MEMBERSHIP IS THE BEDROCK OF OUR STRENGTH
Preparing for Trump attacks against Fair Share
Under the anti-union, anti-worker Trump administration, labor is under attack. We know that the increasingly conservative Supreme Court, with newly appointed Justice Gorsuch will move to end the Fair Share fees that we count on to keep up the struggle for better wages and working conditions. We know that right-wing groups will be running campaigns to push Union members to drop their membership. In other states that lost the Fair Share agency fee system the Koch brothers sent letters to union members telling them they’d be better off financially if they cancelled their union membership. This shortsighted view serves the interests of the Koch brothers and their right-wing allies and damages public service workers like us, and the people, the students and community we serve. In states without fair share, the average worker makes $1,500 less per year, workers are much less likely to have health insurance, and the rate of workplace deaths is 36 percent higher.
The gains we’ve made in our contract campaign, our fight against the ACCJC, and victory with Free City were made possible by collectively pooling our resources, including our Union dues. Making a commitment to each other and our collective power by becoming and staying members has always been crucial for our success. The hundreds of faculty who have chosen to re-commit to our Union this semester by signing our new membership form — with its loud, proud commitment to “stick with our union” for a full calendar year — put us in a powerful position to begin our latest round of negotiations. The result so far? Last week our Bargaining Team reached its first agreement with the District. In our first round of negotiations we won the District’s agreement to have open negotiations. And this positive tone continues in week three of contract negotiations.
As our contract campaign moves forward we will continue asking all faculty to sign a new membership form. To protect ourselves from right wing attacks we must all commit to and stick with our Union. We need to have these conversations with our colleagues and make sure they know that membership is the keystone of our strength. If you have not done so this school year, please sign a new AFT 2121 membership form. It’s an act of resistance. The bottom line is clear: we are all much better off with strong union membership.
Contract negotiations update, session #3
More progress at the table, but still need budget information from Administration.
The positive tone continued in week three of contract negotiations, with three more tentative agreements reached on the following issues:
Re-employment Preference for Categorical Assignments
Vice Chancellor Dianna Gonzales began the session by stating Administration had intentionally come to the table with very few proposals, because they want to focus on compensation. She once again emphasized that the district and the union have a common goal – to raise faculty salaries.
While this tone is very encouraging, we are still waiting for the Administration to provide budget information on the dollar-amount cost of each 1% salary increase so our team can craft salary proposals. We look forward to the Administration’s response next week with this information.
This week, our team put payroll problems front and center at the table. A faculty member from the Automotive Department came to the session and told his story about a paycheck error that has dragged on for two years without resolution and caused him serious economic hardship. The Administration team listened intently and said they were committed to improving the payroll system, including creating a new Payroll Ombudsperson position to address and resolve payroll errors.
Open bargaining continued, with eight faculty observers attending the session.
In an article by the SF Examiner today we are glad to hear Rocha say “He expects to tackle CCSF teachers’ wages after the holidays and settle quickly” and that “We need to pay competitive salaries — that’s a goal we share — so we can actually live in The City.”
We have definitely seen the start of a positive shift in campus climate, including at the table. But the proof, as they say, is in the pudding, and our hard-working faculty have lost a huge amount of ground in the last decade while our communities suffer from a mounting affordability crisis. Now that we’ve all done such tremendous work to save our college, including bringing students back, we intend to see our faculty fairly compensated for their work and make up lost ground. We look forward to learning that the chancellor and the board are sincere about these efforts, too.