By Lauren Blanchard.
MPCTA will meet for a membership meeting on March 29 at 12:00pm. We will meet in SS104. Our agenda will focus on building committees for document review, a potential MPCTA scholarship, generating ideas for changes to the Evaluations (14) article, and ideas for building membership.
I know it has been some time since there was an update, but the new round of negotiations has gotten off to a slower start. MPCTA’s negotiation team met with the District once in February for the purpose of scheduling sessions in March and April. However, we did not begin discussing changes to the contract until Monday, March 18. At our bargaining session this Monday, MPCTA presented revisions of the Workload (15) and Salary (16) articles, and the District presented proposals for changes to the Division Chairs (23) article and suggested a new Professional Duties article. I will review the changes proposed by MPCTA first, and then after changes put forward by the District.
In both of our proposals, the goal of the MPCTA team was to simplify the contract language, to create more equity among faculty, and to create incentive structures that will advantage our students.
To that end, in the Workload article (15), MPCTA proposed eliminating the different load values assigned to different instructional formats. Pedagogical changes and reductions in the support staffing for labs and studios have made the different load values deeply unfair. MPCTA’s proposal is that lecture, lab, studio, rehearsal, activity and counseling instruction should all be paid at 1TLU per hour of instruction. MPCTA also proposed a revision to ensure that faculty are being protected when they teach large courses. Currently faculty receive an additional 1TLU for each 800 weekly student contact hours (to calculate WSCH you can multiply the number of students by the number of hours that a class meets per week). Generally, in order to receive this 1 TLU workload protection, faculty must teach multiple large courses (often with higher credit values). We have proposed changing this to provide faculty with 1TLU for each course with more 200 or more weekly student contact hours (or additional weekly hours, in the case of part time faculty). This plan for using WSCH in calculating loads has the benefit of providing faculty with workload protection for teaching large classes. It may also incentivize faculty to be willing to teach large classes (which could help MPC to become more efficient) where it is pedagogically appropriate, and perhaps to make it easier for the students to enroll in some high demand classes. We proposed a $150 stipend for supervising students in an independent study or COOP placement– again, this will hopefully increase the availability of these opportunities for students. Finally, we proposed that part-time faculty be paid for a half-hour of office hour time for each 3 hours of class time they are assigned, which will also have clear benefits for our students.
In the Salary article (16), MPCTA proposed eliminating salary schedules B-1 and C-2. All part time faculty would be paid on salary schedule B-2, which currently pays part-time instructional faculty. Full-time faculty teaching overload courses would be paid at the part-time instructional rate, rather than a reduced overload rate, and part-time counseling faculty would be paid the same rate as part-time instructional faculty. This would greatly simplify our pay structure and make it more equitable. Schedule C-1 would still exist to pay full-time faculty a reduced rate for work that is non-instructional, like committee meetings on non-contract days or for assignments that are unrelated to their primary assignment. MPCTA proposed changes designed to prevent faculty from becoming prematurely stuck on salary steps, including:
- a streamlined process for column advancement, that eliminates pre-approval and includes the opportunity to earn college level credits at conferences (which is a practice at some education conferences, among others);
- the elimination of the professional growth requirement for part-time faculty;
- and streamlining the step advancement procedure for overload and part-time faculty, so that a step increase is provided for each 100 hours of instruction, with no more than 2 step increases per academic year (the current procedure has resulted in a lot of errors because of confusing contract language)
MPCTA proposed granting part-time faculty credit for experience, rather than starting all part-time faculty on step 1 of salary schedule B-2. This will make MPC more competitive when hiring part-time faculty, and will increase the likelihood that an experienced part-time instructor will seek employment with MPC. MPCTA proposed a 5% increase in 2019-2020, a 5% increase in 2020-2021, and a 5% increase in 2021-2022, and proposed extending all columns of salary schedules A and B to 17 steps.
It is important to keep in mind that because the final contract will be a product of the negotiation, it is possible that not all of these proposed changes will be in a final tentative agreement. However, by providing numerous proposals to the District for increasing faculty salaries, while making the salary structure more equitable, we have established that there are many ways to improve faculty earnings at MPC and all of these actions can now be a part of MPCTA’s discussions with the District.
The District proposed changes to the Division Chair article (23), which were primarily designed to make it clear that faculty do not supervise classified staff. In addition, they have added language about completing responsibilities “in accordance with established College procedures and timelines”. MPCTA requested a copy of the procedures and timelines referenced, so that we can better evaluate the meaning of this language– we are hesitant to include language in any article of the contract that allows for changes to faculty workload or responsibilities without negotiation. The only proposed change to the reassigned time that Division Chairs receive is that classified staff will not be included the calculation. Currently, each full-time classified employee within the division counts for 1 Division Chairperson Unit and each part-time classified employee counts for .5 Division Chairperson Unit (23.8.5). MPCTA is researching the consequence of removing these units, but if you have any information about how this is likely to affect your division, please reach out to myself, Alan Haffa, or Blake Spiering.
The District also proposed a new article, which they are calling “Professional Duties”. This is very similar to a proposal from the last round of bargaining. It is unclear what the purpose of this contract article would be– perhaps we will know more after the District presents its proposal on Evaluations (14).
Please plan to attend the membership meeting on March 29 at 12pm in SS104. If you cannot attend, but have thoughts that might be helpful for the MPCTA negotiating team as we work on a proposal for changes to the Evaluations article (14), please let one of us know. As always, please send questions and comments to me by responding to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.