Sunday, February 11, 2018

Status of proposals 2/10/2018

Proposal topic
Description
Status
Recognition
NSHE recognizes NFA as bargaining agent for CSN faculty.
Agreed
Saving Clause
If part of the contract is legally invalidated, that does not invalidate the whole contract.
Agreed
Distribution of the Agreement
Administration agrees to post the CBA on the CSN website and to inform new hires about the CBA.
Agreed
Overload Requests
A request to work zero up to and including four IUs shall be granted. From above four up to and including six overload IUs may be granted by the Department Chair with the Dean's approval.
Agreed
Safety
Administration agrees to provide a safe and clean working environment; faculty can raise safety concerns, have the right to a written response; if a faculty member has concern for the safety of her/himself and/or students, he/she has the right to dismiss class if necessary; NFA will have an appointee on the CSN Safety and Security Committee.
Agreed
Dues Deduction
NSHE agrees to continue current dues deduction practice for NFA; provide monthly deduction reports and inform NFA of cancellations.
Agreed
MFA as Grade 5
Faculty members with MFA degrees meeting certain quality-control criteria will be placed in Grade 5 for salary purposes.
Agreed
Market Hires
Market Hires employed for five or more years will be able to apply for tenure following normal procedures.
Agreed
Relocation Expense
Allocates $25,000/year to reimburse new hires from out of town for moving expenses.
Agreed
Emeritus Status
Incorporate current Emeritus Status policy into the CBA.
Agreed
Work out of Title
Faculty member has the right to decline without prejudice work outside of normal work duties or hours. Compensation for additional work should be agreed at the time of acceptance. Faculty not to be made to perform menial tasks.
Agreed
Salary
Several aspects: 1) specify procedures and amount of money to be distributed via equity review processes; 2) increase overload pay; 3) salary placement criteria should be published, accessible, and equitable.
Open
Arbitration
A standard Arbitration article, to serve as the last step in a dispute as to whether the CBA has been properly followed. NFA proposes a neutral third-party be the final adjudicator of disputes that reach this stage.
Open
Grievance Procedure
A standard Grievance Procedure for resolving disputes as to whether the CBA has been properly followed.
Open
Summer Teaching
Institute a transparent and equitable system for assigning summer classes; increase summer pay.
Open
Benefits
Create a sick leave bank to protect faculty in case extended medical leave is needed; allow long-term faculty's sick days to be cashed out according to a formula upon severance of employment; establish three weeks of paid parental leave in addition to FMLA; various other aspects.
Open
Contact Hours
Increase the IU value multiplier for Clinic/Lab/Studio and Clinic Supervision.
Open
Non-Discrimination
Affirm and make contractually binding CSN's commitment to non-discrimination.
Open
Hiring
Specifies the hiring process. Allow faculty committee to mark candidates as “do not hire;” give faculty committee equal weight to second committee in final hiring decision; reimburse meal expenses; require more than one reference check.
Open
Discipline and Termination
Establish a due process procedure for discipline of employees: lesser disciplinary sanctions to be adjudicated by a faculty committee, terminations to be adjudicated at the last step by a neutral third-party arbitrator.
Open
Financial Exigency
Modifies the process specified in NSHE Code for declaring and acting on a state of financial emergency to lay off faculty, to provide for additional faculty voice and Chancellor's review.
Open
Contract Types
NFA's counter to Administration's proposal on “Faculty Engagement.” Specifies the work content of A, B, and B+ contracts as per current policy, as well as pay-rate changes for moving between them.
Open
Librarians
Reinstate compensation of 1 IU for Site Coordinators; establish that librarian always has the right to work on a contract of the type he/she was hired on; librarians to be academic faculty falling under the purview of Academic Affairs.
Open
Counselors
Protect counselor tenure and status as academic faculty; counselors to remain assigned to the academic schools; appropriate safety assurances to be made; single, functional recording mechanism for student contacts.
Open
Program Directors
Specify duties and authority of Program Directors; establish floor for IU compensation of Program Directors, as well as a stipend.
Open
Department Chairs
Specify duties, authority, compensation of Department Chairs, all as per current policy. Change election procedure so that candidates cannot be disqualified after votes are cast.
Open
Professional Development
Human Resources to keep a record of faculty member's work toward salary advancement; other aspects regarding administrative support for professional development, including sabbatical leave.
Open
Academic Freedom
Incorporate current Academic Freedom policy into the CBA, with a standard Academic Responsibility clause.
Open
Faculty Offices
All faculty to have the right to a functional office on the campus on which they do the majority of their teaching.
Open
Faculty Info Handbook
Info Handbook to be updated yearly; NFA to be consulted as part of the update process.
Open
E-Hires
E-Hires to be offered service work; E-Hires performing service work or not properly offered service work eligible to apply time worked to tenure clock if later hired in a tenure-track position.
Open
Shared Governance
Make Faculty Senate policies binding while in effect; require written notice of President rescinding policy to be provided to all Faculty Senators; NFA and Administration to consult on CB-related matters at request of either party; provide office space and release IUs to NFA
Open
Successorship
Establish protections against outsourcing faculty; establish CBA duration as well as aspects of modification and re-negotiation of the CBA.
Open
Immigration Status
Faculty not to be required to report the immigration status of members of the CSN community nor deny students' services based on immigration status.
Open
Policies and Practices
A preamble describing the role of the CBA and its relationship to existing NSHE Code, policies, and practices.
Open

Friday, December 22, 2017

Bargaining update #14

In December, two collective bargaining sessions were held: 8 Dec and 18 Dec, both at the West Charleston campus.

At the first meeting, tentative agreements were reached on two contract provisions: “MFA to Salary Grade 5” and “Relocation Expenses for New Hires.” No additional tentative agreements emerged from the second meeting.

The following contract proposals were discussed during the December meetings. Dates in parentheses identify the meeting(s) at which the topic was discussed. In this summary, topics are presented in alphabetical order.

Arbitration (8 Dec. and 18 Dec.)
On 8 Dec., NFA reported that an AAUP legal expert has reviewed ADMIN’s counter-proposal on Arbitration. NFA shared that consultant’s concerns with ADMIN’s text. While ADMIN seeks to make arbitration dependent upon “mutual agreement” of both parties and to limit arbitration to “contract adherence, no case facts,” NFA takes AAUP’s recommendation to challenge these provisions, for these reasons. Mutual agreement gives parties veto powers over the other’s interests in seeking third-party scrutiny. Both parties have interests in bringing facts to arbitration; interpretation and application of the CBA includes review of facts. Another sticking point for NFA involves ADMIN’s prohibiting “appeal of a decision made in accordance with the CBA.” ADMIN explained this language articulates that disciplinary determinations should not be appealed; ADMIN is “not interested in arbitration” that challenges factual decisions made at the college.

On 18 Dec., Arbitration was again discussed as NFA continued to probe ADMIN’s resistance to this issue. ADMIN expressed skepticism of arbitrators’ knowledge and expertise in dealing with higher education conflicts. ADMIN offered willingness to “think outside the box”; maybe selecting arbitrators from “past college presidents” would enable ADMIN to look more favorably on this proposal. NFA questioned whether higher education is “a black box” that people outside it cannot understand; in fact, NFA noted, arbitrators come from all professions, including education, and are well trained and certified for their profession in arbitration.

E-Hire for Tenure (18 Dec.)
ADMIN presented a counter-proposal to NFA’s 26 Oct. counter-proposal.

Grievance Procedures (8 Dec.)
NFA presented its counter-proposal to ADMIN’s last counter on Grievance Procedures. NFA proposes Step 1 (Informal meeting) “may” be skipped if a grievant feels intimidated by the immediate supervisor involved (dept head/director). When ADMIN asserted that creating communication at the lowest level possible is preferable, NFA agreed in theory but explained that “may” is not mandating avoidance, only protecting bargaining unit members from being bullied by contentious supervisors. NFA inserts into Step 3 the Vice President of Student Services to clarify chain of command for Counselors; NFA adds into Step 4 that grievances not represented by NFA cannot be resolved “inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement.” NFA adds in Step 4(f) a provision for grievances alleging discrimination or discriminatory harassment because institutional procedures provide a longer timeline (365 days) than state (NERC, 300 days) or federal (EEOC, 180 days) laws do for addressing such issues.

Program Directors (8 Dec. and 18 Dec.)
On 8 Dec., NFA requested to amend its 6 Nov. 2017 counter-proposal, increasing Program Director credits from 3 to 4 in light of survey research recently completed on Program Director IU’s distributed across all departments. NFA has additional changes to propose after receiving ADMIN’s next counter-proposal.

On 18 Dec., in the context of discussing ADMIN’s “Summer Teaching” counter-proposal, NFA raised questions about language making Department Chairs solely responsible for preparing summer teaching schedules. NFA asked if ADMIN’s language was rewriting Program Directors’ job descriptions because, in many departments, Program Directors have been tasked with summer scheduling. ADMIN explained that Department Chairs, per organization chart, bear final (sign-off) responsibility for scheduling and that, per ADMIN’s resistance to including job descriptions in the contract, there was no intent to limit Program Director duties.

Summer Teaching (18 Dec.)
ADMIN presented a counter-proposal to NFA’s “Summer Teaching” proposal. Although ADMIN reduces NFA’s “$ per IU” and pro-rata asks, this counter offers a 15% raise and a 7% raise, respectively.

Work out of Title (8 Dec. and 18 Dec.)
At the first meeting, ADMIN presented its “markup” of NFA’s latest “Work out of Title” counter. Admin deletes “within their regular work hours” as inconsistent with the self-scheduling character of faculty work and replaces “assign” (again) for “ask” in describing management of bargaining unit members’ duties. ADMIN’s discussion point that “faculty can still say ‘no’” led to NFA’s question if “assign” would allow supervisors to discipline those who refuse or downgrade their next performance evaluation; ADMIN explained that “may decline” protects bargaining unit members from such adverse repercussions. NFA asked if adding “time-sensitive” to the wording “perform substantial tasks” would clarify that supervisory requests for last-minute, time-consuming projects are included in this provision; ADMIN asserted that “substantial” could cover that. NFA received ADMIN’s hand-edited text as an official counter-proposal.

On 18 Dec., NFA resubmitted a hand-edited counter-proposal that accepts ADMIN’s 8 Dec. text changes and inserts “without prejudice” to the “bargaining unit member may decline” sentence. NFA explained that the added language preserves the verbal claim ADMIN made previously about refusals not being subject to punishment or retribution. ADMIN received NFA’s “markup” as an official counter.

Additional Discussion: Salary and Scheduling (8 Dec. and 18 Dec.)
On Dec. 8, ADMIN updated NFA on progress made by CSN and the NSHE Chancellor to study faculty salaries. CSN’s in-house salary equity study committee has been formed and will soon hold its first meeting. The Chancellor’s NSHE salary study committee has been formed; this committee, not CSN’s, will consider external comparators. CSN’s internal committee will recommend equity criteria and discuss whether an outside consultant should be hired to conduct the study. ADMIN could not readily report the cost of hiring the consultant who performed that last salary equity study in 2013. ADMIN asserted that any further discussion of salary increases needs to work within the parameters of CSN’s budget request for 2019-2021, already submitted to the Chancellor. Some of NFA’s contract requests have been included in that proposed budget.

On 8 Dec., ADMIN expressed interest in presenting having a final contract to the June Regents meeting. This goal would require having all provisions settled by the end of February so that final draft could be printed in March for voting before May 1. On 18 Dec., ADMIN proposed a schedule of future weeks when meetings could occur; NFA and ADMIN set a tentative schedule for the next three meetings after the holidays: 1/11, 9 am, NLV; 1/26, 11 am, WC; 2/9, 10 am, HEN.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bargaining update #13

The NFA-CSN and CSN Administration bargaining teams met for bargaining sessions, on October 10th and October 26th. Various item were discussed with varying levels of progress being made; this update focuses on two of high priority for faculty: Salary and Benefits. These were discussed in these sessions, and NFA is disappointed to report that little progress was made.

Salary: The parties have been negotiating the parameters of internally-funded equity studies. On October 10th, Administration re-introduced a Salary proposal, having rescinded their previous proposal. The main content of Administration's October 10th proposal was regarding an equity study. Their proposal was substantially similar to that which they had previously made. NFA's critique of this proposal is the same as that of the previous, similar proposal, and can be found here. The NFA-CSN team spent a solid hour of the session expressing our view of the shortcomings of the Administration proposal.

Subsequently, on October 26th, Administration revised their Salary proposal. The revised proposal was improved by the addition at least of a timeline. However, on many other points, including above all the lack of a guaranteed amount of money to be distributed by the equity study, NFA continues to find Administration's proposal lacking.

Moreover, other important aspects of NFA's Salary proposal were not addressed, namely, initial placement, and overload pay (Administration has said they will bring an Overload Pay proposal to the next bargaining session).

On a positive note, Administration did indicate that they were returning to their original plan of performing an equity study this academic year (that plan had been canceled due to then-Chancellor Nichols' memo, which NFA successfully opposed). While NFA of course believes that equity studies negotiated in a CBA are the better vehicle for making salary adjustments, this will at least give Administration the chance to demonstrate good intentions in the meantime.

NFA-CSN will bring a Salary counter to the next bargaining session on November 6th. We have found that faculty feel strongly about the need to improve compensation, and from the beginning of negotiations we have consistently expressed this priority to Administration. We are not going to stop now.

We believe that the negotiations can potentially move forward productively, and we have always attempted to be reasonable. If however, an impasse develops, we will evaluate our options, including how to best call our bargaining unit members into action.

Benefits: October 26th, Administration brought their first counter on Benefits. Administration agreed to four parts of NFA's original proposal: that benefits not modified in the CBA are to continue; that the parties will jointly lobby for improvements to health insurance; that information regarding employee benefits will be provided through CAPE sessions; and that online teaching is an appropriate medical accommodation for faculty considering medical leave.

While agreement on these issues is welcomed, important items were not addressed in Administration's counter:

  1. Sick Leave Bank-- NFA has proposed a Sick Leave Bank be created for faculty, just as there is one for classifieds. Administration said that “for now the answer is no” citing uncertainty about how this would be implemented in Workday and also claiming that if it were implemented for CSN, it would have to be implemented NSHE-wide. NFA believes that the logistics in any case should be workable (there were sick leave banks before there were computers, after all), and that protection in the case of catastrophic illness through pooling voluntary donations of earned sick days would be of value.

  1. Sick leave payout upon retirement-- this is a benefit enjoyed by numerous of CSN's comparator institutions. Administration has claimed that cost prohibits CSN from having such a benefit, however they have not provided a clear cost estimate. NFA does not believe that the costs are as great as Administration apparently thinks. We look forward to looking through the data.

  1. Parental leave-- NFA has proposed that bargaining unit members going out on FMLA leave upon the birth or adoption of a child, be afforded five weeks of paid time off, before having to use sick leave and/or unpaid leave. Studies have shown the importance of parental leave, and some of CSN's comparator institutions have it. It would help elevate CSN's family-friendly status, and attract new faculty. However, Administration did not include this in their Benefits response.

  1. Health care premium increase freeze-- NFA had proposed CSN set aside money to absorb the cost of health care premium increases for bargaining unit members. Administration was not interested in this, saying they preferred not to have uncertain costs based on potential premium increases.
  2. Social Security opt-in-- as a number of faculty have previously contributed to Social Security, and are faced with a penalty for not having contributed while working as a state employee in Nevada, NFA had asked for an opt-in option to be established whereby faculty could voluntarily direct a portion of their retirement contribution toward Social Security. Administration expressed that they thought political resistance would be too great, since all the other state employees would lack the option.


NFA will bring a counter to the next bargaining session.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Administration's “clarification” on salary studies

On October 17th CSN President Richards sent an email titled “Clarification of Various Salary Studies” with information regarding different salary studies pursued by CSN, NSHE, and the Legislature.

In describing CSN equity studies, Dr. Richards wrote “Compares (and adjusts) salaries of academic faculty within the institution based on experience and education. Does not compare with other institutions.” The basis provided was NSHE Procedures and Guidelines Manual Chapter 3 Section 2.3.d.

NFA in our Salary proposal have asked for other criteria to apply to an equity study than comparison with other CSN salaries-- most importantly, that faculty's salaries be compared to the Community College Academic Salary Schedule. Does then the NFA proposal contradict the Procedures and Guidelines Manual?

No. The Procedures and Guidelines Manual Chapter 3 Section 2.3.d states that equity plans “must include but are not limited to the following:” and then lists features including comparison to the salaries of academic faculty within the institution. The Procedures and Guidelines Manual does not preclude use of other factors in an equity study, and in fact we know that other NSHE institutions have used a variety of criteria in conducting their equity studies.

Moreover, NSHE Code specifically allows for collective bargaining agreements to modify even NSHE Code. This is stated in NSHE Code Title 4 Chapter 4 Sections 13.2 and 13.3. Therefore even if it were not allowed for in the Procedures and Guidelines Manual, nor practiced at other NSHE institutions, NFA could still negotiate for other criteria to be used in equity studies.

We believe it is important to regularly compare CSN faculty salaries to the Salary Schedule, so that the Salary Schedule has meaning. Dr. Richards in his email notes that at the NSHE level a study is being carried out that may update the NSHE Salary Schedule. But what good will that do current CSN faculty? The Salary Schedule is used in determining initial salary placement for new faculty, but what else? Our research showed that approximately 80% of our bargaining unit have base salaries that fall below the median of their grade range.


We think that it should be the case that the Salary Schedule should be referenced in equity studies, so that faculty who are behind that objective measure can be brought up to speed. We do not want it to be the case that a faculty member's colleagues also being underpaid is sufficient justification not to address that faculty member being underpaid based on NSHE's own metrics.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Bargaining update #12

The teams met for bargaining sessions on August 11th and September 22nd. At the September 22nd session, tentative agreements were reached on Market Hires and Dues Deduction. This brings the total number of tentative agreements to seven. NFA is cautiously optimistic based on Administration's tone and their expression of interest in reaching a final agreement in a timely manner.

Salary memo:
At the August 11th meeting, Administration brought up that then-Acting Chancellor Jane Nichols had issued a memo prohibiting certain types of internally-funded salary adjustments. On this account, they rescinded without substitute their Salary proposal.

NFA opposed this memo, speaking to legislators, Chancellor Reilly, and ultimately testifying at a meeting of the Regents. Subsequently, Chancellor Reilly issued a clarification memo largely rescinding the Nichols memo. This had just come out before the September 22nd bargaining session, and at that session Administration indicated they would be bringing a new Salary proposal at the next meeting.

Other items from the sessions--

August 11th:

Market Hires: NFA presented a counter-proposal. This proposal was substantively very similar to Administration's last proposal. The main change was to the number of years after which a Market Hire could apply for tenure. NFA proposed five.

Dues Deduction: NFA proposed that current practice for dues deduction for NFA members continue.

September 22nd:


There was some discussion of an information request put in by NFA for documents related to EEOC/Affirmative Action topics. NFA wants this information in order to assess the equity situation at CSN, particularly in the light of various statements that have been made to us by faculty members (which, in the absence of evidence, we are unable to verify). However, Administration had rejected a previous request for faculty racial and age information, stating that such information was confidential. It does seem that they will provide at least some documents responsive to the current information request.

Market Hires: Administration accepted NFA's 8/11 proposal. While the language and parameters are a negotiated compromise, NFA is pleased that the sides were able to agree on the core concept of this proposal – that Market Hire faculty should have a path to tenure, as a way to redress the surprising fact that in general long-time Market Hire faculty have been paid less than tenure-track counterparts, while also lacking the job security of tenure. Now, once the CBA goes into effect, Market Hire faculty with five or more years of service will be able to apply for tenure.

Dues Deduction: Administration accepted NFA's 8/11 proposal.

Scheduling: The NFA-CSN team pushed for more frequent and longer meetings. Administration did not agree on the necessity of this, as the teams are also initiating a series of working group discussions on various proposals that could also move the process forward. The NFA-CSN team finds Administration's position reasonable if the working groups are indeed productive, but nonetheless still wants more and longer sessions as we feel these will help speed a resolution to negotiations.

In the end, bargaining sessions were agreed for:
Tuesday 10/10 3pm, West Charleston, Room TBA
Thursday 10/26 9am, North Las Vegas, Room TBA

Monday 11/6 3pm, West Charleston, Room TBA

State Assemblywoman Heidi Swank supports faculty collective bargaining with Open Letter to the Regents


Friday, June 16, 2017

Overall bargaining status check and review -- June 2017

The NFA-CSN and CSN Administration bargaining teams have been negotiating for the first faculty CBA (collectively bargained agreement) since November 2016. This is a general status update.

Schedule of negotiations:
There have been seventeen negotiating sessions so far; a rate of a little slower than one session every two weeks. NFA had preferred an average rate of one session per week, while Administration preferred a slower pace.

Both sides agreed on cycling the meetings across the three campuses.

Mandatory and permissive bargaining topics:
One issue that arose early on was the status of various bargaining topics. NSHE Code delineates certain subjects as “mandatory,” meaning that if one party wishes to negotiate on that subject, the other side must negotiate. Administration has taken the position that they only want to include items in the CBA on subjects found in that list. With that rationale, they have declined various NFA proposals.

As a general matter, so long as they are not unlawful, items other than those on the mandatory list may be negotiated, (these are called “permissive” subjects of bargaining). NFA's position has been, if an item would bring benefit to students, faculty, and/or the institution, then we will propose it, regardless of its status as mandatory or permissive. We hope that Administration will look at such proposals as attempts to promote the common good at CSN, and evaluate them with an open mind. This would be nothing out of the ordinary-- it is very rare to find an academic CBA that does not have some permissive items included.

Support for NFA bargaining:
NFA is proud to report that we are receiving grassroots support from a variety of quarters. We have collected hundreds of faculty support cards, we have circulated a student support petition that has garnered over two thousand signatures from CSN students, and we have received letters of support from several legislators. We will continue to build our support as bargaining proceeds.

Proposals:

Agreed:
Recognition – the employer recognizes NFA as the bargaining agent for CSN faculty.

Saving Clausea technical item stating that if part of the contract is legally invalidated, that does not invalidate the whole contract, and that the parties will renegotiate a part of the contract that is legally invalidated.

Distribution of the AgreementAdministration agrees to post the CBA on the CSN website, and to inform new hires about the bargaining unit and how to find the CBA.

Overload RequestsA request to work zero up to an including four overload units shall be granted by the Department Chair or Program Director; from above four up to and including six overload units may be granted by the Department Chair with the Dean's approval.

Safety – Several aspects:
  • Administration agrees to provide a safe and clean working environment.
  • Faculty can raise safety concerns, and have the right to a written response.
  • If a faculty member has concern for the safety of her/himself and/or students, he/she has the right to dismiss class if necessary.
  • NFA will have an appointee on the CSN Safety and Security Committee.

Open:
Salary (NFA first proposal 2/24/17; Administration counter 3/24/17; NFA counter 4/7/17) – Faculty consistently rank Salary as a key issue, and it is no mystery why: after the furloughs, base reduction, and salary freeze of the recession, faculty would like to recover some ground. NFA-CSN has consistently expressed the importance of compensation in these negotiations, and the high priority our team places on this item.

NFA's proposal had several parts:

  • Pay raises: equity studies to distribute salary increases equal to 2.5%, 3.0%, and 4.0% of the total salary pool shall be conducted in contract years one, two, and three respectively. The objective would be to make sure faculty salaries stack up to the Salary Schedule, to address compression and/or inversion, and to enhance competitiveness in recruitment and retention. No faculty member below their Q3 salary figure in the Salary Schedule should receive less than a one percent increase.

  • Initial placement: the system for initial salary placement shall be published; faculty shall have the right to a written explanation of their initial placement; evidence of an incorrect initial placement shall be given high consideration in a faculty member's salary equity review request.

  • Overload pay: increase pay per overload IU to $1017 (the 2014 NSHE-recommended figure.)

Administration's response did not contain provisions on initial placement or overload, nor did it commit any definite amount of money to an equity study. More information regarding the differences between the teams on Salary can be found here and here.

Benefits (NFA first proposal 3/10/17) – NFA-CSN's proposal contained various items:

  • Freeze bargaining unit members' contribution to health care premiums.
  • Create a joint NFA-CSN/CSN Administration committee to lobby appropriate entities for improvements or alternatives on health insurance.
  • Establish an opt-in for faculty to Social Security.
  • Allow faculty to apply unused sick and/or annual leave to either advance retirement or to receive a lump sum payment upon retirement.
  • Parental leave-- grant five weeks paid leave to be used prior to the use of sick days or unpaid leave in FMLA circumstances.
  • Create a sick leave bank.
  • Give faculty considering medical leave the opportunity to teach all online classes for up to two semesters, if qualified to teach online.

Administration has not countered; they have indicated they are exploring the feasibility of various of these items.

Grievance Procedure (NFA first proposal 11/14/16; Administration counter 4/28/17; NFA counter 5/8/17) – NFA proposed a standard grievance procedure. This is a procedure to enforce the CBA (not to be confused with the existing institutional complaint procedure). Administration said they preferred to see what items might be in the CBA before negotiating an enforcement mechanism, and their first response came more than five months later.

The Administration counter was similar in structure to the NFA proposal. NFA accepted some of Administration's preferences, while other differences remain, perhaps most important among them over NFA's organizational right to pursue a grievance. More information can be found here.

Arbitration (NFA first proposal 11/14/16) – NFA proposed a standard arbitration procedure. This is the typical final step of a grievance procedure in resolving a CBA-related dispute, where a ruling is made by a neutral third party with relevant technical expertise-- an arbitrator.

Administration said they preferred to see what items might be in the CBA before negotiating Arbitration. However, even after NFA had put its proposals on the table, they still have not responded on Arbitration. NFA does not see why, given that they have responded on Grievance Procedure. This is a mandatory subject of bargaining that NFA on which NFA has been trying to negotiate since the second session.

Both Grievance Procedure and Arbitration are vital to the overall integrity and meaningfulness of the CBA, and NFA sees no reason why Administration should fear straightforward, functional, standard Grievance and Arbitration articles, which is what we have proposed.

Non-Discrimination (NFA first proposal 11/14/16, Administration verbal counter 11/28/16, NFA counter 12/6/16, Administration written counter 12/12/16, NFA counter 2/24/17, NFA revision 4/28/17) – Both sides agree that the employer should not discriminate based on NFA membership or activity. The persistent disagreement is over whether the employer should commit in the CBA not to discriminate based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and a host of other criteria.

Administration says they do not want to, because they consider existing laws proscribing such discrimination as already providing sufficient protection. They said they would not want to supersede those legal protections with the CBA, and that anyway, discrimination is not a problem at CSN. NFA has modified its proposal to be clear that the protections offered by the CBA would be in addition to and not superseding or replacing existing protection offered by the law.

NFA believes that it is important to affirm non-discrimination in the CBA, regardless of whether discrimination is or is not a problem at CSN (a subject on which different people may have different opinions). NFA also notes that such language is common in academic CBAs. That is why NFA produced a document titled “Non-Discrimination Language in Academic CBAs: 101 Examples” containing one hundred and one examples of faculty CBAs with one form or another of similar language regarding non-discrimination.

Administration's refusal to agree to Non-Discrimination is a surprising inconsistency with its repeated statements on the subject, and hardly qualifies as going “above and beyond” on the issue.

More information can be found here.

Discipline and Termination (NFA's first proposal 3/10/17, Administration counter 3/24/17, NFA counter 5/8/17, Administration counter 5/30/17) – While various aspects of the disciplinary process are shaping up through negotiation, a difference of overwhelming importance to NFA remains: we think it should be the place of a neutral third party to make the final determination as to whether discipline is justified. There should be recourse outside the structures of the employer, as there is for the overwhelming majority of other unionized faculty and unionized workers in general. More information here.

Summer Teaching (NFA first proposal 2/13/17) – The NFA proposal has two parts:
  • Assignment: classes should be given out equitably such that no one receives two class assignments before someone else seeking to teach similar classes receives one.
  • Pay: increase pro-rata pay to .025 times base pay per IU, and increase fixed dollar amounts for classes not qualifying for pro-rata pay. Eliminate existing loophole by which full-time faculty members taking over classes from part-time instructors have been paid at the part-time rate.

Administration and NFA met to discuss cost estimates of this proposal (the estimates were within 10% of one another). Administration has not yet responded with a counter-proposal.

Contact Hours Multiplier (NFA first proposal 3/24/17) – NFA has proposed to increase the IU value multiplier for Laboratory and Studio contact hours incrementally over three years to bring it to 1. We believe that lab instruction should not be valued less than classroom instruction. Our objective is to achieve parity, as they have at TMCC. We have also proposed that the Clinic/Lab/Studio IU value multiplier (clinical supervision work engaged in primarily by Nursing faculty) should be increased from 0.4 to 0.5 over the course of three years, based on discussions with faculty engaged in that work.

Administration has not yet countered; they have indicated they are looking at the costs.

Shared Governance (NFA first proposal 12/12/16, NFA revision 4/28/17) – NFA's first proposal was multi-faceted, including among other things a call to conduct a collaborative study of Shared Governance to generate recommendations for improvements, and a process to develop explicit unit-level Shared Governance protocols. However, Administration responded that they were not interested. NFA then dropped those parts of the proposal, and reduced it to several core elements:

  • Faculty Senate: affirmation that duly adopted Faculty Senate policies are binding; requirement for CSN President to provide a written explanation of his/her decision to rescind a duly adopted Faculty Senate policy to all members of the Faculty Senate.
  • Consultation: that NFA and Administration will meet within two weeks of a request by the other party to consult on matters related to the CBA.
  • Release time: provision of release time and facilities support for Shared Governance activities.

Administration has not responded to NFA's revised proposal.

Faculty Engagement and Participation / Faculty Contracts (Administration first proposal 2/3/17, NFA counter-proposal 3/10/17) – This proposal was first made by Administration with the title “Faculty Engagement and Participation.” It specified the hours worked within the week and days worked within the year, and included provisions for mandatory attendance at various functions, including the supervisor's right to require attendance at events.

After discussion with constituents, NFA rejected the mandatory attendance provisions, citing among other things concerns about conflicts with teaching, and the fact that attendance is already accounted for in evaluations. Our counter, which we titled “Faculty Contracts,” came back on hours worked within the week and days worked within the year, by proposing the status quo, broken out by contract type (Administration's proposal did not account for the different contract types).

Market Hires (NFA first proposal 2/24/17, Administration counter 3/24/17, NFA counter 4/7/17, Administration counter 5/30/17) – NFA was able to determine that, far from being paid above the average faculty member in exchange for foregoing the tenure track, Market Hires in fact make on average ten thousand dollars less than the overall average faculty salary. There are many valuable faculty, including faculty working in CTE (Career and Technical Education), who are Market Hires, and high attrition in this category resulting from lack of job security and lagging salary is a detriment to the College's mission. NFA therefore proposed a path to tenure for Market Hires. Administration has accepted the principle, but the details are still under negotiation.

Counselors (NFA first proposal 2/3/17, NFA revision 5/30/17) – The provision of quality and accessible academic counseling is vital to student success. Counselors had numerous suggestions to improve the functioning of their unit, which has been struggling with under-staffing and speed-up. These were listed in NFA's first proposal on Counselors.

However, Administration is implementing a restructuring plan that was more radical than Counselors had envisioned at the time of the first proposal. The restructuring will move the bulk of the academic counseling work to advisors-- non-tenure-track positions with no degree requirement. Counselors will be reserved as a less numerous and more elite position. In light of the changed situation, NFA presented a revised Counselors proposal.

Librarians (NFA first proposal 2/24/17) – The NFA proposal contained five items generated by librarians, dealing with the administrative structure and place of the library unit, the compensation for “site coordinator” duties (which had formerly been compensated but currently are not), and librarian contracts. Administration has not responded.

Faculty Offices (NFA first proposal 12/6/16) – The NFA proposal in it's entirety reads “CSN administration shall provide one functionally equipped faculty office per bargaining unit faculty member. The faculty member has the right for this office to be located on the campus at which the faculty member performs the majority of his/her in-person instruction.”

Administration asked a question about what would apply for faculty teaching one hundred percent online, but did not subsequently make any counter-proposal. NFA sees no reason why this very basic proposal would be objectionable. It is plainly beneficial for students to have faculty available in offices on the same campus on which they are receiving instruction.

Work out of Title (NFA first proposal 3/24/17, Administration counter 4/28/17, NFA counter 5/8/17) – Spurred by complaints from the faculty, the idea of NFA's proposal is to provide a disincentive for the assignment of non-professionally-appropriate work tasks to faculty, by imposing an extra cost for such assignments.

Administration came back with a counter regarding overtime assignments. While this contained reasonable elements, it did not address the fundamental motivation of the NFA proposal. NFA countered by including a version of Administration's overtime idea, while maintaining our position that there faculty should have protection against the assignment of non-professionally-appropriate work tasks.

Successorship (NFA first proposal 12/12/16, NFA revision 5/19/17) – The first NFA proposal contained two aspects: protection in the case of outsourcing or reorganization, and requirement that the employer negotiate outsourcing with NFA. Outsourcing is not foreign to higher education-- it can happen, and has, including in NSHE. Faculty deserve the basic protection of a guarantee of continued employment under the terms of the CBA.

Subsequently, NFA revised this proposal to also include details of contract duration and re-negotiation. We also struck the proposed requirement for negotiations with NFA regarding outsourcing, to focus on the most basic element of our proposal-- that faculty should continue to be employed and the CBA continue to apply in the case of outsourcing.

Emergency and Temporary Faculty Appointments Applied to Tenure (NFA first proposal 2/3/17) – The idea of the NFA proposal is that e-hire time should count toward a faculty member's tenure clock, if the faculty member so chooses. E-hires are common at CSN and those who are successful are often hired into permanent positions. In those cases, the e-hire time is sometimes applied to the tenure clock and sometimes not, depending on the specifics of the situation (does the faculty member know this is possible? does the Department Chair want to do it? etc.) Our proposal aims to establish a clear, standardized procedure.

Administration has said they are investigating the idea, but has not yet responded.

MFA as a Grade 5 Qualification for Salary (NFA first proposal 2/3/17, Administration counter 5/8/17, NFA counter 5/19/17) – There are a number of reasons why the MFA degree should be considered a highest-qualification for fields in which it is relevant, and at various other higher education institutions it is. Administration has accepted the idea in principle and the negotiation is now focused on what fields the MFA is relevant to. More information on this topic here.

Hiring (NFA first proposal 2/13/17) – The NFA proposal is based on the existing hiring policy, but varies by pushing for a greater role and powers for the faculty search committee in the hiring process (the first committee). Formerly, the first committee had greater powers, but over time they have been eroded. Given that the first committee is the only one with access to a teaching demonstration, and given that faculty have important expertise in judging the quality of a potential new hire, we see recovering some of the first committee's authority as highly likely to benefit CSN overall by increasing the average quality of hires.

NFA's proposal also includes some other modifications, including granting limited relocation expense reimbursement to faculty hired from outside the Las Vegas area. Relocation expense reimbursement is a perk that will help attract quality candidates, and will help faculty through a potentially lean period between paychecks, given that the first CSN paycheck for July 1st hires comes in October.

Administration has said they are preparing their counter.

Program Directors (NFA first proposal 4/7/17) – Defines a standard set of duties and authority for Program Directors, as well as procedures for evaluating, adding and removing Program Directors, and contains increases to Program Director compensation in the form of a stipend and the establishment of a minimum of three IUs release per semester (currently many Program Directors receive two IUs when formerly almost all had been at three or above, a change that was implemented in 2016).

Administration has indicated that compensation “could be negotiated,” but that they do not want to establish any duties, authorities, or procedures for Program Directors in the CBA. They said that they don't want “job descriptions” in the CBA, but that point aside, this proposal does not establish a job description-- Program Director is a set of additional duties. It is normal in an academic CBA to have special roles with extra duties described in the CBA, including compensation, and associated procedures.

Department Chairs (NFA first proposal 5/8/17) – Similarly to the Program Director proposal, the Department Chair proposal delineates the role, compensation, and associated procedures for Department Chairs. The proposal is status quo policy, with one change made in the election procedure, to address a situation that arose in a Department Chair election last semester.

Administration's response to the proposal was similar to its response for Program Directors, and NFA believes the same arguments apply as to why Department Chair should be included in the contract more fully than just compensation. Intrinsically tied to compensation for extra duties are what the extra duties are, and how a faculty member gets or loses the ability to perform them.

Faculty Infobook (NFA first proposal 11/28/16, NFA revision 4/28/17) – this proposal was spurred by the Faculty Handbook being out of date (last updated 2013), and the difficulty some faculty have experienced in finding past versions of policies and the time periods in which they had applied. The proposal initially called for yearly updating of the Faculty Handbook, for timely updating of the Policies and Procedures website, for hardcopies of the Faculty Handbook and the Policies and Procedures Manual to be available in the libraries, and for an archive of those documents to be created for the purpose of historical record and housed in the library.

Administration objected to the use of the word “handbook” as they say a handbook can be construed to be creating a legal contract, accordingly NFA changed to the term “infobook” – it was never our intention to create some kind of back-door contract. Administration also objected to the production of hardcopies and said an archive was unnecessary because historical policy information was already readily available.

To move forward, we pared our proposal down to its most core idea-- that the Infobook should be updated yearly in consultation with NFA, and that the Policies and Procedures website be updated in a timely fashion.

Emeritus Status (NFA first proposal 11/28/16) – This proposal was for status quo policy. Administration said they do not want to include anything on Emeritus Status in the CBA. NFA argued that this is a mandatory subject of bargaining because it relates to compensation (compensation for emeritus work is described in the existing policy). Administration argued that emeritus faculty are not in the bargaining unit, therefore that is irrelevant. NFA argued that the procedure to obtain emeritus status may occur when the faculty member is in the bargaining unit (existing policy states it can take place within a year of retirement-- either before or after) and therefore it is relevant, and furthermore a “procedure for addition in workforce,” another mandatory bargaining subject.

NFA's perspective, is that it is hard to see why Administration would object to putting status quo policy that is working well into the CBA. Is there some plan to change this policy in the future?

Academic Freedom (NFA first proposal 12/6/16) – Faculty had expressed to NFA concern that academic freedom should be safeguarded. Academic freedom is a core value of AAUP, and AAUP unions always seek to establish it contractually. CSN's existing policy is good, so that is what NFA proposed go into the CBA. However, Administration said that they had no interest in putting the policy in the CBA. Again we are left to wonder, why wouldn't Administration agree to making this policy enforceable via the CBA?

Financial Exigency (NFA first proposal 2/3/17, Administration counter 2/13/17, NFA counter 2/24/17, Administration counter 3/10/17, NFA counter 4/7/17, Administration counter 4/28/17) – makes various changes or clarifications to NSHE code regarding procedures surrounding the declaration of financial exigency and associated layoffs. Through a process of give and take, a reasonable compromise has been reached, with one point of disagreement still outstanding-- NFA proposes that a faculty member who was recommended not to be laid off by his/her case review committee, but who was nonetheless laid off by the CSN President, should have the right to appeal that decision to the Chancellor.

To NFA, this seems like common sense. What is the cost-- a little bit of the Chancellor's time? With someone's job set to be lost through no fault of their own, and a review committee backing that person's continued employment, surely review from a higher authority would be beneficial.

Immigration Status (NFA first proposal 3/24/17) – this short proposal simply asks that faculty members not be compelled to report the immigration status of members of the CSN community, nor be compelled to deny a student services based on immigration status.

Given that CSN is a Hispanic Serving Institution in a diverse city, with a diverse faculty and student body, and that this proposal would not require any changes from present practice, NFA had thought this would be an uncontroversial proposal. However, Administration said that while they agreed with the spirit of the proposal, they did not want such a provision to appear in the CBA.

The CBA and NSHE Code, Policies and Practices (NFA first proposal 11/28/16, NFA revision 5/8/17) – the purpose of this proposal is to indicate the role of the CBA in the overall policy environment in which faculty are situated. As per NSHE code, the CBA articles may modify or supersede NSHE Code, but in cases where NSHE Code is not modified or superseded by the CBA, Code continues in effect.

NFA considers it beneficial to have an explanation of the role of the CBA attached to the CBA, to help make it user-friendly. Administration has agreed that the description of the role of the CBA in the proposal is accurate. However there is some question about unintended legal consequences (the article possibly giving NFA the right to grieve non-CBA policies was discussed at the table). That was never NFA's intention with this proposal, and NFA is open to finding a way to remove the possibility of any such loop-holes.

Professional Enrichment Programs (NFA first proposal 4/7/17) – Several aspects:

  • Salary advancement through professional development: specifies aspects of this procedure; importantly, an accounting of progress toward advancement shall be maintained by HR, and available to the faculty member.
  • Professional development: sufficient travel funding shall be maintained; new or master course creation and other activities should be incentivized monetarily or through release time.
  • Sabbatical: specifies aspects of the sabbatical process, including the necessity for a written justification should a sabbatical application be denied.

Administration has not yet responded.