Greetings everyone! June is here and summer officially begins on Sunday, June 21, (which also happens to be Father’s Day this year). If you are teaching summer classes they will be starting up on the 15th. If you aren’t teaching, then I hope you are enjoying your time off.

Employment Up For Our Bargaining Unit in May

Every month we receive a “warrant list” from the payroll department that tells us how many people in our bargaining unit worked that particular month. I’m happy to report that the May warrant list shows 560 part-time academics employed at Hancock College. This is the most I can remember and is definitely the most since the Great Recession hit.

May Day Rally

May 1 is the “Day of the Worker,” a tradition that goes back to the 1880s. (The first workers’ May Day was celebrated in 1886). For the past several years in Santa Maria a coalition of labor and immigrants rights’ groups have held a May Day Rally on the corner of Main and Broadway. This year’s rally was attended by about 200 people, who received numerous horn-honks and thumbs-up signs of support from the drivers going past. Demonstrators chanted slogans in English and Spanish, focusing on themes of worker unity and the contributions immigrants have made to the U.S., both at present and in the past.

Labor Day 2015

Last year on September 1 the PFA joined with other local labor and progressive organizations to present the First Annual Santa Maria Valley Labor Day Picnic. The event was a huge success, and the organizers are already planning to make the 2015 picnic even bigger. Labor Day is on September 7 this year. Stay tuned for more information as the date draws nearer.

Unemployment Benefits In The Summer

Don’t forget you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits in the summer if you aren’t working. While there are some variables involved, the essential thing to remember is that as part-time community college faculty and academic workers we do not have “reasonable assurance” of employment when the semester resumes in the fall, even if you have been told you will be teaching or otherwise working. As we are all painfully aware, our assignments can be cancelled anytime due to funding cuts, low student enrollment, or else we can be bumped by a full-timer. Back in 1989 a judge ruled in the “Cervisi Decision” that even if we as part-time academic employees have been told we will be working again and have an offer of employment, we still do not meet the “reasonable assurance” standard. So if you aren’t working this summer, be sure to go online to “Employment Development Department” and file your claim.

Reminder: Read Your Emails!

When you get hired at Allan Hancock College you are given a Hancock email address, usually something like mmiller@hancockcollege.edu. It is very important that you stay current with your Hancock emails. Essential information about your students, your class assignments, and what is going on at the college comes to us via our Hancock accounts. Your continued employment can even be impacted: We know of at least two new part-timers who lost their employment here not because they weren’t doing the job adequately but because they did not comply with all the administrative requirements that are part of the evaluation process. Both were sent emails by their Dean reminding them of this obligation, and both failed to read their emails. As a result, they weren’t rehired. Don’t let that happen to you! Read your emails.

Reminder: Submit Your Availability Forms!

Like checking your emails, it is easy to forget to get your availability form turned in on time. But if you fail to do so, you could lose your assignment. For Summer, the availability form is due by January 2. For Fall, it is due by February 1. For Spring, it is due by September 12.

Go to the My Hancock website, and on the Faculty Page go to Instructor Forms. Below that you’ll see “Part-Time Credit Availability Form.” Fill that out and submit it electronically by the deadlines.

Congratulations

Nahid Loghmani, math instructor and member of the PFA Executive Board, married Stacey Harlan on May 23, in a lovely ceremony at the Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Orcutt. I’m sure everyone joins with me in wishing them every happiness!

Did you know…?

Being evaluated is often a stressful experience. It is even worse if you and the person doing your evaluation don’t see eye-to-eye. If you are uncomfortable with the person assigned to evaluate you, you have the right, under Article 13.4.1 of our collective bargaining agreement, to request someone else do your evaluation. You can even submit a list of three possible replacements, including a qualified part-timer! Keep this in mind next time you are evaluated.

Mark James Miller, President, Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College, CFT Local 6185, Santa Maria, CA

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