Republican legislators in the Ohio House of Representatives added language to state budget bill (House Bill 64) that would prohibit faculty members at Ohio public colleges and universities from belonging to a union if we also exercise any of our traditional faculty responsibilities for curriculum oversight and shared governance. The language of the bill says that faculty duties make us “managers” or “supervisors” and therefore not eligible for union representation.

The language of HB 64 is exactly the same as the language prohibiting faculty unions that appeared in Senate Bill 5 a few years ago. When Senate Bill 5 went to Ohio voters,  it was soundly defeated, with 62% of Ohioans voting against these and other restrictions on public employee unions.

The House Finance Committee is expected to vote on HB 64 on Monday at 3 PM. It’s crucial that faculty members, and all citizens who support our right to belong to unions, get in touch with key legislators by email message or phone immediately, with strong but polite messages asking them to vote “no.”

Here are the phone numbers of the key representatives we must contact, and suggested talking points.

Ryan Smith (Chair, House Finance Committee)
Phone (614) 466-1366
email: rep93@ohiohouse.gov
Twitter handle: @OhioRepSmith

Kirk Schuring (Vice Chair, House Finance Committee)
Phone (614) 752-2438
email: rep48@ohiohouse.gov

Ron Maag (District 62)
Phone (614) 644-6023
email: rep62@ohiohouse.gov
Twitter handle: @RonMaag

Cliff Rosenberger, Speaker of the House
Phone (614) 466-3506
email: rep91@ohiohouse.gov

Louis Terhar (District 30)
Phone (614) 466-8258
email: rep30@ohiohouse.gov

Louis Blessing (District 29)
Phone (614) 466-9091
email: rep29@ohiohouse.gov

Talking Points:

  • The anti-union language of HB 64 is the same as Senate Bill 5, which 62% of Ohio voters rejected just two years ago.
  • Faculty salaries are not a factor in the rising cost of college. (This is the reason Republicans in the House have given for adding the HB 64 anti-union language.)
  • The real problem is “administrative bloat,” excessive administrative salaries, high-priced consultants, and misplaced priorities.
  • House Bill 64 is an attempt to distract from the real problem and stop faculty from serving as “watchdogs” on administration while we carry out our appropriate role as care-takers for curriculum and students (including the work faculty do as program chairs, which would be exclusively administrative work if the HB 64 language goes into effect).
  • (For other talking points, refer to the Ohio Conference AAUP website at http://ocaaup.org. Also, there’s a sample message posted on the Chapter Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/CinStateAAUP.)

Once you’ve made your phone call or sent your email message, it is crucial that you convince at least one friend or family member to do the same! Legislators need to know that faculty are not alone, and that “average citizens” care about this issue, too.

Thank you again for your help in fighting back this attack on faculty unions in Ohio.

Local and National Media Roundup on HB 64

Academe Blog (April 14)

Insider Higher Ed (April 17)

Toledo Blade (April 17)

Cleveland Plain Dealer (April 17)

WCPO (ABC – Channel 9 – Cincinnati metro area) (April 17) [requires payment to read the full story]

Academe Blog (April 17)

Columbus Dispatch (Apr 18)

Faculty responsibilities and Spring Break

Next week Cincinnati State will have its first-ever Spring Break, and some faculty members have asked the AAUP for guidance on attendance and faculty responsibilities during this break.

Instructional faculty are not required to be on campus during Spring Break. However, we are in the middle of an academic semester– so as a professional, even if you don’t have any classes during the next week, instructional faculty should periodically check your email and any other communications your students typically use to get in touch with you, and respond to student concerns in a timely manner.

Faculty members whose responsibilities include advising and/or scheduling (including Program Chairs and Department Chairs) should have talked to your Division administrators about how you will provide support for students and deal with other concerns related to Summer Registration, which begins on March 16.

Faculty members with specific questions related to faculty responsibilities during Spring Break, should get in touch with AAUP Contract Compliance Officer Geoff Woolf.

BOT approves Unit 2 contract

The College Board of Trustees voted 6-0 to approve the contract for AAUP Unit 2. The vote was conducted in a public meeting held after the Board’s Executive Session meeting on Feb. 24.

Provisions of the new contract agreement include:
– Raises to base salary of 2% a year,  for each year of the 3-year contract (the first-year raise is retroactive to the contract start date, Dec. 23, 2014).
– Clarification of scheduled work time spent in College service and/or professional development activities.
– Unit members gain the right to “cash out” unused vacation days.
– Discussion of tenure criteria for members of Unit 2 is referred to the FACT committee.
– Other new contract language makes the Unit 2 contract consistent with the current Unit 1 contract.

AAUP 2 accepts tentative agreement; BOT vote expected soon

The members of Cincinnati State AAUP, Bargaining Unit 2, voted unanimously on Feb. 13 to accept the tentative agreement for a new contract that was presented to the unit members.

The College Board of Trustees must accept the tentative agreement before it can become an official contract. We expect the Board to vote on the tentative agreement at their meeting on Feb. 24.

Thank you to the Faculty Bargaining Team– Geoff Woolf, Darlene Gray, and Pam Ecker– and thank you to all of our Unit 2 Chapter members who participated in today’s important vote. Thanks also to members of Unit 1 who supported the efforts over the past few months to negotiate a new contract for our faculty colleagues in Unit 2.

David Simmermon
President, Cincinnati State AAUP

Unit 2 negotiations: Feb. 11 – We have a tentative agreement!

On Wednesday, Feb. 11, the Faculty and Administration Bargaining Teams reached a tentative agreement on a new 3-year contract for AAUP Bargaining Unit 2.

The Faculty Team will present the details of the Tentative Agreement to the members of Unit 2 at a meeting on Friday, Feb. 13, starting at 1:30 p.m., in Main 276.

Unit 2 members will have an opportunity to review the details and ask questions before voting on the Tentative Agreement.

Faculty Chief Negotiator Geoff Woolf said, “The collaborative tone that helped make our Unit 1 negotiations successful was also a big positive factor in the Unit 2 negotiations. Both sides were willing to engage in open, productive discussion and problem-solving related to the issues of concern.”

“As a result, we reached a tentative agreement that is fiscally responsible, and also offers some important improvements for the Pre-admit Advisors and other Unit 2 faculty members whose work is important to the success of so many Cincinnati State students,” Geoff added.

AAUP Unit 2 negotiations: Feb. 9

Contract negotiations for AAUP Unit 2 continued with a 1-hour session on Monday, Feb. 9. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Wednesday,  Feb. 11.

Faculty Chief Negotiator Geoff Woolf said the Faculty team offered a comprehensive settlement proposal that takes into consideration administration and faculty concerns related to Unit 2 workload, compensation, benefits, and tenure.

According to Geoff, the administration team said they needed some time to consider the faculty proposal, so the teams will meet again on Wednesday.

“Our settlement offer is a good-faith attempt to address key points expressed by both sides, and achieve a fair conclusion to these negotiations,” Geoff said.

“We hope we can finish our bargaining and reach a tentative contract agreement soon,” Geoff added.

AAUP Unit 2 negotiations: Jan. 23

Contract negotiations for AAUP Unit 2 continued with a 1-hour session on Friday,  Jan. 23. The next bargaining session is likely to take place during the first week in February.

Administration Team members attending the Jan. 23 session included Carla Chance, Temesha Corbin, and Steve Brooks. The Faculty Team members are Geoff Woolf, Pam Ecker, and Darlene Gray.

Faculty team members said topics of discussion included the contract articles on compensation, workload, benefits, and tenure.

Geoff said a meeting is scheduled for members of Unit 2 next Friday, Jan. 30.

“The AAUP Executive Committee and the Bargaining Team would like to get some feedback from the unit members regarding one of the issues that has been discussed at the table,” Geoff said.

“All of the proposals are on the table now,” Geoff continued. “When the teams meet again in February, we hope we can resolve the remaining issues and prepare a tentative agreement to present to the Unit 2 faculty members and the College Board of Trustees.”

AAUP Unit 2 negotiations: Jan. 8

Contract negotiations for AAUP Unit 2 resumed with a 3-hour session on Thursday,  Jan. 8. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 23.

Administration Team members attending included Carla Chance, Soni Hill, Temesha Corbin, Jennifer Hall, Betty Young, and Steve Brooks. The Faculty Team members are Geoff Woolf, Pam Ecker, and Darlene Gray.

Mediator John Gray also attended the session.

Faculty team members said discussion topics involved portions of the contract articles on workload, benefits, and tenure.

“We have some complex issues to consider that will need further discussion,” Geoff said. “Both teams are going to examine the proposals and concepts we talked about today, so we can make progress when we meet again in two weeks.”

“Both sides hope we can achieve a tentative agreement that can be presented to the faculty members of Unit 2 and the College Board of Trustees in February,” Geoff added.

The current contract for Unit 2 expired Dec. 23 but the terms of that contract will remain in effect until negotiations for a new contract are completed.

Unit 2 negotiations on hold until January

Bargaining for a new contract for AAUP Unit 2 will resume in January.

Faculty Chief Negotiator Geoff Woolf said he was informed on Thursday, Dec. 18, that the administration team is not available for additional bargaining prior to start of the College’s winter break.

“In our initial sessions, we seemed to be making good progress in identifying the key issues, so it’s disappointing that we could not meet this week,” Geoff said. “The AAUP wanted to complete negotiations before the current contract expired.”

“We hope the administration team will be available for additional bargaining sessions early in January,” Geoff added.

The current contract for Unit 2 expires Dec. 23. Geoff said the terms of the current contract will remain in effect until negotiations for a new contract are completed.

AAUP Unit 2 negotiations: Dec. 12

The bargaining teams for the AAUP Unit 2 contract met on Friday, Dec. 12, for about 90 minutes.

The Administration Team at the session included Executive Vice President Carla Chance, Interim Vice President of Enrollment and Student Development Soni Hill, Director of the Advising Center Temesha Corbin, Manager of Labor Relations Steve Brooks, and Associate Dean of Health & Public Safety Jennifer Hall.

The Faculty Team members are Geoff Woolf, Darlene Gray, and Pam Ecker.

Mediator John Gray attended the session also.

Faculty Team members said the session focused on gaining additional understanding of the concerns that were identified during Thursday’s bargaining session.

Topics of discussion included the Unit 2 faculty annual calendar and scheduling of workday responsibilities, the use of vacation days, and the work performed by Unit 2 members that provides service to the College community, which sometimes occurs on evenings and weekends.

The teams also exchanged ideas about the value and importance of tenure for Unit 2 faculty members.

Faculty Chief Negotiator Geoff Woolf said, “Today we focused on general concepts rather than specific proposals. Both sides talked honestly about our concerns, which should help us establish a good foundation for the eventual exchange of proposals.”

Geoff said the Faculty Team also provided some background information about Unit 2 faculty work.

“Several of the members of the Administration Team are new to bargaining for this unit,” Geoff said. “In some instances, providing some of the history of the unit can help these administrators better understand certain aspects of the contract.”

“The faculty members in Unit 2 are highly credentialed and highly qualified, and their work has a special place in the life of the College community,” Geoff said. “We believe the members of Unit 2 are entitled to working conditions and rights that are commensurate with their faculty counterparts in Unit 1.”

Geoff added, “As a faculty organization, AAUP has the same expectations for members of Unit 2 as we do for those in Unit 1. In bargaining, we generally resist efforts to make changes that would create more differences between the two units.”

The next negotiation session is not yet scheduled, but Geoff said he expects the bargaining teams to meet again early next week.