Negotiations Update: January 31, 2012
Work at the negotiations table has been challenging—to say the least. Here are some issues you should be aware of.
During recent negotiations, CCFT opened what we thought would be an initial discussion on a Separation Incentive Plan. However, it turns out that management has been "looking at" proposals for Golden Handshakes since late last semester. We asked for copies of the proposals with the commitment that CCFT would not share the specifics with faculty at this time because they are only proposals. However, management is unwilling to share them with us and has told us that, in their opinion, the offer of a SIP is not subject to bargaining. In fact, we were told that if management wants to offer a SIP they will make the offer directly to faculty, without input from CCFT. This is a far cry from the cooperative spirit and transparency that characterized the formulation of the SIP offered previously.
CCFT’s attorneys have sent management a letter informing the District that early retirement incentive proposals are a mandatory subject of bargaining. We’re disappointed in management’s position not only because SIPs are clearly bargainable, but because CCFT’s input could very likely improve the final product—as it did in the case of the previous SIP.
Members of the Cultural Diversity and Student Equity Committee have worked diligently to create a plan that meets the regulations of Title 5 and the spirit of improving diversity training for those serving on our hiring committees. This plan includes a PowerPoint and a quiz for employees to complete as preparation for work on hiring committees. The members of the CCFT Executive Board strongly support this important work. However, the means by which we as a college come into compliance with this Title 5 requirement is, according to CCFT’s attorneys, subject to bargaining.
Management has proposed changes to the Board Policies regarding Free Speech (see attached). Among the proposed changes is an attempt to regulate faculty free speech. According to CCFT’s attorneys, proposed changes of this kind are clearly subject to mandatory bargaining. Unfortunately, these proposed changes were directed to College Council instead of being discussed first with the union and senate leadership. I was able to persuade College Council to set the matter aside until the union could play its proper and legally mandated role in the process. One of the assertions management made at the bargaining table last week on this issue was that it was simply following the Board Policy development process and the “vetting” of any such document through that process meets any district requirement to a constituent group. We believe that management is conflating the processes of campus committee review and legally mandated negotiations. This conflation is unfortunate, and such a waste of everyone’s time and energy, because CCFT will likely have to take legal action once again to protect our right to bargain on behalf of our members.