Dear Guild Membership,
We are facing a serious issue where the District has suddenly decided not to schedule any adjuncts beyond 60% for the 2015 Spring semester and beyond. The motivation for this is their fear of a violation of the Peralta Rule.
What is the Peralta rule?
The Peralta Rule states that when an adjunct exceeds 67% of a full-time teaching load in three regular semesters over a 3-year period, they are entitled to a tenured contract. By dropping adjuncts down to 60% of a full-time load, the District is assured that no adjunct will exceed 67%, even if they perform other duties such as grant work.
Who does this decision impact?
This decision has affected or will affect divisions and individuals. Divisions whose curriculum is based on the 67% of load have been affected and those who teach two 5-unit classes have also been adversely affected. In order to meet the deadline for the Spring 2015 Schedule of Classes, some Division Chairs have quickly responded to the
District’s mandate. While the District has offered some solutions to accommodate scheduling and curriculum issues, for the most part it has held fast to their decision. This would lead to a loss of income for some of our current adjunct
faculty, a need to hire more adjunct faculty and therefore more evaluations. It would also negatively impact student learning since many excellent adjunct faculty will have their class offerings cut.
Is this mandate legal?
The Guild sought legal advice on filing an unfair labor practice suit but has been advised that there is no legal recourse to stop the District from following through with their decision. The District has violated no laws. Ed Code only specifies the maximum load for an adjunct but does not specify the minimum. In addition, as stated in our contract, the District has the right to schedule.
What is our recourse?
Despite the lack of legal recourse, over the past few weeks all levels of Guild Executive have met repeatedly nearly each day with heads of the District in an
effort to apply pressure and continue to engage them in dialogue looking for ways to address the District’s fears, while coming up with solutions to protect our
adjunct faculty and division chairs. The issues of fairness, scheduling, loss of income, and morale are at the center of our discussions. We have also, along
with the Senate President Andy Young, pointed out the adverse pedagogical impact the decision will have on our students and the potential loss of excellent
faculty to other colleges. The Guild also continues to seek legal advice from our lawyer and information and support from unions at other Districts.
What is the solution?
The District should be working toward a system that tracks Peralta violations and not hastily impose an arbitrary ceiling on how much adjuncts can work: The Guild has been trying to convince the District that their remedy is ill-conceived, and that they are asking adjuncts to pay for the District's inability to track employee workloads. The Guild has argued that the District really has nothing to worry about since Peralta violations have not been a major problem over the past few years and that a method to properly track adjunct faculty would protect the District from Peralta violations. Still, their worry remains real in their minds.
What are we doing about this mandate?
The Guild is continuing to work with the District to come up with a solution that protects our adjunct faculty and the workload of division chairs, while addressing
the District’s concern regarding Peralta violations. Please stay tuned. If we cannot find a reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to this mandate soon,
we may be reaching out for help. The fight is not over; It is just beginning.
Sent to Guild listsev on October 31, 2014
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