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Letter to Senate Education Committee ~ AB-950 (Chau)


The Honorable Carol Liu
Chair, Senate Education Committee
The State Capitol, Room 5097
Sacramento, CA 95814

SUBJECT: AB 950 (Chau)
POSITION:

California Part-time Faculty Association (CPFA): WATCH

Dear Senator Liu:

It is a fundamental fact that allowing already fully committed and fully funded tenure track faculty to take on additional teaching commitments makes no sense pedagogically. Students will not benefit from full time faculty teaching "overload" classes, because as the very term implies, "overload" is precisely that, "over" or "more than," or in "in excess of" a normal, customary and FULL teaching load.

Customary "overload" as would be authorized by AB 950 is NOT permitted, condoned or encouraged in any of the other sectors of public higher education - UC, CSU, or K12, except under very specific circumstances, and is not considered a routine or regular part of a faculty member’s duties and responsibilities. So why should Community College faculty be allowed to teach more than a full instructional load under "normal" circumstances?

Student success is predicated on having good teachers working within a supportive and collegial educational environment. Routinely allowing full time faculty to teach more than a full time load does not serve the needs of students well. There is no need for such over-load assignments since part time faculty are available and are in need of these assignments to survive. They are in constant jeopardy since limiting them to 67% of a basic full time load is tantamount to underutilizing highly skilled teaching resources in order to perpetuate the current two-tiered teaching system in the community colleges. Full time faculty overloads will reduce the number of classes available to part time faculty, further underutilizing their skills while stretching full timers far beyond pedagogical excellence.

We have several suggestions which need to be considered with regard to making AB 950 a viable and vital or dead piece of legislation:

  1. Ed. Code needs to be modified to PROHIBIT full time faculty from being able to teach more than 100% of load, except in an emergency, as is the case at UC, CSU, and in K-12 as well.
    PO Box 1836 Sacramento, California 95812
  2. All districts will limit their faculty from teaching overload. The new full time teaching load should be set at 100% and ALL locally bargained "overload" percentages need to be sunset to end within 3 years. No new "overload" teaching shall be allowed beyond that time, thus bringing the California Community Colleges into line with all the other segments in public higher education.
  3. The artificial Ed. Code cap on part time faculty load will be removed as a part of AB 950. Part time faculty shall be allowed to teach up to 100% of a full time faculty load. This will level the playing field and give ALL students the best possible teachers all the time. This removal of the 67% cap for part timers shall coincide with the commencement of full time faculty teaching at 100% of load, and would work for AB 950. After all, if CFT can propose a higher teaching load, then part timers should be able to benefit from this kind of new ceiling as well. One without the other will not work, and we can begin to shift the argument to include the tens of thousands of part-time instructors in this state.
  4. If AB 950 is not modified to reduce full time faculty "overload," then AB 950 should include the following provision: That Part Time Faculty will be allowed to teach 67% of that newly mandated 150% of full time faculty load, with the same time frame for implementation for both groups of faculty.

Final Thoughts:
In principle, AB 950, as currently written, is bad policy and would guarantee a VERY POOR outcome for students throughout the system, and would ONLY benefit full time tenure track faculty, a group of workers who are the highest paid educators in public higher education, not only here in California, but throughout the country as well.

The statewide Chancellor's office is loath to intervene in "locally negotiated" collective bargaining issues, but AB 950 clearly takes locally negotiated teaching load and compensation out of the hands of local bargaining, and as such, should be opposed at the state and community college system-wide level as well. This particular Ed. Code manipulation is yet one more example of how furthering economic gain for one group of players (full time teachers) is being pushed forward to the detriment of students, part time faculty and of our goal of academic excellence in the community colleges.

CONCLUSIONS:

BOTH CPFA and UPTE would SUPPORT AB 950 if any of the above provisions, 1-4, are implemented.

Sincerely,

John Martin, Chair CPFA; VP Chapter, UPTE-CWA
530-591-2292
Robert Yoshioka, CPFA, Legislative Analyst
805-264-1142
Stacey Burks, President Chapter, UPTE-CWA
530-345-3658

 

AB 950 Bill ~ Online
AB 950 Bill ~ Printable copy