1. Saturday Work
The Union has been in discussions with the College’s Labor Management team regarding possible changes by the College in how it compensates staff for overtime hours (time worked beyond the 40-hour work week).

Until recently, the College has paid Union staff overtime, (time and a half), for all hours worked beyond a member’s normal 40-hour work week, including Saturdays.

In the past year, the College implemented Preview Days that required many staff to work Saturdays. In order to avoid paying overtime pay, departments informed staff members that they would have to shift their schedules and take an alternate day off during the week to avoid exceeding 40 hours.

This approach would put students and departments at a disadvantage by leaving less staffing during the regular work week. Additionally, working Saturdays can be a hardship for many members with families, 2nd jobs, or other responsibilities. Finally, it would deprive those staff who did work Saturday from receiving overtime pay.

We are pleased to say that our Union was successful last month in getting the Admissions Office agreement to cover the overtime cost of members who worked weekends. While the Union supported the College’s efforts to attract and retain students, Union staff should be properly compensated for their time.

2. Paid Lunch Hours and Overtime

Along with the attempt to change staff’s work schedule, there was some push back from the College about overtime. They suggested our hour lunch should not be considered as “hours or time worked” toward the 40 hour week, thus requiring staff to work an additional five hours before becoming eligible for overtime. Historically, the College has treated our one-hour paid lunch as time worked. A College spokesperson suggested members were misrepresenting their time worked when they filled out their digital time-sheets marking our time worked as 8 hours. The Union strongly objected to this characterization. In fact, the current time-sheet system has NO FUNCTION to record lunch as a subset of time and all staff members were instructed through an in-person training session to put in 8 hours for time worked. This was mandated by the College. This practice further supports our assertion that our hour lunch has and must continue to be considered “time worked.”

3. Classifying staff as Exempt

Lastly, there is the issue of the College classifying some Union members as “exempt.” Doing so would prevent staff from being paid overtime due to the nature of their work and responsibilities. This status is mostly applied to those members who are highly compensated and exercise a significant amount independent judgement in their roles as professional employees. The standards for this are established by the Department of Labor. Human Resources has assured us that they will “only evaluate future positions that became vacated through attrition or as a new position or in response to a complaint.” However, should there be an issue presented regarding exempt status, we will need to confirm that the designated of the position is properly classified.

Also, we requested that employees be told they are being hired as an “exempt” employee or being reassigned as an “exempt” employee. “Exempt” status can greatly affect compensation. In upcoming negotiations, the Union will propose that exempt employees be provided with compensatory time, which is allowed for under the law.

Do you have questions?

Schedule a Meeting in Your Department

Have you been denied overtime? Has your department claimed their budget will not support overtime? These issues and other important concerns will be part of our Contract negotiations this Summer. Would you like a Union representative to explain these issue in person? You can organize a meeting for your department, unit or building floor’s Union members, and we will bring food and discuss these issues with you. We want to learn from YOU what is going on in your area, and we want to help and explain how to protect your rights. Please contact Craig Sigele at csigele@colum.edu.

Join the Contract Action Team (CAT).
Protect your rights, get involved! We are here to help and want and need you to be engaged!  We can only be effective if we have active participation from everyone. We need you to stand up with all of us and get involved. Contact Oscar Valdez ovaldez@colum.edu Flor Calabrez fcalabrez@colum.edu or Kayla Jutzi kjutzi@colum.edu and tell them you want to participate in protecting your rights and the rights of the Union.

 

Sincerely,

Craig Sigele

USofCC President

 

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