P-Fac Responds to Misguided Communications to our Membership

statue of lady liberty holding the scales of justice
November 13, 2015
Dear P-fac members,   
You likely received a direct email from a number of full time staff criticizing P-fac for protecting course assignments for P-fac members. To set the record straight:
1.  Full time staff members have always been excluded from the P-fac unit — they were excluded from the original election in 1998, have never paid dues, and have never been members.
2.  This only became an issue after our new contract provided greater job security for P-fac members and resulted in staff and others not being assigned courses.  It is true that staff — and other non P-fac members  — lose the opportunity to teach courses at Columbia.  That is on purpose, and is necessary to preserve the job security of P-fac members.  Without this protection, the College could assign our courses to whomever it wanted.  The College and P-fac mutually agreed to this contract.  The board ruling clearly stated that all part-time teaching falls under the jurisdiction of P-fac.  The P-fac contract clearly states in the recognition clause that full time staff are excluded from entering P-fac.  The group that filed the petition at the NLRB cited the NLRB’s ruling that states “pursuant to the certification in 13-RC-19791” which is the original certification of P-fac where Full-Time Staff were excluded from P-fac membership.
3.  There has never been a hearing on the merits that says these staff are P-fac members.  The Board ruling the staff use in their letter dismissed a charge they filed that sought not to join P-fac, but to start a competing union.  That is not how labor law works, and that petition was dismissed.  But there was never a finding, or even a hearing, that found they share a community of interests with us, or may be “dual function” employees in both units.  In fact, the full-time staff in that matter said they did not want to be members of P-fac!
4.  We have tried to reach out in solidarity to the full time staff — both through IEA and US of CC. All our attempts at solidarity — including literally standing shoulder to shoulder on a picket line — have been rebuffed.  We don’t think it is right that these full time staff were denied raises and offered additional work — P-fac work — in order to get more payWe think they deserve better pay.  But we will not let the College give them our work.  We will continue to support all staff members and stand in solidarity. We know that the larger staff community are facing many issues such as job cuts, increased work and a lowering of morale with no increase in salary.  We will help in any we can to hold the college accountable and help in your contract negotiations to improve your working conditions.  We have worked side by side and will continue to foster a community of solidarity. 
5.  We understand that some staff were teaching in the past and some still are as part of appendix V in our CBA.  Currently, we have P-fac dues paying members, some with over forty years of service to the college who have no courses.  Others find themselves with one.  They have no salary from the college, no benefits with the college, no health insurance and are finding themselves on food stamps or losing their homes.   Our priority is to our members.  We cannot ignore the equity issues and the overall climate at Columbia College.  The contract is not being followed, the mission of this college is not followed and the students are being harmed.  This corporate takeover must stop and we must stand together.  We hope that this clarifies matters and are sorry that you had to receive this spam from some of the full time staff members.    
P-fac Steering Committee


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