March Chapter Update-Harry N. Zarin, Germantown (Counseling), AAUP Chapter President
After a rather rocky start due to the weather, the spring 2016 semester is well underway, and spring break will be here before you know it. I hope that all of you survived the inclement weather, didn’t lose power, and didn’t injure yourself while you were shoveling snow.
We had a very good opening meeting in January, and the faculty who stayed for the Chapter meeting actively participated in our question and answer session. The members of the Executive Committee appreciate your participation in these general meetings and enjoy communicating with all of you whenever we are given the chance to do so.
All faculty who were new to the college in the fall were told at the opening meeting that they had to make a decision between joining the chapter as a full member or paying the service fee, if they hadn’t done so already. I personally contacted each new faculty member and assisted them in processing the application for dues/service fee deduction.
We also heard about the recent Supreme Court case which may or may not have an impact on the faculty who are service fee payees. Oral arguments in the Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association case were heard by the Supreme Court in mid-January. As stated in the national AAUP response, “the case threatens to reverse a decades old decision allowing for the collection of fair share fees from public employees.” We will have to wait for the Supreme Court to announce its ruling on the case before we will know if their decision will have an impact on our ability to collect a service fee from faculty who are not interested in becoming a member of the Chapter.
You can read the national AAUP’s response to the oral arguments by accessing the aaup.org site and looking in the news and for the media link. Here’s an overview article.
I mentioned to all of you on several occasions, including at the January opening meeting, that members of your Executive Committee worked with members of the Administration over the last year-and-a-half to develop an agreed upon list of Coordinator/Chair duties.
\With the completion of the academic reorganization the duties of these two positions became clouded and the list posted on the Chapter Documents web page helps to clarify what Coordinators should and should not do. If you are a Coordinator I strongly encourage you to review and become familiar with this list. You now have the right to politely refuse to perform any duty listed under the Chair’s Role.
Several members of the faculty have contacted members of the Executive Committee about an increase in the parking fee, which apparently occurred last fall. After some investigative work we have learned that there was in fact an increase in the parking fee which was unannounced and which we feel is in violation of our Collective Bargaining Agreement. The fee apparently was increased from $108.00/year to $120.00/year during the fall 2015 semester.
During the fall of 2014, in accordance with our contract, the Administration created a Joint Transportation and Parking Committee, of which I was a member. After some discussion an agreement was reached, and as of January 2015 the parking fee for all full-time employees increased from $96.00/year to $108.00.year. This increase was in accordance with our contract.
During the summer of 2015, I was contacted by Janet Wormack, Senior VP for Administrative and Fiscal Services about her decision to increase our parking fee by $12.00 for the 2015-2016 academic year. I told her that this could not happen because it was a violation of our contract.
The contract stipulates the following:
“If, after the second year, Management contemplates changes in the parking fee, it will establish a joint committee consisting of equal representation among the administration, non-bargaining staff, bargaining staff, and the Chapter to review such changes and make recommendations to Management regarding such changes. With respect to any increases in the amount of the parking fee only, the Chapter agrees to increases recommended by the Joint Committee up to a maximum increase of $15.00/year, not to exceed $30.00 over any 3-year period without further negotiation or ratification by the Chapter.”
The Chapter’s position, in accordance with our contract, is that since Management increased the parking fee by $12.00 in January 2015 they could not and should not have increased it by another $12.00 until a Joint Committee met and until January 2016.
While the dollar amount we paid over the agreed upon $108.00 is not that great, the issue is that a violation occurred and it must be acknowledged by Management and a fix put in place to make all members of the bargaining unit whole. I have been in touch with both the Chapter’s attorney and College’s attorney and we are working on fixing this issue as quickly as possible.
Advancement in Rank:
Many faculty members at the college have no idea how to initiate the process to advance in rank and there are probably a number of Dean/Chairs who also do not know how the process works. Dr. Rai as charged the Faculty Council with the task of developing a set of procedures for him to review which will clarify the procedures necessary for a faculty member to advance in rank. The procedure will stipulate who can initiate the process, where the initial records regarding the original rank assignment are kept, and exactly what the procedure is.
Several members of the Chapter’s Executive Committee are on the Faculty Council so you can be assured that we are looking out for your best interests. All of you should also be aware that advancement in rank comes with no increase in salary but in the field of academia advancing in rank is very important.
Faculty Outstanding Service Awards:
Last year Dr. Rai, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, informed us that he was interested in changing the structure of the Faculty Outstanding Service Awards. Joan Naake was assigned the task of reviewing the best practices from many other colleges and drafting a new way of rewarding the faculty for their hard work and dedicated service to Montgomery College.
A Committee, appointed by the Faculty Council and chaired by Joan drafted a new structure that was approved by the Faculty Council. Contractual issues related to this change in structure have been reviewed and will be resolved in short order.
A total of 14 Outstanding Faculty Awards for full-time faculty will be awarded later this semester.
- 9 Award will be given for Excellence in Teaching and Counseling and Advising
- 2 Awards will be given for Excellence in Scholarly or Professional Accomplishments
- 2 Awards will be given for Excellence in Service to the Institution or the Community
- 1 Award will be given to celebrate the Montgomery College Professor of the Year
More information about this new award structure and nomination packets will be announced later this month.
Bryant Davis (English and Reading) has been serving as the Vice President for the Germantown Campus for many years. For personal reasons he needs to step down from this position so that he could pursue other interests.
As a result of this situation the Executive Committee has decided to move Denise Dewhurst into the position of Vice President-Germantown.
We are now looking for member of the Chapter to fill the At-Large position for the remainder of the semester. If you are interested in helping out and serving in this capacity please contact me as soon as possible.
AAUP Food Drive:
Look for an announcement about our first ever MC AAUP volunteer project shortly after your return from spring break.