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Contract Ratification VOTE!
Thursday September 1 Noon- 6 p.m.           MC 102

The hard work of the Negotiating Team has come to fruition, and they have completed the process of Interest Based Bargaining (as opposed to traditional, adversarial negotiation) with the CSU administration.

The new language proposed for our 3-year collective bargaining agreement is now available and ready for your vote. 

There will be a membership meeting and ratification vote on Thursday, September 1 in MC (Main Classroom) 102.

 The new contract language will be introduced and discussed from Noon to 1 pm. Members can vote any time between Noon and 6 pm in that same room. 

Members of the Executive Committee and negotiating team will be present throughout the voting period to answer questions.

 

YSU Trustees reject pact approved by faculty
Published: 8/13/11 @ 12:10

By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

Youngstown

The faculty union at Youngs-town State University contends the university is exaggerating its expenses and understating revenues.

Without comment, university trustees on Friday voted to reject a fact finder’s report that would have given YSU faculty raises of 0 percent, 1 percent and 2 percent in the first, second and third years of an agreement, respectively.

Trustees Millicent S. Counts, David Charles Deibel, Sudershan K. Garg, John R. Jakubek, Leonard D. Schiavone, Scott Schulick and Carole S. Weimer rejected the report. Trustees Delores Crawford and Harry Meshel were absent.

“While the fact finder acknowledges the difficult budgetary circumstances facing the university, his recommendations outlined in the report do not allow us to sufficiently address those challenges,” Garg, trustees chairman, said afterward in a written statement.

Faculty union members voted to accept the report and also voted to authorize a 10-day strike notice. The notice will be delivered to the State Employment Relations Board next week.

The current pact expires Wednesday.

Julia Gergits, union president, said the fact that members voted to accept the fact finder’s report even though it involves deep concessions shows their dedication to the university and students.

“This would have been the worst contract that we’ve ever had, and still the faculty voted to accept it,” she said.

The faculty doesn’t want to strike, Gergits said.

Stanley Guzell, the union’s chief negotiator, said the union went into negotiations recognizing these are economically-challenging times.

“Our initial offer was concessionary,” Guzell said. “That has never happened — never.”

In the university’s statement, Garg and YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson called on the faculty to return to the bargaining table as soon as possible to resume negotiating.

“These are unprecedented and uncertain economic times,” Garg said. “It is our responsibility to ensure the fiscal health of the institution today and into the future. The recommendations included in this report do now allow us to fulfill that responsibility.”

Guzell said a federal mediator who sat in on negotiations last spring has offered to return and play a more active role, and he said he welcomes that. The union is willing to return to bargaining, although members believe they’ve given enough, he said.

Guzell in a statement questioned what the university calls its dire financial condition.

He said the fact finder’s recommendations would have cost YSU $1.3 million — less than half the amount generated by the 3.5 percent tuition increase effective this fall.

Guzell also pointed out that what YSU initially said was a $9.5 million deficit “immediately shrank to $1.67 [million] when they had to present honest numbers to the trustees.” Even that amount is suspect, he said in the statement.

“In 2010, in the midst of what they portrayed in fact-finding as ‘dire’ financial circumstances, President Anderson accepted a 30.24 percent increase in pay over that of her 10-year veteran predecessor, and Provost [Ikram] Khawaja accepted a 4.7 percent increase,” Guzell said in the statement. “On average, higher-level administrators gave themselves more than 6 percent raises. Can anyone believe that this is how an administration would act if [it] really were in ‘dire’ circumstances?”

Another change recommended by the fact finder was the amount paid for summer instruction, which is outside of the nine-month teaching contract for the regular school year.

The current formula multiplies 0.0375 times the number of credit hours taught during the summer session times the base salary of the faculty member. YSU wanted the pay to be reduced, knocking the multiplier down 40 percent to 0.0225.

The faculty proposed a reduction of the multiplier to 0.0360 or 4 percent.

The fact finder agreed with the union.

The fact finder’s report, though, recommended the university’s proposal on health-care insurance coverage — which would require union members to bear 15 percent of the monthly health-care coverage premium for both family and individual plans.

Under the pact that expires next week, faculty members contribute 1.5 percent of their base salary for family health insurance and 0.75 percent for individual coverage.

Guzell’s statement says that the administration has more than adequate reserves, revenues and already-offered concessions from the union.“And yet, it continues to hide substantial additional funds by being vague about savings being accumulated now and for years to come from unfilled faculty and staff vacancies,” his statement says.

The university has the money; it just doesn’t want to spend it on its faculty, he said.

Negotiations between the two entities began in February, and the university also is negotiating with the union representing its classified employees.

“I want to ensure students and the community, as well as the faculty and all employees, that we are committed to negotiating a contract that is fair for all parties and is within the financial means of the university,” Anderson said in YSU’s statement. “We look forward to resuming negotiations with our faculty, reaching a settlement and moving forward in serving our students and community.”

 

 

Tentative Agreement Reached on Contract:
A Message from Jeff Karem, CSU-AAUP President

Dear Members:
 
I am writing with excellent news.  The CSU-AAUP and University Administration reached tentative agreement last month on a three-year contract, following a process of Interest Based Bargaining (as opposed to traditional, adversarial negotiation).  The dedicated and hard work of the team means that we can have a contract available for ratification well in advance of the vote on SB 5, which is a great accomplishment.
 
Details of the agreement will be released in the next few weeks, as soon as the language is compiled. In terms of the road to ratification, the tentative agreement will go the Executive Committee and Bargaining Council for consideration on Friday, August 26.  There will be a membership meeting and ratification vote during the first or second week of class (stay tuned for more details).  The CSU Board of Trustees has a meeting set for September 22, and their vote would be the final step in the process.
 
Please watch your e-mail for more details about the contract and for information about the membership meeting and the ratification vote.  In the meantime, we should extend our thanks to the Negotiating Team, which devoted much of their summer and countless hours bargaining under the most exigent circumstances (SB 5, budget cuts), and succeeded in garnering a strong and secure contract that can protect our faculty and campus community.
 
I hope your summer is wrapping up well, and I look forward to discussing the new contract with you soon.
 
Best wishes,
 
Jeff Karem
President, CSU-AAUP

 

 

This notice is just a reminder about tomorrow's (Tuesday, MARCH 1st) anti-SB 5 rally in Columbus. The rally begins at 10:00am (there is no end time).  I urge you to attend this rally against SB 5 on behalf of public unions and the right to collective bargaining.  SEIU has chartered a bus to Columbus and extended an invitation to CSU-AAUP members to join them.  Their bus will leave at 8:00 a.m. from the Cleveland SEIU office (1771 East 30th street, between Chester and Payne).  Please plan to arrive between 7:30 - 7:45 a.m.  If you plan on driving down to Columbus, I encourage you to meet up with AAUP members from other universities at the Ohio AAUP Conference office, which is located at 137 East State Street, (zip code 43215), only a block from the state house. AAUP members are welcome to stop by the office, which will be open at 8:30am and available until 4:30pm. They will have light refreshments in the morning prior to the rally.

To all of you who have written and rallied, thank you for your support.  To those of you who have not, please take time to speak up to protect your rights, your workplace, and your profession.  Our voices are making a difference, and if we keep it up, we may be able to beat back SB 5.

 
Best wishes,

Jeff Karem
President, CSU-AAUP

Dear Colleagues,

Your help is needed in a crucial push against Senate Bill 5, the bill in Columbus that threatens to take away all of our collective bargaining rights as university faculty.  In the wake of Tuesday's rally, a number of Republicans are now wavering in their support for SB 5.  Most recently, Senator Tim Grendell, from Chester township, expressed his concerns about SB 5 in today's Plain Dealer.  According to Ohio AAUP sources, Senator Tom Patton, from Strongsville, is considering opposing the billl as well.  We need to make sure that these local senators hear our voices on behalf of faculty and other area public unions, to secure their opposition to SB 5.  If either Grendell or Patton is your senator, it is essential that you write or call them as soon as possible: take advantage of the snow day today.  Even they are not your senators, write to them on behalf of the greater Northeast Ohio community.  Cleveland State is a crucial economic engine for the region's development.  CSU has a peak enrollment and smooth, collaborative relations between faculty and administration, and SB 5 threatens to stall that engine of local growth.  Their contact information is listed below. 

Senator Tom Patton
Senate Building
1 Capitol Square, 1st Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 466-8056
Email: SD24@senate.state.oh.us

Senator Tim Grendell
Senate Building
1 Capitol Square, Ground Floor
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 644-7718
Email: SD18@senate.state.oh.us

 

Time is of the essence because SB 5 is expected to leave committee for a floor vote on Tuesday, March 1.  Consequently, the Ohio Conference of the AAUP, along with the other public unions, is planning for another rally in Columbus to keep the pressure on the Senate and statehouse.  I urge you to attend this rally against SB 5 on behalf of public unions and the right to collective bargaining.  SEIU has chartered a bus to Columbus and extended an invitation to CSU-AAUP members to join them.  Their bus will leave at 8:00 a.m. from the Cleveland SEIU office (1771 East 30th street, between Chester and Payne).  Please plan to arrive between 7:30 - 7:45 a.m.  If you plan on driving down to Columbus, I encourage you to meet up with AAUP members from other universities at the Ohio AAUP Conference office, which is located at 137 East State Street, (zip code 43215), only a block from the state house.  If you plan to attend the rally, please let me know so that I can give a head count to the Ohio AAUP.  If you would like to take the bus, please let me know so that I can reserve a spot for you.

To all of you who have written and rallied, thank you for your support.  To those of you who have not, please take time to speak up to protect your rights, your workplace, and your profession.  Our voices are making a difference, and if we keep it up, we may be able to beat back SB 5.

Best wishes,

Jeff Karem
President, CSU-AAUP

COLUMBUS RALLY AGAINST SB5

SB 5 Rally

An Important Message from Our President on Our University's Discussion of Budget Cuts

Dear Members:            
Greetings.  I hope that the new year and new semester have begun smoothly for you.  As you no doubt know from meetings and conversations around campus, the upcoming fiscal year is likely to be a rough one.  Because of the expiration of federal stimulus funding and an expected reduction in state subsidy, CSU is bracing for a substantial shortfall in the next budget. 

In preparation for that eventuality, the CSU Administration has developed a plan for budget targets (which will come primarily from cuts) across the university.  To its credit, the administration has stated that the greatest proportion of cuts will come from the non-academic side of the budget. 

The CSU-AAUP respects this decision, particularly as the administrative side of the university has witnessed intensive growth at CSU, while the number of tenure track faculty has declined by 9%  in recent years.  Protecting the academic sector of the university makes good sense both in terms of finances and core mission, for the academic wing engages in the central work of the university (research, teaching, serving the community), while simultaneously providing the primary source of  revenue as well.  We hope that the Administration will provide a clear delineation of those planned targets from their sector, so as to make manifest the Administration’s commitment to bear its share of the cuts. 

So what does the cutting/target process mean for members, and what is the CSU-AAUP’s stance on the cuts? 
Those of you who have attended recent college or departmental meetings know that the administration has asked individual units to generate their own plans for satisfying budget targets. It is difficult to make a definitive statement on the means for meeting budget targets because the planning is a work-in-process right now, but the CSU-AAUP would like to affirm some core principles as we move ahead:
   ·    It is commendable that Administration is respecting principles of local governance during this process, but the CSU-AAUP would like to remind members that colleges cannot unilaterally abrogate the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiated in good faith between the faculty and the administration of the university.
   ·    Any proposed changes to our workplace that are governed by the Collective Bargaining Agreement—such as summer salary, workload, and professional development funds—must be reached at the negotiating table.  We are currently commencing the collaborative process of interest-based bargaining with the administration for a three-year contract, and that provides the proper venue for such discussion.
    ·   According to our Collective Bargaining Agreement, there can be no layoffs of tenure-track faculty without an official declaration of financial exigency or academic reorganization by the University.  If either declaration were made, Article 17 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement provides for an intensive process of consultation between the CSU-AAUP and the Administration, including a panel charged with the task of finding a way to make the budget solvent without reducing tenure-track faculty.
   ·   The Provost has told the CSU-AAUP that an invocation of financial exigency is “highly unlikely” and has indicated that it is his hope that any reorganization within units could bring greater efficiency and savings without eliminating tenure-track faculty positions.  If a unit reorganization would reduce faculty, however, the Administration is required to work with the CSU-AAUP under Article 17, and that section provides numerous protections that we could invoke on members’ behalf.  

The CSU-AAUP believes that given recent trends at CSU—most notably, increased enrollment, coupled with decreased hiring—a reduction in the number of tenure track faculty would be indefensible.  The good news is that the Provost shares this view as well; he has affirmed to the CSU-AAUP both his desire to protect tenure track faculty positions and his commitment to follow the procedures of Article 17.

It is vital that members participate actively in the ongoing discussions within departments and colleges of budget target plans, not only for the sake of protecting faculty rights, but also to provide proactive input to help balance the budget without sacrificing core academic commitments to our students and the community.  If you feel that a plan is being proposed in your unit that compromises the Collective Bargaining Agreement or other core principles of our workplace, please speak out and contact the CSU-AAUP for assistance.  There are almost certainly painful cuts ahead, but if we work together and maintain a fruitful dialogue with the administration, we can help ensure the least harmful outcome from the process ahead.

Sincerely,
Jeff Karem
President CSU-AAUP