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President’s Update May 2024

By Mary Gross, FA President


The current Faculty Assembly (FA) Council and Executive team are completing their two-year term of service. We have accomplished much over these past two years together including negotiating 16 MOUs that support the working conditions of faculty and laying the foundation for our upcoming full contract negotiation. This same team will continue for the next two years, and we have positioned ourselves well for all the work that lies ahead. 

 

Two years ago, we set many goals including having a more diverse and inclusive council; educating the Council and the faculty at large about what the FA does and all that is involved in the Articles and Sections in our Contract that guide our professional working conditions; growing our dues-paying membership; improving meeting dynamics and interactivity; and having a smooth transition as students, staff, and faculty alike returned to a more robust on-campus presence. I am proud of the work we have done to accomplish all these goals and more. 


The next two-year term will be focused on full contract negotiations. We have already begun to prepare for that work, most specifically with our All-Faculty Education events this past year. In the fall, our event focused on understanding negotiation strategies; the workings of Labor Relations; and the people, processes, and timelines involved in negotiations. Our Spring Education event afforded faculty to see the complete scope of our CBA for a consideration of possible “reopeners” next year. Faculty shared their ideas on which Articles and Sections of the contract are most important for us to prioritize and/or preserve and protect. We also considered what the District might prioritize and how that may align or be at odds with our own priorities. We also discussed other avenues for addressing working conditions issues outside of full contract negotiations through training opportunities, MOUs, operational updates, or using already established provisions in our contract. Here is what some of your faculty colleagues had to report about the latest event: 

"I appreciated the structure of the FA event that allowed attendees to identify the contract items they are interested in learning about/changing and pushed us to also consider the district’s POV." -Kristine Arquero   
"Attending the FA Spring Education Luncheon was a wonderful, informative experience. The event fostered conversation in a manner that allowed everyone to share their perspective and ask the questions that were important to them. As a faculty member who primarily works at an off-campus site, I really enjoyed interacting with my colleagues that I don’t often get to see or even some that I met for the first time." -Cynthia V. Gonzales 
"Attending the FA educational event gave me a better understanding of our contract and the components involved in the negotiation process. This event was beneficial, and I truly appreciate the FA for taking the time to hold these educational sessions. I will continue to attend!" -Ariana Solis 
"I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to attend the luncheon. Not only did I have an opportunity to interact with colleagues, but I learned a lot more about the work the Faculty Council does and more about our contract than I ever expected! It was eye opening. Thank you!" -Ticey Hosley 

The Exec team and Council analyzed the results of the input provided at the event attended by nearly fifty full-time faculty. We are now creating research/advisory groups to begin work this summer on areas related to Salary/Compensation, Workload, and Evaluation. Our Negotiation team was approved at the last Council meeting and includes Annie Ngo, Dara Perales, Billy Gunn, and me. Please plan to join us at a Q&A with the FA event during FLEX on Wednesday, August 14 from 1:00-2:30 to get an update on our negotiation plan and strategy, meet the team and other Council members, and share your thoughts and ideas. 


Thank you all for your support and positive feedback over these past two years. It is truly our privilege to work on your behalf as full-time faculty to ensure the most comprehensive and positive working conditions so we can all best serve the students in our care. 


Have a wonderful summer break! 


Mary Gross

FA President

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