Theresa and Jen’s Excellent Adventure

From Harold Lounge field reporter, Jen Armendarez (via email):

Per the suggestion from Philodave on The Harold Lounge, Theresa and I decided to make the trek to the suburbs to attend the annual fall CCCTU 2010 Conference on Saturday, October 23 at 8:00 am. I won’t waste many words about the journey but it was very exciting. The facility for the meeting was beautiful and after I found a HUGE mall. I also noted a great bike path which would have been cool to explore. But I digress…

So about the meeting,

Before I get to the three main subjects covered in the training workshop, I wanted to share some statistics which were discussed in the conference. In light of the 26 firings that occurred on Friday (including some faculty), these statistics are certainly egregious.

From May to October approximately 46 new administrators have been hired, 32 at district. Total salary for these created positions, approximately 2.5 million dollars. BTW- in that same time frame- there have been 6 new faculty members hired (none at HWC).

The folks at the training meeting were presented with a book from the Illinois Community College Board with Data and Characteristics of Illinois Community Colleges. Much exciting information can be found in this book. For instance, in 2009 HWC had the largest average class size of all Community Colleges in ILLINOIS. Also, in 2009 the average salary for CCC faculty was 67,962 and the average salary for administrators was 112,036. It will be interesting to see how that number changes given the incredible increase in administrators and their very large salaries! I haven’t reviewed the student data but everyone can view this information at Data & Characteristics of the Public Community College System.

Three Workshops
I    Grievance Procedure
An on-line form for grievances is being developed. It is an information gathering tool which can be shared with the correct union officials. A grievance handbook is also being developed. This is excellent news for HWC since our current Grievance person is retiring.

II.    Contract Negotiation & Maintenance
This workshop discussed the steps and strategies for negotiating a contract. Of particular note for CCC is that only the Chapter Chair is a member of the negotiating committee. Experts may be called in for specific issues and 1600 will assist if problems arise. One of the steps was to have an updated membership list. This seems like something very necessary for HWC. We should definitely have an updated email/mailing list, especially since so many of our administrators are probably on the former email list. The second step would then be to survey all Union members to find out what issues they would like addressed/fixed in the next contract. The next step is to clear up any ambiguous language in the contract, and make it such that both the Union and the administration can agree on it.  If there is no agreement, then it can go to the negotiating table, but this could save lots of time and wasted energy prior to dealing with the bigger issues.  There were more suggestions but these were some of the highlights.

III.    CCCTU Future Planning & Training
The three main points which came out of this workshop were recruitment, mentoring and training support. Manuals for grievance, chapter chair and negotiations would be most beneficial, especially if there is a tense transition of leadership.

If you have specific questions please feel free to email me. I encourage others to go to training or other Union functions. Not only was it very educational but we got breakfast, lunch and a stipend for gas (which I promptly turned over at the VERY LARGE MALL down the street).  Thanks for the suggestion and information Philodave and thanks to Phil Stucky for arranging our participation.

2 thoughts on “Theresa and Jen’s Excellent Adventure

  1. Thanks for the awesome report, Jen; and thanks to you both for going. I’m glad we had some representation there.

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