Community College Articles

Overview

Community College

News and stories of interest for full-time and part-time faculty teaching in the community colleges. 

Article Part-time faculty Janus Union Fair Share

Part-timers are still sticking with their union

On June 27, the storm clouds were gathering. The Janus v. ASFCME decision had just come down from the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 ruling, overturning 40 years of legal precedent and marking the abrupt end of union fair share, or agency fee, for public employees.

Now non-union members who benefit from the hard work of unions who still represent them at the bargaining table would no longer be required to pay their fair share.

California Teacher
Stephanie Rosenblatt, president of the Cerritos College Faculty Federation, says the new funding formula allows administrators to focus on dollars rather than quality.

New funding formula risks turning colleges into diploma mills

Stephanie Rosenblatt, president of Cerritos College Faculty Federation, and a librarian at the college, has seen what happened to counselors in her district when performance metrics were imposed on them.

Speaking about the school administration officials, Rosenblatt said, “They want to game the system – they don’t care if it’s quality counseling – they just want a bunch of education plans. The education plan is supposed to be the artifact of an important conversation, but they just want to check off these productivity measures,” she said. “Our counselors have master’s degrees and some have PhDs – they went to school for student contact, not to be chained to their desk all day, writing education plans.”

Article

Republicans win – Democrats lose in community college funding proposal

By Jim Mahler, President, Community College Council

It’s taken for granted these days that as far as state budget decisions go, Republican legislators are bystanders, while the Democratic supermajority makes the major fiscal decisions.

However, Republican lawmakers and their constituents have new reason to celebrate, as far as California Community Colleges go, if Gov. Brown gets his way and the proposed new community college funding formula becomes law.

Article Part-time faculty

Support paid office hours for part-time faculty

Send a letter to Gov. Brown asking that more money be put in the State Part-time Office Hours Fund. These letters work. A similar campaign last year helped secure a $5 million increase in the fund, an increase of over 70 percent. That said, the state fund only matches about 10 percent of paid part-time office hours funds, which is why office hours funding is either limited or non-existent in most districts.

Yes, Virginia, adjuncts can get unemployment benefits

Even if you have received a tentative offer of employment for the next semester, you are entitled to apply for unemployment benefits over the break immediately upon completion of your last working day of the semester.

Adjunct instructors are considered at-will employees, because despite the “tentative assignment offer” one may receive, this is not legally considered a “reasonable assurance of employment.”

Article Part-time faculty

Part-timer health benefits: The successes and challenges ahead

Among the many challenges that part-time, or contingent faculty face, health care benefits, or rather, the lack thereof, has been one of the most significant.

According to Bloomberg, healthcare is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States, and in spite of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in March 2010, the number of bankruptcies attributed to healthcare costs tripled in 2017, while the general rate of bankruptcies fell overall.

Convention votes to raise part-time workload cap to 80 percent

At this year’s CFT Convention, delegates passed Resolution 15 calling for the CFT to support changing the workload cap in a community college district to 80 percent of a full-time equivalent load, effectively allowing part-time faculty to teach up to 12 units.

Article Accreditation ACCJC

ACCJC settles out of court after four-year battle

On August 7, 2017, CFT and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), which oversees accreditation of community colleges in California, settled a four-year lawsuit out of court.

Following on the heels of the ACCJC reaccrediting City College of San Francisco (CCSF) for seven years last January, this brings to a close — with a happy ending — the sorry saga of the ACCJC’s illegal attempt to close CCSF, and the fight led by the CFT and AFT Local 2121 to prevent that from happening.

California Teacher Accreditation ACCJC

Faculty grill replacement leader of the ACCJC
Interim commission president listens, pledges some new ways forward

At the end of a CFT Convention Friday night Community College Council meeting that went over the 10 o’clock ending time, Richard Winn said he wanted to continue being a “thinking partner” with the CFT and thanked everyone for their honesty.

He might have preferred a little less honesty. Winn is the interim president of the Accreditation Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, and the assembled members of CFT had plenty to say about the commission’s unfairness, lack of transparency, and meddling in collective bargaining. The CFT has a federal lawsuit against ACCJC and continues to fight for a new accreditor. 

California Teacher Accreditation ACCJC

Fair accreditation: The long arc of our successful campaign
How a rogue agency damaged colleges in Compton and San Francisco

The Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges, a private 19-member panel that oversees community colleges in California and Hawaii, has been much in the news over its threat to pull City College of San Francisco’s accreditation — a battle the union and college recently won with the January 13 news that its accreditation is fully restored for the next seven years.

California Teacher Accreditation ACCJC

Congresswoman Speier leads forum on accreditation
Broad support for San Francisco City College in advance of January decision

Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier convened a panel discussion at City College of San Francisco on November 28, her third on the topic since the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges revoked the accreditation of City College in 2013.

Speier pointed out that the people of San Francisco love their college, having just voted in November for a second parcel tax to support it, and passing Proposition W to make tuition free. She is “hopeful and optimistic” about the college’s future and defeating the ACCJC.