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Susanne Elwell (650) 949-7544

Tim Shively (650) 949-7539

Amy Edwards (650) 949-7073

Kathy Perino (650) 949-7074

Bob Stockwell (408) 864-8382

Mary Ellen Goodwin (650) 949-7746

Nicole Gray (650) 949-7075

Foothill College
Karen Erickson (650) 949-7413
De Anza College
Harman Dhaliwal (408) 864-8222

Steve Howland (408) 864-5669

The Faculty Association: A History

Some faculty may not be aware that their good jobs, pay, and working conditions were attained through years and years of dedicated effort by others to prepare the way and maintain these benefits. Below is a brief history of that effort.

Back in the sixties and early seventies at Foothill-De Anza (FHDA), instructors
taught and managers managed and students studied. A typical faculty day could
start with an 8 a.m. class and end with one at 4 p.m. with others in between.
Faculty were expected to be "on duty" throughout the academic day, preferably
in their office. Senates created “negotiation councils” under the provisions of
California’s “meet-and-confer” law, which required the two parties to discuss
working conditions including salary and benefits. But a simple “no” fulfilled a
board’s “meet-and-confer” obligation. And, if meeting and conferring didn’t prove
successful, there were no other options. Trustees could unilaterally adopt or
rescind any action, including salary increases if budget prospects worsened.
When faculty reached 65, they had to retire, despite their wishes or student

Bargaining Begins

In 1976, after the state Legislature authorized collective bargaining in schools
and community colleges, faculty at FHDA immediately formed the Faculty
Association (FA), a non-profit corporation and the exclusive bargaining agent for
District faculty. And the faculty chose independence rather than the established
CTA/NEA. Unlike the weak “meet-and-confer” law of old, the new Public
Employment Relations Act included strong provisions. It consigned
representation to a single group, bound the parties to negotiate employment
agreements “in good faith,” and provided remedies when either side disregarded
the contract. FHDA's first contract, or Agreement, took nine months to negotiate
and was remarkable for its brevity (eight pages) as well as its content. Signed on
November 23, 1977, it included a 5 percent COLA, agency shop (everyone must
pay representation fees), and one full reassigned position for union leadership.
Fortunately, the chancellor at that time believed in professional organizations so
said that, if faculty thought they needed a union, he wanted to negotiate with one
that had the support of the faculty and one whose leaders had the time to take
care of their duties.

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A Model For The State

With the second contract, 1978-80, faculty won binding arbitration of grievances,
re-employment preference for part-time faculty, summer sick leave, extra days
for personal leave, $50,000 for professional retraining, 2.5 reassigned time for
faculty leadership, and a 15 percent COLA, the largest ever (7 percent for 1978;
8 percent for 79). Expanding to over 30 articles, the new Agreement became a
much acclaimed new model for the state.

Empowered by this success, FA proposed more faculty rights and benefits with
its third contract (1980-83), but the state financial situation was in flux:
Proposition 13 had passed, effectively shifting power from local districts to the
state; Proposition 9 threatened to limit state expenditures; and inflation was out
of control, totaling 42 percent just for the years 1974-79, plus an additional 23
percent for 1980-81. Employing positional (industrial/adversarial) bargaining
techniques and worried about wage-price controls, FA put together an omnibus
proposal full of “bargaining chips” that equated to an 80 percent increase in
faculty compensation and benefits. Equally outrageous, the District proposals for
1980-83 included a severe reduction in sabbatical leaves, a reduction in step and
column placement as punishment for certain infractions, a transfer of up to 10
percent of faculty as necessary to meet program needs, and language requiring
faculty to meet office and committee assignments on time and be in the
classroom a “reasonable” time before classes begin.

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Low Point In Talks

Faculty-management relations in 1980-81 plummeted to the lowest point in the
District's history. In June, management impounded 160 faculty paychecks for
failure to turn in mid-term attendance reports. De Anza’s president threatened to
deny funding for the Academic Senate’s Research and Innovation project. The
Trustees rescinded their 6 percent COLA and substituted 3 percent at a time
when the inflation rate had soared to 16 percent. If faculty wanted more salary,
the Board negotiator suggested tying pay to “productivity.” FA filed an unfair labor
practice (ULP) complaint with the Public Employee Relations Board, and the
chief faculty negotiator revealed “secret boxes” where he believed the District
was stashing thousands of dollars. At a Board meeting that fall, several hundred
faculty protested loudly to the chancellor and pleaded with the Board to end the
strife. Frustrated and disgusted, a state-assigned mediator called for fact-finding
then left. To prepare for fact-finding, FA staff worked all through the 1980 winter
recess to compile a 147-page book which described every article in dispute, gave
both FA and the Board’s positions, and argued the merits of FA’s proposal. Factfinding
did not go well for FA. On most issues, the state fact-finder, allegedly an
anti-faculty bureaucrat, found for the District. Agreeing with all of the fact-finder’s
recommendations except his recommendation for an 8 percent increase in salary
(instead of FA’s 18 percent), the Board unilaterally imposed its “last best offer” of
a miniscule 3.5 percent and put the package to faculty vote. Insulted, faculty
predictably rejected the package. There was no alternative except to return to the
negotiation table and start all over.

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Must Be A Better Way

But within FA, serious changes were underway. Positional bargaining—the
Board’s 3.5 percent vs. FA’s 18 percent—was increasingly recognized as a
bankrupt strategy. As faculty support for confrontational bargaining eroded, FA’s
chief negotiator resigned and was replaced by faculty keenly interested in
“mutual gains,” or “interest-based” bargaining strategies. After a series of lowprofile
meetings with the District chancellor and a conciliatory dropping of its ULP
complaint, FA negotiated a contract that included a 5 percent COLA, a re-opener
if the state budget increased more than predicted, and preservation of the
sabbatical program that the Board had wanted to weaken. Perhaps even more
important, the Agreement guaranteed FA a slot on a new District budget planning
and development group (BPDG) that had yet to be formed. After a slow start, it
grew during the 1980s into a collaborative decision-making body that helped
make the District one of the most progressive and successful in the nation. FA,
playing a major role on the panel, participated with enthusiasm and in good faith.
In response to the prior clash between the Board and faculty, the FA News
(9/18/81) concluded: “Regardless of personal feelings, collective bargaining is
here to stay. The greatest danger for the future is inflexibility and extremism
whether it comes from arch conservatives nostalgic for old-time authority or arch
radicals crusading for anarchy.”

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Mutual Gains Bargaining
Since the early 1980s, FA and District negotiators have officially engaged in
mutual gains bargaining; however, the level of success in adherence to this ideal
has varied greatly. Following a financial crisis in 1990-91 centered on cost
overruns in the construction of De Anza’s first parking structure, some top
administrative resigned, a new Board of Trustees was elected, and BPDG was
disbanded. At the negotiation table, FA found itself bargaining with a legal
"expert" who participated mostly by simply stating an emphatic "no." The early
1990s were financially difficult for the state, and the new Board, focusing on fiscal
responsibility, engineered a severe reduction on retiree benefits. In a battle that
took several years, FA fought against a declaration of impasse, offering a wide
variety of alternatives to a complete elimination of retiree benefits for newly hired
faculty. The Board stood firm, bolstered by the support of an anti-union legal firm,
and forced the issue to fact-finding. In that process, FA supplied a copious
amount of data in an attempt to show that fear of a massive future liability was
unfounded, but the fact-finder took the side of the Board, recommending a
“bridge to Medicare” program for faculty hired after July 1, 1997. This was short
of the Board’s desire for full elimination of its responsibility to retiring faculty, but
this two-tiered state of affairs remains particularly offensive to FA. Unfortunately,
this episode set the tone for faculty/District relations up to the present time. While
a massive faculty march on a Board meeting in Spring 1997 forced the
replacement of the anti-union negotiator/lawyer with a District administrator, the
District has continued to rely heavily on legal maneuvers. These are not the days
of 1977 when an enlightened District administration supported a professional
faculty union; rather than seek a mutual gains resolution, the administration is
more inclined to thwart faculty influence and assert its own rights at any
opportunity. In recent years, faculty have been forced to meet District positional
bargaining with two “work to contract” job actions.

Today, it is more important than ever to maintain vigilance through the Faculty
Association. Uncertain state funding, increasing medical benefit costs, and a
campaign to reactivate fear of liability for employee retiree benefits threaten the
quality of working conditions for Foothill-De Anza faculty. With each new trustee
elected to the Board and each new appointed Chancellor, FA is hopeful that the
confrontational tone of faculty/management relations can be replaced with a style
reminiscent of those days when Foothill-De Anza first emerged as a model for
shared District governance.

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Service Outside the District
While it was helping to repair governance bridges at home, FA created a Political
Action Committee (FA-PAC), participated in the formation of the Bay Faculty
Association (BFA), and persuaded hundreds of District faculty to join the statewide
Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC) as another
way to help protect the tradition of open access for the state’s community college
students. In addition, FA co-founded the California Community College
Independents (CCCI), a mutual support network for independent unions.
Involvement at state and regional levels helped FA to grow in stature and to
achieve influence in the political process. Even so, FA is most proud of the work
it has done in the District and always glad to hear from FA members at both
colleges they are grateful that faculty in 1976 had the foresight to opt for
collective bargaining and to encourage the development of a strong, independent
union whose resources have brought to District decision-making a strong,
effective faculty voice.

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