What's Really Happening - 2003/12/03



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of December 3, 2003


Following two mediation sessions with College representatives, CSEA's executive committee and College representatives have reached a settlement of a grievance affecting more than 30 faculty this year and even more next year.

The settlement requires the College to follow the terms of the contract and assures faculty the back pay to which they have been entitled. The settlement also covers the raise scheduled for July 1, 2004.

Faculty affected by the settlement should receive their 2% increase, retroactive to July 1, on the December 15 pay voucher. Subsequent pays will reflect the increased salary amount that these faculty were entitled to since July 1. CSEA Association Representatives are notifying the affected faculty in writing. Faculty covered by the settlement should CHECK YOUR PAY VOUCHERS CAREFULLY and contact Darrell Minor (x5310) with any questions.

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.

The settlement covers all affected faculty, regardless of whether they are union members or not. It must be noted that CSEA asked several non-member faculty to file grievances on their own behalf, but all declined. This is a sad commentary on the College's institutional culture: tenured faculty members, who were receiving less pay than they were entitled to under a legal contract, were afraid to file a grievance to require the College to meet its legal commitments.

We hope that, after reviewing what the mediated settlement means in actual dollars (see below), these faculty will begin to recognize the value of, and the apparent need for, a union at CSCC, and to show a sense of honor by supporting the organization that continues to protect their rights, salaries, and employment.


  • It appears that 46 faculty members would have been affected, including 34 this year and an additional 12 next year-that is, through the term of the current contract. (The numbers for next year could have gone down - if any of those 12 were to get promoted they would no longer have been affected.)

  • The settlement represents almost $154,000 over those two years, an average of over $3,300 per faculty member.

  • Over half the affected faculty members would have been shortchanged slightly more than $4,600 over the two years; perhaps more importantly, the salary of these faculty members will be over $3,100 more during the second year than what the administration attempted to limit it to; this will have a major impact on the Final Average Salary of faculty for their retirement years.

  • Every faculty member who would have been affected during the first year would have been shortchanged at least $2,700.


.that under the terms of our contract, you will be paid in January for unused calendar year 2003 Personal Leave hours up to a total of 16 hours?

During contract talks, your Negotiating Team's research determined that most faculty rarely used all of their annual personal leave. As part of the contract agreement, faculty gave up 2 personal days (of what were formerly 6) in exchange for a buy-out of up to 2 unused days of the annual 4-day personal leave allotment. Sixteen hours of personal leave equals an additional 1.1% of your annual 3-quarter contract income.


A reminder: the deadline for enrollment for the Health Care Reimbursement Accounts (HCRA) and Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts (DCAP) is December 12.

These accounts are now available as a benefit as part of our contract. 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 $400, 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 enrollment year or it will be forfeited. This can be avoided by estimating projected medical costs conservatively.

Detailed information is available through the Human Resources office or at x2408.


We urge you to take time to write, phone, or email your state senator and representative about Senate Bill 133 and House Bill 227, respectively. These bills will affect operation of the State Teachers Retirement Board and, by extension, your future.

Please let them know that you SUPPORT keeping an active teacher majority on the STRS Board and that you OPPOSE both mandatory investing of retirement funds within Ohio (this would limit potential investment options) and allowing the state treasurer to appoint any retirement system's executive director. These latter 2 provisions would work against the interests of teachers at all levels.

Action on these bills is on a fast track (final action by the end of December or early January), so please contact your senator and representative as soon as possible. Take an active role in protecting your retirement.

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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