By Chris March, SJCC Machine Technology Adjunct Faculty
AFT 6157 has done considerably a lot for me over the last year or so!
In the fall of 2016, I read the contract about the salary placement for my situation (field not requiring a master’s degree; I had a bachelor’s degree with 100+ undergrad unit above it). I asked the Union grievance officer Mark Newton, if I should be moved up one step due to my units on top of the bachelor’s degree. He thought I should and passed it up to Barbara Hanfling (AFT 6157’s Executive Director). Barbara worked diligently, and by the end of the fall, the school’s administration had agreed that it was clear that I had definitely been incorrectly placed at the wrong salary placement upon my hiring and that they would pay me retroactively all the way back to my date of hire.
My division began to do a mass evaluation of adjuncts in October. These faculty members had not been evaluated in a while or never (which in certain cases lead to a positive evaluation for the adjunct faculty member as in my case.). This process was to appease to ACCJC (Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges). According to the contract there are procedures to follow in the evaluation process, which the administration was clearly not following. I publicly called the administration on this violation and started the grievance process.
Do not get me wrong, I have nothing to hide and am all for evaluations. And I will be evaluated during the fall 2017 semester a full two years before I am due for an evaluation under current contract language. But … I wanted to ensure the contract was properly followed.
Again, Barbara came in to help me and worked very quickly to resolve this issue. She was very concerned that the contract was being violated and quickly let the administration know of their violations and that it was unacceptable.
AFT 6157 has done a lot for me recently, and for you too! You just never know what is going on within the District, and the Union may handle a single case for a single member, but it may affect the members as a whole. These cases may go unmentioned to the members. So, just remember that the Union is always watching out for you.
The Union is only as strong as its members. The greatest strength that a Union can have is having its members educated in the contract and actively involved in the Union. So read the contract, join the council of division reps, run for a Union office!