Your Voice Matters!

CFT_Count_Me_In_commitment-card CFT_Count_Me_In_commitment-card

The California Federation of Teachers is committed to building power. You faculty union, Coast Federation of Educators (CFE), AFT Local 1911 is assisting with this campaign on Coast District campuses: Golden West, Orange Coast, and Coastline Colleges. If you want to join fellow colleaugues and make your voice heard, please sign our commitment card and send it to the CFE/AFT union office at Orange Coast College. We look forward to building solidarity with you.

On Labor Day, we honor all of our members

A Message From AFT President Randi Weingarten

In honor of Labor Day, AFT President Randi Weingarten has this to say on why unions matter for working families:

“Our union is our members, and on this Labor Day weekend, I couldn’t be prouder of the 1.6 million hardworking nurses, teachers, paraprofessionals, higher education faculty and public employees who work day in and day out to teach our kids, keep our families healthy and improve our communities. They deserve our thanks and our gratitude.

“Even though, as we celebrate this Labor Day, the attacks on labor are unrelenting, it should go without saying that a robust American Labor movement remains essential to our nation’s democracy and economy. Here’s the truth: Unions built the American middle class, and the benefits of being in a union continue to be undeniable. Union workers make an average of 30 percent more than nonunion workers; 92 percent of union workers have job-related health coverage, compared with 68 percent of nonunion workers; and union workers are more likely to have retirement security. And a new report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows that a union contract significantly reduces the wage gap between men and women.

“Our union has been on the forefront of advocating for great neighborhood public schools regardless of wealth or race. We have made incredible strides in turning around struggling schools and advancing our community schools agenda, and in pushing for better practices for safe patient handling and better staffing ratios for health professionals. And we will continue to press for hardworking Americans to have the right to collectively bargain so they can negotiate for the fair wages and benefits they deserve.

“AFT members dedicate themselves every day to improving the lives of those they serve. We are a union that believes in creating a better future for ourselves, our families and our communities, which is why we champion fairness, democracy and economic opportunity. So on this Labor Day, thank you, sisters and brothers, for who you are, for having each other’s back and for having the community’s best interests at heart. We are our union.”

[AFT press release]

– See more at:

University of California Announces Free Tuition – Tell Your Students!

Families with income under $80,000 will now receive a full tuition scholarship.

UC’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan will ensure that you will not have to pay UC’s systemwide tuition and fees out of your own pocket if you are a California resident whose total family income is less than $80,000 a year and you qualify for financial aid — and that’s just for starters.

What’s covered

If you are eligible, your systemwide tuition and fees will be fully covered by scholarship or grant money. The plan combines all sources of scholarship and grant awards you receive (federal, state, UC and private) to go toward covering your tuition and fees.

Students with greater financial need can qualify for even more grant support to help defray other educational expenses (like books, housing, transportation, etc.).

You don’t need to fill out a separate application to qualify for the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan. You will receive the benefits of the Blue and Gold plan automatically if you qualify.

Eligibility requirements

  • Submit a FAFSA or California Dream Act Application and Cal Grant GPA Verification Form by March 2
  • Demonstrate total family income below $80,000 and financial need, as determined for federal need-based aid programs
  • Be in your first four years as a UC undergraduate (first two for transfer students)
  • Meet other campus basic requirements for UC grant aid (for example, be enrolled at least half-time during the academic year, meet campus academic progress standards, not be in default on student loans, etc.)

CFE will be sharing more information about this with faculty in the coming months.
Follow us on twitter: CFE1911

Sen. Warren Charts Bold Path to College Affordability

When it comes to college affordability, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is a longtime champion for low- and middle-income families. On June 10, she reached beyond recent calls for student loan forgiveness and free community college to urge the nation not just toward lower or more manageable debt, but toward an entirely debt-free education. The upcoming reauthorization of the Higher Education Act could be just the opportunity to move in that direction.

“Every kid needs a debt-free option—a strong public university where it’s possible to get a great education without taking on loads of debt,” said Warren. Drawing a line between personal success and a thriving economy, she added, “It’s time to open the doors of opportunity wider and to invest in our future.”

Sen. Warren at college debt eventWarren, who unveiled her proposal at the Shanker Institute and AFT Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education Conversation Series, placed responsibility squarely on colleges, states and the federal government, noting specific actions each could take to ease the debt she says is drowning young people, and drowning the country’s future.

Colleges, she said, must have more “skin in the game.” Currently, when students default on their loans, it is taxpayers who make up the difference, not colleges. Warren suggests:

  • Making colleges more accountable for cutting costs and boosting graduation rates—provided the accountability measures are responsible and effective, rather than arbitrary and punitive.
  • Ensuring that colleges spend financial aid dollars on educating students, rather than on high administrative salaries and elaborate marketing.
  • Incentivizing colleges to cut costs with shared savings programs that would help students graduate in less time—four years instead of six—and save money on Pell Grants and other financial aid.

Warren slammed states for cutting funds to higher education, noting that in Arizona, spending per student is down by almost 50 percent, while tuition at four-year public colleges has risen by 80 percent. She called for:

  • A halt to state cuts in higher education. “This is simple math,” she said. “As states cut back their support, tuition goes up and families have to pick up the bill.”
  • Refinancing student loans. Warren said that student loan rates are typically higher than the borrowing costs to the states, so states could afford to provide refinancing for both public and private student loans. North Dakota is a good example: The state recently refinanced more than $125 million in loans, for 3,000 borrowers.

The federal government must step up as well, said Warren. In particular, “the federal government should not profit from student loans—period,” she said. “The debate over the right interest rates should be between whether the program should break even or be subsidized—not over how big the profits should be.”

She also recommended that the federal government:

  • Leverage federal dollars to support state incentives that would increase public funding of higher education.
  • Fix the Pell program so that more grant money is available year-round, and so that the funding is mandatory, rather than subject to budget fights each year.
  • Simplify the application process for federal aid—a process that keeps many students from applying for financial aid, and from attending college at all.
  • Enforce existing laws protecting students from unreasonable debt, and provide transparency in the Department of Education. “Show that there is a real cop on the beat,” she said, rather than a government that protects schools when they violate financial aid regulations.

Student debt panelists“The time has come to be bold,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said. “Sen. Warren’s proposals share wide bipartisan support in Congress. The question remains: Does Congress have the political will to find common ground and change the landscape for the future of higher education in our country?”

Without these sorts of changes, said Warren, “this country is in trouble.” Young people are unable to afford college just as 59 percent of American jobs require a postsecondary education. “Degrees push us forward,” said Warren. “Debt holds us back.” Last year, student loan debt jumped another $100 billion—with low- and middle-income families hit hardest.

“Our economy cannot flourish if we do not have enough college-educated workers,” said Warren. “It’s time to dramatically reform higher education.”

Warren’s presentation was followed by a rich panel discussion exploring other possibilities for easing student debt.

Among the many ideas presented: Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and part of the intellectual momentum behind President Obama’s free community college policy, suggested a “first degree free” approach, and the possibility of four-year colleges granting associate degrees to students who have earned sufficient credits but have not yet completed a four-year program. She called for more simplicity and transparency in a system that has become “a bureaucratic nightmare,” and suggested that tinkering is no longer a sufficient fix—we need a “fresh start.”

Beth Huang, with the Student Labor Action Project, advocated for more collaborative organizing and solidarity among students, faculty and workers. And Zakiya Smith, a strategy director at the Lumina Foundation, recalled the original intent of student loan programs, designed to give a meaningful helping hand, not to saddle students with debt for life. “We’ve created something that people are afraid of, that chases them down in retirement and garnishes their Social Security,” she said. “Somehow we messed up.”

[Virginia Myers, AFT press release]

– See more at:

Not just money: Study shows adjuncts want respect

Adjunct faculty lack many things: office space, opportunities for professional development, influence over course content and fair pay. But what rises to the top of this litany of deficits is respect, according to a new study published by the Journal of Higher Education.

Combining survey results with psychological research on the nature of job satisfaction, researchers concluded that when part-time faculty get no respect on the job, the added insult of what otherwise might be less consequential deprivations heighten their sense of dissatisfaction.

Some needs are categorized as “higher order,” according to the report, “Supporting the Academic Majority: Policies and Practices Related to Part-Time Faculty’s Job Satisfaction.” Among those are satisfying relationships with administrators and colleagues—relationships that convey respect, inclusion and a sense of being valued for contributions—and opportunities for professional development and growth. These satisfy the desire for self-esteem, growth and self-actualization.

When these needs go unmet, “lower order” needs no longer feel inconsequential; they feel essential, and the lack of attention to them feels unjust. Such needs may include access to office space and computers, and to clerical and administrative support. Other areas of concern include job security and contract length, participation in campus governance, the ability to teach other subjects, and even access to parking.

The study uses data from the Higher Education Research Institute 2010-11 Faculty Survey and incorporates underemployment theory as well as existence, relatedness and growth (ERG) theory. And it teases out the important difference between job satisfaction among part-time faculty who would prefer to be working full time, and part-time faculty who prefer an abbreviated schedule: Those in the latter group are much more satisfied than those who would rather have a full-time job—and the full-time paycheck and job security that goes with it.

After analyzing the data, the report suggests improvements that could raise job satisfaction among part-time faculty. Among them:

  • Improve campus climate by including part-time faculty in departmental and institutional decision-making such as textbook and curriculum selection.
  • Recognize good teaching by inviting part-time faculty to apply for teaching awards.
  • Give part-time faculty access to professional growth opportunities.
  • Provide on-campus office space.

With an increasing percentage of faculty working part time—49.3 percent of all college faculty in 2009, according to the National Center for Education Statistics—such changes are particularly important. Without them, faculty cannot serve students as effectively as they might, and turnover will continue to plague college classrooms, disrupting the mission of public higher education: to provide a high-quality experience to students.

[Virginia Myers]

– See more at:


For Immediate Release                                

Media Contact:  Jacque Francisco (714) 432-5037



2 ½ Year Pay Disagreement Between Management and Union Resolved

Costa Mesa, Calif. (May 25, 2015) – As part of a recent agreement between The Coast Federation of Educators (CFE) faculty union and the Coast Community College District (CCCD), more than

$1 million will be paid back to Coast faculty who taught non-lecture (lab) assignments from Spring 2013 through Spring 2015.  In January 2013, the Coast District unilaterally lowered compensation for all lab faculty at its three colleges without negotiating with CFE.  As a result of this action, approximately 173 full time faculty had lost more than $1 million from their paychecks.

CFE had previously filed a formal complaint with the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) regarding this unilateral pay cut and the hearing was scheduled for the first week of June.  This settlement resolves that complaint.

“We are very pleased with this historic settlement. In the future, these gains will be felt by all full and part-time lab faculty throughout the district, as the settlement also includes ongoing increased compensation for our lab faculty starting this summer,” said Gregg Carr, CFE President.  “On behalf of CFE, I’d like to thank the CCCD faculty for their steadfast support during this long fight.”

Due to an antiquated higher education faculty compensation model unique to community colleges, faculty who teach in laboratory settings such as in chemistry labs and hospitals have to work more hours in order to earn the same pay as their lecture faculty colleagues.  This is known in colleges as load factoring.  For decades, the consistent position of CFE has been, and remains, the elimination of load factoring for non-lecture assignments.  Up to this point, contract negotiations to reduce load factoring had been unsuccessful, but now lab faculty will begin to be compensated more equitably to lecture faculty.


About The Coast Federation of Educators:

Founded in 1968, The Coast Federation of Educators is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, and the California Federation of Teachers and is the exclusive representative of all full-time and 50-67% part-time faculty at Coastline, Golden West, and Orange Coast Colleges, and negotiates the compensation and working conditions of its faculty members.  CFE is proud to uplift the status of all faculty. To learn more about CFE, please visit



News from AFT Higher Education


AFT Higher Education
PRO Students Act cracks down on predatory profiteers 
Reporter magazine

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) launched the Protections and Regulations for Our Students (PRO Students) Act at a press event April 30. The act is designed to protect students from the predatory, deceptive and fraudulent practices of some for-profit colleges. These colleges typically promise excellence in education but often fail to prepare students like Michael Adorno-Miranda, who left a Corinthian College with a useless degree, no job and thousands of dollars in student debt. Standing beside Adorno-Miranda at the press event, AFT President Randi Weingarten joined the bill’s co-sponsors, Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), to insist such practices must stop. “We are a country that tells students that college is really important, but then allows predatory institutions like Corinthian Colleges to stick them with crippling debt, worthless degrees and no prospects for the future,” said Weingarten.
Watch video highlights

Pushing forward to fight rising student debt

April marked three years since U.S. student debt hit $1 trillion. Now $1.3 trillion and climbing—by thousands of dollars per second—unpaid student loans are a burden for more than 40 million American families. The AFT has joined a broad coalition of organizations to demand that elected officials take action and address college affordability. “Students shouldn’t face a double whammy of skyrocketing higher education costs and high interest rates that will lock them into debt even longer,” says AFT President Randi Weingarten. “We need to ensure that young people and their families aren’t crushed by unfairly high interest rates on their student debt.” 

Take action on the issue


Nigerian girls who escaped kidnappers visit the AFT
One year after the horrific kidnapping of 300 girls in Chibok, Nigeria, the AFT hosted two young teenagers who managed to escape from their Boko Haram kidnappers. Speaking April 16 to a group of AFT staff, the two brave girls thanked everyone who has supported the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign. AFT President Randi Weingarten spoke on behalf of the AFT in offering a warm welcome and promising that the two girls, Pat and Saa, will always have the union’s support. She said the AFT was honored to host the girls and saluted their bravery and courage. The girls spoke of their hopes and dreams for the future and their gratitude for having the opportunity to complete their education in the United States.

Take action on the Amnesty International website

Pearson profits while students pay

Pearson not only monopolizes the textbook industry, it is the go-to company for online learning at many public institutions of higher education. The corporation has so much power that one education expert calls it a “shadow Department of Education,” with huge influence over curriculum as well as delivery. It’s even “spying” on students as they move through online learning and test-taking. And since Pearson is a for-profit endeavor, education may be losing out in more ways than one.

No Fast Track’ rally draws a large, diverse crowd

Reporter magazineProgressive leaders in the U.S. Senate and House addressed more than 1,200 unionists at the Capitol on April 15 to urge lawmakers to put the brakes on fast-track trade legislation that puts jobs and the environment at risk. “There is a war being waged against working families, and we have to fight back,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told the large, rowdy crowd, which included many congressional leaders and a large AFT contingent. The event kicked off labor visits to congressional offices to voice opposition to the trade proposal. Other speakers included AFT Secretary-Treasurer Lorretta Johnson. “This bill would call for open season on American jobs,” she said. 

Read more about the rally
Read the AFT’s statement opposing fast-track legislation
Tell your senators to oppose fast track

AFT strives to preserve its commitment to working families as Supreme Court considers ‘fair share’  

In this time of constant attacks on working families, a union member could understandably be excused for feeling battle-weary. But an upcoming United States Supreme Court case deserves special attention: In Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a group of educators backed by a right-wing pressure group is asking the court to decide whether public sector unions may continue to charge nonmembers a fee equal to the cost of representing them to their employer. We call this fee “fair share,” and the AFT supports it as the fair way to ensure union voice in decisions at every level of public service. If the court rules against us, then our efforts to support working families and reclaim the promise of public services will become harder. But if we are prepared, we will be more effective than ever.


A Letter from Randi Weingarten

AFT Logo




Dear Coast Federation of Educators, AFT Local 1911,

As president of one of the leading public sector unions in this country, I see firsthand and hear stories every day about workers who make a difference in their communities and in people’s lives—healing the sick, unlocking a child’s mind or improving a family’s life. That is who our members are: all 1.6 million.

Yet, too often, these workers face a barrage of scurrilous attacks denigrating them and the work they do—from sources that simply wish to eliminate these essential public services and silence those who do the work.

That’s why Teacher Appreciation Week, National Nurses Week and Public Service Recognition Week—all being celebrated this week in May—are more than simply a Hallmark card moment. These events offer an opportunity. They offer a moment we can join together to talk about the teachers, nurses and other public service workers who have changed our lives in small and big ways. Today, we can say thank you.

The more stories we tell, the louder our chorus will become—until we have created a deafening roar about everyday local heroes who deserve not just our appreciation, but also need us to listen to them. This is what stops those who try to turn everyday local heroes into scapegoats for the larger problems—such as poverty in our schools or understaffing in our hospitals or austerity measures—because our opponents would rather denigrate others than roll up their sleeves and solve problems.

Everyday local heroes like Mr. Swift, my English teacher and drama director at Clarkstown High School North in New City, N.Y., who taught me to both manage a stage and to speak in class—lessons that help me to this day. Everyday local heroes like Jill Cohenour, a chemist from Montana who keeps the drinking water safe for her neighbors. Everyday local heroes like Christina Enriquez, a public health nurse in Washington, who provides support services to expecting and new moms.

In cities and towns across our nation, there are millions of everyday heroes just like them. And the more we tell their stories, the more we remind everyone that these are the people who are doing the work, each and every day, to build a better future for all of us. This week is our chance to say “thank you” to these teachers, nurses and public employees who make a difference every day in the lives of kids, families and communities.

As we celebrate these workers, we also need to amplify their voices. We need to give them the tools, resources and support they need to do their jobs. When we listen to the people who wake up every morning and walk into the classroom, hospital or public agency to expand opportunities, save lives or provide vital services, we come to a better understanding of what we need to do to reclaim the promise of America. We know that supporting these individuals means supporting the people they serve—our children, our families, our communities. That’s the way to really show our gratitude.

Throughout this week, and beyond, I hope you will join me, together with parents, students and communities, in lifting up teachers, nurses and public employees both in person and online. So, #thankateacher, #thankanurse and support a public employee by sharing how #governmentworks for you.

In unity,
Randi Weingarten
AFT President

Students & Educators Rally Behind Community College Reforms

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Contact: Robert Fulton (CFT), cell (858) 342-4532
Anthony Matthews (Ting), tel. (916) 319-2019

Accreditation legislation would help 112 schools, 2 million students

SACRAMENTO – Students and teachers from across California rallied at the State Capitol to urge the State Assembly Committee on Higher Education to pass legislation authored by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) to reform the accreditation process affecting California’s 112 community colleges serving 2.1 million students.

“Students deserve better,” said Shanell Williams, Student Trustee on City College of San Francisco’s Board of Trustees. “Accreditation should be about protecting our needs while going to college to get ahead. When accreditation decisions are made in secret, our voices are silenced and our futures are put at risk. City College faced closure from decisions made in secret. No one should have that power without having to justify it in the open when the education of over seventy thousand students is threatened.”

Inspired by systematic abuses of power from our accreditor – the San Rafael-based Accreditation Commission on Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) – both reform bills impose new standards for accountability in accreditation.

“California’s community colleges need to have an accreditation process that is fair, objective and transparent. City College of San Francisco’s accreditation saga has been extreme but not unique,” said Tim Killikelly, President of AFT Local 2121, which represents faculty at the college. “ACCJC has created a statewide culture of fear. Without these simple and reasonable reforms there is nothing to prevent colleges across the state from suffering the same fate as CCSF.”

“Different rules should not exist for different schools. Yet, this is common practice,” said Joanne Waddell, President of AFT Local 1521, which represents teachers in the Los Angeles Community College District. “Community Colleges throughout California have been unfairly caught up in this arbitrary system, which is cause for concern. The nine Los Angeles Community College campuses and the District will be visited by ACCJC teams next year. By reforming the accreditation process, these bills will help ensure California community colleges, including those in the LACCD, are subject to a credible peer review process and that the outcome is fair and justified.”

In June of 2014, the State Auditor concluded that ACCJC imposes sanctions more often than the other six peer accreditors across the country. Between 2009 and 2013, the ACCJC sanctioned 54.5 percent of colleges while its six peer institutions sanctioned at a combined rate of 12.4 percent. The auditor also found that ACCJC applies sanctions inconsistently.

Based on the audit’s findings and critiques from the U.S. Department of Education and our court system, Ting’s AB 1397 enacts the following accreditation process reforms:

Avoiding Conflicts of Interest – In order to ensure independent analyses of colleges, the bill stipulates that accreditation evaluation teams cannot include anyone affiliated with the accreditation Commission or any person with an affiliation or potential affiliation with the college under review. The latter would also be prohibited from debating or voting on a college’s accreditation.

Establishing a Right to Appeal Sanctions – Currently, the Commission denies due process of law withholding an appeals process for most sanctions, a unique practice among the nation’s accreditors. This bill requires a right of appeal, the accreditor to show why a sanction was issued, the California Community College Board to appoint appeals panels when needed, and the right for colleges to present new information in their appeals.

Ensuring Public Access and Accountability – The accreditor would be required to open its biannual meetings to the public, provide a sufficient amount of time for public comment, to take public comment before making decisions about a college’s accreditation, and to vote on accreditation matters in public sessions. The bill also requires itemized votes and minutes from meetings be recorded and posted online. None of this is current practice.

“Accreditation is a stamp of approval ensuring that students get a quality education. It is too important for our system to be unfair,” said Ting. “Our accreditor applies education standards inconsistently, sanctions schools at a disproportionately high rate, and shuts the public out of its meetings. We need these reforms to refocus accreditation back to the education our students receive through safeguards that ensure fairness, objectivity and transparency.”

The ACCJC is funded in part by annual assessments on colleges in its jurisdiction, which includes all of California. If a college refuses to pay, its accreditation is lost. This sets up a blank check dynamic because the ACCJC sanctions colleges over four times more than peer accreditors, which foments a litigious environment. Ting’s AB 1385 gives community colleges a new tool for accountability – the right to vote on assessments for Commission legal fees. This would function as a referendum on the 5 percent assessment increase last year which may be repeated this year.

“The accreditation process should ensure that the ACCJC is basing their decisions on accurate information,” said Mike Claire, President of the College of San Mateo and prior chair of college accreditation review teams. “Thus, our system of peer-based accreditation should welcome transparency in the decisions regarding the accredited status of our community colleges. Ironically, what we ask of our students in the classroom and of our colleges is neither encouraged nor desired by our accreditor when assessing a college to ensure it meets accreditation standards.”


The California Federation of Teachers represents 120,000 education employees in public and private schools, from Head Start through the University of California. It is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.

AFT Helps Fight Rising Student Debt

April marks three years since U.S. student debt hit $1 trillion. Now $1.3 trillion and climbing—by thousands of dollars per second—unpaid student loans are a burden for more than 40 million American families.

It’s time to turn it around.

That’s why the AFT has joined a broad coalition of organizations, from its sister unions to Student Veterans of America, from the National Young Farmers Coalition to Jobs with Justice and the Center for American Progress, to demand that elected officials take action and address college affordability within the next six months. They are expected to sign a pledge “to act before debt strikes back,” suggesting that if the burden does not ease, students may “strike” and refuse to pay back their loans.

In fact, some Corinthian Colleges students already went on strike, refusing to pay their loans because the college failed to educate them as promised.

“Students shouldn’t face a double whammy of skyrocketing higher education costs and high interest rates that will lock them into debt even longer,” says AFT President Randi Weingarten. “We need to ensure that young people and their families aren’t crushed by unfairly high interest rates on their student debt.”

Latechia Mitchell, a second-grade teacher who is saddled with $60,000 in student loans, couldn’t agree more. She and her husband, who carries an additional $25,000 in student debt, are raising two children and living paycheck to paycheck, unable to save, pay for high-quality child care, or take advantage of summer programs for the children. While she loves her job, Mitchell is not sure she’d have chosen to be a teacher had she understood how deeply she’d be affected by long-term debt.

Sharon Williams is also struggling: An army veteran, widow and mother of two, she enrolled in the University of Phoenix to advance her career and support her family. Despite the for-profit college’s promises, she got less financial aid than was initially promised. The federal employee discount she was to receive never materialized, she had no access to instructors and was unable to transfer credits. “I spent my money on a bogus education,” says Williams, and she is still paying for it.

The pledge against student debt promises to change the situation by:

  • Restoring public funding to higher education, increasing state and federal investment, and passing policies such as free community college to ensure that college is accessible to all;
  • Providing support to borrowers struggling to reduce outstanding debt, with policies such as student loan refinancing and programs that help borrowers meet their obligations without financial hardship; and
  • Stopping Wall Street’s privatization of higher education by holding those who profit off the higher education system—like for-profit colleges and student loan servicers—accountable.

During a week of action April 27-May 1, informational campaigns such as letters to the editor and Twitter feeds with #DebtStrikesBack will work to ensure Americans understand the degree to which student debt threatens our nation. For those most affected—student borrowers—a new Student Borrowers Hotline is launching, and continued guidance toward paying off debt is available at Activists will meet face to face with legislators on Capitol Hill and begin a six-month countdown during which lawmakers can begin to bring down tuition and college debt.

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) is leading the way, launching the PRO Students (Protections and Regulations for Our Students) Act at an April 30 press conference. This comprehensive legislation would protect students from predatory, deceptive and fraudulent practices, particularly in the for-profit college sector.

Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) held a forum April 27, where they listened to Mitchell, Williams and others working to address the student debt crisis. In spite of the enormity of the student debt challenge, “We’re going to keep on pushing,” said Cummings. “If we don’t push, it can only get worse. We want to make sure it gets better.”

– See more at:

CFE & District Negotiations Update Powerpoint

On March 25, 2015, Chief Negotiator and Union Vice President Marilyn Kennedy gave  a presentation on Union and District Negotiations. The Coast Federation of Educators hosted the event at Golden West College, LRC-250. Here you will find the Powerpoint presentation that was shown to faculty. Please click the headline to view the gallery.

CFT Convention 2015

This gallery contains 13 photos.

  CFE delegates attended the 73rd Convention of The California Federation of Teachers in the Manhattan Beach Marriott from March 20th – 22nd. Our team contributed to the highest policy-making body of the Federation. There were many guest speakers, workshops, committee meetings, and a full Legislative Action Program.

Coast CCD Board Appoints Dr. Richard A. Jones Interim Chancellor

Juan Gutierrez
Interim District Director, Public Affairs
(714) 438-4605 or (714) 795-7968

Costa Mesa, Calif. – The Coast Community College District Board of Trustees have appointed Dr. Richard A. Jones Interim Chancellor.  Dr. Jones will replace Dr. Tom K. Harris, who recently completed his six-month term as interim chancellor. Dr. Jones will begin his new role at Coast Colleges District on March 2.

Dr. Jones has more than 50 years of experience in higher education.  Since retiring in 1988, he has held several interim positions throughout California. Most recently, he served as Interim President at Columbia College in Sonora, California. Dr. Jones also has served as the interim President/Superintendent at Barstow Community College District and the interim Superintendent of the Palomar Community College District.

“We are very pleased that Dr. Jones has accepted the Interim Chancellor position,” said Coast Community College District Board President Lorraine Prinsky. “Dr. Jones has broad experience working with all constituencies as well as administrators and Trustees. We are confident his experience and expertise will serve the Coast Colleges District well.”

Dr. Jones has an education doctorate degree (Ed.D.) from UCLA in higher education, management and leadership; a master’s degree from San Jose State University in curriculum and teaching of English; a bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from San Jose State University in English and journalism; and an associate of arts degree (A.A.) from San Bernardino Valley College.

Born in Santa Ana, Dr. Jones is a Southern California native and currently lives in Yucaipa, California. He is married with four children, eight grandchildren, and four great grandchildren. His military experience includes service as an infantry sergeant before college, and, after college, as a Lt. Commander, USCGR.

A nation-wide search for a new chancellor will begin immediately.

The Coast Community College District is headquartered in Costa Mesa and is home to three colleges – Coastline Community College in Fountain Valley, Golden West College in Huntington Beach and Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. Together, the colleges serve nearly 50,000 students each year providing traditional degree and transfer opportunities, career and technical training and community programs.




The Coast Community College District is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Ca. along the Orange County coastline.  The district is comprised of Coastline Community College headquartered in Fountain Valley, Golden West College in Huntington Beach and Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.

Education Department Cuts Ties with Student Debt Agencies

The AFT is praising the U.S. Department of Education’s Feb. 27 announcement that it will sever ties with five student debt collection agencies. The AFT—through work with coalitions and partners like the Higher Ed, Not Debt campaign and Debt-Free Future—has been advocating for this type of action for several years.

“These student debt collection agencies—including Pioneer Credit Recovery, a subsidiary of Navient Corp., the nation’s largest student loan servicer—are known predatory actors whose profit-taking has contributed to the wage stagnation of an entire generation,” AFT President Randi Weingarten says. “Until higher education is free, collection of student debt should not be handled by for-profit firms. It should be brought back into the Department of Education, where it was for many years.

“This is a victory for every student who wants to climb the ladder of opportunity. Let’s face it: Most of us aren’t pole vaulters; we climb this ladder one rung at a time. These student debt collection agencies are pulling the rungs out from under our nation’s students and graduates. We’re glad the Department of Education has finally taken a first step to protect those with student debt.”

[AFT press release]

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Negotiations Update February 2015

Hello CFE Members.  Your negotiation team will be returning to the bargaining table to resume negotiations with the District in February.

Review of the Negotiations Year So Far.

Since leaving Interest-Based Negotiations (IBN) and returning to a traditional proposal-based style, your CFE team and the District team have tentatively agreed on the following changes to the contract:

  1. Global Renumbering (Contract Organization). 10, 2014:  Allows all sections of the contract to be more user friendly, consistently organized, and clearly labelled, making sections easier to refer to, locate, and cite.
  2. Personnel Files, Article VII. Oct. 31, 2014: Ensures, clarifies, and expands rights so that faculty and management can mutually agree to move personnel file material to the contract-approved sealed envelope before the four-year period currently allowed.  After the four-year period faculty can still make a unilateral request to move material to that sealed envelope.
  3. Academic Relations, Article X. Nov. 21, 2014: Added the words “individual” faculty, “selecting,” and “Course Outline of Record” in clarification of textbook selection.  Clarified and simplified language on department chair elections—the election process remains the same, run by the Senate, but confusing language about division senator oversight has been removed¾something that was causing repeated problems at OCC and will not affect or change the processes at GWC or Coastline and all colleges will be consistent.
  4. Unpaid Leaves, Article XVII. Nov. 21, 2014: Per legal advisement of our lawyer, updated the language to match federal law on military personnel leave.
  5. Hours of Service, Article XI. 21, 2014: Allows counselors to provide distance-based online synchronous (real time) counseling services, as appropriate, upon faculty member’s request and administrator’s approval.
  6. Working Conditions, Graduations. Article XII. 5, 2014.  Part-time faculty who are required to attend graduation will be compensated at the non-instructional miscellaneous rate.
  7. Paid Leaves, Article XIV. 5, 2014.  Allows a faculty member to report his/her absence to only one office—not two or more.  Updates service compensation processes/rules for faculty who are on leave for elected, official state union work.

Here is Our Work in Progress.

  1. Professional Security, Article IX: The District proposed removal of contract language which provides strong protections for temporary and categorical faculty members, language that ensures maximum legal “just cause” protections; the District proposed defaulting to the minimum legal Ed. Code protections for those faculty.  The District also proposed changes in the reprimand process.  CFE rejected those changes.
  2. Working Conditions and Duties, Functional Door Locks. XII.  CFE proposed functional door locks for classrooms and offices and active shooter protocol in the safety section of the contract.
  3. Working Conditions and Duties, Updated Offices, and Offices for Part-Timers: Article. XII.  CFE proposed language updating full-time faculty office needs, ensuring secure offices and equipment (no more than four full-time faculty per office).  We also proposed similar changes for part-timers (with more part-time faculty per office space), but the District rejected the part-timers’ portion.  We are working on a counter offer.
  4. Due Process, Article XV: The District proposed to change the student grievance process in the contract by completely removing it and proposing that it default to Board Policies where faculty will have “input.”  More concerning, the District proposed changes that would require CFE faculty members to report incidents of suspected sexual harassment and discrimination, making all CFE faculty mandatory reporters.  Because of the legal concerns and training necessities of this proposal, we are preparing a counter proposal.
  5. Working Conditions, Class Management, Art. XII: The District proposed that faculty be contractually responsible for assessing students’ course objectives, assigning grades and keeping records, dropping students as necessary, suspending students for acute disruption, providing syllabi and course objectives to students 30 days after accepting the assignment and no later than one week prior to the start of priority registration. We are preparing a counter to this proposal.
  6. Evaluations Wrap-Up: CFE and the District also worked on finalizing and consolidating the changes made to the tenure-track faculty evaluations segments of our contract. We are beginning work on the regular faculty evaluations sections of the contract.
  7. Survey: We are creating a new survey for faculty.
  8. Health Benefits and Compensation: We are preparing for negotiations on both health benefits and compensation.



Your Negotiations Team:  Marilyn Kennedy, Chief Negotiator (Orange Coast, English);  Bob Fey (CFE Executive Director); Chris Hamilton (Golden West, Business and Law); Ann Holliday (Coastline, DSPS); Dan Johnson (Coastline, History); Frank Oppedisano (CFT Field Representative); Rob Schneiderman (Orange Coast, Counseling); and Elizabeth Sykes (Golden West, Computing Systems).

Press Release: AFT’s Weingarten: President’s Budget Gives More Families a Pathway to the Middle Class

For Release:

Monday, February 2, 2015


Kate Childs Graham 202/393-6354; cell 202/615-2424

WASHINGTON—Statement from American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the president’s budget for the 2016 fiscal year.

“Government can’t do it all, but it can help level the playing field for working families. That’s what the president’s budget aims to do. By targeting investments in child care and paid sick leave, enabling more students to go to community college and helping battle America’s worn infrastructure, it gives more families a pathway to the middle class.

“Nowhere is this truer than in the president’s focus on children. With half of public school students living in poverty and more than 30 states funding public education at pre-recession levels, the president’s proposed $1 billion increase in Title I funding will be a huge help. It will give all kids equal resources, including the computers, lower class sizes, and nurses and counselors they need, even when their communities can’t afford to give it to them. This was what President Johnson envisioned 50 years ago when he passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as part of his War on Poverty. Today, this investment is more important than ever.

“The investments the president proposes will help the middle class and grow our economy. The taxes he proposes simply ask those who have done very well to help others climb up that same ladder of opportunity. But unless Congress acts to both end sequestration and implement the president’s proposals, it will mean nothing to working families who continue to feel left behind from an economy that increasingly benefits only the wealthy few.”

Follow AFT President Randi Weingarten: is external)

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The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.


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Districts To Recommit To Classifed Workers To Make Schools Work Better: By Joshua Pechthalt

Op-ed in today’s LA Daily News

The women and men who clean classrooms, drive school buses, maintain security on campuses, assist students, greet parents, prepare and serve food in cafeterias, maintain and repair schools and assist teachers in the classroom are the glue that keep our schools and public education working.

Unfortunately, not only do these indispensable education workers fail to get the recognition they deserve, they are also the first group to be laid off during budget cuts and the last to be rehired when school funding picks up. As the state economy continues to rebound and Proposition 30 puts more money into public education, it’s time to restore classified positions and make school environments safe and conducive to learning, teaching and working.

From 2007 to 2012, California’s teacher workforce declined by approximately 11 percent, or 32,000 teachers, and school districts eliminated courses, cut programs and services, and increased class sizes.

During the same time period, at least 50,000 classified employees lost their jobs. Our students and schools were hurt by these layoffs as well, and yet the media said little. But the reduction of classified jobs goes back even further.

As a teacher for more than 20 years at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, I saw a systematic elimination of classified jobs, including custodians, cafeteria workers, gardeners and other jobs that were essential to maintaining a safe, clean, well-run school and providing services to students, parents and teachers.

When I first began teaching in the early 1980s, Mr. Brown, the custodian on my floor, cleaned my classroom nightly, dry mopped the floor and had the room ready for the next day. With each passing year and cuts to custodial care, Mr. Brown and the people who replaced him were given less time to spend per room and despite their hard work, couldn’t maintain the room as they had in the past. When a custodian was ill and unable to go to work, there was no replacement worker. That meant the already overworked custodial staff had additional work, making it even more difficult to keep the rooms and school site clean.

Over the years, cafeteria workers have also seen the elimination of jobs and a de-skilling of their profession. Those of us who attended public schools in the 1960s remember school cafeterias that served wholesome meals and prepared fresh baked goods. Even in my early years of teaching, the school cafeteria at Manual Arts served quality food and was a hub of activity during nutrition and lunch breaks. Little by little, fewer meals were cooked at the school site and increasingly cafeteria workers were serving prepackaged food sent by the district. What had once been a vital part of the school community had been effectively eliminated in the name of efficiency.

The elimination and contracting out of classified jobs, like bus drivers, has a negative ripple effect on the economy. In K-12 and community college districts, classified workers are overwhelming unionized. When these jobs are cut, workers have to scramble for non-union, low-wage jobs with fewer benefits. This has a disproportionate impact on working-class neighborhoods and communities of color.

All children, not just those in affluent communities or those who go to private schools, deserve to attend clean, safe, well-maintained schools. The education of a child does take a village and that village has gardeners, custodians, cafeteria workers, and aides as well as teachers. California’s school districts need to recommit to making our public schools attractive, safe and inviting learning communities for the millions of children who attend them every day.

Joshua Pechthalt is president of the California Federation of Teachers, representing more than 120,000 members. CFT will hold its Classified Conference Dec. 5-7 in Irvine.


  NegoUpdates2014Logo.SquareOn August 7 and 8, 2014, CFE secured for its faculty who were employed as of July 1, 2013, a retroactive 1.57% COLA increase to all compensation received last year, plus a 0.85% COLA increase effective July 1, 2014.  There were no changes to the 2014-2015 benefits.

(11/18/2014) What’s Happening with Negotiations?

After Union President and Chief Negotiator Dean Mancina’s retirement in late August, the CFE negotiations team reconfigured somewhat to continue on with the important work of negotiations.

Your restructured CFE Negotiations team, led by Chief Negotiator Marilyn Kennedy (Orange Coast, English), is comprised of these union/college representatives:  Bob Fey (CFE Executive Director), Chris Hamilton (Golden West, Business and Law), Ann Holliday (Coastline, DSPS), Dan Johnson (Coastline, History), Frank Oppedisano (CFT Field Representative), Rob Schneiderman (Orange Coast, Counseling), and Elizabeth Sykes (Golden West, Computing Systems).

Here’s what’s been happening:

On August 7-8, during back-to-back negotiation sessions, the District negotiation team submitted their formal, written intent to abandon interest-based negotiating/bargaining (IBN or IBB), and return to proposal-based negotiating with some potential for a hybridization of the two, as needed.  Since both teams must be on board to employ IBB, this required that both teams had to renegotiate the basic “Ground Rules” of our mutual table as we moved back to proposal-based negotiation.   These alterations have changed the nature of negotiations; as before the negotiating sessions focused on mutual talking out of an issue by all members of the teams and then narrowing to mutually-agreed on interests, proposal-based employs a more formal structure of pre-written article proposals which are presented by the chief negotiators. Where IBB rarely had individual caucuses as both teams worked in unity at the table, proposal-based more clearly delineates sides and requires more sequestered single-team caucuses.  Consequently, both methods have their benefits and drawbacks.

Here’s what’s been happening at our proposal-based table:

  1. Personnel Files, Article VII: This portion of the article was tentatively agreed to by both parties. CFE ensured, clarified, and expanded rights that faculty and management can mutually agree to move personnel file material to the sealed envelope named in the contract before the four-year period.  After the four-year period faculty can request it unilaterally, as before.
  2. Academic Relations (Department Chair Elections), Article X. This portion of the article is near tentative agreement by both parties, clarifying and simplifying the language on department chair elections in regards to the process used in the senate and senator oversight.
  3. Unpaid Leaves, Article XVII. This article is near tentative agreement by both parties, updating our contract to comply with federal law, military personnel, and leave.
  4. Professional Security, Article IX. We are negotiating the language on just cause and reprimands to ensure the continuation of the protection that CFE negotiated in 2011-2012.
  5. Due Process, Article XV. The District proposed to change the due process language; we are currently considering a counterproposal.
  6. Paid Leaves, Article XIV. We are working on a proposal to clarify the process of reporting faculty absences, an area of confusion for some faculty.
  7. Global Renumbering. Tentatively agreed to by both parties, this allows all sections of the contract to be more user friendly, logically organized, and clearly labelled.
  8. Retirement Incentive: The District stated that they have no interest in a

retirement incentive at this time.


Because your input is essential in negotiations, we will be seeking your faculty input via a negotiations survey.  Please keep your eyes open for that in the future.

Our next negotiations session is Friday, November 21.  Stay tuned for an update.

ACCJC Under Fire


City attorneys accused ACCJC President Barbara Beno of unfairly modifying CCSF’s accreditation evaluation. According to attorneys, Beno wrote edits onto the accreditation draft report that toughened sanctions against CCSF which led toward the college’s closure. Under the commissions bylaws, Beno was not allowed to make edits. The key point here is that the commission unfairly conducted their process that could displace up to 79,000 students. Deputy City Attorney Ronald Flynn solidified the team’s draft report found the college to comply with certain accrediting standards, but the final report said they did not. Flynn showed that ACCJC didn’t provide City College with due process.

For more information, please read the following articles:

Update: Attention Dept. Chairs re: Part-Time Faculty Evaluations & SLOs

(11/19/13 original publication – 10/15/14 update)

Agreement Between the District and CFE

As you know, we began evaluating Full-Time Faculty on SLOs beginning Fall 2013 on the Administrative Evaluation Form. Beginning with the start of Spring 2014, we began to evaluate Part-Time Faculty on SLOs. Both of these systems are temporary until the next contract is ratified between CFE and the District, which will include updated forms for this purpose.

We ask Deans and Department Chairs, when evaluating Part-Time Faculty, to indicate under “Additional comments by evaluator(s)” the evaluatee’s answers to the following two multiple-choice questions:

Are SLOs on your syllabus (syllabi)?
A. Yes
B. No
C. I didn’t know I was supposed to do that.

Do your assignments contribute to SLO(s) achievement?
A. Yes
B. No
C. I didn’t know I was supposed to do that.

You may ask these questions via email or phone when you set up your observation session with the evaluatee, or in person before or after your observation… whichever works best for you.

If, due to the number of Part-Time Faculty evaluations you have to do you are unable to do this step with all of them, it’s OK. We are seeking as much compliance as you can provide and appreciate your help with this intermediary step prior to the implementation of our next contract.

If you have questions, please contact Bob Fey or Gregg Carr if you are faculty member and James Andrews if you are a manager.

Vacant VP Positions on CFE E-Board

We’re looking to add more Vice Presidents to our Executive Board.

The following positions are currently vacant:

Part-time Faculty VP from GWC

Part-time Faculty VP from OCC

Part-time Faculty VP from CCC


Please call our office with your interest to serve (714) 432-5037. Thank you.

Get Involved With CFE This Semester!


Below are brief descriptions of union committees. The meeting days and times of these committees will be determined by the committee members.

Division/Site Representatives – Help distribute information to mail boxes and set up small meetings at a specific site or with a specific group of faculty.

Elections – Help distribute nomination forms and ballots for officer and convention delegate elections and tabulate results.

Labor Education – Develop and participate in labor education activities, including brief presentations to classes and distribution of labor information.

Membership – Help with member meetings and distribution of member information.

Negotiation Support – Research (through internet and member survey/meetings) topics being negotiated.

Newsletter/Communications –Write articles for web site and special newsletter updates.

Part Time Issues – Provide interaction on part time faculty issues to CFE Executive Committee.

Please email or stop by our office in the Faculty House at OCC to let us know about your interest.


Paycheck Errors – More Common Than You Think!


(8/12/14) Members tell us that they often find errors in their paycheck when they go online each month and pull their paystub from the Employee tab at your college’s MYSITE website.  Do you check your paycheck each month?  Recently a member found the District had accidentally shorted him $2,732 on his summer pay.  If you find an error, contact your college’s HR representative immediately.

Summer Pay Cut For All Lab Faculty Teaching This Summer

dollar cut

(8/12/14) If you taught this summer, did your summer paycheck seem smaller than usual?  Here is the latest anti-employee action by the Coast District.  In  Summer Session 2013 and Winter Intersession 2014, GWC lab faculty received a 16-25% pay cut… the equivalent of 100% minus your loading factor. This summer, the pay cut is being expanded to lab faculty at all three colleges.  CFE filed a grievance on behalf of all affected members, which the District has rejected.  CFE will be filing an unfair labor practice charge with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) regarding this unilateral change in compensation.  The District thinks this is related to Brightman (see article, “PERB Case Regarding Brightman Formula Still Unresolved”), but CFE disagrees, since Brightman affects overload only and summer compensation is not considered as overload.

If you are a lab faculty member who taught this summer and you would like to know our estimate of how much your paycheck was cut, call our office at (714) 432-5037.

PERB Case Regarding Brightman Formula Still Unresolved


(8/12/14) The Brightman Formula affects the pay of lab faculty during the fall and spring terms.  Last year CFE filed a complaint regarding the District’s pay cut for lab faculty when management unilaterally stopped using the Brightman Formula after more than two decades.  The complaint was accepted by the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and CFE attended an informal hearing with a PERB mediator and the District last fall.  The matter was not resolved, and PERB is looking for two full days for a formal hearing where PERB, the District, and CFE are all available.   CFE has submitted its availability, will notify you when the hearing is set, and keep you informed as to the progress regarding the resolution of this matter.

Trust Advisor, Graham Hawley Offers Deep Discount for Revocable Living Trusts


IMG_8594(2/13/14) On Feb. 12, 2014 Trust Advisor Graham Hawley was CFE’s first guest speaker from the Wednesday Lunch Series. He has offered to extend the deep discount of $400 to CFE Faculty that want a Revocable Living Trust. The fee will be $750, regularly $1,150.

To contact Graham, please call (714) 637-9840 or visit

For more information please visit:

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