What's Really Happening - 2004/08/16




Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of August 16, 2004


Mark your calendar now! All faculty are invited to a late-afternoon social gathering near campus from 3-7 PM on Thursday, August 26. The event, sponsored by CSEA's Membership Committee, offers an opportunity to meet other faculty, enjoy some good food and beverages, and relax before heading home for the day or on to evening classes.

The meet-and-greet will be held at 846 North Park Street (2 blocks north of Goodale Park) in the Short North-a five-minute drive from campus. A follow-up email will provide directions and information about easy parking. Contact Frankie Hale (x5184) or Nancy Kephart (x2534) for more information.

CSEA officers and your departmental Association representatives, as well as representatives of OEA's Member Benefits office, will also be present to informally discuss the multiple benefits of our growing faculty association.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the demands of our jobs and the needs of our students that we can't seem to find time to connect with others. One of the goals of the CSEA is to bring faculty members together. Plan to attend. And bring one of your colleagues.


One of the most significant advances of our right to collective bargaining is the fact that the college must follow its own policies and procedures. Our contract produced an improved grievance procedure, which includes a provision for outside mediation and, in some cases, binding arbitration to solve faculty issues.

  • A grievance field by CSEA President Steve Abbott was settled August 9. Article 7.04 of the contract grants the CSEA president the right to serve on (or appoint a designee to) each of the Governance Councils and College-level committees that traditionally included faculty representation. The settlement agreement defined this provision as including appointments to (1) search committees for Cabinet and Dean positions, (2) the Instructional Council and Instructional Support Councils, and (3) College-wide committees that address issues of wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment except for the Promotion and Tenure Committee.

  • Another recent grievance was settled at a mediation hearing. The case concerned a bargaining unit member whose new pay rate was part of the final agreement. His is a unique situation: he is actually a staff member who is technically defined as "faculty" as a result of changes in job titles that were part of College re-organizations over the past 15 years. He received his new pay rate for several pay periods, but then the College changed his pay to less than the contract amount. CSEA filed a grievance on his behalf and reached an mutually acceptable resolution with the College in a mediation hearing.

  • CSEA has withdrawn a grievance that alleged a department chair had interfered in a department promotion committee's work. The issues raised in the grievance will be addressed as part of ongoing work by a faculty committee, chaired by Arts & Sciences Dean David Hockenbery, that is revising Promotion & Tenure procedures (see story below).

  • Two grievances related to keeping office hours are moving through the grievance process. According to the administration, the word "scheduled" does not mean preplanned, but rather "fixed in concrete" at the beginning of the quarter. The association believes in the traditional practice at Columbus State that faculty can reschedule office hours to benefit students, faculty, and other concerns as long as it is done with reasonable notice to other faculty, students, and administrators.


The CSEA Executive Committee and Association Representatives (your advocates in contract issues) attended a training with College administrators and departments chairs July 28. Working with mediator Eugene Brundige, the group discussed and practiced techniques for building more productive, less confrontational ways of representing union and College concerns in potential contract issues.

This training was a direct result of the settlement of a grievance filed by a faculty member who requested CSEA representation during an annual appraisal and was denied.

Most attendees agreed on the most important advice: if a faculty member is concerned that a meeting with a chair or administrator might turn into a disciplinary situation, A FACULTY MEMBER SHOULD ASK WHETHER S/HE NEEDS TO HAVE A CSEA REPRESENTATIVE PRESENT.

Bottom line from the training-when confronted by an administrator or chair, first and always, ask this question: "Do I need CSEA representation?"

If for some reason you're uncertain who your CSEA rep is, see the listing of "Association Representatives by Program & Department," which is attached to this email.


The work of the College committee revising promotion and tenure processes is nearly complete. The new procedures will move application for tenure from Year 5 to Year 4, and granting of tenure will include automatic promotion from Instructor to Assistant Professor. In practical terms, this means compiling one portfolio instead of two. The new processes will also create a more formal mentoring process, through which senior faculty will work with junior faculty in their preparations for tenure application.

CSEA has worked closely with the committee to ensure that the new processes result in the most productive and beneficial process possible.


In case you missed it in the last issue of What's Really Happening, all full-time faculty received a 4.04 percent pay raise as of July 1, 2004. Check your July 15 pay stub to verify this pay raise. See Article 25 (page 23 of the contract) for new base salaries.

However, rather than paying you the entire 1/3 of your full-time contract, the college undervalues your summer work by its use of a silly 11/34 formula to calculate the amount of your summer pay. Why does the college single out full-time faculty for reduced summer pay? Do students pay lower tuition? Do syllabi contain less material? Does the college reduce the pay for administrators and staff for Summer Quarter?


We think everyone felt the frustration of the faculty member who sent the global email stating how Datatel has "brought faculty productivity to a standstill." Our concern is not knowing what the finished product is supposed to look like or how it is supposed to perform. Are the long delays and constant input of the same information now the norm or is this just part of the transition?

Some staff members are being required to stay until midnight or later to process data for the next day's business without any monetary compensation or "comp time." Latest update: some staff have been given laptops so that they can push buttons after midnight from home. Is this part of the transition or is this now the norm?

We also share the concerns of some staff about how the College is allocating its resources. The email touting the successful beginning of Autumn Quarter registration neglected to note that some of the staff "volunteers" from outside of the Registration area had, in fact, been directed by their supervisors to "volunteer" to help. In the meantime, their normal work piled up in their own areas

With Datatel pushing what were formerly staff duties upward to faculty and managers, the question of how the College is providing staff support for the academic/technical areas-that is, those areas that directly fulfill the College's mission-becomes more pressing. For example, according to several department chairs, the College is insisting that the chairs, rather than their office assistants or secretaries, now do all of the input of faculty schedules and contracts into Datatel. Why, you ask? It seems that the system is set up in such a way that the section for setting up and/or changing faculty schedules gives a user access to other, higher-security levels of Datatel. Most staff do not have the security level required to gain access to that part of the system. So managers become data-entry functionaries. THIS is a $10 million system?


As part of our developing efforts to improve the Association's working relationship with department chairs as well as among faculty, Association Representatives are available to meet and discuss your future at Columbus State Community College. We are available to come to department meetings, meet with small groups, or meet on a one-to-one basis. Contact your Association Representative for more information.


If you have a vision exam out of the network, you can submit a claim to Cole Vision for a reimbursement of $20. Call 1-800-638-0166.


Our current contract ends June 30, 2005. Negotiations for the new contract will begin early in 2005.

While we have been successful in securing a reduced workload and a one-time salary adjustment and thwarted the attempts to cap the salaries of senior faculty, there is still much work to be done. Your ongoing contact you're your Association Representatives has helped us to begin to frame a list of fundamental concerns. Still, CSEA wants input from all faculty about what specific elements of our employment need to be addressed in negotiations. To that end, we will be contacting faculty individually during Autumn Quarter to focus and clarify issues.

We still have not been able to secure a continuing salary schedule, or the right to prevent chairs from arbitrarily assigning schedules, work loads, and overloads, and arbitrarily determining faculty qualification or disqualification for teaching certain classes.

The Association wants to prevent the erosion of healthcare benefits in addition to improving our inadequate death and disability benefits.

While there may be some disagreement within our academic family, we think you should join the majority of the faculty who recognize that collective bargaining is the only way to protect our professional rights.

If you are uncertain of the benefits of CSEA membership, or want to understand what differences our contract has already made and will make in your long-term income and benefits (including retirement), contact your Association Representative. Sign-up for payroll deduction needs to be done by by mid-September.

This is your opportunity to make a difference and to assert your rights as a Columbus State Community College faculty member. The more members we have, the stronger the association is and the better we are able to assert faculty needs in negotiations.

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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