FAQ on 2013-15 Tentative Agreement

Last update: 12/9
Please click questions to view the answers.

Please see our Ratification Vote results post

Big Picture

Q. Cut to the chase. What did we get? Q. I’m not satisfied with the provisions of our TA. What did we get for all of our hard work—writing letters, rallying, etc.—over the last year? Q. This doesn’t seem fair. We’ve given up a lot, worked hard, and brought money back to the district. Why aren't seeing more recognition for those sacrifices here?

Faculty Pay

Q. What does “1.5% restoration” mean? “1.5% restoration” from what? Q. Does the 1.5% restoration cover the current year only, or the past few years of pay cuts, or both? Q. I can't keep track of all these cuts and changes. How can I predict my pay? Q. If a faculty member retires before restoration is paid, will restoration be funded in a special check? Q. What about the pending arbitration on the pay cuts we’ve experienced so far? Q. Will step increments be 'frozen' or will we be getting scheduled step increases? Q. Many of us lost a step increase in academic year 2009-2010. Does this contract restore that step increase? Q. Why is the Spring 2015 restoration being paid toward the end of the semester?

 Tenure review pay

Q. I did tenure review work in the Fall of 2013. If the TA is ratified, will I be paid for the work I’ve already done?

 Prescription drug copay reimbursement

Q. I have incurred prescription drug costs eligible for reimbursement in the Fall of 2013 and haven’t submitted them yet. If the TA is ratified, can I still submit these for reimbursement?

 Post-retirement health care benefits (OPEB)

Q. Why would our union agree to a two-tier system dividing current and future employees?! Don't two-tier systems go against basic union principles? Q. As a categorically funded, temporary full-time faculty member, I do not currently qualify for post-retirement health benefits. Will I have to contribute? If yes, will I become eligible for post-retirement health benefits? If no, is it possible to resolve this discrepancy?

 More info, voting & ratification

Q. What's the schedule for ratifying the Agreement?Q. When and where can we discuss and get more information? Q. Got it. When can I weigh in?Q. Where can I vote on the Agreement? Q. How can I help?

A. Here are the provisions of the new Tentative Agreement:

PAY: Restores 1.5% of the wage cut all faculty have suffered. That restoration is front-loaded—1% of it begins in January 2014. (The additional 0.5% restoration is effective January 2015 but will paid beginning April 2015.) Both the salary formula and our outstanding grievances over the District’s implementation of it will be dropped.

PART-TIMERS’ RIGHTS: Part-time faculty rights, including seniority/re-employment rights, access to health care, and pro-rata pay, stay as they are.

CLASS SIZE/CANCELLATIONS: Language on class size minimums and class cancellations stays as it is.

RETIREE HEALTH CARE: In order to protect this important long-term benefit for full-time faculty, tenure review pay and prescription drug copay reimbursement are suspended until July 2016. That money will go instead to the San Francisco Retiree Health Care Trust Fund. Beginning in July 2016, current full-time faculty will pay 0.25% towards retiree health care (adding 0.25% each year, for a total of 1.0% in 2019). New full-time faculty hired on or after the ratification date will pay 2% right away. As is the case now, part-timers will not contribute into the retiree health care fund, and will not receive paid retiree health care benefits from the District.

EXPIRATION: The new contract will expire 6/30/2015.

A. One way to think about this is to compare our TA to what the District proposed in negotiations:


A. None of us thinks this is fair. Unfortunately, “fair” doesn’t have much to do with what is possible right now. It is critical to keep in mind the context for these negotiations—the imminent existential threat to an accessible, inclusive City College.

Especially in this context, this contract will provide essential protection for our working conditions and our students’ learning conditions.

When the contract is negotiated next, City College will be past the accreditation crisis, which will open up many more possibilities for improvement. As our internal organizing efforts continue, we know we’ll need all City College faculty there to help make that happen.

A. Confusing, yes. Basically, on July 1, 2013, the District unilaterally imposed an ongoing 5% wage cut off the 2007-08 salary schedule (this was the last time faculty saw an increase). This Agreement restores 1.5% of that pay cut over the next two years. By the end of this agreement, wages will be 3.5% lower than they were in 2007 and 1.5% higher than they are now. (By comparison, last year, faculty were paid 7.125% less than the 2007-08 schedule.)

A. The restoration is not retroactive, so there is no back pay. It is a change to the pay schedule going forward.

A. There will be two incremental restorations to the salary schedule in force in Fall of 2013, which is the 2007-08 salary schedule minus 5%. For the purpose of understanding this provision of the TA, consider your base pay under the Fall 2013 schedule. The restoration is an increase of 1% to this pay scale beginning the Spring of 2014, and an additional 0.5% increase in the Spring of 2015.

To calculate your base salary*:

  • First, locate your base pay:
    • Find your step and column and would-be salary on the 2007-08 schedule.** We’ll call that X.
    • X times .95 = Fall 2013 base pay. Let’s call it Y.
  • Y times 1.01 = base salary as of Jan. 2014. Call this Z.
  • Z times 1.005 = base salary as of Jan. 2015.

*We realize this calculation is somewhat inadequate. It does not take into account scheduled step increments some faculty will earn in 2015-16, nor does it capture that the Jan. 2015 0.05% restoration will not be paid until April checks. Additionally, many faculty are still behind a full step due to the step loss in the 2009-10 agreement, so X does not accurately reflect where these faculty members should be.

**Since the 5% cut was not negotiated, it was not incorporated into the contract. New schedules will be in the new one. The District has posted versions of the imposed Fall 2013 payscale here.)

 A. The restoration isn’t back pay; it’s an increase to the salary schedule in force going forward. We will receive this slightly higher amount of pay for work done in the future, not work we’ve already done.

A. Our outstanding grievances about violations of the old salary formula language will be dropped under the TA. As we’ve discussed, this means we don’t incur the risk of losing or getting a “token win” at arbitration, and we don’t incur further legal costs of arbitration. This means that there will no other compensation for the unilateral cuts the district made in 2013.

A. Step increases are not frozen under the new Agreement—nor have they been for the past few years. (Many faculty are still behind one step from the 2009-10 agreement.) If you are on schedule for a step increase, you will receive it.

A. No, although this remains a high priority for the next contract.

 A. The District says this is because of significant “cash flow” issues it expects during that time.

A. Yes, you will. The TA suspends pay for tenure review work performed after the date of ratification of the agreement. You will have a reasonable window of time to submit your hours for payment.

A. Yes, you can. The TA suspends reimbursements for prescription drug copays beginning the date of ratification of the agreement. You will have a reasonable window of time to submit your RX copays incurred before that date for reimbursement.

A. As a union, we are strongly opposed to two-tier systems. The AFT 2121 Executive Board and bargaining team identified avoiding a two-tier system as a priority very early on in these negotiations, and in fact this was one of the final compromises the team agreed to during mediation. Unfortunately, San Francisco has already carved out this path. Other SF unions and the City worked what we see as an uncomfortable compromise a couple of years ago as part of the City Charter for the Retiree Health Care Trust Fund that created a two-tier system. SF voters, with support of labor, passed this measure overwhelmingly in 2008.

Our team discussed—and proposed—creative ways to move around or sidestep this system. Ultimately, at this moment and in this context, none of them were feasible. In future negotiations, however, perhaps they will be.

A. No, you will not have to contribute for post-retirement health benefits. Only faculty eligible for paid post-retirement health coverage will pay into the retiree health care trust fund. We tried to find a way to make more faculty eligible for post-retirement health benefits, but we weren’t successful.

A. We think it’s very important that faculty are well-informed about the agreement and have set up numerous opportunities for you to discuss, ask questions, and get involved. Please attend an information session on the TA. Voting will close on Dec. 7th in order to give the fullest opportunity for as many of us to vote as possible. That means our Elections Committee will be counting votes on Dec. 7th and we’ll announce the results on Dec. 9th at the very latest.

A. We are holding a series of informational meetings where you can get an overview of the TA, discuss questions you have about it, and cast your ballot. Here is the meeting schedule so far (and get updates here: ):

Ocean Campus

  • Wednesday, Nov. 20 • Conlan Hall 205C • 12:00-1:00 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 21 • Batmale Hall Room 553 • 1:00-2:00 pm
  • Friday, Nov. 22 • MUB 160 • 3:00-4:00 pm
  • Monday, Nov. 25 • Science Building Room 108 • 4:00-5:00 pm
  • Monday, Nov. 25 • Wellness Center 103 • 12:00-12:30 pm
  • Monday, Nov. 25 • Wellness Center 103 • 6:00-6:30 pm

John Adams

  • Wednesday, Nov. 20 • Room 203 • 12:00-1:00 pm


  • Monday, Nov. 25 • Faculty Lounge • 12:00-1:00 pm
  • Monday, Nov. 25 • Faculty Lounge • 5:00-6:00 pm


  • Thursday, Nov. 21 • Room 882 • 11:30 am-12:30 pm


Civic Center

  • Thursday, Nov. 21 • Library • 11:30 am-12:00 pm


  • Wednesday, Nov. 20 • Room 106 • 4:00-5:00 pm

A. Eligible voters can cast ballots at the end of any of the scheduled TA information sessions, starting Nov. 19th. The week of Dec. 2, just after Thanksgiving, we’ll have ballot boxes at all sites and tables set up so you can stop by. And you can always drop by the office at 311 Miramar at Ocean.

Voting closes at noon on Saturday, Dec. 7th • If you were not able to join us and vote during one of our many recent information sessions, please be sure to vote the week of Dec. 2–7th! Here’s where you’ll find the ballot boxes:

  • Chinatown: Faculty lounge, 10th floor • Monday-Friday 
  • Downtown: Library • Monday-Thursday 9:30am-6:45pm, Friday 9:30am-1:45pm
  • Evans: 1st floor admin. office, Monday-Saturday
  • Fort Mason: Main office • Tuesday–Thursday, 9am-noon, 1pm-4pm, and 6:30pm-9:30pm or whenever the office is open/accessible
  • John Adams: Library • Monday 9am-6:45pm • Tuesday-Thursday 9am-7:45pm
  • Mission: Library, 4th Floor Valencia Building • Monday–Thursday 9am-7:45pm, F 9-12:45pm
  • Ocean: Cafeteria (look for our table on the Conlan side) • Monday Noon-7pm, Wednesday 8am-1pm, Thursday 8am-7pm
  • Union Office: 311 Miramar • Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 10am-noon

A. So glad you asked. Members will be able to help with voting in two significant ways:

  1. Help get out the vote! Once you’ve cast your ballot, talk to colleagues. Turnout is important!
  2. Help us staff a table and ballot box. We’ll need additional volunteers, especially the week of Dec. 2nd, usually for 2-hour shifts. Let us know you’d like to help.
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Phone: 415-585-2121
Email: aft@aft2121.org.
Address: 311 Miramar Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94112