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Chaparral 2014-2015: 23.6 Adjunct Junction

Adjunct Junction (May 2015)

Adjunct Junction: Spring "Meeting in a Box"

by Julie Gamberg

Guild Second Vice President-Adjunct Faculty Representative

 

Julie Gamberg

We had a lively discussion with clear and honest feedback and excellent suggestions and recommendations from the part-time faculty membership at the Guild’s Spring part-time faculty meeting. I want to thank the members who attended, the Guild Executive Board members who attended and presented, and Andrew Feldman and Culinary Arts for a delicious lunch.

For those who were not able to attend, or for those who would like a refresher, or web links/resources, I have assembled this “meeting in a box” (or “on the screen”) to review some of the pertinent points and to provide resources.

The most important point, however, is to please communicate with your unions reps about anything that is important to you, and to please VOTE on Guild openers and contracts so that your voice is represented in all discussions, and so that your voice counts.

I. ANNOUCEMENTS AND DISCUSSION
AFT ad June 2015
GUILD SPONSORED FACULTY PARTY!
What? Celebrate the end of the year with delicious food and drink.
Where? Private Residence. To be announced in forthcoming email to Guild members.
When? June 10, 8:30 p.m.

CONGRATULATIONS TO INCOMING GUILD 2nd VP, EMILY HARALDSON. You may reach her at eharaldson1@socal.rr.com and she is very happy to speak with you about any and call concerns, suggestions and ideas, or to give you guidance in getting questions answered. The Guild also thanks NANCY NEVINS and BRIAN REFF for their willingness to run for this position, and hopes to see more of them! We appreciate the involvement of Guild members at all levels – whether as representatives on institutional committees, or on Guild sub-committees or the negotiating team, or by writing, or even simply by attending Guild meetings and consistently voting, we depend on your involvement!

FLEX ISSUES DISCUSSED
Many part-time faculty members were frustrated about the way their Flex obligation is handled. Although members understand that they have been paid for this time, and are happy to fulfill the flex obligation, many found the process of what gets approved as flex activities, and what does not, opaque and arbitrary-seeming. Further, there was consensus amongst part-time faculty members present that there is a need to have the Flex obligation verified and that the “no news is good news” policy is not adequate. Further, many part-time faculty members spoke of the web-based systems at other colleges as being much more simple, straightforward, and accountable. The Guild has agreed to look further into the issue of the way the Flex obligation is administered.

II. NEGOTIATIONS
Mike Allen, Chief Negotiator, presented our current Tentative Agreements (TA’s) which need to be ratified by membership vote. Those that are of primary interest to part-time faculty include:

  • Agreement by the district to a long-term goal and definition of parity at 87.5% of a full-timer's pay for Fall and Spring, along with the 100% of a full-timer's pay that adjunct currently earn during intersessions.  
  • There was also has been a temporary 0.5% bump in adjunct pay which was set to expire next month, which the district has instead agreed to make ongoing.
  • Of interest to all were a variety of non-money items, such as finally agreeing to take off of "pilot" status and put into the contract that the final exam day for one's class should be on a day the class meets.  
  • Also, the district has agreed to put into the contract its formerly informal practice of providing emergency loans to employees who are waiting for make-up checks, if there has been a mistake and they are underpaid. 
  • The district has also agreed to putting the legal requirement to negotiate changes in wages and working conditions into our contract, so that if we feel they have made a unilateral change which should have been negotiated, we can use our local grievance process rather than the state's process for claims of unfair labor practices.
  • There is a TA in the package codifying the practice that instructors wishing to teach Distance Education classes (online or hybrid) must first go through the training process devised by our Committee on Distance Education.  In addition, we formerly had limited the district to scheduling an instructor for no more than 67% of their load in online classes, but this 67% limit will now apply to distance education classes in general (it turns out they were more open to this than a limit of, say, 50% of load as the limit for online but no limit for hybrids).
  • There is also a TA in the package making the process of qualifying faculty in the various Faculty Service Areas (FSA's) parallel to the checking of minimum qualifications upon initial hire.  In addition, the District was interested in keeping FSA's for part-time faculty on file (in case of the need to make an emergency hire, for example), even though these would provide no "bumping" rights to these part-timers.  Our Human Resources office will now notify both full-time and part-time faculty each semester about the opportunity to obtain FSA's in additional areas.


III. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

AFT ad May 2015Paul Vera, Grievance Officer presented a case study in the handling of a grievance. The upshot of the case study is how important it is to speak to your Grievance Officer early, and often, in the event of any concern, as well as the importance of deescalating grievance situations, and the ways the Guild can help you do so . Please do not hesitate to contact Paul if you have questions or need help or support with a possible grievance. pvera@glendale.edu

And, as an additional reminder, it is important to know your Weingarten rights which read:
“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).”

Rule 1 - The employee must make a clear request for Union representation before or during the interview. The employee can’t be punished for making this request.
Rule 2 - After the employee makes the request, the supervisor must either:i. Grant the request and delay the interview until the Union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee;ii. Deny the request and end the interview immediately; or iii. Give the employee the choice of having the interview without representation or ending the interview.
Rule 3 - If the supervisor denies the request and continues to ask questions, this is an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employee cannot be disciplined for such refusal but is required to sit there until the supervisor terminates the interview. Leaving before this happens may constitute punishable insubordination.

What are some situations where you might need to invoke your Weingarten Rights?
i.    Fraud in securing or maintaining employment.
ii.    Neglect of duty.
iii.    Insubordination.
iv.    Dishonesty. (i.e. stealing, lying, fraud, theft, and falsifying record or reports.)
v.    Use or possession of intoxicants or illegal drugs while on duty; or off-duty use which impedes performance.
vi.    Absence without leave.
vii.    Misuse of District property.
viii.    Conviction of a felony or conviction of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.
ix.    Misuse of sick leave, including excessive or patterned absenteeism or tardiness.
x.    Sexual harassment or abuse of students or employees.

General Guidelines

  1. Trust your instincts.
  2. Consider your relationship with the Division Chair.
  3. Consider the Division Chair’s position.
  4. Avoid making this personal.
  5. Obey now, grieve later.


If invoking your Weingarten Rights, you may use these words: “If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or discharged, I request that my Union representative be present at the meeting. Without representation, I choose not to answer any questions.”

IV.  ADJUNCT ANCILLARY FUND

Julie Gamberg (me) presented about GCC’s Adjunct Ancillary Fund. This fund allows part-time faculty to apply for funding – at $50 per hour – for at least five hours of work – in increments of $250 – up to $1,500 – for work on projects such as student club advisement, SLO work, course outline design or revision, or committee attendance. This work is generally beneficial to all –Adjuncts, Institution, Students – and as such, it is highly recommended that adjuncts consider their skill set and apply to do meaningful projects at which they would excel. It is my hope that this fund will be utilized far more broadly, and by far more adjuncts next year.
http://www.glendale.edu/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=6151

V. LINKS AND RESOURCES

 

Visit us on the web: www.glendale.edu/guild and http://gccguild.org

Glendale College Guild


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