Saturday, April 26, 2014

Shit happens

     The low turnout for the recently concluded faculty union election suggests that faculty are once again dropping the ball, failing to monitor this powerful voice, the Faculty Association. Colleagues, it is important to remember just how bad things can get when the wrong people control that  organization. That happened back in the 90s, when Sharon Macmillan—reportedly now mentoring some active members of the FA—and her friends (Raghu Mathur, et al.) placed Teddi Lorch, John Williams, Dorothy Fortune, Steve Frogue—and, by 2000, Don Wagner and Tom Fuentes—on the board. We have yet to fully recover, as you know. (Don’t forget that one Mathur protégé, the incompetent and unpopular Glenn Roquemore, remains President of IVC after a dozen years. The board seems determined to keep him there, despite his manifest failings.)
     Here are two brief videos that provide some sense of how dark our days can become when we fail to keep vigil.


This is how the MacMillan-Woodward-Mathur-Runyan FA got their slate of trustee candidates elected in 1996: such tactics as the infamous homophobic flier, sent to Republican households

An entry from THE DISSENTER’S DICTIONARY (c. 1999)

FACULTY ASSOCIATION (aka the "union")
     The SOCCCD faculty union, the legal representative of faculty concerning contractual matters; a chapter of the California Teachers Association (and of its division, the Community College Association [CCA]).
     By the mid-90s, the FA was controlled by a small group of faculty—the OLD GUARD—that utterly disregarded rules, laws, common practice, and democratic principles. Starting in about '96, for over a year, union members sought unsuccessfully to secure (among other things) a copy of the chapter's bylaws—an effort that increased in intensity during and after the infamous ’96 trustees race, in which many tens of thousands of union dollars were used to finance the notorious homophobic "SAME-SEX" flier. Faced with this pressure, president Miller-White (and vice president MacMillan) asserted that the bylaws would become available once a mysterious "clean up" process was completed. (We were told that "typos" needed to be corrected.) Eventually, owing to pressure brought by the CTA, Miller-White produced a copy of "the bylaws," but it was soon determined to be a version that had been registered with CTA many years before and, according to CTA guidelines, was no longer valid, since it had not subsequently been submitted for review and registration. In about December of '96, reform members discovered that, not only had the chapter's leadership failed to keep valid bylaws on file with CTA but they had even failed properly to register the chapter with CTA. When reformers then applied for a CTA charter, CTA officials, fearing litigation, insisted that the old chapter, despite its failure to be chartered, was indeed a chapter of CTA. ("If it quacks like a duck, it's a duck.")
     Owing to the chapter's egregious election conduct and its undemocratic ways, a lengthy letter of complaint, signed by 109 tenured faculty, was sent to the CCA president in December of '96. Ultimately, this yielded the formation of a CTA "leadership team," which visited the district in April (?) of '97 and later issued a report, according to which the chapter had indeed failed to keep minutes or proper PAC records and had engaged in unacceptable campaign tactics. (See LEADERSHIP TEAM REPORT)
     During this period, Miller-White and her Old Guard cronies continued to run the chapter as though it were their private club. Invariably, Representative Council meetings would be held without a quorum (the issue was never raised). When reformers complained about this, Miller-White invariably became hostile and even beligerent. During one meeting in '97, Rep Council members agreed, contra Miller-White, that an effort should be made to determine the existence of a quorum, but it soon became clear that the members present could not agree what constituted a quorum. Indeed, it became clear that there was disagreement regarding who was and who was not a member of the Rep Council!
     During the spring of '98, the Old Guard finally permitted an internal election of officers and Rep Council members, but when it yielded many Reform-candidate victories, Miller-White and her group simply declared the entire election null and void, citing their own error with regard to egligibility requirements for one office. In subsequent months, the Old Guard spent tens of thousands of dollars promoting the candidacies of two avowedly anti-teachers union candidates—Padberg and Wagner, friends of the Board Majority. When union members asked whether this was true, Miller-White and her cronies simply refused to answer. Thanks to fliers and ads that implied, falsely, that Padberg and Wagner could help stop the El Toro airport, the two were elected in November of '98, and the Board Majority expanded to 5 members.
     In the spring of '99, owing to the involvement of CTA, new internal elections were held, and the reformers won, though MacMillan (formerly president-elect) now presided, despite being on sabbatical. (Naturally, the Old Guard contested the election.) The PAC committee, however, comprised former chapter presidents, and thus was dominated by the Old Guard. Thus, the reformers initiated the arduous task of gaining membership control of the PAC.
     Toward the end of her tenure as president, Miller-White, without proper authorization from the Rep Council, made a "verbal" request to the Chancellor to cut withholdings from members' paychecks, and he readily complied. This meant that no monies would be collected for the union PAC—money that could eventually be used to defeat Fortune, Williams, and Frogue in 2000. When the new Rep Council decided to restore the withholdings, Sampson was notified, but refused to restore them. (At one point, he cited the fact that the request had merely been "verbal.") Eventually, CTA lawyers demanded the change, but Sampson still refused to make it. This has resulted in PERB complaint which may soon be ruled upon....


Anonymous said...

Hashing over the past, worrying about the future, failing to live in gratitude of the present. Do something kind for someone anonymously and without expectations. Be of service to others. Give of yourself - time is so precious. Live today and smile.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to hear such vicious defamation of the people who negotiated the best labor contracts SOCCCD faculty had ever had. That, after all, is the proper business of a union, not political correctness.

Anonymous said...

Your so-called "best ;labor contracts" were won at the expense of younger faculty and a willingness to scapegoat gay and lesbian faculty and to support anti-semites like Steve Frogue The business of a union is justice, labor justice for all, not a few. The fact that you have piped up to defend the indefensible suggest that the old guard is still out there. Beware.

And for the record, to criticize holocaust denial and homophobia is NOT to engage in "political correctness."

Again, faculty beware. These are the people who will come to the fore once again.

Anonymous said...

No defamation here - just the truth. Where do you see defamation? They owned up to all of this and more - all in defense of your "best labor contracts."

You may be willing to sell out people so you can take home more money but most of us were unwilling to do that.

Anonymous said...

Jeeze Louise! You're dwelling on stuff that happened about 20 years ago. Are you kidding? I teach business/economics and I wasn't born then. To bring it into perspective you're rehashing half a careers' worth. A short time from now it will be a quarter century! That's more than a third of a lifetime! Don't you DtB blogsters have a life? Please don't use cats, your mother, or your sister as an excuse.

Anonymous said...

I sense a duplicitous troll has appeared--20 years old and teaching businesss/economics? Run along and play with your little friends.

Anonymous said...

They hire them young in business and apparently do not value a respect for history or culture. That explains the, uh, sudden economic downturn that took the likes of them by surprise, I suppose.

I appreciate the history lesson.

Anonymous said...

Frankly I've only been at IVC about 5 years, but I believe it's important to look at history to realize how the culture on our campus developed over time. If more "newer" faculty would take time to understand the issues that have taken place over the past 20 years or so they wouldn't be so oblivious to what happens around campus. Yeah, let's not dwell on stuff that happened 20-30 years ago...what difference does it make (clue young person: If not kept in perspective, history has a way of repeating itself) Many of the former Russian satellite countries are now facing that very fact.

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