What's Really Happening - 2006/03/09



What's Really Happening

Columbus State Education Association Newsletter of March 9, 2006


A recent Update from the President encouraged faculty to request details of the recent implemented terms. However, faculty attempting to obtain that information have received only the financial portion-4 pages-of the last/best/final offer. That offer, which became unilaterally implemented work terms on February 23, included all tentative agreements reached during negotiations.

CSEA is working to update the first Agreement to reflect the tentative agreements reached during negotiations so that faculty will have accurate information about the conditions the administration imposed in the absence of a contract.


One tentative agreement, a part of the Workload Model, provides that faculty may now work Summer Quarter using only reassigned time. This directly benefits faculty in the Career & Technical Division. Previously, faculty working Summer Quarter were required to teach classroom hours equal to their reassigned hours used to maintain program continuity. Under the negotiated terms, faculty may now work reassigned time up to 8 hours during Summer Quarter without classroom teaching obligations. This will allow faculty to do community outreach, establish student internships, and sustain and develop other program-related services to students. Reassigned hours in excess of 8 hours must still be matched by an equivalent number of classroom teaching hours.

In the past, faculty often received reduced reassigned time because of lower enrollments during Summer Quarter, The gains won by the CSEA Negotiating Team now allow faculty to receive reassigned time to build and reinforce their programs even if course enrollments are low outside the regular academic year.


It's unclear why Human Resources and Institutional Advancement did not simply report the facts of the new imposed salary terms to local media. Instead, administration vice-presidents misrepresented "average" faculty salaries by including in these "averages" administration projections of possible income that faculty might receive if they worked substantial overloads during the academic year as well as additional Summer Quarter contracts. (For accurate figures, you can reference CSEA President Steve Abbott's letter to the editor in the Monday, March 6, edition of the Columbus Dispatch.)

Other Ohio community colleges do not include any compensation beyond the traditional 3-quarter salary when reporting faculty salaries, yet in data given to local media Columbus State administrators continue to include overloads and summer income in these so-called "averages" to make it appear that faculty are receiving higher pay than they actually do. Why not simply tell the truth? How can we build trusting working relationships when such attempts to mislead employees and the public are standard operating procedure?


Some faculty have been confused by the administration's imposition of new working terms. Don't be mistaken: the new health care costs are the same ones that the administration illegally forced faculty to choose last spring. CSEA charged the administration with an unfair labor practice for doing so. In a November settlement at the State Employment Relations Board, as an indication of good faith CSEA agreed to withdraw the complaint (along with 2 other unfair labor practice charges) if the administration would return to the bargaining table to negotiate salary and health care benefits.

The Board's negotiators refused to discuss changes to the health care "options" imposed last spring. But since Ohio labor law is written by employers, there are no sanctions for this failure to actually negotiate, and the CSEA bargaining team concluded the best agreement it could under the circumstances. Despite a recommendation to ratify the tentative agreement, CSEA members rejected the proposed settlement.

In the past, the administration and employees have split the cost of annual increases in health care costs. Beginning in 2005, the Board decided that all health care cost increases will now be absorbed by employees. In other words, the administration is not paying a dime more in health care costs this year. Each of us is paying for the cost increases.

For faculty these increases, retroactive to February 1, will be spread out over the next 3 pay vouchers (March 15, March 31, and April 15). The first check that actually reflects the new, ongoing health care cost will appear on the April 30 pay voucher.


CSEA Vice President Karl Rieppel has resigned his position effective March 20. Rieppel will retire June 30. The Executive Committee has appointed Parliamentarian Darrell Minor to fill the vice president position until an election can be held next quarter.


We remind you that office hours must be maintained during finals week. Guidelines negotiated as part of our collective bargaining allow for faculty to set office hours as they see fit during finals week to accommodate their own schedules as well as those of students. To avoid misunderstandings, it may help to post a revised office hours schedule for finals week.


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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