August 5, 2021

AAUP Update-Full Faculty Meeting


A number of faculty members have been contacting those of us on the Executive Committee about the College’s plans to offer more face-to-face classes and on-campus services this fall.  At the same time, discussions have been occurring amongst many of you who are part of our organizing group on the same topic. We have all been working remotely since the start of the COVID crisis in March 2020 and adjusting to working remotely was difficult for many of us.  We adjusted and are very used to working from a non-college site to do our jobs.  Returning to our offices and classrooms is going to require us to adjust to this shift back to campus and this adjustment is going to take time.  We all knew this was going to happen but we didn’t think it would be happening this fall because of information we previously received from the Administration.

For a variety of reasons, the members of our Administration announced last spring that the majority of our classes would be taught remotely this fall and then that changed.  Initially everyone was going to be required to wear a mask when we returned to campus and now we are not going to be required to wear a mask. These changes are causing quite a bit of concern for many of us and rightfully so.

As an Executive Committee, we think it is important for as many of you as possible to attend a full faculty meeting to express your concerns and to hear from a panel of experts who are very knowledge of the COVID-19 virus, information coming from the CDC, and the vaccinations that are available to us.   Collins Jones and Lori Kelman who teach in our Biotechnology Program and Jennifer Capparella, Germantown Natural Sciences Department Chair have agreed to be our panel of experts.  They have a very unique perspective on the virus and we are pleased that they are willing to share their expertise with us.  Jennifer has a graduate degree in public health and used to work at the CDC.  Collins and Lori also understand the science behind the creation of the vaccinations, the virus itself, and they all can speak to how the virus spreads.

We know that hosting summer meetings is tough and that not everyone will be available to attend the meeting.  However, we feel that hosting a meeting on these topics is very important to all of us.  The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 21 at 3:00 and it is scheduled to last until 4:30.  An e-mail with a Zoom link to the meeting will be sent to all of you early next week along with an invite for you to submit questions you have in advance of the meeting.

If your schedule permits, please plan on attending this meeting.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor

Link to Recording

Topic: AAUP Summer Meeting

Start Time : Jul 21, 2021 02:34 PM

Meeting Recording

Access Passcode: aaupcovid!21

AAUP Update: AAUP Update: Solidarity Statement, Nominations, Testimony and more.

April 21, 2021


Each semester I generally teach a class called STSU122 – Principles of Academic Success.  Students who have not performed very well academically and need to learn how to become a better student typically populate this class.  In Chapter 6, Gaining Self-Awareness, we discuss the scripts that make up of our core beliefs.  Our core beliefs are described as unconscious judgements that dictate what we consistently think, feel, and do. They are that invisible part of a script that contains our view of other people, the world, and ourselves. Our core beliefs are made up of our emotional patterns, our behavioral patterns, and our thought patterns. 

One exercise I do with my students is to ask them to complete the following sentence stems according to their core beliefs.

            The world is______________.

            People are_______________.

            I am____________________.

I didn’t teach this semester, but I imagine if I had the responses I would have seen to these three sentence stems would have been different from those I have seen in previous classes.  Why, the reasons are obvious. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the world a very scary place, a place where just going to the store or meeting with friends could result is someone becoming very ill and possibly dying.  Our students have lost the safety they feel simply by coming to campus daily because their home life is very unsafe. I could go on.

In addition to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the violence we have seen in this country over the past year gives all of us cause to be concerned about our own safety.  Much of this violence has recently focused on members of the Asian American community. The Executive Committee and the entire Chapter stands in solidarity with the Pacific Islander and Asian American community after the recent violence in Georgia and the on-going harassment of that community.  These events emphasize the importance of having continuing discussions on racial violence and injustice and the impacts on all communities, and for union purposes, the impact on the faculty.

Last semester I announced that the Chapter planned on hosting a spring dialogue to discuss the importance of race from the perspective of our full-time faculty and to better understand how race affects their experiences at the College. The Chapter’s goal in hosting this dialogue is to facilitate a collaborative conversation that helps Chapter leadership understand how it can better support the faculty and that helps faculty understand how they can better support each other. This dialog, “Discussing Race and Labor in Academia,” will be held today from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. We hope you will join us in a conversation in the spirit of the World Cafe, which seeks to provide large groups with a comfortable space to build community knowledge through a series of small-group dialogues. The event is open to all members of the full-time faculty regardless of union affiliation. Members and nonmembers are welcome.  Register now.

Naliyah Kaya, Sociology, TP/SS, Michael LeBlanc, VP, TP/SS, Ginger Robinson, Negotiating Team, Katya Salmi, Sociology, Rockville, Jarvis Slacks, VP, Rockville 

As the semester progresses to a close in a month, please take some time to take care of yourself and your students.  Please recognize that many of your students may need some additional time to complete their assignments because they are having a very difficult time being a good student for a variety of reasons, including living the isolated COVID life, taking classes remotely, and dealing with a loss of income, increased stress, illness of self or family, etc.

Return to Campus Plans:

Numerous members of the faculty have contacted members of the Executive Committee and have asked us when we are going to return to campus, to our offices, to our classrooms, learning centers, etc. Several committees have been established to determine what the return to campus will look like and Dr. Pollard has spoken about this several times in her weekly messages.  Members of the Chapter serve on these committees and members of the Executive Committee have had regular meetings with members of the administration on this topic.  We represent you during these regular meetings when we discuss the plans that are being made to bring us back to campus in a safe manner.  The safety of our students and employees guides all of the plans that are being put in place to help us return to campus. 

Technology Requests:

Please don’t forget to submit your hardware requests if you need a laptop, a scanner, a Mac Book, or other technology in order to perform your job from home. 

Hardware Request Form

Nominations and the Closing Meeting:

Our closing meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 19th right after the end of the President’s closing meeting.  Our meeting should start around 11:15 a.m..  A zoom link will be sent to all of you with additional details about the meeting later in May.

At the closing meeting we will discuss the activities of the Chapter for the past year and our treasury report, we will vote on whether to increase our dues or not, we will listen to your concerns and questions, and we will announce the results of our election of Chapter officers for next year. 

An announcement about nominations for next year’s Chapter officers will be coming out in the next week or two and after the slate is announced we will hold our election electronically.  You must be a dues paying member of the Chapter in order to vote in our election of officers.  All Chapter officers serve a one-year term of office and nominations will be solicited for all positions.  The elected Chapter officers consist of the President, Secretary, Treasurer, and three Vice-Presidents, one from each campus.  One Vice-President, Michael LeBlanc-TP/SS, has indicated that he will step down from his position as the Vice-President for the TP/SS campus at the end of this year. Our previous Treasurer stepped down earlier this semester.  All other elected Chapter officers have indicated that they would like to return next year. Therefore, we need people to step up and join the Chapter leadership next year by running for office this May.  We hope that some of you will consider joining the small but active and dedicated group of faculty leaders. 

County Council Budget Hearing Testimony:

The County Council holds operating budget request hearings in April and typically, representatives from the College testify at these hearings. This year Jarvis Slacks English-R represented the Chapter by testifying on our behalf.  Below is the testimony he submitted to the County Council.

Jarvis Slacks, Vice President Rockville Campus
American Association of University Professors
Montgomery College Chapter
Operating Budget Testimony April 7, 2021

My name is Jarvis Slacks and I have been an English professor at the Rockville Campus of Montgomery College for 9 years. I am testifying today in my role as one of three Vice Presidents of the full-time faculty union, the AAUP.

I am sure that all of can agree that this past year has been anything but normal. Approximately a year ago, the entire faculty at Montgomery College had to start teaching their classes remotely and all students were expected to attend their classes remotely. This sudden shock presented us with an unparalleled task. We were expected to create remote versions of our face-to-face classes, including lab science, applied technology, studio art, physical education, etc. in one week. And to make matters more complicated, the majority of the faculty had no training on how to teach classes remotely and many didn’t have the technology at home that would enable them to do so.

Faculty counselors had to come up with a mechanism to provide remote counseling and advising services for our students.

While all of this was taking place, we had to deal with the stress of trying to protect ourselves and our families from a virus that we still didn’t understand and for which there is no cure.

Many of our students were experiencing similar stressors. Many of them didn’t own a computer at the start of the COVID crisis and had no internet access at home. Many were and still are living in some not so nice environments and had figure out how they were going to study in an environment where they had no place to study. Many of our students and members of their families contracted the virus and students still managed to attend and complete their classes.

Despite all of the negatives, our enrollments were up in the summer, we survived the fall semester, our enrollments were up in our winter session, and our spring enrollments are stable. Our students are being taught their classes by some very creative and competent faculty and they are being counseled and advised by some very dedicated faculty counselors.

We did it and how did we do it? Among other things;

  • The counselors made major modifications to our appointment system and created an on-line chat feature to help funnel students to appropriate counselors and to respond to their on-line questions in an efficient manner.
  • Our disability support service counselors modified our website and internal processes so that our students could be served remotely in a very effective manner.
  • Approximately 700 full and part-time faculty members registered for a specialized seven-week summer 2020 training program so that we would be better prepared to teach our student in a remote environment. This was an intense training program which many of us were required to participate in after the end of our regular workday.
  • We modified our spring 2021 schedule in order to better accommodate some of our students by offering 7-week classes in addition to our regular 15 and 13- week classes. This meant that a large number of faculty who were just trained to teach remotely and were still in the process of building their fall 2020 15 and 13 week classes, now had to modify those classes and make them 7-week classes.
  • Through the use of the CARES Act funding, fundraising by our Foundation, and other emergency funding, hundreds of students were provided laptops by the College so that they could attend their remote classes.
  • Hundreds of students were provided emergency funding to help them pay some of their bills and purchase food.
  • We modified our academic regulations in order to accommodate students who could not complete their classes due to COVID related reasons.

For the past year, we have continued to our part to adapt, serve, and educate our students. Now we need you to do your part and support our Administration’s FY 2022 operating budget request. We have educated many current county employees, the very ones who are going to get a raise next year. We are educating future county employees, police, fire fighters, health care workers, teachers, etc.

We have supported the College and the County over the last year and despite the increased workload, adapting courses, adapting services, as well as dealing with the personal stressors and sacrifices we experienced, we have agreed to no increase in salary for next year. Let me repeat, while other county employees negotiated an increase in salary for next year, we agreed to no increase in salary for next year. We hope that this sacrifice and degree of cooperation is recognized and appreciated by both our Administration and the County because we will be asking for and expect an increase salary for the full-time faculty for the 22-23 academic year.

Thank you

I hope all of you have a good rest of the semester.  Please look for future Chapter e-mails regarding our call for nominations and the closing meeting.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.
Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
Montgomery College

AAUP Update: County Council Operating Budget Hearings


Annually the President of Montgomery College submits an operating budget request to the County Executive.  After receiving that request, the County Executive makes a recommendation to the County Council on all County funded operating budget requests.  This year the County Executive recommended that the Council fully fund the College’s FY 2022 operating budget request.

The County Council holds operating budget request hearings in April and typically, representatives from the College testify at these hearings.  The schedule and links to this year’s hearings are listed below.  This year Jarvis Slacks English-R will be representing the Chapter by testifying on our behalf.  I’ve attached a copy of his testimony to this e-mail.  I encourage each of you to take the time to read his testimony and to tune into the hearings that are happening this week. 

April 6 at 1:30pmMike Knapp, MC Board of TrusteesLINK 
April 6 at 7:00pmGermantown StudentLINK 
April 7 at 7:00pmJarvis Slacks, AAUP Rockville Student
View Testimony
April 8 at 7:00pmTPSS Student Chris Standing, AFSCME Mitch Tropin, SEIU Link is not posted yet. Look on this site for the link

On behalf of the Chapter, I’d like to extend our thanks to Jarvis for representing us at these hearings.  I would also like to extend our thanks to the other representatives of the College who will be testifying in support of our operating budget request. 

Harry Z.

AAUP Update: DL/OER ESH Request Reminder and Contract 101 Thank You

Hi, everyone. I hope you’re all doing ok. I know this is a tough time for lots of folks, and many of you are tired and stretched thin.

I also know there have been questions surrounding course development and compensation, so I’m sending this message to remind you–or alert you–of an upcoming deadline. Per the e-learning side letter (often called the DL side letter), you can request ESH from ELITE to develop a DL course or a z-course. The process is outlined in the letter, and it includes submitting a form to ELITE for consideration. Deadlines for submission are firm, and if you’d like ESH to develop a course over the summer, the deadline to submit your request is March 15th.

You can access the form here:

You’ll need signatures from your department chair and your dean, so I recommend starting this process ASAP.

Additional specifics are outlined in the letter, which I’ve attached. Since I’ve recently gone through the process, I’m also happy to chat if you have questions. 

We have an upcoming Contract 101 session on March 30th, and Tammy Peery will join us to discuss the e-learning side letter in detail. This should be a great event since she was a primary negotiator of the agreement. Because the summer deadline is quickly approaching, however, the negotiating team wanted to provide you with the information above ASAP.

We’d also like to thank everyone who hopped on to our Contract 101 session yesterday afternoon. We appreciate your engagement and your support of us as a team. It makes a tough job a little bit easier and a lot more rewarding. It really is an honor to serve you all.

Ginger R. Robinson, JD

Associate Professor, Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Coordinator, Rockville & TP/SS

Criminal Justice Program Advisor, Rockville & TP/SS

Montgomery College

Forum #2: AAUP Contract 101 Notes

Contract 101: Grievance Procedures with Tim Kirkner

2/23/2021: 4-5:30 PM

Negotiating Team Members Present: AJ Baca, Robin Flanary, Sharon Piper, and Ginger Robinson

Executive Committee Members: Kay Ahmad, Rupa Das, Tim Kirkner, Michael LeBlanc, Rick Penn, and Harry Zarin

I. Welcome and overview – Sharon Piper

Sharon welcomed everyone to the session and explained what we would be discussing during this forum. Ginger shared the contract with the group and Sharon briefly provided a general overview of the process for grievances.

II. Grievance Policy and Procedures – Tim Kirkner

Sharon introduced Tim Kirkner who is the Grievance Officer for the MC AAUP Chapter. Tim provided some background information on the types of issues that come to him and how they are handled. He shared that not all issues that arise result in a grievance. However, he discussed the timeline guidelines and stipulations for filing a grievance. In addition, he shared that there may be some flexibility on the deadline for filing a grievance depending on when the issues come to light. Further, Tim indicated that parties often do not want issues to get to arbitration so most of the time they are resolved before they get to that point using a variety of mechanisms at our disposal.

He shared that it is often a good idea for faculty to use the college Ombudsman since this can document an issue before it gets to the next level. This may or may not be appropriate for contract violations but can be a first step to calm the tide and begin the resolution process.

Faculty have the right to have union representation at meetings whenever they deem necessary and can stop a meeting at any time should they feel that such assistance is needed. It is also better to get out in front of issues so that no one is surprised later. Deans may also remind faculty members that they may want to have union representation before a meeting takes place but faculty have been told this on many occasions in the past.

Tim did say that many parts of the contract are open to interpretation. So, there are times where he needs to sit in on disciplinary action meetings or potential grieveable issues to ensure that these interpretations are consistent with the spirit of what was written. The Executive Committee is mindful of these instances and works to tighten the language whenever deemed necessary.

Ginger responded to an inquiry about the mediation process and asked Tim to discuss this process further. But Tim indicated he has not used Mediation in his time here and that most jump this step because arbitration is binding and a more finite solution. Ginger commented that there are times when attorneys being present during mediation may be a hindrance so it may stifle conversation. Tim can use the Chapter attorney to solicit feedback and guidance on how to proceed on a particular case / issue but they only represent the Chapter, not individual faculty members so really has no legal standing.

We did briefly discuss the lawsuit that we filed in 2017-2018 as an example of how The Chapter proceeded with mediation when the college violated the contract and claimed financial exigency. Harry shared that we wanted to use arbitration, but the college refused even though this course of action is articulated as the next step when disagreements such as this arise. This forced us to file a lawsuit when our grievance was denied. We ultimately lost our case in court but established here at the college that we would explore all legal options when we felt that the college was not acting in good faith.

Tito asked Harry to briefly explain how we might have to handle these kinds of issues at the college down the road because of recent rulings on class action lawsuits.  Harry shared that if “class action” is not mentioned in a contract, we may not be able to file one grievance on behalf of all faculty members, so each faculty member would have their own filing, which we would likely oversee. The language of the previous ruling was not necessarily binding so we still are not exactly sure how we will need to proceed should a similar situation arise in the future. Harry said that filing individual lawsuits for each aggrieved faculty member would result in a significant amount of work for the college but is not our concern given their response in to our aforementioned grievance and lawsuit.

Sharon and Harry shared that we do have some concerns about the fact that some county groups will get a raise next year so we may need to be a bit more aggressive on negotiations next year, and we will remind the county at budget time that we have done our part this year to help the county recover economically and we hope they remember this next year.

Ginger encouraged everyone to come to Tim or an executive committee member to come to us as soon as they have any issue or concern. Several others spoke about instances where Tim has helped in the past and why having him there is helpful in process, fact finding, and corrective action. If we wait too long to address problems, it may be too late to avoid undesirable corrective actions.

We had some casual conversation on general issues that might arise and how best to address them. But Tim reminded everyone that he welcomes all inquiries and is willing to assist when needed.

III. Involvement with The Chapter – Harry Zarin

Harry did ask again for folks to consider joining us in whatever capacity they feel most comfortable / qualified. This was another attempt to remind faculty that they are welcome and that we need their participation.

After Harry was done, Sharon asked about the timing of these forums and everyone seemed to agree that late afternoons seem to work well. We had about 10-15 faculty, deans, and chairs join us at various times during this session, in addition to the negotiating team and Executive Committee members. Sharon thanked Tim and the Negotiating Team for their efforts on this forum.

With no other questions or concerns apparent, we adjourned at 5:07 PM.


AAUP Update: Contract 101, Survey and Overload Pay


Contract 101 Session:

The following is a message that was previously sent to all of you by Sharon Piper our Chief Negotiator.  I am sending it to you again as a reminder of the informative session our Negotiating Team will be hosting this afternoon at 4:00pm.

“The Negotiating team for AAUP is planning two more sessions of Contract 101 for this academic year. This spring our sessions will cover the grievance process (Article 3) and the e-learning side letter.  Our first session will be held on Tuesday February 23, 2021 at 4 pm via zoom and will feature our grievance officer, Tim Kirkner discussing Article 3- Grievance Procedures of the full AAUP contract.

This is a come when you can, leave when you need to session and there will be a Q & A after Tim’s discussion if anyone has specific questions. We have appreciated the turnout and feedback on the Contract 101 sessions in the fall semester and hope to see many of you next week. Please contact me or the other members of the negotiating team if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. “

Below is the link for this afternoon’s Contract 101 session.

Your Voice, Your MC Employee Experience and Culture Survey:

It was announced on February 10 that we are being asked to participate in a survey titled, “Your Voice, Your MC Employee Experience and Culture Survey.”  This one survey combines the three separate surveys we have been asked to complete in previous years. As your Chapter representative, I was one of several employees on a committee that helped to formulate the plans for this new survey. Modern Link is the vendor that is conducting the survey and the deadline to submit the survey is March 1.

As was announced in the e-mail we received on Feb. 10, “At the close of the survey, Modern Think will provide the College with a summary of the organizational competencies and relationships that most directly impact and influence our culture. In April through early May, Modern Think will host a series of feedback sessions with College stakeholder groups to share and validate their findings. Then, building on the data and findings from the survey, a proposed action plan will be developed over the course of the summer and shared with the College community in the fall.” 

The e-mail we received on February 10 also stated, “On February 15, 2021, full- and part-time faculty, staff, and administrators received an email directly from Modern Think ( inviting participation in the survey.  In that email you received: 

  • a web link to the survey, 
  • a unique username and password—issued by Modern Think, and separate from MyMC credentials—to access and complete the survey, 
  • the deadline to complete the survey, and
  • contact information for Modern Think, in case of any issues with the survey instrument.”

I encourage all of you to take the time to complete and submit the survey.  Completing the survey should only take you 20-25 minutes.  We have been strongly advised that the survey responses are completely anonymous so please be very honest when you complete the survey and let your voice be heard.

Overload Pay for Full-Time Faculty:

A number of faculty members have written to me asking about the spring 2021 overload payroll schedule.  The question arose this year because of the larger than usual number of second seven week classes that we are offering this semester.  The answer to this question was announced in the February 3 edition of the Employee Matters newsletter. 

“Due to the increase of second-half term courses for the spring 2021 semester, overload pay for full-time faculty will be processed differently this academic year. This year, faculty will receive overload pay based on their spring course start dates. Faculty should consult with their department’s administrative aide for information about their pay dates.” 

If you have any questions about when you will begin seeing overload pay in your paycheck, please contact your department’s administrative aide.  Your Department Chair and Dean should also have this information. 

I hope you all are safe and healthy and are having an enjoyable semester.  I think you all would agree that remote teaching, counseling, and advising isn’t an ideal way to teach, counsel, and advise our students.  It is also not an ideal way for our students to learn, but it is the best we can do under these trying circumstances.  Since March 2020, we have all done a remarkable job of adapting our courses and services to meet the needs of our students.  The Administration appreciates all we have done as do our students.  We should be proud of ourselves for all we have accomplished during these difficult times so that our students can continue their college education. 

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

AAUP Update: Report on Negotiations for the AY 2021-22

Negotiations began 10-19-2020

Met for a total of 3-4 times with discussions by Zoom, and several consultations by phone with Santo Scrimenti, Darrell Van Dusen and our attorney David Kelly.

Members of the negotiation team:

  • Sharon Piper, Lead
  • Tito Baca
  • Robin Flanary
  • Ginger Robinson

Focus of negotiations:

Financials, which includes salary, EAP and overload. AAUP requested the following interests be discussed in addition to financials, which management did agree to discuss. Management did not introduce any side issues for discussion from their side.

Additional interests included:

  • Parking fees
  • Tech reimbursement
  • DL side letter reimbursement
  • Interest based bargaining

In discussing these interests one of our goals was to try to re-purpose the $197K pot of EAP travel money for this year into something we could benefit from.


Parking fees cannot be waived due to the bond issue for capitol improvements which requires an identified revenue source. We offered to pay everyone’s parking out of our EAP funds. This proposal was turned down because

A revenue source had to be identified (our fees) and
They were not able to provide this benefit to other employees and students

Solution: If you have not done so already and you do not want to pay for parking you are not using this year, cancel your parking and re-enroll next fall when it is assumed we will return to campus.

Tech reimbursement: We provided data from an informal survey (42 respondents) on tech expenses that FT faculty incurred since we went remote in March 2020.  Management admitted to very mixed messages regarding the availability of tech resources and reimbursement for already purchased supplies/software/hardware. Because these processes were already in place and monies from CARES were available to provide support, the commitment was made for management (chairs/deans/HR/ IT) to better communicate the availability of resources for reimbursements and supplies. I am checking with Santo to see if there are any updates to that information for the spring semester and we will make that available on our AAUP-MC webpage so stay tuned.

DL Side Letter: Our argument was that the new use of Zoom and BB Collaborate for the SRT format (called online synchronous classroom in the side letter) and other online resources including OERS and other software constituted a change in online course management systems (item #5 on the e-learning remuneration section of the side letter, which provides for the ability to negotiate for additional compensation). Several options were provided by AAUP for additional compensation, including: increase in reimbursement for ESH for course development, a stipend to each faculty for transition to SRT and 7 week courses for this AY, and decrease in remote class sizes. Management disagreed that our transition to zoom could be considered a change in an online course management system and that as issue this did not relate to financials per se it was not a topic they wished to negotiate now.

The side letter will be re-negotiated in fall 2021, so these issues will all be re-introduced at that time during those negotiations.

IBB: After multiple meetings and some side bar discussions with Santo, Donna Schena and Krista Walker from HR, we have a commitment to discuss a joint IBB training for AAUP and management teams to be held either this spring or prior to the start of negotiations next fall. We are hopeful this occurs, and will keep you posted.

Resolution on the Travel EAP Monies: We reached an agreement and the $197K has been moved for this year to the general EAP monies bucket, so if you have not signed up for virtual conferences, professional organizations and grad school, there is an extra 197K in the pot, please use it this spring!  We will request whatever monies are left over at the end of this AY to be moved into the emergency fund for students to assist them with costs related to attending school virtually during covid. We did this last spring with our extra EAP money, and it was available to all students, regardless of status, which CARES money is not. 

Financials: We were not particularly hopeful going into the financials discussion because of the various things that could impact financial status of the college during an election year and a pandemic with uncertain levels of enrollment.

Our initial ask was the equivalent of a 1.5% increment and 1% GWA, for a 2.5% total increase for those below the top of the scale, 1% for those at the top with 2.5% increases for overload and EAP. These increases were reasonable given inflation expectations going forward. This was countered with no increases for this year, with all financials remaining at the 20-21 levels.

We countered with the equivalent of a 1% GWA to all FT faculty to be applied half in August and half in January, with no increases to EAP and overload rates. This was countered with no increases for this year with financials to remain at the 20-21 levels for next year. The reasons cited were: decreased funding to CCs across the state starting 7-1-2020, no anticipated increases from the state to the college’s budget for the next AY 21-22, an anticipated decline in enrollment of 8.5% and a 25% decline in enrollment for WDCE, with a predicted shortfall of $12 million for the next AY. There are a variety of possibilities to make up this shortfall, but that amount was their best-case scenario.

So, at this point for next year, we are hoping to avoid furloughs now. Written into the MOA is the option for a financials re-opener just in case things improve significantly and there is money for increases. This was added after Hogan gave all state employees a 2% increase across the board for next year.

We are asking you to ratify this contract and are hopeful that we can get through AY21-22 without furloughs, and that next year’s negotiations allow for a better outcome.

Submitted by Sharon Piper, Lead Negotiator, MC Chapter, AAUP

AAUP Update: Spring Meeting


Welcome back for another interesting semester of work at MC.  I hope that all of you are healthy and that you were able to get some much needed rest over the holiday break.

I am writing to remind all of you that on Tuesday morning, January 19, we will be holding a virtual faculty meeting for all full-time faculty members who are members of the bargaining unit. Department Chairs, one-semester temporary faculty, and faculty whose positions are grant funded are not part of the bargaining unit.  You do not have to be a member of the AAUP Chapter in order to attend this meeting.

On behalf of the AAUP Chapter, an e-mail with a Zoom link was sent to you earlier today from Julie Levinson.  This is your invitation to attend the meeting.  At the meeting we will provide you with information about negotiations that occurred this past fall, we will hold a vote on the tentative agreement that was reached, we will discuss the Contract 101 sessions we offered last semester, and we will talk about our upcoming Contract 101 sessions and more.  We will also take some time to hear your comments, concerns, and questions.  

Last fall 300 faculty members attended our opening meeting.  Thanks to Julie Levinson’s advocacy and hard work, this semester we have been allowed to increase the number of faculty members who can attend our Zoom meeting from 300-500. We hope that a large number of you will take the time to participate in the meeting next week.  Again, we will allow ample time for you to express your opinions and concerns about issues that are important to you and your colleagues.

The meeting will begin at 11:15 but we will open up the Zoom room around 11:00am.

I look forward to seeing many of you at the meeting.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

Harry N. Zarin, Professor/Counselor
Montgomery College

AAUP Update: A Thanksgiving Update

As we embark upon a Thanksgiving Holiday like we have never seen before, I want to wish all of you, on behalf of the Executive Committee, a healthy and well deserved holiday break.  I hope you are able to take some time over the break to take care of the physical and mental health of yourself and your family. Get away from your computer, exercise, spend some time outside, and try to do some things that you haven’t had time to do this semester.  Most importantly, just try to relax.

A quick note for all of us to remember.  How cool is it that some of the very first responders and medical professionals in our communities treating us for this terrible virus and protecting us are MC employees and graduates. We are as grateful for them as they are for us.

On Wednesday evening, November 11 members of our Negotiating Team (Sharon Piper, Tito Baca, Robin Flanary, and Ginger Robinson) hosted our first Contract 101 session.  During this Zoom session they covered several parts of our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA): Articles 2 (Management Functions), 4 (Faculty Appointments), and 5 (Faculty Workload) The 30 or so faculty in attendance had a robust discussion about each of these articles. 

On Wednesday evening December 9 (time TBA), we will offer our second Contract 101 session which will cover Article 6 (Leaves of Absence), Article 7 (Chapter Rights), and Article 8 (Salary), in our CBA. 

Our goal in hosting these sessions is to help all of you become better informed about our CBA, the role of the Chapter, and the Executive Committee. Most importantly, we want you to recognize that we support all bargaining unit members of the full-time faculty whether you are a full dues paying member of the Chapter, paying the voluntary collective bargaining service fee, or you are getting the benefits of our services and paying nothing.  As I mentioned in my last update, succession planning is very important for our Chapter and we hope that by becoming better informed that some of you will consider taking a leadership role in the Chapter in the future.

In addition to our January opening meeting, we will continue to host additional informative sessions during the spring semester.  After a robust and healthy conversation among us and several of our constituents concerning how we, as an Executive Committee, could respond to the nationwide discussion of social justice and racial equity, we have decided to host a session on social justice and racial equity at MC. Our goal is to facilitate a collaborative conversation that helps us understand how we can better represent the faculty and helps all of you understand how you can better support each other.

It is important for all of you to know that our primary role as an Executive Committee is to represent all of you, protect all of you, and protect our union interests by protecting our contract. This is our primary mission at MC.  For this reason, our Chapter has never issued a statement in support of any social movement, political movement, political party, or candidate.  However, we do believe that Black lives matter, and for us this affirmation means that our faculty of color have a right to thrive at MC and not just survive.  If any faculty member believes they are experiencing unequal treatment due their race, gender, sexual orientation, or faith, we stand ready to support you in your fight for equality and social justice. 

Again, I hope you have an enjoyable and restful Thanksgiving holiday.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

MOA on use of EAP travel funds for AY2021

Dear Faculty Colleagues:

The following statement is a summary of the Memorandum of Agreement between the AAUP and Management at Montgomery College regarding the use of EAP travel funds for the current academic year (AY2021).  EAP funds are designated as either “general” (tuition, conferences, professional memberships, etc) or “travel” (costs of travel to conferences, etc- including transportation, hotel, meals). The MOA is linked here and under “Chapter Documents”. 

Please contact a member of the negotiating team if you have any questions. 

” In the course of negotiating the AY21-22 AAUP FT faculty contract, concerns were raised about the inability of FT faculty to use travel EAP funds for this academic year because of the current covid constrictions on travel. It was proposed by the AAUP that these travel funds be added to the general EAP funds for this academic year so that they would be available for general EAP usage. This proposal was agreed to by management and a MOA (memorandum of agreement) to that effect has been signed. These funds can be used either for general EAP purposes, or for travel this academic year, should that become an option in the spring semester. Please follow the prescribed protocol for access to general EAP funds as provided by your program or department.”

For the Chapter, 
Sharon Piper, Lead Negotiator

For Management, 
Carol Kliever, Employee and Labor Relations