What's Really Happening - 2003/11/15



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of November 15, 2003


Following two mediation sessions with College representatives, CSEA's executive committee and College representatives have reached a tentative settlement of a grievance affecting more than 30 faculty this year and even more next year. The letter of agreement is awaiting the signatures of College representatives. We'll update you with details when the agreement is finalized.

CSEA Vice President Karl Rieppel filed the grievance after the College denied some faculty their full raises on the July 15 pay, claiming that these faculty were "at the top of their pay ranges." However, the contract contains no language about pay ranges, only that each rank has a base salary and that each faculty member will receive a 2% increase in current salary and a 2% stratification increase on top of that in each year of the contract.


To ensure more effective representation and better communication, CSEA will be naming additional union representatives within the next few months. Association reps assist faculty with contract-related questions, provide representation in administrative/disciplinary hearings, and provide communication between members and the Association.

Current Association representatives and the programs and departments they represent are:


Amy Brubaker Nursing
Multi Comp
Off-Campus Programs
Dr. Jane McDowell Dental Hygiene
Dental Lab
Medical Assisting
Nuclear Medicine
Respiratory Care
Early Childhood Dev
MH/MR/Chemical Depend.
Hospitality Management
Sandra Fabyan Computer Science
Law Enforcement
Legal Assisting
Graphic Communication
Multimedia Production
Dave Busch Architecture
Civil Engineering
Human Resources
Office Administration
Mechanical Engineering
Electronic Engineering
Bill Mundy Accounting
Real Estate
Transitional Workforce
Health Information Mgmt.
Massage Therapy
Sports & Fitness Mgmt.
Dr. Charlie Gallucci Biological/Phys. Sciences
Modern Languages
Leslie Smith Mathematics
Developmental Education
Dr. Wendy Social/Behavioral Sciences
McCullen-Vermillion Humanities
Lisa Schneider Communication Skills


If you have questions about any aspect of your rights and/or responsibilities under the contract, please contact your Association representative. Department chairs have no responsibility for addressing issues related to contract interpretation and are already over-burdened enough.


We continue to monitor the work of the Human Capacity committee of the Instructional Support Council. The committee seems to be stuck in neutral; it apparently has not yet begun research to determine the feasibility of issuing multiple-quarter contracts to adjunct faculty. Many campus departments can reasonably anticipate student enrollments in advance, but the College has made no progress on the issue that affects scores of loyal, experienced faculty.

Another issue not addressed is the question of whether adjunct faculty should be able to accumulate sick leave. Adjunct faculty receive a pro-rated number of sick leaves hours per quarter based on the number of hours they teach. College practice has been to not allow carry-over of this sick leave from one quarter to the next. An adjunct faculty member can thus serve the College for several years, never use sick leave, and then have insufficient sick leave to cover an absence due to illness. Adjunct faculty who become ill thus sometimes lose pay after years of continued service. An adjunct who has served the College for more than 10 years is now facing this situation.


We strongly urge all faculty to take advantage of the Health Care Reimbursement Accounts (HCRA) and Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts (DCAP) now available as a benefit as part of our contract. Open enrollment for the 2004 calendar year is from November 25 through December 12. You should have received an email notice about this from Ann Page in HR.

Those who are unfamiliar with these programs owe it to themselves to learn about how these important plans offer tax advantages and a net cost savings on predictable medical expenses.

Many of us have ongoing medical expenses (regular check-ups or treatments, continuing prescriptions, counseling, dental care, orthodontia for those with family coverage, and a range of other covered care) or dependent-care expenses. By estimating these costs on an annual basis and arranging to have money set aside through payroll deduction on a pre-tax basis, faculty members reduce taxable income. For example, setting aside $500 annually could realize savings from 15% to 40%. Particularly for those who do not incur enough annual medical expenses to itemize them as a deduction on Form 1040 Schedule A, the HCRA or DCAP is a way to realize tax advantages from even relatively low annual medical or dependent-care costs. If you have annual out-of-pocket medical/ dependent care expenses exceeding $100, this plan can save you money.

There is one caution. All money set aside in this account must be used by the end of a given enrolment year or it will be forfeited. This can be avoided by estimating projected medical costs conservatively.

The enrollment deadline for this calendar year is December 12. It will pay to review your health expenses and consider participating in this new, cost-saving benefit. Informational meetings will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 25 from 10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m. in Nestor Seminar D, and on Monday, Dec. 1, from 9-11 a.m. and 2-4 p.m. in Nestor Seminar C. If you are unable to attend any of these meetings, detailed information is available through the Human Resources office or at x2408.


Our lightweight white polo shirts with the "CSEA/Columbus State Education Association" logo stitched in blue on the left breast are still available. These 100% cotton shirts are only $5 each, a cost made possible by a grant from Central OEA/NEA to help us increase visibility among faculty and the campus community at large (they looked great on In-Service Day!). Association representatives within your division or department have the shirts, or you can email Frankie Hale (x5184), Membership Committee chair, to get more information.


Even if you missed the deadline for signing up for payroll deduction of dues, you can still receive the benefits of this option. Although your payments will not begin with the first pay of this quarter, you can still sign up for payroll deduction for the balance of the academic year. Contact any officer or your Association representative for more information. Those who have decided to pay their dues in full but not yet paid should submit their membership forms and payment as soon as possible.

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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