Gains from new SIUC FA Contract

Tentative Agreement Ratified by FA Membership

November 30, 2011 by Dave Johnson (SIUC FA Spokesman)
FA members voted to approve the tentative agreement today (11/30).
Here’s a press release we’ve sent out to announce as much.

The SIUC Faculty Association (FA) is pleased to announce that its members have voted to ratify the tentative agreement with the SIUC administration reached earlier this month. Once the agreement receives final ratification by the SIUC Board of Trustees, it will be signed by both parties and serve as the contract between the tenure-track and tenured faculty represented by the Faculty Association and the SIUC administration. The four year agreement covers the period from July 1, 2010 until June 30, 2014.

“While we are disappointed that it took sixteen months of negotiations and a strike to reach this agreement,” FA spokesman Dave Johnson said, “the agreement will help us defend academic freedom, shared governance, and academic priorities on this campus, and we are proud of the hard work, resilience, and dedication by our members that has made this progress possible. We are also thankful for all the support from other unions on campus, from members of the community, and from our students here at SIUC, hundreds of whom came out to march and rally in support of their professors.”

The following are among the important provisions of the tentative agreement.

· A transparent process ensures that tenured and tenure-track faculty can only be laid off in the event of a bona fide financial exigency.

· Conditions justifying furloughs are more clearly defined, the number of furlough days is limited, and the FA may continue to pursue its unfair labor practice charge regarding FY 2011 furloughs.

· Faculty gain a greater say in defining their workload through departmental operating papers.

· Faculty retain the right to decide how best to teach their courses, including the decision over whether to offer a course via distance education.

· The student-faculty ratio remains unchanged, and includes distance education offerings.

· Conflict of interest policy and procedures for investigating accusations of sexual harassment will be bargained to resolution in a timely way.

“We are ready to open a new page on relations between campus unions and the administration,” Johnson added. “We think it is in everyone’s interest, especially those of the students we all serve, for the administration and campus unions to work together. It shouldn’t take us 500 days, much less a strike, to get a new contract into place. Last year the SIUC administration insisted on imposing its own terms on campus unions, and this fall it took a strike to reach a final agreement. We’re ready to do all we can to build a better relationship with the administration, and we hope that the administration is willing to do so as well.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

A summary of gains from the previous SIUC FA
contract (2006-2010) follows . . .

Highlights of the 2006-2010 faculty union contract at SIU Carbondale
(the entire contract and more can be found at siucfa.org)

· $3.25 MILLION IN EQUITY MONEY TO ADDRESS COMPRESSION AND PARITY
Among other gains, the SIU Carbondale Faculty Association’s new collective bargaining agreement will provide more than $3 million in equity money to begin addressing unfair salary differentials of faculty on campus: Significant funds to address compression and parity: $3,250,000. Such funds will be distributed via the equity formula and will be dispersed according to this schedule: $250,000 in FY 07, $500,000 in FY 08, $1 million in FY 09, and $1.5 million in FY 10.

· FACULTY UNION PUTS TEETH INTO FACULTY SENATE RESOLUTION
The contract proved how effective cooperation between a faculty union and a faculty senate can be when it incorporated an SIUC Faculty Senate resolution into the contract that specifies types of remedies available to the JRB (the Judicial Review Board, equivalent to SIUE’s Faculty Grievance Panel) in Tenure and Promotion cases. It provides that the campus chancellor treat the decision of the JRB “in the same manner as s/he treats similar decisions of the Provost and Vice Chancellor.”

· GUARANTEED SALARY INCREASE OF 12.5% THROUGH FY 2010;
Combining across-the-board and merit, the new SIUC FA contract guarantees increases of 12.5% (8.75% A-T-B, 3.75% Merit) during the four years of the contract, divided 3% in FY 07-09, and 3.5% in FY10. The raise for FY 07 is retroactive to July 2006 and will be distributed 100% ATB.

· AUGMENTED PROMOTIONAL INCREASES
Significant promotional increases: 12% of the median salary of the rank the candidate is leaving or $600 and $1,200 per month for promotion to Associate or Full Professor, respectively, whichever is higher.

And more:

Provost and Search Committees
The Faculty Association now has the right to be represented on search committees for the Provost and Vice Chancellor.

Backing up department Operating Papers
All current departments have operating papers and that these operating papers should be maintained in accordance with Board policies and this contract.

SIUC Faculty grievance filing extension
The Grievance Procedure was amended to allow either party to a grievance to request to have the 42- day time period for filing a grievance extended. If the second party does not agree to extend the time allowed, the grievant is granted up to five additional days beyond the original 42 days to file a grievance. The Article was also amended to clarify the procedure for selecting an arbitrator for a grievance.

SIUC Library Faculty’s unique workload
An improvement of Library Affairs Faculty’s rights to ask for workload assignments that are reflective of their research expectations. And per a side letter to the Agreement, the term research “may not accurately reflect historical practices, realistic opportunities, and reasonable expectations” for Library Affairs Faculty, and sets out a timeline for a review of the Library operating paper by Library Faculty and representatives of both parties to amend the use of the term “research” as it relates to workload and tenure and promotion expectations.

No layoff for financial exigency
Per a side letter to the Agreement The Board agrees that “no Faculty member shall be laid off for financial exigency” during the life of this contract.

Untenured SIUC faculty can add promotion and tenure input; get specific feedback
The contract was amended to allow for untenured Faculty to provide a written response to an annual review letter for inclusion in their personnel files. Annual review letters will now “include a review of the Faculty member’s performance during the previous calendar year, and… identify areas of strength and weakness and areas that need improvement.”

SIUC Faculty domestic partner benefits back up
Recognizes that domestic partner benefits are currently covered by the Department of Central Management Services plan – and that if the CMS plan is discontinued for any reason, the contract requires that domestic partners still receive benefits equal to those of faculty spouses.

SIUC Faculty share in increased enrollment
If there is an increase in the income fund due to increased student enrollment or retention, 5 percent of this increase attributable to these factors will be distributed to the Faculty. Such funds will be distributed 50% ATB and 50% for equity. If there is a decrease in the income fund, 5 percent of the loss due to student enrollment and retention may be recovered by the administration by not immediately filling faculty lines, as long as the contractualized student-faculty ratio (at 26:1) is maintained.

Increased Interim Chairs/Directors stipend
An increase from 7% to 10% in the stipend of Interim Chairs/Directors.

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