General Meeting Minutes of November 17, 2021

Remote Meeting over Zoom

Present: Officers: President Claudine Barnes, Vice President Michael Bejtlich, Treasurer Kate Martin, Secretary Lisa Heller Boragine At large executive committee: Michele Wolfson, Gail Guarino, Bill Berry, Swan Gates General Members: Ann-Marie Julian, Lawrence Silverman, Alison Frisbie, Victor Smith, Stephanie Venancio, Jean Canty-Schwartz, Kathy Bent, Mary Taylor, Theresa Bowse, Catherine Etter, Jennifer Hennessy, Althea Adlien-Wilks, Donna Walker, Pauline Philie, Marianne Targino-VanBeber

President Barnes called the meeting to order at 3:31 p.m.

DCE Bargaining Update: A bargaining session was cancelled due to power outage, the next session is tomorrow. They have recognized that DCE are very underpaid, and they have dropped the first step and they have created a new step at the top and added 2% raise cost of living increase per year. Syllabus will be required to be posted somewhere. They want it to go on the college LMS, we are negotiating that it can be posted elsewhere. They are looking to be done by the end of the semester. The contract would be retroactive to September 2020.

President’s Report: State level bargaining update will be coming out tomorrow. Some problematic language exists in the last bargain surrounding mandatory use of LMS and mandatory use of advising software for professional staff and advising, and they want to be able to use it in performance review evaluation. One issue raised repeatedly that there are faculty who prefer to use other LMS over Moodle. Multiple institutions have multiple advising software. They want to embed assessment into the workload of faculty and professional staff. They want to eliminate the day after Thanksgiving as a professional day staff. We have requested that in exchange everyone get an extra personal day, and they have said no. We are now the only higher ed unit that has the day after Thanksgiving as paid time. They want to add language to prohibit full time faculty from teaching other employment during their regular employment. Currently, if you are full time faculty you can teach anywhere that is related to your prior employment during 8 to 4 pm. They want to change this to absolutely no employment between the hours of 8 to 4. Online would also be a violation of this policy. They said they were concerned about state ethics law as regards to full time faculty. CB raised the fact that the State Ethics commission said that this is a concern because the Dean may still have the ability to weigh in on the financials related to DCE.

There are two more meetings that we can put proposals on language. We have asked for language to promote more flexibility with office hours (reduction in days and loosening of parameters) we have asked for language that requires posting a full time position for a certain number of part time positions, we have asked for language about dual enrollment and early college so that people are notified that someone in the class is early college, and that we get a seat at the table that before agreements are signed that work stays within MCCC, we have asked for better paid family leave and parental leave policies, we have language about part time salary grid, improved language on sabbaticals, improved procedure and amount for professional development funds, create a formula for more equitable reassigned time, we are looking at a mechanism to increase the off-season work of department chairs and coordinators during January and Summer breaks. We are trying to get language to change professional staff vacation leave. Next meeting with management is December 15.

We are establishing a contract action team to do political action and motivation around the bargain. We need representatives from each campus to spearhead this action to work with MTA consultants and representatives from each school to implement on each campus.

Vaccine Mandate Bargain: They have said no for mandatory testing instead of vaccine mandate, they have refused carve-outs for people who don’t visit frequently, or live in another state, or mandating the same standard for employees as campus visitors. They will not require vaccination from campus visitors, as they are fearful of loss of additional enrollment. We have requested that we post signs on campus requesting people get vaccinated. The federal vaccine mandate has language that stipulates all employees, not just face to face, that is the language their attorney is falling back on. Meanwhile, unvaccinated students can visit on campus without limitation. We will have to push locally to get plexiglass and specific safe meeting spaces. CCC Professional staff have been told to be on campus twice a week. There has been no state level discussion mandating campus. All campuses seem to have their own local specific requirements. People can apply for telework.

The faculty portion of the contract are more flexible than professional staff, which means there is limited union leverage in terms of different requirements for faculty as professional staff. In most instances college dictates the modality, other campuses don’t allow the same flexibility that is provided faculty at CCCC. We need to make the process more equitable for professional staff to apply for telework.

For anyone who is not vaccinated who wants Moderna, you need to get first shot on Monday, November 22 so that you are fully vaccinated by January 3rd. If you are applying for accommodation, makes sure that paperwork is in before January 3rd. Those who are pending approval cannot come to campus but they can use vacation time and personal time to cover those days. It does not appear that there will be a broad granting of religious exemption. Medical is a slightly different story.

COVID safety: People are urged to protect their eyes, wear a face shield or goggles. Some class labs need to be in close proximity for an hour and a half, when people are working that closely is in breach of COVID protocol, but that is the only way to teach this material.

MTA state relationship: MCCC has entered into negotiation to get more support. MCCC took a huge membership hit due to Janus. That’s been an enormous challenge. We have another meeting scheduled for December.

Representation: We need contract action team and increased participation. When Mary Jenkins retired, she left a hole. She served as Chapter representative on statewide professional staff committee, they are meeting once a month over zoom. If anyone who is professional staff who wants to represent the chapter, please let Claudine know. She was also serving as MACER representative, the monthly meeting where we prevent grievances from being filed. We have always insisted on having a professional staff committee be in that meeting, with Mary’s retirement we no longer have a professional staff representative on that committee. We also need an adjunct representative on the adjuncts committee and bring those issues to the board and bargaining teams. They have been meeting remotely over zoom. There is also the MTA has a new member liaison program to have a representative from each campus. This person would have a stipend to do outreach for new unit members to transition to new employment to become union members. The hope is to have a meeting with all the new member liaisons before the winter semester break. Elections: We will be having elections in the spring. We basically elect half the slate of the officers and Board of Director’s position and day grievance and Chapter President will be up for election this year. Claudine has held the position for 14 years but is stepping down because Margaret Wong is stepping down as President of the Union and Claudine is planning to run for that seat.

Contract: To have one contract, we’d need to dissolve the part time and full-time union, we’d need to get a 50% vote to constitute a new union. We’d need to get the state to vote for this, but the funding for DCE comes directly from the colleges, not state funding.

Advising loads: Full time faculty need to check your college workload computation. You are supposed to receive it at the beginning of the semester. Check the advising loads as soon as you receive them, because you have 30 days to respond if there are any issues. If they are short on faculty advisors, they should hire advisors specifically for a program such as nursing. EMT has an advisor that only advises aviation and technology students. If your non-instructional workload is more than 11 a week, they should take away from the teaching workload or pay you more

Professional staff workload: duties “other duties as assigned” need to relate to the E7.

Technology concerns: The following suggestions for improvement were collected and compiled by the Faculty Professional Committee:

1. Computers and podiums need to work the first day of the semester. Check all classrooms to make sure this is the case before spring semester begins. Pay particular attention to classrooms that haven’t been used for a while.

2. Strengthen our ticketing system - logging initial request, time dealt with, feedback to confirm IT maintenance request was resolved. Make the ticketing process more transparent, so that faculty know that their classroom has tech problems before arriving to teach. This would also show when a number of tech issues are resolved.

3. Fix the podium and overhead projector in Tech 101 and ensure that the podium/projector setups work in all other classrooms.

4. Ease authentication processes so that we have fewer logins. If authentication can be set on home computers to get around this, provide instructions for how to take these steps. Make logins consistent, so students know whether they need to enter a username or email address. See if we can eliminate the warning that users have been locked out of the system if they enter the username when the email address was required--or vice versa.

5. Improve the help desk culture, so that it has more of a service orientation.

6. Improve access to Microsoft Word on computers in the Tech building so that it loads more quickly.

7. Download Zoom on podium and classroom computers so that it does not have to be downloaded again--with required authentications--for every class. This is especially important now that students expect more flexibility from faculty.

8. When outages (planned or unplanned) become apparent, send a notification to Patrick Stone, so that he can issue a timely RAVE alert, especial storms etc. as well.

9. Bring back daily checks of classroom printers. At times, there is no paper in the classroom and none in the cabinet as a backup. Ensure printer installation (correct printer default identified) and testing. Updates the driver for TE116 Color Laser on Print 4 and TE 215J on print 4.

Next Exec Council meeting is Nov 18th 4 pm, Dec 9th 4 pm

Meeting adjourned at approximately 5:20(?)

Respectfully submitted by Lisa Heller Boragine

Archived Minutes
Executive Board - November 18, 2021
General Meeting - November 17, 2021
Executive Board - February 18, 2021
General Meeting - November 18, 2020
Executive Board - October 15, 2020
General Meeting - April 23, 2020
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