Faculty face new challenges as fall assignments arrive

With layoffs looming, we need you to help us help you. We need you to keep the Union informed. Please read the following and report back to us if any of it applies to you—and pass it along, too.

Many—though not all—faculty have received news of their fall assignments in the last week. With a 12 percent cutback in noncredit offerings, an 8.5 percent cutback in credit offerings, and 10 percent in other areas for the fall, these are without a doubt the most drastic cutbacks in schedule the college has seen. Many chairs and others with assignment responsibilities have, we are aware, been working hard to make this painful process clear and even-handed. Attrition and reducing extra pay assignments will help the District accomplish most of these reductions, but some part-timers are not receiving assignments for classes in the fall, and some full-timers may be facing impossible schedules in which none of their preferences have been honored. We are working to protect as many jobs (and preferences) as we can, and part-timers need to arm themselves with knowledge of the seniority system so as not to be inadvertently or wrongfully cut.

Here are some points to remember about your re-employment rights:

  • Part-timers are assigned their modal loads based on seniority, though special skills for some assignments may upset the seniority system. Any special job skills that would over-ride the seniority list must be identified in advance, not invented at the time of scheduling. Part-timers need to check the seniority list, officially known as the Part-Time Reemployment Preference List. If you suspect it is not correct, contact the union ASAP. (Your department chair or coordinator has a copy, as does the Union.)
  • Seniority is also an important factor taken into account when preferences for assignments (e.g., times, days, locations, and particular courses) are considered (Article 13-B).
  • You have the right to your modal load, provided there is room for you on the schedule. If you teach in credit or in noncredit DSPS, Older Adults, Health and Safety, or Vocational, you should be offered courses that you have taught at least twice in the past 10 years, or the equivalent. (Article 13-1.A.3.1)
  • If you teach noncredit ESL, Consumer Education, Parenting, Citizenship, or Transitional Studies, you may be assigned to any course in the state-funded noncredit area—with the aforementioned exceptions for special skills. (Article 13-1.A.3.2)
  • If you find that your assignment is not in accord with your stated preference or is something that you can’t live with, you need to challenge your job assignment right away. This means first contacting whomever made the schedule to see whether they are able to make a change. If you hit a wall and it appears that your seniority rights have been violated, then contact the Union immediately, before the schedule is set in stone, so we can, if necessary, grieve the assignment.
  • If you are not scheduled for your modal load and someone in your department with less seniority is, then barring the special skills exception, you have the basis for a grievance.
  • If you get all your classes cut because you are on the bottom of the seniority list, be sure that you follow the provisions of Article 13-1.I Recall, which requires you to submit a preference form each semester at the same time as any actively employed faculty if you want to be considered for rehire for the next semester. Currently, faculty retain their recall rights for two years.
  • In order to be rehired when classes become available, you need to have submitted a preference form according to your department’s practice and definitely before the schedule is drafted. If you are on permissive unpaid leave (Article 17.B) or not employed because of having been laid off for lack of classes (Article 13-1.I), you need to have submitted the preference form as if you were actively working.

This coming fall will be very stressful to all. You can reduce that stress by being clear about your rights now so that you don’t wake up August 15 with no class or an impossible schedule, asking to file a grievance when it is too late.

Have you been cut? Please keep us informed:

If you who receive notice that your hours have been cut or that you have been laid-off for the fall semester, or if you have been handed an impossible schedule, we need to hear from you. You are our source for on-the-ground information. The best way to communicate this critical information to the Union is to email us at aft@aft2121.org and answer the following questions as best you can:

  1. Name, department, part-time or full-time, and phone number
  2. Semester/year of hire; number of semesters of service if part-time
  3. Recent/current assignments (this semester and last) and your proposed assignment for Fall 2012. (If none, then indicate that you are being laid-off.)
  4. If you know your precise load (e.g., 20% or 60%), that will be helpful, and if you can indicate that information for the last three or four semesters, that’s even better.
  5. Other concerns or explanations?

Faculty already have made huge sacrifices to help the District through the continuing fiscal crisis; the whole college has made incredible sacrifices, and we must work to stop the cuts that are crushing California public education and social services—and throwing our colleagues out of good work for students who deserve access to their educations. These cuts are not of our making, and we must bring in new revenues, both locally and statewide, if we are to turn these tides. Let us know that you want to get involved in revenue campaigns by contacting Galina Gerasimova at getactive@aft2121.org.

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Email: aft@aft2121.org.
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