December 12, 2019

AAUP Update: Elimination of the 4th Year Evaluation Requirement, Annual and Semester ESH Limits and More

I hope that all of you are healthy and that you are having a good semester. Now that the Nationals season is over we can all go back to getting some sleep by going to bed at an earlier hour.

Here are some updates that I would like you to be aware of as the semester progresses. 

The Court Case:

As I stated in my September update, our case was heard by a three-judge panel in the Maryland Court of Special appeals in September.  I need to inform you that, unfortunately, the decision of the Court of Special Appeals did not go our way. We on the Executive Committee have been in contact with the Chapter’s attorneys and another outside labor attorney, regarding the decision of the COSA and about our options for moving forward.  There are several options that we could pursue regarding our case.  One could make an argument for and against each option and this is what we are in discussion about with our attorneys.

By the time we meet at the January opening meeting we should be able to share with you the decision we have made on your behalf. I want as many full-time faculty as possible to attend the January opening meeting. At the meeting, we will lay out the reasons for our decision.

A copy of the Court’s decision is posted in the court documents section of the Chapter website for your review.

Below are some important reminders that you should keep in mind as the fall semester winds down and we move into our winter and spring semesters.

Elimination of the 4th Year Evaluation Requirement-Article 4 Section 4.2

The fall semester is a busy time for all of us, and it is an especially busy time for those who are scheduled to be evaluated this semester. For a number of years, all full-time faculty members were required to be evaluated during their first 5 years of employment at Montgomery College.  I wanted to remind all of you that as of the fall of 2015, the required 4th year of employment evaluation was eliminated.  All full-time faculty are required to be evaluated during years one, two, three, and five.  After that all full-time faculty are scheduled to be evaluated every 5 years.  More information regarding the evaluation cycle can be found in the Collective Bargaining Agreement-Article 4.

Semester and Annual ESH Requirements and Limits-Article 5:

Here are some important ESH reminders which are covered in Article 5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

All full-time faculty members are required to work a minimum of thirty (30) ESH per academic year. 

No faculty member can be required to work in excess of thirty-two (32) ESH per academic year without consent of the faculty member, or eighteen (18) ESH per semester without consent of the faculty member.

Extended winter session and winter session ESH counts towards your spring ESH totals.

Full-time faculty may work up to twenty (20) ESH in any given semester.

No faculty member may work in excess of thirty-six (36) ESH per academic year.

Educational Assistance Program (EAP)-Article 9 Section 9.4 (A) and (B):

The FY2020 maximum individual benefit for tuition, fees, and conferences=$3,030.00

The FY 2020 maximum for travel related to professional development=$1,334.00

EAP may now be used to cover more than one professional membership.  This change in the Policies and Procedures at MC has been approved and the changes will be reflected in the on-line Policies and Procedures in the near future.  I have been informed that there is no limit to the number of professional memberships that may be covered by your individual EAP.  It is always best to see if multiple faculty in the same department would benefit more from an institutional membership paid out of the Department’s funds. If you plan to join/renew multiple professional memberships, doing so at one time helps with college-wide annual spending projections.

Encumber early – Once the funds are gone, they are gone.

Encumber accurately so MC can accurately project total funds that will be spent. This ensures as many requests as possible can be honored.

Let your Dean and HR know right away if you cannot travel as anticipated if funds were encumbered. This is an important action and your responsibility, as released unused encumbered funds can then be used by other full-time faculty for their professional development travel.

Bereavement Leave-Article 6 Section 6.4

The number of days you can take for bereavement leave was increased to a maximum of 5 days as of the start of the 2019-2020 academic year

Negotiations:

There is little I can say about negotiations other than they have begun.  We are working on negotiating increases in salary, overload pay, and EAP as well as an issue related to faculty short-term disability.  Once tentative agreements have been reached and both sides agree, we will issue a statement that outlines the terms and conditions of each tentative agreement.  We will also provide you with information on the voting process that will be needed to ratify the agreements. 

Membership Drive:

Michael LeBlanc- English TP/SS is leading a Chapter organizing group. One of the goals of the group is to help increase our membership.  Those of you who are not members of the Chapter or who are not paying the voluntary collective bargaining support fee will probably be receiving, or have received, a visit, phone call, or e-mail communication about the benefits of supporting out Chapter.  Those of us on the Executive Committee appreciate the efforts of this group of faculty and are hopeful that many of you will heed the advice of this group and either join the Chapter or support our efforts by deciding to pay the voluntary collective bargaining support fee.

Initial Salary Placement Review:

This is an on-going issue that is taking much longer than any of us anticipated.  We have been in contact with Santo Scrimenti in the Employee and Labor Relations Office and he has assured us that his intention is to communicate directly with the faculty who requested a review/reevaluation of their initial salary placement.  I have heard from some faculty who received an e-mail which stated that a review of their file resulted in no increase in salary. Many faculty who requested a review, as far back as May 2019, have heard nothing other than receiving an e-mail that the process is complex and we will be in touch. No faculty members who have been in touch with the Chapter have indicated that they were part of the review/reevaluation process. How do you conduct a review/reevaluation and not contact the individual faculty members?  I’m not sure but this is the process that those in the Employee and Labor Relations Office have decided to undertake. 

Several of us on the Executive Committee have spoken with several members of the Administration, including Donna Schena, about the length of this review process, that the individual faculty members are apparently not part of the review process, and the lack of communication with the individual faculty members. We will continue to pursue this issue and work towards an expeditious resolution of this seemingly endless process.

Thank you for taking the time to read this update. Again, I encourage all of you to attend the January opening meeting.  This is one of the few times each year when we as a group of full-time faulty can meet and discuss issues that are of interest to all of us.

I hope you have an enjoyable and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

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