Thanks to those who could attend!
Thanks to all those who attended the March “get to know your contract” social sponsored by the Faculty Assembly. In total, nearly 60 full time faculty members attended the event despite several overlapping department and governance committee meetings.
Above: Jonathan Cole answers contract questions for Thao Ha.
Turn to the FA for help interpreting our contract.
Over the past few years FA leadership has found that the greatest source of confusion and conflict between faculty and administration derives from a poor or confused understanding of faculty working conditions rights and responsibilities. This event was intended to help alleviate confusion by challenging faculty to respond to a few key contractual questions.
Above: Kristi Wish helping faculty find information in the contract
During the event, participants were asked to respond to a number of questions about the current MCC District/FA Agreement (also known as our contract or Collective Bargaining Agreement). Many participants soon learned that while some questions may be answered by a simple reading of the contract, the answers to a large number of questions require an understanding of past practice, original intent of the contract language, and access to legal advice.
FA Leadership is your #1 contract question resource
For these reasons, we are strongly suggesting that our members turn to the FA leadership for answers. Your best bet is to bring your questions directly to me, though you are also welcome to contact other members of the Executive Committee (Mary Gross, Scott Fallstrom, dara, or Mark Whitney) to start the process of getting your questions answered. In developing answers, the Exec works as a team that often includes our legal counsel before providing answers to complex questions. When those questions require a new interpretation of contract language, we also meet directly with district leadership to ensure there is a common understanding. (Above: Steven Deineh talking to FA ombudsperson, Mary Gross)
As participants arrived, they were placed into small groups and, over a complimentary lunch, worked through questions we provided. After completing this “quiz,” longtime negotiator and contract expert Jonathan Cole assisted members of the Exec in ensuring participants received the correct answers.
Above: Jonathan Cole answers contract questions for faculty member, Melissa Lloyd Jones.
Do you know about the contract "reopener" topics?
The question that may well have received the most blank stares from participants asked faculty to identify “reopeners”—specific areas of the contract that will be reopened for negotiation between 2018-2021. In our last contract negotiations, a number of issues arose that could not be resolved in the negotiation time frame and therefore became reopeners listed in the contract. What are the answers?
These include addressing accreditation concerns regarding Faculty Directors, evaluation issues related to tenured faculty, and a revision of the investigative process used by the district to consider allegations against full-time faculty. We are also scheduled to meet with the district to consider lengthening the paid portion of the family leave policy.
Infusing fun into contract Q&A
From there, participants visited the newly remodeled Teaching and Learning Center, where FA Vice President, dara, provided a quick tour and provided participants with an opportunity to spin the FA wheel and receive a complimentary gift from the FA.
Left: Dominique Ingato spins the prize wheel. Right: Kaitlin Fisher and Tina Johnson sport their prizes.
We know that many of you had scheduling conflicts that prevented any opportunity to participate. If you had hoped to attend but simply could not make it, rest assured we will host more events like this in the future, and that we will try to schedule them at various times to avoid the same conflicts.
In the meantime, if you have any questions of your own about the contract, please contact Brad Byrom, and he will get back to you as soon as possible.