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)