AFT Wage Negotiation Update, 3/15/2022

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Text copied from email sent by David Krull (AFT 1789 Negotiations Chair) on 3/15/2022 to all faculty:

After our last joint negotiation session, one of our faculty members in attendance, shared out these excellent notes from the session.  They were shared on the "faculty conversations" email list, so not all members had an opportunity to see them.

The notes are excellent and instead of the negotiation team sending out a second set, we think it keeps with the spirit of our members observing the sessions live - I want to re-share Chuck McKeever's observations of what happened during the last session.  Thank you, Chuck!

Your AFT Negotiation Team

 

 

Hello faculty,

Yesterday, I attended the salary negotiations session between our union and the district. I'm not on the union e-board or bargaining team, and I'm sure we'll hear a report back from them soon, but I thought it might be useful to summarize what that experience was like as a rank-and-file faculty member, since we're still navigating the process of open salary negotiations.

A few key points from yesterday's session:

61 faculty members attended, either as members of the negotiations team or as observers. That's an incredible start! I hope we can turn out even more folks to observe the next session. This was a strong show of force by our faculty that we believe our wages and working conditions are our business, and we have a right to hear the district's arguments about them. That said...

Jennifer Dixon, from the district team, emphasized several times that the district has not yet agreed to "waive their right" to closed-door negotiation sessions, and would not continue negotiating that point in the presence of faculty who are not on our union's negotiations team. As a result, no actual negotiations between the two sides took place. The district team did agree to stay and listen to our side's presentation.

Our negotiations chair, David Krull, shared a moving account from one of our faculty colleagues who had to leave their home, and the city of Seattle, because they couldn't support a family on a Seattle Colleges salary. David also presented the data supporting an increased investment in faculty salaries, emphasizing to the district team that they control the local funds, and so the extreme disparities between SCD salaries and all other comparable districts are not inevitable, but active choices that the district has made to fund other things at the expense of essential personnel.

David Krull advanced the current salary demand: that the SCD administration work with us to achieve a total of 40% increase in compensation from a combination of local funds and new state funding in the immediate future, including a 15% pay increase from our district’s funds, for all faculty, with an effective date of 7/1/2020. This demand is in addition to any new state funds expected to be approved during the current legislative session, including a 3.25% state-wide pay raise and COLA that are expected to be effective 7/1/2022. The demand also included an additional pay increase of 25% in compensation, from a combination of new state funds and local funds as part of the negotiations of our next CBA set to begin in January 2023.  

Our union's quarterly membership meeting is this Friday, 3/11, from 2:00-4:30 pm. For those who are interested, there will be a breakout session on strike preparations from 2-3, and then the membership meeting itself will start at 3:05. I would encourage all able faculty to attend that meeting so we can hear more from the team about next steps and continue to talk about strategies for putting pressure on the district to meet our very basic demand to be allowed into the room while negotiations occur.

I know I have also found the rank-and-file organized meetings to be a great place for brainstorming and organizing along these lines, and I would also encourage all faculty to attend the next R&F meeting, on Thursday, 3/17 from 3:30-5:00.  

Huge thanks to all the folks who have been leading the fight to let us all into the negotiating room, and to the negotiations team for their hard work. Yesterday was a great display of our solidarity and power as faculty. Let's keep it up!

 

Best,

Chuck McKeever 

he/him

Instructor and Faculty Lead, Learning Center Seattle

Basic & Transitional Studies Division, Seattle Central College