Can You Imagine This Happening to You?

Important Update Regarding Part-Time Faculty Re-Employment Rights

If this is your first semester here, CCFF welcomes you. For some of us, it might be our 10th semester — or tenth year, or 18th year.

The following is a story of someone who is an eighteen YEAR (part time) employee.

As most of you know, CCFF and the District concluded negotiations last semester with many new provisions now taking place for Spring 2017. In addition to salary improvements and increased office hour compensation for part-time faculty, part-time faculty can now qualify for a re-employment preference at the College, once they receive two consecutive evaluations OR are given an assignment for six semesters without a negative evaluation.

This is standard stuff – work here long enough, with good evaluations, and you qualify for a re-employment preference at your same past load, subject to enrollment, bumping and the availability of assignments.

Unfortunately, in the very first semester of the new contract the District is already violating the new Article 13 re-employment preference. The District is refusing to provide ANY assignment to a faculty member who has (a) 18 years of service and (b) a history of 100% positive evaluations.

The District’s actions are a complete repudiation of the language it just negotiated with the Union. Its actions also violate the California Education Code’s new requirement that all colleges have re-employment rights for faculty (SB 1379).

It shows cruel disregard for a faculty member with nearly two decades of service. Imagine you are this person. You turned in your request for work on time. You provided a wide scope of availability. You have positive evaluations from your peers. You are experienced and familiar with the Course Outline of Record, and you really love teaching the students at this College. And the email in your inbox says:

“​This email is being sent to you simply as a courtesy. This is to inform you that you are not scheduled to teach a class section with the department for the upcoming […] semester. Your interest and availability will be kept on file and you may be contacted for a class assignment in upcoming semesters.”

Does this honor the spirit or letter of the re-employment preference?

It also is a loss for the College and its students, who are about to lose a valuable resource. This is an experienced educator who was ready and willing to come and work at Cerritos College, who has years of accolades and awards, who has built relationships with students, and who reasonably carved the time out for our campus while waiting for an assignment.

And perhaps most chillingly, the District’s interpretation of Article 13 renders the re-employment preference for faculty completely meaningless. According to the District no matter how many years of service you have, and no matter how many positive evaluations you have, your employment is always subject to immediate termination.

How Assignments Work for Part-Time Faculty

Re-employment rights for part-time faculty are set forth in Article 13: “Temporary Part-Time Faculty Reemployment/Assignment.” Under Article 13, part-time faculty are divided into two general categories — those who have a re-employment preference (13.2.3c) and those who do not (13.2.3a).

All part-time faculty, regardless of whether they have obtained a preference, are placed on a seniority list. For faculty without a re-employment preference (and for assignments for all part-time faculty beyond a re-employment preference), many factors go into determining these assignments, with experience, qualifications, program need and seniority all considered…. in that order.

This makes sense – for newer faculty without a preference the Divisions have increased flexibility and give greater weight to non-seniority factors. For faculty with a re-employment preference, however, it means that those faculty have already served at least three years with only positive evaluations, and in those cases the faculty have a right to have an assignment at their existing load level, subject to availability.

Article 13.2.3(c) provides that:

“When feasible, each Division will provide part-time faculty with the same or similar faculty load as an assignment of at least the same or similar faculty load as in the previous semester if the part-time faculty member has received two (2) consecutive satisfactory evaluations or has been given an assignment for six (6) semesters including summers with no negative evaluations.”

These part-time faculty have already proved themselves, and the CBA consequently guarantees a right to “the same or similar faculty load” when feasible (subject to availability, enrollment, etc.)

The Union is aware that College Divisions need a certain amount of flexibility, and not only are all assignments (even for faculty with a re-employment preference) subject to availability, but ALL re-employment preferences are subject to having positive evaluations. And part-time faculty with a re-employment preference, like all faculty, are subject to continued peer evaluations throughout their career.

The District’s Interpretation of Article 13 Violates the California Education Code

Here’s what the code says:

The CCFF-District negotiations last Fall dovetailed with the California Legislature’s passage of SB 1379. This legislation requires community colleges to provide part-time faculty with a re-employment preference that meets certain minimum standards. The College must provide a re-employment preference based on:

“(I) The length of time part-time, temporary faculty have served at the community college or district,
(II) The number of courses part-time, temporary faculty have taught at the community college or district,” and most importantly
(III) The evaluations of temporary faculty conducted pursuant to Section 87663 and other related methods of evaluation that can reliably be used to assess educational impact of temporary faculty as it relates to student success.” (Education Code 87482.3.)”

The Union and District negotiated a part-time re-employment preference along these exact lines. A preference requires a length of service and history of positive evaluations, and then the level of that re-employment preference is based on past load.

In refusing to provide a re-employment preference to faculty with the requisite history of service and positive evaluations, the District is violating the Education Code. The Union is grieving this matter and will be taking all other actions as may be appropriate.

We want your feedback on this matter, which we see as an issue of fundamental importance for our Union and its faculty.

-We have posted a survey for all faculty to rate their confidence of the re-employment preference and to provide comments, feedback or questions to the Union. Most importantly, we want to know of any other violations of the new Colelctive Bargaining Agreement.. The survey may be found here: https://goo.gl/forms/Mo9wqrNq3m2bsyna2

Your union strives to represent the best interests of ALL faculty. We believe all faculty have the right to those employment protections listed in the Education Code, SB 1379+ and our contract — a contract that YOU helped us win. We will continue to fight for you and the fair treatment of our members. An injury to one is an injury to all.

In Unity,

Terrance Mullins, CCFF President

Craig Breit, CCFF Communications Chair
Cerritos College
11110 Alondra boulevard
Norwalk, California 90650
(562) 860-2451, extension 2625

Secretary, CCFF, and History Professor, Cerritos College.

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