Reports, Briefs, Tips

Senate Reports

posted by Ana Jiménez

Each month, at Faculty Senate, PCCEA provides a brief report on faculty-centered issues and actions.
An archive of those files are below. 
Let us know if there are topics coming up that need our attention! Contact Us

Executive Briefs

posted by Ana Jiménez   [ updated ]

In the fall of 2016, PCCEA started sending faculty "PCCEAExec Briefs" that outlined some of the actions PCCEA are engaged in on behalf of faculty. Although there are several topics that are confidential and cannot be shared, there are some actions that can be discussed and we decided to summarize and share to keep faculty informed on the goings-on of PCCEA. 
Files are located below and are updated regularly.
Let us know if there are topics coming up that need our attention! Contact Us

Pay Errors

posted Nov 15, 2011, 6:45 AM by Ana Jiménez   [ updated Nov 15, 2011, 6:50 AM ]

Over the years PCCEA has discovered and notified the College of errors in placement of faculty on the salary schedule (we were averaging about six per year).  Fortunately, these errors have decreased significantly since 2010; however, we have been alerted by individual faculty that pay errors are still occurring.  Although our Meet and Confer proposal to add a procedure for dealing with pay errors in the FPPS was rejected, the College did respond positively by including a process on the MyPima Intranet for all employees to access should you notice an error in your pay.  (See attached.) 

If you believe you have been underpaid:

  1. Immediately email the Employee Service Center at ESC@pima.edu or call 206-4945 to report the potential underpayment. Please let us know the pay period, the amount of the potential underpayment and your identification (A) number.
  2. An analysis of the potential underpayment will be prepared and reviewed by the Director of the ESC and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business Services.
  3. Once the internal review is completed, you will be provided with a copy of the analysis and an explanation of the findings.
  4. We will make every effort to promptly notify you of the findings and correct any underpayment.
  5. The Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business Services or designee may authorize an “off-cycle” check for an underpayment in emergency situations.
    (MyPima > Intranet > Employee Service Center  > Payroll > 8. Over and Under Payments Procedures )

If you believe you have been overpaid:

  1. Immediately email the Employee Service Center at ESC@pima.edu or call 206-4945 to report the possible overpayment. Please let us know the pay period, the amount of the potential overpayment and your identification (A) number.
  2. An analysis of the potential overpayment will be prepared and reviewed by the Director of the ESC and the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Business Services.
  3. Once the internal review is completed, you will be provided with a copy of the analysis and an explanation of the findings. Staff are available to meet in person to discuss and review the analysis.
  4. The ESC will make every effort to promptly notify you of the findings and will work with the employee to arrange for repayment.
  5. While we are obligated by law to recover any overpayments, we do have some flexibility in how funds are recovered. If necessary, we will work with you to establish a repayment schedule through payroll deduction that is both reasonable for you, while still meeting our obligations under state law. Repayment schedules require the approval of the ESC Director and, in certain cases, the Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.
  6. If these attempts at collection are unsuccessful, the College may pursue other collection options.
    (MyPima > Intranet > Employee Service Center  > Payroll > 8. Over and Under Payments Procedures )

Several years ago PCCEA spoke with the College regarding our cryptic paystubs, citing that faculty are often unable to report errors in pay because we cannot decode our paystubs.  The College worked to include more details on our paystubs within the available space confines.  The various codes you will see on your paystub are called Earn Codes.  Attached is a list of Earn Codes for Instructional and Adjunct Faculty.

For example, you may have noticed the Earn Code RetAdj on your paycheck.  Here are the details you will find in the attached document:

"Pay type" as seen on direct deposit and check advices (earn code short description)

 

RetAdj

"Earnings type" as seen on MyPima Pay Stub Detail (earn code long description)

 

Retirement Adjustment

Explanation

 

Fiscal Year 2010-11 retirement adjustment authorized by the Board of Governors to cover the increase in mandatory state retirement contributions.

(MyPima > Intranet > Employee Service Center  > Payroll > 14. Pay Types and Deduction Codes)

 

 

Other Topics on Payroll you can find on the Intranet under Employee Service Center are:

  1. Timesheets and Work Attendance
  2. Responsibility for Time Keeping and Recording
  3. Reporting Absences
  4. Direct Deposit
  5. Lost or Destroyed Paycheck
  6. Missed Paycheck
  7. Reduction in Pay (Docked Pay)
  8. Over and Under Payments Procedures
  9. Tax Withholding
  10. Salary Reduction Agreement for Tax Sheltered Annuities
  11. Missing W2 Form
  12. Child Support and Other Garnishments
  13. What is the "RetAdj" pay type that I see on my pay stub statement?
  14. Pay Types and Deduction Codes
  15. Payroll Improvement Initiative
  16. Obtaining Assistance

Personal Leave

posted Oct 15, 2011, 3:57 PM by Ana Jiménez

Personal days are designed for employees to take time away from work for reasons unrelated to illness, including anything from moving to doctor appointments to vacation. Faculty can take two Personal Days annually.  Specifically, policy states:

Each year two days of Personal Leave are granted to each regular Faculty member. Regular Faculty may request not more than the equivalent of two days of personal leave per semester, for a maximum of the equivalent of four days per contract year. (Exceptions to this policy are noted below.) Once the two Personal Days have been exhausted, the Faculty member may choose to take up to two additional Personal Days, which will be deducted from accumulated sick leave.

 (FPPS, Article VI. B., p. 39)

This means that, although the standard is two Personal Days annually, you can request four Personal Days (two Personal Days and two Sick Leave days that are converted to Personal Days).  Once the two Personal Days and two converted Sick Leave days have been utilized, you cannot utilize Personal Days again until the following contract year.  Unused Personal Days will not carry over to the following contract year.

 

According to policy, requests for Personal Leave do not require explanation  and will be approved unless your Supervising Administrator attests that your leave would negatively affect your program or subject/service area.

 

Finally, with regard to the circumstance warranting an exception as noted above, should an emergency or crisis occur that requires you to need a full week (five-days) of Personal Leave, you can request a fifth day from your Supervising Administrator.  However, in this situation, you would need to disclose the nature of the emergency, and the fifth day of personal leave would also come out of your accrued sick leave.

 

Steps for requesting Personal Leave:

1.      Send an email notifying your Supervising Administrator of the day(s) or half-day(s) that you will be taking off.  Copy your Supervising Administrator’s Support Staff.

·         Personal Leave can only be claimed in one-day or half-day increments. One day is 5.8 hours for Instructional Faculty and 8 hours for Educational Support Faculty. One half-day is 2.9 hours for Instructional Faculty and 4 hours for Educational Support Faculty.

·         This is a notification, not an explanation.  You do not need to explain your reason for taking personal days unless you are requesting an emergency five-days-in-a-row.

2.      Fill out your Time Sheet following the instructions below.

·         On many campuses, the Support Staff person will fill this form out for you. If that is the case, be sure to specifically indicate what day(s) and whether you are claiming a full-day or half-day of personal leave.

 

Instructions for filling out your Personal Day on your timesheet

1.      Download a Timesheet by clicking here

2.      Click buttons “Enable Editing” and “Enable This Content

a.      Click the Add/Update Personal Information button and input your name, Pima ID, Department, Phone Extension, Position Number* and Supervisor Name.
*If you don’t know your Position Number, call the Employee Service Center at 206-4945

b.      Select the pay period for when you wish to take your personal day

c.       Click the Create New Timesheet button

3.      You will be prompted to input the time you are claiming.  For Personal Leave, you will input the time under Other Leave and select Personal Leave from the dropdown menu.

 


Input the number of hours

·         Full Day = 5.8 hours for Instructional Faculty and 8 hours for Educational Support Faculty

·         Half-day = 2.9 hours for Instructional Faculty and 4 hours for Educational Support Faculty

 

4.      Click Save and Preview to make sure everything is correct.

5.      Print, Sign and Date* the form and submit it to your Supervising Administrator for her/his signature.
* If you are absent and cannot physically sign the form, you can email it to your Supervising Administrator and s/he can write “Not Available” for your signature.

 

For further information including Deadlines for submitting your time sheet and revising past timesheets, click here

Collegial Conference versus PPP

posted Sep 13, 2011, 9:37 AM by Ana Jiménez   [ updated Feb 27, 2013, 8:24 AM ]

PPP: What is it and what should I include?  The faculty Professional Progression Plan (PPP) is a part of our Step Progression Plan and is required for step advancement on the salary schedule.  Starting this fall, a criterion was added to the PPP to include participation in the Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) process.  Current policy, with new language highlighted, states:

Step advancement requires a Faculty member to satisfy one professional development and one student success activity and one of the two service requirements. At least one of the three activities must demonstrate substantive participation in the Student Learning Outcomes process of the discipline or program.

(FPPS, Appendix N, II. A., p. 140)
Additional activities that include substantive SLO participation have been added to the Activity Matrix (a list of examples to help faculty and administrators) in policy.  Take care to list three activities on your initial PPP that you are certain you can accomplish prior to final PPP submission in March.  In the creation of the faculty Step Progression Plan, PCCEA worked hard to ensure that earning a step is congruent with performing your job duties, so there is no need to list more than the three required activities. Remember, the activities listed on your PPP are your choice.  You have the ability (with approval) to modify your PPP activities later if needed.  If you have any questions, consider consulting with a colleague or your PCCEA Campus Representative. 
  • Initial submission of the PPP is in the Fall (end of September)
  • Final submission of completed PPP is in the Spring (end of March)
 
Collegial Conference:  What is it and what should I include?  The Annual Collegial Conference is part of the Faculty Success Program and provides an opportunity to collaborate with your supervising administrator on your professional enrichment goals.  In the spring of 2011, language was added to include a major focus on SLO participation.  Current policy, with new language highlighted, states:
Briefly, the components of the Annual Collegial Conference are:
a. A review of the challenges and accomplishments of the preceding 12 months
b. A review of the student feedback
c. A review of participation in Student Learning Outcomes process
d. A plan for the upcoming 12 months
e. Collaboration on the professional enrichment goals
f. Peer review of materials or classroom visitation (optional)

(FPPS, Article IV. B. 3, p. 26)

We know that faculty go above and beyond the activities required for the PPP.  It is at the Collegial Conference where faculty are encouraged to list all of the many activities accomplished throughout the year.  When developing a plan for the coming year, be sure to include goals that you know you will be able to meet prior to your next Collegial Conference in the spring.  This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss with your Supervising Administrator all of the fabulous things you are doing (both in and out of the classroom) and a fantastic avenue to focus on those professional goals you wish to meet to be your best.  Remember, the professional enrichment goals are set by you.
  • Collegial Conferences occur in the spring (usually in April)
 
What if my Supervising Administrator wants me to change my Collegial Conference goals or my PPP activities?  With the Collegial Conference you set your own goals; on your PPP, you choose your own activities.  Your supervising administrator may make recommendations, but if there seems to be a problem with job performance, neither the Collegial Conference nor the PPP  is the correct avenue to produce a Performance Improvement Plan.  The appropriate process for such action is in the Corrective Action Procedure, outlined in Common Policy, page 50. 
 

Sick Leave and Voluntary Overload

posted Aug 25, 2011, 8:05 AM by Ana Jiménez   [ updated Sep 11, 2011, 3:38 PM ]

In the past, if a faculty member had to miss a day due to illness, and that day included a voluntary overload, the faculty member would get docked one day of sick leave and would automatically lose salary for the voluntary overload class missed.  That is not current policy anymore!
Current policy states:

A Faculty member who is unable to report for work at any time during her/his voluntary overload may elect to either use sick leave or have the overload contract adjusted. If requested by the Faculty member, the Faculty member‘s accumulated sick leave will be reduced by an amount equal to the amount of time missed in 15-minute increments. This amount of leave is in addition to what is required to cover regular contract obligations. If the Faculty member chooses not to use accumulated sick leave under these circumstances, the overload contract will be adjusted. (FPPS, Article VI, A. 4. c., p. 39)

That means that you can request to use more sick leave to cover the overload class in 15-minute increments instead of losing pay.  Faculty should work with their division office support staff to do the necessary paperwork.
 

If you have any questions on this or other issues pertaining to working conditions or compensation, please contact your Campus Representative.

Retirement

posted Aug 25, 2011, 8:04 AM by Ana Jiménez   [ updated Sep 11, 2011, 3:37 PM ]

Benefits and Flex Schedules. Current contracts the College has with our benefits providers state that benefits will expire the last day of the month that you worked.  For retiring nine-month instructional faculty, that would typically leave the month of June without benefits.  The College will work to address this problem through the Benefits Committee, which has not yet begun meeting for the spring.  In the meantime, PCCEA suggests for those who are planning to retire to consider a Flex Schedule for their final contract year of work.  Educational Support Faculty are required to work flex schedules, while flex schedules are optional for Instructional Faculty.

Current regular, Instructional Faculty interested in the program must submit a memo to their Supervising Administrator with a copy to their Department Chair by March 1 for the following fiscal/contract year. The memo should demonstrate that the schedule does not negatively affect the program, and should give a general outline of the proposed flex schedule. However, not all disciplines or programs lend themselves to flex year contract schedules. Requests made after the deadline will be considered in accordance with this policy as long as the Faculty member is paid on a 26 pay period cycle

.
(FPPS, Unit Guidelines, Flex Year Contracts for Instructional Faculty, p. 78-79)
A flex schedule does not have to be radically different (you can still teach the standard 15-load in the fall and 15-load in the spring) but it allows you to select your days of accountability.  When you create your flex schedule, make sure you have at least one day of accountability in June.  Although you are not required to be on campus every day of accountability, we recommend that you choose to work on campus for that one day, to ensure there is no question of fulfillment.  With that requirement met, your insurance benefits will extend through the month of June. [See attached for a sample from PCCEA Past-President and long-time flex-schedule recipient, Robin Steinberg.]
 
Taxes. If you decide to NOT go on a flex schedule and just retire in May, and you are on a 26-pay period cycle, upon retirement the College will take all of the paychecks you would have received over the summer and put them in one bundle upon your retirement in May. Of course, with a huge payday, that means the taxes taken out could be rather hefty.  In this case, PCCEA suggests that, for your last year before retirement, you request to be paid on the 20-pay period cycle.  This is not a problem if you go on a flex schedule and work in June because instructional flex contracts require being paid on a 26-pay period cycle that runs from July 1 through June 30.
 

If you have any questions on this or other issues pertaining to working conditions or compensation, please contact your Campus Representative.

Horizontal Movement & Professional Enrichment Funds

posted Aug 25, 2011, 8:01 AM by Ana Jiménez   [ updated Sep 11, 2011, 3:36 PM ]

Faculty Salary Schedules are set up so that we can move vertically and also horizontally.  Vertical movement is also known as Step Advancement.  Horizontal movement is based on educational attainment.
 

Horizontal Movement Guidelines are outlined in the FPPS

Salary adjustments in the form of horizontal and vertical movement are given according to the following guidelines. Horizontal and vertical movements on the salary schedule are independent of each other. (FPPS, Appendix A, p. 69)

Horizontal credit is based on completed increments of 15 semester hours (or 23 quarter hours).

(FPPS, Appendix Ap. 67)

For example, an eligible nine-month instructional faculty member on Step 1 of column S1 making $44,292 could complete 15 semester hours of graduate-level coursework and move horizontally on the salary schedule to column M2, increasing her salary to $45,996.  Please read policy for eligibility requirements and guidelines.

 

Professional Enrichment Funds can be used for a variety of professional development endeavors, including tuition for educational attainment.

Faculty Professional Enrichment Funds shall be allocated annually in the amount of $1,000 per year. These funds will be carried forward for two years, up to a maximum accrual of $3,000. Faculty members requiring professional enrichment funds above their account balance may apply for additional support through the Campus Faculty Enrichment Fund. (FPPS, Article IV, p. 27)

For those eligible faculty not already in column D, using professional development funds to offset the cost of tuition is one way to work toward increasing your salary, even without step advancement.

 

To use Professional Enrichment funds to cover the cost of tuition fees, follow these steps:

 

Advance Payment for Coursework Tuition

  1. Prior to taking course
    • Fill out and obtain approval signatures on the Application for Faculty Professional Enrichment Funds form [Click here for form
    • Fill out and obtain approval signatures on the Payment Request Form (attached)
      • Include the institution's information in Section 3
      • In the Special Instructions for Section 4, request that payment be sent to the institution
  2. Submit the following three documents to your Business Services Office:
    1. Original Professional Enrichment Funds Application with approval signatures
    2. Original Payment Request Form with approval signatures
    3. Invoice from institution stating course information and tuition cost
  • After course completion, submit to your Business Services Office documentation of course completion which includes course name and dates completed
    1. Coursework Tuition Reimbursement

      1. Prior to taking course
        • Fill out and obtain approval signatures on the Application for Faculty Professional Enrichment Funds form [Click here for form
      2. After course completion
        • Fill out and obtain approval signatures on the Payment Request Form (attached)
        • Submit the following four documents to your Business Services Office:
          1. Original Professional Enrichment Funds Application with approval signatures
          2. Original Payment Request Form with approval signatures
          3. Documentation of course completion which includes course name, dates completed
          4. Receipt showing you paid for the course

          Do you know what your current Professional Enrichment Fund balance is?  Contact your Business Services Office and find out!

          Community Campus 206-6581

          Desert Vista Campus 206-5092

          Downtown Campus 206-7077

          East Campus 206-7833

          Northwest Campus 206-2040

          West Campus 206-6676


          If you have any questions on this or other issues pertaining to working conditions or compensation, please contact your Campus Representative.

          Flexible Spending Accounts

          posted Aug 25, 2011, 7:56 AM by Ana Jiménez   [ updated Sep 11, 2011, 3:32 PM ]

          The College has contracted Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for College employees.  "Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) help you save money by allowing you to set aside part of your salary on a pre-tax basis to pay for health care and/or dependent day care expenses.  Pre-tax means the money is deducted from your paycheck before taxes are calculated.  This reduces taxes withheld and lowers your taxable income." (Benefits Guide, p. 11)

           

          Here's an example: 

          Suppose you want to enroll in the medical FSA.  During Open Enrollment in May, you would decide to have any amount from $1 to $5000 set aside from your pay during 2011-2012.  That money will be put in your FSA.  This would be pre-tax, so when it comes time to do your taxes, it looks like you make less money and therefore you pay less taxes.

           

          Then, each time you pay a medical bill, co-pay, prescription, over-the-counter medication, you send the receipts and a form to the company the College has contracted to handle our FSAs.  They reimburse you for that expense out of your FSA.  So, you get the money back

          What Should You Do:

          1. Look at your medical and/or dependant daycare expenses for the past few years and see if you spend enough to make this worthwhile.  If you spend $2000 or more each year, then it's worth it.
          1. Enroll for the Medical and/or Dependent Daycare Flexible Spending Account during Open Enrollment*, in May.
          1. Once enrolled, send your bank information so that the reimbursements are deposited directly into your back account (versus having checks mailed to you which is a longer process). Note: There is a FSA Debit Card option whereby you can pay those costs using your FSA Debit Card.  That card takes money directly out of your FSA. 
          1. Be sure to save all of your receipts and send the form to obtain reimbursement. Note: You still have to submit paperwork if you use the FSA Debit Card.

          *Note: Benefits Open Enrollment period this year: from April 11 to May 10, 2011.


          If you have any questions on this or other issues pertaining to working conditions or compensation, please contact your Campus Representative.

          Days of Accountability

          posted Aug 25, 2011, 7:54 AM by Ana Jiménez   [ updated Sep 11, 2011, 3:31 PM ]

          Some faculty have gotten the impression that there is a requirement to be on campus for each of the 169 days of accountability.  That is not necessarily accurate.

          Instructional Faculty do not need to be on campus every day, but do need to fulfill an average of 29 hours on campus (or other sites) each week. 

          The academic year Instructional Faculty contract includes 169 days of accountability: 158 days for the Faculty member‘s regular assignment, one day for All College Day in the fall, up to five days of advising or other student development activities (Unit Guide ―Non-teaching days of accountability for instructional accountability‖), one day for All Faculty Day in the spring, three days for preparation, and one day for graduation...

          Instructional Faculty will spend an average of 29 of these hours on campus, at the District Office, or other sites.

          Teaching, academic advising and institutional responsibilities occur throughout the workweek. Instructional Faculty preparation does not necessarily occur at a College location.
           (FPPS, Article IIp. 12 & 13)

          Educational Support Faculty do need to be on campus 8-hours per day, except for Graduation, All College Day and All Faculty Day.

          Educational Support Faculty are placed on a flex-year contract (as appropriate, for either 169 or 221 days of accountability) at the standard 8 hours per day, between July 1 and June 30...

          If Graduation Day, All College Day, and/or All Faculty Day are included in a flex-year schedule, each fulfills a day of accountability. (FPPS, Article II, p. 13 & 14)

           

          Note: Graduation, All College Day and All Faculty Day each count as a day of accountability for all faculty.  That means:

          • Faculty can only miss one of these events by taking a personal day or, if you have a flex schedule, you flex the day off.
          • Any Faculty on a Flex Schedule who work on campus and attend one of these events on a single day are fulfilling two days of accountability.

          If you have any questions on this or other issues pertaining to working conditions or compensation, please contact your Campus Representative.

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