The Word - 2007/10/18

 

 

The Word from CSEA

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of October 18, 2007

MEMBER MEETING ~ ELECTIONS, BUDGET AND MORE

There will be a CSEA member meeting on Thursday, October 25, at 3 PM in Nestor Hall Seminar D (lower level).

Agenda items will include adoption of the annual budget; election of Association Vice-President and Parliamentarian, half of our Association Representatives (stewards), and 3 delegates to the OEA Representative Assembly; voting on an amendment to the CSEA Constitution; and preliminary discussion of proposals for contract negotiations next spring.

Faculty who are interested in running for any of the offices should contact any member of the Nominating Committee: Beth Barnett (x2593), TJ Duda (x5309), Patrick Fiorelli (x3910), Lydia Gilmore (x3908), Alesa Mansfield (x5770), Susan Moran (x5453), or Greg Goodhart, (x5431).

If you are unable to attend and wish to vote an absentee ballot, contact Greg Goodhart, Nominating Committee chair.

We encourage all members, and especially new members, to attend if possible. The meeting should last about an hour.

FEDERAL LEGISLATION AND FACULTY RETIREMENT PENSIONS

The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO) currently penalize many public employees by reducing or taking away completely Social Security benefits earned by the employee or his/her spouse. In fact, under the WEP, public employees could lose up to 60% of the Social Security benefits they earned previously in private sector work. Moreover, due to the GPO, a majority of employees covered by a state government pension (e.g., STRS, SERS, PERS) lose their entire Social Security spousal benefit, even if the spouse worked an entire career in the private sector. This is because the public employee's pension is treated as if it were a Social Security benefit, thus reducing (dollar for dollar, to a prescribed maximum) the spousal benefit that would be received from Social Security. The result is that in a majority of cases, the entire Social Security spousal benefit is lost.

Legislation to repeal the WEP and GPO has been introduced in both the U.S. Senate (SR 206) and the U.S. House of Representatives (HR 82). CSEA encourages all faculty to contact their senators and representatives and urge them to support SR 206 and HR 82 that would repeal the WEP and GPO.

THE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM OF OHIO: WHAT IMPACT ON CSCC?

Earlier this year, the position of Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents was changed from a position appointed by the 9-member board to one appointed by, and reporting directly to, the Governor. Board members now make recommendations to the Chancellor, who serves as a member of the governor's cabinet. While this change means that the position of chancellor may become a more politicized position (chancellors could be replaced with the election of new governors), it also means that higher education has a stronger "voice at the table" since the position of chancellor has become a cabinet-level position.

Former state senator and U.S. representative Eric Fingerhut was appointed chancellor by Gov. Strickland in March. Since then, Chancellor Fingerhut has been actively pursuing the goals set by Gov. Strickland of increasing access to higher education for more Ohioans, increasing funding for higher education (after a six-year decline in state funding) while putting a freeze on tuition increases, and increasing financial aid to make higher education more affordable in Ohio. One of the most aggressive goals stated by the governor is to have 230,000 more Ohioans enrolled in college in 10 years. This will require both recruiting significantly more students and retaining those who do enroll.

In what is likely to become a major restructuring of higher education in Ohio, Gov. Strickland announced in August the formation of The University System of Ohio, a network of all of Ohio's public universities, technical and community colleges, and career centers that combined have over 100 campuses across Ohio. Chancellor Fingerhut is currently developing a master plan for this system, which is due to be submitted to the Ohio Legislature by March 31, 2008, and he has indicated that he hopes to have a draft of the plan completed for review by the end of 2007.

A primary goal of The University System of Ohio is to remove much of the competitive nature between colleges that exists under the current structure and replace it with a more collaborative approach. Many ideas are currently being discussed as to what this might entail, some of which include:

  • if a particular four-year university does not offer a degree in a certain program, allowing a nearby two-year college to offer the degree;
  • if a particular two-year college does not offer a degree in a certain program, allowing a nearby career center to offer the degree;
  • conversely, eliminating the duplication of some programs that may be viewed as inefficient within the System as a whole;
  • increasing the number of 2 + 2 and 3 + 1 (or, in some cases, 3 + 2) agreements between two-year and four-year institutions;
  • assuring that all coursework (not just those currently covered by Transfer Assurance Guides) taken at one of the schools within The University System of Ohio transfers to any other school within the System, without requiring review of the course by the receiving institution on a case-by-case basis; and/or
  • increasing the extent to which schools within the system share existing physical resources (rather than building additional infrastructure that will not be needed if there is going to be more collaboration).

The changes that are coming to higher education in Ohio will undoubtedly impact faculty in ways that are not yet clear. As additional details of the Chancellor's master plan are made available, CSEA will continue to inform you of those details.

SPECIAL PAY-HEALTH CARE

Faculty members employed Spring Quarter but who did not work Summer Quarter should have received an additional $500 line item on either their July 15 pay voucher or on their October 15 pay voucher. This amount was included as part of negotiations in 2004 and is intended to offset increases in health care premiums. Faculty who worked Summer Quarter should have seen this additional pay on their July 15 pay voucher. If you have questions about this aspect of your July 15 or October 15 pay, contact your Association Representative.


The Word is produced by the Communications Committee of the Columbus State Education Association. We welcome your comments, news, and insights.

Darrell Minor, President and President-elect/ x5310
Amy Brubaker, Vice-President / x5068
Susan Moran, Secretary / x5453
Phil MacLean, Treasurer / x5308
Mary Morgan, Parliamentarian-elect / x5768

Steve Abbott, Senior Association Representative / x5096
Gil Feiertag, Senior Association Representative / x5861
Judy Anderson, Association Representative / x5822
Liz Betzel, Association Representative / x5329
Mark Bocija, Association Representative / x5049
Dave Busch, Association Representative / x5079
T.J. Duda, Association Representative / x5309
Dr. Charlie Gallucci, Association Representative / x5499
Cindy Evans, Association Representative / x2435
Bob Mergel, Association Representative / x5034
Dona Reaser, Association Representative / x5475
Gilberto Serrano, Association Representative / x3863
Leslie Smith, Association Representative / x5302
Kathy Struve, Association Representative / x5330
Dr. Wendy McCullen-Vermillion, Association Representative / x2693


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