It’s here, time to begin the process of bargaining our second contract. While we made significant gains with our first contract, we know there is room to improve and strengthen our union. Step 1 is to hear from all our members and determine priorities for this round. Tomorrow all dues-paying members will receive a link to the CCVUF 2021 Bargaining Survey. If you do not receive a link but are a dues-paying member, or if you want to become one, contact our AFT Vermont Field Rep, Cyndi Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org.
What has your union – CCV United Faculty – done for you?
by Roger Cranse, CCVUF Steward
- Before the Collective Bargaining Agreement, all faculty were paid the same; 10-year veterans got the same as first semester faculty. And we were all paid far less than other VSCS part-time faculty.
- Now our contract specifies three pay grades, based on seniority. Everyone got substantial raises the first year of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, with guarantees for annual increases.
- Before the Collective Bargaining Agreement faculty were hired every semester, according to CCV policy, “at the College’s sole discretion.” The policy led to inconsistent and unfair hiring practices: experienced faculty were dropped for no reason; some faculty didn’t know until the last minute if they had a teaching assignment; coordinators sometimes decided to take a course away from an experienced faculty member and teach it themselves.
- Now our contract lists specific hiring criteria. These include a guaranteed course offering for faculty members in pay grades 2 and 3 and a specific timetable for faculty to request teaching assignments for the coming semester and a specific date for those assignments to be made.
- Before the Collective Bargaining Agreement faculty largely did not participate in academic governance. If they did participate, they were not paid.
- Now our contract specifies that faculty participate with administration on the major academic decision-making committees. Each of these committees is now co-chaired by a faculty member. Faculty co-chairs and faculty committee members are paid for this work.
- Before the Collective Bargaining Agreement, if a faculty member believed they had been treated unfairly by the administration, or treated in a way contrary to College policy, there was no formal remedy.
- Now our contract requires a specific procedure for grieving breaches of the Agreement or of College policy.
Anti-Racism Working Group
Our Union work includes both advocacy for its members and cooperation with CCV’s administration. We stand up for our rights and we’re team players. A good example of the latter is the fine work done by the CCVUF Anti-Racism Working Group. Members of that group proposed additions to the curriculum that address race and diversity issues. Academic Dean Debby Stewart responded enthusiastically to the document. The Working Group meets every other Wednesday. Watch your email for information.
Work to Be Done
All of the above, and more, were accomplished in our first Collective Bargaining Agreement with the College. But there is work to be done. We are still paid less than other VSCS part-time faculty. We are required to take lengthy training courses, like Introduction to Online Teaching, for no pay. Hiring procedures need to be strengthened to ensure that faculty members can count on a job. And overall, the administration needs to consult with the Union on all major and minor academic decisions and decisions that affect the well-being of faculty members.
Are You a Member of CCVUF?
We will be heading into negotiations in February 2021 for our second Collective Bargaining Agreement with the College. We’ll soon be sending out a survey to members to solicit their priorities for the negotiations. Our strength in these negotiations depends on a robust membership. If you’re not already a member, contact us for more information about about how to join!