The Word - 2014/02/05



The Word from CSEA

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of February 5, 2014

In This Issue:

- CSEA Updates
- State Teachers Retirement Systems (STRS)
- CSEA Ongoing Activities
- CSEA Advocacy and Support
- Academic Council Updates
- Faculty Updates
- Faculty Spotlight
- Featured Article
- Know Your Contract
- CSEA Representatives

CSEA Updates

1. Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) – Interim Chairs

In early December, the CSEA executive committee executed an MOU that would provide some clarity to the Interim Department Chairperson Position. It also provided the current interim Department Chairpersons the opportunity to make an informed decision about their service as an interim Chairperson. The Interim Chairs who decided to leave the bargaining unit, will be able to return at any time during the next year. Should they decide to remain in the position past this year, they will only be able to return to a faculty position if there is an open tenure-track position. The MOU became necessary when the Administration announced its desire to have a clear line between Manager and Employee. The Administration wants to set this line at the Department Chairperson.

2. CSEA Election Results

I would like to welcome our new and re-elected Officers and Association Representatives:

Vice-President - Tom Shanahan
Parliamentarian - MaryEllen Tancred
A&S Assoc. Rep - Adam Keller
A&S Assoc. Rep - Tim Davis
C&T Assoc. Rep - Amy Brubaker
C&T Assoc. Rep - Jackie Miller
C&T Assoc. Rep - Jon Lundquist
C&T Assoc. Rep - Mark Mitchell
C&T Assoc. Rep - Antoinette Perkins
C&T Assoc. Rep for Bolton Field - Chuck Kassor

Regardless of whether you are a new or returning person, CSEA appreciates your willingness to volunteer to serve our Organization. We are only as strong as our members!

3. Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM)

CSEA would like to thank all of the coordinators and other faculty who were able to attend the OAA forum on Strategic Enrollment Management. As a result of this meeting, Jack Popovich, Eric Neubauer, and Tracy Little were added to the Strategic Enrollment Management committee. CSEA is currently searching for a faculty member in the Health and Human Services division to serve as the CSEA appointee to this committee. The only requirement is experience in scheduling courses. CSEA will continue to work with the Academic Council to improve this new process.

4. Tax Deductible Dues

Association (Union) dues qualify as a miscellaneous deduction, the total of which must equal at least two percent (2%) of Adjusted Gross Income to be deductible. If you plan to take a deduction for your OEA dues on your 2013 tax return, the tax deductible amount is $653.78. Fair Share Fee payers can deduct $640.51.

5. Title IX Training

CSEA would like to encourage faculty to participate in the upcoming Title IX training being put on by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Ohio Department of Education. The training will be held on Friday, February 7, from 1:00 – 4:00 PM in the Conference Center Ballroom, WD fourth floor. You can register to attend here:

If you are unable to attend this session, online training will be available soon.

State Teachers Retirement System (STRS) and Political Updates

1. Ohio Supreme Court Decision

In a timely victory for workers in public institutions, The Supreme Court of Ohio ruled in October that a union does not commit an unfair labor practice when it fails to provide a public employer with notice of informational labor picketing "unrelated to a concerted refusal to work." See Mahoning Edn. Assn. of Dev. Disabilities v. State Emp. Relations Bd., 137 Ohio St.3d 257, 2013-Ohio-4654.

2. STRS Updates

The following is a reprint (with edits) of an email sent to faculty in early January regarding free workshops being held in the Columbus area offering information about changes to the State Teachers Retirement System and financial planning advice.

Many of you are aware of the new legislation that was recently passed in Ohio regarding the financial condition of state pension programs including STRS and OPERS. You may have some questions about how these changes will affect you and what you can do to prepare as they take effect over the next few years. Whether you are close to retirement or still have a few years to go, the new legislation will affect you and I encourage you to attend our upcoming Educator’s Workshop. During our time together, we will discuss the new legislation, the changes that it will bring, and how it affects your situation.

Our names are Matt Goedde, Brad Dickman, Brandon Strong and Jeremy Hoepf, financial professionals that focus on working with teachers and school employees. Together, our group has assisted hundreds of your colleagues through the retirement process. Topics we will cover include understanding your Ohio STRS benefit options, potentially minimizing taxes (both while employed and in retirement), keeping more of your sick-leave payout, managing the changing COLA, and how to potentially maximize your financial plan for both you and your family. You are stuck with the choice you make for life when it comes to pension payout. Your goal should be making an educated decision in choosing the best option for you and your family - this workshop will provide valuable information on how to do this!

The workshop is free of charge and spouses are encouraged to attend as well!

Please see below for the dates and locations that work best for you:

February 3rd February 13 February 17th
6:00 – 7:30 pm 6:00 – 7:30 pm 5:30 – 7:00 pm
7:30 – 9:00 pm 7:30 – 9:00 pm 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Hilton Garden Inn Hilton Garden Inn Hyatt Place
8535 Lyra Dr. 8535 Lyra Dr. 6161 Parkcenter Cir.
Columbus, OH 43240 Columbus, OH 43240 Dublin, OH 43017

Space is limited, so please RSVP today! To do this, you can call the office at (614) 310-8272 or send an email to Thank you for your time, and we look forward to sharing with you.

CSEA Ongoing Activities

Membership Meetings for Spring Semester

CSEA has scheduled the following membership meetings during spring semester:

  • February 6: 2:30 - 4:00 PM in CT 107 and DA 129
  • March 5: 2:30 - 4:00 PM in CT 107 and DA 134
  • April 1: 2:30 - 4:00 PM in CT 107 and DA 134
  • April 28: 2:30 - 4:00 PM in CT 107 and DA 129

Please mark these on your calendar!


CSEA will be sending out a bargaining survey later this week. Watch for additional surveys in the near future. We intend to send additional surveys to faculty in the C&T divisions as well as to ACF. These should be coming out in the next few weeks. IMPORTANT - If you haven’t already done so, please contact your Association Representative to give them a personal email address where the CSEA Bargaining committee can send updates on the bargaining process.

CSEA Advocacy and Support

As the bargaining committee prepares for the upcoming contract negotiations with the college, The Word from CSEA will provide some ideas, suggestions, and/or practices – under the rubric entitled “Organizing 101” - that may be helpful in creating greater unity and support amongst the membership. The following is the first installment:

Organizing 101: Negotiations and the Habit of Relating

As a collective, the strength of a union lies in the bonds between members. The tips offered here represent a means to encourage union solidarity and power through ongoing one-on-one relational meetings between members. Throughout collective bargaining, one-on-ones are critical for establishing union cohesiveness and collective capacity, as well as identifying the skills and talents members can offer their union, especially during negotiations. At a structural level, one-on-one relational meetings are a great way to keep members informed and engaged, and as a mechanism for organizing, these habits can sustain, orient, and nurture collective activity. The following are best practices for relational meetings that should be considered by members, especially for CSEA department representatives.

Best Practices for Individual – Relational Meetings

- Setting up the Meeting

- Arrange for 20-40 minutes in a quiet, convenient location. This should be at the person’s work place, in the break room, or at a coffee shop.

- Preparing for the Meeting - what would you like to learn?

- What do you already know about this person? What would you like to explore?

- What should you be sensitive about?

- What is their background? Do you have commonalities?

- Why do they do what they do? What motivates them?

- Preparing for the Meeting - what would you like to say about yourself?

- What is your story as it relates to why you are “organizing” or involved with the union? Why do you care?

- What parts of your story are you prepared to share?

- Does your story provide a means for them to remember who you are and why you are motivated to be actively involved with the union?

- In the Meeting

- Focus on the Other Person

  • Don’t follow a script.
  • Stay in the moment and resist thinking about your next question. Listen for the feeling behind their story.
  • Observe body language.

- Draw Out and Share Stories

  • This is not an interview – give and take - Be reciprocal.
  • Look for common interests and experiences.
  • Ask “why” questions and follow-up questions. Seek to understand how union interest/involvement (or lack thereof) affects your colleague.

- Probe for Their Interests

  • Look to identify passions coming out of hopes, pain, concern and pressures.

- Ask Agitating Questions

  • Why do they feel the way they feel? Share your own passions and concerns.
  • What would it look like if “it” was better? What should the future bring?
  • How do they “act” on their passions?

- Connect to Union Activities

  • Ask how the union could facilitate their vision of a better working environment. Provide examples of the union’s past successes.

- Stick to a Time Limit

  • Respect their time – don’t go beyond the scheduled time limit you set.
  • Schedule a follow-up meeting, if possible.
  • Leave while there is still more to talk about.
- After the Meeting

- Make notes on the conversation.

  • What’s their background and interests?
  • List questions that you wished you had the time to ask.
  • Note possible ways the person could get involved.
  • Note what “stories” you shared and why.
  • What impact did the meeting have on you? What did you learn?
- Reflection

- How can the individual become more integrated into the operations of the union?

- What roles and responsibilities would best match their talents and interests?

- How does this person fit into ongoing negotiations (if applicable)? Can you accelerate their involvement in union activities that would be helpful with respect to negotiations (If applicable)?

Academic Council Updates

CSEA would like to extend thanks to Darrell Minor for his tenure as Academic Council Coordinator from its inception; Darrell proceeded over his last Academic Council meeting in November. Tracy Little from the Social Sciences Department is the new coordinator, and CSEA welcomes her commitment to help sustain and grow the faculty’s role in the governance of the college.

During the last Academic Council meeting in November, several issues were discussed that are likely to have significant impact for all faculty in the near future. These discussions centered primarily on 1) Dual Enrollment; 2) Program Review; and 3) Strategic Enrollment. CSEA encourages its members to bring any issue and/or concern to the attention of the Academic Council via its individual committee co-chair members – especially CSEA representative Adam Keller ( - or council coordinator Tracy Little (

Faculty Updates

Connie Clark - program coordinator in Dental Hygiene - was given the Sandra L. Winchell Exemplary Service Award at the recent Ohio Dental Hygienist’s Association annual meeting.

David Tom, Ph.D. - Associate Professor in Psychology - has been named Faculty Fellow for Accreditation, succeeding Greg Goodhart, Ph.D., who led the accreditation effort for two years.

Marcia Rees Conrad - faculty member in Construction Sciences - was recently quoted in the Columbus Dispatch about the famous houses of Rush Creek Village, the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired housing development in Worthington. The article describes the original home built by Martha and Richard Wakefield, who studied with Wright in the 1940s. The home is for sale for the first time since it was built. Conrad has based her Columbus State classes on the house, “pioneering a new educational frontier blending preservation, architecture, and sustainability by studying Rush Creek Village.”

Faculty Spotlight

In preparation for the upcoming contract negotiations, CSEA Communications Committee member Amy Ng interviewed two members of the bargaining committee for this issue’s Faculty Spotlight.

Meet our Bargaining Team:

Contract negotiations are just around the corner, and The Word from CSEA will have a strong emphasis on key issues identified by faculty that will be at the forefront of the bargaining table. With that being said, it is important fellow union members understand the process and get to know your negotiating team. Your bargaining team consists of Professor Kevin James of Mathematics; Professor Tom Shanahan of Paralegal Studies; Associate Professor T. J. Duda of Mathematics; Associate Professor Ingrid Emch of English; Associate Professor Amy Brubaker of Human Resource Management; Assistant ProfessorAdam Keller of Biological and Physical Sciences; Associate Professor Eric Neubauer of Social Sciences; and Professor Diane Fidelibis of Human Services.

We have some experienced negotiators returning, as well as a few fresh faces. The purpose of this article is to hear from T.J. Duda (returning negotiator) and Eric Neubauer (new negotiator) to get their perspectives on the process, why they chose to get involved, and any advice for new faculty who want to get involved in future negotiations. First, we will hear from T.J. Duda, two time negotiator. Second, we will hear from Eric Neubauer, first time negotiator.


T.J. Duda:

Q. Why did you choose to be a part of our negotiations team and what assets do you bring to the table?

A. I wanted to be part of the negotiating team because I am committed to the work of CSEA – and the contract is the very foundation for that work. I have served as an Association Representative and as CSEA Secretary, so I am quite familiar with both the contract and the organization’s processes. I am a “problem solver” by nature, which sometimes helps me to find creative ways to achieve our goals in a manner that will be agreeable to the college.

Q. What is the specific negotiation process?

A. I will give a brief overview. During the fall and until spring break, both sides independently review the existing contract and decide which articles need to be “opened” for discussion/modification and/or if new articles need to be created. After Spring break, formal bargaining sessions begin. Each Thursday and Friday, both parties spend the day at a neutral location (typically in meeting rooms at a local hotel) discussing each other’s proposals. Throughout the day, the parties go back-and-forth between a common negotiating room and their own private caucus rooms. When agreement is reached on a particular issue, it is set aside and the next issue is addressed. This continues until all issues are settled, which can take months. If that is not possible, there are other steps that can be invoked (fact-finding, mediation, arbitration). Hopefully, those steps will not be necessary this year. While it was very time consuming and a lot of work, I found participating in negotiations to be quite an experience.

Also, it is important to note that none of the agreements that are made at the table are final. The contract is not officially in place until it is ratified by both the CSEA membership and the Board of Trustees.

Q. How does your experience differ from previous contract negotiations?

A. This is the first time that the college will be represented by someone other than Tim Wagner [former VP of Human Resources] at the bargaining table, so I suspect that it will take a few sessions for the two sides to “get to know each other”.

Q. Were there any lessons learned from your previous experience? Do you have any advice for new faculty on the negotiations team?

A. I learned that patience is key. The process can be quite trying and flat out frustrating at times, so it is important to keep a level head and keep working to find a solution.

Eric Neubauer:

Q. Why did you choose to be a part of our negotiations team and what assets do you bring to the table?

A. Since becoming involved with CSEA – first as Department Representative, then as a Senior Representative, and now as a member of the Executive Committee as CSEA Secretary - I felt it was important to continue expanding my involvement in CSEA. Being a member of the negotiation team will help broaden my awareness of how union activities are undertaken and will help me gain a better understanding of how the administration approaches issues affecting faculty and the college.

In terms of the assets I possess that will contribute to the negotiating team, I think the most important one is my understanding of the importance of having a strong union representing faculty at Columbus State. As a result, I feel strongly that my role as part of the negotiating team is to ensure that faculty issues and concerns are addressed and are negotiated in good faith; to ensure that articles within the contract previously negotiated (especially those that faculty want to preserve or improve upon) are vigorously defended; and to reassure our faculty members that I will be acting on their behalf to argue and defend what THEY want as part of negotiations.

Q. Is the process different from what you originally envisioned? What have you learned being a new negotiator on the team?

A. So far, what I’ve learned is that being a member of the negotiating team requires considerable preparation – not individually, but rather as an entire group. It’s vitally important that all the members are aware of the issues to be addressed before going into the negotiations, as well as have a plan of action of how the negotiations should (or could) unfold. This is where those that have had previous negotiation experience are most helpful to those of us who have never been involved in negotiations previously.

Q. What advice have previous negotiators shared with you that you found to be most helpful?

A. Not so much advice as being involved in the process of preparing for negotiations. In terms of the actual negotiations, what’s been most helpful to me is gaining insight from the more experienced members into what will likely transpire as part of the actual negotiation process. Again, this has come about by being involved with the negotiation team and the preparation process for actual negotiations.

Q. What advice do you have for new negotiators during our next contract period?

A. My advice would be to get more involved with CSEA, in any capacity. Reach out to your department representative and pester them about the contract, about issues/concerns you feel strongly about. Strongly encourage your fellow colleagues to do likewise. Contact the Senior Representatives or an Executive Committee member to see if there are any college wide committee’s you want to serve on as a CSEA representative. Contact an Executive Committee member about forming ad-hoc committees to examine and address a particular issue/concern for you or your fellow colleagues. Contact the CSEA Communications Committee about writing an article for the newsletter or disseminating information that you feel other faculty at CSCC should be made aware.

I don’t think it’s necessary to have any kind of specific background in negotiating (I certainly don’t). However, all faculty have the skill set (research and analysis; organization and preparation; communication, etc.) that lends itself to developing the necessary negotiating skills. What may be lacking is a greater understanding and awareness of the role and importance of CSEA at Columbus State – our purpose and values; who we are; and what we do. That’s why I stress the importance of getting more involved with CSEA. That’s what I’ve done.


In summary, it will be exciting to see the outcome of negotiations with this team. Both negotiators have the best interest of the faculty in mind, and we all look forward to the outcome of this vigorous process. Thanks to all members for their hard work and dedication.

Featured Article

CSEA President Kevin James contributes for this issue.

With CSEA entering into negotiations with the Administration later this semester, I would like to take this opportunity to discuss some of the major issues we expect to come up in the bargaining process. CSEA expects the majority of our negotiations to focus on the following articles:

Article 4 - Faculty Workload
Article 22 - Annually Contracted Faculty
Article 23 - Faculty Salary
Article 27 - Benefits

CSEA is committed to protecting faculty rights, ensuring fair and equitable treatment, and providing a strong voice for our members. We will continue to protect the faculty by strengthening our voice in workload issues. With three years of experience using Annual Contracted Faculty, we will be able to bargain for better conditions for these faculty.

During the last three years the current contract was in effect, the purchasing power of a faculty salary has decreased by 3.4%. In addition, the faculty contribution to STRS increased by 1% from 10% to 11% in July 2013, and will continue to increase 1% per year until it reaches 14% in July 2016. Even with the 2.5% raise we received in July, we are not able to buy as much with our salaries as we were able to three years ago.

CSEA has advocated for a mechanism that allows faculty to progress through the pay range of their current rank since 2001. The typical mechanism for this is a salary schedule. This will once again be a priority in Bargaining. Some may argue that this is too expensive. However, OEA research, using data provided by the Ohio Department of Education, shows that between the 2001-2002 and 2012-2013 school years, the average salary of teachers increased by 2.8%. Over the same time period, starting salaries for teachers increased 2.4%. The difference of 0.4% can be attributed to salary schedules and the step increases they provide (source: OEA Education Policy Research & Member Advocacy Bulletin August 28, 2013).

The implementation of the Healthy Rewards program (i.e. the 8 point system) was anything but the seamless implementation CSEA was promised it would be in our last round of negotiations. This program has wasted hundreds of man hours from both faculty and administrators alike. There is no doubt that promoting wellness is a key factor in reducing the overall healthcare costs at the College. Obviously, this is something CSEA would like to support. Unfortunately, the current system is seriously flawed, and inappropriately named. Instead of offering rewards for employees who take steps to lead a healthier lifestyle, it punishes employees who fail to attain a total of 8 points by increasing their share of the health insurance premiums by 50%.

The strength of our bargaining team depends on the will of the faculty who make up our bargaining unit. In order to bargain a strong successor contract, the bargaining team is counting on our members to show their support. Our team intends to send weekly updates to our members on the status of negotiations. We will need your strength and support throughout the bargaining process. If you would like to contribute to the Negotiations effort, please contact your Association Representative and let them know of your particular areas of interest and concern.

Know Your Contract

As mentioned in the Featured Article section, the bulk of the negotiations will center around the following current contract articles:

Article 4 - Faculty Workload
Article 22 - Annually Contracted Faculty
Article 23 - Faculty Salary
Article 27 - Benefits

The CSEA Communication Committee strongly encourages all faculty to review the aforementioned articles in the current contract and contact your association representative if you have issues or concerns that should be addressed by the bargaining committee. To view or download a copy of the current contract:

CSEA Representatives

Executive Council - Officers

Kevin James President 287-5008
Tom Shanahan Vice-President 287-2623
Eric Neubauer Secretary 287-5698
Michelle Duda Treasurer 287-2607
MaryEllen Tancred Parliamentarian 287-5099

Executive Council - Senior Representatives

To Be Determined Career & Technical Div.
Adam Keller Arts & Sciences Div. 287-2562

Department Representatives

Judy Anderson Developmental Education 287-5822
Beth Barnett Hospitality, Massage Therapy, Sports & Exercise Studies 287-2593
Amy Brubaker Justice & Safety; Nursing 287-5068
Crystal Clark Humanities 287-5451
Tim Davis Psychology 287-5830
Deb Dyer Human Services 287-2477
Dianne Fidelibus Physical Sciences 287-5015
Lydia Gilmore Health, Dental and Veterinary Technologies 287-3908
Frankie Hale Communication 287-5184
Chuck Kassor Construction Sciences 287-7108
Sue Longenbaker Biological Sciences 287-2430
Jon Lundquist Business Programs 287-5647
Phil MacLean Justice & Safety 287-5308
Jackie Miller Nursing 287-2601
Mark Mitchell Automotive and Applied Technologies 287-3612
Antoinette Perkins Integrated Media and Technology 287-5754
Dona Reaser Delaware Campus (740)-203-8231
Gilberto Serrano Mathematics 287-3863
Edgar Velez English 287-3694
Li Yang Social Sciences 287-5929

The Word from CSEA is produced by the Communications Committee of the Columbus State Education Association – Judy Anderson, Darrell Minor, Eric Neubauer, Amy Ng, and Mark Polifroni. We welcome your comments, news, and insights. Please send all correspondences to Eric Neubauer

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