PCC’s FA was well represented at the recent CCCI meeting in San Diego.
PCCFA officers Mark Whitworth, Julie Kiotas, Dave Cuatt, and Mary Erin Crook were joined by long-time FA supporters Melissa Michelson and Kris Pilon in attending CCCI meetings in San Diego, October 13–15.
The California Community Colleges—Independents (CCCI) is a consortium of twelve California Community College unions. PCCFA has benefited enormously from its affiliation with CCCI which meets semi-annually in the fall and spring. CCCI provides a platform for major discussions of the most pressing issues affecting community college faculty statewide.
PCCFA has been an independent union since 2009, and CCCI has been vital to PCCFA’s successes as its representatives have provided advice and support in an ongoing basis. Our legal advice has been instrumental in winning recent Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) settlements, most notably in winning back pay for the college’s illegal cancellation of Winter Session.
CCCI’s sessions featured major presentations by Jonathan Lightman, Executive Directive of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC), and David Bezemek, one the state’s preeminent legal experts on issues pertaining to faculty rights. Johnathan Lightman’s stellar leadership of FACCC has made it the single most effective Sacramento lobby organization for community faculty for over a quarter century. Lightman’s comments stressed the need to support Proposition 55(K-14 funding) and Prop. 51 (new buildings funding). He also addressed CalSTRS issues regarding our faculty
pensions. (PCCFA’s membership meeting on November 17th featured a full analysis of CalSTRS).
David Bezemek, and his colleague David Conway, outlined guidelines for faculty rights and due process during District investigations (see FACT article on Weingarten Rights). Bezemek also provided suggestions on defining Parity (a calculation determining PT faculty salaries), and clarified the meaning of “Unfair Labor Practice.” Without strong union representation, too many college districts conduct their business in an autocratic manner and effectively violate laws governing fair
Bezemek also provided clarity on faculty rights regarding free political expression and engagement in political activity on campus. Typical activities include distributing literature on campus, addressing the Board of Trustees, holding meetings and rallies, engaging in speeches and debates, wearing campaign buttons or clothing, registering students and others to vote, and soliciting contributions for political campaigns.
The bulk of CCCI meetings entails chapter reports in which each college union reports on its status. The reports always demonstrate a fascinating array of different circumstances and important similarities.
Thus, Contra Costa College has utilized $500,000 from Equity Funds for Part Time Office Hours and Professional Development. Santa Monica College noted Chairs on their campus are overworked and under compensated. Santa Rosa College is pursuing Weingarten Rights. Chabot College pointed out the dangers of using confidential and sensitive material on college email accounts due to Administration surveillance. College of the Redwoods recommended mediation in instances between faculty. Foothill/De Anza has added a pay step for Part Timers and utilizes Categorical Funds for Part Time Office Hours. Some colleges are facing declining enrollments and thus cuts in state funding. Santa Barbara was down a whopping 8% and now struggles to increase enrollment and recapture lost funds. All colleges share recent newsletters. (We are proud to say that FACT, PCCFA’s dynamic new format, was a big hit with CCCI colleagues.)