July 23, 2018

Response to Mr. Roop’s Communication (Update on Negotiations with AAUP)

Colleagues:

As you might imagine, the members of the AAUP Executive Committee have been exchanging a few private e-mails since Mr. Roop sent out his communication to the college community.  Several faculty members have contacted us and have asked if they can reply individually and others have asked how they can help.  We appreciate the support that we have been shown and will have a thorough reply to Mr. Roop’s e-mail in due time.

For now, I will say that any faculty member can respectfully reply to any communication that is sent to the college community.  If you have something you would like to say, please feel free to do so.

On behalf of the Chapter, I will say the following in response to Mr. Roop’s e-mail.

Many of you have been following the updates I posted on the Chapter’s website and you have read my testimony to the BOT.  Many of you attended one of the two faculty meetings we held last week.  Those of you who have been doing these things understand that there are key differences between the position the Administration has taken concerning negotiations and their failure to pay us the increase in salary, which was negotiated and entered into in good faith, for the current academic year.  The Administration claims that this is an issue of financial exigency brought on by financial constraints primarily linked to a shortfall in the College’s anticipated funding from the county contribution, state aid, and tuition revenue.  In fact, the reason why we did not receive our negotiated increases was because the college executed a plan to breach our contract, whether they received sufficient funds or not.  In fact, they asked for and received sufficient funds to implement our negotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement and they chose not to do so.  They instead, entered into other agreements and then asked us to renegotiate our contract in order to accommodate their plan.  They breached our contract and we did not agree to renegotiate our contract.

I hope I got your attention.  Our Executive Committee will be consulting with our legal counsel and we will share more with you at the closing meeting on May 16.  I encourage all of you to attend the closing meeting so that you can become an informed faculty member.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
President-AAUP

 

 


Update on Negotiations with American Association of University Professors

To: Montgomery College Community
From: Mr. Robert G. Roop, Chief Human Resources Officer
Subject: Update on Negotiations with American Association of University Professors
Date: May 3, 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. For reference, at this link is my previous message dated February 21, 2018.

All of our faculty and staff are vital to our mission, including those leading our critical student success efforts, so completing these negotiations and finding mutually acceptable solutions are among our highest priorities.

Since April 2017, the College and AAUP have worked to settle a disagreement regarding the contracted full-time faculty compensation increase for the current fiscal year, 2018. Because of 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, faculty, staff, student, and alumni representatives. As a result, the College was not able 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 could not meet this funding gap through tuition increases because of the severe impact it would have on students. Fiscal constraints will continue into FY19. As you may recall, in January, the county council directed the College to reduce spending by $4.4 million in addition to the $3.7 million in reductions made to balance the College’s proposed budget for FY19, which is now pending review and action by the county council.

The financial exigency provision in the AAUP collective bargaining agreement has a framework for resolving this situation; however, the College and AAUP negotiators were unable to agree on a solution. Until an agreement is reached, the College cannot implement any pay raise for AAUP faculty. The College has offered AAUP a 3.0 percent salary increase for FY18, and this offer remains available. To date, AAUP negotiators have declined to accept this offer without tying it to other demands.

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. On March 22, 2018, the College filed a motion to dismiss AAUP’s lawsuit, and the matter is now under court review. It is our goal, however, to continue to collaborate with AAUP to reach an agreement.

The College and AAUP have continued to negotiate in an effort to resolve the FY18 compensation dispute as well as to reach agreement on wages for FY19. To that end, the negotiating teams met on April 25, 2018; however, no agreement was reached regarding FY18 or FY19. At that session, the College offered AAUP a 3.0 percent salary increase for FY18 (retroactive to July 1, 2017), if AAUP would end the present litigation in order to bring closure to the matter. AAUP rejected this offer. For FY19, the College proposed a 3.0 percent salary increase, effective July 1, 2018. AAUP declined this 3.0 percent increase for FY19, taking the position that it cannot accept the FY19 offer without resolving FY18 first. Also at that April 25 negotiating session, the College requested a follow-up meeting with the AAUP negotiating team after the two membership meetings, but, at this time, no further negotiations are scheduled.

In the next three weeks, the county council will take action on the College’s FY19 budget. It’s critical to resolve the salary negotiations before the end of FY18 to ensure funds for associated pay increases are available.

For background and perspective, it’s worth noting that the terms of the AAUP contract were agreed to in 2015; the county’s fiscal outlook has changed significantly. While not dire, county resources are constrained and enrollment contractions continue to reduce tuition revenues. Also, for comparison, the Service Employees International (SEIU) part-time faculty have already received a salary increase for FY18 of 4.5 percent; bargaining and non-bargaining employees received a 3 percent increase for FY18.

The College remains committed to reaching an acceptable resolution that recognizes our fiscal constraints, protects affordability for students, and provides fair and reasonable 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 continued commitment to Montgomery College and our students.

 

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