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Chaparral 2015-2016: 24.2 Guild News

Guild News (November 2015)

Guild News: Deer in the Headlights

by Roger Bowerman

Guild 1st Vice President


Glendale College Guild

It all started – as it typically does – with an innocent idea; I should become more involved in the GCC Guild. My appreciation for the work of our faculty union has grown over my 27 years here as both an adjunct and contract faculty, so I decided to run for 1st Vice President. The job description, explained informally by outgoing President Richard Kamei, was simply attending the weekly Guild Executive meetings and helping out the President with a few tasks. What an opportunity to get to know more about our Union, and to help all faculty in issues related to working conditions and salary.

Never believe a job description.

After only a few months in this position I have developed an entirely new appreciation for the vast amount of important work undertaken by our leadership. The greatest indicator of their effectiveness is that most of the work is accomplished with very little conflict or strife. Years of collaboration with the district has created a willingness of both parties to find resolutions to a broad range of problems instead of using threats and the law (as is true for some of our neighbors). Now that I participate in this process, the veil has been lifted and I feel I can see for the first time.

So I would like to give you a glimpse into the work undertaken by your Guild leadership since the start of this academic calendar:

  • Assign Guild representatives to governance committees

  • Monitor activities of governance committees to identify Guild-related issues

  • Coordinate contract negotiations with the Chief Negotiator

  • Respond to proposed policy changes from the district

  • Examine and respond to faculty grievances with the district

  • Develop a response to national and state attacks upon teacher unions

  • Creation of a Membership and Mobilization Task Force (M & M TF) to help increase participation in the Guild

  • Explore the development of a Wellness Program for all district employees

  • Recommend faculty-oriented professional development for 2016 Institute Day

  • Respond to health and safety concerns of faculty arising from campus construction

  • Work with CFT to bring the Building Power Program to GCC

This list is simply broad brushstrokes, with each of these tasks involving hours of work on a variety of tasks. Over the last two months I have found myself involved in various important efforts to address issues central to our working conditions here at GCC. What I initially thought was a simple position that would help me better understand how the Union works has morphed into an exciting opportunity to help all of us have a safe, fair and satisfying workplace.

Little did I know what I was getting myself into. Yet, I am so happy to be involved. If you have ever considered getting involved with the Guild, I highly recommend the work (keep your eyes open, there will be new opportunities to work with the Guild appearing soon). You feel that you make a difference with every task you undertake. That is a rare experience in our overburdened environment.

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