History and Purpose of AFT6157R
(Retired Faculty Chapter of the San Jose / Evergreen Community College District)
In 2002, the independent faculty organization joined forces with AFT/CFT and became AFT 6157, representing all full-time and part-time faculty members working in the San Jose / Evergreen Community College District. Officers were elected, and a full-time Executive Director was hired to add continuity and aid in the day-to-day operation of the union. In addition, a part-time Office Manager was hired to assist the Executive Director. The new structure transformed the union into an efficient and effective organization.
Retired faculty, though, were left with no organization to officially look after their needs and protect them from unwanted changes that might threaten their promised benefits. An independent chapter of AFT6157 for retirees was proposed and approved by the then leadership of AFT 6157. By-laws were written and ultimately approved by the parent organization, AFT/CFT. Officers were elected and the new retiree chapter, known simply as AFT6157R, has continued to exist and grow.
In the beginning, there were four major goals of the new chapter. The first goal was to create a substantial treasury to protect retirees from changes in district policy or other unforeseen events that might affect their well-being. Retired faculty members have strong and lasting memories of such changes during their careers; stuff happens, none of which can be predicted. Our treasury has grown over the years, and it is hoped that it will continue to grow, through dues and investments, to protect our membership for years to come. Let it be noted that since AFT6157 (the main district union) was founded, its substantial treasury has been dangerously drained on two different occasions by events that were unpredictable.
The second goal was to provide social activities to help members maintain their long relationships with one another. It was hoped that this would be an important part of the organization, but reality proved otherwise. For each event planned and advertised, the only attendees were the officers and their spouses. The exceptions to the above are the general membership meetings held twice a year. They have proven to be the primary social activity.
The third goal was to provide a medium where any member can invent an activity and receive help in making it happen. The organization belongs to the members, so it can become whatever they desire.
The fourth goal was to provide information about members and the district through newsletters, meetings and website. This last goal is currently undergoing transformation from paper to digital.