- Written by WVMFT
What a semester this has been! Your efforts to get through this semester while shepherding your students to learn and thrive is nothing short of heroic. Teachers all across the country are the hidden heroes during this crisis. If we have learned a few things through this ordeal it is how essential public education is to our economic and social well being. Words of appreciation and acts of kindness are too infrequent, but we can give each other genuine reminders that our work is truly why students come to the colleges in the first place. By all measures the faculty members in this District are top notch. Thank you all for what you did this past semester!
WVMFT has been negotiating with the District concerning the affects of COVID on our working conditions since March 19th. We have met with the district more than a dozen times. We started negotiating with an expectation that WVMFT and the District would be more or less on the same page and would find common ground quickly. We finally reached an agreement last Friday and below are the outcomes:
- The District has agreed to pay $700 to each faculty member who had a Spring 2020 assignment.
- The District has agreed to compensate all faculty in Spring 2020 as if COVID had not happened. This includes all classes that were cancelled or suspended due to COVID, inclusive of all late start classes.
- Any faculty member who participated in any form of District training in DE (or trained others) will receive an additional $150. WVMFT will provide a list to the District vouching for those faculty who underwent training in Spring 2020.
- The District has agreed to pay faculty for additional training over the summer. This is being implemented as an additional paid optional flex day. Full time faculty will be paid for up to six hours at their non-instructional hourly rate (salary schedule C) if they attend this optional flex day or attend any District DE training. Like the normal flex day, faculty can also fulfill and get paid for these six hours by proposing alternative flex activities. Associate faculty will be paid for up to 12 hours at $50/hour for both the additional paid optional flex day as well as the normal flex day. This additional paid optional flex day (APOFD for short!) is one time, meaning this APOFD is Fall 2020 only. The two existing flex days in the 20-21 academic year calendar have not changed.
- In compliance with Congress' Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), the District is providing full time faculty with up to 80 hours of sick time and associate faculty with up to 40 hours of sick time through December 31, 2020 to use for covered leaves as allowed under FFCRA.
- Faculty who had previously approved travel and conference plans shall have their approved travel funds and travel approvals rolled into the next academic year.
- The District has agreed to consider all requests for technology reimbursements. Faculty who incurred expenses due to transitioning their classes to DE modalities should submit the following two items to their dean:
-Receipts (with dates) for all items purchased since March 11th to reasonably perform your job in Spring 2020.
-A short explanation stating why the items purchased were necessary and that the items were not made available to you by your dean when you needed them.
WVMFT will continue to work with the District on any implementation issues to ensure payments and reimbursements are fair and timely.
For those who want to read the fine print of the MOU, we will be making that available to members as soon as we have it.
Welcome new Stewards
Stewards are the "eyes and ears" in the divisions. Stewards represent the faculty within a division and help shape the direction of the union as a whole. Thankfully we now have the following stewards:
- Greg Allen -Math-Area 1, WVC
- Kashi Nath -Physics-Area 2, WVC
- Rachel Sandoval -Library-Area 3, WVC
- Rashi Jackman -Humanities-Area4. WVC
- Margaret Ortiz -Court Reporting-Area 5, WVC
- Leigh Burrill -English-Area 6, WVC
- Priyanka Dinesh -Counseling-Area 5,MC
We are still seeking stewards in other areas, especially from Mission College. Not only are steward activities meaningful, but you can even make them your institutional responsibilities. Here is a nomination form to get your started: Steward Form
Summer Meetings and Webinars
WVMFT will be holding a membership meeting tomorrow, June 2nd, at 4:00 p.m. The zoom link for that meeting is here. Link
We've also scheduled our June EBoard meetings for June 5th and June 19th from 1-3pm.
WVMFT meetings and zoom links can be found on our union calendar here. Meetings are open to members, so please join us.
There are a number of worthwhile webinars that we'd like to invite you to:
- Higher Educators United Webinar on June 11th from 1-4pm. Flyer here
- AFT biennial convention is on July 28-30th. We are seeking delegates. More info here.
Temp Dues Reduction
Managing our union's budget is a balancing act. It is paramount that our union remain fiscally strong while fulfilling its mission and meeting the expectations of all our members. During this semester, the WVMFT EBoard worked to set our 20-21 budget to ensure we have both healthy reserves and adequate resources to provide full service representation for all faculty. This effort involved consulting with the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), researching the dues and practices of other nearby faculty unions, and projecting our needs in the coming year. After much healthy debate, the WVMFT EBoard voted to temporarily reduce the union dues from 1.2% to 1.0% for the 20-21 academic year. The Steward Council adopted next year's budget with the temporary dues reduction.
We thank all faculty who weighed in on this very important issue.
Plans for Fall 2020
2020-21 will be another challenging year for us. Not only will we be dealing with the unknowns of COVID and a new normal, but we will also be negotiating our contract again. Your involvement in the coming year will be more important than ever. Over the summer, the WVMFT EBoard will be reaching out to all members to get input using a few short surveys. Your input allows the EBoard and the negotiating team to know your priorities. Please keep a look out for union messages.
Our collective strength is realized when we to stand together, speak up for what is right, and demand that the colleges prioritize our students. We are better together!