by Lauren Handley.
I’d like to announce an MPCTA membership meeting this Thursday at 4pm. As previously noted, we are trying new days and times to try and accommodate as many faculty schedules as possible. The location will be announced as soon as I have confirmed an available room on campus. Please put the meeting on your calendar and attend if at all possible. We will be discussing the upcoming mediation…
And we have received word that our mediation will likely be in mid-December. We received a list of dates from the state. The mediator proposed December 7, 12, or 13, and we responded that our team could be available December 12 and 13. We do not yet have confirmation of those dates, but should soon have a concrete date on which mediation will begin. At the membership meeting, the key question will be which contract articles MPCTA would like to see discussed. Because so much of our contract has been opened for negotiation, it is likely that the mediator will seek to narrow our focus. Clearly, “Article 16: Salary” will be a big part of the discussion, but no mediation process will be able to grapple with all 15 open articles, and so we will need to have 2-3 that are most important to the MPCTA membership.
During the lull between negotiations and mediation, several issues have come up that MPCTA has been pursuing. In the last round of negotiations MPCTA raised the question of hourly payment for our part-time faculty. As some of you may know, part-time faculty are paid 49 hours for semester length classes, despite the fact that most of our classes are scheduled for at least 51 hours. The District informed us that this was the result of an agreement made with MPCTA in 1998. However, because this practice results in chronic underpayment of part-time faculty, misreporting of their service credit to CalSTRS, because scheduling practices have changed dramatically since 1998, and the signed agreement cannot be provided, MPCTA has questions as to whether this practice is legal. MPCTA has secured a legal referral from CTA and will be meeting with a labor lawyer to investigate what actions we can take to change this practice outside the context negotiations.
Similarly, it is clear that there have been some errors in processing step increases for part time faculty and full-time overload assignments. The District has begun an audit of these step increases, and some of you may have received an email regarding that process. I would encourage all of you to take a look at your paycheck stubs to ensure that you have received the step increases you believe you are owed. If you find a discrepancy, please let me know so that we can ensure that you are on a final list of faculty members whose pay is being corrected.
It has, also, become clear that not all full-time faculty have been receiving the 1 TLU for course preparation that the contract guarantees to any faculty member teaching 4 or more different courses. Alan and I met with Jon Knolle and Paul Long about this matter, and the District has communicated with Division Chairs and DOMs about beginning an audit. If you have taught 4 or more preparations in the last 4 years and did not receive 1 TLU for course preparation, please let me know so that we can provide this information to the District and can ensure proper repayment. You can find this information on your Load History Sheets– if you were paid for a 1 TLU for course preparation, it would be reflected as a separate entry on your Load History Sheet.
Finally, we have also become aware that faculty evaluations are being inconsistently conducted across campus. We have submitted a request for information to District on this matter, and Alan and I raised the issue with Jon Knolle and Paul Long, who were aware of the inconsistencies in the process. If you have concerns about the conduct of evaluations, please reach out to me or someone involved in the MPCTA leadership. This is a tricky and personal issue, but it is vital to all faculty that our evaluation process be conducted in a fair manner, which is consistent across campus, and produces equitable results. This will be a matter of continued discussion between the District and MPCTA, and if you are interested in being involved in designing a solution please let me know.
If you have questions about any of these important pay or equity matters, please let me know. You can reply to this email or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please come to our meeting on Thursday, or if you have an opinion that you would like reflected at the meeting (and cannot attend) email myself, Alan Haffa, Jon Osburg, or Luke Spence, and we will ensure those opinions are voiced a part of the discussion of mediation priorities at the membership meeting.
For the benefit of the part-time faculty who were unable to attend the retirement seminar, I am attaching Jennifer Baker’s powerpoint to this email. We will likely schedule a similar seminar with Jennifer Baker in the Spring semester. If you have questions about retirement, please let me know and I will do my best to get you good information.