Teachers’ union expresses frustration over stalled negotiations – The Skyline View

AFT 149 continues to mobilize for contract modifications

Nearly nine months after initially presenting proposals to the San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD), AFT 1493, the union representing faculty in the district, continues to push for changes, saying the district ignored.

These proposals include a month of paid parental leave, extending health care to part-time instructors and increasing the ability to work remotely.

Monica Malamud, president of AFT 1493, said those proposals were first submitted to the district in February and have been continually rejected or blocked at every turn.

“In some cases the district has responded by citing existing law, but obviously we don’t need to negotiate what’s already in the law,” Malamud said.

Rika Yonemura-Fabian, president of the union’s Skyline College chapter, echoed those frustrations over the parental leave proposal.

“It’s just not good for students to see [parental] exhausted working faculty member, not to mention the lack of sleep and lack of focus that comes from exhaustion. But also, it teaches our students that working without pay is normal. It’s normal to be exploited like this without enough system support,” she said.

When it comes to working remotely, professors who teach classes online find it unnecessary to require a minimum hours on campus if they have their classes online.

Additionally, the union points out that increasing the ability to work remotely would not affect students, as students who take online courses generally prefer to meet during office hours online, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

The vast majority of students still choose distance counseling appointments. The district needs to meet students where they are now so they can access the education we provide,” Marianne Kaletzky of AFT 1493 told The Skyline View.

“When faculty spend four hours a day commuting because our salaries don’t allow us to live near San Mateo County, we can push as much as possible to be there for our students, but we just won’t have not as much energy or being able to be available as often as possible. The same is true when part-time professors, who make up the majority of our faculty, rush to teach at another institution so they can get health coverage through that job,” Kaletzky said.

According to the district’s information book, about 40% of the district’s staff were part-time or adjunct teachers. Under the current arrangement, those staff members who are not full-time receive allowances but are not fully insured.

Malamud said the district would actually save money if it provided health insurance to part-time workers, because the district is reimbursed by the state for this, whereas the district uses its funds to pay benefits.

Other frustrations mentioned were the high cost of living in the Bay Area as an educator, echoing the current University of California graduate student strikes, and a significant reason for the current staffing shortage. Kindergarten to Grade 12 audiences.

When contacted for comment, Acting Public Affairs Director Ana Pulido said the district “cannot share the details discussed at the bargaining table.

“I can share that the leadership of the district values ​​and recognizes the contributions made by our faculty in providing our students with a quality education,” Pulido added.

The union believes, however, that these proposals would directly contribute to improving the equality of education that students receive.

“We teachers are here because of you, our students. We want you to succeed. We want to be the best faculty possible, and to do this, faculty must have good working conditions. That is what negotiations are for. Malamud said.

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