Updated August 13, 2014. Greetings UFE members. We hope you are having a great summer. On SEPTEMBER 3-4, 2014 from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., the UFE will host a two-day “Union Summer School” where we will meet and work with Gary O’Neil, Higher Ed Organizer (UFWS/WEA) and Sarah Laslett from the WA State Labor Education and Research Center. We will discuss bargaining initiatives currently in play, explore organizing strategies, examine contract issues, conduct role-plays and even sing a few songs! We will also meet with Bill Lyne, UFWS President who will address faculty union issues in Washington, ranging from those impacting our sister UFWS unions to the legislative process and challenges we face.
Our summer school will take place at the WSLC Bldg in Olympia (906 Columbia St. SW). There will be a potluck lunch, so bring a yummy dish to share. Attached here is a tentative agenda. Please email your RSVP to Grace or Anne. We sure hope you can attend all or part of the UFE Summer School!
Thanks so much.
Grace Huerta, UFE Chair & Anne Fischel, UFE Union School/Steward
Updated June 12-July 8, 2014. The TESC Board of Trustees and the UFE ratified the 2014-15 Tentative Agreement on June 12. We look forward to working positively with the College next fall as we follow through on the adjunct/part-time (APT) faculty and curriculum cohort model (CCM) study groups, particularly as they relate to faculty working conditions, student recruitment and retention, and shared governance.
Also, the UFE election has been completed. Garnering over 90% of the membership vote, the 2014-16 Coordinating Committee (as of July 1) consists of: Grace Huerta, Chair; Jon Davies, Vice-Chair; Liza Rognas, Treasurer; Laurie Meeker, Communications; Elizabeth Williamson, Stewards Coordinator; and At-Large Representatives: Stephen Beck and Al Josephy.
Also elected were UFE Stewards Council members: John Baldridge, Stephen Beck, Savvina Chowdhury, Jon Davies, Marla Elliott, Judith Gabriele, Anne Fischel, Grace Huerta, Al Josephy, Cynthia Kennedy, Paul McMillin, Laurie Meeker, Carolyn Prouty, Liza Rognas, Martha Rosemeyer, Arlene Sandifer, Rebecca Sunderman, Michael Vavrus, Richard Weiss, Elizabeth Williamson, Greg Mullins, David Wolach, Anthony Zaragoza, Peter Bohmer, Peter Bacho.
On July 8, UFE members met with the United Faculty of WA State Coordinating Council in Seattle. The council, comprised of faculty union leadership from Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University and Western Washington University discussed federal, state and local trends regarding state higher education funding, collaboration with administration, and most importantly, student support strategies.
On July 9-10 and July 16-17, the Latina/o Student Retention and Outreach Faculty Institutes launched. The focus of this initiative, first introduced by the UFE during our Spring 2014 bargaining sessions, seeks to develop a strategic plan to support and retain Latina/o students at Evergreen. Topics include: the historical context of TESC Latina/o retention and outreach efforts, understanding Latina/o students; identifying best practices among Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) of higher education; designing culturally relevant teaching strategies and critical pedagogy, and developing collaborations with TESC student support services, K-12 schools, and our local communities.
Lastly, the UFE Union School II is in the works, with a planning team led by Elizabeth Williamson, Anne Fischel and Carolyn Prouty. Save the dates–September 3-4. Stay tuned for specific times and agenda.
THANK YOU everyone for your service to our union. This is not easy work, but your efforts to support one another and our students is certainly valued.
Updated June 10, 2014. Hi colleagues. It’s not too late to vote! Voting continues TODAY, Tuesday, June 10 from 10-1 in the CAB Lobby (across from the info desk). Just stop by, as we will have ballots there. This voting period proceeds the Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, June 12 where the Trustees consider the ratification vote.
Grace Huerta, UFE Communications
Updated June 4, 2014. The UFE Coordinating Committee and Stewards Council reviewed and discussed the 2014-15 Tentative Agreement on June 4. Both groups voted unanimously to ratify the one-year Agreement. The Agreement will now be discussed at our UFE Membership Meeting on Friday, June 6 from 5-7 p.m. in Sem II-B1107. Voting by the membership begins directly after the meeting and continues in the CAB Lobby (across from the Info Desk) on Saturday, June 7 from 12-2; Monday, June 9 from 4-6; and Tuesday, June 9 from 10-1. An overview of the Tentative Agreement (i.e. digest: 2014 CBA Digest_FIN ), as well as the entire Agreement are available for your review here: CBA14-15.
PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND YOUR MEMBERSHIP MEETING AND VOTE!
BREAKING NEWS: Tentative Agreement Reached on CBA 2014-15. June 2-3. The UFE Bargaining Team has reached a tentative agreement on a one-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. The agreement goes into effect upon ratification by the UFE membership and the Board of Trustees. It will remain in effect until Aug. 31, 2015. The Bargaining Team has created a Digest (Summary and Highlights) for your review. See the following link: 2014 CBA Digest_FIN . The full text of the new CBA can be found here: CBA14-15.
During the bargain, members of the administration presented information to the UFE team regarding significantly lower student enrollments, resulting in lower revenues. As a result, the parties agreed to approach the bargain in a more modest fashion.
A highlight of the contract is a new Summer Institute model to be funded with $50,000 providing up to four days of paid Summer Institute work for each faculty member. These institutes provide faculty with institutional support to strengthen the curriculum and collegial connections and to address student recruitment and retention.
In addition, there were two important areas of mutual interest that required further discussion and future negotiations, scheduled for next winter. To that end, both parties agreed to create two important joint UFE-administrative committees. The first is to explore a Curricular Cohort Model (CCM): the committee will study the CCM proposed by TESC at the bargaining table and includes opportunities for widespread consideration among the faculty at large. The CCM proposes to provide faculty an alternative for what are now individual responsibilities for team teaching and teaching students at all levels. The CCM provides faculty with the opportunity to organize into groups that would cover introductory, intermediate, and advanced curriculum.
The second joint committee will address adjunct and part-time regular faculty issues, including but not limited to, long-term adjunct faculty transition, review, portfolio, and compensation. The committee will make recommendations by mid-winter quarter to the respective bargaining teams to consider in either a MOU or upcoming bargain.
The ratification process is also spelled out in our UFE bylaws. The Bargaining Team recommends ratification to the Coordinating Committee and Stewards Council who are scheduled to meet on Wednesday June 4 from 4-5pm in COM 308. Then, the Tentative Agreement is discussed at a Membership Meeting, scheduled for Friday June 6 from 5-7pm in SemII B1107. Voting begins directly after the meeting and will continue Saturday through Tuesday. Check the website for polling places which will be posted soon. Ratification of the TA will occur if there is an affirmative vote by a majority of UFE members voting within the voting deadline. The new CBA will go into effect when the UFE membership and TESC Board of Trustees have ratified and signed the document.
Special thanks goes to all the members of the UFE Bargaining Team for their hard work and perseverance in difficult times, and very special thanks goes to Gary McNeil for his leadership and judgment. The UFE Bargaining Team includes: Jon Davies, John Baldridge, Al Josephy, Grace Huerta, Laurie Meeker, Stephen Beck and Gary McNeil.
We will be bargaining again next year and look forward to your continued support.
Jon Davies, UFE Bargaining Team Chair
Bargaining Update: May 28-Sunday, June 1, 2014. Bargaining continued late Sunday night, June 1, as your team presented counter offers to the administration. Given the enrollment and budgetary concerns of the college, we have offered numerous problem-solving strategies to confront these issues, as well as suggested ideas for strategic investments specific to faculty development. The team also continued to address such topics as: summer institutes, adjunct job security and medical leave, the senior faculty salary grid, as well as planning unit and curriculum concerns, to name a few. Bargaining continues on Monday, June 2. A membership meeting and ratification are forthcoming, we hope, very soon. So stay tuned.
On another note, please make sure to vote! Ballots were mailed to UFE members last week. According to UFE By-laws, they need to be postmarked by June 2.
Thanks so much everyone for your engagement with many complex issues impacting our campus, our students, and staff this quarter and year. Onward we go!
Membership Mtg Update: May 18, 2014. Thank you all for attending our membership meeting on May 16. There is never a dull moment! We provided a bargaining update and highlighted the struggles when addressing the priorities you–the faculty–identified in our guild card campaign.
By this, we refer to the priorities you reported to us: adjunct equity/multi-year contracts (i.e. transitional policy, historical workloads, transparency of the hiring process); faculty development (i.e. institutes, planning unit support, sabbaticals, conference travel); compensation and workload concerns (curriculum support, teaching partners and governance responsibilities); as well as the need for a transparent, dual career accommodation policy. Many of these issues we have researched extensively, and yet, we have not had the opportunity to discuss them at the table. Why? We have sought to be responsive to the College’s enrollment concerns.
During this membership meeting, UFE president Laurie Meeker and VP Jon Davies provided a detailed analysis of the issues at hand. They noted the UFE’s approach to problem solving when addressing enrollment issues while at the same time, striving to address faculty priorities. This is illustrated by our Latina/o Outreach and Retention proposal (see: UFE-Latin@-Initiative-2). In this initiative, the UFE proposes that the College support a Latina/o student outreach and retention initiative by generating a long-term strategic plan and infrastructure that includes the faculty as a major partner in this effort. Such efforts also reflect the data collected during our guild card campaign where faculty prioritized such interests as: adjunct job security, ongoing professional development for faculty (i.e. institutes), and curriculum planning support (i.e. planning unit coordinators). It is through this initiative, among others, that we hope to address some of these targets.
Other issues addressed at the meeting included gathering members’ responses to administrative proposals, organizing our upcoming election proceedings, and Union Summer School II planning (tentative dates include a two-day session on Sept. 2-3). Members will receive more information about all of these issues, particularly the bargaining session, very soon.
At present, we are in need of candidates for stewards, as well as organizers for the Summer Union School. Please email Elizabeth Williamson (for stewards) or Anne Fischel (Union School organizers) if you are willing to serve or have a recommendation or questions. Thank you for your support.
Grace Huerta, UFE Communications.
Updated May 5, 2014. SAVE THE DATE for our UFE Membership Meeting on Fri. May 16, from 5-7 p.m. in Sem II C1107. Agenda items will include: a bargaining update, a discussion of the election process, and planning for our upcoming UFE summer school. Light refreshments will be provided. Please join us!
Bargaining continues this month with an emphasis on enrollment changes and possible strategies to address them. This urgency has impacted our negotiations and collaborations with administration. (For example, see the recommendations by Dr. Theresa Aragon’s 2010 report regarding Latina/o student recruitment and retention issues: Hispanic_Latina_o Student TESC Report_Aragon). Nevertheless, we are especially mindful of the faculty data and feedback UFE stewards collected during our fall “Guild Card” campaign. This data helped inform our bargaining priorities (which were shared at our Jan. 31 membership meeting and during the April 9 faculty meeting). These priorities include: the need for adjunct equity; multiyear contracts; faculty development (i.e. sabbaticals, conference travel); dual career accommodations, and compensation and workload (curriculum support, teaching partners and governance responsibilities).
Other news: the UFE will soon be holding elections for new officers in June. We invite you to SERVE YOUR UNION. Please feel free to send names of nominees for such leadership positions and stewards to Laurie Meeker: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall–Winter quarter update. In preparation for collective bargaining (which began on March 3, 2014) over 135 faculty conversations were conducted and guild cards were collected by our UFE stewards. During the fall and winter campaign, 70% of the TESC faculty provided feedback. Issues emanating from this data informed our bargaining preparations These topics included: adjunct equity, faculty professional development, compensation, workload, meeting professional responsibilities (i.e. teaching partners and core) and dual career accommodation policies.
During our January 31, 2014 forum, UFE chair Laurie Meeker also announced the members of the 2014 Collective bargaining team. “Team Green” includes: John Baldridge (Half-Time, Regular Faculty Member); Stephen Beck (Adjunct Faculty Member); Jon Davies (Full-Time, Regular Faculty Member; Grad Programs; Bargaining Team Chair); Grace Huerta (Full-Time, Regular Faculty Member); Al Josephy (Adjunct Faculty Member); Gary McNeil (WA Educators Association, Lead Negotiator, Higher Education) and; Laurie Meeker (Full-Time Regular Faculty Member; UFE Chair).
Stay tuned to your stewards for updates as the team engages in this important work in behalf of the faculty.
Grace Huerta, UFE Communications.
ALL Faculty/UFE Collective Bargaining Forum_Jan. 31 From 5-7 p.m. in Sem 2-C1107!
Updated Jan. 16, 2014. The UFE will be hosting an all-faculty collective bargaining forum on Friday, January 31 from 5-7 in Sem 2 C1107. The purpose of this forum is introduce the 2014 Bargaining Team and to discuss the bargaining process. This forum will serve as a kick-off to the bargaining of our next contract. We invite your feedback, questions and ideas regarding our working conditions at Evergreen. Stay tuned for more information about our forum.
“Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.”
― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
eForum on the Working Conditions of Contingent Faculty in Higher Education
Updated Dec. 18, 2013. The Honorable George Miller (CA-D), Senior Democrat, Committee on Education and the Workforce, is collecting the stories of contingent faculty (and former contingent faculty) in higher education. The committee wants to hear your stories and invites your participation in an eForum.
The eForum, described briefly below, can be found at: http://democrats.edworkforce.house.gov/eforum
The deadline to submit your story is this Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. Selected stories, or excerpts, will be published online. Names will not be published without your permission. Here is a general description of the eForum:
Even while college tuition has soared, reports point to the growing use of low-paid contingent faculty and instructors in higher education. The House Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats are interested in learning more about the working conditions of the over one million contingent faculty and instructors at U.S. institutions of higher education, including part-time adjunct professors and graduate teaching assistants, and how those working conditions may impact students’ education. We are seeking comments from contingent faculty and instructors and their representatives on some or all of the following questions:
• For how long have you worked as a contingent faculty or instructor?
• How would you describe the working conditions of contingent faculty and instructors at your college or university, including matters like compensation, benefits, opportunities for growth and advancement, job stability, and administrative and professional support?
• How do those conditions help or hinder your ability to earn a living and have a stable and successful career in higher education? What impact, if any, do those working conditions have on students or higher education generally?
• How do those working conditions help or hinder your ability to do your job, or how do they otherwise affect students in achieving their educational goals?
Check it out!
Nelson Mandela: A Union Man.
Updated Dec. 6, 2013. By John Nichols, The Nation
Nelson Mandela was a union man.
Long aligned with the Congress of South African Trade Unionists, Mandela framed his presidency with a declaration that: “The kind of democracy that we all seek to build demands that we deepen and broaden the rights of all citizens. This includes a culture of workers’ rights.”
In South Africa, as a young campaigner for racial justice, Mandela was profoundly influenced by the 1946 African Mine Workers Union strike. He learned organizing skills from AMWU activists and would become a champion of the miners, telling workers, “It is your sweat and blood that has created the vast wealth that white South Africa enjoys.”
Mandela, the African National Congress leader, Nobel Prize winner and first president of the new South Africa, who died Thursday at age 95, recognized the organization of workers as a part of the freedom struggle and of the formation of a just society.
Unlike so many leaders who rise of power with the support of organized labor but then distance themselves from the movement, Mandela never broke the bond. He proudly served to the end of his days as the honorary president of South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers. He declared himself to be “fully committed to the protection of the integrity of the collective bargaining system.” And he spoke movingly about how the “international solidarity of workers of the world enables us to learn from each other, to support each other and strengthen our ties in the face of multinational strategies for profit maximization and exploitation.”
For generations to come, there will wide-ranging and appropriate discussion of Mandela’s remarkable contributions to our understanding of freedom, democracy, tolerance and basic human relations.
Yet, it is that understanding of international solidarity that comes to mind when people ask me about the years when I covered Mandela in South Africa and on his global travels. I saw it most powerfully during his remarkable twelve-day visit to the United States in 1990, which came just four months after his release from the Victor Verster Prison. Mandela addressed the Congress and the United Nations and visited with the president of the New York Stock Exchange. And he went to Detroit, where he was determined to thank members of United Auto Workers Local 600 for their early and militant opposition to apartheid.
The machines stopped at the Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge plant in Dearborn in June 1990. Workers held aloft unfurled “Local 600” banners to welcome the South African leader on what was dubbed his “Freedom Tour.” When Mandela finally appeared, he was greeted by United Auto Workers president Owen Bieber and vice president Ernie Lofton. Mandela recalled the struggle to organize the plant in the 1930s and told the assembled workers: “It is you who have made the United States of America a superpower, a leader of the world.”
Bieber produced a UAW lifetime membership card and Mandela held it aloft, displaying it to the cheering crowd of autoworkers. Then, wearing a UAW jacket and hat, a beaming Mandela stepped to the microphone and declared, “Sisters and brothers, friends and comrades, the man who is speaking is not a stranger here. The man who is speaking is a member of the UAW. I am your flesh and blood.”
Updated Nov. 21, 2013. The Pacific Northwest Labor History Association (PNLHA) has announced the dates for its annual 2014 conference. The conference will be held June 13-15, 2014 in Cumberland, BC in conjunction with the annual Miners’ Memorial celebration.
The association’s members include trade unionists, students, academics, and others who believe the labor movement must know where it has been and where it is going. Visit the PNLHA website for more information: http://pnlha.wordpress.com/
The PNLHA has also published it 2014 Labor History calendar and it looks awesome. Check out this link and order yours now!
Updated Nov. 1, 2013. UFE Membership Meeting! Thanks for Your Participation! Thanks everyone for attending our fall membership meeting. We are continuing our work that builds upon the campaign, “The Faculty Owns the Curriculum.” Topics of discussion included strategies to prepare for our next bargaining session, a budget analysis, a report concerning the recent fall labor/management meeting, and an overview of last summer’s successful Union School. Thanks for your participation!
Updated Oct. 30, 2013. Greetings UFE members. Our fall membership meeting will be on Friday, Nov. 1 in Sem 2A 1107 from 5-7 p.m.
Agenda items for our membership meeting include: a labor/mgmt report and discussion of current issues (i.e. faculty hiring issues, governance hours, faculty development & travel), the fall faculty outreach campaign (with emerging themes from our colleagues), a UFE budget review, and preparation for our next collective bargaining session (with a close reading of key contract language). Please join us for important dialogue and snacks! Bring your contract!
Updated Oct. 21, 2013–Joint UFE-TESC Statement
Meeting Responsibilities & Eligibility for Professional Development
The UFE and management teams would like to emphasize our continued commitment to the values carried forward from the Faculty Handbook into the first and second Collective
Bargaining Agreements related to team teaching and teaching students at varying points in their educational development. These values are central to the identity of the college, and they impact our ability to recruit and retain students. These values are expressed as responsibilities of some regular faculty members and affect how those faculty members collectively plan curriculum and form teaching teams.
Team Teaching Responsibilities
Regarding teaching partners, CBA 6.3.3 states: Regular faculty members (other than library faculty members, and faculty members teaching in graduate and reservation-based programs) must teach with at least five (5) different faculty members during every fifteen (15) quarters (excluding summer quarters). The calendar for team teaching responsibilities will coincide with the faculty member’s five year-review.
Teaching First Year Students
Regarding first-year seats, CBA 6.3.4 (a) states: Regular faculty members teaching in the full-time, daytime, undergraduate curriculum on the Olympia campus are expected to divide their teaching between beginning and more advanced students. In a given four (4)-year teaching cycle, faculty are expected to teach in at least the equivalent of one (1) year-long program designed primarily for first-year students, or two (2) year-long programs designed primarily for lower division students, or three (3) year-long programs designed as all-level. The calendar for teaching first-year students will follow four-year cycles, beginning in 2010/2011.
Meeting Professional Responsibilities: The Assessment Process
To provide information in a timely manner, in the summer the Academic Deans will check the patterns and combinations of plans for each faculty member. The deans will make an effort to meet with faculty at the beginning of fall quarter to share information and to check in with individuals whose four- or five-year plans do not appear to be fitting together in a way that fulfills professional responsibilities. The dean and faculty member will review the teaching history and already planned curriculum and, if necessary, document plans (typically for the next planning cycle—two years hence) that will fulfill the responsibilities.
Eligibility for Professional Development
During the assessment process, faculty will retain eligibility for professional development.
Article 15 of the CBA states that each faculty member must “meet or have a plan to meet” these responsibilities to be eligible for professional development opportunities. If an appropriate plan is not developed and submitted by December 15 of that academic year, faculty will not be eligible for faculty development opportunities for 12 months or until such a plan is submitted. Communications from the deans declaring faculty ineligible for development opportunities (sent in October 2012) will be withdrawn and replaced with new communications outlining this process.
A faculty member may request a waiver of the team teaching responsibility. The most recent agreement between the UFE and TESC specifies that rotation and team teaching requirements “may be waived for a particular faculty member by the curriculum deans and a committee of faculty only when the faculty member has been requested to meet an extraordinary demand in the College curriculum or to account for faculty leave” (CBA 6.3.3). The waiver request must be made in writing and a written response is due. The deans and faculty committee may waive or extend the time frame during which the faculty member may fulfill responsibilities. This written response can then be incorporated into the documentation of whether a faculty member has met or has a plan to meet their responsibilities.
Both parties believe that team teaching and teaching students at varying points in their educational development are core values and essential to recruiting and retaining students. Both parties will continue to explore ways to balance the academic goals of first-year seat responsibilities with efforts to serve diverse student populations.
Updated Oct. 3, 2013. The Central Washington University Board of Trustees Approves a New 4-year Contract
ELLENSBURG, Wash. — By Rafael Guerrero
The Central Washington University Board of Trustees approved a new four-year contract for faculty in September, 2013.The four-year agreement calls for a new faculty compensation and reward system as well as across-the-board salary increases in each year of the contract. According to CWU, salaries would increase 5 percent for this year, retroactive to Sept. 1; 4 percent for 2014 and 2015; and 3 percent for 2016.
The new contract also replaces the current merit system with a post-tenure review reward model, enhances department chair compensation and adds a development fund pool for senior lecturers, according to the university. In addition, parental leave of up to six weeks is available under the collective bargaining agreement. School officials and union representatives said the negotiations and ensuing contract are good for students.
“CWU students have access to research and scholarship that is distinctive in Washington and we believe that academic opportunity and rigor will only improve with this contract,” CWU President James L. Gaudino said in a prepared statement. “Students will know that Central is committed to recruiting, retaining, and rewarding faculty who bring a quality commitment to teaching and scholarship.”
Faculty union president Roxanne Easley said the deal offers better faculty working conditions, which will improve education for students. “Improving faculty salaries in a national market and reinforcing our commitment to faculty and student research collaboration are major faculty concerns,” she also said in a prepared statement, “and this contract makes progress on both of these fronts.”