December 16, 2018

AAUP Update: Call for Nominations and More…

Colleagues:

Annually we elect officers of the Chapter at the closing meeting in May for each of the following elected positions:

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

A list of the faculty who currently hold these positions can be found on the Chapter website, mcaaup.org.  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 at julie.levinson@montgomerycollege.edu, 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 meetings. 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 at michael.gurevitz@montgomerycollege.edu.  I would suggest that you communicate with a faculty member prior to nominating them in order to ensure that they are willing to accept your nomination.

The nominations period is now open and the call for nominations will end at 5:00 pm on Friday, May 4th. On-line voting will begin before the closing meeting and on-site voting at the end of year meeting will also be available to our dues paying members. I will provide you with more information about the voting process in a future e-mail.

Last week we held two faculty meetings for our bargaining unit members and the meetings were well attended.  On behalf of the Chapter I would like to thank all of you were able to attend these spirited meetings.  Your interest in the Chapter’s well-being, our contractual concerns, and in learning what you can do to assist us as we deal with some serious contractual issues is appreciated.  The Executive Committee will be meeting later this week and shortly after that we will be sending out some additional information for those of you who are interested in taking some additional steps in advocating for our Chapter’s rights.  I’d ask that you be patient and wait until you receive this information before you make any advocacy phone calls or sending out any letters.  It is important that we all send the same consistent message with accurate facts.  A talking points document will be included in the information we send you.

Some of you have expressed an interest in reviewing the complaint we filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court and the motion to dismiss that was filed on behalf of the administration.  These documents are on the Chapter’s website.  Please note that we will be filing a response to the motion to dismiss the lawsuit in the next week or so.  In addition, we learned today that our court date has been postponed until 10:00am Tuesday June 15th.  The judge who will be hearing our case is Judge McGann.  I will provide you all with additional information about the hearing as the hearing date approaches.  As I mentioned in our meetings, you are welcomed to attend the hearing and be there to support the Chapter’s attorney as he pleads our case.

Our final meeting of the year will be held at the closing meeting on Wednesday, May 16th at approximately 11:00am.  Our full faculty meeting is generally held right after the College’s closing meeting in Globe Hall on the Germantown Campus.  I hope to see all of you at this important meeting.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

 

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: 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

 

 

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: Board of Trustees Meeting

Colleagues:

At our year end meeting in May the members of our Executive Committee spoke with those in attendance about a variety of issues. One of the issues we spoke about related to the budget process and the proposed increase in salary that we have been asked to accept as a result of the budget process. The amount we have been asked to accept on your behalf is less than that which we previously negotiated with Management. After a lengthy discussion a motion was made and passed which requires me to speak to the Board of Trustees on behalf of the full-time faculty at the next Board of Trustees meeting.

I will be speaking to the Board at their next meeting on Monday June 19th at 8:00pm. I mentioned to the over 200 faculty in attendance at the end-of-year meeting that I will be pleased to do this but that it is important that members of the full-time faculty show their support for the Chapter by coming to the meeting. The public comment period is the first item on the agenda. The Executive Committee would appreciate it if you would put it on your calendar to be there as a sign of support. If the meeting starts on time you will be out of there by 8:30pm.

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

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-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 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, 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.