Welcome to 2012’s first e-Communiqué, the twice-monthly email update from the Peralta Federation of Teachers. We’ll preview tonight’s board of trustees meeting, set for seven at 333. E. Eighth St., but first a few back-to-school reminders:
*PFT and the district agreed that all fire code class size limits would be respected and enforced. In rooms with only one door, the class size maximum is 45. Rooms with two doors should have specific numbers posted in the room. If more students are enrolled than the maximum number allowed by fire code, please contact your campus PFT rep.
The base load for faculty in the rehire pool should be kept up to date by deans and provided to department chairs. It’s crucial, particularly with so few classes to go around, that scheduling of assignments conforms to the PFT contract.
PFT has advised the district of its concerns—legal, ethical, and safety-related—over the installation of classroom surveillance cameras and automatic door locks. PFT will update faculty on its discussions with the chancellor’s office on these issues.
*Despite a lengthy agenda (two dozen pages!), much of the business looks routine at tonight’s BoT meeting. A couple of notes:
The board will hold a special session to discuss putting a parcel-tax measure on the June 5 ballot in the six cities served by the district. The draft language of the measure puts all money raised by the tax—projected at ca. $8 million a year for eight years—toward classes and student support.
Some $114K of general fund money is being requested for three different consultants: $25K for Jim Grivich to continue assisting with board policy revisions; $20K for Srujana Tumu for Moodle support; and $69K for George Kozitza for professional and technical support related to business services at Laney College. In fall 2011, Grivich got $90K from the district for his consulting services, Kozitza $69K.
*After moving forward promisingly in the fall, contract talks with the district took a sharp turn Jan. 17. PFT learned that a district plan to offer three healthcare options, two premium-free, may be scrapped after Kaiser announced an 18% price hike for Peralta. Get details on the talks in the next PFT Negotiations Update, set to go into mailboxes by the end of the week.
*At the Jan. 21 meeting of the CFT Executive Council in Burbank, PFT’s state-level affiliate endorsed Abel Guillén’s State Assembly campaign, passed PFT’s resolution urging the feds not to cut Perkins vocational grants, and voted to support the March 1 and March 5 days of action in defense of public education. CFT also announced that it would continue the push to get its Millionaires Tax on the Nov. ballot, even though two competing (significantly less progressive) initiatives are likely to appear alongside it.
*PFT thanks Roxanne Epstein, Assistant to the Chancellor/Board Clerk, for pointing out that technical limitations, not human error, made some trustee votes unclear on the district website. PFT will continue to strive to report vote totals accurately.
Keep up with the board online, and follow the union on Twitter @ PFT1603. And like us on Facebook, too!
Matthew M. Goldstein, President
Debby Weintraub, Communications Director