Union Files Two Grievances Against Hocking College

Posted on:

< < Back to

The budget-balancing measures implemented by Hocking College last month have resulted in a pair of grievances filed by the Hocking College Education Association. The association is the professional bargaining unit at the college.

The grievances signed by association President Mark Yanko were filed on Dec. 8, alleging that the college violated the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the parties.

The first grievance concerns the implementation of furlough days by the college and the board of trustees.

Furloughs are being implemented for the current fiscal year and future years, The Messenger has reported previously. The furloughs outlined through the budget cuts include furlough days over winter break and spring break, as well as 10 additional furlough days placed on the faculty.

With regard to the furlough days, 157 faculty members will be impacted by the 10-day furlough. A total of 181 employees are impacted by the holiday break furlough, while 154 are impacted by the spring break furlough. Of those impacted by the holiday and spring break furloughs, 52 will also be required to take six additional furlough days between January and June 2015.

With the exception of the support staff bargaining unit and faculty, college employees making less than $55,000 will have 12.25 furlough days and those making more than $55,000 will have 18.25 furlough days. For the support staff bargaining unit, those making less than $30,000 will have 7.25 furlough days and those making more than $30,000 will have 12.25 furlough days.

According to the professional bargaining unit contract, full-time faculty members are to be on campus no more than 169 days. The current academic calendar only schedules 159 days on campus. The faculty will therefore be furloughed the 10-day difference, meaning they will now be paid for 159 days instead of 169 days.

Yanko stated that for the past few years the faculty have been on campus for 159 days, but the pay has remained constant. Now, beginning in January, full-time faculty will be paid less time. Yanko questioned how the furlough and pay cut can be implemented when it is clearly written in the contract that the faculty be paid for up to 169 days.

In effect, Yanko stated, the 10 days being furloughed are eliminating the 10 paid holidays that are written into the union contract.
“They are getting the same product and we expect full compensation for the work,” stated Yanko. According to the contract, full-time faculty are to teach 18 credit hours or have 20 contact hours as well as maintain six office hours per week.

The second grievance alleges that the college violated the collective bargaining agreement through the establishing of administrative positions “that will require the administrator(s) to perform bargaining unit work.”

Under the reorganization plan announced in November, the department chairperson positions will be non-bargaining unit positions with a “modified instructional course load.”

Interim President Betty Young’s letter announcing the plans stated that if someone inside the college isn’t suited for the position, a job will also be cut in that department in order to hire a qualified external candidate.

The collective bargaining agreement prohibits the reduction of positions within the bargaining unit as the result of administrative or supervisory positions.

In the first grievance, the union is asking that the college “cease and desist from implementing furlough days” on professional bargaining unit members. The second grievance asks that the college “cease and desist from creating administrative positions that require the performance of bargaining unit work.”

In a letter dated Nov. 18 to interim President Betty Young, union attorneys Susan Hayest Kozlowski and Lora A. Molnar state that a number of measures detailed in Young’s letter to college employees on Nov. 13 included a number of measures that violate the professional unit agreement between the college and the union.

“The association plans to grieve all violations of the agreement,” according to the letter, which further states that there are additional claims that may result in grievances if the plans are implemented by the college.

“We could potentially file more when the time is right,” said Yanko. “The intention is to file a grievance on anything grievable.”

Grievances filed by the union first go to the college’s human resources department and proceed to the provost if not settled at that level. If the parties are not satisfied by a resolution at that time, the matter then proceeds to binding arbitration.