January 29, 2023

MC-AAUP Spring 2023 Opening Meeting

Hello Colleagues,

The much deserved and well-earned break is coming to an end, but I hope it was restful and all that you needed. If you were able to avoid the various ailments floating around, good for you!

We are back next week after the holiday on Monday. So, Tuesday the 17th, the Professional Week starts with the College-wide Opening Meeting. This will be held at 9 a.m. in the Cultural Arts Center on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. We hope to see you there, but this will be live streamed as well.

At this meeting, Dr. Williams will share a presidential address and details regarding the MC Strategic Plan refresh. There will also be a student panel discussion along with other speakers who will briefly present on matters relevant to our return. For additional details about the Spring 2023 Professional Week and other scheduled meetings, please visit the Spring Opening Meeting website.

After the college-wide meeting has concluded, ALL full-time faculty are strongly encouraged to join us for our AAUP Opening Meeting. You may recall that this will be a very important meeting! At this meeting we will discuss in detail the Strategic Plan that we have been working on for the past year. This includes changes to our Bylaws and our organizational flowchart, which align with our main long-term goals of improving outreach and member engagement.

So, we really need / want your participation and feedback as we share critical information that will help guide us for years to come. We will also discuss many of the matters we have been addressing, on your behalf since we last met in August. It is an extensive list to be sure. Further, we want to recognize those who are retiring and have given so much to MC. So please join us online at:

MC-AAUP Spring 2023 Opening Meeting

Jan 17, 2023, 11:15 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID  935 0093 5904

Invite Link   https://montgomerycollege.zoom.us/j/93500935904

Lastly, we have VERY EXCITING news that you will NOT want to miss! When I say EXCITING, I mean it!

See you Tuesday!

Best,

Tito

Your MC-AAUP Renewed! Strategic Planning Forum (Online) on 12/7 at 4pm!

Hello Faculty Colleagues,

By now, you likely know that the Executive Committee has been working on a Strategic Plan for our Chapter over the past year! During that time we have held open forums and trainings to help us better understand how we are doing as your union representatives. Further, we have explored best practices related to labor group organization in higher education to help guide us moving forward. 

The culmination of all this work will be January 17th at our opening meeting (ONLINE). This is when we will hold a full member vote on some significant changes to our bylaws that will help to better position us moving forward.

However, we are required to provide advance notice of any proposed bylaw changes. Therefore, we  would like to invite you to one last open forum on this matter on December 7th. It will be at this time that we share our ideas and proposed changes, but also solicit your feedback. This will afford us one last opportunity to consider edits and changes before our draft is finalized and put forward for a vote. 

If you are not sure about what we do, much of which is behind the scenes and without a lot of fanfare, you were strongly encouraged to attend. We work on your behalf every day! So, this is not only an opportunity to find out more about the work we do, but also to have a say in how we do that work in the future.

Please join us as your time allows, even if just for part of this meeting. Your participation and support is critical to keeping you informed and to the effectiveness of the Chapter.

Topic: Strategic Planning Forum
Join Zoom Meeting
https://montgomerycollege.zoom.us/j/92443970281

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Hope to see you there!

On behalf of The Chapter,

Tito 

MC-AAUP Fall National Organizing Summit

Dear Colleagues,

Since 1980 the Montgomery College AAUP Chapter has been the ONLY organized labor group to represent full-time faculty at a Maryland institution in higher education. In fact, because of newly passed legislation in Annapolis last year, it is just this year that other community colleges in Maryland can now start to consider whether they want to have organized labor groups for their respective employee groups at their institution. This is still NOT the case for 4-year colleges and universities.

But even across the country, there are not as many organized Chapters with collective bargaining rights as you might think. Most Chapters are “advocacy groups” without a “contract” that would guide process and policy with legal leverage. As a matter of fact, it was at the National AAUP Conference this past summer that we discovered just how unique and fortunate we are to have an organized union with these rights. It was here that we took note of how many more colleges and universities want to get better organized, including large 4-year institutions like UMD – College Park. When I shared even just a little about our history and role here at MC, many representatives at various institutions wanted to know more and more about all that we do on behalf of our members and the “how.”

So a collaboration idea that we had, which started out as an intention to help advise and coordinate with other in-state institutions, blossomed into a national effort to connect online with Chapters across the country. Afterall there is strength in numbers and we all share common interests in higher education that connect us. In addition, the recent new affiliation between AAUP and AFT strengthens respective members and affords us new opportunities for growth.

It is for these reasons that we are proud to host a National Labor Organizing Summit this Friday (ONLINE) starting with an informal meet and greet at 8:45 AM. We have invited 2-year and 4-year state institutions and dozens of others from around the country to join us as we explore best practices in labor relations, organizing, and collective bargaining. You are welcome to join us as we discuss our role here at Montgomery College and share useful information to those considering how best to organize at their respective institutions. The agenda is attached here so you can see that we will have two panel discussions where you might find it useful to actively participate. We not only want to share our viewpoint as your Executive Committee, but that of our members who rely on our work as your representatives. This perspective will be quite useful to us and those who are hoping to organize.

Please note that some faculty at many institutions are divided on whether or not they even WANT to organize. They are fearful of retribution, an adversarial relationship with Management, and / or being part of a “trouble making group.” So, our goal is to provide accurate and helpful information for participants so that they can make informed decisions that guide them moving forward. We hope that they can see that having union representation does not mean there is constant disagreement and adversarial relationships, but instead should be constructive / collaborative with the end goal of making the institution better.

I hope you will consider joining us and representatives from AAUP and AFT for at least part of the day as it suits your schedule. We know you may have insights that could be particularly helpful and urge you to jump into the conversation as you see appropriate. We all have much to share with these groups, so thanks in advance for considering to participate/ attend.

AAUP / MC /AFT/ Fall Organizing Summit – 11/4 – ZOOM

On behalf of The Chapter,

Tito

AAUP Update: Nominations and Commencement

May 3, 2022

Colleagues:

I have decided that rather than sending all of you one very long update to send you two shorter updates, one this week and one next week.  This week’s update will focus on nominations for Chapter Officers for next year and Commencement.

This is a very busy time for all of us, the last week of classes, getting ready to give final exams next week and the massive and time-consuming grading of final assignments and final exams.  Adding to the stress we usually feel at this time of year is the fact that this has been a difficult period of time for all of us because of the COVID epidemic.  We are still adjusting to the return to campus, many of our families and our students’ families have been impacted in negatives ways by the COVID epidemic, and we are now having to adjust our work-life balance due to the increased emphasis on our return to campus plans.

Please make sure you take some time to take care of yourself and get away from your work.  

Nominations:

As was announced in an e-mail on Monday by our Treasurer Michael LeBlanc, nominations for all elected Executive Committee positions is now open and the nominating period ends on Friday May 6.  All positions are open because, according to our constitution, we each serve a one-year term of office.  The open positions include President, Secretary, Treasurer, VP-Germantown, VP-Rockville, VP-Takoma Park/Silver Spring.  If you are interested in knowing who is currently serving in each of these positions go to mcaaup.org and then click on the Executive Committee link towards the top of the page.  A brief description of the responsibilities of each Chapter officer is located in our Constitution and that document can be accessed by clicking on the Chapter Documents link on the Chapter webpage.

If you are interested in running for a particular office or if you are interested in nominating another faculty member for a particular office, please e-mail your communication to Julie Levinson, Counseling TP/SS.  Each Chapter officer must be a dues-paying member of the Chapter, and we will verify said membership before the faculty member is added to the ballot.

Our Executive Committee meetings typically occur twice a month on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30-5:00.  Some of the Officers receive ESH, and all Officers are expected to participate in various activities throughout the academic year.  The workload is usually spread out so that no one Officer feels overwhelmed. 

My involvement in the Chapter started in 2000 when I was drafted to be the Chapter’s Chief Negotiator.  I was sent to a summer training program that was organized by our National Office, and I had a full negotiating team to work with me throughout the negotiations process.  This was an enjoyable, while at times, frustrating experience.  I was then elected to my first term as the Chapter’s President.  Since that time, with the exception of a three-year period, I have either been the President or Past President of the Chapter.

I believe it is very important for the Chapter that others in the faculty ranks learn how to do this job and that now is the time for this change to take place.  I have informed the members of the Executive Committee that I am not going to run for office for next year.  I will still be involved with Chapter leadership and Chapter activities because I will still be a member of the Executive Committee but in a different role, the Immediate Past President.  I believe that due to the complexities of this role the person who replaces me should be one of the members of the current Executive Committee.  We definitely have several members of the Executive Committee who have the ability to take on this role and manage the Chapter’s affairs. 

Commencement:

This year’s commencement will occur on the Rockville Campus on Thursday and Friday May 19 and 20.  We have all seen the announcements and call for volunteers.  This is the time of year when we want to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and attending graduation is one way we can do this.  Several e-mails have been sent to the College community with a call for volunteers and notifications about commencement.  I encourage all of you to attend at least one day of graduation.  Whether you volunteer to assist with graduation or if you decide to march in your cap and gown, our collective participation will be appreciated by the students and their families. 

Closing Meeting:

On Wednesday, May 18, we will host our end of year meeting via Zoom.  A Zoom link will be sent to all of you as we approach that date.  Our meeting will start around 11:15, and we will open the Zoom room around 11:00.  We have worked with IT and can now host over 300 people in the meeting.  The Executive Committee appreciates all who attend and participate in these meetings, and we like hearing from the membership during these meetings.  As a faculty we only get together three times a year, so please plan on attending and participating in the meeting.

On behalf of the Chapter,

Harry Z.

AAUP Update: Negotiations Primer- next week! Please join us!

Dear FT Faculty colleagues, 

Good evening! 

The AAUP negotiating team will be sponsoring a “Negotiations Primer” to be held on Zoom on Wednesday May 4 from 3-4:30 pm, with Monica Owens, a trainer from AAUP National. Monica is joining us to discuss both traditional and interest-based methods of bargaining, the process of negotiation,  and strategies to increase effectiveness at the bargaining table. This primer will be a good introduction to the work of the negotiating team.  We are moving rapidly towards the negotiation of the full contract in fall 2023. To that end, we will be expanding membership on the negotiating team over the next year, so if you have ever thought about, or been curious, about negotiations, please join us at this forum! 

A zoom link/invitation will be sent out with a reminder later this week. Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you at our final AAUP forum for this spring 2022 semester. 

Thanks as always for your continued support and trust as we represent you in collective bargaining for our union contract. 

For the Chapter, 

The AAUP Negotiating team- 

Sharon Piper, Lead
Tito Baca
Carrie Fitzgerald

AAUP: Strategic Plan Meeting (3/2/22)

AAUP Update: AAUP Online Faculty Forum (2/22/22)

Dear Faculty,

Our chapter of the AAUP is looking for passionate faculty members (like you!) to share thoughts and ideas on how we can make our union/labor group the best it can be as we develop a Strategic Plan that benefits us all. We’d love for you to join us during our first Faculty Forum of the Spring 2022 semester. We will use the time to discuss your visions for our future as well as what actions we can take to make our workplace more satisfying, equitable, and meaningful.

Join Zoom Meeting

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

Meeting ID: 999 7386 9445
One tap mobile
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AAUP Update-Full Faculty Meeting

Colleagues:

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
President-AAUP


Link to Recording

Topic: AAUP Summer Meeting

Start Time : Jul 21, 2021 02:34 PM

Meeting Recording

Access Passcode: aaupcovid!21

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: https://www.montgomerycollege.edu/_documents/offices/elite/deeshrequest.pdf

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

AAUP Update: Contract 101, Survey and Overload Pay

Colleagues:

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.

https://montgomerycollege.zoom.us/j/95877189043?pwd=K2xicHR3b1YxVkV6eDlnTldSM3dnQT09

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 (surveys@modernthink.net) 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.
President-AAUP