What's Really Happening - 2005/10/11



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of October 11, 2005


The Office of Human Resources has provided the following information:

All bargaining unit members will see the 3.0% increase that was imposed under the Board's Last/Best/Final Offer on this Friday's 10/15 pay voucher. Faculty who received a promotion last spring will also see their pay at the base rate for their new rank reflected on this voucher.

In addition, under a tentative agreement signed during negotiations, new Instructors hired for Autumn Quarter 2005 with at least 15 points (for advanced degrees, teaching experience, scholarship, service to the profession, etc.) will be placed at a salary level 4.0% above the base. This will also be reflected on the October 15 pay voucher.

Faculty will receive the retroactive (to July 1, 2005) portion of the 3.0% raise on the November 15 voucher, in addition to the new pay rate.


Copies of the President's contracts have been posted at the CSEA website, www.cseafaculty.org, and can be viewed by clicking on the "Downloads" link. There, you will see a chronology of her raises over the last 9 years, her first contract (including 6 Addenda to that contract), and her current contract (dated March 14, 2003) including one Addendum.

Although it's true that executives routinely receive some perks that other employees don't get, you will notice:

  • the Board of Trustees provides our CEO with an automobile and pays for all costs of operating that automobile (including gasoline)
  • the Board pays for her membership in two different country clubs
  • the Board provides her with 30 sick days per year and has agreed to purchase 45 of her unused sick days at the time of the termination of her employment
  • the Board pays for her memberships in professional organizations
  • the Board provides her a disability supplement that will provide her with 100% of her annual salary should she become disabled
  • the Board pays her portion of her STRS retirement contributions (essentially an additional 10% hidden "raise"-worth more than $15,000 annually)
  • the Board pays for a complete physical examination for her each year
  • the Board essentially pays for a life-insurance plan of $600,000 for her (almost 4 times her annual salary)
  • the Board will begin paying her an additional $14,000 per year (drawn from a whole-life insurance policy) when she turns age 60
  • the Board has extended her contract until December 31, 2009.


And in spite of all the talk from the Board that "there needs to be one consistent health care plan for all employees" (July 2005 Board minutes), contracts for other senior managers show otherwise. Not only is the President provided with a paid-for annual physical exam, but College vice-presidents are also provided with this perk (a benefit worth up to $1,000 per year, by contract). It's not surprising, then, that they are not as upset as faculty and staff about the sudden increase in the annual deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses in the imposed health-insurance plan.


The Board's action to avoid actual negotiation by unilaterally declaring that talks had reached an impasse moves all of us into a gray area. No other Ohio college administration or school board has unilaterally declared impasse while alternative proposals were on the table.

Under circumstances in which one party has acted outside of collective bargaining law, it's unclear how things work. There is no collective document (formerly known as a contract) to distribute to faculty and managers. Tentative agreements reached during negotiations have not been integrated into the previous document. The status of health care remains unclear; SERB has found probable cause to believe the Board committed an unfair labor practice in imposing a new health care plan while negotiations were in process, but the SERB hearing will not take place until the end of November because administration representatives have said they are unavailable for a hearing until then.

Simply put, the administration is making up processes as it goes along rather than having procedures agreed to by contract. Our OEA attorney and our labor consultant continue to work on legal remedies to the Board's unprecedented action. And so.


CSEA filed a new unfair labor practice charge against the Board last Friday.

The filing with the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) alleges that the Columbus State Board of Trustees violated state law when it implemented its Last/Best/Final offer-the same terms negotiators had offered during contract talks months earlier. Board negotiators declared an impasse during a September 2 mediation session. The Board's representatives had requested the meeting to explore "new ideas" following rejection of a fact finder's report.

Impasse occurs when neither party is willing to compromise in negotiations. On September 2, CSEA presented Board negotiators with 2 modified proposals to settle outstanding issues on faculty-student ratio, salary structure, and health care. The Board refused to consider the proposals and unilaterally declared that the parties could not work out their differences. The unfair labor practice (ULP) charge states that declaring impasse during mediation is a violation of Ohio collective bargaining law.

SERB will consider the complaint and set it for a hearing at a later date if investigators determine that there is probable cause to believe that a violation of law took place.

In a related development, SERB has set a November 29 hearing date on an earlier unfair labor practice charge. SERB found probable cause in August to believe that the Board had violated the law when it imposed a new health care plan on full-time faculty while that issue was still being negotiated as part of ongoing contract talks.


A CSEA member meeting will take place on October 20 at 3 PM in Franklin Hall 110. The meeting should last no more than an hour.

The meeting will begin Phase 2 of actions to address the Board's new imposed terms. Meeting agenda will include elections for Vice President and Parliamentarian, as well as for 4 Association Representatives and a Senior Association Representative. All will serve 2-year terms. Members will also consider and approve the 2005-2006 budget.

Additional items may be added later. If you would like a topic to be on the agenda, please contact Steve Abbott.

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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