Updated April 22, 2014. A stewards and coordinating committee meeting will be held on Friday, April 25 from 4-5 p.m. in COM 207. If you are currently serving in these roles, we hope that you can attend.
Bargaining continued this month with an emphasis on enrollment changes and possible strategies to address them. As a result of these changes, President Les Purce conducted an all-campus meeting on Wed., April 16 to field questions and exchange ideas. In addition, Dr. Purce recently announced his retirement, so this was an opportunity to offer our support of his service to the college.
Other news: the UFE will soon be holding elections for new officers next month. We invite you to serve your union. Please feel free to send names of nominees for such leadership positions and stewards to Laurie Meeker: email@example.com.
Throughout the fall and winter quarters, over 135 faculty conversations were conducted and guild cards were collected by our UFE members. During the campaign, 70% of the TESC faculty provided feedback.
Issues emanating from this data informed our bargaining forum 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 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).
Collective bargaining began on March 3, 2014. 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!
Grace Huerta, UFE Communications.
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.”