Who ya gonna call? AFA or the Academic Senate?


reprinted from AFA Update September 29, 2009, written by Janet McCulloch

In the AFA office we receive lots of calls from lots of different faculty members. Many times it is the job of our officers and our office staff to clarify the responsibilities of AFA as opposed to the Academic Senate. It is true that AFA does share some responsibilities with the Academic Senate and that we work closely with the Senate leadership on a variety of issues. As your exclusive bargaining agent, AFA negotiates the Contract, which outlines the terms and conditions of your employment, but there are many parts of academic life not covered in the Contract.

One way to understand the overlap between the AFA Contract and the Academic Senate "10+1" (see below) is to think of it this way: before you are hired, you go through the hiring process and it is the Senate's responsibility to describe and manage the hiring process to insure that the District follows state and federal law and that all applicants are treated fairly. After you are hired, the AFA Contract applies to you because that document governs salary, benefits, workload, and general working conditions not covered in state or federal law, or District policy. There are, however, many processes related to your job that the Academic Senate oversees. Some of these areas include curriculum development, program development, program review, professional ethics, and anything related to student success and matriculation.

What if?
Take this simple quiz to see who you should contact if you have a problem at SRJC.

Choose one of the following answers for the questions that follow below:


  1. You aren't sure whether you are getting paid the correct rate of pay. Before you call Payroll, for advice you should call: ___________ .
  2. You aren't getting along with someone in your department. This person is spreading rumors that you are an "easy" grader, that your degree is from an inferior academic institution, and that you were only hired because of the color of your hair. You should contact: ___________ .
  3. You have been selected to give a speech at a very prestigious conference in your field of expertise. Your chair tells you that the dean will not approve a substitute for the two days you will be gone in Antigua. You should call: ____________ .
  4. You want to be appointed to the District Curriculum Review Committee (CRC). You should email: ___________ .
  5. You want to develop a new and innovative program for the College, and you want to know how that process works. You would first telephone: ___________ .
  6. You are being evaluated, but you want to know what the process entails and what your responsibilities are. You should contact: ___________ .
  7. After being evaluated, you are not happy with the outcome, and you don't believe that the process was followed properly. You should most definitely call: ________.
  8. You are going to have a baby, but you're not sure about all the different kinds of leaves, but before you announce the blessed event to anyone you want to have a confidential chat with someone outside your department. For the best advice you would contact: ___________ .


  1. Call the AFA office at (707) 527-4731, and Candy or Carol will explain the different rates of pay and how the salary schedule works. You could also call the Payroll Department at (707) 521-7857. [revised 06.07.13]
  2. Conflict and disputes between faculty members are the purview of the Academic Senate and are not contractual matters at all.  Call the Senate office at 527-4595.  The Senate's Executive Committee will review the matter and determine whether and how to proceed. [revised 06.07.13]
  3. Reference Contract Article 29: Substitutes and Reporting Faculty Absences to clarify the process for hiring subs. Even though speaking at the conference is a matter of professional development and therefore a shared responsibility of AFA and the Academic Senate, the actual hiring of a substitute is a salary and working conditions issue.
  4. One of the Academic Senate's primary functions is to oversee the development of curriculum and programs for the College. AFA has several appointments to District-wide committees, but the CRC is not one of those. (Click here to see the District committee rosters, calendar, structure, and more posted online.)
  5. Again, the Senate oversees curriculum development and the process for educational program development.
  6. Although AFA and the Academic Senate share this responsibility, the process is defined and outlined in Article 14 of the Contract. You could call either office for information.
  7. When the evaluation process has begun, then it becomes a contractual matter and may be grievable. Call the AFA office or the AFA Conciliation/Grievance Officer for clarification of the Contract. If there is a violation, AFA will take the matter forward or refer the matter to the District Tenure Review and Evaluations Committee (DTREC) for review. [revised 06.07.13]
  8. Article 18 of the Contract covers all leaves including sick leave, maternity leave, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other kinds of unpaid leaves. Contact the AFA office for confidential information before you initiate any processes.

Academic Senate "10 +1"
The Academic Senate is responsible for ten academic and professional matters identified in Ed Code §53200, plus any other mutually agreed upon matters:

  1. Curriculum, including establishing prerequisites
  2. Degree and certificate requirements
  3. Grading policies
  4. Educational program development
  5. Standards/policies for student preparation and success
  6. College governance structures as related to faculty roles
  7. Faculty roles and involvement in accreditation processes
  8. Policies for faculty professional development activities
  9. Processes for program review
  10. Processes for institutional planning and budget development
+1  Other academic and professional matters as mutually agreed upon

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