Topic: Organizing

Union Yes graphic!

Faculty at Pasadena ArtCenter College of Design choose AFT/CFT as their union
Talents of design teachers shine during successful union campaign

The nearly 700 part-time and full-time faculty at ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena now comprise CFT’s newest local union in the Federation’s recent surge of organizing victories among private sector universities.

The ArtCenter faculty voted to form a union with AFT/CFT with 60% of those participating in the mail election voting in favor of the union. The National Labor Relations Board counted union recognition ballots June 21 in Los Angeles.

Article part-time faculty PT campaign
conference group shot

Part-time faculty power up for change
PHOTO GALLERY
Conference spotlights CFT equity campaign for contingent faculty

A crowd of more than 100 members strong — some seasoned part-timers with decades of experience, others new adjuncts for which this was their first union event — were engaged as the CFT Part-Time Faculty Conference opened to roars and cheers with its theme of “Equity for Contingent Faculty.” The feeling one had as a part-timer was best summed up by Lin Chan, co-chair of the CFT Part-Time Faculty Committee, “You’re not one person…you’re one of thousands.”

Faculty at Dominican University group shot

Faculty at Dominican University choose AFT/CFT as their union
With resounding 84% vote, faculty elect to have union representation

On April 11, faculty at the Dominican University of California watched excitedly as the National Labor Relations Board in San Francisco conducted a ballot count resulting in a resounding 84% yes vote for union representation with the AFT/CFT.

The new local union — the Dominican University of California Faculty Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 6604 — will represent 103 full-time faculty members at the private liberal arts college in San Rafael. The university was founded in 1890 and offers more than 60 majors, minors, and concentrations.

Article coronavirus
Classified employee members of the Lawndale Federation around a union bannerGilroy members with CFT President Jeff FreitasCFT President  with members at East Los Angeles College

Classified members feel the love during Back-to-School Tour
CFT leaders provide encouragement, support for safe working conditions

CFT’s top officers embarked on a statewide Back-to-School Tour in mid-August as many classified employees and teachers headed back to campus in-person for the first time since the pandemic forced distance learning for California schools and colleges. The road trip included stops from North Bay Counties to San Diego County, in both urban and rural districts.

Article retiree chapters
Kate Disney, president of the West Valley-Mission Federation of TeachersWhen You Retire booklet cover

You can help start an AFT retiree chapter!
Retiree division sets sights on organizing more chapters

For most of her career, Kate Disney taught engineering at Mission College in the Silicon Valley city of Santa Clara. Disney learned the ins and outs of the West Valley-Mission Federation of Teachers contract when she became a union rep in 2017. She was elected president of the local in 2019.

“You learn about different sections of a contract as you go through different phases of your life and career,” she said. “Certain portions are more important at different ages.”

Article pay parity part-time faculty

How Peralta won the first pay parity in CA community colleges
San Mateo Federation campaign makes big strides toward parity

Equal pay for equal work. It’s a simple idea, but one that has remained all but elusive for part-time faculty, so much so that some have decried the quest for it as a Sisyphean effort. However, the recent gains made by the Peralta Federation of Teachers shows that parity is possible.

Now, Peralta pays its adjuncts at the same hourly rate for teaching and office hours as its full-time faculty — a first in the California Community College system.

Now – yes, now – is the time for contingent faculty to organize
If we don’t fight now, we may not get another chance

By Josh Brahinsky and Roxi Power, UC-AFT Santa Cruz

When graduate-student workers at the University of California at Santa Cruz voted overwhelmingly in December to reject their statewide union contract and follow the West Virginia teachers’ model of a wildcat strike, the precarious lives of academic workers became a news story once again.

Adjunct faculty leaders organize, meet challenges of pandemic
The union picture — now and in the months ahead

The ongoing COVID-19 experience for part-time instructors has demonstrated their great collective strength and resiliency, despite limited pay, benefits, job security, and often minimal support.

Several local union leaders — who are part-time faculty — report that beyond the initially hectic and at times frenzied process of transitioning to remote instruction and services, faculty have more or less still been able to teach a semblance of their face-to-face course.

Article part-time faculty AFT

“An Army of Temps” — AFT’s call to action
New AFT report attaches numbers to the human crisis in higher education

Part of the tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic is that for those who were already at risk, it has laid their situation bare. This is a part-timer reality.

“While it may seem like an odd time to be putting out the “Army of Temps: AFT Contingent Faculty Quality of Worklife Survey,” frankly, it’s about as good a time as ever to show the fragility of this workforce.”

Finding “common ground” in higher education
Campus Equity Week conference brings together contingent faculty from all higher ed systems

Members, officers, and activists from higher education unions throughout California came together for a full day during Campus Equity Week to chart a strategy for defending public higher education. They denounced especially the way education institutions, under corporate pressure, increasingly rely on contingent instructors while treating them as outsiders.

Article Classified Conference SPI COPE Prop 15 LGBTQ+

Classified employees look ahead to 2020 political challenges
Top of the list: Qualify Schools and Communities First initiative

Members from classified locals across the state recently met in Glendale to swap organizing tips, celebrate victories, and strengthen political skills.

Participants engaged enthusiastically from Friday, October 18, when Council of Classified Employees President Carl Williams welcomed leaders to his first President’s Collaboration, to that Sunday morning, when Superintendent of Instruction Tony Thurmond rallied the troops for coming electoral fights.

Article part-time faculty AFT Local Action

Freeway Flyers: Local action & quick news
Salary comparison, part-timer conference, celebrity part-timers

Los Angeles adjunct becomes chair of California Democratic Party

Rusty Hicks, known to the larger California public as the newly elected leader of the California Democratic Party, is known to the students of the Los Angeles Community College District and the Los Angeles College Faculty Guild, Local 1521, by another title since 2016 — Adjunct Instructor of Labor Studies.

Article labor art

How unionizing the Lusty Lady has influenced faculty members
Novelist and poet works to organize faculty in creative departments

When Aya de León started as a lecturer in African American Studies at UC Berkeley and director of its Poetry for the People program, she was excited to join AFT Local 1474. She’s been working since she was a teenager, de León says, but this is the first job where she has a union to represent her.

When she was younger, the idea of being in a local seemed very adult to her, and now being a member of one makes her feel she has arrived, she says. That’s just one reason she’s excited to be a union member.

Article lecturers

UC lecturers take bold stand with university in negotiations
Momentum has built activism and organizing success

Eighty UC-AFT members and their allies showed up at the first bargaining session at UC Davis as lecturers began their contract negotiations last spring. The impressive number of rank-and-file members in the room to support the team helped them win open bargaining, says UC-AFT President Mia McIver.

California Teacher CFT Convention

Membership Growth Awards recognize organizing

With the June 2018 Supreme Court 5-4 decision on Janus v. AFSCME ending “fair share” revenues, many locals were prepared to lose members, and organized to stop that.

“Some people will find it attractive to save a few hundred bucks, so we have to develop a new culture of unionism and union activism,” Community College Council President Jim Mahler told the delegates, encouraging them to greet new workers on campus. “We say, ‘Hi, here’s where the copy machine is, here’s the bathroom, and here’s the union card.’ We’ve got to be membership driven.”