What's Really Happening - 2005/09/01



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of September 1, 2005


Undeterred by light rain that cleared as students arrived in the morning, and warmed by afternoon sun and the camaraderie of shared purpose, faculty walked informational picket lines at entrances to campus Wednesday.

Students and many employees were friendly and receptive to the brightly colored flyers that sketched out the fundamental bargaining issues that remain outstanding: the deplorable ratio of students to full-time faculty (85 to 1), the absence of a salary schedule that would allow faculty to progress financially within rank, and an appropriate share of health care costs.

The flyers also addressed what faculty hear routinely from students: that the administration's failure to deal with computer problems related to registration, fee payment, scheduling, class lists, and transcripts is damaging the College's hard-earned reputation for quality student-centered service.

We appreciate the strong support that faculty-including several non-members- showed for this action. Your collective participation in these pickets, your emailed suggestions and encouragement, and your ideas for future activities show faculty's commitment to both our students and our own professional self-respect.

Picketing continues Thursday, September 1, from 8-10 AM and from 4:30-6:30 PM. Faculty volunteers should come to the corner of Spring Street and Washington Avenue, near the bus stop across from the parking garage.


The State Employment Relations Board (SERB) found probable cause August 25 that the Board of Trustees engaged in an unfair labor practice when it imposed a new health care plan without negotiating its terms with CSEA.

SERB will issue a formal complaint, and a hearing will be conducted within 40 days after that. According to the SERB finding, the hearing will determine whether the administration and the Board violated the Ohio Revised Code "by failing to bargain in good faith by dealing directly with bargaining-unit employees over health care issues."

Health care is a mandatory subject of bargaining under Ohio's collective bargaining laws. Earlier this spring, while negotiations on other topics were underway, the HR office notified all employees that they would have to choose new health care coverage. Under the administration's direction, faculty and other employees (including members of 2 staff unions) were forced to choose new health care coverage, including an option that would increase by 75% the premiums for insurance comparable to existing coverage.

In a statement following the Board's rejection of a fact finder's recommendation that would maintain faculty's current share of health care premiums, Board President Dr. Finn stated that the College needed to have "one consistent [health care] plan for all employees." The College's CEO made the Board's intent explicit in an email to all employees 3 days before the SERB finding, stating that the Board would support "only one health plan program for the College-one plan for all employees irrespective of belonging to a union or not."


CSEA's Negotiating Team will meet with the Board's negotiators on campus at 9 AM Friday to explore possible solutions to talks that have been stalled since August 11, when Board representatives informed a SERB mediator that they were not interested in discussing a basic salary schedule or alternatives to the health care plan imposed by the administration in May. (See related story above.)

Since the mediator did not intend to schedule new talks unless there were substantive changes in past positions, and Board representatives requested a meeting, our Negotiating Team anticipates a constructive exchange of ideas and proposals.

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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