Nominations for USofCC offices are now open

Two years have sped by and it’s again time to elect new officers for our union! It’s an exciting time: negotiations for a new multi-year contract are concluding and implementation of the job study, aimed to rationalize position titles, descriptions and salaries across the college, lies ahead.

In August 2016, USofCC will hold elections for all Executive Committee positions. For the first time we will also hold elections for Association Reps (representatives for buildings and large departments).

Think about running for a position in the union! It’s a great opportunity to serve your fellow staff, make life better at Columbia, meet members from across the college, and build your leadership skills.

Attached are descriptions of the duties of each position as well as two nomination forms: one for Executive Committee positions and another for Association Reps and  representatives to the IEA Regional Council. For additional information, see the Bylaws on the USofCC web site (https://usofcc.org/bylaws/).

Only those who are union members can nominate, run for office and vote. If you are not yet a member and would like to join or move from agency fee payer status to full membership, contact Oscar Valdez at ovunion@yahoo.com.

The timeline is as follows:

July 20, 2016 through August 3, 2016 – Nominations
August 9 through August 18, 2016 – Campaigning
Week of August 22, 2016 – College-wide elections

Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Respectfully, the Elections Committee:

Ingrid Sagor (isagor@colum.edu) 312-369-3251
Sheila Brady (sbrady@colum.edu) 312-369-8147

Download here:
USofCC Description of Positions for Election 2016
USofCC Nomination Form–Officers-Chairs 2016
USofCC Nomination Form-Council and Association Reps

USofCC Update July 7, 2016

 

Contract Support Team meeting

Find out what’s going on and help inform and organize members to support the negotiations and other union issues. Come to the next Contract Support Team meeting:

Today – Thursday July 7, 2016
12:30-1:30pm
916 S. Wabash Room 111
RSVP to jylee@colum.edu

General membership meeting

Save the date for the next general membership meeting. The agenda will include USofCC elections, and a possible contract ratification vote!

Thursday July 21, 2016
Noon to 1pm
HAUS at Quincy Wong, 623 S. Wabash 1st floor
Lunch will be served
RSVP to tharasym@colum.edu

Bargaining update

We are close to having a contract. There are just a few remaining open issues to resolve. The current agreement for salaries and benefits is a 2% salary increase retroactive to February 1, 2016; plus an additional 2% on September 1, 2016 and 2% on September 1, 2017. Benefits would stay the same for 2017; for 2018, the college can request a re-opener to negotiate benefits, but with a cap on proposed benefits cost increases to not go above the 2% salary increase.

It is not the 5% salary increase that the bargaining team initially proposed, and it is definitely not as much as we all need and deserve. But it is more than the nothing that was previously on the table, thanks to all of you who helped to pressure the administration through our various actions over the last several years.

The next bargaining session will be Tuesday July 12 at 11am. If you are interested in observing, contact JeeYeun Lee at jylee@colum.edu.

Job study update

The college still has not scheduled their next step in the job study, which is a presentation by Mercer consultants to the college administration. After that, Mercer’s recommendations will be given to the union for review. As you all know, that puts the job study way behind schedule. This will be the union’s top priority with the new head of HR. If it continues to lag, the Contract Support Team will be discussing how the union can put pressure on the college.

What we can do in the meantime is start doing research on salaries. Salary ranges for the job categories that include union positions will be negotiated with the college once the job study gets to that point, and we want to be ready with our own information. If you would like to volunteer for this committee, contact Kevin Rechner at krechner@colum.edu.

USofCC Elections

Elections are coming up for all USofCC Executive Committee positions, building/department rep positions, and reps to the IEA Region 67. Descriptions of each position will be circulated soon, with more information presented at the general membership meeting. Nominations will be accepted until the end of July, with elections to be held in August.

All full dues-paying members are eligible to run for office and to vote in the elections. If you need to check your status or sign up for full membership, please contact Membership Chair Oscar Valdez at ovaldez@colum.edu.

If you are not planning to run for a position and would like to work on running the elections, it’s a great way to help the union with a one-time project. For more information or to sign up, contact Sheila Brady at sbrady@colum.edu.

AVP of Human Resources

As you may have heard, Norma de Jesus has been hired as the new AVP of Human Resources. The USofCC Executive Committee will be requesting a meeting early in her tenure to establish a good working relationship and discuss union-related concerns, including the job study. If you have any input for this meeting, contact Craig Sigele at csigele@colum.edu.

You can always contact us at usofcc@yahoo.com. We got a website https://usofcc.org/ and Facebook too https://www.facebook.com/USofCC/ – yahoo!

 

USofCC Update 5/25/16

Congratulations to everyone on getting through the end of the school year. Phew. We made it.

We haven’t gotten to the end of contract negotiations though. The USofCC negotiations team has proposed a counter to the administration’s last offer, and we should be hearing back about it. The next bargaining session is scheduled for this Friday, and any union staff is welcome to come and observe:

Bargaining session
Friday May 27
11:30am – 1:00pm
72 E. 11th Street, Room 613
If you would like to observe, RSVP to tharasym@colum.edu.

And to discuss what’s happening in negotiations and strategize about how to support a fair contract, come to:

Contract Support Team meeting
Thursday June 2
12:30 – 1:30pm
600 S. Michigan 8th floor faculty lounge
RSVP to jylee@colum.edu

 

Sign up for USofCC Manifest table!

Hello USoCC members!

My name is Alyssa Sorresso and I work for the Center for Community Arts Partnerships (CCAP)- I’m also a proud member of our union who is frustrated with how we’re being treated by the administration! A group of us are working on an action for Manifest that will boost our visibility, spread our message and gather Columbia student support. We plan to set up a table at Manifest, hand out fliers and COLA, and ask students to sign a large banner stating their support for staff. We’ll use this banner in future actions and as a way to show the administration that the student learning experience needs a well-supported and respected staff.

So, we need YOUR help! We need people to set-up and break-down, as well as man the table and go out into the crowd. These are your shift choices:

Manifest USofCC Action 5/13/16 – 12p-2p

11a-12p         Set-up

12p-1p           Man the table, hand-out fliers/cola; others in crowd, encouraging students to sign the banner

1p-2p             Same as above

2p-3p             Breakdown

In our poll, please indicate all times you are available, and I will schedule based on the feedback. Remember to include your first and last name since I don’t know everyone. I will also include a location at Manifest once we confirm our space.

Please respond as soon as possible! The more representation we have at our event, the more effective we will be in making our presence known!

http://doodle.com/poll/yuvesxacmning5hu

Notice of proposed change in by-laws

OFFICIAL NOTICE REGARDING PROPOSED CHANGE IN LOCAL BY-LAWS
April 12, 2016

Change proposed to Article VIII, Section 2 – Terms to align the terms of Association Representatives with the terms of the Executive Committee.

CURRENT LANGUAGE: The term of office for Representative Council members shall be three (3) years and shall commence on July 15th unless otherwise provided for in the bylaws.

PROPOSED LANGUAGE: The term of office for Representative Council members shall be two (2) years and shall commence on September 1 and end on August 31.

 

USofCC update April 12, 2016

 

Update on Negotiations

Based on the 76 responses to the survey about the administration’s last offer (see here for details), the USofCC negotiations team decided to present a counter-proposal for salaries and benefits. The next bargaining session will be Wednesday April 20 at 2pm. Observers are welcome: please RSVP to jylee@colum.edu.

Update on the Job Study

We have been told that Mercer’s results are still being reviewed by HR. USofCC has filed an official request to get a copy of Mercer’s results, as well as information on the total amount of money paid to Mercer by the College.

In the meantime, we need to start doing our own research on market salaries, so we are armed with information once we start bargaining over the salary ranges for job categories that have bargaining unit positions. Please let Kevin Rechner know if you are interested in being on a Salary Research Committee: krechner@colum.edu.

Next Contract Support Team Meeting

In the survey, many of you said you were willing to talk to colleagues, students and faculty about staff’s concerns. Let’s do that together. The next Contract Support Team meeting will focus on actions this spring to increase the union’s visibility and power so we can get a fair contract, completed job study done, equitable salaries, and respect.

Tuesday April 19
12:30-1:30pm
600 S. Michigan, Room 401
RSVP to jylee@colum.edu

Next General Membership Meeting

Save the date for the next general membership meeting:

Thursday April 28
12:00 noon – 1pm
600 S. Michigan, Room 401
Lunch will be served. RSVP to tharasym@colum.edu.

Upcoming USofCC Elections

Elections for all USofCC Executive Committee positions will be held this summer. For the first time, we will also be holding elections for Association Reps (representatives for each building and large department). This is a great opportunity to serve your fellow staff, make things better, and build your leadership skills. Be on the lookout for an information session and nominations materials.

Proposed Change to USofCC By-Laws

The USofCC by-laws (see here) state that any revisions to the by-laws must be approved by the membership. Please see attached. This change will be voted on at the April 28 membership meeting.

Staff Feedback on Community Engagement

USofCC has been asked for input on the College’s working definition of “community engagement” that has been drafted by the Community Engagement Strategic Planning committee. Please contact Cat Bromels at cbromels@colum.edu with any feedback by Friday April 15.

Working Definition of Community Engagement
Columbia College Chicago students, faculty and staff collaborate with various communities in reciprocal partnership with the goal of mutual transformation.  Community partnerships range from college groups, civic and community-based organizations, professional groups, and entrepreneurial initiatives. This experiential learning affords students the opportunity to apply the theories learned in the classroom, reinforce and extend skills, build their portfolios, and participate in multiple forms of knowledge construction. These collaborations also help to sustain diverse forms of socially engaged creative practice, scholarship, advocacy, and activism. By actively creating and fostering relationships with communities, students develop the ability to engage respectfully and with cultural sensitivity, examine current and historically relevant challenges, and act as agents of change through academically-supported means. These reciprocal relationships seek to inspire lifelong engagement in students and improve the community.

One More Opportunity to Get Involved

Like numbers, research, and the thrill of a detective hunt? Help the union to analyze and crunch some data: the college’s last audit, for example. If you have these skills and interests, contact jylee@colum.edu.

GET INVOLVED:

USofCC Update March 28, 2016

 

Update on Negotiations

At the last bargaining session on Wednesday March 16, the administration made a counter-offer on salaries and benefits consisting of:

  • 2% salary increase for all full-time AND part-time staff in the bargaining unit, retroactive to February 1, 2016;
  • 1% salary increase for all full-time and part-time staff for Year 2 of the contract, 2016-2017, effective September 1, 2016;
  • No increases to health benefits costs for employees in calendar year 2017;
  • Re-opener (back to negotiations) on both salaries and benefits for Year 3 of the contract, 2017-2018.

What does that mean? The median salary for positions in the bargaining unit is $45,000. So half of us will get a raise of $900/year or less; that’s $37.50 per paycheck, minus taxes. The additional 1% in September is an additional $450/year (or less); that’s $18.75/paycheck, minus taxes.

Given that our initial proposal to the administration was 5% per year, the bargaining team feels like we have an obligation to keep fighting. But, we want to know how you feel. Fill out our short survey here to respond.

Contract Support Team

To contribute your ideas and help with actions to push bargaining forward, come to the next Contract Support Team meeting on Friday April 8 at 12:30. RSVP to jylee@colum.edu.

Giving the College Ideas

As the people on the ground, staff members know a lot about where the money goes. We probably have ideas about where it should go, and where it could be saved. Let’s give the college some ideas. Please take a minute to fill out a survey to provide the administration with ideas for cost savings and revenue generation. The intention of this survey is to–

  • Show administration that staff is creative, capable, and invested in the success of Columbia College Chicago;
  • Show administration that staff understands the fiscal reality and challenges in higher education and wants to be part of the solutionl
  • Show administration that we have a unique understanding of revenue generating techniques because of our staff roles.

Fill out our survey here by April 15.

Solidarity Action

The Chicago Teachers Union has called for a one-day strike of Chicago Public Schools teachers on Friday April 1. In solidarity, USofCC will gather anyone who would like to support the CTU by attending the rally that afternoon: meet at 4pm in front of 600 S. Michigan and look for Joan McGrath. If you want to join the group later, contact Joan at jmcgrath@colum.edu.

Upcoming USofCC Elections

There will be elections in early summer for all USofCC Executive Committee positions, as well as new building rep positions. Please consider running for office – it is a great way to get to know people, build your leadership skills, and provide service to the union. Further announcements about the nomination process will be forthcoming. If you have any questions now about what the positions entail, don’t hesitate to contact anyone on the Executive Committee.

USofCC News Brief – March 3, 2016

Bargaining Update
The USofCC bargaining committee met with Terence Smith on March 1st. Other union members were present as observers. Both parties agreed to explore several alternatives, as well as to look at salary increases in future years, and to bring the new interim CFO, Rich Dowsek, into the mix.

Job Study
HR is still reviewing what Mercer has sent. Smith is meeting with HR this week to get a timeline. The job study steering committee will meet soon to discuss the roll-out and appeals process. Smith agreed that we should be able to start negotiating salary scales for union positions soon. He has confirmed that the $250,000 set aside for salary upgrades is indeed in this year’s budget, and will be preserved in next year’s budget if it doesn’t get disbursed this fiscal year.

Key Hires
The search for AVP of HR did not lead to a hire and will be re-started. The search for a permanent CFO should begin soon.

Questions to the Administration
USofCC has officially requested information from the administration about 1) plans for budget cuts and layoffs, 2) the number of union positions that have been eliminated in the last two years, and 3) the status of positions affected by the buyouts last year.

Breakfast with the Staff
We have been informed that the March 8 Breakfast with Staff will not be with the interim CFO. So – we encourage staff to attend to dialogue with the senior administration member who will be there (to be announced), but we will not be organizing any formal union presence at that event.

Building and Department Meetings
We want to hear from you, and see what we can all do together to push for a fair contract. You may already have gotten notice of a meeting in your building or department. Here’s the schedule so far:

·       For College Advising: Tuesday, March 8 at noon (contact Paula Brien)
·       For 624 S. Wabash: Thursday, March 10 at 12:30 (contact Oscar Valdez)
·       For 618 S. Wabash: Monday, March 14 at 10am and Tuesday, March 15 at 3pm (contact Ramona Gupta and Laurie Lee Moses)
·       For 33 E. Congress: Wednesday, March 16 at 4pm (contact Lisa Butler and Nina Campbell)
 
If you would like to help organize a meeting for your building or department, let us know. The whole union runs on volunteer labor – the more folks get involved, the more we can do together.

Followup to membership meeting

Notes from General Membership Meeting, 1/21/16

It was great to see so many of you at the USofCC membership meeting on Thursday. Here’s a short recap:

We discussed the proposal that the college gave to the USofCC. See here to download a copy of the proposal and FAQs about the proposal. We discussed questions to make sure we understood what they are proposing, and then took a straw poll to see if members are leaning towards accepting the proposal or rejecting it. The poll was unanimous in rejecting it.

Next we discussed the possible elements of a counter-proposal. These were based on some core principles for salary negotiations, as agreed upon in previous membership meetings:

  1. No consideration of merit pay without COLA first (Cost of Living Adjustment).
  2. Salary increases must include part-time staff.
  3. Salary increases must cover and exceed any increases to employee benefits costs.
  4. We will not give up the right to bargain salaries and benefits for each year of the contract.

The bargaining team also presented some starting suggestions for elements of a counter-proposal:

  1. Go for one-year deal for salaries, so we can keep bargaining on salaries/benefits for the future years of the contract but bargaining process won’t hold up increases for this year.
  2. Straight across-the-board percentage of salaries, not complicated formula.
  3. Part-time staff salaries are included in any calculations, and part-time staff also get increase.
  4. 90-day period for determining eligibility, so salary calculations would include and apply to staff hired before November 1 and those who didn’t get salary increases after November 1, as opposed to May 1 as it is in the CCC proposal.
  5. Salary increases for union staff would be retroactive to February 1, 2016.

We took a straw poll on Item #1, whether to negotiate one-year deal for salaries only, or to go for whole three-year length of contract. A one-year deal for salaries only will get us a salary increase for this year sooner, but then we’ll have to keep negotiating the rest of the contract, including salaries for future years of the contract (2017 and 2018). A three-year deal will lock in salary increases in future years, but it will take longer to bargain for all three years. The straw poll eventually showed about 75% in favor of one-year deal.

If we go for a one-year deal, the bargaining team will start at higher than 2%, and will include the other elements of a counter-proposal described above.

Proposal Response Survey

We want to know what all our members think, especially if you couldn’t come to the meeting. Please fill out the survey here and let us know. You can fill out the survey even if you were at the meeting, and put in any comments that you couldn’t tell us at the meeting.

Upcoming Meetings & Events

We won’t get what we want without a fight. We need everyone’s participation, so the college knows we are serious. Here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Come to the next Contract Support Team (CST) meeting on Tuesday 1/26 at 12:30 at 916 S. Wabash Room 111. We’ll discuss what actions we can take in order to put pressure on the college.
  2. Action at Town Hall on Friday 1/29 at 8am. We’ll plan this at the CST meeting – keep your eyes out for more info after Tuesday.
  3. Next bargaining session – being scheduled now with college There will probably be a rally on this date. We will keep you informed.

Chronicle Coverage

We are getting coverage and support in the Chronicle – see editor’s note here and article here.

Add USofCC Calendar to your Outlook Calendar

To stay informed, check the website at http://www.usofcc.org, which also has a calendar here: . You can also add the USofCC calendar to your Outlook by downloading through this link here.

Link

USofCC membership meeting Thursday January 21, 2016

Attached are several important documents regarding the ongoing salary negotiations between the USofCC and the College. Please be sure to review these documents as we prepare to respond to the College’s recent wage proposal.

On Thursday, January 21st, there will be a meeting of the general membership.  Your presence at the meeting is not only encouraged but it is also essential at this critical point as we, the USofCC membership, determine how to proceed at the bargaining table and what outside actions we will take. This is the most effective forum to bring your questions, concerns, ideas, and diverging standpoints. Receiving knowledge and information firsthand in a direct exchange with colleagues strengthens the unity our bargaining power relies on, and it will ensure that our negotiation representatives are lucid and convicted on behalf of the USofCC – the collective “we” who are the union entity – at the bargaining table.

Thursday January 21, 2016
12:30-1:30pm
600 S. Michigan Room 401
Lunch will be served
RSVP by Tuesday January 19 to tharasym@colum.edu

COLA Rally Makes the News

We had a great turnout on December 8 for the COLA Rally – thanks to all members and supporters who turned out. See coverage here:

Columbia Chronicle article

We still need to keep the pressure on. Next bargaining session is on Friday December 18 at 2pm. We need only 150 more signatures to get up to 1,000 petitions – sign one today!

USofCC COLA Petition

 

Rally for COLA Now! Tuesday December 8 at noon

Join us in a rally to demand COLA Now!

Tuesday December 8 at noon
In front of 600 S. Michigan

Do you think people who work hard should be paid enough to keep up with the cost of living? So do we.

Columbia College staff members work hard every day with dedication and commitment to the college and our students. Over the last 6 years, the cost of living has gone up 14%. Salary increases to staff? Only 5%.

Help us show the college that Columbia staff matters. Spread the word, bring yourself and a friend. Everyone welcome.

Support Columbia College Staff – Fight for COLA Now! #staffcola

SUPPORT COLUMBIA COLLEGE STAFF:
–> Sign our petition here: PETITION
–> Tweet or Instagram a photo of yourself with COLA cans: use hashtag #staffcola

United Staff of Columbia College (USofCC), which represents non-management full-time and part-time staff at Columbia College Chicago, is fighting for an annual 5% Cost-of-Living Allowance (COLA) salary increase in their next contract with the college.

Over the past 6 years, the cost of living in Chicago has gone up 14%, while the college has given staff salary increases that amount to only 5%. This gap has hurt staff tremendously (testimonial). The cost of rent, utilities, food, and other necessities continues to rise every year, but salaries have not kept pace. This effectively amounts to a salary cut every year.

Over one-third of all USofCC bargaining unit staff make $40,000 or less a year. Over the past 6 years, a staff member making $40,000/year has effectively lost $15,000 in wages due to the lack of COLA increases.

Columbia staff care deeply about the college and its students. Staff members contribute every day to the learning and well-being of Columbia students. Staff members are committed to performing their jobs with excellence, often without recognition. Without staff, the college literally would not function.

We need to value this precious human capital – the vast store of knowledge, expertise, and dedication – embodied by Columbia staff.

Staff not only need and deserve COLA, it’s the right thing to do. COLA needs to be built in to the college budget as a standard operating cost. It’s simply the cost of doing business.

While the cost of living has gone up between 1.5% and 3% a year over the last several years, USofCC is demanding an annual 5% COLA for the next three years of the contract in order to “catch up” for all the years that staff has gone without.

Sign a petition to Columbia College CFO Michelle Gates to do the right thing and approve an annual 5% cost-of-living salary increase NOW. Sign HERE.

 

Merit Pay Forum October 28, 2015

Union staff question the design of college’s new performance management system & merit pay plan.
 

For several months, both President Kim and CFO Michelle Gates have stated their desire to create a merit pay incentive system for staff. Yet no details of this system have been outlined. The launch of the performance evaluation process, much later this year than normal, prompted the USofCC negotiations team to question if there was a connection between the evaluations and merit pay.

Last week, a large group of union staff members gathered for a lunchtime forum to share their questions, concerns, and opinions about the new performance management system and merit pay scheme, and to consider what is known and unknown about it. What is clear: little is known about Columbia’s new system. Either the system and plan are dramatically underdeveloped and full of holes, or the design is being kept a secret. The minimal information that has been provided to managers and staff about the plan is posted on the Performance Management pages in the Human Resources website in IRIS.

According to that information, under Columbia’s new system, each employee must be rated and ranked from top to bottom performers: an employee would be rated as Exceptional, Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, or Below Expectations. Managers were instructed to rate very few of their employees as Exceptional or Exceeds Expectations. Merit pay seems to be linked to that rating, although the program design is unclear and undefined.

This shift was not unexpected to those familiar with the college’s Strategic Plan*  (see link below) approved by the Board of Trustees earlier this year.  That plan includes a wealth of language about “pay for performance” and “rewarding high performers.”

Many compensation scholars have now debunked and dismissed merit pay schemes, which came into vogue in the early 1980s. According to management consultants and other proponents of merit pay systems, if an employer is going to move ahead with a merit pay system, the organization must have several critical elements in place: a clear rubric for performance levels, clear job descriptions, clear pay ranges, transparent information, significant monetary awards that are meaningful, and institution-wide trust in the fairness of the system. Also, employees have to feel that their base pay is good, and supervisors need to be good managers who can coach and develop their staff.

At Columbia right now, those things don’t exist – there is no job study report with pay grades, no finalized job descriptions, wide pay inequity, people who are unhappy about their base pay, and no information about what Columbia’s criteria, process, or merit award amounts would be.

Many institutions that launched merit pay systems abandoned them after they failed to deliver the promised results. One shortcoming to the system: success is a team and not an individual effort; success on the job is an outgrowth of well-designed systems, a sound support structure, etc. Also: compensation scholars have found that merit pay systems lead to discrimination and bias due to race, sex, and other personal attributes, reinforcing existing structures of privilege.

At the forum, staff brought up the following points:

  •  The last round of merit increases at Columbia was in 2007. It used to be that there was an annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) every September, and then departments could decide to award merit increases on top of that. Staff commented that the merit awards were so small that they were meaningless and did not raise morale.
  • We need training for managers – it’s rare for supervisors to know how to coach and develop others.
  • A certain amount of money should be set aside and used solely for merit pay. This information should be known and not hidden.
  • What is the position of full-time faculty on merit pay? We should talk to them.
  • Would the college consider performance reviews prior to a year ago? Merit pay systems can average performance over several years because work conditions and resulting achievement might change from year to year.
  • Merit pay increases should be sizable enough to make a difference. They should be stacked on top of adequate base-pay.
  • It would feel good to know that when you work hard and you go above your goals, you’re going to get more than a pat on the back. It seems like merit pay would do that.
  • For the sake of transparency, it would be good to get a definite answer from the college about how much money is being set aside.
  • Columbia’s merit pay rating seems very subjective, and the examples Columbia provided of measurable goals did not seem well designed.

As of now, the college has stopped implementing the new performance evaluation system for bargaining unit members. Union staff do not have to do self-evaluations and their supervisors do not have to do evaluations for them using this new system; rather, staff are required to only set performance goals for FY16. However, all non-union staff will move ahead and be evaluated under the new system, with performance reviews due to Human Resources by the end of November.  Merit pay might be awarded to these employees. (Somehow, these non-union staff will be evaluated, ranked, and rewarded based on goals that were not even in place a year ago. This strikes some observers as putting the cart before the horse.)

The USofCC bargaining team wants to know what members think about the new system and merit pay at Columbia. So far, informal feedback has led  the team to push for COLA first; merit pay would be considered only if the college can adequately present their criteria and process. What do members want? We have three options: 1) merit pay only, 2) COLA only, and 3) COLA plus merit pay. The straw poll at last week’s forum shows a tie between #2 and #3, but questions about what merit pay would look like remain. Let us know what you think.

* Columbia’s Strategic Plan:

USofCC Announcement About Performance Evaluation Process 10/23/2015

In response to the discussion in Tuesday’s USofCC membership meetings about the performance evaluation process, the USofCC Negotiations Team proposed to the college in a bargaining session yesterday that bargaining unit members should not have to go through the performance evaluations that are currently due on November 30.

USofCC raised several issues:

  • The forms ask for progress on performance goals for the current evaluation period, but last year’s forms didn’t require setting performance goals. Staff should not be evaluated on goals that were not set.
  • The forms require staff to be evaluated for performance compared to the job responsibilities outlined job descriptions, but job descriptions haven’t been finalized yet due to the delay in the completion of the job study. JDQs also need to be updated since many staff members’ jobs have changed over the summer due to the buyout, layoffs and restructuring.
  • The contract has been violated in terms of timeline: the union wasn’t given 90 days to review the forms, the union didn’t even receive all of the proposed forms from HR to review, and staff members haven’t been given 90 days to complete the evaluations. (You can check our contract athttps://usofcc.org/the-contract/. Search for “performance evaluations” in Article V).
  • There has been no training for supervisors about the new parts of the process, such as setting SMART goals and using the new scale that includes “Exceptional”.

Currently, the college is planning to go back to a May/June deadline for performance evaluations next year. It is also planning to use performance evaluations as one part of the process for determining merit pay, which the college is implementing at this point for non-union staff only.

Terence Smith has agreed to take these points and our request to CFO Michelle Gates.

In the meantime, we know that a lot of you are being asked to submit your self-evaluations soon. Until we hear back from the college, we are recommending that you ask your supervisor to postpone your self-evaluation and meeting.

Here is some suggested language you can use:

Due to the fact that the college didn’t follow the proper amount of notification to staff for the performance evaluation process as laid out in the staff union contract, the union is talking with the college about the timeline and requirements for the performance evaluation process. The college is looking into the timetable. Until this issue is resolved, I’d like to ask that we postpone my self-evaluation and performance evaluation meeting.

Let us know how things go: contact us at usofcc@yahoo.com or any of us listed at https://usofcc.org/contact/.