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The Union Advance

Cerro Coso College * Bakersfield College * Porterville College

September 2015

In this issue:

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Labor Day Eagle

 

KCCD CCA Highlights

Welcome back! As you renew friendships, organize offices, and meet new instructors, please consider joining the Kern chapter of the Community College Association, your faculty association, if you are not yet a member. While we negotiate working conditions, faculty salaries, and benefits, joining CCA helps strengthen your faculty voice in the Kern Community College District.

Here are some highlights of what we’ve been doing on behalf of our faculty:

Higher Salaries: CCA members approved the 2014-17 faculty contract in May and trustees approved it in June. Under the new agreement, starting salaries are the highest we’ve ever negotiated thanks to a new salary scale that was approved in our latest contract. Both CCA and district officials wanted to boost starting salaries to attract quality teachers and remain competitive with other districts. (The agreement also maintained our excellent health benefits.)

The new salary scale eliminated salary plateaus so faculty could earn higher salaries faster, and it also added some pay increases for those instructors already at the top of the salary scale. Full-time faculty received retroactive pay in July, and part-time faculty members received their retro pay at the end of August. Those who worked in 2014-15 received a 2 percent retro check for classes taught between 2011-14. These checks are the first retroactive checks we’ve negotiated for adjunct faculty members.

If you want to read over sections of the contract, we have a searchable PDF of the new agreement. A supply of printed copies for each college has been requested by the district from the BC graphics center.

Prison Class MOU: CCA demanded to bargain after Bakersfield College offered a class at Kern Valley State Prison last spring. This summer the district and CCA agreed to a one-year Memorandum of Understanding for 2015-16 that ensures anyone who teaches in a prison does so on a strictly voluntary basis. It also provides compensation for faculty training in safety and inmate-related issues, compensation for a tour of the facility, and compensation for mileage to and from the prison if teachers use their own cars once the class begins. This compensation and mileage reimbursement applies to all faculty, including part-time teachers.

While we know that a college education can help change inmates’ lives, teaching in prison reflects a significant change in working conditions for faculty. CCA’s primary concern is faculty safety since prisons do house some dangerous people.

For example, Kern Valley State Prison is classified by the state as a Level IV facility since the inmates are considered the most dangerous due to the violence of their crimes. During the spring semester when BC offered its first class there, three inmates were killed; two were murdered by cellmates, and a third was shot by a guard during a disturbance in the yard. About 70 percent of the inmates at Kern Valley are serving life sentences.

This year Cerro Coso plans to offer classes at the California City Correctional Facility, a Level II facility that houses general population inmates. According to the prison’s website, California City also is the state’s newest designated Enhanced Program Facility. This program is offered to inmates who exhibit good behavior and are ready to take advantage of volunteer programs, such as access to college classes.

Obviously, teaching in prison isn’t for every faculty member. Thanks to this summer’s MOU, you now have a choice about accepting this assignment. And as part of the MOU, the first faculty training session for interested instructors was held at BC and video-conferenced with Cerro Coso and Porterville colleges on Aug. 18. Pat Smith, assistant professor, criminal justice, coordinated this and instructed at this positive training event. Some of the information shared included “Anatomy of a Set-Up,” a CDCR brochure on inmate/staff relationships.

Mileage for Part-Time Faculty: The contract states that all full-time and part-time faculty members are entitled to mileage reimbursement when teaching at two different campus locations in a semester if one site is more than 15 miles away from his or her regular campus assignment. A part-time Bakersfield College English instructor was denied mileage by her dean in spring, so CCA met informally several times this summer to try to resolve the issue. Since no resolution was reached, this has been filed as a grievance on behalf of the adjunct instructor and all KCCD faculty members. This grievance marks the first time CCA is seeking mileage reimbursement for an adjunct faculty member.

Other Part-Time Representation: CCA grievance officers also represented two part-time coaches, one at Porterville, and one at Bakersfield College, after they were notified their services no longer were needed. The Porterville coach, who believed he was being considered for a full-time position, was let go abruptly with little notice or explanation this summer. The BC coach was placed on paid administrative leave in spring amid several allegations. And last December, Bill Kalivas, a Bakersfield College walk-on wrestling coach for 27 years, filed a civil lawsuit against the district alleging he was fired for complaining about the conditions of the wrestling mats, which he says posed a health and safety threat to students. Besides reflecting a troubling trend in how part-time coaches are treated, these dismissals show CCA should negotiate for additional rights for all part-time instructors in future contract negotiations. We plan to create an adjunct work group to meet with part-timers and find out their concerns this year.

Mode C Evaluations: Along with providing representation for faculty members this summer, CCA arranged for two members, one at PC and one at BC, to consult with attorneys regarding Mode C evaluations. Free legal representation by a CTA lawyer is only available to members in good standing at the time an incident or negative evaluation occurs, and this is one more excellent reason to join.

Two New Grievance Officers for Fall 2015: Michael Harvath, a BC economics professor, has volunteered to assist with grievances at Bakersfield College, and Karen Bishop, a PC sociology professor, has volunteered to assist with grievances at Porterville College. Their assistance is greatly appreciated. Stewart Hathaway, PC’s former grievance officer, will assume duties as Academic Senate president at Porterville this fall, so he can’t do everything. Neither can your CCA president, so Michael Harvath stepped in to help me with grievance duties.

Fall Negotiations: CCA has several pending negotiation items this fall, including department/division chair duties and compensation. Three faculty members have stepped up to assist as members of CART, the district /CCA Chair Assignment Review Taskforce, a group mandated in the new contract to work with negotiators on the issue of chair duties and compensation for department/division chairs at the three colleges. CART representatives are: Kathy Rosellini, department chair, BC counseling; Richard Goode, earth and physical sciences professor, former PC division chair; and John Stenger-Smith, chemistry and physical science professor, former CC department chair. Thank you for your support on this important issue.

CCA Exec Board Retreat: CCA held a summer retreat at Bakersfield College Aug. 18 followed by a brief board meeting. During the daylong session, we trained new officers, prioritized issues, and set goals for the coming year. One goal is to communicate more often with our members so you know what’s going on at our campuses.

With that goal in mind, you can expect to hear more from CCA in the coming weeks.

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Your Faculty Association Campus Contacts

Bakersfield College

Ed Borgens
eborgens@bakersfieldcollege.edu
BC Chair: 395-4456, H 38
(Social Science)

Isabel Stierle
istierle@bakersfieldcollege.edu
BC Representative: 395-4234, SE 43B
(Biology)

Nick Strobel
nstrobel@bakersfieldcollege.edu
BC Representative: 395-4526, MS 101A
(Physical sScience/Astronomy and Planetarium Director)

Gloria Dumler
gdumler@bakersfieldcollege.edu
CCA Secretary: 395-4542, H 44
(English)

Tom Greenwood
tgreenwo@bakersfieldcollege.edu
CCA Chief Negotiator: 395-4229, MS 102
(Mathematics)

Michael Harvath
mharvath@bakersfieldcollege.edu
BC grievance officer: 395-4458, H 35
(Economics)

Kathy Freeman
kfreeman@bakersfieldcollege.edu
CCA President: 395-4458, H 35
BC Grievance Officer
(English)

Cerro Coso College

Christine Abbott
cabbott@cerrocoso.edu
CC Chair: (760) 872-5333 ESCC Bishop 153
(760) 924-1602 Mammoth 225 D
(English)

Jan Moline
jmoline@cerrocoso.edu
CC Representative: (760) 384-6219 IWV MB 224H
(Counseling)

Barbara Walls
CC Adjunct Representative: (760) 375-5875
(English)

Matt Crow
mcrow@cerrocoso.edu
CC Negotiator: (760) 384-6163 IWV LRC 704B
(English)

Mary O’Neal
moneal@cerrocoso.edu
KCCD CCA Vice President: (760) 384-6275 IWV MB 23
Chief Grievance Officer
CC Grievance
(Child Development)

Porterville College

Ann Marie Wagstaff
awagstaf@portervillecollege.edu
PC Chair: (559) 791-2296 L-435
(English)

Nicole Celaya
nicole.celaya@portervillecollege.edu
KCCD CCA Adjunct Representative
(English)

Terry Crewse
tcrewse@portervillecollege.edu
PC Representative: (559) 791-2480 SM-123D
(Mathematics)

Sherie Burgess
shburges@portervillecollege.edu
KCCD CCA Treasurer: (559) 791-2334 SM 112C
(Mathematics)

KCCD/CCA Executive Council

Left to right, Nicole Celaya, Edward Borgens, Gloria Dumler, Tom Greenwood, Kathy Freeman, Barb Walls, Mary O'Neal, Isabel Stierle, Ann Marie Wagstaff, Nick Strobel, Terry Crewse, and Maria Roman.

 

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What Does CCA Do for You?

1) We negotiate higher salaries, including higher starting salaries for new faculty.
Starting salaries are the highest we’ve ever negotiated thanks to a new salary scale that was approved in our latest contract. Both CCA and district officials wanted to boost starting salaries to attract quality teachers and remain competitive with other districts. The new salary scale eliminated salary plateaus so faculty could earn higher salaries more quickly, and it also added some pay increases for those instructors already at the top of the salary scale.

2) We negotiate excellent health benefits for our faculty.
Despite rising healthcare costs, CCA has worked with district officials to keep faculty health care costs low. Our medical and dental benefits are among some of the best in the state.

3) We resolve grievances.
We are advocates for our faculty, working with them confidentially to resolve work-related complaints. We believe in resolving our differences at the lowest possible level, which means we attempt to work out equitable solutions whenever possible. If the problem persists, a grievance may be filed, and we represent faculty as their advocates in the grievance process.

4) We represent all faculty.
CCA represents all full-time and part-time faculty at three colleges and satellite sites in the Kern Community College District. CCA officials attend numerous district and college committee meetings, including District Consultation Council and Board of Trustee meetings. We also work closely with the Academic Senate at each campus.

5) We have strength in numbers.
CCA is the sole bargaining agent for faculty. As part of the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association, our leaders work hard to negotiate good salaries, benefits, and better working conditions so we can continue to attract excellent faculty to our colleges.

6) We communicate with you.
CCA discusses faculty issues at monthly meetings, via e-mail, our website, and through an online newsletter, The Union Advance. We want you to know what is going on at your campus and at the district.

7) We support CSEA.
We work closely with the California School Employees Association, which represents classified employees, because we know that classified staff, faculty, and administrators must work together to encourage student success.

 

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The New Sick Leave Form


The new sick form requires a faculty member to list how much time to be deducted in days.
When CCA negotiated this, we were told that sick leave in Banner would be listed as days, rather than hours, so that deducting sick leave would be easier. However, KCCD just recently increased a sick day to 8.75 hours from 8 hours, and Banner still lists sick leave in hours. Because of this, CCA recommends faculty members also write in the hours missed on the new sick leave form for their own records.

To help clarify how to figure out hours missed using the 8.75 day, here are two examples:

Example 1:

Question:  A faculty member is teaching a lecture class that meets for 1½ hours and also a lab section later that day that meets for three hours.  The faculty member is going to miss the lecture class, but teach the lab class. How much sick leave should be deducted?

Answer:  The total number of hours of the teaching assignment is 4.5 hours.  Since the faculty member is missing the lesser of the two assignments, the missed lecture class should be calculated as 1.5 hours missed of 4.5 hours.  Dividing these two amounts would equal 0.33 or 1/3 of a day.  Since the new sick leave form is in days, but Banner keeps track of sick time in hours, CCA advises that you write the number of hours that are deducted for record-keeping purposes.  The number of hours deducted would be 2.89 hours (0.33 X 8.75 = 2.89, with the hours rounded to the nearest hundredth).

Example 1

Example 2:


Question:  A faculty member is teaching three lecture classes in a single day on a 15-hour base, and he has a lab assignment for two hours that is on a 30-hour base. How much sick leave should be deducted if the faculty member misses the lab assignment?

Answer:  Convert the 2-hour lab assignment to a 15-hour base.  Two hours at a 30-hour base would be the equivalent of 1 hour at a 15-hour base.  This would mean that the faculty member has 4 hours that day at the 15-hour base (3 hours for lecture, and 1 hour for lab).  Since the faculty member is missing the lab assignment only, he would deduct 1 out of 4 hours, or ¼ of a day, or .25.  In this case, the number of hours deducted would be 2.19 hours (0.25 X 8.75 = 2.19)

Completing this last step on the form helps you keep track of the sick leave you’ve used and compare these to what is reported in Banner. Should you have questions on your sick leave balance, please contact Kimberly McAbee, KCCD payroll specialist, at kmcabee@kccd.edu.

Example 2

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Information on Union Dues

Union Dues: You may have noticed a slight increase in dues this year. According to Marianne Reynolds, a CTA regional representative for community colleges, the state and national dues went up a total of $5 annually, or .50 a month. This is because salaries for teachers, including ours, have improved for the past several years across the state, and CTA and CCA state dues increase when that occurs. She also said CTA requires local dues to be at least 30 percent of the combined state dues for a local chapter to receive arbitration assistance. Based on this formula, our local dues should be a total of $61 this year and not the $51 we now charge. Our officers will discuss raising local dues $1 a month at our next meeting so we are in compliance with these arbitration assistance guidelines. We want to protect your right to arbitration, a process that can be expensive without CTA’s assistance. We will keep you posted on what the exec board decides.


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New to the District? Don't Miss This Deadline!
 
If you're a newly hired employee and an eligible CTA member, now's the time to get CTA-endorsed Disability and Life Insurance from Standard Insurance Company (The Standard). You have a special opportunity to apply for Disability Insurance and up to $200,000 of Life Insurance within 180* days of starting work.
 
You can apply online at www.standard.com/cta/newhire.
 
*180 day effective September 1, 2015; if you apply before September 1, 2015, 120 days.

 

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Primary Residence Damaged by Recent Wildfires?


The Disaster Relief Fund is a separate, special fund for members of CTA. The fund is endowed to provide financial assistance to CTA members who have experienced significant losses or displacement due to disasters in California. The Temporary Displacement Grant is available to members who are displaced from their primary residence as the result of a disaster, but do not qualify for a Standard Grant. The School Site Grant is for CTA members whose school site has experienced losses.
 
If you have suffered a hardship related to damage to a primary residence or school site, start the online mobile application process at m.ctamemberbenefits.org/en/DisasterRelief or visit www.CTAMemberBenefits.org/drf to download an application.

 

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Know Your Benefits!

by Terry Crewse

Know your benefits. Visit http://www.cta.org/Member-Services/Member-Benefits.aspx and http://www.neamb.com to learn about your membership benefits.

Do your loved ones know?

picture of family

According to Shirley Avila of the CTA’s Members Benefits Department, death benefits sometimes go unclaimed because intended beneficiaries are unaware that they exist. Make sure that your loved ones are aware of the CTA Death & Dismemberment Plan. This plan is provides a no-cost life insurance benefit for eligible members to assist their surviving loved ones in the event the unthinkable happens. Visit http://www.ctamemberbenefits.org/dd for more information. Also visit http://www.neamb.com/insurance/nea-complimentary-life-insurance to learn about NEA’s Complementary Life Insurance which eligible CTA Members automatically receive. (Automatic benefit!)

Divorced and remarried?

newlyweds

Be sure to update your intended beneficiary information. If the information is not updated your ex (and not your current spouse) will be entitled to the CTA D&D Plan benefits.

Legal Trouble?

law books

Visit http://www.ctamemberbenefits.org/en/Insurance/EEL to learn about CTA/NEA Educator Employment Liability (EEL). (Automatic benefit!)

Did you know . . .

There is also a Vision Discount Program for retirement. (Visit http://www.ctamemberbenefits.org/vsp .)

There’s an app for that! Search "cta member benefits" from your smart phone or tablet for this free app.

There are also numerous voluntary benefits through CTA-Endorsed Services including additional life insurance coverage, house and auto insurance, a Well-Baby Program, Financial Services through Provident Credit Union and Logix Federal Credit Union, a Bank of America Credit Card Program, Travel, Entertainment and Purchasing Discounts, and Car Rental through Enterprise (Account Number NACA068 - Company Name: CTA).

The same goes for the many NEA benefits but we are already too close to your computer’s memory limitations for them all to be listed here.

 

picture of woman reading magazine

You can also get two free magazine subscriptions. Visit http://www.neamb.com/free-magazine-offer-field.htm to take advantage of this free offer.
(Automatic benefit!)

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Know Your Weingarten Rights

Faculty Representation

One of our important rights as faculty is to have union representation when dealing with management. The 1975 U.S. Supreme Court decision in NLRB v. Weingarten, Inc. upheld the right to union representation. Article 14.B.3 of our collective bargaining agreement codifies our Weingarten Rights: All faculty have the right to CCA representation in meetings with College or District administration where faculty reasonably believe that such meetings may lead to disciplinary action. In order to invoke Weingarten Rights, the faculty must request them. If you are in a meeting with management and want representation, make sure you say something along the line of the following:

"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion."

Below is a summary of Weingarten Rights from the CCA website:

Weingarten Rights

“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 representation 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).


Your dean calls you into her office, shuts the door and asks you to sit down. She questions you about the way you handled a certain situation and begins to make accusations. You start to feel anxious and begin to wonder whether you could face disciplinary action.

Should you invoke your Weingarten Rights? The answer is "Yes, absolutely."

Based on the 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) vs. Weingarten, union employees are entitled to have union representation at meetings with supervisors that are investigatory or that could lead to disciplinary action. These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.

To invoke Weingarten Rights, a union member should say something like this: “If my response to your questions could lead to my being disciplined, I request union representation at this meeting, and that the meeting be postponed until my union representative arrives.” When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present, management has two options:

  1. It can stop questioning until the representative arrives.
  2. It can call off the interview and proceed with the investigation without the
    benefit of the employee’s input.

Employers will often assert that the only role of a union representative in an investigatory interview is to observe the discussion. The Supreme Court, however, clearly acknowledges a representative’s right to assist and counsel workers during the interview. The Supreme Court has also ruled that before an investigatory interview, management must inform the union representative of the subject of the interrogation. The representative must also be allowed to speak privately with the employee before the interview and at any time during the interview. During the questioning, the representative can interrupt to clarify a question or to object to confusing or intimidating tactics. While the interview is in progress the representative cannot tell the employee what to say—but he or she may advise them on how to answer a question. At the end of the interview the union representative can add information to support the employee’s case.

Employees must demand their right to be represented in these investigatory interviews.

(Retrieved October 12, 2012, from CCA For Me, http://www.cca4me.org/chapters_members/index.html)

 

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Thank A Union This Labor Day


With The Middle Class At Risk, We Need Unions Now More Than Ever

Celebrating Labor Day is about more than just a three-day weekend. It’s a chance to reflect on the importance of unions and remember that we need them now more than ever.

Unions have been at the center of some of America’s most important fights for fair labor standards. Unions helped end child labor: the very first American Federation of Labor (AFL) national convention passed a resolution calling on states to “ban children under 14 from all gainful employment.” Labor unions negotiated for and won employer-provided health insurance coverage, one of the first great expansions of health care to all Americans. And unions didn’t just give us this Labor Day long weekend – they fought for labor standards that gave us ALL weekends.

Unions are central in providing good jobs and middle-class security to America workers. As unions go, so goes the middle class. The chart below spells that out pretty clearly: as union membership has declined, the middle-class share of income has also dropped:

Chart

These days, union membership is under attack from many who are either ignoring history and economic data, or only have the wealthiest Americans’ interests in mind. Anti-union policy groups and lawmakers in states across the country are attacking an already weakened labor movement by advancing so-called “right-to-work” laws, which inhibit workers from collectively bargaining for better wages, benefits and protections, under the guise of “choice.” These laws allow some workers to get the advantages of a union contract—such as higher wages, benefits, and protection against arbitrary discipline—without paying any fee associated with negotiating on these matters. This doesn’t result in more freedom, it results in lower incomes.


Wisconsin became the latest state to adopt a “right-to-work” law and take its working families in the wrong direction. Estimates by Marquette University economist Abdur Chowdhury suggest that Wisconsin workers and families will lose between $3.89 and $4.82 billion in direct income annually due to effects of the law. Recently, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed a bill passed by the Missouri legislature to enact a similar policy there.


The numbers are clear. The typical worker in a “right-to-work” state makes about $1,560 less per year than she would in a state without such a law. According to new research, women in union jobs earn $212 per week, or 30.9%, more than women in non-union jobs; men in union jobs earn $173 more per week than their non-union counterparts. Union women also face a smaller gender wage gap: They earn 88.7 cents for every dollar a man makes, compared to 78 cents across all workers.


BOTTOM LINE: If you care about a strong middle class in America, you should care about unions. The organizers that have been at the heart of many important labor reforms in the past have a vital role to play for America’s economy now and in the future, too. It’s on us to take every opportunity we can to remind people that unions work. So have a great long weekend, and make sure you remind your friends and loved ones: Enjoying your labor day weekend? Thank a union.

--Adapted from "With The Middle Class At Risk, We Need Unions Now More Than Ever," published Sept. 4, 2015 on ThinkProgress.org.