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PCCEA Monthly Report | Oct. 2019

posted Oct 4, 2019, 2:36 PM by Ana Jiménez
From: Boguszak, Matej <mboguszak@pima.edu>
Date: Fri, Oct 4, 2019 at 1:57 PM
Subject: [pccfaculty] PCCEA monthly report
To: PCCFACULTY <pccfaculty@pima.edu>
Cc: Jeffrey Lanuez <jlanuez@pima.edu>, Dolores Duran-Cerda <dcerda@pima.edu>, Schmidt, Kate <kschmidt@pima.edu>


Dear colleagues,

Wishing you a happy month of October! If you're free this afternoon, please join us for minutes or hours at the New Faculty Reception & Old Faculty Social from 4-7. See below for more information.

Meanwhile, here are some of the items I am updating Faculty Senate on today. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.
  • The AERC has resumed resumed policy work to finish the new Employee Handbook. This morning we discussed policies on conflict of interest, grievances, and code of conduct, and they should be coming out for 21-day comment again this month.
  • As I reported in September, the College did agree to maintain some reassigned time for faculty involved in this work. Please, if you are even a little interested, contact me for more info or a chat. We need more help this semester, and it would be especially nice if you'd consider joining us in the spring. Now is a good time to think about that as you're planning your class schedule. The seats on the AERC will be up for election in December/January, so please consider serving or asking a colleague you think might be interested in the opportunity. Let me know if you have any questions.
  • PCCEA met informally with Human Resources (HR) this week and will resume regular meetings. We talked a bit about the upcoming classification & compensation study, and HR assured us that there is no agenda to save money but rather to improve competitiveness. IT is a perennial example of an area struggling to recruit and retain talent due to relatively low wages. HR is aware that this will potentially mess with every single employee's salary and will carefully scrutinize any potential consultant to make sure they have the experience, expertise, and credibility to take on such a big job. PCCEA recommended sharing information, providing timelines, and seeking employee input early and often. We will be watching this endeavor very closely with an eye toward fairness and pay equity.
  • PCCEA also met with the Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) and Legal Department overseeing them to try to clarify and resolve a number of complaints that have arisen last year. ODR plays a critical role at the College in helping investigate and adjudicate complaints and grievances, so it is vital that employees have confidence in the work they do. I will be sharing further details in another communication but would encourage everyone with workplace concerns or policy disputes to (1) attempt to resolve them informally, (2) if unsuccessful, request assistance from ODR, and (3) if they feel that the process was unfair or biased or had other issues, contact PCCEA, the Legal Department, or HR.
  • The counselors have finalized their recommendations for a new counseling & advising model and provided a final round of feedback on preliminary proposals from the administration. A decision is scheduled to be delivered next week. At Wednesday's Board meeting, as in prior discussions, the Dean of Students alluded to a need to "move to staff positions" without giving a reason. There is a clear need for 12-month coverage and increasing the number of advisor-type positions, but that doesn't necessitate reclassifying whatever few counselors do remain as Staff, especially in light of extensive bench marking that showed colleges with some of the most successful student support models do utilize counseling Faculty. The only reason for the Staff reclassification PCCEA can discern is to save significant amounts on money on the backs of counselors over the coming years and have much tighter control over their working conditions. It makes me extremely concerned that we would be cutting additional faculty positions at Pima and more importantly cheapening our counseling services at such a critical time. It would also set an ominous precedent, and folks are obviously asking which group is next. Librarians? Developmental Education or CTE faculty? This kind of race to the bottom would be completely antithetical to our mission, and PCCEA implores the administration not to reclassify our counselors as Staff or to be forthright about the reasons for doing so. I am confident we can come up with a better model that will better serve our students and won't result in us losing current and future counselors.
Have a great weekend, everybody!

Matej

--
Matej Boguszak
Mathematics Faculty
Pima Community College


New Faculty Reception & Old Faculty Social
WhenFriday, October 4, 4pm – 7pm
WhereLa Cocina | Downtown Tucson Restaurant - Bar - Live Music, 201 N Court Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701, USA (map)
Find us in the Dusty Monk bar room on the SE corner or outside on the patio next to it.
DescriptionPlease join us at La Cocina in a couple of weeks to welcome our new faculty, say hello to old friends, and enjoy some refreshments and good company! It's a great chance to get to know your colleagues outside of work. You never know what you're going to learn. Hope to see many of you there! I'll send another reminder.

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