AFA Advocacy during COVID-19: Emails to Membership

May 30, 2020

Dear AFA Members,

Your union leadership has a few important reminders and suggestions as we head into summer.

  1. Return to Work Plan:  We are reviewing the College’s Return to Work Plan.  Please let us know if you have any particular concerns.
  2. Fall Courses:  As you know, courses in the fall will be taught on-line (with a few exceptions).  Please be in touch with your chair about whether you would like to do this synchronously or asynchronously.  If your department has guidelines about teaching on-line, please share them with us.
  3. Teaching On-Line -ION Courses:  These are professional development courses put together by a consortium of Illinois colleges and universities.  The office of On-Line Learning at Oakton will pay for one course per semester.  If you haven’t taken any, you should start with the Overview.  The link to register is:  https://colrs.uis.edu/portal/catalog?tab=schedule.  Use Oakton’s discount code: EU207.  Send Ray Lawson, the Dean of On-Line Learning at Oakton (rlawson@oakton.edu) the invoice.  You can also contact your division administrative staff for reimbursement for additional courses using your professional development funds.
  4. D2L Training: Center for Professional Development (CPD) at Oakton is offering classes in D2L.  Here is the schedule:  https://www.oakton.edu/facstaff/entrenous/internal_pages/cpd-internal/workshops/wschedule.php#D2L
  5. Unemployment:  The Illinois Education Association (IEA) is hosting webinars on how to file for Unemployment.  See attachment for schedule and registration.
  6. Reimbursement for Equipment:  We are continuing to work with the College on reimbursement for equipment required to transition to remote and on-line learning.

As always, please reach out if we can help.

Check our website for further details:  oaktonadjuncts.com

In Solidarity,

The AFA Board

May 12, 2020

Download the AFA Newsletter Here. 

May 9, 2020

Last Day of the Semester Virtual Happy Hour–Friday, May 15 at 4pm

We have been thinking about you, and want to see your faces!

Join for Happy Hour on Friday, May 15 at 4:00pm.  Bring your favorite drink, and catch up.

We will host a quick meeting, followed by a casual check-in depending on the number of participants.

If you would like to ask the AFA Board a question in advance, please add it to the form below and we will answer it.

Note: YOU MUST fill out this form to be sent a link to enter the meeting. This is simply to prevent uninvited Zoom bombing guests.  If you want to be included, but can’t figure out the Google form, just reply to this email saying you would like to come.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScS3UHPNf9hwZLU9N-479NYpv74FDr0eGOl1vzoLRO2P0Bthg/viewform?usp=sf_link

May 6, 2020

Update on Oakton AFA Elections (Motion Passed on 5/6):

“The election for the AFA Officers is postponed until after the Illinois state government’s stay-at-home order is lifted and Oakton’s campus reopens.  Following IEA guidance and the AFA’s bylaws, the current officers will continue to serve in their positions after their term expires in a temporary capacity until such time as holding the election is practicable.  Once the Oakton administration decides on a timeline for campus to reopen, the Elections Committee will set a new date for the Officer election and inform all AFA members at least 15 days in advance of the election, in accordance with AFA bylaws.”

April 20, 2020

Dear Fellow Oakton Adjunct Faculty Members,

We wanted to let you know about our on-going conversations with the administration during this incredibly stressful time.

First, please let us know immediately if you are having difficulty finishing the Spring semester on-line.  We will be happy to connect you with whatever resources you might need.

Summer: The summer schedule is clearly an issue for many of us.  After full time faculty, seniority remains the underlying premise for who should get to teach first.  However, the presence of already existing on-line classes is also a factor.  If you were offered a face-to-face class for the summer earlier this spring and are being denied an opportunity to teach this course on-line this summer, please let us know.  There are a myriad of special circumstances, but we’d be happy to help you sort this out if you if you feel as if you have been treated unfairly.

Fall: If you tuned into the President’s Coffee & Conversation ( Listen to the recording here )on Thursday, you know that the future is complicated.  For those teaching in the sciences, the cuts have been very severe because of the inability to have labs.  What the Fall of 2020 looks like is very uncertain.  Our best recommendation is to equip yourselves now by taking ION courses and participating in professional development workshops offered by the Center for Professional Development.  Where appropriate, work on converting your courses to on-line courses.  This is different from what many of us are doing now in this remote learning environment, as we will not have the luxury of any assumed synchronous class time.

Unemployment: Should you be denied classes this summer that you were already offered, know that you are eligible for Unemployment Insurance.  The federal government’s CARES Act specifically includes adjunct faculty members and the National Education Association (the national organization of the IEA of which you are a member) worked hard to lobby for our inclusion.   More information can be found on our website:  https://oaktonadjuncts.com/government-programs

Survey:  If you have not had a moment to do it, please fill out the survey we sent out last week.  Here is the link:  https://forms.gle/BnDCwybSGiwrsfL49

It should take less than 5 minutes to complete.

On-Going Conversation:  The preliminary data we received from this survey was quite useful in our conversations with Ileo Lott, the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Colette Hands, the Chief Human Resources Officer.  We are advocating for a number of the issues that you all have raised.  We have now received written confirmation that adjunct faculty librarians, tutors, and coaches will be fully compensated through the spring semester.

The AFA Board

oaktonadjuncts.com

 

April 13, 2020

Below is a link to a survey from the Adjunct Faculty Association about the impact that the shift to online learning at Oakton because of COVID-19 has had on you.  Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey, as the answers will help the AFA be more effective advocates for all of our interests.  The survey should only take about 5 minutes to complete.  Feel free to share with other Oakton adjunct faculty members who might not be on our list.

 

Join Oakton’s “Virtual Coffee and Conversation,” Thursday, April 16, 1 p.m.

  • The one hour online meeting will include a message from President Joianne Smith, as well as a Q&A session.
  • Employees should submit questions to coronavirus@oakton.edu, with “Coffee and Conversation Question” in the  subject line by noon, Tuesday, April 14.
  • Employees will also have the opportunity to submit questions through the online chat feature during the session, which will be addressed if time allows.
  • A  link will be sent to employees in a future communication.

April 5, 2020

Dear Fellow Part-time and Adjunct Faculty Members,

The AFA (Adjunct Faculty Association) had a meeting Thursday with Ileo Lott, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and with Collette Hands, Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Office.  We will continue to have regularly scheduled meetings with them.  We recognize that there are many issues that are worrisome about the week and months ahead at Oakton, and hopefully the information below will answer some of your questions.  Please reach out to us if you have particular questions or concerns.  We cannot advocate for you if we do not know what issues you are confronting in your division, department, or individual circumstance.

  1. Summer:  As your chair may have informed you, the college is going 100% on-line for the summer.
  • Most classes that were face to face classes will be converted to on-line sections if a pre-existing on-line version of the course exists.
  • The rules of seniority spelled out in our contract continue to apply, making everyone eligible to teach on-line.
  • If you have not completed formal training in teaching on-line (beyond the crash courses of the last few weeks), you are asked to complete trainings that will be made available to you by Oakton and the Center for Profession Development (CPD).  However, you will not be required to do so.
  • But yes, full-time faculty can still bump you.
  • If you feel as if your chair is not following this protocol, please contact us so we can advocate on your behalf.
  1. Faculty covered by 9.2 of our Contract: Librarians, coaches, tutors (embedded and those working in the Learning Center), counselors hired before 2013 will all be paid for all the LHEs originally assigned to them for the semester.
  2. “Paused” course with clinical hours, hands-on music/art, or programs that require student-hands-on practice, automotive, nursing, EMT/Fire fighters, and others, these faculty will be paid but will have to finish teaching the students in their class environments at a time to be determined after the College reopens.  This will be formalized with an MOU (memorandum of understanding) negotiated by the AFA and the college administration.
  3. Technology issues:  If you are having trouble with technology (your computer or wi-fi), please reach out to your dean, your chair, or to IT and copy us.  The college is committed to making sure you have the resources you need.  We will help you hold them accountable.
  4. Professional Development:  Please keep careful track of any training sessions you attend, Webinars you take, etc. These can be counted toward your “Continued Eligibility.”
  5. Classroom Observations: The only observations that will occur this semester are for classes that were initially on-line and for which an observation was required this semester.
  6. Student Evaluations:  Only classes originally on-line will be evaluated this summer.
  7. Participation in the decision-making process:  While there are no adjunct faculty members on the President’s Council or CoCac (Council of Chairs & Coordinators), the AFA is doing its best to raise issues with the administration through regular communication of issues.  Please email us or go to our website and we will attempt to address your concern as soon as possible.
  8. Watch your email for a survey:  We want more information from you so we can continue to advocate your behalf.

Be well!!

The AFA Board

3/19/20

Dear AFA Members,

Over the last few days, you have received emails from President Smith and the college regarding Oakton’s continued campus closure through April 24th.  You were also informed about the agreement that has been reached with the staff union.

Please know we continue to advocate to protect your rights and well-being and to seek clarity about how this will impact adjunct and part-time faculty.  President Smith has acknowledged that we are among the most vulnerable populations of employees at the college. However, we are all in uncharted territory.

Please be in touch with us if you have particular questions.  We are aware that there are special issues for library faculty, coaches, faculty-tutors, and faculty teaching hands-on classes.  We know some of you may lack technology or reliable wi-fi. A few steps that would help us help you.

·      If you have not heard from your chair, please let us know immediately.

·      If you have not already done so or need help doing so, fill out the technology survey sent by John Wade.  If that proves too complicated, please simply inform your chair and copy us. Click here to fill it out: Technology Survey

·      Let us know of any other concerns you might have.

·      Share this email with your fellow part-time and adjunct faculty who may not be on our list.

·      If you are living alone, and would like someone to call and periodically check in on you, please let us know.

Stay safe and be gentle with yourselves!

The AFA Board

 

3/16/20

Dear AFA Members,

We wanted to let you know that we are thinking about you. The Adjunct Faculty Association board members are doing our best to advocate for your health (both mental and physical) and to protect your rights as faculty members.  We have been in touch with many members of the administration and the full-time faculty union.

Unless you are already teaching on-line, the rapid move to on-line teaching clearly adds a layer of uncertainty.  To begin the transition to on-line teaching, please immediately fill out the technology survey sent out by John Wade to let the college know exactly how much access to technology you have.  Here’s the link to the survey.

We also recognize that many faculty are over the age of 60 or have other health challenges.  Others adjunct faculty may also now have children at home, making working from home even more difficult.   We also realize that some of you are not big users of D2L and may have no experience teaching on-line.  We are doing our best to advocate for you on all fronts.

For those of you who are librarians, tutors, and coaches there are other questions about compensation.

The college has established an email to send questions:  coronavirus@oakton.edu

If you email them, please copy the AFA at afaoakton@gmail.com so we can try to track responses for everyone.

We honestly believe that the administration is working in good faith with all our best interests at heart.  Yes, mistakes have been made and communication not as clear as it could have been, but the administration has never faced anything like this themselves.  These are days to be gentle with ourselves and each other.

Please feel free to forward this to other adjunct faculty members, as our list is incomplete.

Please also communicate with us about any other issues we might be overlooking.  CLICK HERE FOR ADDITIONAL RESOURCES.  

Take care of yourselves,

The AFA Board

WELCOME

Welcome to the Oakton Community College Adjunct Faculty Association (OCC AFA),   which represents all part-time faculty in the bargaining unit at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines and Skokie,IL.  The Oakton Community College Adjunct Faculty Association is affiliated with the IEA-NEA (Illinois Education Association-National Education Association).

We hope you find this Website helpful.  As you navigate the pages and the links, you will find access to the current contract and forms, member and general resources, negotiation updates, as well as general information about the union and its history.  Please scroll though each page to find what you need.  We encourage you to contact us with your questions.

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Contact Information:

AFA Office  DP Room 2470
Voicemail:  847-635-2193
Email:  afaoakton@gmail.com
Web site: oaktonadjuncts.com