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2018-21 CBA Ratified by the UFE & Board of Trustees

June 14, 2018, The UFE membership and the Board of Trustees (BOT) ratified the 2018-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Under the UFE bylaws, agreements are ratified by a majority of those members voting. To see the voting results, click here.

Board of Trustees Meeting. UFE Chair Grace Huerta and Evergreen President George Bridges sign the ratified CBA as UFE Bargaining Team Chair, Jon Davies (left) and TESC Board of Trustees President Keith Kessler (right) look on. Provost Jen Drake (center) and Assoc. VP Walter Niemiec (background) were also participants in the bargaining process. Photo by Laurie Meeker.

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June 8, 2018. Greetings UFE Members.  We have a Tentative Agreement!  The digest (summary) outlining the major changes to the CBA, as well as the full CBA can be found at: http://www.ufevergreen.org/2018-ta-docs/

We sent out an email Thursday as a written notice of the ratification meeting. In accordance with our UFE bylaws, “A seventy-two (72) hour written notice of the ratification meeting is required. The notice shall specify the date, time, place and purpose of the meeting.”

NOTICE: UFE Ratification Meeting; 4:30-5:30 Monday June 11; Location COM 308.

Please note that the COM building doors close at 5pm during eval week. If you get locked out you can try to call Meeker’s cell (360-259-8139).

The purpose of the meeting is to present the Tentative Agreement to the membership for discussion and review in advance of the ratification vote. We realize this is a very difficult time to carve out time for this discussion. We concluded bargaining at noon today and both the UFE and TESC Administration are committed to getting this bargain wrapped up before the end of the quarter.

UFE voting for ratification will take place after the ratification meeting: Monday after 5:30, Tuesday June 12, Wednesday June 13 (stay tuned for further information about voting procedures). The Board of Trustees will consider and vote on ratification at their meeting on Thursday. If you have any questions, please contact UFE Bargaining Team Chair Jon Davies at jonsdavies@gmail.com

In Solidarity,

Grace Huerta, UFE Chair

Laurie M. Meeker, UFE Communications Coordinator

Bargaining Update – April 18, 2018

As many of you know, the UFE is back at the bargaining table. Last spring, the administration and the UFE bargained a one-year successor agreement. We had hoped for a multiyear contract. However, the events of Spring 2017 led the administration to only agree to a one-year contract. The 2017-18 CBA maintained existing language while adding a modest compensation gain based on state budget funding. In addition, a separate MOU was ratified to require faculty development on institutional racism and cultural competency. The MOU implementation began this academic year, 2017-18.

In the current bargain, the UFE is negotiating in the context of significant enrollment challenges and administration actions to both reduce the number of faculty and reorganize curriculum offerings. These serious issues make for one challenging bargain.

The UFE Bargaining Team includes returning members and new members: Jon Davies, Bargaining Team Chair; Gary McNeil, Lead Negotiator; Stephen Beck, Grace Huerta, Laurie Meeker, Miranda Mellis, and Julie Levin Russo. We are excited about Julie and Miranda joining the Bargaining Team.

For this bargain, the UFE remains committed to protecting and enhancing our faculty teaching and working conditions in the current CBA, addressing faculty leadership of a coordinated curriculum via Planning Unit Coordinators and Pathways (or paths of study), and ensuring faculty compensation directed by the state budget. Our overall theme is owning the work of the Evergreen academic mission so our students experience the best teaching and learning conditions possible.

Finally, we remind you that bargaining is a confidential process in which specific proposals remain at the bargaining table. This confidentiality allows both the administration and the UFE to discuss issues frankly and deliberately. Once the tentative agreement (a comprehensive CBA proposal) is negotiated, the UFE will present it to our membership and the administration will present it to the Board of Trustees for ratification votes. In addition, UFE will hold briefings with faculty (both UFE members and non-members) before the ratification vote. Only UFE members are eligible to vote on the tentative agreement.

If you have any questions, please contact UFE Bargaining Chair, Jon Davies.

The UFE Bargaining Team

Collective Bargaining Begins 2018!

Greetings! On Monday, Feb. 12, 2018 the UFE Bargaining Team (which includes Stephen Beck, Jon Davies [b-team chair], Gary McNeil [lead negotiator], Grace Huerta, Laurie Meeker, Miranda Mellis and Julie Russo) met with members of the TESC administration to begin collective bargaining and negotiate a successor contract. This contract follows the UFE and TESC ratification of the Fall 2017 tentative agreement which was overwhelmingly supported by our voting members in September.  You can read the full digest below where the complete elements of the TA and the new professional development MOU are described.

Key components of the 2017-2018 TA were shared with UFE members during our summer Union School and fall Stewards Council and Coordinating Committee meetings. On Sept. 18 and Sept. 20, we held UFE membership meetings to also discuss the TA.  In addition, our bargaining team chair, Jon Davies spoke before the Board of Trustees in September to highlight our ongoing commitment to support the working conditions of our faculty, which are, ultimately, the learning conditions of our students.

During the winter and spring quarters of 2018, we will negotiate a new contract. We are well aware of the challenges facing the college. The UFE looks forward to working with the administration while supporting positive working conditions for our faculty.  Please note that while the content of these bargaining sessions are held in confidence, we plan to hold a general membership meeting once we learn more. If you have any questions, please contact Bargaining Team Chair, Jon Davies or myself.

In solidarity,
Grace Huerta, UFE Chair

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CBA Digest & CBA–Tentative Agreement (2017-18) Between The Evergreen State College (TESC) and The United Faculty of Evergreen (UFE)–Sept. 14, 2017

TESC and UFE are signing a one-year collective bargaining agreement. Both TESC and UFE initially started bargaining in 2016 with the goal of a longer contract, but due to various campus and non-campus issues, the parties agree to a one-year agreement, allowing the parties to discuss and prepare various proposals for the next collective bargaining agreement. The parties agree to suspend several current CBA sections only for the 2017-2018 year; and agree to include a one-year adjustment to the salary grid, incorporate the MOU regarding professional development specific to institutional racism, equity and inclusiveness and keep all other provisions of the TESC/UFE 2015-2017 CBA intact for this one-year contract (see: CBA15_17) .

The agreement is as follows:

  1. Salary Grid Increases: For the 2017-2018 academic year, experience years increases in Article 1.4 will be fully funded and the salary grids will increase 2% effective September 1, 2017.
  2. Professional Development: Institutional Racism, Equity and Inclusion. The Memorandum of Understanding between TESC and UFE to jointly prepare annual mandatory professional development on institutional racism, equity and inclusion is incorporated into this agreement. The TESC VP/VP for Equity and Inclusion will coordinate these professional development activities with the UFE. See: Mandatory Professional Development May 31, 2017: http://www.ufevergreen.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/MandatoryTraining_17.pdf
  3. Adjunct Transition UFE and TESC agree on the need for a transition policy of adjunct positions into regular positions. The parties will negotiate new contractual language on a transition policy during the 2017-2018 academic year in preparation for incorporation in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement. In the 2017-2018 academic year, CBA 10.2.3 remains in effect and position descriptions for the four transition positions previously agreed to will be created, based on 10.2.3 (i.e., teaching histories). Before the position descriptions are advertised, UFE-Management Committee will assess the descriptions to ensure that they meet the commitments in 10.2.3. These positions will be advertised no later than fall 2018.
  4. Revitalizing Curricular Work Structures. TESC and UFE agree to negotiate working conditions associated with curriculum planning structures, processes, and practices. These include subjects in the CBA such as the work of Planning Units and Planning Unit Coordinators as well as recommendations from the Standing Committee on the Curriculum and recommendations from TESC faculty DTFs, study groups, and UFE-TESC Joint Committees such as the 2013-14 Planning Unit Coordinators (PUC) DTF. The parties will negotiate new contractual language on these working conditions during the 2017-2018 academic year in preparation for incorporation in the upcoming collective bargaining agreement. No changes in the CBA or in current practices that affect working conditions will be made during 2017-18.
  5. Review Process for Retention Initiative for lower class sizes for first year The lower class size initiative is in effect for 2017-2018. TESC and UFE agree to assess the initiative’s impact on curriculum and on retention. By the end of Winter Quarter of 2018, the assessment will be complete. Extension of the initiative will occur only if the parties agree that the impacts have been sufficient to merit the continued dedication of college resources to class-size reductions. Assessing the impacts of class size reduction will include a comprehensive review of the program itself.
  6. Status Quo for remaining current CBA. Excepting the sections above, the current CBA remains in effect for this one-year Contract provisions specific to 2017 are extended to 2018. The salary grid for Summer 2018 will increase by 2%.
  7. Duration: This contract begins on September 1, 2017 and ends August 31, The agreement shall take effect following ratification by UFE members and upon ratification by the TESC Board of Trustees. The CBA will be enacted retro-actively to September 1, 2017.

UFE Bargaining Team: Jon Davies (B-Team chair), Stephen Beck, Grace Huerta (UFE chair), Laurie Meeker, Gary McNeil (WEA Higher Education Organizer)

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August 30, 2017. Greetings UFE Members. May you have experienced a rejuvenating summer.  We certainly face challenges at the College. Through it all, the UFE has sought to provide leadership when working with the administration in response to student concerns during the recent protests and actions. The UFE Bargaining Team, Coordinating Committee and Stewards Council collaborated to provide support to faculty and students. This support comes in many forms, ranging from being available to the students beyond the classroom, leading summer institutes and a Union School, meeting with TESC faculty, members of the administration and our state-wide union affiliates, communicating with legal counsel, responding to the press, and holding gatherings for faculty discussion and respite.

That said, we recognize that our members have a full range of different perspectives related to recent Evergreen events and controversies. It must be noted that our union must be respectful of our duty of fair representation. As a union, we are both responsible and obligated to represent all faculty members of the bargaining unit (which includes 73% of UFE continuing faculty members). We are committed to honoring this responsibility.

The UFE has also sought to respond to student interests. One of the most important responses is the May 26, 2017 joint Memorandum of Understanding agreement between the College and the UFE. This MOU was supported unanimously by the Stewards Council. The key tenet of this MOU reads: “…we recognize that Evergreen faculty members must have access to, and take advantage of, professional development opportunities to address subjects including but not limited to institutional racism, and the needs of students of color, LGBTQIA students, undocumented students, victims of sexual assault, and students with disabilities.” Therefore, the implementation of this mandatory annual professional development initiative will represent OUR collective opportunity to work with the administration to provide a framework for faculty development in the spirit of serving all of our students better.

To begin the MOU implementation planning process, the UFE organized a Summer Union School III that was held on Friday, Aug. 25 at the Organic Farm. During the first half of the meeting we seminared on a common read, Ibram Kendi’s National Book Award Winner, Stamped From the Beginning—The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. Our discussion of this text helped conceptualize institutional racism, segregation, assimilation, and anti-racism. This was an important first step as we consider the implementation of the MOU. We look forward to working together to better serve our students and campus-wide learning community. We welcomed the participation of our Provost Jennifer Drake;  VP for Diversity and Equity, Chassity Holliman; Dean, Therese Saliba and CCBLA Director, Ellen Shorrt-Sanchez.

Our afternoon session for union members included an update of our collective bargaining discussions taking place this summer. As the legislature revealed its budget on June 30, both management and UFE teams strive to reach an agreement by the expiration date, August 31, 2017. If not, the current contract will remain in place (status quo). Please check this website for more info.

Thank you everyone for your dedicated work as we move into the fall quarter. I know you are deeply concerned for our students. At the end of the day, their faces are the ones I rest my mind on, the ones I think about late at night, and whose smiles, growth and inquiry give me great hope. That is what I hold on to the most and I suspect we share that feeling.

In solidarity, Grace Huerta, UFE Chair

PS–On a lighter note, the UFE Bowling shirts are in! if you have ordered and paid for a shirt, let me know & I will drop it off to you:)

In behalf of the Coordinating Committee: Jon Davies, Vice Chair; Bargaining Team Chair; Laurie Meeker, Communications Coordinator; Marla Elliott, Treasurer; John Baldridge, Stewards Coordinator; Stephen Beck, At-Large Representative; Al Josephy, At-Large Representative

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June 7, 2017. Greetings everyone. Given the closing of campus on Thursday, June 2, the UFE membership meeting was cancelled. We will be sending out a Spring/Summer Update to our members shortly. This update will discuss our Memorandum of Understanding, which was unanimously ratified by the Stewards Council last week.  We see the MOU as a proactive means and opportunity for all faculty to examine how we can best support our students and one another specific to equity and inclusion through ongoing professional development. Stay tuned.

Collective bargaining and labor/management meetings continue this week. The College and the UFE dialogue about topics related to working conditions, curriculum coherence and student retention efforts (to name a few), as well as current CBA implementation issues. While the collective bargaining process does require agreed-upon confidences, we will provide you with an update by week 10 of the quarter.

Kabby Mitchell ¡Presente! This Spring, we lost our dear colleague and friend, Kabby Mitchell III. In honor of our union brother and his service to his family, community, friends, students, and the arts, the UFE Coordinating Committee (CC) and Stewards Council (SC) have voted to contribute $400 from the UFE Memorial Fund to the Tacoma Urban Performing Arts Center. This is a great way to honor his legacy through the support of social justice, youth and dance! Additional contributions can be made at: https://tacomaupac.org/. A memorial service will be held July 9th at 2 p.m. at the Paramount Theater in Seattle.  At Evergreen, we are planning events to remember Kabby at both Olympia and Tacoma campuses. Dates for the memorial will be shared soon.

Serve Your Union as a Steward! As we near the end of the quarter (can you believe it?), we must consider next year’s governance assignments. Please fulfill your governance responsibilities by serving as a member of the Stewards Council. This does count as TESC governance. The SC meets throughout each quarter to discuss issues specific to the CBA and contract implementation. Stewards communicate with our members, as well as perform an advisory role for the union. Stewards vote on actions and make recommendations to the membership. Please email me at: gracehue@gmail.com if you are interested in serving your union and you have not already done so.

The UFE also welcomes your participation in the Agenda Committee. Stand as chair-elect or as a member. It is imperative that we have UFE representation who are well versed in the CBA, contract implementation and the issues impacting our working conditions. UFE representatives also maintain communication with the CC. If you are interested in serving on the AC, please email UFE member, Sandy Yannone at: slyoly@gmail.com.

In other news, last March UFE members took part in labor actions to support the St. Martin’s Faculty Union. As you may be aware, the St. Martin’s administration has refused to recognize their union and come to the bargaining table to negotiate with contingent and continuing faculty. Ongoing actions will continue and we will keep you posted about ways we can be of help.

As you may recall from a previous email, we recently undertook a review of our UFE Solidarity Scholarship fund. We learned we only have a few members contributing via payroll deduction (out of over 142 members or 73% of continuing faculty, or, 62% of all faculty—total number of faculty, Fall 2016: 229). Nevertheless, since 2010 UFE members have contributed over $48,000 (including one-time donations) to nearly 50 students through the UFE scholarship fund and the Evergreen Foundation. Thank you to our wonderful contributors!

However, we certainly can do better. In recognition of the ongoing financial burden of tuition, together the UFE and the College—in a joint agreement–invited all faculty to dedicate a portion of their salary (through payroll deduction or a one-time contribution) to support juniors and seniors who might otherwise be unable to complete their college education. With more contributions for the 2017-18 academic year, we plan to increase our scholarships awards to $1000 each. The number of scholarships we award will depend upon the contributions we receive. Updates regarding the number and amounts of awards we grant will be completed once the current cycle of scholarship distribution is completed.

In addition, the Stewards Council voted last month to support a revision of our language on the TESC scholarship web page. The language includes the following criteria (see http://www.evergreen.edu/scholarships):

One or More Required:

  • High level of loan indebtedness
  • African American
  • Dreamers (undocumented immigrant or U.S. resident whose 1st language is not English.)
  • First-Generation
  • Latinx
  • LGBTQ
  • Native American
  • Parents

You can download a payroll form by clicking here: UFE Scholarship Deduction Form.  You can also contribute to our scholarship with a one-time donation at: https://commerce.cashnet.com/givetoevergreen?itemcode=ALUMNI-SCHOL

Finally, candidates for the Vice President/Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion met with the UFE Coordinating Committee in May. Candidate info (letters, statements, CVs) can be found at: https://sites.evergreen.edu/vpequityinclusion2017/welcome/. Please provide your feedback to the search committee if you have not already done so.

That’s the latest for now. If you are interested in discussing any of these topics (or others on your mind), please feel free to contact me.

Onward we go!

Grace Huerta, UFE Chair

In Behalf of the Coordinating Committee: Jon Davies, UFE Vice-Chair, Bargaining Team Chair; Laurie Meeker, Communications; Marla Elliot, Treasurer; John Baldridge, Stewards Coordinator; Stephen Beck, Representative At-Large; Al Josephy, Representative At-Large.

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Bargaining Survey Update, Apr. 17, 2017. During the winter, UFE Stewards circulated a survey to the Planning Units asking faculty to submit their bargaining priorities. Your feedback is important as the UFE Bargaining Team and TESC administration currently engage in contract negotiations.

If you didn’t receive a copy of the survey and would like to participate, you can still submit your comments (click on the link below) and return it to John Baldridge, UFE Steward’s coordinator at his campus mailbox Sem2 B2124. We look forward to hearing your bargaining priorities as we proceed with negotiations this quarter. Print your copy here:  Bargaining Survey.

In solidarity! Take a listen to Billy Bragg’s tune “There’s Power in a Union!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhPhyu_DXiY

UFE Bargaining Team –  Jon Davies (Bargaining Chair), Grace Huerta (UFE Chair), John Baldridge (Stewards Coordinator), Laurie Meeker (Communications) and Stephen Beck (Member At-Large),