January 29, 2023

AAUP Update:  Ratification of our Tentative Agreements, Executive Committee Activities, Workday, and More.

February 2022

Welcome back:

I hope all of you had a restful and healthy holiday break and that you have had a smooth start to the spring 2022 semester.  It was very nice seeing so many of you at our opening meeting last month and we look forward to seeing many of you during the spring semester at additional Chapter related meetings. 

Tentative Agreements Ratified:

I am pleased to report that our membership overwhelmingly voted to ratify the tentative agreements we reached with Management during last semester’s negotiations.  Also, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ratify the agreements at their January meeting.  The signed Memorandum of Agreement has been posted in the Chapter documents section of the AAUP Chapter website, mcaaup.org.   Lobbying by members of the College community will commence later this semester with visits to members of the County Council and testimony at the County’s operating budget hearings later in April.  A final vote by the County Council on our operating budget will occur later in May and that is when we will know whether we will actually receive the raise we negotiated.  If asked by our Governmental Relations Office, a member of the Executive Committee will testify at these hearings on behalf of our membership. 

Executive Committee Activities:

The end of last semester and the beginning of this semester was a very busy time for members of the Executive Committee.   We worked collaboratively with the other two union groups, SEIU which represents the part-time faculty and AFSCME which represents the bargaining unit staff, to communicate our concerns with the process that led to the selection of Dr. Williams as our next MC President and to voice our discontent with the return to face-to-face instruction during a period of time when the COVID variant was on the rise.

On December 21 Victoria Baldassano, Director SEIU, Lori Ulrich, President AFSEME, and I met with the BOT Chair Mike Knapp and Steve Cain, Chief of Staff and Chief Strategy Officer, to discuss the process that led to the selection of Dr. Williams as our next President. 

On January 10 we sent a letter of concern to senior managers voicing our concern with the return to face-to-face instruction.  Subsequent to that communication we were invited to meet with the three Senior Vice Presidents to discuss our concerns about this issue. 

On January 14 we sent a letter to the Senior Vice Presidents after we met with them, and on January 21 we sent a memo to the College community outlining our position on the College’s return to campus plans.  Each of these communications have been posted on the Chapter webpage. Please take some time to review these communications so that you can fully understand the extent of our advocacy work on behalf of the membership.

Workday:

Recently I have had several conversations with faculty members and received e-mails from a number of faculty members regarding problems they are encountering trying to process their EAP requests, prepay requisitions, and reimbursements.  HRSTM the Office of Business Services (OBS) is offering a number of zoom sessions to help everyone better understand the new processes we need to follow since the implementation of Workday in early January.  I encourage all of you to take advantage of these training opportunities.  Please see the message below that we recently received in the Employees Matters newsletter.

HRSTM and OBS Host Virtual Office Sessions for Assistance with New EAP Process in Workday

As of January 3, 2022, employees have been  able to initiate the Educational Assistance Program (EAP) request process in Workday. To support employees with this new EAP process, the Offices of Human Resources and Strategic Talent Management (HRSTM) and Business Services (OBS) have been hosting virtual office sessions this month. The next upcoming sessions are listed below:

Register to receive the Zoom meeting invitation. Once you join the Zoom meeting, you will be placed in a waiting room and receive personal assistance on a first-come, first-served basis. Please have your prepay requisition and/or reimbursement documents (i.e., invoices, receipts) saved and ready for review and to be uploaded into Workday. As a reminder, all EAP Travel is reimbursement only and therefore not eligible for prepay. Please refer to the Workday training website for more information and resources.

Below is a link to an EAP Quick Reference Guide that you also may find helpful.

https://info.montgomerycollege.edu/_documents/offices/information-technology/workday/hrstm-and-payroll/educational-assistance-program-quick-reference-guide.pdf

AAUP Strategic Planning:

As an organization made up of a small group of mostly volunteers, we take our jobs very seriously and we recognize the importance of planning for the future of the Chapter. The pool of Chapter leaders is rather small because so few people volunteer to take a leadership role in the Chapter.  Succession planning is vital for our continued strength and success as a Chapter.  I have often said at our faculty meetings that I have been doing this job for a long time and I can’t continue in this role forever.  My continuing in this role isn’t good for the Chapter. Others on the Executive Committee have also served their role for many years.  Succession planning is something that we talk about in our Executive Committee meetings on a regular basis.

Tito Baca, Secretary for the Chapter, submitted a grant application to our National Office with the hope that they would provide us with some funding to help us as we create a strategic plan for the Chapter.  I am pleased to report that the National office accepted our application and agreed to provide us with a $20,000 grant which we will use to help cover the costs we incur as we develop a strategic plan. Training for future leaders of the Chapter, revisions to our Constitution, succession planning, and training in negotiation techniques are a few of the topics that will be covered in as we plan for the future of our Chapter.  The first Faculty Forum we will sponsor will occur on Tuesday February 22 from 5:00-6:00.  An e-mail was sent to all of you earlier this week by Carrie Fitzgerald.  Please see the information below and I hope to see many of you there.

Join Zoom Meeting

https://montgomerycollege.zoom.us/j/99973869445

As the semester progresses, I encourage you to watch for more information on how you can become a more involved member of the Chapter and become a future leader in the Chapter.  If you are interested, I am sure we can find a role for you in Chapter leadership or on one of our future committees.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Zarin, President AAUP

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