Policy Board Minutes—4 Oct 2017
3:30 p.m.
UC 402/3

PB members: Nola Agha, Rachel Brahinsky, Brandon Brown, Robin Buccheri, Jen Dever, Doreen Ewert, Joe Garity, Malik Henfield, Richard Johnson III, EJ Jung, Dorothy Kidd, Gabe Maxson, Elliot Neaman, Gleb Nikitenko, Mary Jane Niles, Meera Nosek, Julia Orri, Sonja Martin Poole, Christina Purpora, Steve Roddy, Calla Schmidt, Claire Sharifi, Betty Taylor, Brian Weiner 

USFFA-FT members: Annick Wibben, Lilian Dube, Kathleen Coll

Minutes from 13 Sept were unanimously approved online 

  1.        Announcements
  2. New Faculty Dinner: Neaman reminded members of the New Faculty Dinner, which will be held Saturday, October 28th. Evite invitations have been sent to new faculty, policy board representatives, and former USFFA-FT presidents and vice presidents. (An announcement will go out to all USFFA-FT faculty in order to also capture faculty who arrived at USF within the last few years but have not yet attended the dinner).
  3. A draft of the 2017-2018 USFFA-FT budget was distributed for discussion at a later meeting.
  4. Neaman introduced Christina Purpora, a newly elected representative from the School of Nursing and Health Professions, as well as Zev Kvitky, our CFT (California Federation of Teachers) representative, who will speak later in the meeting.
  1.  Unfinished business—Neaman.
  1. Conflict of Interest Form for Peer Review Committee Members.
  2. Conflict of interest language regarding future recusal by peer review committee members: The language was distributed for discussion, as well as projected on a screen so that modifications / suggestions, could be tracked by the members of the board.

Conflict of Interest Document

We are grateful for your service as an elected member of the Peer Review Committee. You have been entrusted with the responsibility to consider the merits of each application in a fair and impartial manner.

Please consider whether you are aware of any condition that may interfere with your ability to do so. You may choose to recuse yourself from both discussion and voting on a tenure and/or promotion application. Possible conditions under which you may do so include if you:

  1. a) Have or had a family relationship with an applicant;
  2. b) Have or had a sexual and or romantic relationship with an applicant;
  3. c) Have a financial interest in the outcome; and/or
  4. d) Have or had any other experience or situation that may impede your impartiality.

Recusal is an entirely voluntary act. If you choose to recuse yourself, please notify the chair of your Peer Review Committee of the application for which you wish to do so.

Buccheri began by saying that she went to the faculty in the School of Nursing and Health Professions with this language, and there was support, except that the line regarding collaboration (since removed) should be removed given that faculty, and especially junior faculty, often seek collaborators in research and teaching from among their USF colleagues. And in the SONHP, there are many courses that are co-taught. Others voiced the same opinion that collaborations exist and should be encouraged. Agha suggested that it could read “possible but not mandatory conditions…” Garity noted that this is clearly stated in the first paragraph (“recusal is an entirely voluntary act.”) There was a motion to remove “c,” which was seconded. A vote followed with 21 voting to remove “c,” and one abstention. The discussion continued on this matter. Roddy asked about whether a line regarding personal relationships should also be amended or excised. He was concerned that the word “personal” is too broad and suggested that it should be removed. The discussion continued with suggestions that the wording could include something about having a financial stake in the outcome of the review process such that the reviewer would have trouble being objective. 

Ewert said that “both discussion and voting” options should be made clear. Agha said to separate the sentences (choosing…). The last paragraph was edited. Dube asked if there were only three conditions that should lead to recusal. Why only these three? Purpora suggested a fourth catch-all, (d). Garity suggested “any other factor that may affect your impartiality.” Dever added that bias was the real issue.

We agreed on language for the last line: “any other experience or situation that may impede your impartiality”.

A motion was made and seconded for a question. The motion passed with 16 in favor, none opposed and two abstentions.  Neaman suggested that we hold off on the question of whether the document should be signed or not for a later discussion.                                                               

  1.       CFT Field Representative—Zev Kvitky.

Kvitky explained the purpose of the CFT and his background. He gave a brief overview of CFT and shared a Fact Sheet that is available online (http://cft.org/news-publications/more-publications/fact-sheet-issue-papers.html). Kvitky explained that he is the gateway to CFT resources. The officers in CFT are educators.

Kvitky proceeded to discuss the financial aspects of CFT, stating that salaries are the biggest expense (45%). The second largest expense goes to financial assistance to locals through rebates (21%) and that the CFT also has a large legal fund.

Kvitky then explained the CFT calendar. There are several annual conferences—AFL-CIO, Collective Bargaining; Civil, Human and Women’s Rights to name a few. There is also training that is paid by dues money. Kvitky added that there is training on how to handle grievances.

Kvitky explained what he does for locals. For example, he provides consultation with bargaining, and helping locals with strategic planning. The CFT has resources to help with research as well. He said that training is one of the most important parts of his job—he often helps locals with ways to improve communication. 

Questions began. Poole asked about training resources. Jung asked when we need to be trained for bargaining. Kvitky said one year prior. He added that they engage in mock negotiations at times to prepare for the real negotiations. Johnson III asked to clarify the lines between the CFT and AFT.  Kvitky said that AFT sets national policy. Our CFT office does not have a lot of interaction with the AFT national office. The CFT is larger than most state federations. Joshua Pechthalt is the president of CFT.

Taylor asked about training—for PB development. Kvitky said that there were strategic planning retreats for the leaders of the given local—especially in June and August. Kidd asked about the Supreme Court decision on mandatory union dues. Kvitky said private unions are not affected directly but we should remain on alert. Kidd asked about training on dealing with adjuncts and term faculty. She said that this would be great to have—and asked what have other locals done? Kidd added that we could use training on equity. 

Sharifi asked how can we can get more involved in labor in SF in general. Kvitky said that we could attend rallies, for instance, planned in San Francisco, although he does not directly work with the San Francisco local. He said that we are entitled to have a delegate(s) who are seated on the San Francisco Labor Council (voting). Garity reported that they have meetings on Monday nights and noted that it takes commitment to attend on Monday nights. 

Taylor said her experience with AFT was in New York. Negotiators often used guilt to pressure faculty. Kvitky said that that is a commonly-used tactic but that in his view what is needed to establish equal respect on both sides. In his opinion, we as a union can be effective without being confrontational—we just have to find the high road.

Johnson III asked for clarification on what Kvitky does. Kvitky responds that he handles grievances, political races, and membership drives. He also does trainings on contract negotiations as well as other topics. Johnson III asked if CFT has a statement on diversity and inclusion. Kvitky said that the website has some resources—they are writing a comprehensive document. Henfield asked about training for new administrators at the departmental level. Kvitky said that he had not been asked to create such a training but it would be very helpful. Kidd was concerned about faculty performing administrative duties for no pay (equity issue). Johnson III was also concerned about no extra compensation for directing a program. 

Nikitenko asked about current AFT lobbying and policy advocacy efforts and priorities. Kvitky said that there are recurring issues such as charter schools, unpaid office hours—they have not lobbied specifically on private higher education issues.

Coll asked how people use CFT best. Kvitky said that there was someone who dissects budgets (district and local). He said that he works with the faculty and bargaining teams. For example, in a recent negotiation he was able to argue for a dedicated amount of money to help offset increases in health care costs. Wibben asked about power outside of bargaining. Kvitky said that our contract serves our interests and that there are issues on which the the contract is silent. He also said that he views the contract as a means to protect us but not as a strait-jacket.  He was optimistic that when problems arose, if there was good faith, solutions are possible. He said it is possible to bargain issues with the administration even between contracts. There are few limits on what needs to be solved.

We thanked Zev for his time. 

  1.       Neaman made some additional announcements.
  2.      It is important to complete the Campus Climate survey.
  3.      We may schedule an additional meeting since we are behind on many agenda items. An additional meeting may be scheduled for November 1. Please reserve the usual time, 3:30-5:00 PM.    

The meeting was adjourned at 16:58.
Submitted by Julia Orri
USFFA Secretary