August 21, 2019

Faculty Participating in the Deferred Pay Program in FY19

Read the memorandum issued May 13, 2019 from Lynda S. von Bargen, Interim Director of HRSTM Business Services

AAUP Update: Court Case, Faculty Compensation Forums, Fall Negotiations, Executive Committee Nominations, the Closing Meeting and more.

May 2019

Colleagues:

The year 2018-2019 academic year is rapidly coming to a close.  I hope that all of you have had a good semester and year inside and outside the classroom.  Please pardon the length of this update; however, it is important that I provide you with all of this valuable information.

Closing Meeting:

This year the closing meeting will be held on Wednesday morning May 15 in Globe Hall on the Germantown campus.  The AAUP Chapter meeting, which is a full-faculty meeting, will take place as soon as the college wide portion of the morning meeting ends.  Please plan on attending this meeting.  There are only three meetings per year where the full-time faculty in its entirety is able to meet and discuss issues that are important to us.  We on the Executive Committee need to hear from you, and you need to exercise your right to voice your opinion on issues that affect you and your colleagues. At the meeting we will announce the results of the election of officers for the Chapter, we will talk about the faculty compensation forums, our pending case with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals, the status of our treasury, and much more.  Your participation in these meetings is important.

Nominations and Elections:

Nominations are now being solicited for the following positions on the Executive Committee:

  • President
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Vice President-Germantown
  • Vice President-Rockville
  • Vice President-Takoma Park/Silver Spring

As announced last week, the nomination period ends on Wednesday May 8, the slate will be announced on the May 9, electronic voting will begin on May 9 and will close on May 14.  The results of the voting will be announced at the closing meeting in Germantown on Wednesday May 15.  Only dues paying members of the Chapter may vote on Chapter related issues. 

The Montgomery College Operating Budget:

Each year the president of the college submits an operating budget request to the Montgomery County Executive and the Montgomery County Council.  Through very intensive lobbying and a very involved decision-making process, the members of the council determine the funding of the operating budgets for all county-funded agencies, including Montgomery College.

I participated in the lobbying efforts by testifying on behalf of the full-time faculty at the April county council budget hearings. My testimony is posted on the Chapter website. The county council’s vote on our operating budget tends to occur around the week of gradation. Shortly after that, at the June Board of Trustees meeting, the BOT will make their final decision on tuition increases, the funding of our contract and the overall operating budget for the College. Below is some information that relates to this process and how some recent County Council action may affect Montgomery College.

From a Member of the County Council:

Councilman Hans Riemer sends out periodic messages to those who subscribe to his on-line newsletter.  Below is the most recent message that he sent out to the public.  The message relates to the county’s operating budget for next year.

Dear Resident:

Today [April 30] the Council took an initial vote on next year’s compensation for County employees, as proposed in the County Executive’s budget.

As part of our annual budget process, the County Executive is responsible for negotiating labor contracts with the unions. The Council then has the final responsibility of making sure that compensation is affordable.

While I support a raise for our employees, the County Executive’s proposal includes a 9.4% increase for many County employees in the MCGEO bargaining unit. (Increases for Fire and Rescue and Police officers are about 5.9%; teachers and school support personnel are scheduled to get 4.5% increases, on average.)

MCGEO members are the workers you will see driving a bus for long hours, inspecting rental housing, or providing health services. Like other public employees, they keep this county humming, and they deserve a raise.

But, after careful consideration, I voted no on the 9.4% raise, as did my colleagues.

I cast that vote because I take my obligation seriously to look to the future as a steward of our tax dollars.

Under the County Executive’s agreements, total compensation would grow at nearly double the rate of county revenue. When compensation grows faster than revenue, it consumes more of the budget over time, leaving less for new initiatives.

I think you will agree that we must be careful to preserve funds for goals such as reducing MCPS class sizes, expanding pre-k and afterschool programs, improving transportation and fighting climate change, to name a few.

By comparison, Federal employees, who make up a large share of our taxpayers, are receiving increases this year that are less than half of that amount.

While there is no doubt that the Recession was tough on our employees, with pay freezes for several years, since then, they have received steady raises.

The County Executive’s proposed 9.4% raise is all the more difficult because it is plain now that our budget has a structural deficit. The only way the budget achieves balance is through an extraordinary measure — using revenues from last year identified for the retiree health benefit fund.

Like a large ship, the County’s budget changes direction slowly. I think this is an important moment to begin to “turn the ship” and express the Council’s strong desire to start taking steps to resolve our structural deficit.

The County Executive talked about our fiscal challenges on the campaign trail, as did Council candidates. The County Executive’s mantra was that as a leader trusted by the County unions, he could work with them to right-size County government — recognizing that it is more affordable to provide raises to a smaller workforce.

He’s right about that, and I hope he follows through. I am prepared to work with him.

The budget we received, however, adds 90 new positions, exacerbating the impact of compensation increases.

I share the County Executive’s stated desire to make County government more efficient, and I also strongly believe that we can do more to promote economic growth in the County. If we achieve major savings and our revenue growth accelerates from a hotter economy, then I absolutely believe that County employees should share in those gains.

But let’s not count the chickens before they hatch: we have to make the necessary changes before claiming savings.

I look forward to supporting a raise that we can fund over time — one that is more in line with the wage increases that other bargaining units and our taxpayers are experiencing.

Sincerely,

Hans Riemer

Councilmember, At-large

After receiving this message, I sent an e-mail to Susan Madden in our Governmental Relations Office.  I asked her how she feels this action may affect the amount of money the Council will allocate towards the College’s FY2020 operating budget.  Below is her response to my e-mail.

Yesterday [April 30], the Council took action to abrogate the contract with MCGEO and send them back to the negotiating table with the County Executive.  Councilmember Rice made the motion.  All nine members voted yes.  It remains to be seen what will be the result though the Council did signal some parameters.

The Council also took action across all contracts with county employees to change the cost sharing on benefits—suggesting a 75 percent/25 percent split—meaning county employees ought to pay more for benefits.

As I understand it, the County Executive has or will send a budget amendment to the Council for $5 million new dollars to be spent on MCPS.  These funds became available because of new state funds related to the operation of the 911 system. The balance of what MCPS needs will come from existing sources and or Kirwan funds from the state.

The combination of the reducing the county’s compensation costs and the $5 million now available for MCPS does give the council some greater flexibility to provide additional funds to other Council priorities like the College. The Council President made it clear the College is a priority at the conclusion of the hearings.

That said, nothing is said and done until the final vote. Students continue to meet with Council members. Dr. Pollard met with the Council President yesterday before she spoke at the Equity Summit.

The full Council work session for the College is May 13. As you may know, the Committee work session was quite a robust conversation and the Committee voted to put all $3.1 million on the reconciliation list—an important step forward in the Council’s budget deliberations.

Susan Madden

How may this action affect the full-time faculty?

The College receives a large portion of its operating budget from the county. The College asked that the County provide us with $3.1 million more for FY2020 than it received in FY2019.  The recent action of the Council appears to lead us to believe that the full Council may vote to provide us with all of the $3.1 million that the College administration requested.  If this occurs, the full-time faculty will receive a 2.5% general wage adjustment in academic year 2019-2020.  The full Council will hopefully vote on our operating budget at their full work session on May 13. 

What can you do?

Lobbying individual members of the County Council is encouraged and your message needs to be clear. We have a negotiated agreement. This signed agreement includes a very reasonable increase in salary for the full-time faculty for FY2020. The negotiated increase is below inflation, is below the federal increase that was given to Social Security recipients, and our work as a faculty benefits thousands of students on a daily basis.

Now is the time for you to make your phone calls, send e-mails, and meet with members of the Council, if their schedule permits.

Salary Issues:

Six faculty compensation forums were held around the College in April at all three campuses. On April 8 the power point presentation used during those presentations was posted on the Chapter webpage, mc.aaup.org.  Numerous faculty have contacted members of the Chapter’s Executive Committee and expressed their concerns about the results of the survey. Some faculty expressed a concern about how their salary compared to others at MC given that they have been working here for a longer period of time and their salaries are relatively the same. Others mentioned that they were hired during the recession, their salary did not improve during the recession years, and new faculty hired after the recession started at a higher salary than their current salary. A variety of other salary-related concerns have also been brought to the attention of member of the Executive Committee. The concerns of the so called “recession group” and others have been heard, and they have been discussed with members of the Labor Management Collaboration Committee and the senior vice presidents. 

It is important to remember that, with one exception that I will mention below, all matters related to salary are collective bargaining matters and are dealt with at the negotiating table. We are in the process of putting together our negotiating team for the fall and have had some very positive preliminary discussions with Management about these negotiations. The salary issues that have been discussed since the faculty compensation forums will be discussed in these negotiations. What we may and can do to address the issues has yet to be decided. We will provide you with as much information as we can about possible solutions to these issues, given that discussions that occur during negotiations are confidential until both sides come to an agreement and the agreement is announced.

Initial Salary Placement:

The one salary-related issue that can be addressed by individual faculty members relates to the initial salary placement which is based on the points they received when the faculty member was hired. 

Here is a quick review of how this works: All of us had our work experiences evaluated by our hiring dean, and the dean gave us points for all of these experiences. The total points we received determined our initial salary. We all signed the point sheet and the initial offer of a salary. Several faculty members have come to us and said that they do not feel they received enough points for their previous work experiences.

If you feel that you did not receive a fair initial salary based on an evaluation of your work experience, please get in touch with Elline Damirdjian, 7-5497, in MC’s Office of Employee and Labor Relations. This office has a process in place to review your resume, application, and the points you received.  Several faculty members have already been in touch with this office and their salary was adjusted based on this type of review.

If you would like a union representative to assist you with this process, please contact any member of the Executive Committee.

The Court Case:

On April 15, our attorney filed a brief on our behalf with the Maryland Court of Special Appeals.  A copy of the brief has been posted in the court documents section of the Chapter webpage.  Management’s attorney had thirty days from April 15 to file a brief on behalf of management and our attorney will have an opportunity to file a rebuttal brief once the management brief has been filed. Our case is still scheduled to be heard some time in September.  We will let you know when additional information becomes available about our case.

The Closing Meeting:

Finally, I encourage all of you to attend the full-time faculty meeting on the morning of Wednesday May 13 in Globe Hall on the Germantown Campus.  We have much to discuss and we need to hear from you. 

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

AAUP Update: Testimony to County Council (April 2019)

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

Wednesday April 10, 2019

Good evening. My name is Harry Zarin, and I have been a counselor/professor at the Germantown Campus of Montgomery College for almost 26 years. I am here today in my role as the President of the full-time faculty union, the AAUP.

If I were asked to pick one word to describe the importance of my work and the work of the faculty at Montgomery College, the word I would pick is impact. As a faculty, we have a very positive impact and help to change the lives of thousands of students on a daily basis. The impact occurs both inside and outside of the classroom. The outside impact occurs in our learning centers, our offices, in training sessions, and at meetings with groups of current and prospective students. We provide our students with endless hours of counseling and advising in order to assist them in dealing with issues in life that impact their ability learn. We help them chose a major, help them plan their classes, help them learn how to study and to manage their time. We guide them towards becoming independent, confident, and ambitious people. Inside the classroom we must be creative, keep up-to-date with technology, be aware of the latest pedagogy, and create courses that don’t require text books in order to keep the costs down for our students.

As a community, we made a positive impact and changed the lives of Patrice, Heather, Rhiley, and Joanna.

Patrice came to MC as a high school dropout as part of our Gateway Program, and she had few defined hopes and dreams. As a single mother, she needed additional counseling and advising to help her learn how to manage her student life and her life as a mother. Through the combined efforts of a caring faculty, Patrice received the support she needed to achieve her eventual goal of becoming a nurse. She graduated from our nursing program in December 2018, passed her nursing boards in February, and will begin the RN to BSN program at the University of Maryland at the USG campus. We surrounded her with support both inside and outside the classroom:

Heather  arrived at MC with some obvious physical challenges,  and we needed a team of people   to help ensure that MC was accessible both inside and outside the classroom. All of our learning centers, the  library, bookstore, cafeteria, our private offices, etc. had to  be accessible. We   taught Heather how to  be a confident  student who learned how to  advocate  for  herself. Thanks   to our dedicated faculty, and the Disability Support Services staff, Heather had a very positive experience at MC, graduated with her BSW from UMBC at  the  USG campus, and  subsequently graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore at the USG campus with her MSW. Heather has been employed at MC as a part-time faculty counselor for eight years. She is now part of the community at MC, and she is making a positive impact on the lives of our students on a daily basis.

Riley came to Montgomery College as a student in transition with the usual doubts and confidence issues that many of our new students have. Through his hard work and dedication and a group of faculty who have been supportive and encouraging, we challenged him to be his intellectual best.  Rhiley will soon achieve his goal of becoming a college graduate, and in the fall will begin working towards receiving his Bachelor’s Degree at the USG campus of UMBC.

It took a community of faculty and staff to help Joanna, who was home schooled, achieve her goal of becoming a teacher. Joanna is legally blind, and we spent many hours together trying to figure out what assistive technology she needed in order to help her become a successful college student. We had to find tools to make the relatively invisible, visible. Our Disability Support Services faculty and staff constantly communicated with her faculty, the learning center staff, and most importantly with Joanna so that we could provide her with whatever was needed to help her be successful. Joanna not only graduated from Montgomery College but also subsequently graduated from Towson at USG with an education degree, and she has been employed at Weller Road Elementary School for the last 4 years.

These students are where they are today partially because of the proper guidance, creative instruction, counseling, encouragement, and training they received from our faculty. All of these students have learned how to be a better student. They should be very proud of themselves.

Now we need your assistance to help Montgomery College continue to be in a position to recruit, retain, train, and re-train quality full-time faculty. We need the financial support of the County so that the College can meet its contractual obligation to fund our bare bones negotiated increase in salary. Recognizing that the county and state budgets are tight, we have agreed to a general wage increase that is below the federal standard, no increase in our overload pay, and no increment. We ask for your support of the budget request so that we can continue to hire and keep the faculty who are making such a positive impact on the lives of thousands of students on a daily basis.

I would like to add that each·of the students I mentioned this evening have written an impact statement, and their statements are attached to  my testimony.

Thank you

AAUP Update: BoT & CBA

Hello Full-time Faculty!

Tonight, the MC’s Board of Trustees takes up the MCAAUP collective bargaining agreement (the CBA or full-time faculty contract) at its monthly meeting. This is the agreement the faculty approved in a vote last month.

This contract is contingent upon the college receiving funds for compensation from the county. The county executive released a budget proposal and the county council is considering the funding this week in a series of public sessions. 

Although InsideMC mentioned that representatives from MC’s other unions will speak along with MC administrators at Tuesday night’s hearing, 

MCAAUP president Harry Zarin will also speak before the panel on Wednesday April 10 at 7 p.m., a fact the InsideMC story failed to mention. 

The full schedule of hearings can be found here

The meetings are held in the Council Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, Maryland 20850. Please make time to join Harry and support the union.

Thank you!

Steve Thurston
MCAAUP VP for MC, Rockville campus

AAUP Update: Faculty Compensation Study Presentation Slides

Faculty Compensation Study Presentation Slides (PDF)

AAUP Update: Faculty Compensation Study Forums

Dear Colleagues-

By now, we hope you have read the email from Mr. Robert Roop, Interim Chief Human Resources Officer, dated 3/25/19 and sent via MC Communications to “All Employees,” regarding the full time faculty compensation study undertaken by the College through the services of Segal-Waters. If you have not taken the time to read the memo, please do so now, as it contains important information to which we as full-time faculty all need to pay attention.

The full-time faculty compensation study by Segal-Waters was completed sometime prior to our negotiations last fall. However, the results of the study were not shared with the negotiating team at any time during or since the completed bargaining process.  We, like you, await the results and have questions about the purpose, methods, and validity of the study.

We have significant concerns when Mr. Roop notes that “I will continue to keep you informed about the process,” when it has been almost a year since any information about this study has been presented to the College community.  The memo also says, “Thank you for your patience as we deploy the College’s new compensation design.” We, as your negotiating team, want to remind you that anything related to compensation, such as salary, EAP and overload, can only be implemented through the collective bargaining process, and not unilaterally “deployed” by Senior Management.  This will not change, regardless of any suggested plans for deployment. Again, nothing can be “deployed” without negotiating with the AAUP.

We strongly urge all of you to make time to attend one of the information sessions, pay careful attention to what is said, and ask questions. When potential changes to aspects of our employment are being discussed by management, we as faculty must demonstrate that we care about our union and our contract by showing up, making our voices heard, and by respectfully sharing our concerns.

As shared by Mr. Roop, the schedule for the compensation forums are as follows:

Date Time Location
Monday, April 1, 2019 1 pm – 2 pm & 4 pm – 5 pm Takoma Park/Silver Spring Commons (CM) 211
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 1 pm – 2 pm & 4 pm – 5 pm Germantown  Bioscience Ed Ctr (BE) 160
Thursday, April 4, 2019 1 pm – 2 pm & 4 pm – 5 pm Rockville Science West (SW) 302

There will be members of the Negotiating team and the AAUP Executive committee at each information session, and we hope to see you there. As always, we thank you for your support.

For the Chapter,

Sharon Piper, Lead Negotiator
AJ (Tito) Baca
Michael Gurevitz
Tammy Peery

AAUP Update: Vote on the Tentative Agreement

Colleagues:

I am pleased to report that the tentative agreement, which we voted on during the week of February 18, has been ratified by a majority vote of the full-time faculty. The Board of Trustees will discuss and vote on the agreement at their March 18 meeting. Once the BOT ratifies the agreement we will post a signed copy of the agreement on the Chapter website.

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I would like to thank those of you who voted on the agreement and who provided the Committee with written comments. We appreciate your support of our efforts to represent you.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
President-AAUP
Montgomery College

AAUP Update: Negotiations, Campus Meeting, Retirement Issue, and More

February 2019

Colleagues:

On behalf of the Executive Committee, I am writing to provide all of you with some important information about negotiations, our recent campus meetings, the recently approved Distance Learning Side Letter, our court case, a retirement contribution issue, faculty rank, and membership.

Campus Meetings:

Due to inclement weather the opening meeting scheduled to occur on Jan. 14 was cancelled and as a result, our scheduled full-time faculty meeting was cancelled. The Executive Committee felt that it was important that we come to the faculty on each campus and provide you all with information on negotiations, the on-going court case, and more. For that reason, we scheduled meetings on each campus on different days and times. We had hoped that the schedule we created would have enabled the majority of you to attend at least one of the meetings.

All of the meetings were relatively well attended and the discussions were lively. We appreciated seeing those who attended the meeting but wished that more had come to ask questions and express their opinions on the issues we discussed. We hope to see each of you at the closing meeting in May. Much of the information covered in the campus meetings is summarized in this update.

Negotiations:

The following is a statement from our Negotiating Team, which recently wrapped up a long and involved process that required many hours of thoughtful conversation and meetings. I encourage all of you to take a few minutes and read this important statement. We each owe them a debt of thanks for all they did for us this year. Please thank them the next time you see them.

Statement from the Negotiating Team- AAUP

We have completed negotiations with Montgomery College management for the full-time faculty contract for the AY2019-2020. The negotiating team met with the management team for six bargaining sessions over the fall 2018 semester. On the table were the following items: salary, EAP benefits, overload pay, and bereavement leave (a hold over item from last year). The tentative agreement to be brought for ratification next week covers only the next academic year, 2019-2020.

As a team, we do not believe that this “Last, Best, and Final” offer from management reflects the true value of the full-time faculty members at Montgomery College or the efforts that the full-time faculty put forth every day on behalf of our students. We believe that our colleagues deserve much better, and we made every effort possible, as your representatives, to negotiate a more beneficial contract. Regrettably, we have concluded that full-time faculty compensation is of low priority and concern to this administration. We put forth the tentative agreement to the full-time faculty with deep regret and disappointment. We, however, do believe that the tentative agreement we present for your consideration represents the best offer that we could get from management at this time. Our team was able to move negotiations from an offer of only 2% for those below the top of the salary scale, and no increase whatsoever to those at the top, to an offer of 2.5% for all faculty.

While the County’s fiscal situation is, as has been reported, very negative, the fiscal mismanagement of college resources and the prioritization of expensive, un-implemented and untested programs, as well as the practice of financially rewarding administrators, have placed the Administration in a position where it is unwilling to fairly compensate full-time faculty who have direct daily contact with students. The agreement does not even produce a pay raise to match projected inflation for the next academic year. Inflation projections for next year range from 2.8%-3%, so the Administration’s “Last, Best, and Final” offer of a General Wage Adjustment (GWA) of 2.5% essentially amounts to a pay cut. Its only benefit, and it is a good one, is that, as a GWA, it is for all full-time faculty, including those at the top of the scale. This moves the scale for everyone, and has prevented the red-lining of full-time faculty salaries, at least for the next academic year.

Despite our extreme disappointment about this particular tentative agreement, our regret that this administration does not appear to value the full-time faculty, and our concerns about negotiations going forward given the abandonment of our history of interest based bargaining, we have decided, as a team, to put forth this “Last, Best, and Final” offer from management for a faculty vote. The alternative option to voting on the contract is to declare impasse, a process that we have decided is too expensive and potentially unproductive relative to the current situation.

We ask each of our Union member colleagues to thoughtfully consider the tentative agreement and our statement prior to casting your vote. Electronic voting will occur during the week of Feb. 18. Only dues paying members of the Chapter are allowed to vote on the tentative agreement.

For the Negotiating Team and the Executive Committee,
Sharon Piper, Lead Negotiator
Tito Baca
Michael Gurevitz
Tammy Peery

Distance Learning Side Letter:
If you look in the “Chapter Documents” section of the chapter webpage (mcaaup.org), you will see the Distance Learning Side Letter. This side letter expires every three years and allows both Management and Labor to review and update it while taking into consideration the latest technologies and best practices. Tammy Peery and Sean Fay represented the chapter. Michael Mills and Sharon Fechter represented the administration. The four of them met several times last semester and revised the side letter. The newly revised Distance Learning Side Letter has been posted on the Chapter webpage.

There are several important content changes in the new Distance Learning Side Letter. These changes include remuneration for the development of OER courses and materials and a requirement that online course coordinators have completed or are exempted from the Montgomery College Online Teaching course prior to being appointed as coordinator. All changes in the document are related to one of these two topics or represent grammatical or terminology updates.

For example, a faculty member may request remuneration for redesign of an online course for which he/she has already been remunerated as an OER course or for the design of an OER textbook provided at that at least 2 years has elapsed since the development of the original online course. A team may now provide a development plan to request remuneration for more than the standard two semesters to complete the development of a common course or team-designed OER materials.

I encourage all full-time faculty who teach distance learning classes, those who want to teach distance learning classes, and those who want to develop distance learning classes to read this important document. Our goal as an Executive Committee is to make sure that you are being paid for the work that you do and this side letter is one way we can ensure that you are being compensated properly.

Retirement Issue:

As you probably recall, the MC Board of Trustees did not ratify the salary increase we negotiated for this year in time to be implemented when we returned in August. Instead, we received the first three paychecks at last year’s rate, then a paycheck with the raise included, and finally a paycheck, which included a lump sum back pay for the missed raise for the first three checks.

Following this, a colleague who is enrolled in the Optional Retirement Plan noticed that the contribution made to her TIAA-CREF account included the 7.25% on that pay period’s salary, but did not include the contribution on the lump sum back pay. As a quick reminder, we are all in one of two retirement plans – some chose a defined benefit pension, while others are in the ORP, a defined contribution plan, in which the College contributes 7.25% of our entire base pay towards our retirement account. This colleague contacted the AAUP Executive Committee, and Nancy McCathran, Payroll Manager, who passed the question to Heather Pratt, Director of Employee Relations and Chief Negotiator for the college.

A member of the AAUP Executive Committee filed a grievance, following which several discussions were held, both within Chapter leadership and between representatives of the Chapter and of management, on how to proceed. Eventually management, after consulting with its legal counsel, agreed with the Chapter that this was a mistake that needed to be corrected as soon as possible. We have been told that the employees should notice the correction in their February 15, 2019 paycheck.

Those in the pension system should expect to see an extra deduction corresponding to the missed deduction on the back pay received at the end of October. This is just the money that was supposed to have been taken out back then – not any kind of additional withholding. For those of you in the ORP, you will notice an additional amount of funds was contributed to your ORP in the Feb. 15 paycheck.

This is a prime example of how union representation can benefit you as an individual.

Court Case:

I mentioned in my November update that there had been no progress in moving our case through the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. I am happy to report that some progress has occurred. Last December our attorney heard from the Court. A brief from our attorney is due to be submitted to the court on March 6 and we have received a tentative schedule which indicates that our case will be heard by the Court during the month of September. I will let you all know once we hear more definitive information about the actual date our case will be heard by the Court.

Faculty Rank:

For a number of years members of the Labor Management Collaboration Committee have struggled with the issue of faculty rank. Faculty rank is a very important academic concept and, while at MC there is no monetary benefit to advancing in faculty rank, there could be if you chose to move to another college or university.

Faculty rank is covered in the P&P but the process of advancing in faculty rank has never been handled in a uniform way throughout the College. This has led to some faculty advancing in rank as scheduled and others advancing years after they were eligible or never advancing in rank.

I am pleased to announce that significant progress has been made on this issue. Through the leadership efforts of Elline Damirdjian in the Employee and Labor Relations Office, and others in our Records Department, an audit of the faculty rank of all full-time employees below the rank of full professor has been completed. This audit included gathering information on when each faculty member was hired, how many points they were assigned when hired, the points needed to advance in rank, and a timeline for rank advancement. A communication process has been initiated and the Chief Human Relations Officer will contact faculty members who are scheduled for an immediate advancement in rank the week of March 1. Deans and Provosts were already notified of those faculty members who are eligible for an immediate advancement in rank.

Going forward, the Records Department in HR will take on the responsibility of tracking faculty rank information and the Deans and Provosts will be responsible for initiating the process of moving a faculty member from through the advancement in rank process. Individual faculty members should take an active role in monitoring their eligibility for rank advancement.

The Chapter thanks all who were involved in completing the faculty rank audit and for helping to move this process forward.

Membership Benefits:

One of the subjects I often hear about when I attend collective bargaining related conferences is on membership recruitment. How do you recruit members to a voluntary organization that charges dues? What is the value of joining a union when you work in higher education?

In this issue I gave you four examples that demonstrate the value of having a union in higher education. We have negotiated an increase in salary for all full-time faculty and members will be able to vote on this issue next week. A member brought an issue to our attention that related to retirement contributions. Through the collective efforts of the chapter’s representatives and management, we were able to resolve this issue and correct the error. The longtime problem of moving through the faculty rank advancement process has finally been resolved through the efforts of those of us on the Labor Management Collaboration Committee and others working in HR. We recently completed a revision of the Distance Learning Side Letter which is designed to ensure that you are properly compensated for the work you do in creating distance learning classes and OER materials.

Membership Dues:
You have a choice, either do nothing and be a freeloader (getting something for nothing on the backs of your fellow colleagues), become a full, dues-paying member of the chapter, or support the chapter’s efforts by paying the voluntary collective bargaining service fee. If you are not currently paying the service fee or if you are not currently a member of the chapter, I ask you to consider doing one or the other. We need your financial contribution in order to continue our efforts to represent you.

Membership Action:

In addition, we need your time. Some of us have been representing you for many years and we need some new people to get involved. Michael LeBlanc, English TP/SS is leading the way by creating an Organizational Task Force. If you are interested in participating on some of our committees and becoming more involved in Chapter activities, please reach out to one of the members of the Executive Committee or contact Michael LeBlanc. Your participation will be greatly appreciated.

The Chapter has its own Facebook group. If you are interested in joining please: Log onto Facebook and search mcaaup. (You do have to be a member of Facebook to join.)

Also, full-time faculty, we need to contact you away from MC at times. Please go to this site and fill in the form: tinyurl.com/mcaaupsignup

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor

AAUP Update: AAUP Chapter Membership/Voluntary Collective Bargaining Support Fee

Colleagues:

Later this week, I will be sending out an update with information on the court case, negotiations, voting on a tentative agreement, and more.  Only dues paying members of the Chapter will be able to vote on the tentative agreement, which relates to next year’s raises. 

If you were previously a Department Chair and stepped down, you are not a dues paying member of the Chapter unless you completed and submitted a membership application.  If you did not do so and you would like to become a member of the Chapter, please complete the membership application.

If you were paying the service fee and you are now interested in joining the Chapter so that you can, among other things, vote on Chapter related issues including the upcoming tentative agreement, please complete the membership application.

This next message is for those of you who used to support the Chapter by paying a service fee.  Last summer the Supreme Court ruled that bargaining unit members could not be forced to pay a service fee in lieu of becoming dues paying members of a union.  Therefore, the service fee stopped being deducted from your paycheck last fall. If you were paying the service fee and you would like to continue supporting the Chapter’s efforts to represent you by paying the voluntary collective bargaining support fee, please complete and submit the application.  When you pay the voluntary collective bargaining support fee, your contribution directly supports the Chapter’s efforts and helps cover our legal costs and release ESH for some members of the Executive Committee and the Negotiating Team.

If you are not sure whether you are a dues paying member of the Chapter or if you are currently paying the service fee, please look for information about this on your pay stub.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact any member of our Executive Committee.  The members are listed on the Chapter webpage.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.
President-AAUP

AAUP Update: Up-coming Meetings

I had hoped to see many of you at the opening meeting on January 14th but some bad weather came along and the day’s activities at MC were cancelled.  In lieu of hosting one large meeting of the full-time faculty, the Executive Committee has decided that we will hold three meetings, one on each campus, so that we can provide you with updates on a variety of important issues.  At these meetings we will give you information on our on-going court case, negotiations for next year’s raises, and several other topics.  All of the meetings will be held next week and they are scheduled as follows:

Germantown Campus Meeting-                Monday               February 4          HT216   3:00-4:30pm

Takoma Park/Silver Spring Meeting-        Tuesday               February 5          CM211  5:00-7:00pm

Rockville Campus Meeting-                         Thursday             February 7           SW301  6:00-8:00pm

All bargaining unit members of the full-time faculty are invited to attend one of these meeting.  You do not have to be a member of the AAUP in in order to attend one of these meetings.  We look forward to seeing you at one of these very important meetings.

On behalf of the Executive Committee,

Harry Z.