As we make our way into the sixth week of the semester, it seems odd that this is the first Chaparral article of the spring term! While enrollment is down across the state, and we all worry about the pandemic, I know that our faculty have already been working hard to ensure that our students get the most out of their GCC education.
The theme for this year’s CFT Convention is “Rise Up, Recover, and Rebuild!” It is such a fitting theme, I thought I would borrow it for this month’s article. And, even though you may be tired of hearing about the effects of the coronavirus on our lives, its impact on our working conditions cannot be ignored.
As the infection rate for the virus seems to be stabilizing, more and more educational campuses are discussing how to open safely. Know that the Guild is always collaborating with administration and the Academic Senate to ensure quality education and great working conditions. Should your class go back Face-to-Face? Should it be delivered as Synchronous Online Instruction? How will we be evaluated under these circumstances?
Building a strong relationship between the Senate and the Guild is essential in supporting union work. Take the time to know who represents you in both the Guild and in the Academic Senate. Run for office yourself! The Guild’s Grievance Officer, Cindy Pollack, is also the 2nd Vice President and At-Large Academic Adjunct representing Part Time Faculty in the Academic Senate.
Remember, Part-Time Faculty make up more than 75% of GCC’s faculty. And, as in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, if you aren’t in the room where it happens, or if you don’t have a seat at the table, then…
The pandemic has made it all the more clear how many Part Time Faculty do not have the security of full health benefits for themselves or their family members. Some of us may be lucky to have coverage under our spouse or through another district. Do know that the Guild did negotiate health benefits for Part Time Faculty at GCC. Please contact Menchie Braza, Employee Benefits Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information. For now, only the Part Time Faculty member can be covered under three plans, Blue Shield PPO, Blue Shield HMP, or Kaiser.
Moreover, as all of us converted to self-styled “home offices,” we are feeling the effects of working in less than ergonomic conditions. The Guild and the Administration recognizes the need for proper working conditions and technology to deliver academic content remotely. Think about the accommodations you may need to sustain the remote delivery of your classes into the end of 2021. Keep an eye out for a forthcoming survey from the Guild and be sure your voice is heard by filling it out!
Don’t forget, the Guild has set up an Emergency Grant Fund supported by voluntary contributions from the faculty. We are here to help. If you are facing an immediate and dire financial situation, please follow this link to apply for a grant: https://forms.gle/EMxyEFo434KPW3pn8.
Now, more than ever, we need to work toward parity. The pandemic has made the less than ideal working conditions of contingent employees sorely evident. As I have announced in previous email communications, there are now on the State Legislature floor several bills and resolutions addressing some of these conditions. Furthermore, the Governor and the Legislature are finally being forced to deal with the decade-long inadequacies of EDD services for the Part Time Faculty work force.
Join me in my quest for equity for Part time faculty at Glendale. Make me aware of problems in your working conditions so that together we can work to solve them. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at any time, email@example.com.
If you are not already a member of the Guild, then join! We need your voice at the table! I know it can be tough to pay dues to several different districts; however, the Guild’s dues are among the lowest! Not sure if you are a member? Check your pay stub. If it doesn’t say “Guild 1%” under Employee Deductions, then you are NOT a member! Joining is easy! Just fill out the Membership Application Form here, https://www.glendale.edu/home/showdocument?id=11744.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
There are many, many more issues affecting our Part Time Faculty at GCC. We are working to improve your working conditions, but we need to know what issues are affecting you personally. Send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Adjunct Faculty Coordinator, John Fuhrmann, has made access to a lot of resources through the Instructor Support shell in Canvas. He has provided links that will answer many of the day-to-day work questions through this great resource.
Join me for the Part-Time Faculty Guild Meeting on Saturday, April 3, from 1 to 3 pm. I will have a guest speaker addressing the recent legislative bills, and I will also have presentations on flex and professional development credit. Evaluations are back in full, so we will also be discussing the evaluation process at GCC. As always, this is a great opportunity to meet our Guild Exec and to hear from our Chief Negotiating Officer, Caroline DePiro!
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