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