May 24, 2017

Elections and more

Colleagues:

On-line voting for next year’s officers of the AAUP is now underway.  On-line voting is open from now until midnight on Sunday.  On-campus voting will occur on Wednesday May 17 just prior to the start of the closing meeting at the entrance to Globe Hall.  Voting is open to all dues paying member of the Chapter.  Department Chairs and those faculty paying the service fee are not allowed to vote.

As a reminder, the Chapter will be conducting another food drive to help fill the food pantries on each campus.  Please try to remember to bring a donation.  Large boxes will be set up at both entrances to Globe Hall on the first and second floors of the HT building.  Members of the Executive Committee will make sure that the collected donations are distributed to all three food pantries.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

 

AAUP Update: Testimony to Montgomery County Council

Harry N. Zarin, President
American Association of University Professors
Montgomery College Chapter
Operating Budget Testimony

April 5, 2017

Members of the County Council:

My name is Harry Zarin.  I am a Professor and Counselor at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College.  I am here today in my role as the President of the Montgomery College Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, AAUP.

This evening I am asking that you help us continue to help our students achieve their dream of receiving a college education.  I am asking that you fully support and fund the College’s proposed operating budget that includes funding for contractually negotiated raises for our faculty.

We are a very fine group of talented and experienced full-time faculty who diligently work to help our students learn a variety of developmental level and college level subjects.  These subjects include anthropology, accounting, biology, chemistry, criminal justice, various levels of math, psychology, sociology.  Our faculty counselors offer a wide range of student support services including career counseling, academic counseling, crisis intervention, brief personal counseling, and disability support services.

Our faculty spend endless hours creating up-to-date lectures and materials that are designed to help our student learn.  We are required to keep up with our respective fields of expertise, technology, and the latest trends in higher education.  Here are a few examples of this work. Our American English Language faculty completely redesigned the series of courses our second language students take prior to moving into a college level English classes.  The math faculty completely redesigned our developmental math program in order to help our students better succeed in learning the basic math skills needed to successfully pass our college level math classes. The English and reading faculty redesigned our developmental English and reading program so that in the fall a completely new set of integrated developmental English and reading classes will be offered for our neediest student.  The chemistry faculty in Germantown have spent considerable time converting the majority of sections of our first semester chemistry class into a flipped classroom format.  This new approach to teaching is offering our students a different way to approach teaching and learning.

Quality teaching requires up-to-date facilities.  It is very challenging, to teach in out-of-date labs.  One of our math professors says “We’re talking about using 21st century teaching methods in a space that’s designed for the needs of another century.”  Our buildings on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus are very old.  One is 38 years old and the other is 56 years old.  These buildings don’t meet the needs of either our students or our employees. You should try rolling a wheelchair around that campus or in those buildings.  We need that new math/science building on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus.  Our students should be able to learn in facilities that are the same level of quality as in those of our local high schools.

What are we asking for?  We are asking that you continue to invest in the affordability and excellence being offered to our Montgomery College students. As a faculty, we are very grateful for the county’s steadfast commitment to Montgomery College. The only new funds Montgomery College has requested from the county are for contractually required increases in compensation and benefits for our dedicated faculty and staff. Our request recognizes the excellent work and contributions made to help our students succeed—so that our students can complete their education and become prepared to transfer to a 4-year university or move into the workforce of Montgomery County.

I heard someone recently say that community colleges are game changers that give people an opportunity to become self-sufficient.  This is who we are and what we are doing every day at Montgomery College.  We need your assistance in order to help us continue to change the lives of our diverse student population and to help them achieve their dreams.

Thank you.

 

AAUP-Call for Nominations for AY17-18

Colleagues:

Annually we elect new officers of the Chapter at the closing meeting in May.  Our elected offices are the following;

  • President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Vice President-Germantown
  • Vice President-Rockville
  • Vice President Takoma Park

If you are interested in running for one of these positions, you must be a dues paying member of the Chapter.  If you are interested in nominating a full-time faculty member for one of these positions, that full-time faculty member must be a dues paying member of the Chapter.  In either case, please send your nomination(s) via e-mail to Julie Levinson, Counseling Takoma Park/Silver Spring.  Full-time faculty members who are paying the service fee are not eligible to serve in any of these positions and they are not allowed to vote at any of our Chapter meeting.  If you are not sure whether you are a dues paying member of the Chapter, please send an e-mail to the Chapter Treasurer, Michael Gurevitz.

 

The nominations period is now open and the call for nominations will end at 5:00 pm on Wednesday May 3.  On-line voting before the closing meeting and on-site voting at the end of year meeting will be available to our dues paying members.  I will provide you with more information about the voting process in a future e-mail.

 

On behalf of the Chapter,

 

Harry Z.

 

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor

President-AAUP

Montgomery College

20200 Observation Dr. SA239

Germantown, MD  20876

240-567-7767

240-567-1985 Fax

240-449-3452 VPN

AAUP Update: April 2017

Colleagues:

On March 30 the Executive Committee met with a group of spirited faculty members off campus to discuss the process surrounding next year’s budget and contractual concerns of the Executive Committee.  I am writing today in order to provide all of you with an update regarding what happened at the meeting and since and a few other issues.

At the meeting members of the Executive Committee and the Chapter’s attorney provided the membership with information on the budget process and our concern that the college administration did not request the funding necessary to meet the financial requirements of our collective bargaining agreement.  In February the college’s administration submitted a proposed operating budget to the County Executive.  In that request the college asked the county for 7.4 million dollars more than we received last year.  As was stated in a March 1 memorandum sent by Janet Wormack, Senior Vice President for Administrative and Fiscal Services, the 7.4 million dollars would enable the college to provide eligible employees with a 1% general wage adjustment and a 3.5% step increase.  Our negotiated increases for next year included a 2.75% general wage adjustment and a 3.5% step increase for all faculty below the maximum.  After considerable discussion at the meeting, a vote was taken and it was decided that the Executive Committee should file a grievance against the college due to its failure to request the funds necessary to meet the requirements of our collective bargaining agreement.  Said grievance was filed with the college on April 7. The Executive Committee is very aware of the budget situation in the county and the state; however, it is our position that regardless of the fiscal situation in the county and the state, it is incumbent for the college to make the “ask” and to do all it can to meet the terms and conditions of our collective bargaining agreement. At the appropriate time we will provide all of you with a follow up communication on the status of the grievance.

Parking and Transportation Committee Reconvening:

I recently received notification that the administration is interested in reconvening the Parking and Transportation Committee.  It is possible that they are considering increasing our parking and transportation fees.  I will keep you posted on recommendations made by this committee.  Michael Gurevitz and Sharon Piper have agreed to represent us on this committee which has not met yet.  Increases in our transportation and parking fees are subject to the terms and conditions of our collective bargaining agreement with the college, Section 9.8.

Negotiations:

We are presently in the 2nd year of our three-year contract and in the fall negotiations will begin again.  During these negotiations we will be working to come to an agreement on increases in our salaries, overload ESH, EAP benefits, and other issues.  Prior to negotiations, we will announce the members of the negotiating team and we will name the Chief Negotiator.

Year End Meeting:

Our year end meeting will be held on the Germantown Campus on May 17 right after the college-wide meeting, around 11:00 am in Globe Hall.  Please plan on attending this meeting so that we can hear from you and vote on important Chapter issues.  The meeting is open to all bargaining unit members.  At the year-end meeting we will be voting on our officers for next year.  This year, same as last, we will be offering members the ability to vote either on site the day of the meeting or electronically prior to the meeting.  A call for nominations will be sent to you later today.  More information about the elections process will be sent to you prior to the May 17 meeting.

Food Drive:

Last semester the Chapter ran a very successful food drive that enabled us to stock the food pantries on each campus.  This year we have decided to have the food drive at the end of year meeting.  Boxes will be placed near Globe Hall for your donations.  We will make sure to distribute the donated items to the food pantries on each campus.  Reminders about the food drive will be sent to all of you prior to the May 17 meeting.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
President-AAUP
Montgomery College
20200 Observation Dr. SA239
Germantown, MD  20876
240-567-7767
240-567-1985 Fax
240-449-3452 VPN

AAUP Call To Action – March 30, 2017

In light of recent memos pertaining to the fiscal year 2018 operating budget from Dr. Pollard and Dr. Wormack, the Montgomery College Chapter of the AAUP will hold a special off-campus meeting next Thursday night, March 30 at 7:00pm. The AAUP Executive Committee has been informed that the budget request submitted by the College to the Montgomery County Council did not seek funding necessary to meet the full salary adjustment for the 2017 – 2018 academic year, as negotiated in section 8.2 of the 2015 full time faculty collective bargaining agreement. Given this breach of our negotiated contract, along with other on-going issues affecting the relationship between Full-Time Faculty and college Management, the Chapter membership must come together at this juncture to determine our next steps.  The AAUP Executive Committee feels that it is very important that Chapter members understand the complex situation we face, and that you are able to participate in decision-making regarding our collective response.  The Chapter’s attorney will be in attendance at the meeting in order to help answer questions from those in attendance.

The Executive Committee urges all full-time bargaining unit faculty members to attend this special AAUP- MC meeting. However, in this circumstance the Committee reminds everyone that as with other decisions the Chapter makes, only those full-time faculty who are members in good standing in the Chapter shall vote, if a vote is determined to be needed. But everyone who attends may participate in this special meeting by raising questions while the subject matter is open for discussion at the meeting.

AAUP Bargaining Unit Full-Time Faculty Members Only

Date: Thursday, March 30, 2017

Time: 7:00pm-8:30pm

Location: Rockville Senior Center
1150 Carnation Drive
Rockville, MD 20850

Please make the time to attend this important meeting.

Thank you,

Harry Z.

AAUP Update: Newsletter, December 2016

(download in PDF)

December 2016 Newsletter
Update from Harry N. Zarin, G Counseling, Chapter President

Presidential Perks Survey

On behalf of the Executive Committee I would like to thank all of you who took the time to respond to our recent Presidential Perks Survey. I hope all of you have taken the time to review the results.

As I stated before, the results of the survey were sent, unedited, to Dr. Pollard and they were posted on the open Chapter website. We understand that Dr. Pollard and others in the administration read the responses closely. As was made clear at the start, the survey results do not, in any way, reflect the opinion or position of the Chapter as a whole, of the Executive Committee as a whole, or of the individuals on the Executive Committee.

Following her receipt of the survey results several union and governance leaders, myself included, met with Dr. Pollard and several members of her staff. The meeting was very beneficial and Dr. Pollard and the other members of her team were able to clarify a number of issues raised in the NBC News I-Team report. What happens next is up to Dr. Pollard and her staff.

When I solicited responses to the survey I asked that the responses be thoughtful, professional, and concise. The vast majority of you took the time to do exactly that and this was appreciated by your Executive Committee. However, several of those who chose to respond deviated from the purpose for which the invitation was extended and a few submitters used the survey to make posts regarding matters which were not germane to the highly significant topic that prompted the survey. Moreover, one post went further and made ad hominem comments directed at specific individuals in the College community who were not identified in the NBC News I-Team report or the survey, and did so in an inappropriate tone. While we support full recognition of the protected free speech rights of all members of our Community, we are concerned that dressing-down people who were not involved in the I-Team report on our open website could undermine the serious consideration of the issues that prompted Dr. Pollard’s invitation and we deemed warranted the Chapter members’ attention. Hopefully this will not occur in the future.

Spring Opening Meeting

All faculty are expected to return to work on Tuesday January 17th. The College will hold the spring meeting on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus starting with a continental breakfast at 8:30am. The President’s opening meeting begins at 9:00am and our Chapter meeting will take place after the meeting ends in the same location. During the meeting the Executive Committee will field your questions, discuss some of the activities we have been involved in this semester, briefly talk about next year’s negotiations, and we will hear a treasurer’s report. We will also be holding a special election to fill the vacant Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus Vice President position. We hope to see you there.

In Closing

On behalf of the entire ExecAAUP Newsletter December 2016utive Committee I would like to wish all of you a happy and health holiday. Please be safe and get some much needed rest.

AAUP – Presidential Perks Story: FT Faculty Response to Survey

As all of you know by now, the News 4 I-Team ran a story on the travel expenses of Dr. Pollard.  Based on the e-mails and phone calls that members of the AAUP Executive Committee received we decided to conduct a survey in order to obtain your comments on the report.  The survey results were sent, unedited, to Dr. Pollard this past Saturday.  We felt it was important for her to have the results prior to the Board of Trustees meeting that was held last night.  At that meeting the Chairperson of the BOT read a prepared statement which voiced their full support of Dr. Pollard.  Dr. Pollard made no public comment at the meeting about the report.

The Presidents of the three unions; AAUP, SEIU, and AFSCME, and Rick Penn, representing the Faculty Council, have been asked to attend a meeting with Dr. Pollard regarding the recent media report.  The meeting will be held on Wednesday afternoon (December 14, 2016).

The members of the Executive Committee would like all of you to have an opportunity to review the results of the Presidential Perks Survey.  The survey prompts, the I-Team report, Dr. Pollard’s contract, Dr. Pollard’s response to the report, and the I-Team follow-up report, are posted in the Survey section of the Chapter website.

Read the unedited and anonymous results of the survey.
.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Zarin, Chapter President

AAUP Campus Meetings (Fall 2016)

Colleagues:

During the full faculty meeting in August members of the Executive Committee announced that we were planning on holding faculty meetings on each campus in order to meet with you and hear your concerns. Campus meetings will be held on the following dates, locations, and times.

Germantown Tuesday November 1 2:00-3:30 BE162
Rockville Wednesday November 2 2:00-3:30 SC125
Takoma Park/Silver Spring Tuesday November 15 2:00-3:15 ST301

We hope that as many of you as possible will drop by so that we get to know each other and so that we can have an open dialogue about issues that concern you.

Thank you ,

Harry Z.

AAUP Update: Newsletter, October 2016

(download in PDF)

October 2016 Newsletter
Update from Harry N. Zarin, G Counseling, Chapter President

Welcome Back:

On behalf of the Montgomery College AAUP Executive Committee I’d like to welcome all of you back for another eventful year of working with some wonderful students and with your colleagues.  I hope that each of you had good summer, a smooth start to the semester, and that your classes and committee work are progressing without too many headaches.

The Executive Committee appreciates the time we had together at our opening meeting during Professional Week and we look forward to seeing many of you throughout the year.  We will be scheduling Chapter meetings on each campus and will make sure to publicize these meetings with enough advance notice so that you can schedule time to meet with us and help us help you.  I felt badly that I was unable to attend the meeting.  As some of you may have heard my wife had a nasty fall at our house and broke her left leg.  After surgery and some time in a local rehabilitation facility she is now home recovering and working on getting stronger and on increasing her mobility.

I wanted to devote this update to providing all of you with some general information regarding a variety of topics the Executive Committee has been working on.

FY 2017 Salary Renegotiations:

At our closing meeting last May I reported that we were asked by the College to renegotiate the previously agreed upon 2.75% general wage adjustment because the members of the County Council stated that they wanted all County funded agencies to agree to 1% general wage adjustment.  On behalf of our membership I testified on two different occasions in front of the membership of the County Council and despite our best efforts we had no choice but to agree to the lowering of our general wage adjustment.  A copy of the signed Memorandum of Agreement regarding this renegotiation of our salary can be located in the Chapter documents section of the Chapter’s website, mcaaup.org.  The good news is that the College had sufficient funds to hire 9 new full-time faculty members, to pay the previously negotiated salary increment (3.5%) for all faculty below the maximum, and there were no layoffs or furloughs at the College.

I am sure that many of you are wondering what will happen to the increases we, in good faith, negotiated for next year. At this time I don’t have an answer for you. As the academic year progresses, I will keep all of you informed of any potential changes that may occur to our next year’s salary. 

Longevity Increases:

Last May I provided all of you with information about grievances that were filed by nine faculty members because they did not receive a longevity increase in their salary in accordance with Article 8 Section 8.2 (D) of our Collective Bargaining Agreement.  These grievances were successfully processed and each individual faculty member received back pay and the appropriate adjustment to their base salary.  If you have been at the top of scale for 5 consecutive years and received satisfactory performance evaluations, you are due a $1,600 increase in your base salary.  Please contact Tim Kirkner or myself if you believe you were due this increase in salary and you didn’t receive it.

As part of the settlement agreement that was reached with Management a Memorandum of Understanding was written and signed in May 2016.  A copy of the Memorandum of Understanding is posted in the Chapter documents section of the Chapter’s website.  Next month we will be receiving a contractually required salary report from the administration.  Once we receive the report we will review the salary history of those faculty members who are at the top of scale and will confirm whether those eligible faculty members appropriately received their longevity increase.  If they did not, we will advocate on their behalf with HR to make this happen.

Semester and Academic Year ESH Limits:

Once again I wanted to remind all of you of the semester and academic year ESH limits that have been negotiated as part of our Collective Bargaining Agreement.  It is also important for you to remember that you are allowed to work a maximum of 20 ESH in any academic semester and 36 ESH in any academic year, August-May.    If you are planning on teaching a winter session class, please remember that winter session ESH will be included in your spring load.

Alternate Time Assignments:

As stated in the College’s Policies and Procedures, “Alternate time is the term used to describe the work load credit assignment by the College to instructional faculty members to perform tasks in lieu of teaching responsibilities.”  In years past, one equivalent semester hour (ESH) was equal to either, 50, 40, or 30 clock hours of assigned activities.  In our last round of negotiations we made a change to this particular provision of our Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Sections 5.4 (A) Tutoring and (B) Other Assigned Activities now stipulates that faculty members assigned tutoring ESH shall receive one ESH for each 30 hours of such assigned duties and they will be assigned one ESH for each 40 hours of assigned duties for all other activities.  The 50:1 provision was eliminated.  This particular change still needs to be updated in the College’s Policies and Procedures.

Executive Committee Vacancy:

A Takoma Park/Silver Spring member of our Executive Committee, Robin Flanary (Nursing), unfortunately had to step down from her position as Vice President due to scheduling issues.  The Executive Committee made the decision to appoint our Takoma Park/Silver Spring Member-at-Large, Sharon Piper (Nursing), to fill this position for the remainder of the semester.  A special election will be held at our January meeting in order to fill the member-at-large position for the remainder of the academic year.

We are looking for a volunteer to fill the position of Member-at-Large from Takoma Park/Silver Spring.  If you are a dues-paying member of the Chapter and are interested in filling this position for the remainder of the academic year please get in touch with me as soon as possible.  Our Executive Committee meetings are held twice a month on Wednesday afternoons at the Rockville campus.

Admissions Office Reminder:

I was asked to provide all of you with the following reminder about posting an NA (never attended) mid-term grade for all students who have never attended a class for which they are on your class roster.

The NA grade should be used to report students who never attended your course.  If a student has never attended your class, faculty should report that they never attended prior to the 20% meeting date of the course.  To report an NA, you should enter NA on your midterm grade roster before the 20% meeting date of the class.  The student will then be dropped from your class roster within 2-3 business days.  If you do not drop the student or the student does not drop themselves and they have never attended, you should give the student a final grade of “F” at the end of the semester and list their last date of attendance as the first class meeting.  Please do not use NA as a final grade.

82.5% Goal:

Members of the Executive Committee have received a number of calls and e-mails about the enforcement of a new guideline that was communicated to the Deans and Chairs while registration was occurring.  The calls and e-mails generally concerned a rule which stated that 82.5% of the seats in each section of each class had to be filled or the class had to be cancelled.  As a result of the enforcement of the “rule” many classes were cancelled, some, earlier than has happened in the past.  Some classes were cancelled to the detriment of our students.

I recently met with Sanjay Rai, Carolyn Terry, Monica Brown, and Janet Wormack.  During this meeting I raised the issue about this new rule.  It was explained to me that the 82.5% number is a general seat capacity goal for each department as a whole and not for each section of every class in each department.  The 82.5% number is not a rule; however, it was unfortunately implemented and enforced as a rule by some deans around the college which resulted in classes being cancelled inappropriately.  The College was hoping that we would run classes with an average of 82.5% of seats filled in each department, not each section.  The intent of the goal was not to cancel each section of each class if 82.5% of the seats were not filled; unfortunately, this isn’t what happened.  The goal was established as a way of helping the College from a financial perspective.   We have asked that Carolyn and Sanjay go back to the Deans/Chairs and to work with them on the proper and appropriate way to implement this new enrollment goal.

Protection for Minors on Campus:

Within the past two weeks I have received e-mails from several faculty members who have been told that they have to go through a background screening procedure, which includes fingerprint checking, because they are a participant in a program that includes minors.  I asked the College’s Youth Protection Coordinator, Kristen Roe, to provide us with some information about why this requirement is in place, below is the information she sent me.

The College is in the 2nd year of implementing the Protection of Minors Policy & Procedure 75005CP. Many faculty still have questions about background screening requirements. Here is a quick refresher:

  • Criminal history background checks can help screen employees for their suitability in working with children and other vulnerable populations.
  • All faculty and staff who interact with minors on behalf of the College are subject to background screening. This process includes fingerprinting at an off-site vendor. This screening is different from the universal screening of new employees upon hire.
  • For the purposes of the Protection of Minors P&P, a person under the age of 18 who is enrolled in a credit or non-credit course is not considered a minor. As such, a faculty member who has a 17-year old student in their class is not required to complete the fingerprinting background screening. If, however, that same faculty member participates in a special College-sponsored event that includes interaction with minors, that faculty member would complete the fingerprinting screening prior to the event. Similarly, if that faculty member teaches a course in an MCPS high school through the dual enrollment program, a fingerprinting screening would be conducted prior to teaching that course.

If you have any questions about the screening process or would like additional information about why you are being asked to complete background screening, contact the College’s Youth Protection Coordinator, Kristen Roe at 240.567.4279 or Kristen.Roe@montgomerycollege.edu.

Next Communication:

In the next communication on behalf of the Executive Committee I will provide you with information about our Labor Management Collaboration Committee meetings, our scheduled visits to each campus, and more.

AAUP Update: Nominations and the Closing Meeting

Colleagues:

As the year comes to a close it is time for us to be thinking about who will manage the affairs of the Montgomery College Chapter of the AAUP next year.  Nominations for the positions of President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Vice President for Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring are now open and are being accepted by Julie Levinson, Counseling TP/SS.  Julie has graciously agreed to be our one person Nominations Committee.

The current officers of the Chapter are;

  • Harry Zarin, Chapter President
  • Michael Gurevitz-Business, Treasurer
  • Tito Baca-TP/SS Secretary
  • Robin Flanary-Nursing, Vice President TP/SS
  • Denise Dewhurst-Psychology, Vice President Germantown
  • Steve Thurston-English, Vice President Rockville

If you are interested in running for one of these positions or if you would like to nominate a dues paying full-time faculty member for one of these positions please submit your nominations to Julie by the close of business on Friday, May 13th. Nominations may be made via e-mail to julie.levinson@montgomerycollege.edu or in writing.

We will conduct our on-campus voting at the closing meeting on Tuesday morning May 17th in the second floor lobby of the HT building.   Look for the AAUP table when you come into the building’s entrance on the second floor. 

I encourage all of you to attend our end of the year Chapter meeting which will take place in Globe Hall right after the Dr. Pollard’s opening meeting.  This meeting will give you an opportunity to hear about the activities the Executive Committee has been involved with this semester, our re-negotiated pay raise for next year, the resolution of a multi-person grievance, and much more.  While at the meeting you will also have the opportunity to ask questions about a variety of issues that we will be discussing and voice your opinion regarding issues that interest you.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the closing meeting.

Harry Z.