By Mary Gross, FA President
It has been my absolute privilege to serve as your FA President this past year. Looking back, we have had a very successful and productive year. With the help of an amazing Executive Team and FA Council, we were able to achieve all the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of this academic year and more.
Council Goals for 2022-2023
To recap, here is a highlight of Council’s goals for 2022-2023:
Educating faculty about what the FA is and the work it has accomplished
Promoting what the FA does beyond contract negotiations
Relationship building with other groups on campus
Ensuring faculty understand their roles and responsibilities and how the contract guides that
Facilitating social events so faculty can get to know each other/ become more connected
“Philanthropic” work on campus
Political Action needs (Board elections, FACCC)
Growing the full dues-paying membership
Many of our goals focused on educating, engaging, and informing the larger faculty about the broad range of work the FA conducts. From our interactive Contract Spotlight quizzes to our FA Education Luncheon events, we were able to showcase not only various provisions in the Contract but were able to share the day-to-day working conditions responsibilities the FA has for all full-time faculty. We also developed a new Committee Structure which assisted us in accomplishing these goals and many more.
Committee Work Highlights
Our FA Operations committee developed our budget, retained the services of a CPA to ensure compliance and reporting requirements as a non-profit, and more recently engaged with our CPA to open FDIC-insured investment accounts to ensure a better rate of return on our Reserve monies. They were also primarily responsible for coordinating the off-campus social events held each semester. The FA Professional Relations committee worked in concert with Academic Senate Leadership and others on campus to resolve and/or make recommendations on areas of common interest. They crafted, launched, and ultimately wrote an executive summary of the Hyflex survey that is now driving professional development work in this area. Finally, the FA Contract/Education Committee focused its work on the education events and expanding communication outreach. We launched an Instagram account, revised the FA Webpage, and ensured all MOUs and Contractual updates were widely broadcast.
Spotlight On Philanthropy
A highlight of our work this year was with our philanthropic outreach. The FA was able to support CARE’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, provide funding for the Latinx Graduation festivities, donate a healthy amount to the Transitions Program fundraiser, and sponsor a transitioning CLC student scholarship.
The FA also negotiated resolution on many issues. Most notably, we resolved the Faculty Director challenge with a negotiated settlement that retained all the positions as faculty and avoided a costly PERB hearing where the outcome may not have yielded this same result.We negotiated to continue the Joyful Teacher position; made permanent through the next contract the option for non-classroom faculty to lessen their on-ground hours requirement; garnered more flexibility for classroom faculty’s one on-ground course requirement; codified and expanded the Reassigned Time in the Nursing Department; and resolved the Child Development Center Directorship, ensuring faculty maintained their academic coordination role while moving any administrative/supervisory work to a program supervisor.
Finally, we have welcomed more than 35 new FA dues-paying members this year. All full-time faculty benefit from the work of the FA, and we provide representation to all FTF whenever needed. Our dues allow us to conduct our work in a meaningful and productive way, enhanced by legal representation by one of the top educational employment attorneys in the state. We are part of a group called CCCI: California Community College Independents where we regularly communicate and attend twice-yearly conferences to get legal updates, receive dedicated time with the FACCC President and Legislative Analyst, and engage with the CCCI lobbyist. All of this costs money, and it is our dues that have allowed us to develop into a strong organization that is well-respected and effective in representing FTF in all employment matters. While dues are voluntary, we have one of the lowest contribution rates in the state at a recommended rate 0.4%. Our FA Council’s goal is to move toward 100% dues-paying membership, and we are well on our way. We are YOUR EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION, and we are only as strong as our membership. If you haven’t joined us yet, we welcome and invite your contribution.
I hope you all have a well-deserved summer break, and I look forward to leading the FA in the coming year.