June 23, 2024

MC-AAUP Update: April

Hello!

This is the last monthly update via email of the academic year! We obviously are closing in on the end so your next and last update for 2022-2023 will be via zoom at our Closing Meeting on Wednesday May 17th. More on that later. 

Here are a few things to hold you over till then! 

1. A group has been formed to look into our needs and explore potential changes needed for Workday. I know that the folks in HR and senior leadership here at the college share concerns and frustrations that many of us have experienced with this new platform. So, we are grateful for the opportunity to come together to see how we can make appropriate modifications to the platform itself and/or various internal processes to make this easier for everyone. Stay tuned. 

2. We are grateful to all of those who have responded to our Priorities Survey. This affords you the opportunity to share your thoughts on issues of particular importance for our Negotiating Team to consider as we repair for contract negotiations next fall. We have received over 60 responses so far and encourage you to take some time for this when you can. It would be great if we could get over 100 responses, which would be a really good sample size so we thank you for spreading the word in your respective departments.

3. A special thanks to all of those who came out to join us for lunch at the Rockville campus a few weeks ago. This lunch, which was sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, was a fabulous way for us to connect with colleagues as we gathered some valuable feedback from those who attended. The goodie bag provided by KP was nice too! In all, we gave away almost 50 lunches and look forward to doing this again, but at Takoma Park in the fall!

4. Hopefully by now you have seen our call for nominations for officers on the MCAAUP Executive Committee. We will except nominations until Monday – close of business, so we encourage you to think about nominating someone you know or even yourself! The respective Vice-Presidents for each campus have sent out announcements in the last week to this effect, and will follow up soon with a call to vote online in the next week or so. 

5. As we have shared on several occasions this past year, we collected some valuable information last year about coordinator responsibilities from so many of you here at the college when we sent out a survey to capture all that do. But like any good study, this led to more intriguing questions and a need for further inquiry. So, you may have seen yet another survey that we sent out in the last week or so about Coordinator responsibilities as well as those who receive Alternate esh for various responsibilities. This is a follow-up to ensure we collect appropriate and adequate information to help guide Negotiating Team decisions and deliberations in the fall.  

We know you’re busy and these surveys add to your workload. But we also trust that you know this is important work and that we rely on your input to provide helpful information just as you rely on us to represent you at The Table. So, thank you for taking time to help us, help you! 🙂

6. I am delighted to inform you that Management has agreed to join us in an Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) training that we anticipate will be scheduled soon. This is a big step towards utilizing this popular and collaborative approach to negotiations that has worked well in the past.  Our hope is that this training goes well such that we agree to utilize this approach at The Table in the fall.  This is another example of our improved relationship with Management and how our ongoing positive dialogue continues to help move the college forward. This is a very good thing and we thank our Senior leaders for engaging with us.

7. We took full advantage of the opportunities to say goodbye to Dr. Rai at each campus last week. At least 2 members of the Executive Committee 

Attended each campus event, to acknowledge his service to the college and his advocacy for faculty and students. We are working with faculty council to acknowledge him appropriately at the Collegewide Closing Meeting.  

8. The MCAAUP recently joined a coalition of labor leaders across the county. This group advocates for each other and mutual interests. This may include advocacy efforts with the county council, across the county to local residents, and even at the State level. Any time that people come together to support one another, find common ground, and advocate for critical public services close to home, that is a good thing. 

One measure that the county council and county residents are being asked to consider is the .10 property tax increase that is a special education measure to support a rejuvenation of public school services. 

You may even find a mailing from this coalition ask you to support this measure by contacting your local representative or signing a petition online. Please know that any measure that supports education in Montgomery County at the very least indirectly supports The College. Our collaborations with MCPS and adequate support of K-12 students depends on this, as many of them will one day be students of ours…, and some are already. 

Please check out the MCEA website for more information about how to share your thoughts on this measure and sign a petition in support if you agree. 

9. We are working with the college to put a system in place to notify faculty and staff when there are IT outages. The fact that we rely on MC email, Bb, and MyMC for a good part of our communication complicates this when those systems are down. 

but there are times, when not all systems are impacted, so we are hoping to explore various ways to keep everyone informed on the status of these issues as they arise. 

10. We recently convened a small work group to collaborate with members of management to iron out an updated office hour memorandum of understanding. Given that so much of our work happens remotely these days, it was certainly appropriate to revisit office our guidelines. We do believe that we have a tentative agreement in place and are waiting on Management to sign off.  We hope to share more about this with you at the closing meeting. 

11. Often times there are emails sent across the college to a large recipient list. We kindly ask you to use discretion when using the reply all button. We all get an enormous amount of email so we need to be sensitive about filling each other’s email boxes when it would be more appropriate to respond to one or two particular people. 

12. A very special thanks to Carolyn Terry who joined us at a Executive Committee meeting back in April. She is working closely with faculty council and a special group of Faculty and administrators as we implement a year long course schedule. This is pretty complicated as you can imagine and clearly there will be bumps along the way. Howevr, we appreciate how receptive she was to our concerns and feedback and how she clarified for us some of what’s involved in this process. 

It is important for everyone to know that this is a transparent process and feedback is not only welcome, but needed to ensure that this schedule is robust and meet the needs of our students. The schedule is supposed to go live in the next week or two, so we strongly encourage you to review the schedule and communicate any feedback you might have to your Faculty Council leaders. Just remember that what has worked in the past may not be applicable to the needs to the college, students, and respective departments. Please be as flexible as you can and communicate early and often in this process. EVERY faculty member is supposed to have input on the course schedule. 

This update was longer than I anticipated when I started it! But as you can see, we stay quite busy as they are often new matters of importance to address. We are doing our best to keep you informed, so thanks for doing your part by reading and sharing this information. 

There is much more to share, so I trust we will see you at our Closing Meeting on the 17th online via zoom. In the meantime, thank you for your attention to the surveys we have sent out, for any nominations you put forth – along with your participation in the election, and for going the extra mile for students these next 2 weeks. 

Please be well!

On behalf of The Chapter,

Tito

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