Prez Sez – December 2023

by Paul Fong

It has been an active year for AFT-6157R. I am still a Trustee with the (SBLC) South Bay Labor Council. I have been active with all the elections supported by the SBLC and AFT-6157. I recently testified before the SJECCD Board of Trustees advocating for paid Healthcare for part time instructors that work over 40% time, as well as asking the Board of Trustees to settle the contract.

We are losing a valuable Board Member, Treasurer Ron Levesque. He has kept our Retiree Chapter well-organized with his thoroughness. May Ron have a great retirement in the next chapter of his life. Thank you for your outstanding service to the Retirees.

I attended the CFT State Council meeting here in San Jose recently. I attended the Retirees breakout session. There I learned that the AFT-2121R from San Francisco City College has their dues deducted automatically from their monthly paychecks from CalStrs. We will be looking at the feasibility of deducting the dues from the retirees’ monthly paychecks.

I am still involved with issues at EVC, where I retired over 3 years ago and am still working closely with our Union AFT-6157.

I started teaching a couple of classes at SJSU. The classes are Asian American Studies and History 1& ll. It combines both of my expertise in Political Science and Ethnic Studies. The classes are overflowing because they fulfill the American Institution requirements at SJSU. I am having a great time teaching in my second life after recovering from open heart surgery earlier this year. I am now a (CFA) California Faculty Association member. I totally support our teacher’s union. I have been involved in the Labor Movement for as long as the Asian American movement has been around since the 60’s. Both movements have been part of my life for over 50 years. I plan to support labor unions for the rest of my life. Working families need unions to keep up with inflation, the cost of living, and better working conditions.

We are still working on getting better medical benefits under the RBOA (Retirement Board of Authority) for our retirees employed before 1982. The RBOA governs the retiree health insurance. Retirees Patrick Butler and David Yancey, and AFT 6157 vice president Jessica Breheny are leading this effort for AFT-6157R.

Congratulations to the 4 founding members of the AFT-6157R, Bill Jacobs, Walter Soellner, George Forrester, and Alice Gosak. Their legacy will be recognized in the upcoming membership meeting on Dec.7,2023 at 2-4PM at Walt Soellner’s house.

Have a happy holiday and season’s greetings to all!