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Longy Faculty Union (LFU)
July 16, 2010
Present: 10 members of the Collective Bargaining Unit (CBU) and AFT Field Representative Diane Frey
Clay Hoener called the meeting to order at 10:45 AM.
Clay deferred the President’s Report to the Negotiating Committee Report later in the meeting.
Shizue Sano presented the Treasurer’s Report. She said that our membership is growing. She also told of the benefits available now and in the future to Union members at unionplus.org, at aftma.net, and at aft.org. After we have Chapter recognition more benefits can become available, resulting in considerable possible savings to LFU members.
This writer reported for the Communications Committee. The numerous means of communication available between the Board and members of the LFU, CBU, and others in the community were reviewed. CBU members were encouraged to give any relevant ideas and opinions to the Board.
Clay reported about correspondence received from students.
Clay reported to that the Negotiating Committee has submitted more than 30 proposals to the administration. Each proposal is the equivalent of one article in a potential contract.
The suggestion was made that the Negotiating Committee look into changes that may have been made by administration about faculty performing opportunities.
It was reported that the administration has given the LFU a lot of data and the Negotiating Committee has been going through this data in order to work on ways to promote job security and income security. The Negotiating Committee is in general working to keep and restore benefits that faculty have previously had and that may have been taken away. There will also be an LFU proposal that will cover any benefits that may have been in use previously but were not specifically named in the contract. The LFU is also looking for ways to increase benefits without costing the school money.
Teacher evaluation was discussed and a reading aloud was given of portions of the teacher evaluation proposal that is being prepared to submit to the administration. As result of comments from the last LFU General Meeting, the proposal de-links teacher evaluations from pay raises. The goal of the teacher evaluations will be to help teachers improve in their teaching and thereby to benefit the school. In the proposal faculty members would be able to use evidence of their teaching evaluations to help in negotiating an increase in base pay rate if faculty members wish to do so.
The teacher evaluation proposal outlines a legitimate, transparent process with known rules and opportunities for support and improvement, so that a faculty member could only be fired for "just cause". The proposal includes evaluation by department chairs as well as peer review. A suggestion was made that a faculty member be allowed to ask a faculty colleague to do an informal peer review without results being reported to the administration. The Faculty Compensation proposal discussion focused on regaining the “temporary” cuts that were made by the Administration in addition to raises to at least keep pace with the cost of living.
It was suggested that specific numeric guidelines be established regarding evaluation results in order to safeguard the evaluation process.
Evaluations of teachers by students were also discussed. The proposal about these evaluations would bar anonymous documents from being placed in a teacher's personnel file.
The question was raised about whether Coordinators of programs would be able to view evaluations of faculty by students in order to improve programs.
The question was asked about how the administration is evaluated.
Concern was expressed about how decisions are made by administration regarding whether or not a class will run.
It was reported that the administration has asked us to report that job security is not an issue at present. In response concern was expressed in the meeting about the recent job losses and how these job losses may impact perception of job security in the future.
A report was given on the Yeshiva ruling that was issued by the Supreme Court in 1980. This ruling defines whether faculty members are considered "management” or not for the purposes of deciding CBU eligibility. In Yeshiva University faculty had absolute control over many kinds of decisions and were, as a result, considered to be "management" by the Supreme Court.
There have since been a number of cases that have drawn on Yeshiva. In cases of educational institutions like Longy, the National Board of Labor Relations (NLRB) has consistently ruled, based on the Yeshiva decision, that faculty can have committees and can give input in other ways to the administration.
Compensation was discussed. The LFU proposal would return the Conservatory Division to a 15 week semester and restore base rate ratios for Community Programs to previous higher levels. Once every three years each faculty member would be notified of the opportunity to make a case to receive higher than base rate pay. Administrative support work done by faculty would also be paid at a percentage of the base rate.
There was discussion of charging an "agency fee" to members of the CBU who do not join the LFU. It was explained that members of the LFU Board and AFT staff spend many hours working for the benefit of the entire CBU. No one present at the meeting spoke against the idea of charging an “agency fee” to CBU members who do not choose to join the Union.
The meeting adjourned at 1:00 PM.
Deborah Yardley Beers
Longy Faculty Union