What's Really Happening - 2002/10/01



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of October 1, 2002


Many thanks to the nearly 60 faculty who attended the Board of Trustees meeting last Thursday (especially on such short notice) to express their concern about a range of pressing issues. Our thanks also to the dozens of others who contacted members of the Executive Committee to express regrets about being unable to attend because of classroom or family obligations. (As the group assembled in Nestor Hall to walk to the Board meeting, a staff member remarked, "How'd you get so many employees here without food?")

Union president Steve Abbott addressed the Board during the public comment portion of the meeting. He outlined several growing problems related to quality of education at the College, most notably the ratio of full-time to part-time faculty and the ratio of full-time faculty to student enrollment. The Board showed considerable interest in the presentation, which included concerns about the following points: (1) a dangerously out-of-proportion ratio of full-time faculty to student enrollment, (2) the lack of measurable improvement in operations provided by the new $10 million computer Datatel system, (3) the increased reliance by the College on program coordinators and lead instructors to perform managerial functions, and (4) the new governance structure, which will consider only issues raised by Dr. Moeller mocks the concept of shared governance. It also provides no vehicle to consider adjunct faculty concerns and thus effectively disenfranchises adjunct faculty.

The presentation followed a presentation by Terry Thomas, executive director of the Ohio Association of Two-Year Colleges, the advocacy/lobbying organization that represents the interests of community colleges. There was a noticeable sigh of appreciation from faculty when Thomas noted that teachers historically are underpaid.


Many of you have expressed your appreciation for receiving the spreadsheet showing projected changes in salary for each faculty member under our proposal as compared with the College's pay proposal. (It generated several new memberships, too!) If you haven't looked at it yet, we urge you to review and analyze the data. The information is significant in what it shows about immediate improvements in pay (making our salaries more comparable to other community colleges) as well as what it suggests about the long-term financial welfare for you and your family. Our salary schedule would allow you to advance by steps within rank and at retirement be making at least $15,000 more than current College pay rates would allow. This means significantly more retirement income.


Your willingness to participate in an informational picket at Taste the Future was inspiring. On further consideration, we cancelled the picket in order not to distract attention from the event's student-centered focus. We thank the members who worked at the event and helped to raise, according to Dr. Moeller, around $400,000.


Autumn Quarter enrollment is over 12% above Autumn 2001 and will probably go higher. At the same time, new full-time faculty hires are less than 5% of the total number of faculty. Although the 2000 NCA accreditation report cited the imbalance in the ratio of full-time faculty to part-time faculty as a serious problem, and the Board subsequently made a commitment to improve this problem through increased hiring, the College's hiring of faculty is slipping farther and farther behind rather than improving the ratio. This failure threatens the historic commitment of the College to small classes and a favorable faculty-student ratio.


The Executive Committee has met with the officers of the Public Safety and Physical Plant unions to discuss issues of common concern. We have begun to circulate union representation cards for a separate OEA staff union. We urge you to reassure staff in your areas that signing a card calling for a representation vote is a legally protected activity and that the names of those who mail their cards to OEA are absolutely confidential.


The Negotiating Team is preparing documentation to submit to the fact finder. This material will support our proposals that were unresolved when we reached impasse September 6. The fact finding hearing will take place October 17-18, after which the fact finder has 14 days to submit a report that will be presented to the union and the College. Within 14 days of receipt of the fact finder's report, both sides (the Board of Trustees and the dues-paid membership of the Association) must either approve or reject the report in its entirety (acceptable and unacceptable parts together). If either side rejects the report, mediation resumes.

Remember that only members who have paid their 2002-2003 dues will be able to attend and vote at the meetings on the fact finder's report. If you have not yet renewed your membership, do it TODAY. If your review of the salary schedule and the strength you felt at the Board meeting have inspired you to join, now is the time to do it.


We will be holding a meeting late in October to elect officers and Association Representatives. If you are a paid member and are interested in serving in any of these capacities, please contact one of your Association Officers. Notification of election dates and time will be sent to paid members only.

Stay strong.

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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