Someone Sends a Message in a Bottle…

People send me letters, emails, newsletters, book proposals, pleas for money, applications for employment, and all manner of information. Yesterday, I got a faxed copy of the May/June Spotlight, the newsletter of the AFT-Washington. In it, there are two interesting tidbits. Let’s start by saying that my last posting addressed a recent TT hiring at a community college in Washington State. In that posting, I wrote that the union and Washington State Board for Community and Technical College (SBCTC) had conferred on which community colleges would receive a piece of the $500,000 FACE money. The cash was doled out to 20 community colleges. At one of those colleges, the FACE-funded TT position was simply awarded to the president of the union, because officials felt they couldn’t conduct a thorough search before September 2008, the deadline imposed by the legislature and the unions.

In AFT-Washington President Sandra Schroeder’s Spotlight column she writes about the “Washington State Board for Community and Technical College’s poor decision about how to distribute the $500,000…for new full-time positions.”

Hmm….don’t you want to know what she’s referring to? I flipped through the rest of the issue. I found the following headline: “State Board refuses to include local faculty unions in conversions.” The unsigned article says that after extremely limited “consultation” with the state level unions (meaning representatives of the AFT Washington and the Washington Education Association), the SBCTC refused to work with local unions. The SBCTC decided to distribute money to certain disciplines: math, science, English, ABE/ESL, or early childhood education.

Does this have an impact on what I wrote the other day? Not really. The union president at the college where the FACE money went was still awarded a TT job without having applied in an open process for that FACE-funded post, or having ever interviewed for it amongst a group of other candidates. Despite what the SBCTC did, GRCC officials, and the AFT Washington allowed the a TT job funded by FACE to be awarded without all qualified union members having ever been invited to apply.

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