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December 15, 2011


Members Present: Phil Chassler   Peggy Walsh   John Hess   Cat Mazza   Larry Kaye   Kathy Kogan  
Catherine Lynde   Heike Schotten   Marlene Kim

Others Present: Lorenzo Nencioli, FSU Membership Coordinator   Jeff Keisler, FSU Grievance Officer


Legislation- Pension reform: it was noted that the recent pension reform legislation will likely take 1 year or more to go into effect. It is also likely that the window of opportunity to switch from ORP to SERS will be around 4 months, which will give the FSU time to inform members of their options.

Departmental Visits- Lorenzo has contacted departments to inquire about the possibility of having the FSU talk to members at their meetings sometime in the Spring semester. He has heard back from a number of them who have agreed to let the FSU attend meetings. The FSU will prepare materials for members who will be presenting info at these meetings.

Vision Project- This is the Department of Higher Ed’s attempt to get more funding from the state. The MTA has asked higher ed locals what the MTA should do as a response to this DHE effort. Former FSU President and current MTA consultant Arthur Macewan, along with Catherine Lynde and others, will prepare a ‘white paper’ on the Vision Project that will likely serve a counter to its proposals.

Contract Update
The UMass President’s office has asked higher ed locals to meet on Monday, December 19th to discuss bargaining proposals, including the possibility of. The MSP and FSU bargaining teams will be meeting on Friday, December 16th to go over their proposals as well. It was noted that some locals want to avoid bargaining (i.e. they would accept the salary offer for FY13 and FY14 and forego bargaining over non-financial parameters) since they fear that Admin might ask for give backs. It was not clear whether or not Umass Admin will ask for give backs. It was also noted that UMB admin does not have a history of asking for give backs. There was a discussion of the importance of including Distance Learning coursework in the current round of negotiations. It was suggested that Amy Todd be brought in as a bargainer and/or consulted on the issues. It was also noted that the CLA Dean has approached FSU reps to express an interest in pursuing long-term, multi-year contracts for NTT that would include service and possibly scholarship. Larry Kaye will write up a potential proposal about this and email it to the Ex Com.

Weingarten Rights
There was discussion of the importance of having Weingarten Rights enforced (this refers to the law that stipulates that all employees who are asked to attend a meeting by a supervisor with possible disciplinary ramifications shall be informed of their right to have a union representative present). It was noted that there have been incidents where members have been asked to attend meetings that ended up having disciplinary repercussions and were not informed of Weingarten Rights. It was suggested that this issue be taken up in bargaining though it was noted that there currently exists language in the contract re grievances on this issue. It was suggested that enforcement of Weingarten Rights could be encouraged via department chair trainings, info in the newsletter, on the website, and on the contract information sheet. There was concern that the CBA language on these rights is unclear to chairs and it was suggested that the language be altered in bargaining. Peggy Walsh agreed to look at the language and suggest possible changes.

NTT Brochure
There was discussion of the need to put together a pamphlet/brochure for NTT. This would provide information on contractual rights, Weingarten Rights, as well as other resources re funds for scholarship, etc. John Hess noted that Camille Martinez in the Provost’s Office has volunteered to help put this information together.  John Hess will work with Camille and Lorenzo on implementing this.

NTT Committee Update
There was a report on the latest NTT caucus meeting in which bargaining issues were discussed at great length as well as the importance of dealing with the issue of classroom sizes. The Ex Com discussed the importance of gaining information on admin proposals for class room sizes in future academic buildings. There was concern that if future classroom sizes are larger than the current norm that that will result in an automatic increase in actual class size (i.e. number of students). It was noted that the FSU could bargain over compensation for larger class sizes in such a way that it would become economically unattractive for admin to create larger classrooms/class sizes. It was suggested that the FSU obtain the plans of the Space Committee (charged with addressing classroom size issues) prior to formulating a response. John Hess agreed to obtain that information. Kathy Kogan also agreed to speak with Jane Adams, who is the only fac member on this committee, about classroom plans

Grievance Committee Update
There was a brief report on the 11 ongoing FSU grievances. It was noted that the FSU strategy of not hesitating to file grievances and adhering to grievance timelines has paid off in the form of step I grievance victories. However, it was also noted that written decisions have not always been provided by the Provost’s Office. It was also reported that the class action grievance on NTT under floors was slowly being addressed but that it was immensely time consuming for HR to correct work histories. It was also noted that the grievance re departments not providing priority lists has not been resolved. It was suggested that the FSU send an email to NTT members asking them to ask departments for the lists. There was a discussion of the guidelines for the tenure review process. It was noted that the Provost had issued guidelines on tenure review that were different from those enumerated in the contract and Red Book. Catherine Lynde had asked the Provost to rescind those additional guidelines and/or to ensure they were deemed ‘suggested’. There was a discussion of whether or not the FSU should file a grievance on this issue as a tenure denial based on the Provosts non-binding  guidelines would be a possible outcome. Catherine Lynde will speak with MTA Consultant Mickey Gallagher on how to address this issue.

Wheatley Air Quality
It was reported that the re-roofing job in Wheatley has been completed. It was also noted that mold removal in effected classrooms will begin over the break and could extend into the next term. Some offices may have to be moved during this time. There was discussion of the frustration felt by Health and Safety Committee members over the lack of progress and transparency on the part of Admin in addressing these issues. It was noted that there does not seem to be any one department accountable for this problem and that many people are passing the buck on this. It was suggested that the FSU either file a grievance on this and/or contact the Boston Health Commission. It was decided that the FSU members who have been active on this issue will caucus with their counterparts in the CSU and PSU to determine an action plan. This action plan will likely involve contacting the Boston Health Commission.

Report on Lorenzo Nencioli’s Accounting Work
Lorenzo was asked to keep track of the time he spends handling membership accounting and billing work. He reported that the average over the last month has been about 1 hour a day. However, he noted that the average does not include periods of heightened workload such as mailing of certified letters of demand, dealing with the annual FSU audit, etc. that occur at different times of the year. He also noted that the billing work can not be inextricably removed from other aspects of membership work (i.e. outreach) since it is all interrelated. There was discussion of what amount of this work, along with other administrative duties, could be placed into another part-time job description. There was concern expressed over the idea of hiring a temp agency to do the work and/or hiring a student (conflict of interest issues). Lorenzo will continue to keep track of his billing/invoicing work as well as his other administrative work (i.e. booking rooms for meetings) to determine what percentage of his total work can be diverted to a possible new administrative assistant position for the FSU.