USofCC July update

1. VSIP
We are saddened to say goodbye to valuable long-time staff members who took the VSIP buyout, 15 of whom were in the USofCC bargaining unit. These folks have a wealth of experience here at Columbia and have been critical to the success of the college over the years. Several were instrumental in organizing to create USofCC and negotiate our first contract. We wish them well in their future endeavors.

2. Layoffs
The College also announced layoffs in the past week for 18 staff members in the USofCC bargaining unit. Members of the USofCC Executive Committee met with Human Resources last week and are working to ensure that these staff members receive all the rights they are entitled to under our current contract, including 90 days’ notice, 2 weeks’ severance pay, up to 12 paid days off to conduct job searches, and tuition remission for the Fall semester. The College has agreed to USofCC’s request that these employees be given a list of vacant positions at the College while still working. They will be guaranteed interviews for any open positions for which they meet the minimum requirements, through the end of September.

USofCC has several concerns about the layoffs that it will continue to address in meetings with HR this week:

• The administration has shown no real commitment to share the burden of the budget cuts by initiating cost reductions at the top.
• Departments whose budgets have been reduced due to employees taking the VSIP did not account for these savings before deciding to proceed with the layoffs.
• A couple of employees on the layoff list were eligible for the VSIP but were not informed that they were going to be laid off.
• These layoffs will place a further burden on existing employees, and the College must consider compensating employees who are asked to take on additional duties or responsibilities. If you end up taking on responsibilities for a temporary period due to these vacant and eliminated positions, it is possible for you to receive an additional stipend if your department approves it. Also, we have been told that JDQs can be revised later.

In order to ensure that remaining staff are not overburdened, we ask you to send information to the USofCC Executive Committee about the impact of the layoffs in your department. Our contract enables the union to bargain working conditions and changes to members’ job duties. However, the only way we can do this successfully is if you contact us as soon as possible.

Please contact Cat Bromels at x7935 or cbromels@colum.edu with questions or information.

To learn more, come to the Contract Support Team meeting TODAY Tuesday July 7 at 12:30 in 600 S. Michigan Room 401.

2. Brown Bag Lunch Series
USofCC is hosting a brown bag lunch series this summer to help members learn more about our rights, unions, and other related topics. The first one will be:

The Rights Every Employee Thinks They Have … But Don’t. Unless You’re in a Union!
Presented by Cat Bromels, A+D Print Service Manager, USofCC Vice President
Tuesday, July 14
12 – 1pm
600 S. Michigan, Room 401

Corner Bakery sandwiches will be provided!
Be sure to RSVP by July 10 to Tanya Harasym (tharasym@colum.edu) so that food will be plentiful for all who wish to attend. Please note any dietary restrictions.

3. Membership Campaign
If you are receiving this email, it means that you are part of the USofCC bargaining unit and covered by the USofCC contract. USofCC is launching a membership campaign to sign up everyone as members. You will have the opportunity to join before September 30 without paying back dues.

If you’re not sure about your membership status, contact Oscar at ovaldez@colum.edu.

If you’d like to help us with the membership campaign (stuff envelopes, talk to staff), please join us:
Membership Committee Meeting
Monday July 13, from 12-1pm
624 S. Michigan Room 901

4. Get involved – join the Contract Support Team
The Contract Support Team is working to support bargaining efforts and increase visibility about the role of staff here at the College. We hope you got your buttons, and now we invite you to:

1. Send us your profile for the “Spotlight on Staff” series: https://usofcc.org/sos/. All it takes is 1 photo and 100 words about you. We want the College to know who we are and what we do.

2. Get on Facebook and LIKE the USofCC page! https://www.facebook.com/USofCC

3. Join the CST! We are still looking for reps from a number of departments. Or if you’re just curious and want to get involved, you’re always welcome to come help plan actions to put pressure on the College for a salary increase and reasonable health benefit costs. We meet every two weeks.

Contract Support Team Meeting
Tuesday July 7 from 12:30-1:30pm (TODAY)
600 S. Michigan Room 401

Next meeting:
Tuesday July 21 from 12:30-1:30pm
600 S. Michigan 8th floor Faculty Lounge

Questions? Contact usofcc@yahoo.com. And don’t forget to check out our website, http://www.usofcc.org, where we do our best to keep you updated.

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