CHE Bargaining Update: 30 April, 6 May, 13 May 2013, Automotive Technology, Architecture, Computer Science, Theater

CHE bargaining ended this term with an agreement in the Department of Computer Science. The main sticking point for the department had originally been the phrase “research-active faculty,” but bargaining teams and the department were ultimately able to iron out a compromise on this subject. The FA bargaining team is particularly grateful to department representatives for responding so quickly to proposals during the bargaining process.

We have also made provisional progress on the subject of contact hours. On Tuesday, 30 April we discussed credit-hour equivalence amendments in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, specifically the departments of Automotive Technology and Architecture, both of which have hefty contact-hour commitments not currently recognized in workload assignment. Automotive Technology in particular has an extensive time commitment involved in preparing a single course session and David Gilbert gave a particularly compelling presentation on this subject. The bargaining teams continued to discuss the architecture amendment on 6 and 13 May, in an attempt to iron out criteria for lab and studio hour CHEs, as well as the contact hours required in architecture theses.

On Monday, 13 May, the bargaining teams discussed the amendment in the Department of Theater. Here too one of the central sticking points is the contact hours required for costume, set design, and other studios, as well as those required for directing a major production. During the course of the session, consultants from the department, Anne Fletcher and Mark Varns, made a compelling case for how the existing structure of their program is reflected in their CHE proposal. In the case of both architecture and theater, the FA bargaining team anticipates receiving proposals from the administration team in the coming weeks. We will resume bargaining in the fall with these proposals.

The FA bargaining team would again like to thank all of the faculty who took the time to serve as consultants and to discuss their amendments and programs with us. We are sincerely grateful for all of the effort and energy you’ve put into this process.

Currently, we do not yet have an itinerary for the fall, but bargaining will resume the first week of the semester. As always, if you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to contact Ryan Netzley (ranetzley@gmail.com).

CHE Bargaining Update: 22 April 2013 Educational Administration and Higher Education and Kinesiology

 

The FA bargaining team met with representatives from the administration on Monday, 22 April to discuss credit-hour equivalence amendments in the College of Education, specifically the departments of Kinesiology and Educational Administration and Higher Education.  Both of these departments maintain that Addendum B supports accruing and applying credits earned from indirect teaching to workload assignments through a banking model.

 

During the session, we heard many of the same objections that we’ve already heard: workload is prospective and, as a result it, past work does not or cannot matter for such workload assignments.  We tried to point out that the contract already not only acknowledges, but calls for the consideration of prior overloads in making workload assignments (8.07.g.3 if you’re interested), but that did not seem to move matters very far.

 

Instead, we became embroiled in another discussion of ranges versus specific equivalences.  We did hear a new argument: that ranges are the compromise position because originally the administration did not want any numbers at all.  This was the first that we’d heard this particular take on this issue, but if you’ve seen or heard it in other meetings please alert one of us. The FA bargaining team would like to thank members of the department of Kinesiology for bearing with this digression.

 

We didn’t receive an answer when we asked about the problems with the twelve peer models that Educational Administration and Higher Education used to develop their amendment.  The general idea seems to be that we shouldn’t use peer models, but should compare departments internally.

 

When we were able to focus on banking, the administration worried explicitly about a scenario in which faculty members would accumulate loads of indirect teaching and then take three years off and never come back before retirement.  We did note that even when Educational Administration and Higher Education offered to sunset accumulated CHE after three years, the provost rejected the proposal.

 

Finally, the administration suggested that there exists a concept called “administrative freedom” that is analogous to academic freedom.  The analogy offered was that the administration doesn’t intervene in how faculty teach courses, so faculty shouldn’t intervene in how administrators make workload assignments.  We did point out that department chairs are not teaching us something when they assign workload.

 

We’ll be turning to papers focused on contact hours next week from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, specifically the departments of Automotive Technology and Architecture.

 

As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ryan Netzley (ranetzley@gmail.com).

CHE Bargaining Update: 15 April 2013, English and Foreign Languages and Literatures

CHE bargaining has begun. The FA bargaining team met with the administration team on Monday, 8 April and established ground rules for negotiations.  On Monday, 15 April, we started bargaining on two department amendments, those from English and Foreign Languages and Literatures.  Both of these departments contend that the administration’s demand for “a range of equivalences” violates the explicit language in the contract. On Monday, 22 April, we’ll turn to amendments in the College of Education, specifically the departments of Kinesiology and Educational Administration and Higher Education.  Both of these departments maintain that the contract provision provides for awarding and accounting for indirect teaching credit hours in workload assignments.

The bargaining team has organized the remaining sessions this term in a similar fashion: specific department papers that epitomize the central sticking points—ranges, banking, contact hours, and research activity.  In these early sessions, we heard many of the same administration arguments that we’ve already heard.  However, we remain optimistic that, once we’ve sussed out the various positions more frankly and candidly, progress can be made.

The FA bargaining team would also like to reiterate that there is only one principle guiding these negotiations: departmental sovereignty over the CHE process.  What departments want, departments get.  To that end, if you have any questions at all about this process or want to let us know about a specific departmental position that you want represented, please do not hesitate to contact Ryan Netzley (ranetzley@gmail.com).  We would also like to reiterate that departments will vote on any agreements made at the bargaining table: i.e., bargaining doesn’t end in an amendment imposed without your approval.

COEHS Faculty Meeting to discuss the Realignment “Concept Paper” and Faculty Rights

All COEHS Tenured and Tenure Track faculty are invited to a discussion on the Realignment “Concept Paper” that was distributed during spring break in the college. Come together, know your contract and your rights.
Time 4-6 PM, Tuesday, March 26th.
Place: Library room 510 A

FA-NEWSLETTER: Credit Hour Equivalency Update, yet again

Dear Colleagues,

As Provost meetings on Credit Hour Equivalencies progress, I am writing with an update on the process. One issue that Faculty members have asked about repeatedly is including ranges of credit hour equivalency for particular duties, rather than specific equivalencies. While the details will vary from department to department, Addendum B in our contract clearly states that amendments should contain “complete and specific criteria for credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and/or for indirect teaching.” (Addendum B., section A). Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a specific “range of equivalencies.” We have also received several requests for approved CHE models. If you would like to see a copy of an amendment approved at the Provost’s level, or have questions about issues raised in your meeting with the Provost, please contact our Credit Hour Equivalency point-person Ryan Netzley, at ranetzley@gmail.com.
Dear Colleagues,

As Provost meetings on Credit Hour Equivalencies progress, I am writing with an update on the process. One issue that Faculty members have asked about repeatedly is including ranges of credit hour equivalency for particular duties, rather than specific equivalencies. While the details will vary from department to department, Addendum B in our contract clearly states that amendments should contain “complete and specific criteria for credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and/or for indirect teaching.” (Addendum B., section A). Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as a specific “range of equivalencies.” We have also received several requests for approved CHE models. If you would like to see a copy of an amendment approved at the Provost’s level, or have questions about issues raised in your meeting with the Provost, please contact our Credit Hour Equivalency point-person Ryan Netzley, at ranetzley@gmail.com.

To clarify the next steps in the process: If your department doesn’t reach an agreement with the Provost on a modified amendment, your department’s amendment will be negotiated by 5-person bargaining teams from the Faculty Association and the University, beginning in March. A Faculty representative from the department will be able to attend the bargaining session(s) concerning their amendment as a consultant to the Association team. Any amendments that are not agreed upon in the bargaining process will then go to an arbitration panel made up of three people from outside the University (one appointed by the FA, one appointed by the Administration, and an arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association). The decision of that panel will be final.

The Faculty Association is committed to ensuring Faculty participation in the bargaining process, and our goal is to complete that phase before summer break (although at this point, since we do not know how many amendments will be negotiated, we can’t predict the full length of the process). We are also committed to supporting departments in the decisions they make as part of this process because it is the Faculty members who have the expertise and qualifications necessary to evaluate these matters.

Thank you for all your work on this,

Rachel Stocking

SIUC Faculty Association President

The First Faculty Association TGIF party of 2013!

Eat, drink, and compare notes with colleagues about what’s happening on campus. Meet people you don’t know!

Date: Friday, February 8, 2013

Time: 5 to 7 p.m.

Place: The Newell House downstairs (“The Grotto,”) at 201 E. Main Street, corner of Washington and Main.
Free appetizers and one free drink ticket.

FA-NEWSLETTER-1/24/2013: Credit Hour Equivalency Update

Dear Colleagues
Welcome back! In addition to wishing you a productive semester, I’m writing to give you a brief update on the status of the Credit Hour Equivalency operating paper amendment process.  Between now and February 28 the Provost should be holding meetings with Faculty in departments whose amendments he did not approve last semester.  If your department hasn’t received a request for a meeting to be scheduled, you can contact his office to make arrangements.  These meetings should not be scheduled by your chair or interim chair.The next step after meeting with the provost is as follows: if your meeting with the Provost results in an agreement on a modified amendment, the tenured and tenure-track Faculty should hold a vote on accepting that modified amendment and inform the Provost of the results.  If there is no agreement, or if the modified amendment is not approved by the department Faculty, then the Provost will notify the Faculty Association that bargaining committees should be formed to try to reach agreement on the amendment. At that point, the FA will contact your department to discuss the bargaining process. In the interim, the FA will assist in department planning for meetings with the provost and responses thereto. Please contact Ryan Netzley (ranetzley@gmail.com) with any questions on this issue.  You might also consult the CHE wiki for department and campus-wide updates on the process: http://siuche.wikidot.com/.

The deadlines for the Faculty vote, and the Provost’s notification to the Association have not been reset since the extension of the deadline for the Provost meetings.  The Association Executive Committee has scheduled a meeting next week to discuss the new deadlines with the Provost’s office, and I will send out a new message then to let you know what they are.

Thank you for your time and work on this,
Rachel Stocking
Faculty Association President

FA newsletter 12/2/2012: Next Steps on CHE Amendments

Dear Colleagues,

As you may already know, Provost Nicklow has approved only a very small proportion of the Credit Hour Equivalency amendments to departmental Operating Papers at SIUC.  Some departments have received messages indicating that he is offering to communicate “in writing about suggested modifications,” rather than holding a meeting, or that he is designating another individual to meet with Faculty–in other words,  sidestepping the contractual process. Addendum B  clearly indicates that the next step after a Provost non-approval is for the Provost (himself) to meet with the department Faculty. We urge you to follow the contractually mandated sequence and proceed with these meetings, whether or not the provost has offered a different option. Please let us know if you encounter problems in achieving this. We know that you have worked hard on these amendments, and they deserve the administrative attention mandated in Addendum B.

The meeting with the Provost is not the last step in this process.  According to new deadlines agreed upon this past summer, the meetings with the Provost should occur by December 14. The next steps are:

  •  If the meeting with the Provost results in a “proposed modified amendment,” then that modified amendment will be voted on by department tenured and tenure-track Faculty (excluding chairs). A simple majority of those voting is enough to pass the modified amendment at this point, even if your operating paper procedure is different. According to the new deadlines, these votes must be held by February 2, 2013.
  • If there is no agreed-upon modified amendment, or if the modified amendment does not pass the vote, then by February 8, 2013, the Provost must notify the Faculty Association President and request that a Bargaining Committee be formed to try to reach agreement. The Bargaining Committee will have five members appointed by the Association and five members appointed by the University.  Bargaining must begin within 30 days of the date that the Association received the Provost’s notification. If the Bargaining Committee can’t reach agreement, then they must ask for mediation.
  • If mediation doesn’t produce an agreement, then an external panel will be formed with three members from outside SIUC, including an arbitrator with experience in higher education.  The decision of this panel will be final and binding.  Please see Addendum B for more details on this process.

This is a complex procedure, but it is designed to maximize Faculty participation and ensure that these amendments reflect the work that we do. In order to make it work, it is vital to adhere to the contract. If you have questions or wish to report difficulties in following the mandated procedures, please contact Ryan Netzley at ranetzley@gmail.com.

For the SIUCFA Executive Committee,

Rachel Stocking

Association President

SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, November 28, 5 p.m BARGAINING UNIT MEETING–ALL TENURED AND TENURE TRACK FACULTY

Dear Colleagues,

The Faculty Association leadership is concerned about reports from many Faculty that the SIUC administration is demanding that some colleges and departments cut their budgets according to an inequitable distribution plan.  Apparently, the metric for the cuts is based on decreases in credit hour production and student enrollment measured against last year—those colleges and departments that had the greatest one-year decreases bear the greatest weight of the cuts.  This means that some colleges are required to pay most of the bill for this year’s enrollment decrease, as well as for promotional raises, and a Board approved 1% salary increase, while some colleges are apparently allotted “negative cuts.” CASA alone is allotted 47% of the entire cut, and other colleges, including COEHS, MCMA, and COLA, are also required to take on cuts, leaving faculty and staff wondering where the cuts are going to come from.  These inequitable cuts come on top of two years of centralized decision-making and an even lengthier hiring “freeze,” which have not slowed the continuing, often ill-conceived, schemes for further budget reductions that threaten SIUC’s research mission, and have already left all our units understaffed and overworked.

We question both the financial basis for these cuts, and the methods by which they are being distributed and implemented. Claims that unexpected “shortfalls” require units to reduce budgets are not supported by audits, or by a careful examination of financial information released by the administration. For instance, take this report of fiscal health issued this year by Bain and Company and published in the DE: http://dailyegyptian.com/university-deemed-financially-stable/#axzz2BHTbtXxV.

Open discussion of budgetary matters is essential for making responsible decisions that do the least amount of harm possible.  However, centrally conceived, convoluted, and coercively imposed budget cutting metrics that pit faculty, departments, and colleges against each other do not constitute shared governance. 

Options proposed for cuts include accepting “voluntary” teaching overloads (often without pay), increasing course sizes, cancelling courses, relinquishing released time, and eliminating “redundancies.”  Such measures threaten some departments’ accreditation, or even their existence. Under these circumstances, it is imperative that Faculty be aware of our rights and the protections provided by our current collective bargaining agreement:

  1. Article 8: Protections against involuntary overloads.
  2. Article 9: Assurance of Faculty input in program change initiatives.
  3. Article 6: A clearly defined grievance procedure.
  4. Article 19: Safeguards against unjustified layoffs of Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty.

The FA leadership also urges you to remember:

  • Rather than automatically accepting the responsibility for making harmful budget reductions, ask questions: Are these cuts necessary? Are the metrics fair and accurately calculated?  Where is the money from increased tuition rates going? What is the actual total amount that the central administration has gained by sweeping indirect cost recovery funds from colleges and departments, leaving faculty lines vacant, and other budget reductions in units? What is the actual change in income over the past year?
  • You are not required to accept overloads; accepting overload teaching “voluntarily” may not only threaten the livelihood of Non Tenure-track faculty, but also makes it all the more likely that the squeeze on Faculty lines will continue.

WHAT CAN THE FACULTY ASSOCIATION DO?

CONTRACT ENFORCEMENT:  It is our legal responsibility to represent all Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty in enforcing our Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Our Grievance Committee is working hard to do this through individual and collective grievances and information requests.  But we need to hear from Faculty in order to do this job effectively.  Please keep in contact with your Faculty Association Department Representative, your Faculty Association College Representative, the Faculty Association Executive Committee, and our Grievance Committee> (see below for names and contact info).

COLLEGE MEETINGS: The Faculty Association Assembly and Executive Committee have begun holding College meetings to gather and disseminate information and, most importantly, to maintain open communication among Faculty across departments in order to build a cohesive and powerful voice in budget matters, program and curricular changes, grant application policies, and other administrative initiatives.  Thus far, we have held two meetings in COEHS, and one in CASA.  These meetings have been essential for understanding how administrative actions affect individual Faculty, single departments, and the entire college, and for developing strategies for both individual and collective responses.   Concerned Faculty in both colleges have begun working together to meet the challenges to their programs.  We hope to hold future meetings in other colleges.  If you want to help in this effort, please contact us.

BARGAINING UNIT MEETING (ALL Tenured and Tenure-track Faculty), Wednesday, November 28, 5 p.m.:  Working from the same principles as the college meetings, the Faculty Association leadership is calling a meeting for all tenured and tenure-track SIUC Faculty.  It is time for all of us to share our information and experiences, and to discuss how to meet the challenges presented by centralized decision-making, inadequate explanations, inequitable budget schemes, and hollow mechanisms of “shared” governance. 

LOOK FOR THE LOCATION IN THE NEXT NEWSLETTER.

Executive Committee:

Rachel Stocking, President, stocking.rachel@gmail.com

George Boulukos, Vice-President, boulukos@siu.edu

Daren Callahan, Treasurer, dcallaha@lib.siu.edu

Jyotsna Kapur, Secretary, jkapur@siu.edu

Ryan Netzley, DRC Chair, ranetzley@gmail.com

Grievance Committee contact person:
Randy Hughes, hrhughes@math.siu.edu

College Reps:
Robert Spahr, MCMA
Natasha Zaretsky, COLA
Dona Reese, COEHS
Sandy Collins, CASA
Vijay Puri, Engineering
David Lightfoot, Agriculture
Cassie Wagner, Library Affairs
Aldo Migone, Science

Credit hour equivalencies for operating papers

Our new contract’s Addendum B (Addendum X in preliminary drafts of the contract text) calls for each academic unit to include specific criteria for credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and/or indirect teaching in its operating paper. Now is the time for Faculty in each unit to initiate the necessary operating paper changes.

The Faculty Association has created a web page with resources for Faculty as they work on credit hour equivalencies for their operating papers: https://siucfa.wordpress.com/workload/ . This page will be updated from time to time with additional information, templates for operating paper language, and answers to questions that arise during this process.

In addition, to help Faculty with the process of establishing credit hour equivalencies, the Faculty Association has scheduled a one-hour Workload Seminar at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, February 15 in the Illinois Room in the Student Center. Please contact me if you would like to schedule a Faculty Association presentation in your own unit on Addendum B and credit hour equivalencies.

Here are a few guidelines for how to proceed:

The Faculty in each unit initiate the operating paper changes.
In Addendum B, as in the rest of our contract, “Faculty” with a capital “F” refers to the tenured and tenure track faculty in the Faculty Association bargaining unit. Chairs of departments, Directors of schools, Associate Deans, Deans, and higher administrators are not part of the bargaining unit. Addendum B specifies that the Faculty in each unit (department, school, Library Affairs) submit the proposed operating paper amendment. Set up a meeting in your unit or form an ad hoc Faculty committee to develop a proposal. The Faculty in your unit decide (vote) on the proposal to be submitted as an operating paper amendment.

Changes to operating papers under Addendum B are limited to credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and indirect teaching.
Do not combine other measures (even other workload amendments) with your credit hour equivalency amendment. The operating paper changes under Addendum B go through a process different from other amendments. The mandate of Addendum B is to provide operating papers with “complete and specific criteria for credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and/or for indirect teaching assignments”. These are the only issues that must be considered at this time.

Changes go through the approval process according to operating paper amendment procedures AND Addendum B.
Follow the amendment procedure in your operating paper, provided it is consistent with the Faculty contract. If your operating paper and the contract contradict each other, the contract overrides the operating paper. For example, if your unit operating paper requires that amendments be first proposed and voted on by Faculty (i.e., faculty in the bargaining unit represented by the Faculty Association), then this procedure satisfies the requirement in Addendum B that the proposed amendment be submitted by the Faculty. Otherwise, an initial step is required for the Faculty to vote on the proposal before proceeding with the amendment process.

Additional guidelines for developing the credit hour equivalency criteria:

Identify contact hour or indirect teaching duties for which to define credit hour equivalencies.
Are there teaching assignments in your unit where contact hours exceed credit hours? What indirect teaching duties are performed in your unit? See Section 8.01.b.1 of the new contract ( https://siucfa.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/workload-in-fa-contract.pdf ) for definitions and examples of direct and indirect teaching.

Consult credit hour equivalency policies and contract provisions at peer institutions when developing your proposed amendment.
Credit hour equivalencies in “collective bargaining contracts or adopted policies for Carnegie Extensive Research Universities, including but not limited to the University’s IBHE 1985 Peer List” should be used as “primary points of reference” in developing unit criteria. These reference points will also be used if negotiations over operating paper amendments become necessary. Links to several contracts and policies are available on the FA workload page ( https://siucfa.wordpress.com/workload/).

Express equivalencies in terms of credit hours in the faculty member’s teaching assignment.
Faculty workload assignments are based on a workload equivalent of twenty-four (24) credit hours per academic year. That is, a teaching assignment of twenty-four credit hours in a year (twelve hours in a semester) represents an assignment which is totally teaching (no research or service). Credit hour equivalencies for contact hours and indirect teaching will determine how much these activities are to count in the teaching part of Faculty members’ workload assignments, as measured in credit hours.

Bring your questions to the Workload Seminar on February 15, or email them to me at hrhughes@math.siu.edu.