At the May 17 Board of Trustees meeting, the Federation asked the District to reopen Article 10 in our Contract because of the improved budget conditions. We asked the District to pass on the planned state funded COLAs of 3.26% for 2020 and 2.31% for 2021. The 1.7% COLA for 2022, if funded, is already in our contract.
The following is some quick background for this ask: During the 2020-2022 Contract negotiations, the District contended that there was too much budget uncertainty to pass on state funded COLAs. When COVID hit, the District shifted to a narrative of budget cuts, deferrals, canceled apportionment payments, and even possible layoffs.
Despite this position, the Federation was able to negotiate an increase in the District’s health care premium contributions for FT faculty, some gains for PT faculty, and lab-lecture parity. As just noted, the Federation also negotiated the COLA for 2022, to which the district was initially opposed. However, given the economic uncertainty, the pandemic, the District’s explicit unwillingness to provide any salary increase to faculty, and being at the bargaining table for 9 months after our contract expired, the Federation’s members agreed to forgo the COLAs in 2020 and 2021.
We faculty took one for the El Camino team, so to speak.
In the last eight months, the budget reality has changed dramatically. More than $85 million federal and state COVID-related dollars have flowed to El Camino to assist students (about half of that money) and the college during the pandemic.
At the state level, what was projected to be a budget deficit turned into a massive budget surplus. This surplus is now so great that in the May revise numbers from last Friday, the state outlined plans to fully fund the COLAs for 2020, 2021, and 2022. Deferrals too will be fully paid.
In light of the federal COVID assistance, improved state budget, and the District’s stated position at the bargaining table, we are asking the District to pass on the COLAs for 2020 and 2021. We believe, at a minimum, faculty deserve it and the District can comfortably afford the cost.
We will be posting updates on our website and we encourage you to get in touch with us and even lend a hand if you have the time. Just send us a note at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Federation Statement Condemming Racist Attacks on AAPI Community (3/19/21)
The Federation’s Executive Board condemns discrimination, dehumanization, harassment, threats, attacks, and murders targeting Asians, Asian Americans, and people perceived as Asian.
We recognize that historical oppressive forces, xenophobia, and anti-Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) sentiment, arising in part because of racist stereotypes found in our education, media, law enforcement, and statements by public figures, contribute to harmful rhetoric and deadly actions.
We also recognize that much of this behavior is part of a broader problem of white supremacy and misogyny in the United States. Asian hate crimes have increased by 114% in LA County in the last year. (LA Times). Victims of anti-AAPI hate crimes often experience gaslighting of their criminal complaints, remain unassisted by law enforcement and their communities, and live under duress. The sexaulization of AAPI womxn and the “Model Minority Myth” contribute to harmful stereotypes that hurt the AAPI community and need to be dismantled.
We must also be steadfast in our work to improve our hiring practices to employ and retain a body of both full and part-time faculty who are committed to equality and justice, and who reflect the composition of our community and the students we serve.
We are asking for advocacy, vigilance, and collaborative efforts to protect the AAPI community, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and all marginalized communities. The Federation joins the El Camino College, Statement Against Discrimination, “Thus, our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities stand with our Black, Latinx, Indigenous, First Nations, Sikh, Muslim, and LGBTQIA+ communities who experience the daily negative conditions produced by our systemic biases and institutional racism.”
We stand in solidarity with our AAPI students, faculty, staff members, and administrative colleagues. Therefore, we urge the documentation and investigation of all reported hate crimes in order to promote respect and protection of the AAPI community.
Required DE certification for flexible teaching format
Deans/directors able to change faculty’s choice of teaching modality
Stipends and more descriptive safety language
Details for items listed above:
The District requests mandatory vaccination for returning instructors. The Federation acknowledges that all vaccines for SARS-CoV-2 are currently available by Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). The Federation does support federal guidance on vaccinations but also supports its members’ autonomy, particularly in light of the vaccine’s current EUA status. Additionally, vaccination requirements should not exceed legal mandates by the state or federal government.
The District requests a requirement for faculty teaching the flexible format to be DE-certified. The previous three MOUs did not impose an additional DE certification requirement on flexible instructors. During the SP21 MOU negotiations, the District proposed that DE-certified flexible instructors were necessary to maintain quality of instruction and meet student needs. When asked to present data to that effect, the District was unable to do so, but is still adamant about the change. Lack of evidence-based decision making by the administration does not warrant the change in working conditions.The Federation has suggested the District engage in data collection to support their demand for the FA21 MOU.
The District requests giving deans/directors the ability to change a faculty member’s teaching modality choice. It’s not truly a choice if the District can ultimately decide the teaching modality. It further puts faculty at a disadvantage because faculty may make plans, such as childcare, based upon a chosen modality, only to have the District change that modality and uproot those plans. Changes would be especially impactful on PT faculty.
The Federation has requested additional stipends and more descriptive safety language for all of the additional faculty work and risk, respectively. The District has outright rejected these proposals.
Contact the Federation or ECC District with questions or input.
Dolores Clara Fernandez was born on April 10, 1930 in Dawson, a small mining town in the mountains of northern New Mexico. Her father Juan Fernández, a farm worker and miner by trade, was a union activist who ran for political office and won a seat in the New Mexico legislature in 1938. Dolores spent most of her childhood and early adult life in Stockton, California where she and her two brothers moved with their mother, following her parents’ divorce.
According to Dolores, her mother’s independence and entrepreneurial spirit was one of the primary reasons she became a feminist. Dolores’ mother Alicia was known for her kindness and compassion towards others. She offered rooms at affordable rates in her 70 room hotel, which she acquired after years of hard work. Alicia welcomed low-wage workers in the hotel, and often, waived the fee for them altogether. She was an active participant in community affairs, involved in numerous civic organizations and the church. Alicia encouraged the cultural diversity that was a natural part of Dolores’ upbringing in Stockton. The agricultural community where they lived was made up of Mexican, Filipino, African-American, Japanese and Chinese working families.
Alicia’s community activism influenced Dolores’ involvement as a student at Stockton High School. She was active in numerous school clubs, was a majorette, and a dedicated member of the Girl Scouts until the age of 18. Upon graduating, Dolores continued her education at the University of Pacific’s Delta College in Stockton earning a provisional teaching credential. During this time, she married Ralph Head and had two daughters, Celeste and Lori. While teaching, she could no longer bear to see her students come to school with empty stomachs and bare feet, and thus began her lifelong journey of working to correct economic injustice.
Dolores found her calling as an organizer while serving in the leadership of the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO). During this time, she founded the Agricultural Workers Association, set up voter registration drives and pressed local governments for barrio improvements. In 1955 CSO founder Fred Ross, Sr. introduced her to CSO Executive Director César E. Chávez, a likeminded colleague. The two soon discovered that they shared a common vision of organizing farm workers, an idea that was not in line with the CSO’s mission.
As a result, César and Dolores resigned from the CSO, and launched the National Farm Workers Association in the spring of 1962. Dolores’ organizing skills were essential to the growth of this budding organization. The challenges she faced as a woman did not go unnoted and in one of her letters to Cesar she joked…
“Being a now (ahem) experienced lobbyist, I am able to speak on a man-to-man basis with other lobbyists.”
The first testament to her lobbying and negotiating talents were demonstrated in securing Aid For Dependent Families (“AFDC”) and disability insurance for farm workers in the State of California in 1963, an unparalleled feat at the time. She was also instrumental in the enactment of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act of 1975. This was the first law of its kind in the United States, granting farm workers in California the right to collectively organize and bargain for better wages and working conditions.
While the farm workers lacked financial capitol, they were able to wield significant economic power through hugely successful boycotts at the ballot box with grassroots campaigning. As the principal legislative advocate, Dolores became one of the UFW’s most visible spokespersons. Robert F. Kennedy acknowledged her in helping him secure the 1968 California Democratic Presidential Primary just moments before he was shot in Los Angeles. Throughout the years, she has worked to elect numerous candidates including President Clinton, Congressman Ron Dellums, Governor Jerry Brown, Congresswoman Hilda Solis and Hillary Clinton.
As much as she was Cesar’s right hand she could also be the greatest thorn in his side. The two were infamous for their blow out arguments an element that was a natural part of their working relationship. Dolores viewed this as a healthy and necessary part of the growth process of any worthwhile collaboration. While Dolores was busy breaking down one gender barrier after another, she was seemingly unaware of the tremendous impact she was having on, not only farm worker woman but also young women everywhere.
While directing the first National Boycott of California Table Grapes out of New York she came into contact with Gloria Steinem and the burgeoning feminist movement who rallied behind the cause. Quickly she realized they shared much in common. Having found a supportive voice with other feminists, Dolores consciously began to challenge gender discrimination within the farm workers’ movement.
Early on, Dolores advocated for the entire family’s participation in the movement. After all it was men, women and children together out in the fields picking, thinning and hoeing. Thus the practice of non-violence was not only a philosophy but a very necessary approach in providing for the safety of all. Her life and the safety of those around her were in jeopardy on countless occasions. The greatest sacrifice to the movement was made by five martyrs all of whom she knew personally.
At age 58 Dolores suffered a life-threatening assault while protesting against the policies of then presidential candidate George Bush in San Francisco. A baton-wielding officer broke four ribs and shattered her spleen. Public outrage resulted in the San Francisco Police Department changing its policies regarding crowd control and police discipline and Dolores was awarded an out of court settlement. Following a lengthy recovery she took a leave of absence from the union to focus on women’s rights. She traversed the country for two years on behalf of the Feminist Majority’s Feminization of Power: 50/50 by the year 2000 Campaign encouraging Latina’s to run for office. The campaign resulted in a significant increase in the number of women representatives at the local, state and federal levels. She also served as National Chair of the 21st Century Party founded in 1992 on the principles that women make up 52% of the party’s candidates and that officers must reflect the ethnic diversity of the nation.
At 89, Dolores Huerta continues to work tirelessly developing leaders and advocating for the working poor, women, and children. As founder and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, she travels across the country engaging in campaigns and influencing legislation that supports equality and defends civil rights. She often speaks to students and organizations about issues of social justice and public policy.
There are thousands of working poor immigrants in the agriculture rich San Joaquin Valley of California. They are unfamiliar with laws or agencies that can protect them or benefits that they are entitled to. They are often preyed upon by unscrupulous individuals who take advantage of them. They often feel hopeless and unable to remedy their situations.
Dolores teaches these individuals that they have personal power that needs to be coupled with responsibility and cooperation to create the changes needed to improve their lives.
It is rarely practiced today because it is tedious and time consuming. However, the results are long lasting and while people are in the process of building organization, they are learning lessons they will never forget and the transformative roots are planted. The fruit is the leadership that is developed and the permanent changes in the community. In other words, this is how grass roots democracy works.
There are four elementary schools in California, one in Fort Worth, Texas, and a high school in Pueblo, Colorado named after Dolores Huerta.
She was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in March of 2013. She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in l998, Ms. Magazine’s One of the Three Most Important Women of l997, Ladies Home Journal’s 100 Most Important Woman of the 20th Century, The Puffin Foundation’s Award for Creative Citizenship: Labor Leader Award 1984, The Kern County Woman of The Year Award from the California State Legislature, The Ohtli Award from the Mexican Government, The Smithsonian Institution – James Smithson Award, and Nine Honorary Doctorates from Universities throughout the United States.
In 2012 President Obama bestowed Dolores with her most prestigious award, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Upon receiving this award Dolores said, “The freedom of association means that people can come together in organization to fight for solutions to the problems they confront in their communities. The great social justice changes in our country have happened when people came together, organized, and took direct action. It is this right that sustains and nurtures our democracy today. The civil rights movement, the labor movement, the women’s movement, and the equality movement for our LGBT brothers and sisters are all manifestations of these rights. I thank President Obama for raising the importance of organizing to the highest level of merit and honor.”
Black History Month Labor Profiles: Bayard Rustin (1912-1987)
Bayard Rustin was one of the most important, and yet least known, Civil Rights advocates in the twentieth century. He was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania on March 17, 1912 and raised by his maternal grandparents. His grandmother, Julia, was both a Quaker and an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Quakerism, and NAACP leaders W.E.B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson, who were frequent visitors, proved influential in Rustin’s life.
Rustin attended Wilberforce University (1932-1936) and Cheyney State Teachers College (1936), in each instance without graduating. After completing an activist training program conducted by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), he moved to Harlem, New York in 1937. In Harlem, he enrolled at the City College of New York, began singing in local clubs with black folksingers including John White and Huddie Ledbetter, became active in the efforts to free the Scottsboro Boys, and joined the Young Communist League, motivated by their advocacy of racial equality.
By 1941, Rustin quit the Communist Party and began working with union organizer A. Philip Randolph and A.J. Muste, leader of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). Together they organized the March on Washington Movement which protested segregation in the military and African Americans exclusion from employment in defense industries. Their protests resulted in President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issuing Executive Order 8802 creating the Fair Employment Practices Committee.
Rustin along with FOR members George Houser, Bernice Fisher, and James L. Farmer helped create the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) which pioneered the civil rights strategy of non-violent direct action. In 1944, he traveled to California to help protect the property of Japanese Americans interned during the war. In 1947, he and Houser organized the Journey of Reconciliation, the first Freedom Ride testing the Supreme Court decision outlawing racial discrimination in interstate travel. After organizing FOR’s Free India Committee, he traveled to India to study nonviolence; and to Africa meeting with leaders of the Ghanaian and Nigerian independence movements.
As a pacifist, Rustin was arrested for violating the Selective Service Act and was imprisoned at Lewisberg Federal Penitentiary from 1944 to 1946. Throughout his civil rights career he was arrested twenty-three times, including a 1953 charge for vagrancy and lewd conduct in Pasadena, California.
Rustin was openly gay and lived with partner, Walter Naegle, at a time when homosexuality was criminalized throughout the U.S. He was subsequently fired by the FOR, but became executive secretary of the War Resisters League. He also served as a member of the AFSC task force that wrote one of the most widely influential pacifist essays in U.S. history, “Speak Truth to Power: A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence,” in 1955.
In 1956, Rustin went to Montgomery, Alabama and advised Martin Luther King, Jr. on nonviolent strategies of resistance during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. King and Rustin helped organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). However, in 1960 New York Congressman, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. forced him to resign from SCLC due to concerns shared by many black leaders about Rustin’s homosexuality and communist past.
Due to the combination of the homophobia of these leaders and their fear he might compromise the movement, Rustin would not receive public recognition for his role in the movement. Nevertheless, Rustin continued to work in the Civil Rights Movement, organizing the seminal 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with A. Philip Randolph.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Rustin remained politically active. Although he often shared their commitment to human rights, Rustin was a vocal critic of emerging black power politics. Toward the end of his life he continued to work as a human rights advocate, while serving on the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame. The year before he died he testified in favor of New York State’s Gay Rights Bill. Bayard Rustin died in New York on August 24, 1987 from a perforated appendix. He was 75.
From February 15-22, 2021, Federation members went to the electronic polls and voted 124 to 1 to approve a set of proposed amendments to our Constitution and By-Laws. For the one member who voted no, please get in touch with your Division Representative or Executive Board member to discuss your concerns with the changes.
Although the general structure of the Federation has not changed, the amended language in the Constitution will impact Federation Executive Board Officer elections. Each officer serves a two-year term and is elected in odd or even years.
Executive Vice President (Even)
Part-Time Faculty Vice President (Annual)
Chief Grievance (Even)
In Spring 2021 (an odd year), for example, we will field nominations for the President, PT Faculty VP, Secretary, and Communications officer positions and then hold elections towards the end of the spring term. If you are interested in serving in one of these positions, please get in touch with the Federation.
If you have interest in helping the Federation without the demands of serving on the Executive Board, we have the following committees: research, PT Faculty, organizing, communications, and grievances. These committees are great opportunities to get more involved in the Federation and learn more about campus and state-wide issues related to our working conditions. To contact the chairs of these committees, you can go here.
Speaking of committees, the Committee on Political Education (COPE) is undergoing its own restructuring in response to growing participation among COPE members and COPE’s success at the polls in 2020. To learn more about COPE, you can go here.
Lastly, many of the recent changes in the Federation are designed to build our power as union. It is hard to believe, but we will return to the negotiating table in less than eighteen months. Please join us as we collectively prepare for those negotiations.
Black History Month Labor Profiles: Arlene Holt Baker
Arlene Holt Baker served as AFL-CIO Executive Vice President from 2009–2013.
Arlene’s commitment to activism on behalf of working families has been a source of strength that has empowered her to overcome challenges and disappointments that might have deterred a leader of lesser mettle.
As a grade schooler in Fort Worth, Texas, Arlene Holt Baker revered President John F. Kennedy. So she was thrilled that her mother got her released from school to travel to the parking lot across the street from the Texas Hotel where she heard Kennedy speak briefly before heading off in his motorcade.
“There was so much hope vested there,” Arlene recalls. “Because we had a president who believed in making things better.” Arlene was back in school by noon, where she heard over the intercom that President Kennedy had been shot. “By the time I got to geography class, they announced he was dead.” It was Nov. 22, 1963.
Were hope the only thing Arlene had to draw on, she might never have risen through the ranks of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) as a grassroots organizer and area director for California to become the first African American Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO. President Kennedy’s death was not the only tragedy that dashed her hopes in those early years.
There was her father’s death in an automobile accident in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination that same year and Robert Kennedy’s assassination not long after.
Inspired to Serve Others
What caused Arlene to persevere through it all was the belief that helping others is a person’s highest calling, a conviction inspired by her mother, Georgia Louise Leslie, a domestic worker who never let Arlene and her six brothers and sisters dwell on the fact that “we didn’t have much. She would always remind us that others were worse off. She sacrificed to pay her poll tax, her church tithe and her NAACP dues, and she really believed in volunteerism.”
Throughout Arlene Holt Baker’s more than 30 years as a union and grassroots organizer, she has put her mother’s inspiration to work helping others help themselves through union representation and political activism.
As an organizer for clerical employees for the City of Los Angeles, she “learned what it really was to empower people,” she says. “Economic empowerment occurs through collective bargaining and having a voice at work.”
She shares with AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka a commitment to inspiring a new generation of union activism. “The future of the labor movement,” she says, “is young people. Our workforce today is dynamic – younger, more diverse, more people of color. The only way to grow a movement that has the strength that we had in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties is to tap into the energy and cultures of the emerging workforce.”
Arlene will build on her legacy of inspiring activism and reaching out to diverse communities to support the needs and aspirations of working people.
Holt Baker got her first job in high school through President Lyndon Johnson’s poverty initiative. Working after school at the $1.40-an-hour minimum wage, she made more than the $6 a day that her mother earned as a full time domestic worker.
She began her work in the labor movement with AFSCME in Los Angeles in June 1972, coincidentally in the same month that William Lucy took office as AFSCME’s Secretary-Treasurer, the first African-American to hold one of that union’s top offices.
Seeing his picture being put up in AFSCME’s Los Angeles office, her undying optimism was reinforced.
“I felt somehow that it was destiny to be there with an organization that believed in social and economic justice.”
She moved through the ranks of AFSCME and, as an organizer and international union representative, was successful in helping to organize public-sector workers in California and helping them win contracts that provided better wages and pay equity for women.
Visiting some of these workplaces years later, she saw how having a union contract had “given women the opportunity to buy first homes, first autos, to send their kids to college. It was uplifting.”
As AFSCME’s international union area director in California from the late 1980s to 1995, Arlene worked with AFSCME councils, locals, labor councils and allies advocating for working families.
During that time, she was appointed by then-California Speaker of Assembly Willie L. Brown Jr. to serve on the Comparable Worth Task Force Committee and also sat on the board of directors of the Southern California Industrial Relations Research Association. She has received numerous civic awards for her work as a labor and community advocate.
Also in California, she helped run AFSCME’s political activities, working with AFSCME council and local leaders to mobilize union voters in numerous national, statewide, county and municipal elections.
She was an active member of the California Democratic Party, serving as a state delegate to the Democratic National Convention for the elections held between 1980 and 1996 and as first vice chair of the state Democratic Party from 1993 to 1996.
In 1995, Arlene came to the AFL-CIO as executive assistant to Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson. Working in 1998 for the first time with current AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, Arlene’s successes included the campaign to defeat the anti-worker California Prop. 226, which was designed to weaken the voices of union members in the political process. She also was instrumental in organizing labor’s massive support for the more than 20,000 migrant workers who pick and process strawberries in California, as the workers struggled to join a union through the Farm Workers.
As Assistant to the President of the AFL-CIO, Holt Baker became the first director of the AFL-CIO Voice@Work campaign in 1999. Holt Baker launched a dynamic movement to engage elected officials, clergy members, community leaders and others in support of workers’ freedom to form unions. In 2000, she ran the federation’s member education and get-out-the-vote effort in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and later coordinated the AFL-CIO’s Count Every Vote activity in the Florida recount.
Beginning in 2004, Arlene served as president of the nonpartisan voter education and mobilization effort Voices for Working Families, which registered and mobilized thousands of women and people of color to vote in under-registered communities.
She returned to the federation in 2006 to lead the AFL-CIO’s Gulf Coast Recovery effort. That work has included partnering with the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust’s Gulf Coast Revitalization Program and the Building Trades Gulf Coast Pilot Project to bring affordable housing and good jobs to people in the region – working closely with national and local advocates in fighting for the just rebuilding of the Gulf region.
On September 21, 2007, Arlene Holt Baker was unanimously approved to fill out the term of retiring Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson, becoming the first African American to be elected to one of the federation’s three highest offices.
Serving as Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO, Holt Baker used her voice and her platform to advocate for the rights of workers to organize, health care reform, fair trade, immigrant rights, LGBT rights, voting rights, and the right for all union members to be able to fully participate in democratic unions that reflect the rich diversity of the workplace.
MEMBERS CAN VOTE ON THIS AMENDMENT FROM FEBRUARY 15 TO FEBRUARY 22–CHECK YOUR EL CAMINO EMAIL FOR YOUR BALLOT. PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU DID NOT RECEIVE A BALLOT AT email@example.com
As many of you know, a couple of years ago the Federation’s Executive Board began a series of steps to build our power and status on campus. We have improved relations with the Academic Senate. We restructured our office and operations. We believe our communication with members is strong, especially with our new website (aft1388.org), new duties for elected officers, and the initiation of division Federation Meet Ups.
As part of these efforts, the Federation’s Executive Board examined our Constitution and By-Laws to see if changes might be made to improve the union (or at least improve some of the antiquated language and roles). After a collaborative process, we identified a number of sections of the Federation’s Constitution and By-Laws that we think are in need of revision. We are thus proposing to the membership a number of changes for consideration. Some of the proposed revisions will improve our union’s structure and organization, some will make the document more clear, and others will eliminate outdated language.
The Executive Board has put together the following timeline:
Post proposed changes on website and email proposed changes to members today, February 4th. Members will have 7 days to review the proposed changes.
We will hold a general membership meeting on Thursday, February 11th from 2-3 PM (Zoom link on our Calendar on aft1388.org) to discuss the recommended changes, respond to questions, and consider suggestions. You may alternatively send any feedback that you have to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will then conduct an electronic election February 15-22 on the proposed changes on a straight yes (accept all changes) or no (reject all changes) vote.
Summary of changes in rough order of appearance (see proposed changes marked in red in this document)
Propose changing the name “the Executive Committee” (the elected union leadership) of the union to “the Executive Board.” This standardization will end general confusion in the document.
Propose using “The Federation” to refer to the union (aka, 1388, ECCFT) throughout the document. This standardization will end general confusion in the document.
There are a number of minor edits for clarity. For example, instead of “Part Time” we recommend using “Part Time Faculty.” If you see proposed language changes that are problematic, please let us know.
Eliminate the following two officer positions as voting members of the Executive Board.
LA Federation of Labor (county-wide labor organization) Officer. We will continue to send our delegates to the monthly meetings, but the officer position will be eliminated from the Executive Board.
The Committee on Political Education Chair. In other faculty unions, COPE has its own administration and is usually separate from regular union business. Our COPE will have its own chair. See aft1388.org/cope
Add the following officers who will be elected by the membership to the Executive Board. Two are new positions.
Chief Grievance Officer (An existing position, but currently appointed).
Organizing Chair (new position to lead member and non-member organizing efforts and outreach)
Communications Chair (new position to lead communications with membership, the administration, and the communities we serve)
Clarification of officer duties; also updating these duties for the 21st century.
Adjust the timeframe for officer elections to Spring semester. New officers continue to start on July 1.
Clarification of committee duties; also updating these duties for the 21st century.
Add research, PT Faculty, communications and organizing committees as standing committees.
Eliminate editorial board (PROOF) (our website replaces old newsletter PROOF)
Clarification of special committees
Eliminate legislative committee (the COPE will do this work, see https://aft1388.org/cope)
What a year 2020 was! We are hopeful and excited about 2021. Here is the Federation’s January 2021 State of the Union.
Federation membership remains strong, though we have a few colleagues who are not currently members. Throughout the spring semester, the Federation will be directly reaching out to these colleagues to discuss the union and the benefits and importance of membership.
The Federation’s Financial Health
The 2020 reorganization of our office and a renewed focus on trimming expenses have strengthened our union’s financial position.
The Executive Board has identified an issue with our current dues structure. We still use a flat rate, which is regressive in nature. A FT faculty member making $65,000 pays the same as a FT faculty member making $85,000; a PT faculty member with one assignment pays the same rate as a PT faculty member with three assignments. Later in the spring, the Federation will ask members to consider changing to a “percentage of income” rate to replace the flat rate. It will be more fair and we can use a percentage of income structure in a way that the majority of members would not see a meaningful difference in dues while a few folks on the edges will pay a little more or a little less every month.
Organizing for a Stronger Voice
In 2020, the Federation’s Executive Board launched a number of projects to strengthen our union and support our members. The new website has been useful for providing members with union-related information and updates.
In Fall 2020, we launched Federation Meet Ups in Humanities, BSS, NS, and for Part Time faculty on an experimental basis. These monthly meetings last about 45 minutes and provide an opportunity for members to get the latest Federation updates, ask questions, share ideas, and meet up. Participants appreciated these meetings and requested that the meetings continue. We see these meetings as crucial to building the kind of union culture necessary for a strong voice on campus. We would like to see these meetings happen in every division and program. We will help you get your division Meet Ups going if they are not happening already—just drop us a note.
We have activated several committees to build our union’s capacity. We have an active Part-time faculty committee as well as committees for organizing, grievances, communications, political education, and research. If you want to lend a hand to the Federation, these committees are a great way to get involved.
As you have seen, the Federation’s Executive Board is proposing changes to our Constitution to clarify officer and committee responsibilities and clean up the language of the document. The proposed changes are also part of a strategic restructuring of the Federation. Members will vote on these changes, which you can see at: https://aft1388.org/the-federation-executive-board-recommends-changes-in-constitution
In the political arena, Federation members revitalized the Committee on Political Education (COPE), which is a separate legal and financial entity that gets involved in BOT elections and local and state ballot measures. The COPE made significant progress in 2020, especially in building relations with the Trustees and community and political leaders in the South Bay.
In 2020 election cycle, we got two new trustees and we are hopeful about the new composition of the Board. The Federation is also stepping up its efforts to engage and work with the BOT to move the college forward.
Contract and MOU updates
Our current contract (BOT ratified in October 2020) will expire December 31, 2022; our current COVID MOU will expire June 30, 2021. We will begin negotiating another COVID MOU for Fall 2021.
When we do return to campus, full time faculty can create a schedule to be on campus three days a week. Prior contracts required being on campus for four days. In their December paycheck, FT Faculty should have seen an increase in the monthly health care contributions from the District. If you believe there was a mistake in this area, let HR or us know.
With our new contract, part-time faculty are eligible for 2 paid office hours every term and a $75 health care stipend.
We strongly encourage FT faculty to be more involved in PT hiring; if we are not involved, the deans will have a disproportionate amount of influence in the hiring of PT faculty.
We are already preparing for our next contract negotiations, which are set for 2022. We believe we will be in a better position at the bargaining table, but there is a lot of work to get us to that place. Please consider lending a hand to the union.
On our website, we have our current contract, MOUs for working during COVID, information for filing for unemployment benefits, and more. Use the website to learn more about your rights and benefits as a union member. Want something added? Let us know.
Whereas, the American democracy has been overtly threatened through voter suppression, misinformation, scare tactics, and other actions limiting the full voice and will of the people; and
Whereas, Donald Trump’s presidency has been defined by a series of attacks on democratic institutions and fundamental norms of our government and civil society, including assaults on the rule of law, an independent judiciary, a free press, the separation of governmental powers, the right to protest, equality under the law, the freedom of association of working people, the rights of Black, indigenous, and people of color, immigrants, women, LGBTQ people and believers in minority religious faiths, and more; and
Whereas, in the final weeks leading up to the 2020 Presidential Election, in the midst of a surging coronavirus pandemic, and as Americans are voting, Donald Trump and his supporters have mounted an offensive attack on the very foundation of democracy — the power of the people to choose their government through free and fair elections; and
Whereas, American democracy is based on a peaceful and an orderly transfer of power and Donald Trump has refused to state he will accept the results of the election; and
Whereas, democracy is a defining principle of our work as educators and classified professionals and a core value of who we are as unionists and citizens; and
Whereas, our vote is our voice and sacred right upon which freedom depends; and
Therefore, be it resolved, that the California Federation of Teachers will adopt the four propositions from AFT’s resolution titled, “Protecting American Democracy.”
• Every American citizen registered to vote must be able to vote. In the context of the current pandemic, voters must have the ability to cast their ballot in ways that do not endanger their health, such as mail ballots and early voting, as well as sufficient ways to vote on November 3. There must be sufficient numbers of polling stations and election officials for all voters to vote. Intimidation of voters must not be allowed to stand.
• Every vote must be counted. Given the unprecedented numbers of votes that have been cast early and by mail, the final tally will not be known on election night. Indeed, there may not be enough of a vote count available on November 3 to project who has won. Counting must continue until all votes have been counted.
• The electoral verdict of “we the people” must be respected. It is not the right of those in power — whether they be in the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court, or in state capitols and local governments — to decide who governs us. It is the right of the people, and the people alone. The reins (or leadership) of government must be transferred peacefully to the choice of the people.
• We will not be intimidated. AFT members have a proud tradition of engaging in the peaceful struggle for American democracy. In the tradition of our teachers, Martin Luther King Jr. and A. Philip Randolph, we will organize and participate in peaceful, nonviolent mass protests against any efforts to thwart free and fair elections and to undermine American democracy. When democracy is in danger, we will be in the streets and in our workplaces with our colleagues in the labor movement and allies in the community, defending it against its enemies—foreign and domestic.
Therefore, be it further resolved, in the coming days, CFT will do everything in our power to support our fellow citizens in the effort to exercise their democratic franchise and cast their votes. We will remain engaged with fellow democracy defenders to see that those votes are counted and the will of the people reflected in the peaceful transition of power to the legitimate winners of our free and fair elections; and
Therefore, be it finally resolved, CFT will accept the legitimate outcome of the election regardless of the victor, but we will do whatever it takes to stand by our commitment to reject election interference, threats, tampering, stealing, acts of violence or other actions that undermine the will of the people in this exercise of Americans’ democracy.
Passed by the Executive Council on October 30, 2020