(L-R) Guild officers Sharon Hendricks (Treasurer), Joanne Waddell (President), Mindy Chen (Secretary) and Bill Elarton-Selig (Executive VP) led the end-of-year festivities at the Guild's Annual Membership Meeting.
Guild Membership Meeting Caps a Successful Academic Year
A parody of Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 disco anthem “I Will Survive” was an apt opening to the Annual Membership Meeting and dinner held at the Guild Office on May 21st that culminated the 2018/2019 academic year for AFT Local 1521. Attendees swayed to the rousing singalong led by Los Angeles College Faculty Guild president Joanne Waddell at the start of the late afternoon’s festivities.
A catered buffet and music by jazz quartet Ostia (some of whom are LAVC Job Training employees) complemented an agenda that included dancing and raffled prizes, as well as a celebration of retiring faculty and a warm welcome to newcomers.
“We were teetering over a cliff, but we survived!” Waddell said, referencing the summer of 2018’s Supreme Court decision in
Janus vs AFSCME
, an attempt to eviscerate public sector unions. “We went ‘all in’ on our goals of organizing, communication, bargaining, politics, and labor and community alliances. As a result, it is with confidence and without hesitation that I can say the state of the Guild is strong.”
There was a lot to celebrate. Of the more than 4,500 AFT Local 1521 members, there has been a net loss of only 35 members since the Janus decision. Meanwhile, on the organizing front, the Guild has added 300 new members, significantly advancing the goal of 85 percent membership strength.
Guild Activist Makes a Difference
Guild Executive Board delegate Hasmik Arakelyan has shown that one person can have a huge impact on others’ lives. On her home campus, Valley College, her primary extra-curricular activity has been activism for the LGBTQ+ population on campus.
These are the LGBTQ+ activities she has initiated at LAVC:
- LGBTQ+ Safe Zone Training for faculty and staff (in conjunction with Professional Development),
- The very first LGBTQ+ Conference on campus, with speakers and panel discussions, attended by more than 80 people,
- Informational cabinets on the walls of two campus buildings and the ASU Office, plus LGBTQ+ posters around campus,
- A small LGBTQ+ safe space office at the ASU, where she holds office hours,
- A LGBTQ+ Club on campus, which put together the first LGBTQ+ Movie Night, holds meetings with speakers from the community discussing LGBTQ+ issues, and participated in the AIDS lifecycle last year,
- The creation of a $250 Rainbow Scholarship,
- LGBTQ+ group therapy sessions every Wednesday.
She is also working on creating an LGBTQ+ diversity center on campus.
Arakelyan was nominated as LGBTQ+ Hero by KNX Radio and received an Apple Award (based on votes from students), an Above and Beyond award at LAVC, an EOPS award and an award from the ASU for Outstanding Service and dedication as the club co-advisor.
“LGBTQ+ and human rights activism are my passions,” Arakelyan said. “I think education is the best form of evolution. Often, we try to put people into boxes or plaster labels on them, but then we realize as humans we are beyond boxes, labels, and definitions. What we have to realize is that in life, whether it is about sexuality, gender, gender expression, or attraction, there is way more than only one kind of normal.”
Local 1521 in Sacramento
An AFT 1521 contingent joined thousands of demonstrators in Sacramento in May to show their displeasure with State Chancellor Eloy Oakley. Pictured L-R are Pierce Chapter President Brian Walsh, Guild President Joanne Waddell, Mission College Executive Board Delegate Chris Cofer and Guild Treasurer Sharon Hendricks.
This spring, CFT delegates issued a vote of no confidence in the Chancellor based on his support for performance-based funding and his failure to engage in collegial consultation with faculty stakeholder groups.
AFT 1521 Scholarship Winners.
AFT 1521 Scholarship Winners Honored
The Faculty Guild is pleased to announce the following recipients of this year’s AFT 1521 College Memorial Scholarships of $1,000 each:
Alma Ramirez Martinez
Recipients attended a celebration on June 6th at in the Guild Office.
“This event is always inspiring,” said Denice Labertew, Chair of the Guild’s Good & Welfare Committee. “Most student recipients bring families and/or support networks with them. It is the opportunity that we have as a union to celebrate the hard work of our students and show them the how much we care about their futures.”
CalPERS Health Care Plan Rates to Rise for 2020
Health insurance premiums for California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) heath care members are going up next year. The rates will be lower than insurers initially requested. Premiums will go up by 4.65 percent despite insurers having asked for increases far greater.
Overall, HMO plans are going up an average of about 6 percent, while PPO plans are going up an average of about 3.3 percent. Premiums for CalPERS’ PPO-style Medicare plans are decreasing an average 2.5 percent, while the HMO-style Medicare plans are increasing by an average of about 6 percent.
The impact for our faculty will be a slight increase in some premiums for those adjuncts who buy into the health care plans. Watch for the JLMBC Newsletter which will have more information.
Policyholders will be able to switch plans during the open enrollment period from Sept. 9, 2019, through Oct. 4, 2019.
"While we join the fight for health care for all, the Faculty Guild continues to work through the Joint Labor Management Benefits Committee to negotiate the best possible health care options for all faculty," said William Elarton-Selig, Chair of the Joint Labor Management Benefit Committee (JLMBC).
Information for this article was obtained from a report in the
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Motions Passed by the Guild at Executive Board April 16, 2019
Endorsed Measure EE
Contributed $2,500 to Rusty Hicks for his campaign as CA Democratic Party Chairperson
Contributed $1,100 to Jackie Goldberg for LAUSD Board Seat #5
Increased the budget for the Student Internship Program from $150,000 to $180,000
Adopted a Climate Change Resolution
Approved an MOU for non-credit offerings at Los Angeles Southwest College