What's Really Happening - 2002/08/05

 

 

What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of August 5, 2002

COLLEGE SAYS "NO" TO SALARY SCHEDULE and BUY-OUT IT'S TIME FOR MEDIATION

At the close of negotiations on July 26, the College delivered its response to five CSEA proposals. The College's representatives said that the College refuses to discuss:

  1. Salary schedule. CSEA proposed a salary schedule that would allow faculty to move up within their salary "range." The current practice regularly raises the bottom of each pay range with each salary increase, thus anchoring virtually every faculty member to the lower 1/10 of the range.
    • The College said NO because it would be treating faculty "differently than other employees."
    • The College said NO because it says it is reluctant to take on a "long-term economic commitment" at the same time the President has project record enrollments for this fall (and the foreseeable future) as well as a revenue increase of over 7% next year.
    • The College said NO because it believes that years in service alone should not guarantee more pay. Yet in 1999 the Board of Trustees approved an agreement through which the President, if she completes five years of employment with the College (2004), she will receive a $15,000-a-year retroactive bonus of $75,000. What is your good teaching worth?

  2. Early retirement buyout. CSEA had proposed that the College purchase service years for long-term faculty to allow them to retire a few years earlier than they might otherwise. The College would then be able to hire nearly twice as many faculty (new hires at a lower salary) to replace retiring faculty. This action would help the College improve its ratio of full-time faculty to students, a serious issue cited in the last NCA report. Over the last 2 years student enrollment increased at record-setting levels and the College's unallocated funds balance increased to over $50 million; in other words, as the College's cash on hand and the number of students increase, we are falling further behind in improving our student-to-full-time-faculty ratio. Although there would be substantial initial costs, the College would begin a period of long-term savings in less than 4 years.
  3. Governance. CSEA had proposed that the Association appoint faculty representatives to the new governance councils. When the Board of Trustees abolished Faculty Senate last November, it justified its action by saying that CSEA now represented faculty concerns. We want to accept that responsibility. Through its elected members on the councils, CSEA will work within the governance process.
  4. Selection of department chairs by faculty. CSEA's proposal would allow chairs to serve from the ranks of tenured faculty, giving them security in their employment that would encourage them to be advocates rather than enforcers. All current chairs would have been "grand fathered" in. We will continue to encourage the department chairs to organize as part of the faculty.
  5. Upward evaluation. CSEA had proposed that faculty be allowed to evaluate their department chairs. As with the original intent of student evaluations of faculty, the purpose would be for chairs to receive feedback that would allow them to improve their management skills. Under our proposal, these results would be confidential and seen only by the chairperson.

The College's refusal to work with faculty to administer this process will not prevent an independent evaluation of department chairs administered-and made publicly available-by the Association.

We have repeatedly told the College that demonstration of a willingness on its part to discuss a salary schedule would create an atmosphere of greater flexibility on the Association's part in discussing workload. Because the College has delayed negotiating on compensation and a number of other substantive issues, we have filed notice with the Federal Conciliation and Mediation Service (FCMS) to proceed to the mediation and fact-finding stages of negotiations. At the end of the mediation and fact-finding stages, we anticipate that union members will have the opportunity to vote to accept or reject the fact-finder's recommendation (Note: only faculty who are CSEA members will be allowed to vote on the fact-finder's recommendation).

We have made progress on leaves of absence, corrective action/discipline, and grievance/arbitration procedures. We will continue to negotiate during the mediation and fact-finding process, and hope we can reach agreement on many points. We are also revising a number of our compensation proposals, most notably the salary schedule. We believe that these new approaches would allow individual departments greater flexibility in hiring and further improve the quality of faculty the College is able to attract.

PLANNING AHEAD

Once a contract is ratified, your dues can be paid 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 are also compiling an email group for those of you who are already union members. Please respond from your home email to CSEAOEA@YAHOO.COM so you can be notified of special announcements.


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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