Minutes April 2 – Review Contract – General Membership Meeting

Meeting called to order.

Agenda Items:

  • Clarification of Article 24, Reappointment
  • Retirees and wages
  • Review contract and solicit input
  • FNTFO paperwork

Present: Patti Meyer, Scott Foos, Mary Baxter, Megan Gibson, Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck, Harvey Hanna, Julia Regs, Dave Schrock, Paul Zube, Anna Rizzo, Linda Sherwood, Bernadette Fox, Jerry Nickles, Jean Walling, Ken Main, Dharma Shetty, Ghada Mahri, Angela Brown, Laurie Nelson, John Johnson, and 2 guests from Central Michigan University, Sue Murphy and Hayden Golden; and from AFT David Griffin Dobbie.

New FNTFO Paperwork Approval: The university requested we change the paperwork we use that authorizes payroll deductions as fee payer/member. The same paperwork will be distributed by the university to new hires to fill out and return to the union.

The paperwork will request information from the hiring contract, which will allow the union to gather information about its membership. There has been a significant and unacceptable delay from the university about bargaining unit members, which as delayed the collection of fees and dues in a timely basis for new hires. The paperwork was approved as presented with a minor typographical change. The final paperwork is attached.

Clarification of Article 24, reappointment:

Problem as described: The math department has a problem with assigning contracts to level 3s and 2s. The department is not granting contracts unless the department can guarantee a full load for both fall and spring semesters. The problem exists, in part, because there are more classes offered in the fall than the spring, and the department can’t always guarantee spring classes. Upper administration has apparently deemed it is “all or nothing” in granting contracts. If a full load can’t be determined, adjuncts will not be offered a contract.

Members of the math department wrote up a clarification of article 24’s intent, which is to offer classes first to 3s, then 2s and then 1s. The clarification also notes that if a full contract is not available in the fall but later becomes available, a retroactive contract will be offered. There is precedent for this after the first year of the union’s contract.

Discussion was also noted in the Language and Literature department that 11 new tenure-track lines will significantly reduce the number of adjuncts with full loads.

In Allied Health, the costs of unemployment versus adjunct wages were mentioned with similar issues.

Union discussed need to fight the overall goal of the university to require PhDs of all new hires. This has already been lifted in technical teaching areas where PhDs do not exist.

Motion to approve clarifying language in contract maintenance meeting before May 1.

Moved by Jerry Nickles, second by Paul Zube. Motion carried.

Retirees and Pay: 

Retired teachers working as adjuncts can only make a percentage (1/3) of their former pay in order to still qualify for retirement benefits. There needs to be an awareness of this group when negotiating future contracts. There was some concern that a level 2 adjunct was offered full wages as a level two despite not having a full load.

Contract Review:

A number of members reported on their review of the contract and what wording/benefits  would be ideal to change.

  • The biggest change to seek: Treat everyone the same for doing the same work. In the current contract, 3s and 2s are identified as receiving benefits like bereavement, but 1s do not receive it. All levels should be treated the same.
  • Review sick time and requirement it be taken with a minimum of 4 hours; if adjunct needs to miss only 1 hour of class, why charged 4 hours of sick time?
  • Get “just cause” in contract
  • clarify performance evaluation
  • Question office space and lack of dedicated computers for 1s — possibly a FERPA issue.

Other Issues:

  • Importance of unity and strength that will result from that unity
  • Organize connections between campus unions. For instance, CMU has a joint union counsel that meets once a month among all unions on campus. The unions have agreed to ask administration for 1 issue on everyone’s next contract.
  • Increase visibility with signs, group organization
  • Get shirts to new union members
  • Meet monthly
  • Wear shirts on a regular basis

Motion to wear union shirts first Monday and Tuesday during the last full week of class, April 28 and April 29. Motion by Linda Sherwood, second by Jerry Nickles. Motion carried.

Motion to adjourn by Paul Zube, seconded by Julia Reges. Motion Carried