November 16, 2017 Round-Up: $25 Restaurant Certificates for $3; Free Child ID Kits; Future Dates

As we prepare to leave for the holiday, we have a few announcements.

$25 Restaurant Certificates for $3
These are available to union members, and expire tomorrow!  See the information below.  Email your Organizer, Debbie Forward, by replying here or at debbieforward1@gmail.com if you need your AFT membership info.

Did you know that members of American Federation of Teachers can save over 50% at restaurants?

  • 22,000+ restaurants nationwide
  • 50% Off or more
  • Certificates Never Expire

Ends Tomorrow: Early Access to Black Friday Pricing
$25 Restaurant Certificates for $3

                --See Deals--


Free Child ID Kits
For those who have requested them, kits ought to be in your campus mail the week of 11/27.  There are still kits available, so reply here if we can send one to you.

Upcoming Dates to Save

  • Next PFF meeting is Thursday, December 14, at the off-campus site.
  • Next PFF PARTY is Friday, February 2 - Groundhog's Day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

October 23, 2017 Round up: Negotiations Update from PFF

This update comes from PFF's Lead Negotiator, Jenny Fererro.

Negotiations for the 2017/18 contract started in July, with the delay due partially to the vacancies in administrative positions in the District. Since that time, the PFF Negotiations Team (Jenny Fererro, Teresa Laughlin, Colleen Bixler, Barbar Baer) has brought multiple complete proposals and counterproposals to every meeting. The District has not brought one complete proposal to the table yet. The pace of negotiations has been slower than desired, but it is hoped that having a permanent VPHR in place as of this week will help smooth and speed the process for the remainder of negotiations. Up to this point, here’s a status update on what has been accomplished, and what is still pending:

Completed proposals

  • Several MOU’s related to specific faculty release time situations (paid through grants or due to new positions) and specific evaluations materials for faculty in unique positions have been signed.
  • TAs (Tentative Agreements) have been signed on:
  1. Article 6: Union Rights (highlights include PFF membership materials being distributed to new faculty hires, and release time for PFF leadership to better serve faculty)
  2. Article 10: Professional Development (highlights include making edits to reflect the new compressed calendar PD requirements, as well as the changes to plenary and PD as a campus-wide program)
  3. Article 11: Personnel Files (minor edits for document name changes, no substantive changes)
  4. Article 14: Grievance Procedure (minor edits for clarity, no substantive changes)
  5. Removal of Appendix K: Evaluation Forms (will no longer be included as documents within contract- will be housed online)

   

  • On 10/18/17, we signed an MOU to change the dates and scheduling options for the Summer 2018 calendar. The District and the PFF negotiated the 2017/18 academic calendar in good faith last year. On 10/4/17, the District proposed a change to the existing and expected Spring Intersession/Summer 2018 schedule/calendar in order to capture more flexible FTES from summer enrollment to boost the District’s allotment for 17/18. This proposal was not in the best interests of faculty, programs, or students, as it called for an overlap of the intersession and summer session. PFF proposed an alternative schedule that would allow for various scheduling options within a 12 week summer “semester”. During our negotiations meeting on 10/18/17, we were able to come to an agreement with the District and sign an MOU for a 2018 summer schedule that maintains the existing scheduling options (a 4 week session followed by an 8 week session), but also includes a variety of other scheduling sessions that will hopefully provide flexibility for departments to offer a more robust and creative summer schedule while meeting the District’s need for flexible FTES. Department chairs should expect to hear from their Deans about the changes to the summer schedule and how that might impact their summer scheduling for 2018.

Pending proposals:

  • PFF is waiting on District response and/or formal counterproposals to several major proposals we have brought forth over the past few months:
  1. Article 4: Workload & Calendar (changes requested to the article are minor, see above re: calendar)
  2. Article 12: Department Chairs/Directors (we are CLOSE to signing a TA on this one. Changes include adjusting the department chair matrix to provide more equity for chairs at the lower end of the scale and outlining expected summer duties for chairs.)
  3. Article 17: Evaluation Procedure (adjusting PT evaluation procedure to provide more equity with FT evaluations and more clarity of expectations, and make the Article more accurately reflect the evaluations process as it occurs)
  4. Appendix F: Extra Duty Stipends/Reassignment Salary Schedule (this one, including coaching stipends, has been knocked back and forth with multiple counterproposals over the past few months)

Still to come:

  • PFF is working on our proposals for two large and important articles:
  1. Article 15: Compensation (the proposal for Article 15 will include requests for increased compensation, including more paid office hours for part-time faculty)
  2. Article 20: Working Conditions (the proposal for Article 20 will include negotiating the formulas to be used to determine part-time faculty assignments and priority (mandated by law as of this past summer), with a goal of improving the working conditions and assignments of part-time faculty)
  • Minor edits and changes are needed to a few other articles/appendices
  • We continue to work with faculty to clean up the course maximums list. Still working…

The District has indicated the lack of money available for many of our proposals. While we recognize the budgetary realities our District is facing this year, the PFF is committed to fighting for equity and realistic compensation for our work. 

 

If you have any questions about negotiations, please contact our Lead Negotiator, Jenny Fererro at jfererro@palomar.edu Thank you for your patience and support!

 

OCtober 23, 2017 Round up: PFF Meeting on Campus this Week; A Word on Union Language

MEETING ON CAMPUS
As mentioned, one result of our focus groups is that we are moving one meeting a month back onto campus.  We meet this Thursday the 26th at 4:00pm in AA-140.  PFF will provide some food, and we ask that you bring your own water bottle or beverage.

The Agenda will be circulated before the meeting.


A WORD ON UNION LANGUAGE
Language can be really tricky sometimes. People may have the impression that the PFF is too aggressive because we use language such as “demand to bargain” and “grievance” to describe our work. These terms, while they sound harsh, are actually the terminology of labor relations. When we “demand to bargain” something, it is like shouting, “Olly Olly Oxen Free” in hide and seek. It triggers a legal process in which the PFF asserts the right to negotiate mandatory subjects of bargaining. These rights are hard fought and won and crucial in order to protect working people. “Grievance” is another such term that sounds worse than it is. The grievance procedure, outlined in Article 14 in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the PFF and the District, is a mechanism to solve disagreements in the interpretation of contract language. It starts with a simple discussion and the process can go all the way to binding arbitration. The vast majority of grievances are solved collegiality at a low level. Know that PFF is working for you to further our shared goals.

 

october 18, 2017 round up: Meeting summary & venue change

We discovered in this month’s focus groups that many faculty members haven’t been aware that PFF’s meeting Minutes are routinely posted on the PFF web site.  Furthermore, without this knowledge, people didn’t know they can read about current negotiations and grievances on campus.  We appreciated this input!   

The Minutes, which include all these details, are posted within a few days of their approval at https://www.palomarfacfed.org/agendas-minutes/.  Minutes from one meeting are approved at the next meeting, then sent to our web master typically within a day, who then posts within a day of receipt.  For example, the Minutes from the 9/28/17 meeting were read and approved at the 10/12/17 meeting.  They were sent for posting on Monday, 10/16/17, and the web master posted them by that afternoon. 

From now on we will email when Minutes have been posted, and the email will include a very brief summary of the Minutes (as everyone can see the specific details on PFF’s site).

The Minutes from 9/28/17 are now posted at https://www.palomarfacfed.org/agendas-minutes/.  They include (but are not limited to) these issues:

  • The District is pleading poverty in spite of having large ending-fund balances in several funds.
  • PFF’s current proposed articles and requests, as well as District responses
  • Updates on current grievance issues 

PFF’s next meeting is Thursday, October 26, and will be held in AA-140 on campus.  This move is another result of focus group feedback, and we’ll explain more in our upcoming email outlining our takeaways from the focus groups.

 

October 16, 2017 Round up: Ed Code & you

In a typical semester, Palomar professors experience zero cases of faculty discipline.  PFF is seeing that trend change, as the number of cases of faculty discipline on this campus has recently increased. 

It is prudent to know the California Education Code that governs faculty discipline. Remember, you have the right to a union representative in any meeting which may lead to discipline. We are working people standing together!

Ed code 87667: A contract or regular employee may be dismissed or penalized for one or more of the grounds set forth in Section 87732. 

Ed Code 87669: A governing board may impose one of the following penalties:

(a) Suspension for up to one year.

(b) Suspension for up to one year and a reduction or loss of compensation during the period of suspension.

Ed code 87732: No regular employee or academic employee shall be dismissed except for one or more of the following causes:

(a) Immoral or unprofessional conduct.

(b) Dishonesty.

(c) Unsatisfactory performance.

(d) Evident unfitness for service.
(e) Physical or mental condition that makes him or her unfit to instruct or associate with students.

(f) Persistent violation of, or refusal to obey, the school laws of the state or reasonable regulations prescribed for the government of the community colleges by the board of governors or by the governing board of the community college district employing him or her.

(g) Conviction of a felony or of any crime involving moral turpitude.

(h) Conduct specified in Section 1028 of the Government Code.

Again, your union representative is allowed to attend any meeting involving you and the District.  If you have a need, please contact either Susan Snow at zsazsasnow@gmail.com or Colleen Bixler at pffgrievance@gmail.com.

 

September 28, 2017 round up: PFF Meeting - Campus Equity Week - 30% off Movie Tix

PFF has launched its web page for Campus Equity Week, happening at Palomar October 30 - November 3!  Check out the actions planned for that week: https://www.palomarfacfed.org/cew-2017/ 
 

You can get movie tickets for up to 30% off as a union member!  Visit https://www.aft.org/member-benefits & login with your AFT membership # (reply to us here if you don't know that) to access literally hundreds of discounts.


Our regular meeting is today from 4-6pm at the off-campus office (370 Mulberry Drive, #E, San Marcos 92069).  The Agenda can be found here.

 

august 29, 2017 round up: You can help hurricane harvey victims

As we read and watch news stories and hear from friends and family in Texas, many of us are inspired to help.  AFT's Disaster Relief Fund is one way to support our colleagues in Houston and the surrounding areas.  See below.

In solidarity,

PFF

 

August 28, 2017

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey continues to wreak havoc on Texas. Officials are estimating that it will drive 30,000 people into shelters, with as many as 450,000 victims seeking some sort of disaster assistance. And this crisis may continue to worsen, as area rivers are predicted to crest later this week.

CFT supports the national AFT in its call to assist those in need, and we urge all members to consider donating to the AFT Disaster Relief Fund to help out our sisters and brothers and the communities they serve.

In Unity, 

Joshua Pechthalt
President, CFT 

 

August 24, 2017 Round up: PFF meeting today

PFF's first meeting of the semester is this afternoon, Thursday the 24th of August, at the off-campus location: 370 Mulberry Dr., #E, San Marcos. The agenda can be found here.

 

August 21, 2017 Round up: first mtg of the year; 15% off your phone bill

MEETING
PFF holds its first regularly scheduled meeting of the year this Thursday, September 24, from 4-6p at the off-campus site: 370 Mulberry Dr., #E, San Marcos.  We will email the final Agenda prior to the meeting.


OFFICE HOURS
We have scheduled ON-campus office hours this semester.  Please come visit us with your questions or concerns at MD-330 on the following days & times (also posted on the web site):

  • Mondays        10-11a & 4-5p
  • Tuesdays        1:30-2:30p & 4:30-5:30p
  • Wednesdays   10-11a & 12:30-2:30p
  • Thursdays       1-3p
  • Fridays            11a-1p

DISCOUNT
You could receive 15% off your cell phone service!  AT&T offers 15% off to union members, so if that is your provider or you think it's worth switching to them (they'll waive the activation fee), visit www.unionplus.org/AFTatt . Reply to your Organizer, Debbie Forward, at this email if you don't know your AFT membership #.  

 

august 15, 2017 Round Up: Automatic Insurance Policy, Plenary

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) just announced that you can automatically be covered for a $5,000 accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance policy.  Every PFF member automatically qualifies for this through our local’s AFT affiliation.  
For details click here.

To receive this benefit, you must be an official PFF member, with your signed form on file with us.  Paying dues does not make you a PFF member - we must have your signed membership form.  Simply reply to Debbie at this email to check your status.

We look forward to seeing you later this week!  PFF will be at Plenary’s main events with goody bags for you, so please come find us.  We’ll also be raffling off pairs of tickets to the Padres Labor Day game to part-time and full-time faculty, so look for the email we sent on Monday for entry details.

 

August 14, 2017 Round-up: Union withdraws accreditation lawsuit

Many of you will recall the disruption that was caused in 2013 when the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), under then-director Barbara Beno, terminated the accreditation of City College of San Francisco (CCSF).  Since then, California local unions with the support of the California Federation of Teachers (CFT) have battled the unfair and illegal decision in court.  The court case revealed other egregious and unlawful acts that caused grave harm to the California Community College system. 

Below is CFT President Josh Pechthalt’s announcement that CFT has withdrawn its lawsuit against ACCJC because the accrediting agency has agreed to change accreditation policy in ways that will benefit community colleges.  
 
ACCJC’s improvements and new leadership are a direct result of the unions’ determined work to right a wrong.  Like many of our state’s community college unions over the last four years, PFF protested in Sacramento. In addition, we brought CCSF leaders to our campus for a forum where they outlined the details of their accreditation challenge to a standing-room-only audience. To aid the cause, our then-Co-President, Shannon Lienhart, testified at a hearing in Washington, D.C.  Every moment and action mattered. 

It’s the union’s job to protect, resolve, and unify, even if it takes four years to reach justice!  Thank you to those who took action, paid attention, and supported during this time.  We should all be proud to be a part of CFT.
 

In solidarity,

PFF


Dear Local President: 

I have exciting news. On Friday we signed an agreement with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) to withdraw our lawsuit.  In exchange, the ACCJC agreed to a number of important accreditation policy changes—some of which have already occurred.  As the agreement notes, “These changes have institutionalized many of the remedies which were initially sought by the plaintiffs at the time of the filing of this case.”

The lawsuit was but one part of a multifaceted campaign that began when the ACCJC made its unfair and illegal decision in 2013 to terminate the accreditation of City College of San Francisco. That decision was only the agency’s most egregious action after years of punitive, arbitrary, inconsistent and expensive misbehavior affecting many community colleges across the state, including letting Compton College languish for years outside accreditation.

Since no one had ever fought back against an accreditation decision of this nature before, it took a great deal of research, planning, and organizing to create a path to victory. Ultimately, this campaign involved the courts, the media, the streets, the state community college board of governors and chancellor, and elected leaders.  

While the greatest burden was shouldered by CCSF faculty and AFT 2121, our campaign could not have reached its successful conclusion without the help of CFT leaders, members and staff across the state and, crucially, support from the national AFT. 

The CFT’s lawsuit sought to force the agency to stop violating its own rules and the rule of law.  ACCJC’s attorneys used every tactic in the book to delay our day in court.  

Last year, however, changes in Commission leadership led to fruitful discussions.  As a result, CFT withdrew its lawsuit in response to ACCJC’s adoption of a series of reforms.  While we did not get every reform we would have liked, the changes are substantial, and will result in a far more transparent and accessible accreditor.
 
The importance of this struggle is that it not only saved City College of San Francisco, which is now accredited for seven years, and brought re-accreditation to Compton College.  It has also put in place a much more fair accreditation system for all California’s community colleges.  This could not have happened without a strong union and a determined membership.
 
While we believe the new president of the ACCJC and the commission itself are committed to a more collaborative approach, it will take continuous monitoring to make sure these changes take place as our agreement intends. Today,we have reason to celebrate. 
 
In Unity,
Josh
Josh Pechthalt, President
California Federation of Teachers

 

July 27, 2017 Round-up: State Budget Gains, Free Padres Tickets

Last month, Governor Brown approved the final budget package, which includes $8.6 billion.  That’s an increase of $270.2 million over the 2016 Budget Act!  Our state union, CFT, played a major role in securing these gains.  Highlights include:

  • $183.6 million to support increased community college operating expenses in areas such as employee benefits, facilities, professional development, covering faculty from PT to FT, and other general expenses
  • $5 million additional (70% increase) for the Part-Time Faculty Office Hours program (total annual statewide funding is now at $12.12 million)
  • Details are at https://goo.gl/ztmA6T

PFF’s ticket giveaway to the Padres Labor Day baseball game happens again this year!  Look for details to roll out on Monday.  At Plenary we’ll raffle off pairs of tickets to PFF members.  This has become a super fun tradition!

 

July 17, 2017 Round-Up: Negotiations Update

We hope you’re staying cool this very hot summer!

PFF has already engaged in Negotiations for the 2017-18 contract, and will be meeting weekly from here on out.  Jenny Fererro is the lead negotiator, serving alongside fellow full-time faculty member Teresa Laughlin and part-time faculty members Colleen Bixler and Barbara Baer.  District representatives Shayla Sivert and Ron Perez are working with the District’s lawyer.

Our priorities include negotiating the part-time job security language (SB 1379), increasing the paid office hours for part-time instructors, maintaining health benefits, and increasing salary for all faculty.

Remember that only official PFF members may vote on contract approval!  If you have questions about your membership status, please reply here, and our Organizer will get back to you.

 

MAY 22, 2017 Round-Up: Committee Representatives; AFT Benefits

As we all wind down the semester, PFF has a few announcements:

Would you like to be a PFF representative on the Catastrophic Leave Bank or the Accreditation Steering Committee?  Please contact PFF Organizer Debbie Forward at this email address.

Our membership is growing - and you don’t want to miss out on the incredible benefits for which you are already paying!  You can check your PFF membership status, or how to access your benefits, by replying to this email.  If you know you need to send in a membership form, it’s attached.

PFF leadership continues working throughout the summer, addressing fall planning, contract negotiations, grievance matters, and any issues you need to discuss.  Please reach out your Co-Presidents:

  • Teresa Laughlin, Full-Time Co-President  tlainelaughlin@gmail.com
  • Colleen Bixler, Part-Time Co-President  pffgrievance@gmail.com

 

May 16, 2017 ROUND-UP:  Data Breach, Pay Inequities

New Executive Board members were installed at last week's PFF meeting, where colleagues also celebrated Shannon Lienhart's 10+ years of dedication to faculty!  Check the newsletter in your campus mail for the 2017-18 slate and other news.
 

Current issues we're working with include:

  • Faculty compensation for the data breach
  • Pay inequities for some coaches and part-time faculty in Athletics - Grievance officers will begin communications with Administration to resolve the disparity

If you haven't yet heard, an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed which allows full-time, non-tenure track faculty to apply for a lateral transfer.

PFF Agendas and Minutes are regularly updated on the web site: https://www.palomarfacfed.org/agendas-minutes/

Be sure to pick up your PFF Commencement '17 Newsletter in campus mail!

 

September 16, 2016 Round-Up: the Budget, the Governing Board Mtg, and Class Cancellations

 

The Budget

On September 13, the Governing Board adopted the 2016-17 Budget, which was created under the supervision of Vice President Ron Perez, Director of Financial Services Carmen Coniglio, and Budget and Payroll Manager Brandi Taveuveu.  From their incredible work comes a few highlights:

  • The team identified over $6M of additional monies for our General Fund.  What was supposed to be a $15.3M ending balance is now over $21.8M.  When you see the almost 2” thick printed Budget, you'll feel the devoted work this team has done, and we all know what that money means to our campus!  
  • The District has an additional $12M in one-time funds that are part of the Fund 41 Capital Outlays Budget, bringing the total “cushion” to nearly $35,000,000.
  • Another surprising number is $202,832 that Instruction had in surplus from 2015-16.  This figure includes $167,000 earmarked for instructional travel expenses, $16,000 for instructional supplies, and $19,000 for tutoring.  This $202,832 has now been absorbed into the ending fund balance.  

We thank Perez, Coniglio, and Taveuveu for their hard work!

The 9/13/16 Governing Board Meeting

Noteworthy from Tuesday’s Governing Board meeting:

  • President Superintendent Joi Blake shared news of recent meetings.  She, the San Marcos Mayor, and the CSUSM President are outlining ideas to partner with local officials.  She has also reached out to local Native American tribes to rebuild relationships with Palomar.  
  • Faculty Senate President Travis Ritt, acting on behalf of the Senate, contested an item on the Consent Agenda.  The Administration and the Governing Board respected the wishes of the faculty, and also asked that it be pulled.
  • PFF Co-President Shannon Lienhart voiced concerns regarding early class cancellations (which PFF has begun to explore in its blog https://pfffacultylounge.wordpress.com/).  Board members and President Blake listened intently and requested additional, related information from the District in regards to this practice.  

PFF is pleased that the faculty voice is being heard, and we all look forward to progress!

 

“Your Class: Cancelled"

Remember to check out PFF’s blog on class cancellations - we just posted again: https://pfffacultylounge.wordpress.com/