SFAI Visiting Faculty Union Biweekly Update 11/10

Bargaining Update

The bargaining team for Visiting Faculty at SFAI has continued to meet with the administration represented by their lawyer and Dean Schreiber. We have completed submitting the non-economic issues outlined in our previous update. It is our plan to submit all proposals at our next bargaining session. We are now putting together our final proposals and we need you to come and make this decision together. Join us at our next SFAI Visiting Faculty Assembly (General Membership meeting):


Friday, November 14, 5:30pm, Kennedy’s Irish Pub & Indian Restaurant, 1040 Columbus Ave., SF


The bargaining team has looked at contracts from other schools where adjunct faculty have won union representation. We continue to be guided by the priorities decided at Visiting Faculty Assembly meetings over the summer. We have heard from faculty about their personal concerns at meetings and through the Communication Liaisons. We have put these goals and contract language into a series of proposals that address the central questions for all of us.


These important items include –

  1. Faculty Stability (job security)
  2. Increased voice in Institutional Service
  3. Health and Welfare Benefits
  4. Increased compensation (Professional job titles with a graduated route to advancement)
  • Faculty Stability includes longer term contracts, with a tiered system of advancement and a process for evaluation. It covers processes for appointment and reappointment as well as a request that came from the last Assembly meeting that the contracts include a provision for taking a leave for professional development.


  • Increased Voice in Institutional Services covers the ways that VF can serve on committees. It provides paths through which VF can have a voice in the Institute in line with their length of service. Here is the preamble for this particular proposal: “We believe there is potential for a more meaningful involvement for non-tenure/non-tenured track (visiting faculty) that will enrich both the campus community and students. As we are proposing longer term contracts and increased compensation for non-tenure/non-tenured track (visiting faculty), we feel committed to increasing our role in institutional service at the Institute as well.”


  • Health and Welfare Benefits includes insurance for half time VF (three courses a year) and the option of receiving a percentage of coverage in the form of cash in lieu of insurance in cases where either the VF does not qualify as half time or declines health insurance though SFAI. There are retirement benefits and leave benefits as well.


  • Increased Compensation takes the form of a per course pay scale that increases based on the number of courses taught cumulatively over the last 20 years. We are proposing four categories. Within each of these categories are differences in compensation, requirements of institutional service and job titles.


Join us at our next Assembly (General Membership Meeting) to get more details and collectively decide how to move forward.



Action Update

Our second SFAI social on Wednesday, November 5, at the Yield Wine Bar, next to the SFAI Third St. campus, was a success.  Visiting Faculty, permanent faculty, students, and staff attended. It was a friendly evening with lots of discussion and food. We hope to host another end of the semester gathering with our colleagues from Mills and CCA. More info on that soon.


Following the survey we did in the summer, the meetings we’ve held to set our priorities, and conversations with colleagues, we believe that faculty stability is a key issue going into the bargaining process.  We’ll be contacting people one-on-one and asking about how stability from semester to semester, or the lack of it, affects you and your departments and students.  Stay tuned for more about why SFAI needs faculty stability.


Our request for information regarding urban studies, math and science, and new hires received a response from Rachel Schreiber, Dean and VP for Academic Affairs.  She writes that the future of Urban Studies is to be decided by the Faculty Senate, and that it is small and has not been providing a "robust experience" to students.  She says the decision to reduce the math and science requirements to one course total was made by the Senate, but that management reserves the right to make these decisions. Regarding new hires, her statement is that they are advertising to "enlarge our pool of eligible faculty".  She also writes that "some portion of our faculty labor pool will always be contingent," though we didn't ask her that.  Note that if you didn't get a copy of Rachel's email, you may not be on the VFA-SFAI list, our forum for visiting faculty-only discussion of the issues.  Please contact us to be added.


The local's request for copies of all Fall and Spring contracts has been met, and they'll be going through those soon to clarify who's being hired back and whether people's contract terms are changing.  Please speak up if you have concerns about the contract you've been offered (regardless of whether you signed it).


A full list of current Visiting Faculty's contact info was requested earlier this semester. SFAI has been given a deadline of Nov 18th to provide this info.  If you know colleagues who aren't getting this update, that's probably why.  We'd very much like to be in touch with them.


Welcome Ivan Iannoli and Sebastian Alvarez, who have joined us as communication liaisons for outreach to our VF colleagues.



Next SFAI Visiting Faculty Assembly (General Membership Meeting)


The only way to win a strong and fair contract is to be informed, engaged and active. Attending our VF Assembly meetings is the best way to participate in the process. The Assembly allows the opportunity to get the latest bargaining info, provide input and collectively decide how to move forward. There will be a SFAI VF Assembly on Friday, November 14, 5:30pm, Kennedy’s Irish Pub & Indian Restaurant, 1040 Columbus Ave., SF




SFAI Faculty Senate Meeting (VF are invited)

Wednesday, November 12, 4:15 – 6 PM, MacMillan Conference Room, SFAI Chestnut Campus


SFAI Visiting Faculty Assembly (General Membership Meeting) 

Friday, November 14, 5:30pm, Kennedy’s Irish Pub & Indian Restaurant, 1040 Columbus Ave., SF


Theatre of the Oppressed

Saturday, November 15, 11-2pm, SEIU Office 155 Myrtle St. Oakland


SEIU/SFAI Bargaining Session

Tuesday, November 18, 3-5pm, SEIU Office 100 Oak St. Oakland


Contact Info


SEIU 1021 tries to reach all SFAI visiting faculty with these updates.  To add, subtract, or correct your info on that list, contact jonathan.nunez-babb@SEIU1021.org.


There is an all-to-all email list for visiting faculty at https://groups.google.com/forum/#!aboutgroup/vfa-sfai. All visiting faculty are welcome to that list. For help with it, contact wonder@riseup.net.


You can follow our progress on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/sfaiadjunctunion, and on Adjunct Action Bay Area: http://adjunctactionbayarea-seiu1021.nationbuilder.com/sfai_updates.


In Solidarity,

The SFAI Bargaining Team, Action Team, Assembly Secretaries, and SEIU Local 1021