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.

2010 – 2014 Contract Signed

The new contract for tenured and tenure track Faculty represented by the SIUC Faculty Association has been signed and executed. The final edited version is available on the FA Contract page at this site: FA Contract

Tentative Agreement Ratified by FA Membership

FA members voted to approve the tentative agreement today (11/30).  Here’s a press release we’ve sent out to announce as much.

The SIUC Faculty Association (FA) is pleased to announce that its members have voted to ratify the tentative agreement with the SIUC administration reached earlier this month. Once the agreement receives final ratification by the SIUC Board of Trustees, it will be signed by both parties and serve as the contract between the tenure-track and tenured faculty represented by the Faculty Association and the SIUC administration. The four year agreement covers the period from July 1, 201o until June 30, 2014. 

“While we are disappointed that it took sixteen months of negotiations and a strike to reach this agreement,” FA spokesman Dave Johnson said, “the agreement will help us defend academic freedom, shared governance, and academic priorities on this campus, and we are proud of the hard work, resilience, and dedication by our members that has made this progress possible. We are also thankful for all the support from other unions on campus, from members of the community, and from our students here at SIUC, hundreds of whom came out to march and rally in support of their professors.”

 The following are among the important provisions of the tentative agreement.

  • A transparent process ensures that tenured and tenure-track faculty can only be laid off in the event of a bona fide financial exigency.
  • Conditions justifying furloughs are more clearly defined, the number of furlough days is limited, and the FA may continue to pursue its unfair labor practice charge regarding FY 2011 furloughs. 
  • Faculty gain a greater say in defining their workload through departmental operating papers.
  • Faculty retain the right to decide how best to teach their courses, including the decision over whether to offer a course via distance education.
  • The student-faculty ratio remains unchanged, and includes distance education offerings.
  • Conflict of interest policy and procedures for investigating accusations of sexual harassment will be bargained to resolution in a timely way.

“We are ready to open a new page on relations between campus unions and the administration,” Johnson added.  “We think it is in everyone’s interest, especially those of the students we all serve, for the administration and campus unions to work together. It shouldn’t take us 500 days, much less a strike, to get a new contract into place.  Last year the SIUC administration insisted on imposing its own terms on campus unions, and this fall it took a strike to reach a final agreement. We’re ready to do all we can to build a better relationship with the administration, and we hope that the administration is willing to do so as well.”

Faculty Associatio​n ratificati​on vote on tentative agreement

Dear Faculty Association Member,

The Departmental Representative Council (DRC) voted unanimously (30-0) on November 17 to recommend that the membership of the FA approve the tentative agreement negotiated by the FA and Board bargaining teams. The tentative agreement goes on to the full membership for ratification.

The full text of the tentative agreement has been published on the bargaining information page of the FA web site.

Other aids for understanding the tentative agreement are also available there and direct links follow this message.

  • An informational meeting on the tentative agreement will be held for the membership of the Faculty Association on Monday, November 28, 2011  from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  , in Engineering A111.

  • Voting on ratification of the tentative agreement will take place on Wednesday, November 30, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Sangamon Room at the SIUC Student Center.

Only dues-paying members of the Faculty Association who are currently part of the bargaining unit may vote. Absentee voting is permitted.

There will be a separate ballot on Wednesday, November 30 for members to vote on Delegates/Alternates to the IEA Representative Assembly, Ethnic Minority Delegate/Alternate to the IEA Representative Assembly, Region 2 Vice-Chairperson, and Region 2 Ethnic Minority Representative.

Sincerely,
Randy Hughes

LINKS:

Summary of the tentative agreement

Full text of tentative agreement

Full text of tentative agreement with changes highlighted

Back to work agreement

More info on the Tentative Agreement

We’ve now posted a couple of further items to help you review the tentative agreement:

Summary of tentative agreement

Tentative agreement with changes highlighted

 

DRC unanimously recommends tentative agreement

The Departmental Representative Council (DRC) voted unanimously (30-0) tonight to recommend that the membership of the FA approve the tentative agreement made with the SIUC administration. A general membership meeting to discuss the agreement is scheduled for November 28, with voting to take place on November 30.  This strong endorsement by the DRC is another indication of the substantial progress made in this agreement. The agreement is already posted on the bargaining page on this site (scroll to the bottom for the latest info); further help in interpreting the agreement, including a summary of changes since the last agreement, should be posted by tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.

FA Thank You Party

In appreciation for the many contributions of our members and supporters, the SIUC Faculty Association is sponsoring a Thank You Party from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. this Saturday, November 19 at Hangar 9 (511 S Illinois Avenue). All who supported the FA during the last couple of weeks are invited to share a little food and drink and celebrate our joint achievement in reaching the tentative agreement on the Faculty Association contract. Spouses or partners are welcome to come as well.  See you there.