What's Really Happening - 2002/10/28



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of October 28, 2002


Indicating a desire to assure stability during the next phase of the organization's development, members re-elected the current slate of officers at the October 24 member meeting. Members also elected the Association's parliamentarian and Association representatives for both divisions. Officers are:

President: Steve Abbott, Communication Skills
Vice President: Karl Rieppel, Computer Science
Secretary: Amy Brubaker, Business Management
Treasurer: Greg Goodhart, Mathematics
Parliamentarian: Darrell Minor, Mathematics

The following faculty will serve as Association representatives, information sources as well as faculty advocates in grievance and disciplinary actions:

Arts and Sciences

Elizabeth Betzel, Mathematics
Dr. Charlie Gallucci, Biological and Physical Sciences
Lisa Schneider, Communication Skills
Leslie Smith, Mathematics

Career and Technical Programs

Hakim Adjoua, Law Enforcement and Legal Assisting
Sandy Fabyan, Computer Science
Dr. Jane McDowell, Office Management
Bill Mundy, Accounting
Chuck Rinehart, Construction Management

The Association representatives will elect a Senior Association Representative, who will serve as a member of the executive committee.


Since there were no additional nominations for officer or Association representative positions at the October 24 meeting, and members present approved the slate of nominees, the follow-up meeting scheduled for October 31 is cancelled. The executive committee, Association representatives, and department organizers will use the meeting time to formulate future plans.


After a day of mediation and another day of testimony by the Association and the College, the hearing concluded at the end of the day October 18. Through mediation, several items were removed from consideration by the fact finder. The parties reached tentative agreement on a provision that would add a Section 125 medical care spending account to the current dependent care spending account benefit. We also agreed to establish two committees made up of equal numbers of Association members and administrators. These committees, with specific deadlines for completing their work, will study and make recommendations to the College/Association committee regarding (1) intellectual property and distance learning guidelines, and (2) the work of program coordinators and lead instructors, including levels of institutional support for their work. The first of these was a separate proposal in negotiations, and the second was a part of CSEA's workload proposal.

In the hearing, the College did not claim that it could not afford salary adjustments for faculty. Rather, it argued that economic uncertainty made the College reluctant to offer anything more than minimal raises that fall substantially below previous raises. Also, College negotiators said that a lack of the "merit" element in our salary schedule proposal would make it possible for faculty members to get raises for, in the words of one administrator, "walking, talking, and chewing gum." In response, the Association presented a new salary schedule proposal. Instead of a schedule based on YEARS OF SERVICE as a full-time faculty member, we offered a schedule based on YEARS IN RANK. This schedule would encourage faculty to seek promotion to move up their steps within rank, and thus subject them to the "merit" evaluation that is included in the promotion process. It would also make raises less subject to the whims of administrators (as opposed to hard financial data, which this year would have dictated raises at least comparable to the past few years).

The negotiating team believes that the new proposal addresses the College's concerns about merit. Over the next three years, although this proposal would cost less than it would cost the College to continue the average salary increases we have received over the past three years. To mitigate this additional cost, the negotiating team also proposed that, if the schedule were accepted, that it would be retroactive only to July 1 rather than to the beginning of the year.

For your information and review, we have attached, as a Word document, an issue-by-issue comparison of the Association's position, the College's position, and the current status (status quo) on the issues submitted to the fact finder. In the next Update, we will send summaries of each of our issues and a spreadsheet showing our final salary schedule proposal.


Although the original agreement between the parties called for a report from the fact finder within 2 weeks, the fact finder requested more time to render a decision. By mutual agreement, we will receive a report with the fact finder's recommendations by around November 18. The parties have 2 weeks to accept or reject the report, and if either party rejects the report, the impasse will continue. However, if either side rejects the report, legal timelines will expire and the Association will face the decision of what other actions it wants to take, as necessary, to break the deadlock. The vote by Association members to accept or reject the report will probably occur right before Thanksgiving break.


We welcome those of you who have joined in the past few weeks. Wear your union pins, post your union signs, and discuss the issues-and the lack of a pay increase in almost two years-with your colleagues. To those who hesitate to make your membership public, we understand, but we encourage you to step out and inspire your colleagues. To those who are waiting for something to happen before you join, consider this: nothing will change unless it happens through an Association agreement. Sitting on the sidelines and murmuring your support or your hopes will not produce a contract and its accompanying improvements in pay, procedures, and job security. A simple majority of faculty in the union is not enough; a decisive majority is necessary.

Your verbal support has sustained the negotiating team. Your presence at the Board of Trustees and at union meetings has strengthened the entire Association. Be part of the decisions that will affect your professional life in the next three years. If you haven't yet, join CSEA today. If you have doubts or concerns, call any of us. Together we can build new and more equitable relationships with, and within, the College.

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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