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.

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The End of the Summer Session (and so much more)

“It is with a heavy heart that I write you this message today” began the email message from our FC4 President, and Child Development faculty member from Daley College, Jennifer Alexander.

Here’s the rest of her message:

In the interest of time, I will only speak briefly to this matter.

Last Thursday, July 16th, the Presidents of the 6 City Colleges that currently offer Child Development classes (all except Wright) and any faculty who happened to check their email (sent at 6 pm the evening before) participated in a very short conference call with district officers.

In this conference call, we were informed that the Child Development programs at all of the colleges will be closed and are “consolidating” at Truman College for the Fall of 2016.

This notion of “consolidation” completely undermines the mission of a COMMUNITY College.

Further, the conference- call delivery of a top-down decision that significantly impacts faculty and students at 6 colleges, with no faculty having ever been included in the decision-making process, is the OPPOSITE of shared governance.

There is so much more to say about this and so many other issues that have arisen this summer: tuition hikes, registration changes….. If I wrote to you everything I want to say, this email would be 10 pages long and not ready until next week. And so I decided to send out this shorter, quick communication just to make sure you knew this is happening and also how it happened.

More to come, soon. Take heart though: we’re taking action.


Perusing a recent Chronicle summary of “How Great Colleges Distinguish Themselves,” four areas were identified as contributing to collegiate greatness: leadership, communication, alignment, and respect.

I’ll just leave that there.

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).

Kinzie Street Shennanigans

That’s right. It’s time to get the brooms. And we’re not even talking about the contract (which we haven’t gotten yet).

Setting aside, for the moment, interesting philosophical questions about the nature of ‘shenannigans,‘ it seems that strange things are afoot at the Union office.

First we heard that Perry would be stepping down and there would be an election (no fault, Jesú–that’s a reasonable interpretation of whatever was actually said since that’s how these things usually work), then word comes that he wasn’t going to step down but there would be an election in case he had to, and then there was notice about the candidates and their letters of introduction and that they’d attend our local union meeting, and then last night I received this email, forwarded from a union rep, which I found stunning, both for the content and the names of the signatories:

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