What's Really Happening - 2005/10/26




Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of October 26, 2005


The members have spoken. CSEA President Steve Abbott announced at last Thursday's member meeting that information collected by OEA staff consultants confirmed that faculty do not believe a strike at this time is the most effective way to address the Board's implementation of its last/best/final offer.

Instead, members support continued non-participation in lead instructor and program coordinator roles into Winter Quarter, as well as continued Work to the Rule. Under Work to the Rule conditions, faculty are discontinuing committee work and other activities outside of the class preparation and grading that can easily take up the 14 weekly hours of mission and learning support.

These efforts supplement ongoing legal action through two Unfair Labor Practice complaints with the State Employment Relations Board. SERB has found probable cause to believe that the Board violated state law by "direct dealing" when it required faculty to change their health care coverage last spring while negotiations were in process. This complaint is set for mediation through SERB on November 29. The second complaint charges that the Board engaged in bad faith bargaining when it invited CSEA negotiators to an exchange of new negotiating proposals September 2 but, instead of negotiating, tried to present faculty with a Last/Best/Final offer. After faculty voted to reject the LBFO, the Board unilaterally imposed new salary terms, in effect daring faculty to walk off the job if they didn't like it.

Instead, faculty have shown admirable restraint and discipline by continuing the fundamental work required by the previous contract while letting go of the "value-added" activities that the administration seems to regard as its inherent right. When the Board deals honestly and in good faith during contract talks, faculty can devote uncounted hours to enhancing campus life. When the Board refuses to bargain on financial issues even when presented with flexible new proposals, it sends a clear message: "We think a protracted conflict is better than a compromise agreement."

Since the Association has not signed a new Agreement, the legal status of our previous (or current) obligations is unclear. The Board's action has put the entire relationship with faculty in legal limbo, and it's unclear whether there is any limit on how long the Association has available to make decisions about a future work stoppage.

The first step to addressing problems is to face up to them. When administrators give happy-talk assurances to the media that it's "business as usual" at Columbus State, they reveal the profound sense of denial that prevents the College from addressing its most pressing issues. The administrative processes and possible additional legal action that will be required to resolve the outstanding labor issues will take many months. This is a stressful time. Be strong.


Members at Thursday's meeting voted to retain Karl Rieppel (Computer Science) as Vice-President and Darrell Minor (Mathematics) as Parliamentarian. Both will serve two-year terms. Sherry Crawford-Eyen (Mathematics), Dr. Charlie Gallucci (Biological & Physical Sciences) and Susan Moran (Technical Communications) were re-elected as delegates to the OEA Representative Assembly.


Thanks to all the staff and faculty who attended and participated in the joint CSEA/Teamsters (Physical Plant) In-Service session last Wednesday. The questions (and comments) came non-stop, filling the 50-minute period with history, information, and insight. Evaluations were almost exclusively favorable. On behalf of CSEA, we offer a special thanks to Lamont Rembert and Bob Stockwell of the Physical Plant for sharing their time and thoughts with us.


Voting for the College Promotion and Tenure Committee will take place Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Human Resources office. Faculty will select three representatives from Career and Technical Programs, two from Arts and Sciences, and three at-large.

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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