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Update: UFE Membership Meeting Update, Fall 2019

Oct. 14, 2019. Greetings UFE Members. Welcome back! The UFE held a membership meeting on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the college recovery initiatives and the support of faculty with regular appointments who are still on term contracts (i.e. tenure-track faculty). Below are the major points addressed at the meeting.

The TESC/ UFE CBA

Guaranteeing Academic Work and Judgment as the Sole Criteria

In Deciding Tenure at Evergreen

There are some who are challenging the tenure process at Evergreen. (Ok, we use different language at Evergreen, regular term and continuing faculty for tenure track and tenured faculty, but the rest of the world needs to know that tenure is at stake at Evergreen.)

The CBA protects the integrity of academic work and judgement in determining term and continuing contracts. Tenure decisions are not made about money or budget cuts. Money is not a criteria.

Both UFE and TESC agreed to the following contractual language.

Article 5 Faculty Membership

5.2 Regular Faculty. If the faculty member meets the standards and criteria for conversion in Section 11.2, he or she will receive a three-year term contract. If the member meets the standards and criteria for reappointment described in Section 11.3, a second term contract leads to a continuing contract.

The CBA is clear: academic work and judgment lead to decisions about tenure. Nothing else.

Article 9 Regular Faculty Review

9.1 Criteria used for all regular faculty reviews are based on the faculty member’s responsibilities as defined in Article 6 of this Agreement and documented in the faculty member’s portfolio.

The CBA is clear: academic work documented in the portfolio and academic judgment based on Article 6 Professional Responsibilities lead to tenure. Nothing else.

Article 11 Regular Faculty Appointment, Reappointment and Conversion.

11.1 Criteria used for reappointment and conversion are based on the faculty member’s responsibilities as defined in Article 6 of this Agreement and documented in the faculty member portfolio.

The CBA is clear. Academic work documented in the portfolio and academic judgment based on Article 6 Professional Responsibilities are the only criteria in determining tenure. Nothing else.

If the TESC Administration wants to address faculty line reductions, there are CBA provisions in Article 16 Professional Leave and Article 23 Reduction in Force.  They can also propose another supplemental Early Retirement proposal. They cannot do a silent RIF by destroying the contractual processes for tenure enshrined in the CBA.

UFE will defend tenure. We will defend commitments made to term faculty. Without tenure, there is no College.

The UFE Bargaining Team

UFE Gains and Initiatives Since 2006. As we completed our 2019 contract re-opener, it was good to look back at our collective union efforts over time. Given the challenges facing Evergreen, we have sought to “pitch in” and continue to support the mission of the College, while addressing the working conditions of the faculty and the learning conditions of the students. Here are some of our gains and efforts during the past 13 years:

  • Ongoing protection of the CBA;
  • Protection of faculty with regular appointments who are currently on term contracts;
  • 3% wage increase for all faculty in 2020-21;
  • 3% wage increase for all faculty in 2019-20;
  • 2% wage increase for all faculty in 2017-19;
  • 3% wage increase for all faculty in 2016-17;
  • 3% wage increase for all faculty in 2015-16;
  • 5.5% wage increase for all faculty in 2013-14;
  • 12.5% wage increase for all faculty in 2008-10, plus additional pay increases for adjunct faculty;
  • Paths of Study & Curriculum Area Team (CAT) co-authors, planning & implementation w/TESC admin, 2018-2021; negotiated CAT leader paid release time;
  • Bargain and administer the 2018-21 CBA through contract negotiations and ongoing labor/management meetings;
  • Strong grievance procedure, including due process rights for all faculty members;
  • Revisions to the waiver policy regarding teaching partners and lower division teaching commitments;
  • Protection of sabbatical lines;
  • Protection of post-retirement contracts;
  • Restoration of summer institute funding beginning in 2015 through 2021;
  • Expansion of parental leave to include all parents, regardless of gender;
  • Expansion of medical leave for adjunct faculty;
  • Increased job security for adjuncts through the establishment of multi-year contracts;
  • Hiring process/eligibility for 10 long-term adjuncts to tenure-track, ½-time EWS faculty from 2016-2020;
  • Opportunity for further transition of long-term EWS adjunct faculty in 2017-18;
  • One-time conversion of 4 long-time adjunct faculty members to regular status in 2008;
  • Creation of The UFE Memorial Fund, in honor of our founding UFE faculty members, Jose Gomez and Zahid Shariff;
  • Expansion of the UFE Solidarity Scholarship Fund: $12,000-$8000 awards available beginning 2018-19. In 2019-20, the UFE awarded 12 scholarships @ $1000 per student  (including eligibility for DACA & undocumented students);
  • Ongoing support of community and education partnerships through the UFE Solidarity Fund;
  • Creation of a UFE Political Endorsement Protocol & Application, 2019. See: UFE Endorsement Application-Final.

CBA Re-opener Ratified

2019 CBA Reopener:  On May 22, 2019, the UFE membership and the TESC management (in behalf of the BOT) ratified the 2018-21 CBA Re-opener Agreement (TA). The vote count was 86Y/3N (89 total; 3 votes were submitted after the voting deadline & not included in this total). In sum, 89 voters represented a UFE ratification turnout of 74% with 97% of voters voting to ratify the re-opener TA. See details of the new contract items in the re-opener in the post below…

UFE & TESC Reach a TA on the CBA Limited Reopener!

DIGEST: LIMITED REOPENER SUMMARY AND HIGHLIGHTS

9 May 2019

The UFE Bargaining Team is pleased to announce that it has reached a tentative agreement in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding with The Evergreen State College on the limited reopener to the Collective Bargaining Agreement as specified in Article 30.1 (CBA, p. 68). This MOU will remain in effect for the final two years of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (2018-21). All other articles addressed in the CBA remain the same, including summer workshops and sabbaticals. Negotiations with the college continued during spring quarter and concluded on Wednesday May 8, 2019.

See TENTATIVE AGREEMENT REGARDING ALL REOPENER ISSUES – 5/8/19

RATIFICATION PROCESS: On Monday May 13, the UFE Stewards Council ratified the Tentative Agreement (TA). The Bargaining Team, Coordinating Committee, and Stewards Council recommended a YES vote on this tentative agreement to the UFE membership. A ratification meeting for the membership was held on Friday, May 17 in SEM2C-1107. This was an opportunity to hear the Bargaining Team discuss the sections outlined in the TA and answer questions. Voting in person by the membership began after the UFE meeting. Voting electronically began on Saturday, May 18 at 12 a.m. and continued through Tuesday, May 21 at 5 p.m. This was a yes or no vote on all of the measures in the TA. To see our vote turnout numbers (and other recent vote tallies), click on the “Voting Stats” link on the right side of this page (under the “Resource” side-bar).

The following post (below) summarizes the changes to the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as negotiated in the current TA.

Article 12: Compensation

  • The Faculty Salary Grid in effect as of August 31, 2019, will be increased by three percent (3.0%) effective September 1, 2019; and 
  • The Faculty Salary Grid in effect as of August 31, 2020, will be increased by three percent (3.0%) effective September 1, 2020.

Article 10: Adjunct Faculty Review and Reappointment

Section 10.2.3, which describes a process through which the College has transitioned certain adjunct faculty positions to half-time regular faculty positions, will be suspended for the remainder of the current CBA. The UFE will spend time discussing this issue with adjunct faculty prior to our next contract negotiation.

Management Requests:

Article 6: Professional Responsibilities

A new section will be added to Article 6 to reflect the responsibility that all faculty members have to complete required training on non-discrimination policies and procedures, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, legal risks, College policies, and ethical rules. Most of the trainings will be online and renewed every two years. Sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and Title IX training will be in person annually during governance time.

Voluntary Faculty Separation Incentive

In a separate Memorandum of Understanding, management wanted to offer a one-time retirement incentive for up to 15 regular faculty members who are at experience year 29 or above during the 2018-19 academic year. Eligible faculty should seek advice from an attorney. Contact the Provost’s office for more information. See MOU Regarding Faculty Separation Incentive – 5/8/19

UFE Bargaining Team: Jon Davies (Bargaining Chair), Grace Huerta, Laurie Meeker, Gary McNeil (WEA), Shawn Hazboun and Julie Russo.

UNION PARTICIPATION OPPORTUNITIES:

UFE MEMBERSHIP RATIFICATION MEETING: Friday May 17, 5-6 pm, SEM2 C1107.

UFE SOCIAL: Friday May 17, 6:30-8:30 at Headless Mumby Brewing Company – across the street from Vics Pizza – at 232 Division Street NW in Olympia.