November 13, 2019
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City East Harbor Mission Pierce Southwest Trade Tech Valley West Emeritus

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President's Message - Challenges and Opportunities
Posted On: Aug 15, 2019

Challenges and Opportunities

With the fall semester about to begin, we welcome our new tenure-track and adjunct faculty to our ranks, bringing the total to 4,500 faculty districtwide. We encourage the new faculty to attend the orientations offered by the campuses. The 2019-2020 academic year will bring many challenges: Our 16th round of negotiations, new administrative leadership at half of our colleges, AB 705 implementation, an “aligned” election cycle the likes of which we’ve never seen, and the 2020 Census. We expect to find the opportunities in those challenges.

Contract negotiations: As we embark on a new round of negotiations this fall, we need our members to provide input that will guide us in fighting for improvements in our salary, benefits, and working conditions. In previous contracts, we fought for and won changes that you told us were needed.  Several hundred of you were hired since our last round of bargaining -- you’ll have a chance to see why our contract is the heart and soul of our union and how it impacts you every day.

On Opening Day, we will be circulating a survey to collect your ideas to make our contract stronger. Wear the “6/30” sticker you’ll be given when you fill it out, and wear it proudly. What’s “6/30”? It’s the date our current contract expires (June 30, 2020), and with your help, that will be the day we sign off on our 2020-2023 collective bargaining agreement.

Four new college presidents: With four “freshman” college presidents at East, Pierce, Trade, and Valley, as well as
one “sophomore” president at Southwest, Guild leaders and members on the campuses need to make sure that the administration hears our voices and concerns, beginning on Opening Day. Administrators come and go, but faculty are here for the long haul.

New state laws: Although the safety net has disappeared for those students who will no longer have access to remedial classes in math and English, the District has just signed a contract for between $500,000 and $1 million for NetTutor to support students needing extra help. We will ask for your take on the impact of AB 705 in order to guide our next steps.
In addition, the Guild, along with CFT, our statewide affiliate, will be closely watching the new Student-Centered Funding Formula, with an emphasis on “performance-based funding,” which exacerbates the structural under-funding of the community college system. We will also join CFT in evaluating—and taking action if necessary—as the state’s new online college launches its first cohort.

You will have more opportunities to tell us what matters to you throughout the year. The Faculty Guild is adopting two new communications systems through National AFT to facilitate communication between union leadership and our members. Stay informed and make your voices heard loud and clear so that we can meet these challenges together!

Remember: When we fight, we win!

In Solidarity,
Joanne Waddell
AFT 1521 President


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