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 (email@example.com).
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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/.
Last year, with your help, AFT Higher Education was able to have over 3,000 contingent academic workers participate in our 2019 Contingent Faculty Survey, providing us with an in-depth snapshot of their work and personal experiences.
The responses, summarized in our recent report, An Army of Temps, paint a disturbing picture of how our system of higher education is failing the majority of the workforce who provide that education.
We believe that on its own, this report provides a compelling case for reforming our system of public higher education. However, the intervening months have found us in an unprecedented global health crisis, the consequences of which we are only beginning to understand but which will likely underscore the need for reform. To better understand how the global pandemic and associated disruptions are affecting contingent faculty, we have decided to put our Contingent Faculty Survey back into the field for 2020.
Please take a few minutes to complete this important survey so that we can understand your current work and personal life experiences against the backdrop of uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus.
Rally for Federal Education Funding TODAY--Friday, May 29
While so much about the near future remains uncertain, one thing could not be more clear: Going forward our schools and our students will need more support – not drastic funding cuts.
To get the help our students need, it’s time to raise our voices together in a virtual rally this Friday at 5 p.m.
Click here to RSVP for the event!
Without federal aid, public schools in Michigan and across the country could see sharp reductions in funding because of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. Our state legislators also need to feel the pressure to do the right thing—they must lobby for federal aid to states as well!
We have to join together in a collective push to get our students the help they need in this time of shared trauma and dramatic challenges in our society. Big businesses have received aid—our children deserve no less.
Join U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, State Rep. Sheryl Kennedy, and other special guests for this virtual rally for Our Children, Our Future via Facebook Live on Friday, May 29, at 5 p.m.
RSVP here today.
First of all, thank you to all of you who completed the AAFMCC Member Experience Survey last week. In just two days, we collected 111 responses! Your feedback was very useful in helping us understand the magnitude of the problem and prepare for our meeting with The College.
In update #1 (see email from April 24), we outlined the training-related issues that we needed to address with The College. In update #2 (see email from April 30) we informed you that we had scheduled a meeting with The College to address these issues.
Here is a summary of the meeting outcomes, as well as some commentary pertaining to the issues that AAFMCC will continue to address. Please take some time to carefully read this post in its entirety as it is vital that you understand these conditions and procedures as we move forward.
Clarity of Course Classifications and Training Procedures
Due to the suspension of the on-ground course format, MCC has established 3 different classifications of courses (see below), as well as different levels of required training to teach those courses.
The different levels of training for online instruction in any capacity include:
CANVAS Orientation, MOFT Part 1 and MOFT Part 2.
AAFMCC has been informed by HR and the Provost that EVERY DEPARTMENT, with exception to the health department, will be assigning the following 3 types of courses and that each type will be aligned with specific training requirements:
1. HYBRID - For courses that are normally taught on-ground but need to utilize enhanced online instruction
Training Requirement: CANVAS Orientation
HYBRID courses will be assigned to adjunct faculty who typically teach on-ground courses, and these assignments will be made based on seniority and availability.
2. ONLINE - Pre-made course shells utilized for courses that are created for online teaching
Training Requirement: MOFT Part 1 (2-week training)
3. ONLINE - Fully repurposed on-ground course strictly for creation of and teaching online instruction
Training Requirement: MOFT Part 2 (8-week intense training)
Health Department--Additional Course Classification
WEB-ENHANCED ON-GROUND - Offered currently for HEALTH courses
Training Requirement: CANVAS Orientation
Unfortunately, since COVID-19 orders are still in place, Spring-Summer 2020 courses are to be taught strictly online, and an instructor must be MOFT Part 1 (2-week training) certified to be considered for instruction.
Fall Semester 2020
MCC is taking steps to prepare for the Fall 2020 Semester:
This “playbook” will be a live document to stay in accordance with the CDC/government guidelines. It will be updated daily and made available on MCC’s website COVID-19 section on the home page.
Lastly, AAFMCC discussed unemployment filing for adjunct instructors, and we provided the college with the process that has been put in place by the Department of Education.
Please know that you have the right to unemployment: It has been federal law since 2016.
If the college denies your claim, contact AAFMCC and let us know. Many higher education institutions deny and many union affiliates have fought and won.
AAFMCC will continue to update everyone with any news we receive. Please be safe and healthy out there this summer.
"I appreciate that you are looking into the issue of adjunct faculty online training. I would like to add that this problem predates the current crisis.
I have taught as an adjunct instructor at MCC for the past nineteen years. I requested permission to undertake Canvas training last August. Several days later, my associate dean, responded, stating that "...the department's current needs were met." In the fall, I met briefly with the provost during the Macomb campus-wide faculty meeting and related that this took place. He seemed unmoved. I again requested training in February of this year when I realized that a pandemic was imminent. This time my AD did not respond to me directly at all.
For years the college has professed that it desires and offers faculty training, if for no other reason than to bolster its case for accreditation, but its actions clearly do not support this."
-Stephen Marcincavage, AAFMCC Member
Last week we informed you that we contacted The College on Wednesday, April 22 and requested a meeting to resolve the many issues that are negatively impacting adjuncts' working conditions (if you missed that email, please go back and read it).
As of yesterday morning (a week when we sent our initial request), we had not yet received a response from The College, so we reached out again and stressed the urgency of the situation. The College responded and informed us that they can meet with AAFMCC on Thursday, May 7.
In their reply, the College requested that we provide them a list of the adjuncts who have been denied access to training, and we informed the college that the complaints from our members are so widespread that it is impossible to capture each and every issue. We also reiterated that the reason that members are being denied access to training is because we have not settled the issue of how this training is to be rolled out for AAFMCC members and that this should be our top priority.
Here is a snippet from AAFMCC's most recent email correspondence with The College:
"A major issue is that people who are volunteering to take the training are being told they cannot. Put that beside the message from the Provost that you cannot teach until you get the training equals people being told they no longer have a job at Macomb. I am sure that is not the message you are wanting department heads to convey to our members. Various departments are telling members very different things about whether they need the training or not. The confusion and mixed messages are causing tension and anger. People are in dire straits and have little patience with this lack of clarity. We are telling our members that we are working to resolve this issue, and I believe the message should be the same on your end as well. Until we settle on what the training process looks like, a message needs to go out to all of your supervisors in charge of class assignments that they should stop telling our members that they will not get classes unless they get the training. I suggest that you ask them to say that administration is working with the union concerning training."
AAFMCC members, please know that we are actively working on resolving these issues and ensuring that we get equitable processes in place for the fall semester. We are doing our best to reply to all of your emails, but know that we won't have answers until we meet with The College to work out the many issues that are affecting so many of us.
In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and your trust as you await our next update.
When we have answers, you will be the first to know.
The AFT is offering a new benefit exclusively for AFT members—trauma counseling—because we know that our members, while fully focused on serving their communities, often neglect to seek help and healing for their own personal traumas. This innovative program uses the latest communication technologies—phone, text and video—to assist members whenever needed, wherever a member may be. Sessions with highly trained, licensed therapists are completely private and offered free to all active working members, including those on leave status. Enhanced, paid coverage at a discount is also available through the Trauma Coverage® program.
Visit our AFT Members Resources Page for more information.
Following the Provost’s announcement that all fall classes will begin remotely, many of us are beginning to realize that this new precarious situation could adversely affect adjuncts and potentially threaten our contractual rights with regard to seniority, availability and course assignments.
We want you to know that AAFMCC is very aware of the many issues that our members may encounter in the coming months. Therefore, we are taking action to ensure that our contractual rights are upheld and that new, equitable measures are put into place to safeguard us from the adverse effects of these unforeseen circumstances.
On Wednesday, April 22, AAFMCC contacted Provost Don Ritzenhein and Vice President of Human Resources Denise Williams in order to call attention to our change in working conditions, outline the issues surrounding the new training requirements and request that The College work with us to come to a mutual agreement.
Below you will find a condensed version of the email that we sent to The College on April 22. We also requested that The College schedule a meeting with AAFMCC next week in order to resolve these matters.
We will follow up with an update next week even if it’s just to let you know that we’ve scheduled a meeting with The College.
In the meantime, please know that we are fighting to protect you and your rights.
Wishing you safety, health and peace!
The AAFMCC Executive Board
Condensed version of the email that AAFMCC sent to The College on April 22, 2020
AFFMCC absolutely believes in the importance of quality instruction and part of that is preparing teachers to be most effective in the online environment. However, to ask instructors who have already been teaching at your college to undertake this extensive training before they can teach online, which effectively means before they cannot teach in the foreseeable future, is a change in working conditions. Also, any qualification modifications must be mutually agreed upon by both parties in 5.7 of the contract.
We believe we can come to a mutual agreement on the issues surrounding training. Here is a list of what we need to resolve:
1. Access to training. Supervisors are still not allowing access to training for instructors asking for it at this very moment. You need instructors for several sections for the coming semester. We know you were going to work on this issue, but we are being flooded with issues about training access. This is likely to continue into the fall without a clear process that honors the contract.
2. A process to get training based on honoring the contractual process for assigning classes.
3. Accepting training that has already happened. We discussed how many adjuncts have been trained for Canvas at Macomb and at other institutions. According to some correspondence that we are getting from members, the fact that people have experience teaching online is not being considered. An agreed-upon process for assessing what training and experienced instructors have already will help the college streamline getting people slotted into sections and preparing their classes.
4. For those instructors that need training and have no experience, then they should be paid for the time it takes to complete the course since this will have to be done outside of the semester where the instructor is working. This is mandated training outside of the period of work a member is hired for. Therefore, it needs to be compensated training.
The following information is also available on our Member Resources page.
We will update these resources as more information becomes available.