Faculty Voice Newsletter: President’s Report: Remaining Effective in an Emergency

by Karl Ewald


I don’t play basketball much, but basketball did teach me something. When I first started playing, I would just run all the time. Trying to score or trying to stop someone else from scoring. There is always something to do. Always something urgent to attend to. But without a plan and a strategy, you exhaust yourself, you struggle through the rest of the game, and, in the end, you generally don’t win.

Never in my lifetime have I seen so many people dedicate themselves to shedding their role as political spectators and joining the political game as active participants. We’re nine days into the Trump presidency and regardless of your political affiliations it is hard to see the present political climate as boring or slow paced. It can be difficult to predict the 1st order effects of some of the proposed changes… Let alone the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or higher order effects. This is a time where the populous rightfully feels they must actively pay attention and act to ensure the cascading effects of these decisions serve the people and their interests. This is likely to be a long game and we need to think strategically to avoid exhausting ourselves and keep our collective efforts as effective as possible.

Back to basketball. We all have limited capacity and we need to be thoughtful in choosing where we focus our efforts. One technique I try to use daily is to ask myself, “What are those things that only I can do?”. As educators, we are in a unique position to effect change. As a CCFT officer, I have a unique role to play in representing faculty and their interests here at Cabrillo. The truth is that long before the election, we had a long list of things to work on. We have reopeners on safety, the DC matrix, compensation, and benefits. We also have new issues come up almost daily. We will continue to seek your input on these and other items to be sure we are representing the full breadth of faculty concerns. We will also continue to focus our efforts on our first order of business: representing you.

For those interested in the DC matrix related work, you can watch this video for an overview of the subcommittee’s work: https://youtu.be/K2bJuyenVug

The governor’s proposed budget has been released and we are just digging into the details. There are several items of note. There is a proposed 1.48% COLA, 1.34% increase for growth (though we are not currently seeing growth), and a 0.40% increase in base allocation. System wide, there is $150 million in one-time monies proposed for implementing guided pathways. Colleges continue to be challenged by mandated employer increases for PERS and STRS. We plan to examine the budget more closely in upcoming CCFT Council meetings.

As you may be aware, the district is moving negotiations to human resources. The college is currently active trying to recruit an HR Director. The Governing Board is hosting a study session on various bargaining methods on Monday Feb 6th at 5:00 pm at the Sesnon House. I encourage you to attend this meeting to better understand the difference between traditional bargaining and interest based bargaining (IBB).

In closing, I’ll ask you to please be thoughtful of those around you and the emotions and concerns they are trying to juggle. We are stronger together and even stronger when we understand that each of us has unique skills and unique ways of contributing. CCFT is as diverse as our faculty and has space for everyone to participate. That could be as a Council member helping us communicate with our membership and taking an active role in setting our agenda and guiding our path forward. Or maybe you’d like to do more direct political work with our Committee on Political Education? Either way, CCFT will be more capable and effective with your participation and your efforts to move us forward. Come visit!