Our AFT MI Rep Erin Lavin joined us at our GMM a few weeks ago, and several members requested more information about the various AFT Michigan committees that are working together to share ideas and facilitate change.
As promised, here is more information about the three committees Erin mentioned. These committees are open to all union members.
AFT MI Community College Network Meeting: meet other community college faculty (part- & full-time) & staff to discuss issues of shared concern at community colleges. Dates/times TBD. Contact Erin Lavin if you are interested in attending - email@example.com
Non-tenure track Constituency Committee Meeting: meet with other NTT/part-time faculty union members to discuss common goals around increasing full-time work opportunities and improving working conditions in both universities and community colleges across the state. Dates/times TBD. Contact Sonya Alvarado if you are interested in attending - firstname.lastname@example.org
AFT MI Queer Caucus: group for LGBTQIA+ union members across the state to build union power, offer professional support, and socialize. This group meetings monthly via zoom and plans in-person events. Contact Erin Lavin if you are interested in Queer Caucus - email@example.com
OTHER AFT OPPORTUNITIES, EVENTS, and REMINDERS
AFT & MEA Canvassing for pro-education candidates: Join with other union members on Saturdays leading up to the election to distribute voting information to registered voters. We need AFT union members to participate to help ensure that our interests are protected as educators! Click here to view upcoming dates/times/locations here and register.
AFT Statewide Events & Workshops:
--Virtual Workshop: Accessing Unemployment in Michigan: Tuesday, December 13, 1:00-2:30 pm (info & registration here)
--In-person event: Union Building Institute: Saturday, February 4, 2023 at UM Dearborn. This event is designed for both rank-and-file members and union leaders. Please hold the date in your calendar and stay tuned for registration info.
Student Loan Debt Info
As you know, part-time faculty are one of the groups that have struggled to access Public Service Loan Forgiveness because of complications with the way the program was designed and how colleges and universities have chosen to certify employment levels.
Overall, the important thing is for part-time faculty to be able to show they were working "full time" at public employers for months they made payments to qualify for PSLF.
The AFT put together two very helpful letters:
This LETTER can help part-time members understand how to access the process
This LETTER communicates with administrators encouraging them to do the right thing.
Don't Get Tricked This Halloween! Fill Out Your PSLF Application by October 31!
More information is available here: https://www.aft.org/pslf
The temporary Public Service Loan Forgiveness waiver expires on Oct. 31. Most AFT members who have federal student loans can qualify for PSLF, which allows you to have the entire remaining balance of your direct federal loans forgiven after 120 qualifying payments. In the last 12 months during the waiver period, thousands of people have had their loans forgiven, and thousands more have gained credit for additional payments that move them closer to forgiveness. But this waiver ends on Monday, Oct. 31.
Don’t delay! Don’t miss this life-changing opportunity to get out from under the burden of student debt—start your PSLF application today.
Use the Department of Education’s PSLF Help Tool, located at https://studentaid.gov/pslf, and log in to your Federal Student Aid (FSA) account, to start your application today. Need more information? Check our website https://aft.org/pslf and register for an upcoming AFT Student Debt Clinic webinar here https://cvent.me/17XZka.
Please join AAFMCC from 6-8 p.m. on October 13 for an in-person membership meeting, and please encourage your part-time colleagues to come as well — the meeting is open to both members and non-members.
See flyer below for more details.
CLICK HERE to RSVP by October 11.
More than 45 million people have student debt and many of us are struggling with this burden. The AFT Student Debt Clinic program provides information about free federal programs that may help reduce the burden of this debt, while also highlighting the role that our union can play in addressing problems both within the workplace and in our communities.
Student Debt Clinics provide crucial information and resources to help AFT members take advantage of the temporary expansion of the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program before the expansion period ends on 10/31/22. Millions of Americans have been denied PSLF since 2007 and this expansion period is to make up for those who've been rejected or who never applied for it in the first place.
Join AFT Michigan for a Student Debt Clinic webinar on Thursday, 8/25/22 from 5:00-6:30pm!
To register: please visit https://go.aft.org/StudentDebtClinicRSVP and select “MICHIGAN: AFT-Michigan *WEBINAR* 5 PM 08/25/2022” in the dropdown. Select your local name or # (You can type in parts of it and it will auto-fill), fill in the brief questionnaire, and hit “submit.”
CALLING ALL CONTINGENT FACULTY!! – We need your voice and your experience!
It is time once again for AFT’s adjunct/contingent faculty survey where you can provide the information necessary for us to explain to the world what it is like to be contingent faculty. The survey is redesigned for this year, should only take you 10 minutes or so, and has some open-ended opportunities to share your story.
Please take the time to fill it out yourself and share it with all the contingent faculty you know. The more people who fill out the survey, the better the story can be told!
AFT MI has been working for months to try and have higher education employees, especially those working face to face, to be given vaccination priority. Now AFT MI is dealing with some institutions having some face-to-face this summer.
As you know, Michigan is scheduled to receive a very large number of vaccinations later this month and the Governor has announced that people over the age of 16 will be eligible in early April. The Governor hopes that the strong majority of higher education employees have the opportunity to be vaccinated beginning in early April.
The Governor's office is open to considering campus-based vaccinations if many higher ed staff are not vaccinated through the mass adult-wide efforts starting in early April. Some Michigan institutions have already worked with health departments and providers to arrange for on-campus vaccinations, and we are encouraging MCC administration to follow suit. We will keep you updated about the progress of establishing a campus-based vaccination program at MCC.
In the meantime, here is a link that provides direct connections to local health department sites, as well as information on private providers:
If you are eligible to receive a vaccine: Check the website of your local health department or hospital to find out their process or for registration forms (jump to the map of local health departments); or; Check additional vaccination sites, such as local pharmacies like Meijer, Rite Aid, Kroger, Walmart (Mid/Central and Northern MI) or Snyder Drugs (U.P. residents); or
The deadline for reporting your availability for SS2021 is March 15, 2021.
The deadline for reporting your availability for FA2021 is April 19, 2021.
*Adjuncts in the nursing department must submit their availability for Spring/Summer AND Fall by March 15, 2021.
With the phase-out of WebAdvisor, the process for reporting availability has changed.
Reporting your availability can easily be done following these steps:
Faculty Self Service
Daily Work (briefcase icon on the left)
You should receive an email confirming your availability once it has been submitted successfully.
The AAFMCC leadership is happy to announce this year’s AAFMCC scholarship recipients.
The 2020-2021 Family Scholarship has been awarded to Vet Tech Major, Miranda Hoskin. Miranda is the daughter of union member, Mark Hoskin, of the Fire Science Department.
The 2020-2021 Community Scholarship has been awarded to Hannah Brisson from MACA.
Please join us in congratulating these worthly recipients.
As many of you know, it looks like there may be less sections than usual being taught next semester, which will hit our unit particularly hard. Many of us that would normally be teaching have not been offered sections, have a reduced load, or are in danger of losing courses.
If you are not teaching next semester, or the number of classes you normally teach has been reduced, you might be able to file for unemployment insurance through the State of Michigan. Even if you work elsewhere, you may still qualify for unemployment so long as your income has been reduced to a level recognized by the state as creating hardship. These are benefits that you have paid into every time you are employed and our unemployment insurance system is designed to help people going through situations like this.
It is possible for nontenure-track faculty to collect unemployment; however, the process can be difficult to navigate. Our local has been working with AFT Michigan and the Sugar Law Center for Social & Economic Justice to develop resources to help members:
We hope you are staying safe and healthy.
We have been working with the College to address all of the “Demand to Bargain” issues that we submitted earlier this fall and shared with you on Sept. 3 (for your reference, a list of those issues are pasted below).
Here is a summary of what we discussed. Some of the issues have been resolved; one issue has been tabled, and the remaining issues on the list are still under discussion/awaiting resolution because either we need more information from The College or we are not happy with the College’s proposed solution.
For now, know that you ARE NOT REQUIRED to participate in Week Zero, and you are NOT REQUIRED to submit your FDHs prior to the start of the semester.
We are continuing to work with the College to address the unresolved issues and will update you as soon as possible.
As always, if you have concerns/issues/potential grieves, please email Grievance Officers Jodi Monday (aafmccgmail.org) and Yvette Griffin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Summary of Bargaining Meetings to Date
Health and Safety Demands - We are tabling the discussion until May in order to have the most current information moving forward for reopening. Members will be getting MIOSHA materials on state standards/complaint process and will be encouraged to contact the union if an issue arises.
Visit the following Michigan.gov resources for more information: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98810-524770--,00.html
4.7 - 4.10
4.14 - At the next meeting, the Union will propose the following LOA (letter of agreement) and will revisit this issue in future semesters if necessary:
The College will not adjust an adjunct teacher’s date of hire on the Adjunct Roster of Candidates nor will an adjunct teacher accumulate any “break in service” time in their discipline during the 2020-2021 Academic Year.
6.1 & 6.2
8.11 & 15.2- PTO/Pay for Committee Service
AAFMCC Demand to Bargain
List of issues submitted to MCC on August 27, 2020
Communicated to AAFMCC via email on Sept. 3
Health and Safety Demands
(union required bargaining)
Adjunct Faculty will not work in an environment wherein administration does not require accurate pandemic /epidemic virus testing and clearance. Self-assessments are not acceptable.
2.1 & 8.12 -- During a pandemic and/or epidemic crisis, The College will establish and enforce the following health and safety protocols for face-to-face instruction:
During a pandemic and/or epidemic crisis The College will maintain the following for Adjunct Faculty:
At this already difficult time, AAFMCC leadership is saddened to announce the passing of one of its members, Jim Kaczor, Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Arts and Sciences, on October 27, 2020.
Jim had been a loyal AAFMCC union member since its inception in 2004 and a valued member of the Psychology Faculty. He will be missed by students and colleagues alike. He loved teaching and was also an adjunct at Oakland Community College as well as a substitute teacher for the Birmingham Public School system.
Please keep the family of Jim Kaczor in your thoughts and prayers as they experience this difficult time of loss.
In the upcoming election, AAFMCC is endorsing the following three candidates for the Macomb Community Board of Trustees:
AAFMCC encourages you to vote for all 3 of these candidates on Nov. 3 and to ask your family, friends, colleagues, etc., to do the same!
Here is a bit of information about each candidate:
Shelley Vitale is currently serving on the board and has advocated for AAFMCC throughout her term.
Sara Gieleghem is a union member and an educator.
Here are a few quotes from Sara’s interview with AAFMCC, which speak to her dedication to unions and adjunct faculty:
“AAFMCC’s existence is historic and its mission is inclusive. I serve as a proud union member within the educational area. I connect with your mission as an advocate and staunch supporter of the collective bargaining process. Collective bargaining provides protection for individuals in the workplace, a path for employees to have a voice and seat at the table to negotiate on issues like compensation and working conditions. It also serves as a gateway for members to contribute and add value to the organizational decision making process.”
“As a union member, I recognize that fair wages are a considerable part of the negotiations process. If elected as a trustee I will fight to ensure a fair collective bargaining process and will do all that I can to learn more about how best to address the unfair disparity between adjunct and full-time faculty at the college. Further, I see this as a way to ensure the college can attract and retain the most qualified people committed to meeting the needs of students.”
“Regardless of the designation as Adjunct, all faculty must have a voice in the development of department curriculum goals, and as individual educators, you deserve a degree of autonomy to develop your teaching techniques and methods. I feel strongly that, as a Trustee, we have a responsibility to listen to the concerns presented by your organization and a role to play in addressing inequities.”
Maria Mijac is a former teacher and union supporter.
Here are a few quotes from Maria’s interview with AAFMCC, which highlight her support of adjuncts and dedication to equity:
“What stands out most in the AAFMCC mission statement is the idea that adjuncts provide an invaluable service to the higher education community. It is such a statement of the obvious but the need to so state, underscores how undervalued that contribution is. The entire mission statement communicates the deep sense of workplace inequity that is felt. As a former teacher, I too, felt undervalued often times. Even when you are doing work that you love, having a sense that your role is lesser, creates an undue burden on the work.”
“I would support consideration for a more robust role for adjunct staff with regard to curriculum and departmental matters and on shared governance. I am unsure exactly how to go about promoting such an endeavor. I would be glad to hear more information on past efforts, current status, and current
efforts to creating more parity between full- and part-time staff.”
“If both instructors [full and part-time] bring similar qualifications and/or experience, I would support the same hourly pay rate for teaching the same classes.”
We hope you all are enjoying the summer sun and warmth.
Below you will find AFT Michigan’s Statement on Higher Ed during the Pandemic. AAFMCC will be using this statement to guide our discussions with The College as we continue to work to ensure the heath, safety and best interests of our members and our students in these precarious times.
We will follow up with the membership to provide you AAFMCC-specific guidelines and suggestions as soon as we have additional information from
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from AFT Michigan
July 13, 2020
Contact: David Hecker: email@example.com, 313-204-6115
AFT Michigan: Higher Education During the Pandemic Should be Mainly Online
MICHIGAN — As we move closer to the fall semester, community colleges and universities across the state have either announced their fall plans or are working on them, meaning the question of whether and how higher education institutions should reopen their campuses to live classes and activities is being addressed in a patchwork of ideas and plans. We appreciate that these plans strive to include safety precautions, but recent upswings in COVID-19 cases in states that opened up too soon should encourage us all to reconsider some basic assumptions.
This May, we surveyed AFT Michigan members from across the state to find out how they felt about both the conclusion of the 2019-20 school year and the choices before us this fall. More than 1200 college and university faculty, graduate employees and staff completed the survey, with three broadly consistent themes emerging from their responses:
Therefore, we believe that it is in the best interest of students, faculty, staff and our communities for higher education to be conducted online to every extent possible until an effective vaccine can be distributed widely to the general public.
Faculty, staff and students made remarkably effective efforts to transition online this spring, and we believe that, with adequate preparation time and training, educators can develop online courses that will meet learning objectives for the vast majority of our curriculum. While remote learning has undeniable limitations at any level; in general, college students are more capable of learning online than younger students. Colleges and universities will need to ensure that all students have online access and those who need to live on campus do so in the safest possible manner. For that small portion of courses and services that truly require in-person settings, we suggest that institutions put trust in the educators directly responsible for the work to decide how they can be conducted safely. For example, we are committed to working creatively with our institutions to ensure safe course options for international students whose visa status is threatened by the ill-informed guidelines recently issued by ICE.
We support returning to live classes and a vibrant campus community life when we can rest assured that the health of our students, faculty, and staff will not be compromised by COVID-19. Until that point, we encourage all campus communities to prioritize public health and safety by moving online as much as possible.
AFT Michigan is a union of 35,000 educators and healthcare providers working in K-12 and intermediate school districts, community colleges, universities, and hospitals across the state.
We are now accepting applications for the 2020/2021 AAFMCC Community Scholarship and the AAFMCC Family Scholarship.
Apply until Oct. 4, 2020, at https://macomb.academicworks.com/.