Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Bargaining update #16

The NFA-CSN and CSN Administration teams met for bargaining sessions on Friday, February 23rd and Monday, March 12th. Little headway was made as CSN Administration aggressively pushed a hard line, stating that the College has no money for faculty. To the contrary, NFA’s analysis of NSHE’s third-party audited statements, conducted by an expert in public higher education accounting, says that CSN has money to fund NFA's proposals. NFA has also reported on a number of established ways Nevada public higher education institutions exert autonomy in the allocation of their resources.
Below are the statuses of various compensation-related proposals:

Contact Hours: NFA asks for an increase to the contact hour multiplier for Clinic/Lab/Studio and Clinical Supervision work. In the past Administration and Faculty Senate agreed that the rate for Clinic/Lab/Studio should be 1.0, and 1.0 is the rate at TMCC. Various other nearby institutions have a higher rate than CSN. However, CSN remains stuck at 0.75 despite a theoretical commitment to raising the rate.
Administration calls this a complicated issue, says TMCC is an outlier, and proposes that rather than address contact hours in the CBA, the matter be referred to a committee for study. NFA has already studied this matter, speaking to faculty and finding that the work is as hard as (or harder than) lecture work. A nonbinding study does not address the basic problem— it is already a policy position of CSN that the rate should be increased to 1.0. The problem is the Administrative willpower to fund an increase.

Overload Pay: NFA asks for an increase to the overload rate. We have asked for the rate to be raised to NSHE’s target rate from four years ago. Administration claims they can’t raise the rate unless funding is provided by the legislature. While NFA certainly supports efforts to get increased legislative funding, we have seen UNLV raise its part-time rate above even NSHE’s 2014 target rate independent of any action of the legislature. CSN’s failure to act has contributed to serious difficulties in staffing classes with instructors in various departments.

Equity Study: NFA has asked for a contractual guaranteed that a study be performed during the contract period. NSHE’s own policies mandating equity studies every two years were not follow at CSN in 2015, as required after the first study in 2013, and in 2017 Acting Chancellor Nichols attempted to prohibit the recently initiated study but was thwarted by NFA’s appeal to Regents and legislators. NFA has proposed that the study’s main criteria be comparison of years of experience and salary to NSHE’s published Community College Academic Salary Schedule. NFA also asks that resources be guaranteed to be devoted to making salary adjustments on the basis of the study results. After all, what use is a study if it does not result in actual salary adjustments?
Administration has repeatedly mischaracterized our proposal that resources be guaranteed for adjustments as establishing a maximum limit for adjustments. Our proposal is clearly for a minimum, and puts no upper limit on the amount that could be distributed. NFA would never seek to limit faculty’s ability to get wage increases.
Administration has proposed that a study be done, but has not agreed to guarantee any amount of resources, nor to make the primary criteria comparison of years of experience and salary to the NSHE Community College Academic Salary Schedule. NFA’s position is that a defined commitment of resources is needed to preclude the possibility of the study being a moot point, and that following the Salary Schedule evenly without setting artificial years of service thresholds will make the study truly address inequities rather than even possibly aggravating them.

Summer Pay: Bargaining continues on the summer pay rate. However, Administration has not responded to NFA’s information request regarding past summer budget expenditures, stalling further progress toward resolution.