Here’s Issue 17 of “Together” — the newsletter of the faculty union of VSC & CCV.
Posts by Alec Julien:
Our Union is focusing on legislation that would increase the funding for CCV and other Vermont State Colleges. We are also pushing for more aid and more support for our students. This legislation session is seeing a lot of activity both in the Senate and the House on spending bills funding the VSC so the time is now to get involved! Any action you take now can have a significant impact on funding and the lives of our students and the stability of CCV.
Why an increase in State support to CCV and free/reduced tuition is important:
- Vermont currently ranks 50 out of 50 states for state support for higher education.
- Support for VSC has drastically decreased. Currently, the state appropriations cover only 20% of the cost of VSC. In 1980 the state covered 51% if the costs of VSC! What happened?
- CCV teaches Vermont students. 83% of the students in VSC are Vermonters (a higher percentage of CCV students are from Vermont).
- In-state tuition in Vermont is among the highest in the country. It is sometimes cheaper for our students to pay out of state tuition in another state than it is to attend Vermont State Colleges.
- Although Vermont has one of the highest high school graduate rates, we have some of the lowest college enrollment rates. Paying for college is out of reach for many of our young people.
- Many of our students are really struggling to pay for college and the debt is overwhelming.
- Having an educated workforce benefits all Vermonters!
Ways to get more involved and make a difference.
- Talk about getting involved with your students. Start a dialogue about how the State funds our college and encourage them to get involved. Just a little bit of their time can save them a lot of money and legislators love to hear from our students.
- Know your legislators.We are lucky in Vermont where our voices really make a difference. Some legislatures have said that hearing from just a few people in their district has a significant impact on how they vote. You can find your legislature at https://legislature.vermont.gov/people/, including the name, phone number and email address, and you can read a brief biography about your legislators — and see how they voted in past legislation.
- Stop by “Breakfast with your representative”. Many Legislators have a weekly or biweekly time where they are available to meet with their constituents. Often it is at a café and it is a more casual way to meet your legislators and have a one-on-one conversation.
- Get involved locally. Talk about the importance of State funding for CCV and the Vermont State Colleges with you family, friends and neighbors and at Town Meeting; inform your community.
- Support the Chancellor’s request for an increase in support for the VSC to be on par with other New England State Colleges.
- Support the Governor’s budget to increase funding for Vermont State Colleges.
- Check back at our website for more up to date information and be active! It is an exciting time! There is a lot of activity both in the Senate and the House on spending bills funding the VSC so the time is now to get involved! Any action you take can have a significant impact on funding and the lives of our students.
- Contact us and let us know your concerns.
Now that we, CCV United Faculty, have successfully won a union election and bargained a first contract it is time to develop an internal organization to enforce the contract (through membership development, education and grievance work) and make decisions.
The best practice is to create a steward structure that is representative of the membership. This is so that there is a clear network to be able to communicate proactively as necessary and also have a sufficient number of colleagues to provide support as necessary.
Stewards can be nominated or volunteer. Initial nominations will be taken through the Fall ‘18 and can continue in a rolling basis with emphasis given to recruiting:
- At least one steward per campus beginning with at least regional representation.
- Multiple stewards on campuses with more faculty
- Total number of stewards up to 31, which would be 1 steward : 10 member ratio.
- Responding in timely fashion to faculty with questions/issues
- Working with elected faculty leadership in handling faculty questions/issues
- Monthly Stewards Calls
- Leading new member orientation meetings (as needed)
- Communication to members about important union business
Elected Paid Membership/Grievance positions
As part of the new contract the Administration “shall provide the Union with the value of one (1) three credit course to be provided to a Union officer, or faculty member designated by the Union, for purposes of conducting Union business.” This proposal has the union splitting this stipend three ways to have three elected and stipended union positions to do union work including membership development and grievance processing.
It will be important to have a small elected executive body to be able to make decisions in a timely fashion as necessary. A good practice is for these elected representatives to also be involved as stewards so as not to be removed from the challenges faculty are experiencing.
In addition to the 3 positions noted in the above section, this proposal includes another two elected positions whose main role is to be CCVUF representatives to the VSC Faculty Federation Delegate Assembly. (See Below)
During fall semester 2018, from the pool of committed stewards, the union will hold an election for a 5 member executive committee. Three seats will be the paid membership/grievance positions and 2 VSCFF Delegate reps.
August, September and beyond: Nominations are taken for union stewards.
- Steward trainings held
- Elections for leadership body from the group of committed stewards
- Begin monthly stewards meetings
- Ongoing recruitment of stewards where there are gaps
Integration into VSCFF
For various reasons this proposal includes officially integrating our bargaining unit with the other faculty bargaining units within the VSC system. We are making this proposal for various reasons including:
- We have more power together.
- Our contract expiration date is the same as the VSC Part time Faculty federation and likely the same as the Full Time faculty will be (they are still negotiating).
- As more moves are made that affect the VSC as a whole it makes sense to coordinating with our colleagues at the other colleges.
- By pooling our dues resources with other faculty we will have more collective spending power than if we had our own treasury (not to mention more work that would need to be accomplished by ccv faculty, if we had to maintain a separate treasury and attend to all of the legal requirements demanded by the Federal Government).
- Members of the VSC Faculty Federation Leadership body are supportive of CCV joining, for the above mentioned reasons.
If CCVUF decides we shall integrate formally with our VSCFF colleagues, VSCFF will need to amend their constitution to reflect the change. They are asking us to let them know what our structure would be so they can make recommendations to their membership accordingly. Based on the proposals above, here is the draft recommendation.
Our CCV “Chapter” would include 7 elected positions. Three executive committee members, two representatives to the delegate assembly and 2 alternates to the delegate assembly. We may be eligible to have more than two representatives on the VSCFF delegate assembly; this can still be negotiated between CCVUF and VSCFF leadership. In that case one, two or three of the executive members shall also serve as delegates.
Under this proposal, in addition to proper representation on the VSCFF delegate assembly we shall also send our dues to the treasury of the VSCFF. It is the delegate assembly, who makes decisions about allocation of funds.
Under this proposal should we, CCV faculty, choose to integrate with the existing VSC Faculty Federation, we would adopt the dues amount that their union members currently pay, which is 1% of their wages. This is the same amount of all other AFT Vermont Locals (except the Nurses at UVMMC who decided to pay a bit more). What this means:
- Dues will be collected by CCV admin from your gross pay and sent to the union
- You will see the deduction in you paycheck
- You do not pay dues if you are not teaching
- Only members pay dues (though all faculty in the bargaining unit benefit from the contract)
It’s official! We have signed our very first faculty contract at CCV! So much hard work, commitment, and dedication went into this. Congrats everyone. A special thanks to our bargaining team! Elisabeth Garretson Lehr, Emily Casey Kathleen Moore, Laura Gannon Murakami, Valerie Welter, Jill Mudcock, Luigi Colasanto, Peter Money, Victor P. Ehly, Jean Cannon… as well as Carla & Bill! Of course, so many more of you made this happen. Together we are stronger! This is an historic first step for our union and our college.
Photos by Josh Larkin, courtesy of Community College of Vermont
Pending ratification by CCVUF membership…
|Issue/Article||Admin Initial Proposal||Tentative agreement|
|Appointments and Assignments|
|Process for appointments and assignments||No expectation of re-appointment||An expectation of re-appointment with a clear and transparent process for course assignments that can be grieved if violated.|
|Non-reappointments||No notification given||If the Administration does not re-appoint a faculty member, the faculty member will be notified to the reason why and that decision can be grieved|
|Course guarantee||Rejected union proposal||Guarantee of of 1 class in the fall and spring semesters for all faculty in pay grades 2 and 3|
|Pay Grades||Admin responded to union proposal of a 5-tier scale (Parity with VSC) with 2 tiers, with the second starting at 120 credit hours||3-tier pay grade system:
Step 1: Less than 60 credit hours taught at CCV
Step 2: 60 – 119 credit hours taught at CCV
Step 3: 120 or more credit hours taught at CCV
|Pay grade promotion||Promotion occurs Sept.1 following accumulation of required # of credits||Promotion occurs immediately upon accumulation of required # of credits|
|Salary||2 steps. First step a total of 3% raise over 3 years. Second Step a total of 5% raise over 3 years.||See Chart below|
|Professional Development||A fund equaling $75 per bargaining unit member (538), totaling $40,350||A fund equaling $120 per bargaining unit member (538), totaling $64,560 for bargaining unit faculty only.|
|Who is in the bargaining unit-Recognition||Only faculty who teach degree credit courses||Includes faculty who teach both degree credit and non-degree credit courses. (i.e. developmental courses)|
|Grievance Proceedure||Status quo only; always a process to reach Center director and no right to arbitrate.||Formal process to handle faculty grivances that goes as high as the VSC Chancellor including the right for binding arbitration|
|Residual Rights||Language protecing faculty ownership of content, NOT including content in online courses||Language protecing faculty ownership of content, including content in online courses|
|Union Rights||Right to use space on CCV portal to link to Union information. The right to use CCV buletin boards and classrooms when not in use already.|
|Mileage Reimbursement||travel reimbursed only for “required”travel||Maintaining the status quo regarding mileage policy, including travel for events such as Summer Institute, graduation and professional developments events hosted by Academic Council.|
|Facilities||No guarantee of designated space for faculty to prep and only space to meet with students upon request||Guarantee of Faculty space at every center to prepare and meet with students.|
|No right for faculty to stay beyond 9 pm at a center||Faculty having the right to remain at a center with a student 30 minutes after the last class ends|
|Leaves of absence||In the event of an illness having the right to miss up to 40% of the course and still get paid for the full course|
|Union Officer Rights||CCV Paying the value of a three-credit course for a faculty union member each semester (fall and spring only) only in contract negotiation years||CCV Paying the value of a three-credit course for a faculty union member each semester (fall, spring and summer) to conduct union business|
|Governance||50-50 split admin-faculty representation on all Curriculm Committees. Admin maintains the right to select faculty members||Faculty Majority on all Curriculum Committees. Union right to recruit and elect faculty co-chairs and at-large members to all governance committtees|
|Governance stipends||Status Quo||Co-Chair of Curriculum Committee: $3000
Co-Chair FACT or FACT-SSR: $1500 (33% increase)
At Large Curriculum Committee, FACT, FACT-SSR, Experiential Learning, Student Success and Retention: $1500 (50% increase)
At Large General Ed. Committee: $500
|Side Letter||No one may teach more tha 11 credits system wide||We are working to finalize a side letter with the administration that would grandfather some faculty|
|Wages per Credit||Sept. 1, 2018||Sept. 1, 2019|
|Pay Grade 1||$1320 (3% increase)||$1359 (3% increase)|
|Pay Grade 2||$1341 (5% increase)||$1380 (3% increase)|
|Pay Grade 3||$1366 (7% increase)||$1404 (3% increase)|
|Sept. 1, 2020||Total after 3 years|
|Pay Grade 1||$1399 (3% increase)||9% increase|
|Pay Grade 2||$1421 (3% increase)||11% increase|
|Pay Grade 3||$1446 (3% increase)||13% increase|
List of Tentative Agreements
Download the list of Tentative Agreements.