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Negotiations Update May 1, 2013

Negotiations update – 05/01/13 – Happy May Day

From Karen Strickland, President, AFTSeattle 1789

Our third session of mediation ended with your AFT Seattle team scratching their collective heads, asking, what is it that the District wants?  At the beginning of negotiations, we heard them say they were committed to student success. Since we are also committed to student success, we thought this might help us make constructive changes to the contract. We have made progress and have tentative agreements on faculty evaluation, selection of unit administrator, evaluation of administrators, sick leave improvements and a few other items, but we continue to see proposals from the Administration that contradict the goal of student success.

These photos of the series of proposals we moved through on Friday may help you get a sense of what we’re working on – the first is the District’s offer, then our counter, then the District’s counter, then our counter, and finally, the District’s last proposal of the day.

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<p>C:\Users\kstric\Pictures\District final 042613.jpg Regardless of whittling our workload equity down to a tiny incremental approach, they rejected it entirely.  In addition, they wouldn’t even consider changing the workload for ABE/ESL faculty at SVI from 25 to 20…it would be too costly, according to the District team, even though their calculation earlier in negotiations indicated it would cost a mere $45,000.

While our own judgment and feedback from you deemed the District’s Advising Program proposal undesirable, we worked with their stated goals to suggest an alternative – paid office hours for full-time faculty in 18 hour+ programs.  What this would mean is, if you were teaching 20 hours, you could opt in to up to 3 hours of paid, posted office hours.  This approach acknowledges inequitable workloads AND provides students with more consistent and predictable access to their teachers.  Their response:  NO!

In addition to befuddlement, we observed a pattern we’ve seen before.  The District puts a proposal on the table and we look at it to find what we can work with.  We put a proposal on the table, and they are inclined to an all-or-nothing response.  Priority Hire is a good example of this; their proposal would have weakened it, providing a lesser guarantee of work and making it easier to lose.  We didn’t like it, but we incorporated a few of their interests into our counter-proposal.  Their response?  They pulled the proposal off the table entirely.  Wait, what?  We thought we were in negotiations!

We are intent on getting a contract that you feel good about voting for.  We have prioritized workload equity throughout this process.  In the absence of meaningful progress on that front,  we have attempted to make improvements for various constituencies.  The table below provides a summary of where we are as of the end of our third session of mediation.  We will meet again on the 10th.  Your calls and emails to the Chancellor, Presidents and Board of Trustees will help us get a contract you feel good about voting for.

SUBJECT

AFT SEATTLE

DISTRICT

COMMENTS

Stipend

$38.00/hr

$35.00/hr

Inflation alone would bring this to $33. Everett is at $40, Shoreline $39.  Is there a reason why Seattle, the “Flagship” District should lag behind?  The District has benefitted from underpaying us since 2003; it’s time to do right.

Online class cap

28

28

 

Promotional increase for part-time faculty

125 faculty/year

125 faculty/year

 

Workload Equity/Advising compromise

Compensation for up to 3 office hours for faculty in 18+ hour loads; 20 hour teaching loads for ABE/ESL at SVI

Nothing

This addresses the District’s interest in students’ increased access to faculty, and is consistent with our interest in addressing workload inequity.

Learning Management System Training

10 hours

Nothing