“The Guild Election is Over.  Now’s the Time to Unify”

Hi All,

Now that the election is over, we must unite as a union. These will be challenging as the state faces a budget crisis. We must be “united” in our commitment to our union members’ success. Failure could mean class cuts, which means job loss and possible layoffs. The stakes are high, but together, we can ensure the District is prudent in its future decisions regarding the budget and not cut its biggest revenue maker…classes. Only together can we display the strength and unity needed to be successful. This is what you elected us for, not to protect our positions, not win internal political disputes, but to represent and protect our membership. I know that this is the goal of most of your elected leadership. When I got elected the first time, I extended my hand to the other side. Once again, I am reaching out to those who didn’t vote for me; I hope you reach back to work together to secure our member’s futures.

Today, I want to clear up any misconceptions on my or the union’s part regarding the recent vote of no confidence passed by the Academic Senate. Although the issues addressed do not fall directly under the 10+1, AFT 1521 has respected and supported the Senate in meeting its demands of the trustees. They are faculty, and many are union members, and this was the right thing to do.

As I explained to the Senate on the day of the vote, their decision will be considered by our Executive Board when deciding whether to support the Board candidates in the upcoming election. However, it’s important to note that their decision can not be the sole factor. Our union’s responsibility is to safeguard all our members’ wages, benefits, and working conditions. Given the uncertain state budget, we may face challenging economic times ahead.  We must ensure the District doesn’t implement drastic cuts to our campuses in the coming years, as this could significantly impact our members’ futures. We will need a supportive Board to accomplish this goal.

We recognize that this Board has made mistakes, but it has been the most progressive Board we have ever had. This is why the EBoard asked for a scorecard to be done and presented to them before they take a vote, to ensure that they factor in all the information before making a decision that could fundamentally affect our futures. Major considerations must be included in the EBoard’s decision, such as support of our contract, adjunct healthcare, Health Benefits at no additional cost, course reductions, and shared governance, to mention a few issues. The Board has been very supportive on many of these issues.

Last, we have to consider whether we can unseat the incumbent. Any campaign to unseat an incumbent wouldn’t start until late June or July, giving the candidate little time to raise money and support. This would be much later than previous campaigns. Our EBoard will consider these things in the upcoming week.

We have won in the past by backing a board that is mostly responsive to our members. Working together, we will win again.

In Unity,

A. James Mckeever PhD

AFT 1521 Faculty Guild President