Realizing that many adjunct faculty were not able to make our spring part-time faculty Guild meeting, I have assembled this “meeting in a box” (“on the screen” really, to review some of the pertinent points from the part-time faculty meeting.)
But first I would like to reiterate that the most important factor in my representing part-time faculty at GCC is my communication with you. I need to hear your questions, concerns and ideas. I will strive to get you clarification on issues that might be unclear, to hear your ideas about what needs to be improved, and to be a thoughtful, fair-minded, yet tenacious advocate. Please email me about anything, anytime, at email@example.com. I will never use your name without your permission.
Guild Membership, Guild Resources, Guild Meetings
Consider bookmarking the page: gccguild.org. Your union is both a part of the larger Glendale College governance process and it is also a separate body with its own information and affiliations. Although I know that we adjuncts have so much to keep track of already, often for three or more different districts and campuses, the Guild website is an important source of information about your own rights and relevant social and political issues. There is plenty of important content, including, under Key Docs: your contract and salary schedule; Chaparral, the Guild sponsored newsletter by and for all GCC employees; the Adjunct Ancillary Fund Stipend Application; Blue List, which is a great way to get to know committees on which you may want to serve; and, the Guild membership application form. Also under Key Docs is the link “Adunct Faculty” which will take you a page full of relevant information including resources about retirement plans, how to understand your paycheck, adjunct faculty evaluation procedures, and unemployment benefits for part-timers. Finally, did you know that Guild is legally prohibited from publishing political action information, or sending it through college email? Where, you ask, can you find such information then? GCC.GUILD.ORG.
Please make sure you are actually a Guild member – many adjuncts think they are members of the Guild and are not! This robs the Guild of both the power of numbers and your voice when voting on issues that affect all faculty. Guild membership costs exactly the same as the fair share fees that you pay anyway, but you only receive benefits such as free occupational liability insurance, discounts, and so on, with Guild membership. These fees are automatically deducted from your salary. Please go to the Guild membership page and fill out the Guild Membership Application form. If you’re not sure if you’ve filled one out before, fill it out again … we promise you will not be charged twice! It is a print and sign form, but, contrary to the address and box for a stamp on the form, you do not need to mail it. Please feel very welcome to drop it off in the Guild mailbox in the mailbox, in the Guild office, AD 249, or you can even leave it in my mailbox, which is in the main campus adjunct boxes section of the mailroom. Please take a few minutes out of your schedule: Your signature on the form strengthens our union!
Guild meetings for all faculty (full and part-time faculty) are held on the third Tuesday of every month in the fall and spring from 12:20-1:30 p.m. (usually in SR 138 Kreider Hall). The General Membership meetings page has the annual schedule. Although the Guild realizes that many part-time faculty are not available at this time, if you are on campus, we strongly urge you to attend. Lunch is served, and Guild issues are discussed by all members. The Guild would love to see more part-time faculty in attendance.
Ancillary Activity Fund
Consider whether any of the unpaid work you already do, or have been wanting to do, on campus, might total five or more hours per semester. If so, go right this minute to the Ancillary Activity Stipend Application form to apply for funding. The Ancillary Activity Stipend Applications are open to all adjunct faculty. The fund both acknowledge the rich resource that we are to the GCC community, and also give us an opportunity to participate in campus governance (committees), student clubs, presentations, grant writing, work on accreditation and master planning, and work within your division. If you know you would like to do more on campus but are not sure what projects might be a good fit for your skillset, division chairs are happy to consult with you about division needs which might be met through ancillary activities. Applications are reviewed twice a semester. Apply now!
The Guild and District negotiate each year on issues of health, benefits, and working conditions. The Guild decides which issues to pursue (called reopeners) after surveying its members. Although there are nearly four times as many part-time faculty members at GCC as full-time faculty members, part-time faculty members' voices tend to be in the minority when making these decisions because of our failure to vote. Nevertheless, the Guild represents all faculty members and as you will see, of our three reopeners, one solely represents adjunct faculty. Although the issues of part-time and full-time faculty sometimes do seem to conflict, in most cases what is good for one of us is ultimately good for all of us, good for students, and good for the college. With that said, next time a ballot appears in your box, please VOTE! We must be clear about the issues we care about if we want them to be well represented.
i. Add steps and columns to adjunct salary schedules.
ii. Increase # steps for Columns I - 4 of Schedule A, Instructors Annual Salary Schedule.
iii. Increase FT faculty overload (Schedule B) pay rates.
i. Article XII, Faculty Service Areas (FSA): Define the process for which adjunct instructors can petition for an additional FSA. (JG note: Your FSA determines which types of classes you are eligible to teach. Right now adjunct faculty can only hold one FSA).
ii. Article X, Section 1, Minimum Class Size: Modify the min. class size for Fall & Spring classes.
iii. Article VII, Section 5B, Sabbatical Leaves: Modify the requirements, conditions, and processes for sabbatical leaves.
Agreement to re-assess contractual stipends & add stipends for committee work performed outside the contractual work year.
It is important to know your Weingarten rights:
“If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present management has three options:
(1) it can stop questioning until the representative arrives.
(2) it can call off the interview or,
(3) it can tell the employee that it will call off the interview
unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to union
representation (an option the employee should always refuse).”
In situations where there might be disciplinary action, the District must inform faculty that they can have a right to have a Guild representative present. Here's the language from our contract, Article III, Section 2, Subsection B:
If the District requests a meeting with a faculty member which could result in the discipline of the faculty member, the District will notify the faculty member of his/her right to have a Guild representative at the meeting.
It is very important to inform the Guild grievance officer (found on the Guild webpage) as soon as possible in the process. If adjunct faculty are concerned about a phone call, email, or meeting request, you may forward anything you might view as questionable to the grievance officer. Although we hope that most meetings are positive and productive, it is very important to involve the Guild grievance officer if you have any concern that this might not be the case.
Adjuncts can work within 180 days after retirement. CALSTRS language is unclear, but Guild President and District have clarified that the District does not have the authority to prevent an adjunct from working within the 180 days. However, if an adjunct works within those 180 days, CALSTRS will not give a pension during that time.
Unemployment Benefits Panel
Presented by Mike Falcon, Doris Martin, and Ken Taira
Adjuncts can receive unemployment benefits between fall and spring semesters and between spring and summer semesters, but the process can be a little bit tricky. There is useful language to use when applying for unemployment. It can be found on the Guild’s website here.
Some of the advice that was shared was that if you are given a follow-up phone or in-person interview, it is very important to keep the appointment to avoid getting bumped. In the interview, the adjunct should say these words: “My contract is over, and I’m not guaranteed to get another class the following semester.” In other words, work at the college is dependent on enrollment. Otherwise, the interviewer may assume that the adjunct is a K-12 teacher, and K-12 teachers are not eligible for unemployment in the summer. Another panelist suggested giving the interviewer the contact information of the division of the chair, not HR. Some panelists felt that the last day of work is the last day of the semester before finals, and others felt it was the day of your last final. With either interpretation, panelists urged part-timers to apply immediately thereafter.
Finally, if an adjunct is called for a follow-up interview, it can be very detailed, and one panelist found that the interviewer made several errors which required follow up. However, some panelists, and some members of the audience, have received unemployment benefits between semesters year after year without a problem. The last day of work is the day of the final exam. When such recipient was asked what her trick is, she responded, “I like waiting in line.”
Q&A from Meeting
Q: Who should I contact if I have questions about my contract?
A: Contact anyone in Guild Exec (including me!), listed on the Guild website.
Q: Who should I contact if I believe I have been discriminated against?
A: For non-contractual issues such as discrimination, adjuncts should contact HR (Admin Reg 7216).
Q: If I have reemployment rights, to what am I entitled?
A: An adjunct on the reemployment rights list has the right to be offered one assignment per semester.
Q: Is their seniority within the reemployment rights list?
A: No. The division chair has the power to select which person they believe would be the best fit from the reemployment rights list.