AFT Part-Time Faculty Federation has become active like never before. President Lynne Glickstein reports that with the support of the CFT, the union got educated and got smart.
Local leaders in Victorville learned how to read and analyze the college budget, not only putting them in a more advantageous position to bargain their contract but leading them to expose some unacceptable administrative practices. This resulted in multiple resignations by top administrators, middle management, and even a board trustee, hopefully clearing the way for more student- and labor-supportive management and trustees.
“As a part-time-only local, it’s not always easy to get a lot of people involved in our work,” Glickstein explains. Part-timers are busy and their responsibilities and commitments are often spread across several worksites, “but we’ve made a lot of progress. We need to work within our unions, and with other organizations to get, for example, the 75:25 ratio [state law requiring that 75 percent of courses be taught by full-time faculty] enforced, which so many colleges, including ours, are not complying with.”
During the last year, the local forged alliances with people in the community “who hadn’t tended to see unions as their friends,” including business leaders, ex-officials, and even a former college president, explains Glickstein. “They began seeing the value of union activity to make our college a better place.”
Glickstein also looks forward to more collaboration between her AFT local and the unions representing full-time faculty and classified staff on campus. “We don’t want to be divided,” she concludes.