How can you be part of Union decision making?
We’re faculty – working part time or full time, credit and non-credit, with different backgrounds, expertise, abilities and responsibilities. Despite these different labels, we all care about our students first and foremost, and we are all part of the same union. So how does that work? How can one union address the needs of different groups?
The way we can participate and have our voices heard is through the representative democratic structure that we depend on to make decisions for our Union.
REPRESENTATION AND DIRECT DEALING
AFT 2121 is the legally recognized exclusive representative for our bargaining unit the faculty at CCSF. The District cannot legally negotiate with any other individual or group of AFT 2121 members other than the authorized representatives of the Union. If they do this it is known as “direct dealing” and is illegal under the EERA, the state’s collective bargaining law for K-14 education. Union members determine the course of collective bargaining through AFT 2121’s democratic process.
How is this representative arrangement structured?
Basically we have two groups that are empowered through our constitution and by-laws to vote on decisions as they come up. The main decision-making body is made up of rank-and-file leaders called Delegates, or Precinct Reps. These reps are elected by faculty who are union members in each precinct. The other group is our Executive Board, elected by a vote of all faculty who are union members.
In addition, we also elect our most of our Bargaining Team.
It’s the hard-working Precinct Reps who communicate important information with faculty, and bring faculty needs and comments back to the monthly Delegate Assembly meetings. Delegates are also our front-line organizers. They reach out to members, asking you to participate in petitions, surveys, commitment cards, pickets, protests, marches and recently, our Spring 2016 strike. This intense and ongoing effort is the essential source of our Union’s power. Any ability we have to achieve and enforce a good contract comes from these actions.
So when we debate decisions, Reps come to those discussions with a clear sense of what their faculty—part time and full time, credit and non-credit, adjunct or tenured, from all departments—want and need, but also what they are willing and able to do as we continue to struggle for fair wages and working conditions, and better learning conditions for our students.
WE NEED YOU
We urge all faculty to attend our regular Delegate Assembly and General Membership meetings. Find out who your precinct rep is. Contact your rep to share your issues and concerns (or things you think are working well). Step up and get more involved. Together we have done so much. Together we will continue to do more.