Wednesday’s first “official” negotiations began with the District team’s being greeted by over forty faculty singing and standing in solidarity with our Bargaining Team. This session comes after months of delays and requests for open negotiations. Nevertheless, the District chose to characterize this first session as a “precursor meeting” and not “real” negotiations, despite hearing expert testimony on load factors from faculty representing a wide range of disciplines. Presentations from Nancy Elliott (Art), Andrew Leone (Art), Craig Persiko (Computer Science), Debra Giusto (Nursing), Max Parsley (Automotive, Motorcycle,Building Maintenance & Construction), Bob Price (Chemistry), Katryn Wiese (Earth Sciences), Kate Gougoutas (Non-Credit Transitional Studies), Maral Good (Non-Credit DSPS) & Debbie Wilensky (Non-Credit ESL) spoke to leveling load factors as a matter of equity.
Faculty dispelled the myth that lab instruction is less rigorous than lecture instruction. In fact, numerous examples explained how much more work is required to prepare for labs. Teaching, whether in small groups or one-on-one “mini-lectures,” occurs routinely. Prep for lab often consumes more time than lecture. Homework and grading for labs parallels and can exceed its counterpart. Safety and health concerns in modern and technologically-improved labs raise the workload for instructors. The District was also reminded it had made a promise to raise all lab load factors to 1.0 – a promise that needs to be honored today. To all these cogent facts, the District responded with silence. Indeed they chose to end negotiations an hour early without as much as an acknowledgement that current load factors are antiquated.
Following the premature exit of the District’s team, faculty in the room joined the Bargaining Team in a debriefing and brainstorming session. Many ideas were exchanged and will be taken up at the Contract Action Team (CAT) meeting, to which all faculty are invited. The CAT strategic organizing session will be Tuesday, April 28 from 5-7pm at the AFT 2121 office, 311 Miramar Ave. @ Ocean. You can help. Please join us!