The Word - 2008/02/21

 

 

The Word from CSEA

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of February 21, 2008

DOES HUMAN RESOURCES DICTATE CURRICULUM?

CSEA is awaiting action from Provost Dr. Kay Adkins in response to a Human Resources letter to a faculty member that attempts to dictate what classroom material can be presented as part of a Career & Technical program course.

After investigating a charge of inappropriate behavior against a faculty member, the Human Resources office found that allegations brought by two students were without foundation. However, in a letter to the faculty member, an HR administrator stated that the faculty member should refrain in the future from covering certain material (which is contained in a widely used textbook in the faculty member's field). Worse, the letter threatened "disciplinary action up to and including dismissal" if the faculty member dared to use material relevant to the discipline in the classroom.

CSEA President Darrell Minor requested information about the case from the administrator who conducted the investigation, and was informed that she was "not able to comply with this request." Minor then filed a public records request with the college, and CSEA received a copy of the HR letter to the faculty member 2 weeks ago. In a letter to the Provost last week, Minor asked her to address the issue of whether the Human Resources office can threaten disciplinary action against a faculty member for covering material appropriate to a given course and thus dictate curriculum. The Provost responded Tuesday that she would send the faculty member a revised letter. Stay tuned.

MEETING FOR ALL FULL-TIME FACULTY

CSEA will sponsor a meeting for all full-time faculty March 10 at 2:30 PM in FR 106. Regardless of whether you are a CSEA member or not, we encourage you to attend to discuss issues that will be raised in negotiations as well as common concerns among all divisions.

We recognize the difficulty in scheduling a meeting time that will accommodate all faculty members' schedules. If you are unable to attend this important meeting, but would like to attend a future meeting for the purpose of discussing issues for negotiations, please contact Darrell Minor (dminor@cscc.edu) and suggest alternate days/times for a meeting, and based upon the volume of response and the times suggested we will try to accommodate additional faculty schedules.

FACULTY ISSUES SURVEY

CSEA will be distributing a survey to all full-time faculty within the next week seeking your views on a range of issues. Your responses will help your Negotiating Team prioritize proposals being prepared for bargaining. If you have not yet forwarded your concerns to Association leaders, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and make your voice heard.

REMEMBER PROMOTION DEADLINES

Faculty members who intend to seek promotion this year must file a letter of intent with their department chairs no later than March 1. Promotion portfolios must be turned in to department chairs no later than April 1.

CSEA encourages all faculty seeking promotion to allow enough time before April 1 (at least 2 weeks) for senior faculty in your program/department to review your portfolio. They can offer helpful suggestions for making it showcase your accomplishments more effectively and improving the likelihood that you will achieve advancement in rank.

CAMPUS CLOSES – COLLEGE TELLS ADJUNCT FACULTY "TOUGH LUCK"

A year ago, The Word reported how the College had decided that, despite its own Policy and Procedure, it would not pay adjunct faculty for work days missed when the College closed in late February due to a snow emergency. Well, after last week's closing due to weather and another closing due to electrical problems, adjunct faculty are suffering because the Human Resources office has chosen to interpret policy so that adjuncts lose pay once again.

In explaining the campus closures last week, Vice President for Business and Finance Teri Gehr cited Policy 3-16, which covers suspension of campus operations, to explain the action. Yet when it comes to the next subsection of the Policy, HR says that employees who had not reported to work at the time the campus closed are not entitled to pay for that day. This action would appear to violate College Policy 3-16(B), which reads: "In the event of the college's operations being interrupted for not more than two days per quarter, all employees [emphasis added] will be compensated at their normal rate of pay for the interrupted period [emphasis added]." The Policy contains no exclusions or exceptions to this section (such as already having reported to work).

Adjunct faculty and tutors who were scheduled to work but had not yet arrived on campus will not be paid, according to the HR office. But since tutoring hours are hours that have been assigned to faculty for the duration of a quarter, tutors appear to qualify for their "normal rate of pay for the interrupted period."

It's hard to believe that the College would attempt to avoid paying adjunct faculty in this situation-first, because Policy dictates that they be paid; second, the money is not an additional cost but is already part of the College's FY 2008 budget allocated by the Board of Trustees; and third, the action shows a surprising disregard for the hourly professionals who make up the backbone of the College's teaching staff (faculty teaching on adjunct contracts taught 74.4% of all contact hours last academic year). Refusing to compensate teaching professionals with money that has already been allocated for their assigned work undermines any efforts to reinforce loyalty and raise morale and seems to fly in the face of basic fairness as well as adherence to College Policy. The College's failure to adhere to its own Policies and Procedures was a strong motivating factor for many full-time faculty to organize with the OEA six years ago.

LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TO ALLOW ADJUNCT FACULTY AND GRADUATE STUDENTS TO ORGANIZE

On February 5, 2008 legislation (HB 468) was introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives that would allow adjunct faculty and graduate students in Ohio to organize for the purpose of collective bargaining. In the past, these employees have been excluded from those public employees who have been allowed to organize, and recognition of adjunct faculty associations or graduate student associations has been voluntary on the part of the public employer.

TAX DEDUCTION OF ASSOCIATION DUES

According to OEA, all union dues paid during 2007, with the exception of $37.57 (which is contributed to political causes), are deductible on 2007 income tax returns. If you paid by payroll deduction, you can check your December 31, 2007 pay stub to see the total amount paid for CSEA dues, and subtract $37.57 from that amount.

Bear in mind that this deduction will only be useful for a small number of members. Union dues qualify as a miscellaneous deduction on Schedule A of Form 1040, the total of which must equal 2% of adjusted gross income to be deductible.

CONTACT CONGRESS RE: YOUR RETIREMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY

In the last Word, we urged you to contact your Congressional representatives to encourage their support for repeal of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which penalize some public employees by cutting or taking away completely Social Security benefits they or their spouse earned, simply because the public employee earned retirement benefits in both the Social Security System and in a public retirement system.

We've made it easy for you to make your voice heard most effectively. A basic equation in legislative offices says 10 emails equal 1 phone call and 10 phone calls equal one letter. You can contact your Senators and Congressperson by phone at the numbers below, or you can multiply your impact byclicking this link and printing out the four letters printed there. (Change the dates if you procrastinate like some of us.) All you have to do then is put each in an envelope, spend $1.64 for stamps, and mail them. $1.64 and a few minutes are a small investment for several hundred dollars a month in retirement.

Representatives Pat Tiberi (614/523-2555)
Deborah Pryce (614/469-5614)
Senator Sherrod Brown (614/469-2083)
Senator George Voinovich (614/469-6697)


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
Eric Nuebauer, Association Representative / x5698
Dona Reaser, Association Representative / x5475
Gilberto Serrano, Association Representative / x3863
Leslie Smith, Association Representative / x5302
Kathy Struve, Association Representative / x5330


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