President’s Column – December 2021

Kudos to the negotiating team and leadership of AFT 6157, our main union, on your achievements in the recent round of bargaining, especially for securing dedicated funding for associate faculty pay parity, and for stronger SRP (seniority rehire preference) protections. When I was elected to my second term as union president in 2018, I said I wanted to make sure we made that “the year of the associate faculty.” Some unfortunate disharmony on the union board along with COVID and its ramifications delayed progress on this effort. Now in 2021 I am thankful for the current team and President Jessica Breheny and Vice President Steven Mentor for fulfilling my pledge and making this year “the year of the associate faculty!”

In my current role as president of the South Bay Labor Council, I applaud AFT 6157 for securing such hardy contractual gains. Every strong and improved contract serves as a model and sets a higher bar for other unions in the region to secure enhanced working agreements of their own. Together we rise!!

Our own retiree chapter AFT 6157-R has taken up the cause of health care benefits that one group of longtime retirees has enjoyed since 1982. These benefits were agreed to for those who were hired before September 7, 1982. Our union believes that these particular benefits should be reviewed regularly to ensure that members are receiving strong healthcare. Our treasurer Ron Levesque put together a survey and then compiled the responses. This provides very informative feedback regarding Anthem Blue Cross and Kaiser Permanente policies for both the District and the AFT 6157/6157R. Read the results of the survey in this newsletter.

Michelle McKay, Benefits Coordinator in Human Resources, announced at the October membership meeting that she is planning a Zoom meeting for this retiree group. Details should be forthcoming from her.

AFT 6157-R voted at the October membership meeting to make a donation of $500 to Working Partnerships, in support of their holiday party on December 11.

Working Partnerships USA tackles the root causes of inequality and poverty by leading collaborative campaigns for quality jobs, healthy communities, equitable growth and a vibrant democracy. Working Partnerships USA have been doing this Holiday Party for the past 15 years and many working families participate in this event.