April 22, 2018

AAUP Update: Upcoming Faculty Meetings (4/25 & 4/26)

Colleagues:

In my previous correspondence on April 5th I announced that the Executive Committee would be hosting two faculty meetings at off-campus locations.  I am writing to inform all of you that the meetings will take place at 6:00pm on Wednesday, April 25 in SW301 on the Rockville Campus and at 6:00pm on Thursday, April 26 in CM211 on the TP/SS Campus.  We had hoped to hold these meetings off-campus but we had a difficult time locating available off-campus venues on the announced dates.  At these meetings, those of us on the Executive Committee will provide you with an update on where we stand with regards to the grievance we filed against the college, the lawsuit we filed against the college, this year’s raises, and negotiations for next year’s raises.

We encourage you to try to attend one of these meetings and to come with a list of questions that you would like us to answer.  We are hopeful that the Chapter’s attorney will be able to attend the Wednesday evening meeting on the Rockville Campus.

I look forward to seeing you at one of these meeting.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
President-AAUP

 

AAUP Update: Save the Date (4/25 or 4/26)

Colleagues:

The members of the AAUP Executive Committee are aware that many of you are interested in receiving an update on where we stand with regards to the grievance we filed against the college, the lawsuit we filed against the college, this year’s raises, and negotiations for next year’s raises.  Due to the amount of information we need to cover and the complexity of the issues with which we are dealing, we believe the best way to provide all of you with the update you need is through a meeting and not an e-mail.  We are planning to host two off-campus faculty meetings on Wednesday April 25 and Thursday April 26 at 6:00pm, and we are in the process of securing two different locations for these meetings.  One meeting will be held in the Rockville area and one will be held in the down county area.  The Executive Committee is asking you to plan on attending one of these important meetings.  This will be your opportunity to ask questions, voice your opinions, and hear about the progress we have made on these issues.  The Chapter’s attorney is planning on attending one of these meetings.  I will provide you with the specific location of each meeting once that information becomes available.

On Behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

AAUP Update: Faculty Council Update on Faculty Salary Study

As many of you are aware, the College recently reviewed and is making adjustments to some staff member salaries. However, many may not know that the College has now undertaken a review of full-time faculty compensation. Given the scarcity of information on this subject, the Faculty Council asked Mr.  Robert Roop, Chief HR Officer, and Ms. Heather Pratt, Director of Employee and Labor Relations, to attend a Faculty Council meeting and provide updates.

Council members and visiting constituents posed a number of questions regarding the details of the review, including but not limited to: what methodology will be used for the salary study, what the timeline is, what the communication plan is for informing faculty about the study, and what faculty can expect. While many answers did not provide specific detail, we were told the following in response to council and constituent questions.

  •  Mr. Roop and Ms. Pratt assured the Faculty Council that the Senior Administrative Leadership team has promised that no faculty salaries will be reduced;
  •  Mr. Roop and Ms. Pratt assured the Council that the Senior Administrative Leadership team has promised no faculty will lose their positions;
  • The intended outcome of the study is to adjust the minimum and maximum salaries in accordance with what is seen as market value;
  • It is neither a goal nor an expected outcome of the study that faculty will be paid on different scales depending on discipline;
  • The methodology is the same as was used in the staff study. The College also expects to conduct ongoing market analysis every 12-18 months;
  • The College is exploring the legality of implementing the salary range adjustments without renegotiating the contract;
  •  Mr. Roop estimated the cost of the staff study to be around 200-300K; he was less clear on the cost of the faculty study, but thought it to be lower;
  • The study is looking at colleges and universities nationwide and adjusting the results for the cost of living in this area. However, a faculty member pointed out that while the cost-of-living ‘bump’ in the College study is 13.5%, the Federal Government’s Office of Personnel Management uses 24% as its own regional benchmark;
  • Presentations to faculty were intended to be scheduled only after the study is complete because staff information sessions were initially poorly attended and because all information is not yet available. Council members strongly suggested that it would be advisable to provide information as it becomes available so as not to blindside the faculty
  • There are contractual/bargaining elements that will need to be considered and/or negotiated prior to implementation of any study findings
  • A request was made by Mr. Roop and Ms. Pratt for the Faculty Council to help with ideas for keeping faculty informed.

We encourage you to look for communication from Mr. Roop regarding this issue; the Council will be following up with him and will keep you updated as the situation progresses. Note: The Human Resources Compensation website appears to be directed at staff, not faculty. We are in touch with Mr.Roop regarding this and will provide information as soon as we receive it.

If you have questions regarding this issue, please email  Alan.Stover@montgomerycollege.edu, our Faculty Issues Committee Chair, so that the Council can follow up.

 

AAUP Update: Statement to the Board of Trustees

February 26, 2018

Statement to the Board of Trustees
Read by:   Harry Zarin, Counselor/President, AAUP

At the January 24 BOT meeting, our staff colleagues representing AFSCME made an eloquent statement expressing their concerns about the adversarial tactics currently espoused by management towards their collective bargaining unit and asserting their continued desire to work collaboratively with management as key stakeholders for institutional and student success.  AAUP wishes to express our support for AFSCME’s statement and note our shared experience and concern.

Like our AFSCME colleagues, AAUP is well aware of the looming fiscal crisis and the need to explore difficult solutions to ensure a sustainable workplace and a maintained focus on student success.  In the past, AAUP has been included as a part of the solution; the administration was transparent about possible concerns and solutions, and we have willingly renegotiated our contracts during difficult financial times to support the work of all members of the College.  However, in recent years, the administration has been less collaborative and collegial.  The administration’s unilateral decision to shift away from interest based bargaining to “traditional” bargaining, has created an “us vs them” environment instead of a “we are all working together in the interest of the college” discussion. Compensation studies are engaged without the knowledge or inclusion of the bargaining units, and when we ask for details, they are not provided or appear to contradict those provided in other settings.  In fact, at a recent public governance meeting, the Director of Employee and Labor Relations and Interim Chief Human Resources Officer indicated that the administration is “exploring the legality” of setting a new minimum and maximum for the faculty salary scale outside of the collective bargaining process. The Administration takes a presumptive attitude towards matters covered by our Agreement where decisions affecting our members are made, and the Chapter, the exclusive bargaining representative, is only subsequently informed.  This is inconsistent with our mutual obligation to bargain in good faith pursuant to the statute authorizing collective bargaining at the College.

Last year, the Administration intentionally planned to breach the Agreement and not pay us according to the terms of our negotiated Agreement, whether it received enough money to implement our Agreement or not. In fact, the College requested sufficient money to fund our negotiated increases in salary, then inappropriately invoked the financial exigency clause of our Agreement (Sec.8.5) well before the County Council voted on the funding for our operating budget.  In May the County Council voted on our operating budget and awarded the College sufficient money to fund our negotiated increases in salary.  After receipt of these funds, the Administration chose not honor our Agreement.  The Chapter was compelled to file a grievance against the College.  The grievance was not resolved and per the Agreement, the Chapter invoked arbitration.  Rather than follow the terms of the Agreement, the Administration has required us to go to court to compel the College to follow the terms and conditions of the Agreement and move the grievance to arbitration. Consequently, as I am sure you all are aware, we recently filed suit against the College in Montgomery County Circuit Court. At each step along the way the Administration has done everything in its power to drag the process out, demonstrating an interest in trying to wear down the faculty or to run up legal fees for both sides in an effort to force the faculty to cave rather than to have the dispute settled on its merits.

Collegiality.  Transparency.  Trust.  Respect.  When the administration dictates rather than collaborates, when it does not honor its commitments, when it is not transparent, even in the name of fiscal stewardship, it creates an environment that makes it all but impossible for faculty and staff to envision themselves as partners and collaborators in solving problems.  It creates an environment of profound disrespect and distrust that extends far beyond the executive committees that represent the collective bargaining units, to every bargaining faculty and staff member at the College.  This adversarial atmosphere negatively affects morale, recruitment, and retention, which, in turn, negatively affects the reputation and performance of the institution.  It is our hope that the Board will guide the administration to rethink its current adversarial strategies so that we can all work collaboratively to address fiscal and other challenges as One College and model an environment and interaction that truly promotes employee and student success.

MC-AAUP – Happy Hour!

Take a break before break! For a few hours, we’ll meet-up, chat, update and generally have a relaxing time. Then, that weekend, head off to a much-deserved spring break!

Where:

Denizens Brewing Company
1115 East-West Highway, Silver Spring.
(Walking distance from the Silver Spring metro and from TPSS.)

When:

Thursday March 8, after work, 4:30-7:30, or so.

______________________

  • Fun raffles! Everyone gets a ticket. Wear your AAUP bling (buttons, T-shirts?) for bonus tickets. Post your fun pix and get more tix! Come for happy hour, stay for dinner with friends. They have a full bar and a full menu.
  • MC FOOD PANTRY COLLECTION! Bring items to give to the food pantries on the campuses. Non-perishable dry goods, ie: granola bars, jerky, nuts, dried fruit, crackers etc. All of the pantries are running low.

AAUP Update: Negotiations and More….

On behalf of the Chapter, I hope you are having a good semester and that your classes, projects, programs, and various other aspects of your job are going well. There is much to say about a variety of very important topics.

  1. Negotiations/The Grievance/Arbitration-Those of you who have attended our most recent full faculty meetings are very aware of the difficult situation we are facing with regards to the FY2019 negotiations and the grievance we filed last fall against the College for its failure to give us our FY2018 negotiated raises. The faculty at these meetings voiced their collective concerns about the about the College’s choice not to implement our FY2018 salary increases and overwhelmingly supported the Executive Committees decision to file a grievance against the Administration and to invoke final and binding arbitration if the grievance was not satisfactorily resolved.

Last September I filed the grievance.  We completed steps one, two, and three of the grievance process, and since the grievance was not satisfactorily resolved, we invoked arbitration at the end of January.  This means that we are willing to take the grievance to final and binding arbitration, as prescribed in the Agreement. The Administration has dragged its feet throughout the process and now has failed to follow even the most basic steps; instead, we were informed by the College’s labor attorney that the Administration is refusing to participate in the arbitration process unless it is compelled to do so by the courts.  Hence, we filed suit against the Administration in Montgomery County Circuit Court.  We are now waiting for the court to set a date for our case to be heard.  Because the courts will be involved in determining whether we will be able to take our grievance to arbitration I need to be very careful about how much I say to all of you.  I don’t want to say anything that will unduly influence our case in the eyes of the court or eventually an arbitrator.

With that in mind, I wanted to make a brief comment about the update on negotiations that was sent to the College community by Mr. Robert Roop, Chief Human Resources Officer.  Our analysis of all known facts requires that we differ with Mr. Roop’s presentation of the basis for the College’s failure to implement our FY2018 salary increases as set forth in the Agreement. He stated, “Due to financial resource constraints, the College was unable to meet the original negotiated salary increase for FY18. These financial constraints are primarily linked to a shortfall in the College’s anticipated funding from the county contribution, state aid, and tuition revenue despite spirited advocacy by the College leadership and faculty representatives.”

What is most important for everyone to understand is that the County did provide the College with sufficient money to fully fund our negotiated raises.  I repeat, the County Council did provide the College with sufficient money to fully fund our negotiated raises.  The fact is, the Administration requested enough money to fully fund our negotiated raises and then after the money was awarded by the County, Management decided not to fully fund our raises.  This was a planned move on the part of the Administration.

With the assistance of the Chapter’s labor attorney, we are prepared to seek to have our Agreement enforced in the face of the Administration’s willful refusal to comply with its obligations. I will keep all of you posted on the progress of our case in court and on the eventual move of our grievance to arbitration.

  1. What can you do? First, all you need to be patient.  Management has been using a variety of tactics to delay the entire grievance process and now that they are compelling us to go to court more delays are inevitable.  Second, show your support of your Executive Committee.  We are your elected representatives in all things salary related. Several administrators have implied that we are a self-serving Executive Committee and that we really don’t represent you, the faculty.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  We are protecting your contract, our contract, and we need and look forward to your continued support. Third, see #3 below.  Fourth, we need you to support us by attending all of our faculty meetings. It’s at these meetings that you can let your own voice be heard.
  2. Board of Trustees Statement-I will be speaking tonight during the public comment period at the Board of Trustees meeting. The meeting will be held at 8:00pm in the room 108 of the Central Services building.  Please come to the meeting and show your support of the Chapter as I speak on your behalf.  Most importantly, be respectful, and please plan on staying for as much of the meeting as possible.
  3. Public Hearings-Councilman Craig Rice, MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith, and Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard will host the first of five public education budget meetings. Listed below are the meeting dates and locations for the forums, which are scheduled to last from 6:30-8:30pm.
  • February 28 at Montgomery College, Rockville Campus (Theater Arts Building – 51 Mannakee Street in Rockville);
  • March 7 at John F. Kennedy High School (cafeteria – 1901 Randolph Road in Silver Spring);
  • March 14 at Robert Frost Middle School (cafeteria – 9201 Scott Drive in Rockville);
  • March 19 at White Oak Middle School (cafeteria – 12201 New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring).

Last year members of your AAUP Executive Committee attended several of these important hearings and we hope to do the same this year.  We encourage you to take some time out of your day to attend one of these meetings.  These meetings are very informal, each speaker will make a presentation, and members of the audience, including MC faculty, are able to ask questions during a large portion of the meetings.  If you want to hear about how budget decisions are made and the opportunities County residents will have to influence budget decisions, it would be beneficial for you to attend one of these meetings.

If you click on the link below you will be able to read the official press release about these meetings which was issued by Councilmember Craig Rice’s office.

https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgportalapps/Press_Detail.aspx?Item_ID=21858

 

 

AAUP Response to Feb. 21 College Memo

Colleagues:

By now all of you have had an opportunity to read today’s memo that was sent by Mr. Robert Roop, Chief Human Resources Officer, “updating” you on negotiations. If you have been attending the faculty meetings we hold at the beginning of each semester and last spring’s closing meeting, you are well aware that the Chapter’s perspective on the facts with regards to negotiations and the grievance are substantially different from that which Mr. Roop expressed in his memorandum (see below).  I wanted let all of you know that, on behalf of the Chapter, I will be sending you a detailed update with our perspective on negotiations, the status of the grievance, where we are with regards to moving the grievance to arbitration, and several other topics within the next few days.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry Zarin, Counselor/President

AAUP

 


 

To: Montgomery College Community
From: Mr. Robert G. Roop, Chief Human Resources Officer
Subject: Update on Negotiations with American Association of University Professors
Date: February 21, 2018

 

I wish to provide an update on the College’s negotiations with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), which represents our full-time faculty, regarding FY18 compensation increases. All of our faculty and staff are vital to our student mission, so successfully completing these negotiations and finding mutually acceptable solutions are among our highest priorities.

The College and AAUP have worked collaboratively since April 2017 to resolve a disagreement regarding the contracted full-time faculty compensation increase for FY18. Due to financial resource constraints, the College was unable to meet the original negotiated salary increase for FY18. These financial constraints are primarily linked to a shortfall in the College’s anticipated funding from the county contribution, state aid, and tuition revenue despite spirited advocacy by the College leadership and faculty representatives.  As a result, the College cannot afford to provide a 6.25 percent increase (2.75 percent general wage adjustment and 3.5 percent increment) to full-time faculty for this academic year. The College is committed to keeping tuition affordable, and therefore it is unable to meet this funding gap through tuition increases because of the severe impact it would have on affordability.

Financial exigency provisions in the AAUP collective bargaining agreement provide a framework for resolving this situation; however, the College and AAUP negotiators have been unable to agree on a solution. Further, until an agreement is reached, the College cannot implement any pay raise for AAUP faculty.  The College offered AAUP a 3.0 percent salary increase for FY18, and this offer remains valid. To date, AAUP negotiators have declined to accept this offer.

On February 13, 2018, the AAUP filed a lawsuit against the College in Montgomery County Circuit Court asking the Court to tell the College to resolve this matter through arbitration. The College will respond to the lawsuit as per legal requirements; however, it is our goal to continue to collaborate with AAUP to reach an agreement.

The College remains steadfast in its commitment to reaching a mutually agreeable compromise that recognizes our fiscal constraints, protects affordability, and provides equitable compensation for our dedicated faculty. Please contact Heather Pratt, director of Employee and Labor Relations in HRSTM, at 240-567-3097 or me with any questions. Thank you for your commitment to Montgomery College and our students.

Education Budget Meetings

Colleagues:

Starting tonight (February 21, 2018) at Damascus High School, Councilman Craig Rice, MCPS Superintendent Jack Smith, and Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard will host the first of five public education budget meetings.  The meeting dates and locations are listed below.  The forums are scheduled to last from 6:30-8:30pm.

  • February 21 at Damascus High School (25921 Ridge Road in Damascus);
  • February 28 at Montgomery College, Rockville Campus (Theater Arts Building – 51 Mannakee Street in Rockville);
  • March 7 at John F. Kennedy High School (cafeteria – 1901 Randolph Road in Silver Spring);
  • March 14 at Robert Frost Middle School (cafeteria – 9201 Scott Drive in Rockville); and
  • March 19 at White Oak Middle School (cafeteria – 12201 New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring).

Last year members of your AAUP Executive Committee attended several of these important hearings and we hope to do the same this year.  We encourage you to take some time out of your day to attend one of these meetings.  These meetings are very informal, each speaker will make a presentation, and members of the audience are able to ask questions during a large portion of the meetings.  If you want to hear about how budget decisions are made and the opportunities County residents will have to influence budget decisions, it would be beneficial for you to attend one of these meetings.

If you click on the link below you will be able to read the official press release about these meetings that was issued by Councilmember Craig Rice’s office.

https://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgportalapps/Press_Detail.aspx?Item_ID=21858

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
President-AAUP

 

AAUP Update: Fall 2017

Colleagues:

As the Thanksgiving Holiday rapidly approaches I wanted to give all of you an update on this years negotiations, the grievance we filed in September and several important reminders.

  1. The Employee Engagement Survey-For the past few weeks we have all received e-mails about the importance of completing the Employee Engagement Survey.  On behalf of the Executive Committee, I want to encourage all of you to complete the survey as soon as you can.  This is the time for each of us to provide the Administration with our opinion on a variety of topics covered in the survey.  Completing the survey only takes about 15 minutes, the results are confidential, and the results will be published in the form of a report in the coming months.  The Chapter has membership on the Employee Engagement Advisory Committee and we have a voice in helping to recommend actions the Administration can take based on the results of the survey.  Please take some time to complete the survey.
  2. The Food Pantries-This is the time of year when the food pantries on each campus need to be filled so that our most needy students can benefit from our collective generosity.  When you come into the office next week try to remember to bring a few items for the pantry on your campus.  I know our students will appreciate you efforts.
  3. Negotiations-The salary, EAP, and overload ESH provisions of our current contract  expire at the end of this academic year.  Negotiations for next year’s salary, EAP, and overload dollar amounts began this week.  These negotiations will continue on a regular basis until an agreement has been reached.  As with past negotiations, all discussions held at the table are confidential.  Once an agreement has been reached, a joint statement Labor/Management statement will be released.  I will try to keep you all posted on the progress our Negotiating Team is making without violating the confidentiality of the negotiations.  We all owe a debt of thanks to our Negotiating Team-Sharon Piper our Chief Negotiator, Tammy Peery, Rick Penn, Tito Baca, and Michael Gurevitz.
  4. The grievance-Last month I provided all of you with a detailed update on the status of our raises for this year and the grievance we filed against the College.  The steps in the grievance process are outlined in our Collective Bargaining Agreement. I filed the grievance in September and shortly after that step 1 of the grievance process was completed.  We are now in step 2 of the grievance process and I anticipate that we will be moving to step 3 in the process right after the Thanksgiving holidays.  I encourage each of you to review the steps in the grievance process.  As I mentioned in my previous update, until such time as the grievance is resolved, no wage adjustments will be made to salaries of the full-time faculty.  We believe the merits of this grievance are so important that the membership voted to continue the grievance through to arbitration and we on the Executive Committee are prepared to do follow the direction of our membership.  I will keep all of you posted on the progress of the grievance and the status of the arbitration, once that process starts.
  5. Counselors Sick Leave Issue-This is an issue that has been on-going for almost a year-and-a-half.  We have been working with members of the Administration to resolve a shortage of earned sick leave hours that should have been granted to counselors who worked over the summer months.  This shortage, for some counselors, dates back to 1999.  Through our cooperative efforts with members of the HRSTM staff, the issue was partially resolved for a number of counselors.  We are now working with the HRSTM staff to completely resolve this issue.  After the Thanksgiving break I will be sending an e-mail to all current and former full-time counselors asking them to provide me with some information.  I will collate that information and work with the HRSTM staff to resolve the issue over the summer months.

Thank you for taking the time to read this brief update.  On behalf of the entire AAUP Executive Committee I want to with all of you a pleasant Thanksgiving Holiday.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Counselor
President AAUP

AAUP Update: Contract Negotiations

Colleagues:

Recently, you should have received an update from Bob Roop, Chief Human Resources Officer, regarding the status of contract negotiations with the AAUP.  I am writing this memo in response to that document in order to provide each of you the Chapter Executive Committee’s perspective on where we stand with regards to these negotiations and other important issues related to our contract.

Before I begin, let me say that this may appear to be a very complicated situation; especially given Bob Roop’s depiction of the origins of the current situation where Faculty are deprived of our salary increases previously agreed upon by the College, and his choice of words. In fact, I think it can be stated fairly simply- the College has violated the legally binding Agreement it has with the Chapter.

I am going to attempt to summarize the situation we are dealing with and encourage all of you to attend any full-time faculty meeting we hold in the near future.  We have held three full-time faculty meetings regarding the situation we are facing.  Last spring, we held an off-campus full-time faculty meeting, subsequent to that meeting we held our traditional full-time faculty meeting in May and provided those in attendance with additional information. In August, during Professional Week, we gave a very thorough update to the faculty in attendance at our opening meeting.  At that meeting a vote was taken on a motion made by one of our members to support the Executive Committee’s decision to take this issue to arbitration, if we deemed that necessary.

It is true, as Mr. Roop stated, that the College did begin discussions with Chapter leadership about its concerns related to the County’s financial projections for the upcoming fiscal year, FY’18. As President of the Chapter I attended a meeting with several of the Senior Vice Presidents where these concerns were expressed.   Basically, they provided me with information from the County which stated that they believed this was, in my words, going to be a difficult fiscal year and that there may be a need to reduce funding in the FY’18 operating budget.  The County also provided a document which gave the College guidelines to use when creating it’s FY18 budget.  One such guideline stood out to me and it reads as follows, “Do not include staff furloughs or any other reductions to existing pay and benefit levels that are subject to collective bargaining.”  Consistent with the governing State law and prior experience, the County, in essence, said tell us what you really need based on your collective bargaining agreements. It is very important to note that at the time the College created and submitted its FY18 budget to the County Executive and the County Council, the AAUP Collective Bargaining Agreement, [“CBA”-a legally binding document] was the only one in place at the College that committed the College to specific salary increases for covered members for the current Academic Year.  AFSCME and SEIU were in negotiations with Management at the time the budget was submitted.  The only pertinent legal obligation the College had with its unions at that time was an obligation to request and obtain funding from the College [and potentially other sources], to meet the fiscal requirements necessary to pay the salary increases as provided for in our CBA and to then pay us according to our CBA if sufficient funding was received.

We all received a copy of the February 6, 2017, memorandum from Dr. Pollard to the County Executive and the President of the County Council.  In that memorandum, she stated that the College was requesting $7.4 million more than we had previously received in order to fund compensation and benefit increases.  The AAUP Executive Committee’s determination, at this point, is that the College had asked for sufficient money to fully fund our CBA at least with respect to the agreed-upon increases for the current Academic Year.  As you will likely recall, the College had previously negotiated and entered into the binding CBA with the Chapter which provides that we would receive a 2.75% general wage adjustment and a 3.5% increment.

Subsequently, on March 1, 2017, we all received a memorandum from Dr. Janet Wormack, Senior VP for Administrative and Fiscal Services regarding the FY 18 budget.  In that memorandum she stated, “In fact, our only request to the county for increases this year is for College employee compensation and benefits, totaling $7.4 million. Consistent with last year’s decisions by the county, this is a 4.5% salary increase for every eligible employee: one percent cost of living allowance (general wage adjustment) and 3.5 percent in merit increase (increment)…”  Upon reading this memo it became obvious to the AAUP Executive Committee that the College had no intention to honor the terms and conditions of our CBA.

On March 15, 2017, Dr. Pollard notified the College community of the initial recommendation from the County Executive to only provide the College with $2 million in additional County funding.  Shortly after that memo was sent we were notified by one of the College’s attorneys that the College was invoking Section 8.5 of our CBA.  This is the Section that deals with what should be done if the College doesn’t receive sufficient money to fully fund its projection of what is required for it to comply with our CBA and meet its financial obligations to you as a Faculty member.

Thereafter, on May 18, 2017, we received notification from Dr. Pollard that the Montgomery County Council voted to provide the College with $5.2 million in new money for the FY18.  The College continued to insist that they didn’t have sufficient money to fully fund the raises it is required to pay as required by our CBA and subsequently offered us a 1% general wage adjustment and a 2% increment.

This necessarily raises the question and you all may be wondering “how much money did the College need in order to fully fund the raises that were previously negotiated and agreed upon in our CBA?”.  The answer is $2.73 million.  If the College received $5.2 million and they only needed $2.73 million, why can’t they fund our previously agreed upon raises?  Remember, the only CBA in place at the time the budget request was submitted to the County Council and the County Executive was the AAUP CBA.  At the time the County Council voted to provide the College with $5.2 million our CBA, with its agreed-upon salary increases, was the only CBA in place and to which the College was legally bound with regard to salary increases for the current Academic Year.  As I noted above, the College was still in negotiations with AFSCME and SEIU.

We initially filed a grievance against the College because it appeared that the Administration did not ask for enough money to fund our contract.  We learned that they did request sufficient revenue from the County and we have rescinded that grievance.  Several weeks ago we subsequently filed a grievance against the College because it failed to pay us according to the terms and conditions as stated in our previously negotiated and agreed-upon CBA.  To put it simply, they asked for enough money and received enough money but intentionally decided not to do use it to pay our salaries as provided for in the CBA.  We believe they invoked Section 8.5 improperly.

The steps both Management and the Chapter must follow when a grievance is filed are stated in the CBA.  I encourage each of you to please read this document which can be found in the Chapter Documents sections of the Chapter’s webpage, mcaaup.org.

Until such time as this grievance is resolved no wage adjustments will be made to the full-time faculty but it is our understanding and expectation that all other aspects of the Agreement will remain in place.  I will provide you with additional updates in the near future.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Zarin, President AAUP