Negotiations. Negotiations. Negotiations.
Lather, rinse, repeat... This is what the COVID-19 cycle has become. The actions of District management have created disruption regarding wages, hours, and working conditions. The Guild then jumps in to resolve each of the issues. Within a month, we’re back at the table to resolve another disturbance.
So, I’m pleased to report that the Faculty Guild and District Management have signed an MOU for the Winter and Spring Terms 2022. The MOU is brief but reflects serious discussions about important topics, including reducing class size, classroom/non-classroom parity, wait-lists, and the resolution that faculty brought to the Board several months ago regarding a COVID-19 vaccination mandate. All the discussions — and what we believe will be the outcomes — were predicated on our concern for safety, safety, and safety.
Thanks go to Interim Vice Chancellor Gutierrez and her management team for their willingness to engage in dialogue and to the Faculty Guild Executive Committee (the chapter presidents and officers), who served as the Faculty Guild negotiating team, led by Chief Negotiator Bill Elarton-Selig.
We formally presented the MOU at a Town Hall on November 18th and look forward to the implementation of the MOU as we begin transitioning through the current pandemic to additional in-person instruction and student services. The MOU underscores “the high standards of health and safety of faculty, staff, and students…” as noted in the preamble.
Will this preamble be honored? We’ll see. The Guild has yet to go to a Step 2 meeting for the grievance we filed regarding the Fall 2021 Return-To-Work MOU.
These negotiations have tested our resolve — and we prevailed. We were originally presented with a “last, best, final” offer, which did not meet our standards. There was a discussion about “what happens next”: a declaration of impasse? Unilateral implementation of management’s offer while a neutral fact finder looks for a resolution? These did not happen — this time.
So, we continue Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Negotiate. Negotiate. Negotiate.
This success has reminded us of the importance of a unified Guild with a CAT structure to activate members and a well-developed organizing department working with a strong COPE/Political arm —engaging with Executive Board delegates, chapter presidents, grievance representatives, AFIC representatives, and other activists.
Stay safe. Get involved. Attend a meeting, sign petitions, send texts and emails — all ways you can participate in the important work of the Guild from the comfort of your keyboard. As we move through the winter of 2022, with your help and vigilance, we will continue to review the data about COVID, enrollment, and other metrics and will make adjustments as needed.
AFT 1521 President