USofCC Lunch Forum on Merit Pay October 28, 2015

USofCC Lunch Forum: MERIT PAY

Wednesday, October 28
12:30 – 1:30pm
600 S. Michigan, Rm. 401
RSVP by 10/26 to
Lunch will be provided; please note any dietary needs in your message
As you all know, the College recently kicked off its annual Performance Evaluation process, which we believe ties directly to the new Merit Pay system the administration wants to implement (as stated in the new strategic plan). Wondering what Columbia’s administration is planning? So are we! Come discuss your concerns and questions with your fellow USofCC members. Lunch will be provided!

Next Contract Support Team meeting Sept. 3, 2015


Thanks to those of you who could come to the strategy brainstorm lunch forum on August 18. Now it’s time to decide what to do! The next Contract Support Team meeting will be:

THURSDAY Sept. 3, 2015
600 S. Michigan Room 401

Our agenda will be:

  1. Narrow down our target and message
  2. Decide on organizing tactics for the fall
  3. Set up committees to work on specific actions

USofCC events this week!

Membership Committee Meeting (TODAY!)

Help USofCC reach 100% membership. Come to a training (and free lunch):

Monday July 13, from 12-1pm
624 S. Michigan Room 901

USofCC Lunch Forum (TOMORROW!)

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, from 12–1pm
600 S. Michigan, Room 401

Lunch provided!
RSVP to so we can have enough food

USofCC July update

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 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 ( 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

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: 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!

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 And don’t forget to check out our website,, where we do our best to keep you updated.

Member Spotlight: Eric Bailey

USofCC Member - Eric Bailey

USofCC Member – Eric Bailey

My main job at Columbia is Distance Learning Manager for the Business & Entrepreneurship department. I also maintain their technology and facilities. My day-to-day work also includes tutoring students on how to use various software applications to further their creative careers and improve their ability to work effectively in any industry. I really enjoy helping students and co-workers who are driven and passionate about what they love to do. I’ve been working and teaching at Columbia for almost twenty years.

Member Spotlight: JeeYeun Lee

USofCC Member - JeeYeun Lee

USofCC Member – JeeYeun Lee

I’ve been at Columbia since 2008, as the main fundraiser for the Center for Community Arts Partnerships. Most of my work consists of writing grants to support CCAP’s work – I’ve raised over $15 million so far. I admire Columbia students for pursuing their passion in the arts and media – I could never have done that when I was in college. I also appreciate my colleagues at Columbia for their dedication to the students and the school. It’s my first time working in a large institution and it’s nice to see how much people care. I’ve also been taking classes at Columbia, and it’s great to get a student point of view – we have a lot of great faculty and resources here at the college.

Support bargaining by wearing buttons!

USofCC members Evie Cabrera, Yolunda Kincade and Sheila Brady in the Education department proudly wore USofCC buttons and colors in support of bargaining on Thursday June 18.


Support Our Staff (SOS): Union Member Spotlights

Support Our Staff

The staff offers more than what is listed on their job descriptions. We bring a love for the arts and an interest in student success. To capture the unique qualities of our staff, tell their stories and share their successes, we are creating a collection of Staff spotlights that will be shared with the College community. It’s nick name is SOS (Spotlight on Staff) This effort will raise awareness of the human role staff play in the daily functions of the College.

As members of the Contract Support Team, we need your participation.  Provide us with your image and story to share with the community. Two examples are currently on the Union Website, click on this link. Submit your materials no later than July 1st. to Kevin Rechner, (Please provide the photo credit)

To help focus your thoughts, choose one of the questions below and write a 75 to 100 word statement.

Choose a question below:
What brought you to Columbia and why do you stay?
What do you do that you love at Columbia?
What do you look forward to at the end of the day ?
What do you do outside of work that enriches your work?
How has Columbia improved your life?
What is it like interacting with students?
What have you created at Columbia that gives you pride?
How has your life or work experience informed your work at Columbia?
How do you describe Columbia to your friends?

Member Spotlight: Kevin Rechner

Kevin Rechner

USofCC Member – Kevin Rechner

Touring as a lighting designer / stage manager with a small modern dance company has brought me to early morning showcases in New York to large union halls or art galleries not set up for performance. These experiences directly affect my work at Columbia as I do what I love both on the job at The Dance Center for both professionals and students, and for my own pleasure.

Member Spotlight: Craig Sigele

Craig Sigele

USofCC Member – Craig Sigele

I first started out studying economics in college until I discovered the photo darkroom. There I learned to look at the world in a new way with a different perception. I transferred schools and lost my darkroom, but I discovered paint. Work took me to Advertising and digital photography where I applied my love for art and culture to everyday issues. Columbia allows me to share my experience and learn from the students whose eyes are wide open.


This gallery contains 13 photos.

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