively impact most students and faculty.” Yancey also credits the work the local and CFT put into the campaigns for Propositions 25 in 2010 and 30 in 2012. “The local union stands united with CFT,” he says, “which is why we’ve also participated in the CFT actions against the ACCJC and in support of our fellow faculty members in San Francisco.”

February 2014





Comparison of all 72 districts

CFT completes pioneering part-timer Study


n partnership with the CFT Part-Time Committee, the CFT Research Department has completed its study of parttime faculty compensation. The study is a thorough analysis of compensation for part-time faculty across California and is designed to be a tool for part-time faculty in their contract negotiations and salary schedule comparisons. The study includes a salary comparison of part-timers in all 72 community college districts utilizing salary schedules in effect as of November 30, 2013. The data was compiled from surveys completed by part-time faculty across the state and salary schedules from districts where surveys were not obtained. The study converts all salaries to hourly rates and compares hourly rates (excluding office hour pay) in four areas: s Masters Degree/Step 1 s Masters Degree/5th Year or 9th Semester s Highest Salary (including longevity) without a PhD s Highest Salary (including longevity) with a PhD. The study also includes the comparative rank of each district on each of the four areas as well as for full-time salaries. These steps in pay were converted to hourly rates and took into consideration full-timers’

obligations for office hours, governance and committee meetings. Salaries vary dramatically Salaries vary dramatically across the state. For example, starting salaries for part-time faculty holding a masters degree range from a low of $35 per hour to a high of $84 with a median of $54. For those holding a PhD with longevity, the breadth is equally large, with a low of $37, a high of $134, and a median of $72. The study required making several assumptions and calculations to be able to compare part-time faculty compensation due to the divergent factors districts use to calculate wages for part-timers. Under the guidance of the CFT PartTime Committee, the study took many months and went through several review processes with Part-Time Committee members, the Community College Council, and local leaders, to ensure both the data and

iteration of this study to be on part-timer schedules, how part-timers move through steps, completed by CFT, there will information on office hours for be room for additions and improvements in the years to come. But for now this is a huge step toward providing the research and support needed This is a huge step toward providing the research and for our part-time faculty members as they hit the bargaining support needed for our part-time faculty members as table this year to fight for betthey hit the bargaining table this year to fight for better ter wages and benefits across the state. wages and benefits across the state. To obtain a copy of the study please contact Joanna tions are included as part of the each district (where applicable), Valentine of the CFT and the 2012-13 FTEs and final study. Research Department at General Fund Revenue rankIn addition to the salary comparison data, the study also ing. It does not include information about medical benefits. includes information on the By Emily Gordon, CFT Given that this is the first number of steps and columns Research Specialist assumptions used were as accurate and complete as possible. The methodology and assump-

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union, however, reluctantly accepted a pay cut of 4% below 2007 levels. Bargaining footnote: in a supremely tone-deaf move, the administration let slip its intent to raise top administrative salaries by 19% in January. Astonished faculty called a demonstration, media coverage did not present the administration in a favorable light, and the plan was rescinded for “further discussion.” Speaker bureau Starting in late October, 2121 has been sending teams to other college districts to talk about what has happened in San Francisco and what the implications are for faculty and fair accreditation across

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the state. So far four colleges have hosted forums, with four more scheduled over the next two months. A team typically comprises a faculty member, a student, and a trustee. Palomar College instructor Theresa Laughlin said of the event at her college on January 28, “It was fabulous—standing room only in a room that held 100 people. It was about evenly divided among faculty, students, and administrators. Three of our trustees came out, another one from Mira Costa, and presidents of both districts. The presenters did a great job. One of our administrators told me afterward that what concerned him about ACCJC was that maybe City College needed to be sanctioned, but

certainly not put on ‘show cause,’ and to be given only eight months to fix things— that was unconscionable.” Looking back at the road from July, Messer reflects, “No one can doubt that we’ve come an incredibly long way. Our union local is more organized, and there’s a lot more clarity in the public about what actually happened, and what a bad actor ACCJC has been. We have definitely changed the narrative. One of the most satisfying changes has been to finally see the broad recognition that the education we offer our students at City College is excellent, and not in question.” By Fred Glass

Dream was accessible to anyone, which undermined the idea of collective action that unions are based on.”

Students more aware Today, he thinks, the tide is moving the other way. “People aren’t as afraid,” he says. “Look at how popular the 1%-99% idea got, and so quickly. Students today are more aware of inequality and social class, and see it in their own lives.” Marx’s ideas about class conflict, which made sense to him as a youth, aren’t as forbidden either. Last year the Glendale Guild tried to set up an intern program for those students, as other CFT locals have begun to do. It didn’t work out right away “because of a lack of time commitment from us, mostly,” he admits, but the union is going to try again. “Everything

seems so immediate when you’re in a responsible position—grievances, negotiations. But if we just fight about those, and leave the larger questions alone, we’re fighting an uphill battle. I’m about trying to address the limitations of capitalism through unions.” Today Kamei still lives in Monterey Park, “where I watch my friends, single moms, struggling to pay the rent,” he says. “I’m learning a lot. Just fighting to keep our wages up with the cost of living is insane—we’re so far behind and 2% here and there isn’t enough. We have to find reasonable ways to protect our members’ interests, and address the system’s problems at the same time. So it’s a fight that has to happen on both fronts.”

By David Bacon



February 2014

Local Action Faculty union helps turn students into activists The Palomar Faculty Federation is now the third local of the California Federation of Teachers to move towards setting up a program in which students can work as interns on political campaigns. This isn’t a way just to get more people involved in those campaigns that the union supports, says Christina Moore, Co-President of AFT Local 6161. “They are gaining the skills they need to become involved in their communities, learning how to organize around the issues of social and economic justice,” she says. “They’re learning a lot about election law and strategy, and how to run campaigns.” The program is now in its second semester, and the union is sponsoring eight interns, each of whom works 20 hours a week, “at a living wage,”

Base of progressive politics The San Diego/Imperial Labor Council and most progressive organizations in San Diego County support him. The Palomar district is in the north part of the county, not in the city itself, but the union feels it has a big stake in the race’s outcome. “North County is very conservative, and in order to change it we need to keep the base of progressive politics in San Diego itself. David Alvarez will represent all of us,” Moore explains. Palomar interns are learning more than the mechanics of elections, however. As an instructor in Chicano Studies and history, Moore provides biweekly lectures on history and politics. Her latest was on the rise of the first unions, and the development of minority unions and the radical trend in U.S. labor, including the Industrial Workers of the World and the Mexican unions of the first half of the 1900s. “I’m trying to connect it

“I’m trying to connect it to the history of their own families, and help them to see that while labor and unions work for bread and butter, there’s also a history of their working for social justice and civil rights.” to the history of their own families,” she explains, “and help them to see that while labor and unions work for bread and butter, there’s also a history of their working for social justice and civil rights. I’m excited myself, because I can see that this is what labor is moving towards now too.” Shannon Lienhart, the other Co-President of the Palomar Faculty Federation, says the union is working towards institutionalizing a labor studies program at the college “Our lead negotiator is an economist,” she says, “so our first effort has been a course on economics and labor. But I hope we’re going to add history, labor law and other subjects.”

San Jose-Evergreen Gains for all, but extra for adjuncts The San Jose/Evergreen Faculty Association, AFT Local 6157, has negotiated a new contract with significant improvements for both fulltime and adjunct instructors in the district. “Over the last seven years,” explains union president David Yancey, “we made considerable sacrifices when the district needed it. We didn’t take actual salary cuts, but we paid more for benefits and we lost a lot of ground because of inflation.” One of the most significant parts of the new agreement is a salary increase of 4.3%. The district started by offering very little, but finally settled on 4.5%. The union, however, decided to put the extra 0.2% into the adjunct lecturer schedule, boost-

Successful San Jose-Evergreen collective bargaining team, from bottom and left to right: Mark Newton, Jory Segal, Barbara Hanfling, Debbie Delarosa, Frank Espinoza.

and [there will be] no faculty payment for benefits.” Other adjunct benefits Adjuncts benefitted in other ways as well. They will receive 4 hours pay for attending professional development days, an increase of an hour. When

“Our argument was that we’d made sacrifices, and we needed to start repaying for the losses we’ve taken over the past seven years. Our work was to convince the trustees to tell the district that our argument was appropriate.” ing that by a total of 5.4%. Other parts of the new agreement are as important. The union’s summary states that for benefits, the district will “continue full coverage

requested by an administrator, an adjunct will be paid on the non-instructional salary schedule for student learning Continued on page 6 PHOTO COURTESY OF AFT 2121

Moore is careful to say. “We’re very union-minded.” Some of the interns are returnees from the first semester, and now help the newer recruits as well as taking their own knowledge a step further. “I could see us with 15 students very soon,” Moore states. The primary focus of the interns’ current work is the campaign by David Alvarez for mayor in San Diego. The mayor position was vacated by the resignation of longtime Democratic Congressman, and then Mayor Bob Filner, who was charged with sexual harassment. A preliminary election narrowed the field down to two candidates, one of whom is Alvarez.

Help her community Expanding the perspective of interns is a crucial part of the program, she explains. “There’s not much about progressive movements in their education background, so where do we expect people to get that kind of information? One of our best interns came to study fashion, and got so excited by what she was learning that she changed her major to political science, saying she wanted to help her community. We believe our mission is to develop a new generation of political activists.” One concentration for the interns has been the city of Escondido, where the demographics are changing rapidly as Mexican and Latino populations increase. The ACLU filed suit demanding district elections and asked the program for interns to help register voters and set up an immigration task force in support of it. “This has been very exciting for students, many of whom are coming out of MEChA and other Chicano student groups. They feel the city is almost at a tipping point,” Lienhart says. Some students also participated in a union organizing effort among casino workers. “We’re still new at this, trying to find our way,” she concludes. “But I believe that as we succeed our members especially will see the value in this.”



Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi came to the City College of San Francisco Chinatown campus to show her support for keeping the college open.

CFT perspective February 2014  
CFT perspective February 2014