What's Really Happening - 2002/07/15



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of July 15, 2002


In the past week we reached tentative agreement on a range of issues that indicate some progress. These included academic freedom, in-term bargaining (which would allow the Association and the College to re-open talks by agreement during the contract period), participation in a College Health Care Committee to study and review benefits options, hiring of retired faculty, sabbaticals, and review of the College's solicitation guidelines by a joint College-Association committee. We conducted extended talks without concluding agreements on grievance procedures, arbitration, disciplinary/corrective action processes, and maintenance of personnel files. We believe that we can reach acceptable terms on most of these issues, but there are still major areas of disagreement.


In the coming week's meetings we expect to revisit several topics, including leaves of absence, policies and procedures, intellectual property, and workload. A critical part of the workload proposal is more equitable treatment for faculty serving as program coordinators (particularly in the technical programs). We seek a more reasonable allocation of reassigned time and increased administrative support for these faculty, who under current practice perform many functions for which the College should have greater responsibility.


Your support for a salary schedule-a set of annual step increases that would allow faculty to advance their pay within rank-was a central element of our organizing efforts. The basics of our proposal are fairly simple, and the numbers are not unreasonable.

The College has offered us what it would have given if there was no union and no bargaining: a 3% raise retroactive to January 1 and an additional 2% raise retroactive to July 1, with no additional increases until July 2003. Our salary schedule proposal differs from the College's proposal by $5.4 million over three years. An increase in student enrollment of 4% over this same period would more than cover this cost.

The College historically has budgeted conservatively, and as a result (during a period of sustained and, more recently, rapid growth in enrollment) has built up significant surpluses. Columbus State's revenues in FY 2001 (ending June 2001) exceeded expenses by $4 million. The most recent available College reports show that the College has stored up over $50 million in cash or cash equivalents.

Why do we believe this is reasonable? Consider:

  1. the College has increased enrollment in significant part on the strength of our teaching skills
  2. the College has saved up money by limiting the hiring of full-time faculty, choosing to avoid the additional costs by relying on large numbers of adjunct/part-time faculty
  3. the ratio of full-time faculty to students at Columbus State is seriously enough out of balance that the NCA Report in 2000 cited it as a major challenge for the College (see Community College Profile, below)
  4. the President informed the Board at its May meeting that the College projects a revenue increase of over 6% in the coming year; the College's FY 2003 budget projects a revenue increase of over 10%
  5. the College recouped cuts in state funding by raising student tuition, ending up with a surplus despite shifts in state aid, and
  6. our salaries are 6th out of 7 among the largest Ohio community colleges and (depending on the year compared) somewhere between 8th and 11th among all Ohio community colleges, despite regular 5% annual increases in the past (see Community College Profile, below).

We believe that the College's impressive enrollment and financial gains are at least partially the result of our individual and collective performance as teachers. Given the ability of the College to improve our economic standing at this time, our salary schedule proposal is a modest request.


Following CSEA's pledge to challenge a new requirement to force faculty to hold at least one office hour each weekday, the College has apparently abandoned efforts to enforce any changes in existing requirements covering office hours.

Staff employees in the Physical Plant voted (30-11) on July 11 to have the Teamsters Union represent them in contract talks with the College. Public Safety employees, also represented by the Teamsters, are currently negotiating with the College.


Once a contract is ratified, your dues can be deducted through payroll deduction. However, if our contract is not concluded by the beginning of Autumn Quarter, union dues will come due in a lump sum. Although we hope to have ratified a contract by then, we urge you to start setting money aside to assure that your dues and membership will be current so you can participate in the ratification vote.

We realize that some of you think negotiations are taking too long. We understand your concern, but initial contracts usually take a long time. Still, we will not allow talks to continue indefinitely. We are willing to seek mediation if negotiations appear to be stalling. We are committed to the goals you supported in choosing union representation. We know that we cannot achieve all our goals in one contract, but your support and encouragement so far has made our progress possible. Stay strong. Keep talking to us. Spread the word.

Data from the

Ohio Faculty Senate of Community and Technical Colleges "College Profiles"

Autumn 2001 Data for Ohio's 7 Largest (FTE's) Community Colleges

  Number of Students (Headcount) FTE's Number of Full-Time Faculty Percent of Credit Hours Taught by Full-Time Faculty Student to Full-Time Faculty Ratio Average Faculty Salary (Tenure Track)1
Columbus State C.C.
Cuyahoga C.C.
Sinclair C.C. 2
Owens State C.C.
Lorain County C.C.
112 3
49% 3
63.5 3
Lakeland C.C.
Cincinnati State Tech. & C.C.
178 3
51% 3
38.6 3
  1. Average Faculty Salary information is based on Autumn 2000 data (most recently reported)
  2. All information for Sinclair C.C. is based on Autumn 2000 data (most recently reported)
  3. This information for Lorain County C.C. and Cincinnati State Tech. & C.C. is based on Autumn 2000 data (most recently reported)

What's Really Happening is produced by the Communications Committee of the Columbus State Education Association. We welcome your comments, news, and insights.

Steve Abbott, President / x5096
Karl Rieppel, Vice President / x2500
Amy Brubaker, Secretary and Association Representative / x5068
Greg Goodhart, Treasurer / x5431
Darrell Minor, Parliamentarian / x5310
Bill Mundy, Association Representative / x5176
Dr. Jane McDowell, Association Representative / x2656 
Dave Busch, Association Representative / x5079
Dr. Charlie Gallucci, Association Representative / x5499
Leslie Smith, Association Representative / x5302
Dr. Wendy McCullen-Vermillion, Association Representative / x2693
Lisa Schneider, Association Representative / x5124

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