Dear Peralta Community,
Welcome to the PFT’s final e-Communiqué of the spring term. We’ll put out special monthly news roundups over the summer, and return to twice-a-month publication of both the e-Communiqué and PCCD Board Watch in the fall. PFT wishes faculty lots of hot fun in the summertime!
*The PCCD Board of Trustees meets at seven tonight at 333 E. Eighth St. Key agenda items include a public hearing on the 19.5 FTEs’ worth of Classified layoffs, a worrisome move to make the General Council “an integral part of the Chancellor’s organizational structure,” and an effort to hire hourly employees (a confusing turn in the midst of layoffs).
*PFT has so far contributed—through retirements, part-time layoffs, and contractual givebacks—more than $2.5 million this year to help dig the district out of its financial hole. BCC chipped in a pair of dean positions, but the district administration, even as it prepares pink slips for SEIU, has otherwise done shamefully little. Read the full case for managers at last doing their part at https://pft1603.org/.
*PFT’s Political Action Committee (PFT PAC) unanimously endorsed Abel Guillén in his bid for a second term on the PCCD Board of Trustees. Guillén has consistently supported faculty interests and worked hard to bring integrity to the board. PFT looks forward to working with Guillén for the next four years, and beyond.
*With the district staring into a $10 million-plus abyss, an effort is underway to use general fund money to hire directors for the Peralta Foundation. Supporters apparently see foundation management as a higher priority than the jobs of staff and part-time teachers. PFT feels strongly that, whatever the Peralta Foundation’s merits, hiring administrators for an extracurricular fundraising organization while the district goes on with layoffs, drastic class cuts, and a massive deficit is deeply irresponsible. And the district-wide Planning and Budget Integration Committee agrees: PBIC passed a resolution against using general fund monies for foundation work at its May 21 meeting.
*During the last week of instruction, only six faculty members were able to participate in a phone conference with Michael Viera, head of the consulting firm hired to lead the chancellor search. No students participated. The consultants and the board plan to continue their work over the summer, leading PFT to question the board’s commitment to student and faculty participation. Are emails sent during vacation really an effective way to ensure meaningful student and faculty involvement?
*Part-time faculty voted to authorize PFT to negotiate a 1.1% salary deduction for State Disability Insurance. If granted by the district, the deductions—which only affect part-timers’ checks—would cover disability insurance and paid family leave.
*PFT reminds faculty that no punitive action can be taken against anyone who neglects to complete the benefits audit, fails to wear a photo ID badge, or doesn’t attend a district safety training session. District administrators can carry on about mandatory faculty participation, but it’s unenforceable without first negotiating terms with PFT.
*In a May 12 meeting at Laney, PFT leaders, students, administrators, and community members discussed the implications of a district move to limit First Amendment rights at the colleges. PFT has put the district on notice that restricting speech is a clear threat to academic freedom and an insult to democratic values. District council appears to be modifying a draft PCCD policy on so-called free-speech zones in response to some of the more glaring concerns about its constitutionality.
*Laney part-timer Janell Hampton will replace Sara Connors as the PFT’s labor representative. Hampton, who also serves as PFT diversity chair and PFT PAC secretary, takes over June 1. Drop the newest PFT staffer a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call her at the office at 510.763.8820.
Debby Weintraub, President
PFT, AFT Local 1603
For more about PFT—contract information, contacts, downloadable forms, updates, etc.—visit pft1603.org or write PFT1603info@gmail.com.