The full TA's can be found in this PDF document. A cleaner, edited version will be uploaded when it becomes available.
We have finally reached this amazing moment! After three years of negotiations, CCA administration and CCA non-ranked faculty have come to a contract agreement that put raises, procedures, and protections in place for adjuncts and lecturers.
We cannot emphasize strongly enough that these contract gains are a direct result of member-driven efforts. Many thanks to the Contract Action Team and all the adjuncts and lecturers at CCA who organized and stuck out their necks for this contract. We also extend deep thanks to our skilled and dedicated representatives from SEIU, for starting this process, and aiding and fighting on our side for the duration. The gains we won are detailed below.
But this is not automatic!
Look for tables on both campuses with information on the ratification process that will move us forward:
Thursday, March 2 in Oakland: 10am - 5pm
Friday, March 3 in SF: 1- 4pm
Vote next week to support this tremendous victory and make raises and protections a reality! Voting for ratification will take place the week of March 6 - 10. Vote count will be at the end of the day, Friday, March 10 on the Oakland campus, with a celebration nearby afterwards.
As we move into the next stage, we look forward to meeting more of you, expanding our community, and continuing our work together: implementing, sustaining, and protecting our first union contract.
Your Bargaining Team
Raises for all faculty of 17% over three years:
8% on 7/1/17, 4% on 7/1/18, 4% on 7/1/19, 1% on 1/1/20.
Effective 7/1/18 the current Lecturer classification will be eliminated, and all faculty currently classified as Lecturers will be moved up to Senior Lecturer rate of pay with a new title of Adjunct I. This is an additional 15% raise for the lowest paid faculty, who make up 15-20% of the bargaining unit.
Health benefits for Adjuncts and Senior Adjuncts who teach 3 courses in an academic year and have been at the school for three years.
CCA will be responsible for assigning and paying a substitute teacher for faculty who are sick or on jury duty.
Faculty receiving health benefits will maintain benefits while on medical leave.
CCA will not contest claims for unemployment benefits from unranked faculty.
A timeline for course assignment contracts to issue, after which faculty will receive a course cancellation payment of $500 if they are not given a reasonable alternative class that semester.
$1200 per semester for service on college-wide standing committees: Executive Committee (EC), Appointments and Promotions (APT), Curriculum Committee, and Joint Labor Management Committee (JLMC).
Additional pay for courses where the work continues past the end of the semester.
$500 fee for course cancelled within 30 days of semester
All faculty who served on the first contract bargaining team will be paid retroactively for the time they gave to contract negotiations.
Adjuncts will receive one year teaching appointments over 1 year with 3-years teaching of at least two courses per year at CCA, and over 2 years for Senior Adjuncts if they have taught two classes in each of the last three years.
Courses will be offered to equally qualified faculty by seniority. If faculty member loses a course to another unranked faculty member the College has determined is more qualified, the College must provide a reasonable alternative class or the faculty can grieve the College’s decision.
Promotion from Adjunct I to Adjunct and from Adjunct to Senior Adjunct after six semesters of teaching. (Senior Adjuncts must teach 12 semesters at CCA, even if they were hired as Adjuncts.) Everyone eligible may apply for promotion via APT instead of needing to be invited. We achieved a new process where faculty who do not get promoted may continue to teach for another year and then reapply. The contract preserves CCA’s “up or out” system, but gives faculty who are denied promotion recourse to the grievance process.
Contractual protections for academic freedom.
Just cause protections for discipline and termination.
Grievance process with binding third party arbitration for all disputes under the contract.
Other non-economic provisions:
CCA has implemented changes to summer courses for ranked faculty, which will be mirrored for unranked faculty. Unranked faculty will be capped at four course lines including summer courses, except that cap will not apply to those faculty who have taught five lines with the fifth line taught the previous three summers. For everyone, summer teaching will now count towards qualifying for promotions, longer teaching contracts, and health benefits.
Three-year union contract.
Eligibility to apply for faculty development grants and take unpaid development leave.
A Joint-Labor Management Committee, which will be paid time for union faculty reps. The JLMC will be responsible immediately for developing job descriptions, an evaluation process, and a schedule of special compensation for nonteaching service.
New employee orientations led by the union.
Right to use work email for union business.
Union activities and communications will be a respected part of the campus community.
Three years of organizing on campus, from the union election to the first contract, built a community of teaching artists and writers at CCA. Relationships with colleagues that didn’t exist before are now more than collegial; we are a strong adjunct faculty union because of the fight waged to win these significant changes.
The use of creative practices on this campaign has become a model for other art schools and others who are organizing on their campuses.
Alliances among adjunct faculty, students, and alumni have grown into relationships beyond the shared educational mandate. Faculty supported student organizing on and off campus and learned from students, students of color in particular, how to address structural changes in education beyond adjunct working conditions. Undergraduate and graduate students learned the reality of their job prospects as educators and the importance of union organizing for their future economic and academic security, particularly in the face of attacks on education and unions from the new presidential administration.
After two and half years and at least forty bargaining sessions, plus countless numbers of planning sessions, organizing actions, meetings, petitions, letters, emails, and phone calls, the sheer freaking amount of labor that goes into labor, we have a collective bargaining agreement at CCA for adjunct faculty. Stay tuned for more details! In the meantime, thank your Bargaining Team and CAT members!
Dear friends and colleagues,
As an alumni of CCA (or CCAC), you probably remember at least one of your teachers fondly—one you respected, one who supported your learning, one who helped you get through tough times. In December, CCA sent out a request for donations that did not mention the words “teaching,” “learning,” “instruction,” or “education.” It did not mention the importance of the teaching faculty, how crucial it is for students and teachers to work together.
Something is wrong with this picture.
Two years ago, adjuncts and lecturers, the non-ranked instructors who make up 78% of the teaching faculty, voted to join a union and bargain a respectful contract, one that champions job security, fair wages, and benefits. With their eyes anywhere but on faculty—the core of education at the college—the CCA administration has been resistant to settling that contract.
During Alumni Weekend in November, many of us signed pledge cards to withhold donations of money or in-kind services until the college settles a strong union contract. Others of us signed an open letter that circulated across social media and on the Hyperallergic and Chronicle of Higher Education websites (justiceatcca.org). When the adjunct bargaining team returned to negotiations after these public statements, the college made its most significant agreement regarding job security in two years.
There is further to go, but our voices were heard: “We support our former professors and current colleagues to have a union contract at CCA!”
The non-ranked faculty union wants to use this momentum to finish negotiations by the end of February and it is now looking possible.
You can help. The school relies on your reputation, your volunteer work, your news, and your cash donations. Because the school needs you, you have power. Please use that power to say NO to the administration: pledge to WITHOLD support for CCA until the adjuncts and lecturers receive the fair contract they deserve.
Click here to sign an electronic copy of the pledge card.
In unity and creativity,
Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo (BFA, 2015)
Grace Chen (BFA, 2015)
Irina Contreras (MFA, MA, 2015)
Cassie Thornton (MFA, 2012)
After CCA’s lawyer refused to offer a counterproposal on compensation at our October 14th session, the union team decided, in the interest of moving negotiations towards a compromise, to present a new proposal to the administration team at last Friday’s bargaining session.
Our compensation proposal is now similar to the one in the Dominican University contract, where non-ranked faculty compensation rates are increased and indexed to average tenure track faculty compensation. This model is methodical and transparent; recognizes that non-ranked faculty teaching is of the same quality as ranked faculty, and it will expedite contract negotiations in the future, while raising the salaries of all unranked faculty at CCA.
To put things in perspective: total current non-ranked faculty compensation, which covers more than 75% of CCA’s teaching lines, takes up about $5.5 million of the $82 million CCA spends each year, orless than 7% of the school’s budget. Our proposed pay increase is a small fraction of that percentage.
The administration team told us that it would consider our proposal and counter it in the next session. The lawyer’s tone was civil and his response suggested for the first time that negotiation on core issues would start taking place. If this is so, we welcome it, and look forward to making progress.
We also welcomed three non-ranked faculty observers to this session. We believe their presence improved the tone of negotiations, and their observations were eye-opening. If you would like to observe a future negotiation session, contact Jessica Lawless at email@example.com.
Real progress is made when you get involved and show the administration you stand behind the bargaining team. We appreciate very much the thanks many of you have given us, but right now silent support is not enough.
To help us win a strong contract for non-ranked faculty:
• Help distribute our amazing chapbooks over the next 2 weeks.
• Attend (in person or call-in) the next CCA Adjunct Union meeting
• Help make phone calls for upcoming actions
• Help hang posters
• Contribute creative work/ideas for future actions
Contact Jessica Lawless firstname.lastname@example.org for details and to let her know what you can do.
***Next Union meeting: Tuesday October 25th at 7pm, 447 29th Street in Oakland. Call-in option available***
Union Bargaining Update, October 14, 2016
Over the past two bargaining sessions, the administration has presented counterproposals that will move all current lecturers to senior lecturer status and pay grade, and, for the first time ever, grant non-ranked faculty the right to grieve non-promotion.
These are major gains, and they have happened because of the pressure adjuncts and lecturers have put on the administration in recent months. These gains come from the posters that have gone up on the walls, the letters and petitions you signed and circulated, the many faculty who have witnessed our bargaining sessions, the action at the all-faculty meeting, the stories you’ve told, the students you’ve talked to, and the calls you’ve made.
Working together has a tremendous effect. We still have more to do to secure a complete and fair contract, but it can and will be done with your continued help and support! See below for ways you can help right now.
Here is where things stand:
Job security: The administration team has stated repeatedly that it has no intention of making meaningful changes to the current system. This means that in order to reach a contract that provides us with the protections and professional respect we unionized for, members need to step out and give the process visible support. At each of the bay area colleges that now have union contracts, breakthroughs were made when members put their names, faces, and bodies out in front of the effort. We need to do this too, and we can!
Compensation: at Friday’s bargaining session, the administration’s lawyer, Michael Vartain, claimed that our proposal on compensation and benefits was irrationally high but he flatly refused to present a counterproposal. The session ended before schedule when Mr. Vartain decided he did not like our lead negotiator’s requests for more specific guidance, and left the room with his team.
We must point out that total non-ranked faculty compensation, which covers more than 75% of CCA’s teaching lines, takes up less than 5% of the school’s budget.
We have always understood negotiation to be a give and take process; Mr. Vartain’s stance demands that we bargain against ourselves. This does not represent good faith exchange towards an agreement, but we have, in the interest of moving negotiations forward, decided to prepare a new proposal on compensation for the next bargaining session on October 21.
How you can help move negotiations forward and stand up for our rights:
• Help distribute our amazing chapbooks this week and the next 2 weeks.
• Attend (in person or call-in) the next CCA Adjunct Union meeting (Tuesday October 25th at 7pm in Oakland)
• Help make phone calls for upcoming actions
• Help hang posters
• Contribute creative work/ideas for future actions
Contact Jessica Lawless email@example.com for details and to let her know what you can do.
In case you feel you haven’t read enough about contingent faculty struggles and how they are embedded in the broader social justice landscape, we are going to start including readings we have found particularly relevant in our e-blasts. To start, a beautiful piece by New Faculty Majority President/Executive Director, Maria Maisto:
Checking our Privileges are Faculty Organizer Learning Conditions
“It was easy, and therapeutic, to work on the adjunct crisis because there are so few authentic complexities to it, only largely manufactured ones: artificial job scarcity, a manipulation of supply and demand, conscious decisions to automate and scale what should not be automated and cannot be scaled, old-fashioned elitism laced with sexism and racism, and finally, a deliberate undermining of the responsibilities of faculty and the rights of students. In response, the course of action is clear: Organize. Demand compensation that reflects the value of the work of education and respects the people who engage in it. Insist on ethical hiring and evaluation practices. Commit to clearly articulated principles and values, like academic freedom shared governance, due process. Work the inside and the outside, finding policy solutions when possible.”
Thanks to all 18 unranked faculty members who attended the last bargaining session with CCA administration, and to everyone who wore stickers to the faculty meeting and held banners. CCA administration has continually characterized CCA union proposals as “a solution in search of a problem” and suggested that there are “many” unranked faculty who are happy with how things are and don’t need job security or fair compensation. Every time you demonstrate publicly that the bargaining team represents the members’ priorities, the process improves.
The CCA union bargaining team has submitted another comprehensive proposal to the administration that includes all outstanding items. We have mostly resolved all the boilerplate contract provisions, and what remains are the issues of job security and reciprocal commitment to the CCA community, and money. We have been asking the administration bargaining team repeatedly since July to give us a formal response to the opening economic proposals we gave them a year ago. The administration has refused to bargain over economics, but has instead vaguely condemned our proposals as “stratospheric.” They are essentially demanding that we bargain against ourselves.
Members who visited the bargaining session on August 24 witnessed how the administration’s team arrived without a counterproposal and spent almost an hour in a separate room preparing it while the union bargaining team waited. The returned counterproposal on Classifications had just one sentence revised from the administration’s previous response from May.
This is how CCA administration has been “negotiating” since April 2016 on the core issues relating to job security – offering miniscule, essentially cosmetic changes to the status quo. Clearly the administration aims to lock the current system in place. On job security, the administration maintains an absolute right for discretion from the Provost to decide whether to promote unranked faculty, to offer longer-term teaching contracts, or to assign courses. Leaving everything to the whim of the Provost entirely undoes the point of a union. Unranked faculty make up less than 10% of the budget of CCA, so CCA could easily afford significant raises to unranked faculty for the cost of one overpaid administrator.
We informed the administration’s bargaining team starting on August 11 that we did not think it would be productive to keep meeting until everything was on the table. We will be happy to meet with them again when they’re ready to try to reach an agreement.
The Bargaining Team and the CAT
Below is our response to the most recent administration update. We have also sent this to our ranked colleagues.
The update you received from the administration was misleading. We would have appreciated the courtesy of a formal response at the bargaining table before they tried to negotiate in public via communications to the school. Here are our corrections:
Unranked Faculty Salaries: CCA Non-ranked Faculty Union proposes a living wage and has always been open to negotiating the “meaningful raises” that are “due" to us. From the start we have understood that negotiations are a give-and-take compromise, but we have not received ANY counterproposals on this issue, which is the heart of why the process has been “impeded."
Unranked Faculty Benefits: We have proposed health insurance benefits be extended to faculty teaching two courses per academic year. Under the current system, unranked faculty must teach three courses per year on an annual contract. This effectively eliminates most faculty teaching studio courses from ever receiving benefits. Administration has made no counterproposals.
Course Teaching Assignment: Under the current system, faculty who have taught at CCA for years can arbitrarily have their lines cut or assigned to someone else, regardless of their experience, student evaluations, or service to the college. This is devastating to unranked faculty. Without some sort of contractual assurance, nothing we have gained with our contract would matter, because the college would be incentivized to replace higher paid faculty with lower paid new hires.
Classifications and Promotional Opportunities: We believe that classifications and promotions should be clear, objective, measurable, and grievable, and not based on the sole decision of the Provost. Ranked faculty have the right to grieve adverse promotional decisions: we want the same.
The administration is still playing hardball with its unranked faculty. We have yet to see any sort of meaningful compromise, only more of the same shaking of fists.
After two years, with half of our bargaining sessions held through federal mediation, it’s become clear that the kind of contract the administration wants is one that locks the current unfair system into place.
A good union contract will make CCA a better school and a better place to work. Contracts based on our proposals have already been implemented at Mills, St. Mary’s and Dominican College; our contract proposals on job security contain standard aspects of union contracts at California state universities and the UC system as well. Instead of fighting tooth and nail against most of the faculty that teach at CCA, the administration could actually do something creative, groundbreaking and progressive, and resolve these issues as swiftly as possible.
CCA Unranked Faculty Union, SEIU 1021
At the bargaining session on August 24, eighteen CCA adjuncts and lecturers took time away to join the five bargaining team members at the office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. We filled the space, and the feeling of collegiality was strong. It was wonderful having so many of us together.
The administration team and CCA’s lawyer entered the room for a few minutes and formally welcomed the group. Despite the welcome, the administration team would not negotiate in the presence of visiting members, faculty who have been teaching at CCA from 3 - 22 years. Whereas typically proposals are exchanged and discussed directly across the bargaining table, the administration instead delivered a counterproposal from a neighboring room via the federal mediator, rather than face all of us. The administration's recent update on SEIU bargaining follows on the heels of this action. We clearly understand the situation differently and will soon send a response to the update.
As for the August 24th session: the administration's counterproposal on "Classifications and Promotional Opportunities” essentially leaves CCA’s unfair and arbitrary current system in place. It offers no response to our union’s repeated concerns and numerous, reasonable counterproposals regarding job (in)security. CCA continues to steadfastly refuse any form of reciprocal commitment to 78% of its faculty.
Almost all the boilerplate contract language has been resolved, but after two years and 35+ bargaining sessions (the last 17 with federal mediation), the administration team has failed to respond to our proposals on the core issues of course assignments, teaching contracts, benefits, and compensation.
We can get a strong union contract – other schools in the area have done it, using language and ideas CCA’s bargaining team developed - but only if members stand up for it NOW. We need to build on the momentum and energy of the most recent action to ensure we ratify our contract by the end of this semester. If you believe in quality education for students and a stable working environment for the majority of faculty at CCA, join us in upcoming meetings, bargaining sessions, and actions!
To find out about upcoming actions and how to attend a bargaining meeting, come to our next general membership meeting:
Date: Tuesday August 30th
Location: 447 29th Street, Oakland
Please enter through front door
There is a call-in option. Contact Jessica Lawless for more information
As always, feel free to contact members of the CCA Non-ranked Faculty Union Bargaining and Contract Action Teams with questions, ideas, concerns.
The Bargaining Team and the Contract Action Team
We want to share with you a powerful letter, below, that Adjunct Professor Frances Richard (Fine Arts, Painting and Drawing, Visual and Critical Studies) has sent to Stephen Beal, Tammy Rae Carland, and members of the Administration's bargaining team. We hope it inspires you as much as it does us!
As you have probably gathered from our recent emails, this is a critical time in the bargaining process. We can't emphasize too much how important your involvement is right now. Three colleges in our area - Mills College, Dominican University, and Saint Mary's College - have been bargaining along with us these past two years, and have recently signed contracts - some of the best in the nation! We take heart from their achievements but also know these schools got their contracts because members participated in strong pressuring actions in the final stages of negotiations.
We have been holding strategy meetings, and tomorrow, Friday June 3, will be calling you sometime between 5pm and 7pm to answer any questions you may have, and to also ask in what ways you are willing and able to get involved. There are many options – from sending a brief e-mail to attending a public action, all of which are being planned.
If you would like to talk but won't be available tomorrow, please feel free to let us know a good time for one of us to contact you.
The Non-ranked Faculty Bargaining Team
The Contract Action Team
Dear President Beal, Provost Carland, and members of the Administration Negotiating Team,
I have been an adjunct for all my teaching life. For years, this was a professional choice, as it allowed me time and flexibility to pursue the other, equally important aspects of my practice--writing and publishing poetry and criticism, and editing magazines. I've written three books and co-authored, contributed to, and edited many more; I've written for the Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, Independent Curators International, Creative Time, The New Yorker, BOMB, Aperture, and many others. I've won prizes, grants, and fellowships--I write from a residency right now--and I've been part of the editorial team at two artist-run publications, Fence and Cabinet. I have a piece in a national magazine (The Nation) going out this week. And I've taught across the spectrum of institutions, from the Ivy League to art schools (RISD and Parsons in addition to CCA) to the Bard Prison Initiative.
I know perfectly well that my adjunct colleagues at CCA and at each of the other schools I've named could write similar lists. Every long-term adjunct I've ever met has a wildly impressive, expansive, and rigorous record of engagement in her field. Often she--my generalized adjunct colleague--excels in several fields at once.
It's only in the last few years that I have felt the sharp edge of the adjuncting system cutting into my livelihood, and into my sense of the integrity of university education in the US. I used to take pleasure in assuring students that they could become artists, work as freelancers, and thrive: I'd done it, and so had most of my friends. You are artists yourselves, so doubtless you can understand how important it has been to be able to tell students, with absolute honesty, that the path of the creative intellectual and imaginative craftsperson remains open to them in contemporary culture, regardless of their economic and family backgrounds, despite the pressures of a capitalist-realist system whose internal logic reduces every public effort to market value.
I don't like encouraging students to be bold and risky in their work, when they are burdened with debt and their teachers scrounge to make ends meet.
It's painful to write the same email again and again--perhaps you know the one--telling a student and/or a colleague--one after the other--that I understand why this or that deadline or meeting-time has to be shifted because they've suddenly found they are being evicted.
It's disheartening to explain to my students why I simply cannot afford to offer them another free studio visit, editorial session, letter of reference, reading list, extra-curricular-project mentorship, or what-should-I-do-with-my-life conversation. And it's unnerving to offer that uncompensated time again anyway, as if I could absorb into my own livelihood-energy-thought the discrepancy, the shortfall, that the devaluation of labor in the university system generates; as if I could absorb that systemic asymmetry into my own work so that students can be buffered from it, sheltered in the illusion that their education is an expansive resource generously offered.
It's shocking when a brilliant colleague tells me--as one did a few weeks ago--that she is leaving teaching altogether, because the financial pressures of the adjuncting system are destabilizing her family.
I do, of course, love hearing from students that their education has been invaluable, that my class and the classes taught by my colleagues have changed their lives.
But it's upsetting to know that while students too often pay more than they can afford for this experience, CCA (like so many other schools) pays adjuncts less than a living wage, with no job security, and only limited and capriciously implemented procedures toward advancement.
I hate telling students who want to teach that this is what they can expect in future.
It's impossible not to see that the dearth of faculty of color--and of students of color--and of adequate support systems for students of color--at CCA (as at so many other art schools) is directly related to the precarity of the profession for contingent faculty.
I am happy to work for an institution whose mission statement centers social justice, innovation, and "making art that matters."
But it's demoralizing to understand that these commitments to social justice, innovation, serious cultural and political contribution, collegial respect, and pedagogical wholism do not currently ensure equitable labor relations for the adjunct and lecturer faculty.
I wish I didn't feel anxiety and trepidation about speaking like this, to the leaders of my institution, about practices and tendencies that extend far beyond our institution, that affect all of us who teach and care about teaching and learning.
And I don't like hearing that CCA's lawyer told the CCA Adjunct Action bargaining team "fuck you" not once but four times in a recent meeting. It's startling to have it reported that he told women in the room to stop talking. It's bewildering that he instructed members of the Administration negotiating team not to examine the ratified union contracts from St. Mary's, Mills, and Dominican University.
I support my union bargaining team and urge the College administration to negotiate in good faith, in a timely fashion, with respect. These are, after all, the collaborative ethics that we all strive to instill in our students as makers of culture.
With best regards, in the spirit of collegiality,
Dear Non-ranked and Ranked Colleagues,
We have continued to work diligently to get a contract at CCA and have made some progress, but yesterday, the lawyer for the College, Michael Vartain, told our team leader, not once, but four times to “Go F*** Yourself.” Then he and his team stormed out. What kind of collegiality is this?
While discussing CCA's proposal on job security and the current “up or out” policy, we had been asking questions. He refused to answer these questions, and repeatedly told the women in the room to stop talking, including Leslie Roberts on his own team. Copies of ratified union contracts from Mills, Dominican University, and St. Mary’s College were provided to the Administration’s team as examples of acceptable contracts. Vartain told the Administration team not to touch them.
The Administration told us that they wanted to settle the contract by the end of May, but they refuse to make any counterproposals on any economic issues like pay and benefits. How will we make progress with an administration that retains such a volatile lawyer? The Administration representatives condone his behavior; yesterday, not one of them spoke out against it.
The CCA we love is better than this.
If you believe CCA can do better, please send letters to President Stephen Beal and Provost Tammy Rae Carland. Ranked members of Writing/Literature have collectively written to support a fair contract for Non-ranked faculty. We appreciate their support. It means a lot to us that they have taken the lead.
Express your concern. Support the adjuncts and lecturers of the Non-ranked Faculty Union. Contact Hugh Behm-Steinberg (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any member of the Bargaining Team to get involved.
The Non-ranked Faculty Bargaining Team
The Contract Action Team
Dear Ranked Faculty Colleagues:
We are writing to ask for your support as we slowly approach the last stages of bargaining over the unranked faculty contract. Administration has told us not to talk to you, but you are our colleagues and we believe that working together is important.
We have been negotiating with the Administration since January 2015. Much of the contract has been tentatively agreed to, however, our core issues still remain unresolved: course assignments, job classifications, compensation, and benefits.
The two sides continue to see the issue of job security very differently. The administration’s side wants to maintain more or less the status quo of how unranked faculty have always been treated at CCA: semester-to-semester contracts for most adjuncts and lecturers, no long-term commitments, “up or out” employment regardless of performance, no predictability in courseloads. Everything would remain at the whim of the provost.
The college asks us to be dedicated to our students, our teaching, our programs, and the school itself, but insists upon an employment model that leaves most of the people who teach at CCA constantly searching for employment elsewhere, wondering if they will lose their jobs every four to six months. This is an employment model that is explicitly designed to encourage high turnover and low commitment to teaching itself.
We formed a union to change a system that treats us poorly. We are not temps. We are not disposable. In fact, adjuncts recently have settled contracts at Mills College, St Mary’s College, and Dominican University, in the same region with the same union, that addressed the very same concerns we have here at CCA. Why should working conditions be worse at CCA, a school with social justice in its mission statement?
Unranked faculty should have one- to three-year appointments that provide us with a measure of job security. Unranked faculty deserve better compensation that reflects professional respect and, more importantly, a living wage. Administration has not made any counterproposals on any financial issues.
Until Administration is ready to address our clearly defined core priority, we will not be able to reach agreement. Thus far, they have refused.
If Administration hears that ranked faculty stand with us on the core issues of job security and improved fair compensation, they might be more motivated to rethink CCA’s treatment of its unranked faculty. Many of you have spoken to us privately in support of our union, which we appreciate, but the people who need to hear from you right now are Steve Beal and Tammy Rae Carland. Letters, meetings, phone calls, or emails to them would truly help. The school’s current policy is unfair and untenable. Please let them know you support job security for adjuncts and lecturers at CCA.
Thank you for your support.
The Non-ranked Faculty Bargaining Team
The Contract Action Team
Last week we brought our fight into the open! And, the media took notice! From April 29-May 1 we organized public actions around the Open Engagement conference at the Oakland Museum of Art. These peaked on April 30 in a lively, joyous street party at the front entrance of the Oakland Museum, complete with picket signs, chants, stickers, informational leaflets, and union songs crooned by graduating senior Grace Chen on her ukulele.
Responses were great – KPFA News covered the event and interviewed bargaining team member Hugh Behm-Steinberg for their evening report. Many people at the conference stopped to talk with us, and also accessorized with our stickers as they went inside. The museum pointedly closed its front entrance once the action started, but our messages were literally taken into the conference on the lapels of supportive participants.
Most importantly, we highlighted the discrepancy in CCA’s sponsorship of a public event on power and social justice, while at the same time fighting its adjunct faculty union on living wages and job security.
Report on campus meetings with Faculty, April 26 (Oakland), April 27 (SF)
As many of you know, we organized two meetings with ranked faculty in response to questions we were receiving about the contract negotiations. We were very glad to meet with both ranked and unranked faculty (including program chairs and deans) from CCA’s various programs. The discussions were frank and collegial about the impact of the union contract. Among some of the topics covered were governance, diversity, hiring logistics, and retention challenges. Most importantly, the meetings highlighted the shared commitment of ranked and unranked faculty to CCA’s educational mission and its students. We see these meetings as an encouraging start.
Bargaining continues. We are currently working on proposals concerning job classifications, teaching contracts and appointments. We have not received counter-proposals on salaries, benefits, or other financial matters. As soon as we do negotiations can move much faster.
There is much work to do, but we are committed to negotiating a contract that will improve the working life of unranked faculty at CCA.
Your Bargaining Team
And Your Contract Action Team
Negotiations are finally moving into substantive issues listed in the previous update, and as expected the conversations are getting tougher.
We expect to TA on Grievance Procedures at the next meeting on April 22. This article outlines a systematic and transparent process for conducting faculty, union, and college grievances when any party has reason to believe the terms of the Agreement have been violated.
On April 15 the administration presented a multi-article counterproposal addressing for the first time Job Descriptions, Classifications, Appointments, and Evaluations. Unfortunately, this counterproposal essentially reiterated the status quo, and did not address the core goals of unranked faculty which the union bargaining team has laid out on numerous occasions: in the proposal submitted to the administration in August 2015 and in extensive conversations held at the administration’s request, most recently at the bargaining session on April 8. We told the administration’s team that we would counter on several minor items in their proposal but otherwise could not present a comprehensive counterproposal until they make a good faith effort to respond to the core goals. These are as follows:
• 1-3 year teaching contracts
• Predictable course loads
• A transparent course assignment process defined in written guidelines
• Job continuity
• Promotional opportunities tied to seniority and job performance
• Performance reviews that are developmental and not punitive
• Adverse administrative actions and failure to meet the above terms are subject to the grievance procedure
These goals have been accomplished and formalized in adjunct faculty contracts recently achieved at Mills College (http://www.seiu1021.org/2016/03/21/mills-adjunct-professors-win-first-ever-contract-includes-best-in-the-nation-job-protections/) and Dominican University (http://www.seiu1021.org/2016/04/15/historic-first-contract-for-dominican-university-adjunct-faculty/). We see no reason for CCA to exclude itself from the momentum building in favor of dignity for adjunct labor and to remain on the wrong side of social justice.
Please stay tuned for more updates and calls for support. Your involvement has consistently made a difference in the negotiations – without your letters and participation in various actions, we would not be where we are today!
To read previous updates please see other posts on this forum.
In solidarity and thanks,
Your Bargaining Team:
Hugh Behm-Steinberg (Senior Adjunct Professor, MFA Writing and Writing & Literature)
Alisa Golden (Senior Adjunct Professor, Printmaking)
Rob Hugel (Senior Adjunct Professor, Graphic Design)
David Skolnick (Senior Lecturer, Writing & Literature)
Noga Wizansky (Senior Lecturer, Visual Studies)
At the bargaining session on March 21, the administration presented four new counterproposals, and a rewritten counterproposal on Discharge and Discipline. By the end of the session, three Tentative Agreements were signed:
The two remaining counterproposals on union access to campus and grievance procedures contain many thorny issues. The two sides agreed to let the access proposal rest while other issues are negotiated. The administration counterproposal on grievance procedures was long and dense. The CCA union bargaining team was glad to receive a formal response from the administration to one of the core issues in the contract, but needed more time to analyze and respond to it. We will be formulating a response to this proposal in the period leading up to the next bargaining session on April 8.
Since the last update on Feb. 22, Tentative Agreements have been signed on:
On February 19 the union bargaining team told the administration’s team that it could not sign their proposal on Management Rights until substantive issues such as compensation, job security, evaluation, and grievance procedures had been negotiated. The administration agreed to defer the proposal until these issues are addressed. On March 3, the two teams also discussed an administration counterproposal on Discharge and Discipline and the current student evaluation process. The administration committed to rewrite language the union found problematic on the Discharge and Discipline counterproposal, and indicated that the CCA union’s critique of the student evaluation process would help it formulate a counterproposal on instructor performance evaluation.
At the bargaining session on Feb. 5 the administration declared for the first time that it wished to arrive at a contract by May. The union team responded with enthusiasm, but also stated its concern that this goal cannot be realized unless the administration starts presenting counterproposals that specifically address the core concerns of union members listed above. These issues will likely take time to settle, and the union does not want to be pressured into signing unsatisfactory agreements at the last minute. The administration has indicated that it is working on such counterproposals and plans to bring some to the next bargaining session on March 21. We intend to maintain pressure on the administration to bargain on the core issues, and will continue to keep you updated. As negotiations move towards these challenging topics, member support is going to be crucial. Please keep reading the updates and stay ready for future calls to rally in support of the process. Wide member pressure was hugely important in getting the administration to begin negotiating again in December, and may be necessary as we move into the final, most challenging stages. The stronger our collective stands behind the cause, the better the final contract will be! You ARE its backbone!
For a summary of the contract proposal (tentative agreements are highlighted) click here.
Bargaining and negotiation is in progress, and progress is indeed being made. To date, of 27 line items under negotiation, tentative agreements have been signed off for 11 of those items. You can see the line items here (PDF).
The next bargaining sessions with Administration are March 4th, March 21st. These sessions are being held at the Federal Mediation and Conciliatory Services in Oakland. Our team is:
Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Writing and Literture, MFA Writing
Carol Manahan, Critical Studies
Alisa Golden, Printmaking
David Skolnick, Writing and Literature, ESL
Rob Hugel, Graphic Design
Noga Wizansky, Visual and Critical Studies
Besides the Bargaining Team, there are several non-ranked faculty active in supporting the formation of our union. This is the Contract Action Team. They have organized the information tables you see on both campuses, the print-in event with SFAI faculty and students, and the rally at the end of the end of last semester. The Contract Action Team has also drafted the petitions and letters circulated and sent to administration. These folks are:
Anita Amirrezvani, Writing and Literature, Grad MFA
Eduardo Pineda, Diversity Studies
Elin Christopherson, Glass
Ines Lejarraga, Architecture
Lauren Elder, Diversity Studies
Lauren Wooley, Individualized Studies
Michael Stevens, Visual Studies
Paula Levine, Writing and Literature
Steve Dickison, Writing and Literature
If you are interested in being involed with the Contract Action Team, please let me know. You can also contact our SEIU organizer, Jessica Lawless: email@example.com
Welcome to Spring semester 2016. At the bargaining session last Friday, January 15th, the administration presented three new counterproposals on a Policy Against Workplace Violence, Employment Vacancies Not Covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and Faculty Development Grants and Development Leave. A tentative agreement on A Policy Against Workplace Violence was signed, and the union bargaining team is preparing responses to the two other counterproposals. These will be submitted at the start of the next bargaining session, on Thursday, January 21. We are encouraged by the productiveness of the last two meetings and for our part intend to maintain a steady pace of work towards the final contract. We also want to remind you about the upcoming membership meeting:
Friday, January 29, 12-1:30pm
Martinez 5 (above the print studio).
This will be a great opportunity to hear more about the negotiations, ask questions of the bargaining team, share your ideas, and connect with your fellow union members. The meeting will be held We look forward to seeing you there!
Finally, we should all take heart at the excellent news from Northeastern University. After 16 months of negotiations and a potential walkout, a settlement has just been reached with the administration that makes significant improvements in adjunct faculty pay and job security. Read about it here. Closer to home, Mills College is approaching the signing of a contract with its adjunct union. The movement is spreading, and we are a part of it!
Your Bargaining Team
NATIONAL ADJUNCT WALKOUT DAY #NAWD #BayNAWD
Wednesday February 25th! Tomorrow!
Wednesday February 25th is day of action across the country and here at CCA!
Wear your Adjuncts Unite button!
Stop by the tables outside of A2 on both campuses to get a button, information on contingent faculty organizing, updates on the CCA Non-Ranked Faculty Union, and make a wish for creating the best CCA possible, and print a patch!
Or don’t just stop by the table, help staff the tables before or between your classes!
For more information see these links https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/01/27/national-adjunct-walkout-day-approaches-attracting-both-enthusiasm-and-questions
Bargaining Meeting 1/28/15
BT: Rob Hugel (R), Carol Manahan (C), Hugh Behm-Steinberg (H), Pamina Traylor (P), David Skolnick (D)
SEIU: Celeste Peterson (CP), Jessica Lawless (J)
CCA: Tom Haakenson (T), Sherry Kauppi (S), Mike Vartain (M), Bill Teeling (B)
At this bargaining meeting, the CCA non-ranked faculty union and the CCA administration continued talks on how to define the bargaining unit. The administration argued that any faculty who have a practice outside of teaching that they derive most of their income from and do not self-identify and/or are not identified by the administration as being primarily teachers be excluded from the bargaining unit. Their argument is that the prospect of paying union dues might deter professionals who want to give back to the community from teaching classes at CCA. They also argued that they do not share a community of interest with adjuncts who rely primarily on their earnings from teaching, that they are not really “teachers.” We disagreed, saying that even if professionals were teaching as a means of giving back to the community and not for the money, that the small percentage of union dues would be unlikely to deter them from teaching and would be more than offset by their earnings.
Also, the administration argued that those faculty who taught for any period of time that was interrupted for a semester or more would no longer be covered by the contract until they had taught for an entire year again. The administration based this on the NLRB definition of who was eligible to vote in the election, which the union pointed out was a different situation from who would be covered by the contract. The union team asked for a list of faculty that the administration would deem ineligible to be covered by the contract due to not being considered primarily teachers, and the administration agreed to attempt to produce such a list from three departments by our next bargaining meeting.
We also discussed the administration proposal forbidding all personal relationships between faculty and agreed to research the topic further for the next bargaining meeting. The union team was also not prepared to agree to a no-strike/no lock-out clause until we had done more research about other faculty contracts. We came to tentative agreements on who was allowed to attend bargaining sessions and how much prior notice to each other for approval, though we have yet to agree on the necessity of approval, as well as the creation of a labor/management committee that would meet a to be determined number of times per month. The administration agreed to a non-discrimination clause for those who participate in union activities as well as for those who choose not to.
The next General Membership meeting is this Tuesday, February 3, 3:30-5 in Oakland, Martinez 5.
Please do make the meeting if you can. The bargaining team needs your input to obtain the best contract.
Also, can you please contact one or two of your Adjunct Colleagues and let them know about the meeting Tuesday?
Summary of Meeting between CCA non-ranked Faculty Bargaining Team (BT) and CCA Administration Bargaining Committee (administration) 1/7/15
BT: Rob Hugel, Carol Manahan, Hugh Behm-Steinberg, Pamina Traylor, David Skolnick
SEIU: Celeste Peterson
Administration: Tom Haakenson, Sherry Kauppi, Mike Vartain, Bill Teeling
The meeting began with the administration team handing out their agenda for the meeting. It was agreed that both teams had authority to make tentative agreements, and that neither side would invite the media to bargaining sessions.
The majority of the meeting was taken up by administration presenting their statement of intent and goals for the negotiations as well as presenting its proposals. There was some disagreement over who is included in the bargaining unit and there will be ongoing discussions.
While both the administration and the non-ranked faculty bargaining team expressed a desire to conclude negotiations as quickly as possible, BT expressed our opinion that a good contract was more important than a speedily negotiated contract.
BT handed the administration our initial proposals, which included our general statement of intent, definitions of the parties involved and terms used, union security/checkoff and rights, non-discrimination clause, labor management committee, and health and safety.
Both parties will examine each other’s proposals over the next week, and at our next bargaining meeting on Wednesday 1/14/15, we will continue to discuss and attempt to come to agreements on the issues raised in today’s meeting.