What's Really Happening - 2003/01/16

 

 

What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of January 16, 2003

STRIKE AUTHORIZATION VOTE

In voting January 14 and 15, CSEA members overwhelmingly authorized the Negotiating Team to set a strike date if contract talks with the Board do not produce a satisfactory contract. The law requires a 10-day notice prior to any work stoppage. The Negotiating Team pledged to engage first in further discussion to settle outstanding issues. With all of the issues taken to fact finding back on the table following the Board's rejection of the fact finder's report, CSEA is awaiting new proposals from the College.

NEW ASSESSMENT PROCESS = CHANGE OF STATUS = CAN'T DO

In the same meetings, members raised a range of concerns about the new assessment processes that faculty are being asked to follow. Following discussion, members agreed that to require faculty to perform new duties during contract negotiations is a "change of status," which the law forbids since all aspects of work requirements are subject to negotiation as part of collective bargaining. A year ago the Board denied full-time faculty an increase in overload pay from $35 to $36 an hour along with the adjunct faculty pay rate, stating that to provide the scheduled raise would amount to a change of status in full-time faculty working conditions.

As a result of a review of those processes and extensive discussion among faculty, CSEA IS DIRECTING ITS MEMBERS AND ADVISING OTHER FACULTY TO DISCONTINUE IMMEDIATELY ANY FORMAL WORK ON ASSESSMENT THAT GOES BEYOND WHAT IS DONE IN THE NORMAL PROCESS OF EVALUATING STUDENT COURSE WORK.

We must politely but firmly decline to continue this additional work, and if a manager insists, you should request that the directive be put in writing. Then contact a union representative. This advice will remain in force until CSEA and the College reach agreement on a contract. CSEA has notified the administration of the union's position.

GOVERNANCE FROM THE TOP DOWN TO BE TURNED ON ITS HEAD

The governance system imposed by the President is dead in the water. It has no by-laws and no processes, and the President controls what issues can be discussed or acted upon within the Councils. It was also created through a process that, after two years of work by faculty, staff and administrators, was taken over by the President following the CSEA union representation vote in November 2001. At that point, the President eliminated from committee consideration the two governance models that would have provided faculty, staff, and managers with representative councils within a larger governance structure, saying that the CSEA would represent faculty interests. During the same period the Board dissolved Faculty Senate, despite available evidence that numerous unionized colleges and universities maintain representative faculty councils to resolve day-to-day academic issues.

In the January 14-15 meetings, CSEA members directed the Executive Committee to take whatever measures are necessary to bring to a halt what is, in practice, a sham "shared governance" structure. CSEA will also draft its own report on governance to send to NCA.

In addition, a CSEA committee will examine the best way to withdraw faculty from the roles of lead instructors and program coordinators, effective Spring Quarter. These responsibilities-largely managerial functions that save the Board tens of thousands of dollars a year-continue to increase, cutting into work with students, effective use of mission & learning support time, and professional development. The committee will report its recommendations to the Executive Committee within two weeks.

As faculty, as a union and as a college, we have entered a critical time. The entire College faces great uncertainty, and it is only fair that you address your students' anxiety as gently but directly as possible. They deserve the truth: no one can predict what is going to happen from here. It is clear that to this point the Board has not engaged in the serious give-and-take that negotiations demand. The Board and administration have chosen instead to stall, misrepresent the cost of salary proposals, deny your strength and commitment as a union, degrade the role of full-time faculty, and disregard the destructive, long-term consequences of these actions.

It is clear from the strike authorization vote and comments in the January 14-15 meetings that faculty will no longer allow themselves to be blackmailed with their own compassion, professional dedication, and loyalty to Columbus State. We all need to support each other, to discuss our concerns, fears and needs openly with all members of the campus community, and continue to insist on a fair settlement to the issues that have brought us to this point. As your negotiating team, we recognize and appreciate the profound trust you have expressed in our judgment. Your commitment is our strength.


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


Popularity:
This record has been viewed 645 times.

Comments:

Be the first to leave a comment.

Leave your comment
CAPTCHA Validation
CAPTCHA
Code: