By Mary Gross, FA President
Welcome to the start of the 2023/24 Academic Year. I trust by now you are all deep into the work of educating students and spreading enthusiasm for your specific content area. Governance and Committee work is well underway, and the Faculty Assembly is no exception. We are pleased to continue with a strong Executive Team and FA Council and are excited to welcome a few new council members this year: Rich Dicker, Michelle Odom, and Mark Laurel.
As you know, our FA Council meetings are held the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month from 12-2 in a rotating manner between on-campus and Zoom. We are always happy to have faculty attend our meetings and have had a number of faculty visitors at our first two meetings of the year. If you are unable to attend, we hope that you review the materials from our meeting that can be found at our newly updated FA Website. On our “Meetings” page, you can find a merged document of the agenda with any actions noted followed by the PowerPoint presentation that help guide the meeting. You will often see some “Quick Contract Quiz” questions that highlight various elements of our Contract or other governing documents to allow for a spotlight focus on areas that may not be well known or have come as a result of questions that need clarification submitted to the Ask Annie Link. Take a look! You might be surprised by what you find.
We are also into the planning phase of our upcoming FA Education Luncheon event to be hosted on Friday, October 13 during our regularly scheduled meeting time. The focus of our event is to provide an overview and educate faculty on topics related to Negotiations. We will cover, for example, the scope of what is involved in Labor Relations, how Contract Negotiations work, and the various ways to approach collective bargaining. Not sure about any of it? No problem…this event is designed to help educate faculty about the intricacies of negotiations, whether through the various MOUs we negotiate to full contract reopenings.
Currently, we are engaging in discussions with the District over the Guided Pathways/ACP work faculty, whether instructional or counseling, do. And we are in preliminary discussions with the District over the Health Benefits premium increases which have reached nearly 25% for Kaiser and 30% for the PPO. An increase exceeding 10% in aggregate triggers a reopener negotiation on Article J in the CBA (J.2.0). Of course, we will keep you appraised on this issue, and know that our priority is to maintain our benefits package and benefits philosophy which is that Health, Vision, and Dental coverage are benefits of employment, not compensation, and is fully funded by the District.
Please enjoy reading the many articles prepared for you in this newsletter, and reach out with any working conditions related questions or concerns to me at MaryMCCFA@gmail.com Hope to see you in October!