What's Really Happening - 2005/08/23

 

 

What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of August 23, 2005

INFORMATIONAL PICKETS

CSEA will conduct a series of informational pickets at the campus beginning August 31 and September 1 from 8-10 AM and 4-6 PM each day. Picketing will also take place on later dates.

Informational picketing is about creating awareness and building support. It is not confrontational or disruptive. It is not a strike action. CSEA members and supporters will maintain a public presence and distribute flyers at various locations around the campus.

The major issues are relatively simple: an improved ratio of full-time to part-time faculty; a salary schedule that allows faculty to advance below the bottom of their pay scales; a health care plan that is negotiated as required by collective bargaining law; and reasonable reassigned time for Association officers. (CSEA filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint after the Board changed the health care plan while negotiations were in progress. The CEO's most recent Update stated that the Board "will support only one health plan program for the College-one plan for all employees irrespective of belonging to a union or not," a surprising admission that it will not negotiate on what is a mandatory subject of bargaining under Ohio law.)

We appreciate the strong response we've received to our initial notice of this action from both CSEA members and several non-members. If you have not yet been contacted directly and want to support the informational picket, please contact Greg Goodhart. And remember you can be present for multiple shifts.

CRISIS COMMITTEE FORMED

The chairs of three committees-Research, Communications, and Action-and two members of the Negotiating Team now make up the Crisis Committee. The group has met with OEA representatives and is extending its community and campus contacts in preparation for various job actions in the coming weeks and months, including the upcoming informational pickets. We encourage your input to, and participation on, any of these important CSEA committees.

NEW DISCUSSIONS POSSIBLE

The administration has made overtures indicating that it wants to meet to discuss alternative solutions to the current situation. We welcome this opportunity, but given the content of the CEO's Update of last night and the lack of flexibility demonstrated so far on outstanding issues, there will need to be some highly creative ideas brought to the table.

EARLY RETIREMENT INCENTIVE "CONFUSION"

When the administration announced the Board's intent to offer the Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) earlier this year, it was framed as a money-saving measure. Later, CSEA signed a tentative agreement to the administration's ERI proposal on May 19.

As noted in previous newsletters, administration negotiators stalled on discussing financial issues-salary and benefits-until the fact finding hearing in early July. Before the fact finder completed his report, CSEA and OEA representatives met with the Board's lead negotiators on July 21 in the HR office and offered to conclude a Memorandum of Understanding that would allow faculty who wanted to retire during the summer to do so. The Board's representatives refused.

The Board has chosen to move onto shaky legal ground by using the ERI as a bargaining chip to force CSEA to make concessions on salary and benefits. By law, all contributors to a given pension plan (STRS or PERS, for example) must be treated equally under an ERI program. Thus, if faculty can't retire under the program while the Board plays hardball, no manager can retire under STRS without the administration risking violation of the law. CSEA's attorney will file a Public Records Request in the next few days to determine how the administration defined eligibility and what employees have taken advantage of the program.

We encourage anyone who intends to take advantage of the ERI to sign up before the September 30 deadline. However, CSEA will pursue legal action if action by administrators causes financial harm to any faculty member.

DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE

In an August 20 article in the Columbus Dispatch, administration spokespersons continued a disinformation campaign that misrepresents faculty salaries.

In all standard national data, information on faculty salaries is based on a nine-month contract. Yet the Vice President of Human Resources and the Vice President for Institutional Advancement insist on using Summer Quarter pay and overload hours as part of their definition of "salary" in dealing with media, thus grossly inflating CSCC salaries compared to other college teachers. Interestingly, when the administration offers a position to a new faculty member, they offer a salary for three quarters. Summer Quarter is a "stand-alone" contract; a faculty member is not guaranteed any work, and the work does not count as service time toward retirement.

So when you read administration comments on faculty salaries and benefits-or maybe even your own-keep in mind that some of these folks are the same people who overstated the cost of a 2002 fact finder's salary recommendation for faculty by several million dollars. Remember they're the people who say they're looking out for you. Then check your pockets.

NEW CSEA MEMBERS

We welcome the new members who have joined the Association in the past 2 weeks. Your presence is our strength.

Questions about membership? Call one of the Association Representatives.

And for those of you who pay your dues in a single payment, please make sure that you return your membership enrollment form to Greg Goodhart as soon as possible.

TASTE THE FUTURE

The Executive Committee offers its thanks to the more than a dozen faculty who volunteered to help out at Taste the Future in response to the notice in the last What's Really Happening. CSEA members have regularly supported Columbus State's annual fundraiser that provides scholarship funds for scores of students each year. There's still time to help out with the September 13 event. Contact Nina Reese atnreese@cscc.edu.


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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