Special Union Request and Call for Volunteers

Jesú, our union chapter chair, asked me to post the following, which you also received in email:


Dear Union Sisters and Brothers,


Next week, the Alliance of City College Unions (ACCU) has called for a two-day informational table campaign for City College workers, students, and community members to learn about the Elect the City Colleges School Board Campaign and sign a petition advocating for a new direction in the City Colleges; the petition will go to the mayor.  Tony Johnston, our CCCTU president says, “The information tables are the first in a series of coordinated events by the Alliance of City College Unions (1600, 1708 Clerical, CCCLOC-Adjuncts, AFSCME Adult Educators and SEIU Custodial) to reach out to the City College community about our issues and gain allies.”  I add that it will help us hone our talking points in promoting the Vote of No Confidence and for future actions and inform students and colleagues about the issues at hand.


We have a table reserved Tuesday, 1/26 and Wednesday, 1/27 in the lobby from 9a.m. to 5p.m.  I am planning on sitting on Tuesday before our sanctioned meeting from 11a.m. to 11:30a.m. and after the Union meeting, but still need volunteers, ideally two per shift.  Plus, it would send a stronger message to the opposition, if various people sat at the table.


Right now, I definitely need coverage on Tuesday 1/26: 11:30 to noon, noon to 1:30p.m., and 1:30p.m. to 2p.m.  Wednesday 1/27: 9-9:30a.m., 10a.m.-10:30a.m., 10:30a.m. to 11a.m., 11a.m. to 11:30a.m., 11:30a.m. to noon, 1:30p.m. to 2p.m., 2p.m. to 2:30p.m., and 3p.m. to 5p.m. (in 30 minute increments.)


If you want to volunteer, read the volunteering documents carefully before you sit at the table so the talking points will be clear; I will send those to you via email and talk or meet with you on Monday, if you have questions.


For now, is anybody interested in sitting at the table for 30 minutes or more?


Thank you to the faculty who are already volunteering; your contributions are crucial.  I also want to thank our coalition sister for taking the initiative to schedule the table for a longer period of time.  (Please, feel free to share this message, where appropriate and include my contact information.)


In Solidarity,


María (Jesú) Estrada, Ph.D

H.W.C./District Local 1600, Chapter Chair
H.W.C./District Local 1600, Grievance Committee Member

Think, Know, Prove: Merit Pay–Some Considerations

Think, Know, Prove is an occasional Friday feature, where a topic with both mystery and importance is posted for community discussion. The title is a shortened version of the Investigative Mantra: What do we think, what do we know, what can we prove? and everything from wild speculation to resource referencing fact is welcome here.

Our current contract went into effect on July 16, 2013 and includes a little provision in Article VI, Section C, as you might recall, called “Student Success Pay.” This was, shall we say, a controversial aspect of the contract. Our Union leadership at the time made the case that we should like it because, “Hey, free money!” (I’m paraphrasing). And now, one month short of halfway through our contract, I’m not sure that anyone is any closer to understanding this provision than when it was proposed. Two important considerations jump out–one is principle and one is practical. We’ll take the easier of the two first.


In The News

You may have missed it amid the finals hoo-hah, but Hector Reyes (Physical Science), Rochelle Robinson-Dukes (VP, CCC faculty and professionals union), Dolores Withers (President,  clericals’ union), and Floyd Bednarz (President, adjuncts’ union) wrote a letter that garnered some national news coverage. The comments section of the latter is particularly interesting, I thought. There’s even a cool image on the HWC union website that you can print out and put up somewhere if you’re of a mind to do so.

In other news near and dear to Hector’s heart, AAUP investigators issued a report condemning the President of Northeastern Illinois for retaliation against a professor there (coverage here and here).

First contact with the contract

As promised, I tolds you I’d keep an eye on our CCC website for the new contract and…

It’s been uploaded! Here is the link to the Collective Bargaining Agreement 7/16/13 – 7/15/18

I’ve not had time to compare it with the contract that just expired, but feel free to give it a glance.And feel free to share your initial comments. Or take your time –  you gots 5 years.

September 2012 Board Report Highlights

Here’s my abbreviated and opinionated highlights of the September 2012 board report. I’ll try to give you the 3 minute drill:

August 2, 2012 Minutes
OIT Report – Looks like we may be getting an OIT monthly spending report from District. Actually, it looks like they’ve got Pace putting a spreadsheet together with a monthly update and a YTD total. Guess who spent the most in August? District. To the tune of $10,817.00. The Office of Information Technology (don’t know if that’s District or not) spent $415.00. HW spent $72.00. MX spent $340.00. All of the other colleges were goose eggs. The numbers should even out over the course of the academic year and I do believe the colleges should make up the bulk of the spending since they are the buildings serving the students.

Monthly Board Minutes – Looks like the official minutes. Stated who was in attendance. Lots o’ people from District, our FCP, the 1708 rep, and some other folks. One trustee was absent. No sign of Angela Henderson.
There was roll call. Meeting was called to order. Remarks from Chair Wolff. Faculty Council report. Chancellor gave an update. According to the minutes, we have a balanced budget without a need to raise taxes. Same ol’, same ol’ on the skewed graduation numbers. Alvin, no not the guy with the chipmunks, the Vice Chancellor of Strategy, Research and Organizational Effectiveness gave a presentation on enrollment data. Apparently it was well received. Then Laurent Pernot, Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement gave a report on the FY 2013 Registration, Recruitment and Marketing Campaign. I’ll save you the bullet points. If you’re like me, you’ve probably come to hate bullet points after this month’s fiasco, err, I mean, this months union vote.
There was a review of board agenda items, but not really ’cause they were reviewed prior to the review and the board was gathered to approve the review of the agenda items that preceded this review. Got it? Good.
August agenda items were approved.
Then there was a closed session. Sorry, but pursuant to open meetings act, this closed meeting is permissible. I’m sure it was important. Why else would it not be open?
Once the doors were reopened, the board meeting was an open and shut case. Motion to adjourn. The End.

CCC Distinguished Employees for 2011-2012 – The penultimate Distinguished Professors were officially recognized by the board. Yep, PhiloDave was on the list. So I guess all the hard work he was asked to do during graduation and treating him like hired help, instead of giving him a distinguished spot on stage and treating him like a distinguished prof, was worth his time. (BTW, I still hope Dave gets some mike time during State of the College. Unless they’re going to ask him to be an usher for the event, then I’ll understand.) Give Dave some more love when ya see him.

CCC got a couple of buses from CTA based on some TDL data, and part of the C2C program for the CDL training program at OH.
Straws were drawn during the closed door session to determine who would be the first to test drive the buses a-la-Speed-style.

Resolution to commend Jaime Guzman was withdrawn. It was later revealed that it was a mix-up with the Distinguished Professor resolution.

The resolution to approve the tentative agreement for a collective bargaining agreement between the board and local 1600 was passed. It was noted that it was approved as outlined in Exhibit A. Mind you, no actual contract language or details were apporved, simply the bullet points. I will not get into the details, I mean, the bullet points, but I would really like to know what was meant by that no strike clause.
It was later revealed that during the closed session the president of the union accepted the approval of the mayor by taking a knee and kissing the mayor’s ring of power located on the mayor’s right hand. In honor of the privilege, the union president agreed to burn all ballots that had arrived after the victorious press release of the contract agreement had been made official. The mayor then ordered the union president to rise and granted him the privilege of driving one of the newly acquired CTA buses. The mayor gave the union president the key to the bus. The union president reciprocated and handed over key strategies to a successful strike campaign. Political smiles were then exchanged.

Personnel Reports
I’m getting long winded, so check out who got an appointment and who played musical chairs at District Office.
There were a couple of faculty appointments.
A couple of lane advancements. Wait. What are lane advancements? Oh, right, they still have to abide by this contract.
Some special assignments for faculty.
Some more changes similar to the musical chairs, but not as bad.
Reinvention task force assignments. They’ve been tasked with reinventing the power source for the buses.
Leaves of absence, separations, and amendments round out that document.
The rest are all the assignments for faculty and continuing ed folks. No need to elaborate here.

Alrighty then. If I missed anything, let me know. That about sums it up.
Seriously though, take a look at that resolution on the contract. I can’t believe we didn’t pull a Karen Lewis and ask for more time to review the details. That’s right, there were no details! Say, can I grieve the fact that I only had a couple of days to really review the bullet points of a contract and that I wasn’t given a real contract to vote on? Huh? It’s like I paid for my meal at a restaurant and I didn’t even get to select my food from the menu.
At least District got to see the buses they purchased.

More Coverage of the Contract Deal

As mentioned by Todd in the comments, you can read the article from Inside Higher Ed HERE (guess we know who Fran Spielman’s source is now, eh?).

And here’s the Tribune’s Editorial Board’s opinion of our new deal:

The opening of the school year, though, is only the No. 3 education story in Chicago this week. Tops is the settlement at City Colleges, with its reasonable balance of compensation that taxpayers can afford and an emphasis on student progress. The other dominant story, of course, is continuing bombast from Chicago Teachers Union officials who threaten that their members may walk out on children next week. …

We hope CTU members take time from any scheduled rallies to ponder what a strike would do to every child who already is losing the excitement of a new school year to a labor spat among adults. We also hope teachers will think seriously about the new City Colleges contract. That pact’s provision for “student success pay” means that when student outcomes improve — as measured by metrics from the Illinois Board of Higher Education — union members will, as a group, receive bonuses. …

The contract that unifies City Colleges faculty members and administrators in putting students first ought to unsettle CTU members. Chicagoans are likely to view that contract as reasonable. As a logical pattern for a contract that teachers in elementary and high schools would be smart to accept.

But that contract isn’t a game-changer only for union members. It ought to remind district officials that their first priority shouldn’t be avoiding a strike. Their first priority should be a contract that year after year puts students — and student performance — ahead of everything else. The last contract didn’t do that. The next one has to.

We congratulate everyone at City Colleges, faculty and administration alike, for achieving that outcome.

Nothing from the Chronicle yet.