State of the Union: Fall 2016 Activities

Health care refunds, pay increases and reducing paper copies for the promotion and tenure applications were just three of the main accomplishments of the NMU-AAUP for its members in Fall 2016.

Even before the semester began, our Grievance Officer Leslie Putman held a promotion and tenure workshop. If you didn’t attend, the PowerPoint slides can be found here.

We started the semester with our Fall Chapter Meeting on August 17, and we followed that up with the 2nd Annual Fall Semester Party at Presque Isle on August 25, and the Labor Day Parade on September 5. We held three Faculty Council meetings and two Ore Dock socials during the semester and distributed coffee and cookies to students on December 6, at Jamrich Hall.

The Executive Committee voted to redefine the duties of the NMU-AAUP vice president to include outreach through events and attendance at Marquette area Labor Council meetings. In order to use union dues more efficiently, the Executive Council voted to eliminate the EC’s secretary position. The NMU-AAUP office secretary Andrea Jordan attends all EC and FC meetings anyway, and she will serve as our meeting secretary.

Thanks to the careful review of health care payments, Brandon Canfield determined NMU-AAUP members had overpaid, and we were able to secure a $262 dollar refund for faculty who paid into the plan during 2015. BTW, Brandon has accepted the position of data analyst for the NMU-AAUP. He will replace George Wilson who had previously served in that role.

Brandon also used health care records as a way to clearly show the number of employees receiving benefits increased for administrative positions, while it decreased for faculty members. If you haven’t read this article, you can find it here.

The Faculty Salary Inversion Review Committee examined the list of fall 2016 faculty salaries for inversions that may have occurred due to promotions. (See 9.1.2.3 in the Master Agreement.) Eleven full-time faculty were given salary adjustments that totaled $28,457. There are some faculty who were “exceptional hires” and therefore fit into the “exempted faculty” mentioned in 9.1.2.3. When they are promoted they do not trigger salary inversions.

After all these years of making 10 copies of our promotion and tenure documents, we are finally formally moving to electronic submission of tenure and promotion documents. Of course it is not that easy, so those involved have prepared instructions for electronic submission. You can view the instructions here.

The College of Business has been operating without a department head for about 2 years. Since Marge Sklar retired, they have been functioning by having department chairs (faculty members) presiding over disciplines they grouped together. We issued a “stop counting” memo to the administration to reconcile this situation. That means we will go through informal discussions to try to remedy this. Of course, everything is in flux with reorganization efforts, so it probably won’t be resolved until that is settled. This was done not with the intent to penalize the COB, but to remind the administration to honor the current contract that requires department heads.

The EC voted in November to contract with the NMU Archives to organize and preserve NMU-AAUP records. The $3,000 contract will pay for a student (working under the direction of Marcus Robyns) to make the records easier to find while also developing greater security regarding access to these documents at the same time.

Some of the issues we will continue to monitor into next semester include enrollment, retention, faculty numbers, contingent seniority, budget/spending, Academic Affairs restructuring, Heads vs. Chairs, program prioritization, programs online v. in-person teaching. A number of programs are looking to move on-line or have an on-line track, and some departments are utilizing companies that recruit students for the on-line program. There are more details to be worked out for this.

The main agenda item for now is for you and yours to have a relaxing and safe break. Happy Holidays from the NMU-AAUP!

 

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