Changes, Additions, and Deletions Summary Report 02/05/2021
Article 24 has long presented challenges for both UPM and the District. The previous version was long, impenetrable, and so narrow in scope that it was nearly impossible to effectively apply it.
Specifically, Article 24 identified 13 unique contractual violations that were subject to discipline. The problem, however, is that each violation required a different process for addressing that particular issue and was silent on how to handle other disciplinary matters.
Simply put, if someone engaged in problematic behavior on campus and that behavior was not outlined in the contract, the district couldn’t do anything about it. What this means then, is that problematic behavior, which often does not occur in isolation, but has consequences for other faculty and members of the campus community – including students – could go on indefinitely without being addressed.
Yet another problem with the previous version of Article 24 is that many of the penalties for contractual violations were unduly severe. For example, the language previously stated that parttime faculty who failed to file class rosters or final grades on time more than once over the course of their careers were eligible for dismissal. Meanwhile, as noted above, someone could engage in egregious misconduct and if that particular behavior was not identified in the contract that person could continue to get away with it. This is not fair nor is it just. And that was the goal in rewriting this section of the contract, to make things clearer, fairer, and just.
Article 24 is now significantly shorter and built around two key sections: 1) Progressive Discipline; and 2) Causes for Discipline.
• Progressive Discipline
There are now 7 steps in the discipline process
- Verbal Warning
- Written Warning
- Letter of Reprimand
- Unpaid Suspension
o Please note that the new progressive discipline process is much longer than what was outlined in the previous contract – the first step in the prior contract was a warning letter, with no verbal warning.
o Past practice plays a prominent role in how discipline is now handled.
- UPM’s goal is to ensure the District is consistent in how it implements discipline and that the discipline relates fairly to the offense
• Prior to issuing a letter of reprimand or initiating a suspension or dismissal the District is required to discuss the matter with UPM
o This helps to maintain a record of past practice
• If and when, a written warning letter is sent, the unit member will be reminded of their right to UPM representation regarding disciplinary matters.
- Causes for Discipline
o Just cause is required for discipline
- Discipline may proceed if a unit member violates any provision of the CBA, District Board Policies, and Administrative Procedures
- Any of the causes identified in the California Ed Code, including:
- Immoral or unprofessional conduct
- Persistent violation of, or refusal to obey, the school laws of the state
- Conviction of a felony or any crime involving moral turpitude
There are no specific changes/additions/deletions to make note of in this article as it was a full rewrite and is composed of entirely new language.