Not in Article 17?
Just say no!
As we strive to serve our students during this fiscal crisis, many faculty members find that we are working more and more hours to fill gaps created by dwindling resources and the College's inability to replace retiring faculty. Many faculty members are also working as unpaid coordinators for programs and sites. Beyond that, many adjunct faculty members are performing college service activities without pay because they are committed to their departments and programs and often work in areas where there are few regular faculty members to complete the work.
Faculty members most at risk of being exploited are those who are newly hired, who often do not know their contractual rights and believe that many of the tasks assigned to them truly are part of the job.
How does this happen? Educational systems have a history of balancing their budgets by "guilting" faculty and staff into doing more than is contractually required. And, of course, since we are mostly overly responsible high-achievers, we often fall for the pleas to "better serve our students." But the problem is that the faculty is doing much more than we are being paid to do. AFA addressed this problem in an Update article in May 2009. Now, two and a half years later and with the prediction that it may be several more years before California climbs out of its fiscal hole, the faculty is tired and frustrated. An effective solution to this problem is to say "no" to taking on additional work without compensation.
In this article, AFA is repeating the message that we sent in May 2009: Just do your job. You are not required to do administrative work, you are not required to fix all the problems in your department, and you are not required to do more than is outlined in the Contract. Also, AFA wants to remind faculty in the tenure review process that your primary responsibilities are to your students during the first four years of employment.
If we limit ourselves to "just doing our jobs," what exactly does that mean? Article 17 of the AFA Contract outlines the job descriptions for regular and adjunct faculty as well as department chairs. Take some time to look over Article 17 and ask yourself, "Am I doing more than the job description requires? Am I sacrificing my health and well-being to perform administrative tasks? Am I doing a disservice to my students by overworking myself?" I think that many faculty members will have to honestly answer "Yes" to at least one of these questions. Our students deserve the majority of our attention and care, and that may not always be the case if we take on too many additional tasks. We also recommend that you take a look at the definitions in Article 17.04. Several years ago AFA and the District agreed to definitions for coordinators because there are so many people working not only without pay but also without job descriptions. No further progress on this issue has been made in negotiations since reaching the agreement on definitions, but AFA will continue to push for Contract language that further protects faculty from abuse in this area.
AFA is committed to the principles that no one works for free, that the job description exists to protect faculty from abuse, and that the District should acknowledge that many people—regular faculty, adjunct faculty, and chairs—are working outside existing job descriptions. This lack of adherence to the Contract is technically grievable. Without clear job descriptions, all members of the faculty are susceptible to exploitation, but you don't have to be a victim of abuse, given the existence of Article 17.
In short, we're doing way too much to solve the larger problems of the District. If you're being asked to do more than Article 17 specifies, contact AFA.