ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP MEETING MINUTES
March 22, 2005
Call to Order: 12:35
Reports distributed by e-mail or as handouts included:
* Minutes of Feb 17, 2005, Sec. L. Kleindienst
* Board of Directors, R. Albano
* Social Security, C. DuPont
Pres. C. Mathison began with remarks that the focus of the meeting would be to address campus union leadership. Although WTR and contract issues were among the top concerns, it was imperative to resolve leadership issues before we could move forward on the other issues. She noted the guidelines for the conduct of the meeting which had been sent out e-mail and were posted around the room (114). B. Scannapieco and R. Rodgers took issue with these guidelines and a motion was made by B. Scannapieco "that the (posted) guidelines not be followed." Motion was seconded by L. Harrington. After a brief discussion and further explanation by C. Mathison and L. Kleindienst for why the guidelines were devized - to ensure civility and to provide adequate opportunity for everyone to speak - a vote was taken.
Motion failed on a vote of 30/35 with 4 abstentions. See attached guidelines.
Pres. Mathison also asked for a vote on whether to use a tape recorder to tape the meeting. B. Wurtzel made motion "that the meeting be tape recorded in order to document the commentary of the meeting." Motion seconded by R. Rodgers. Motion passed. Carol then noted that if anyone did not want to be recorded to please advise M. Bourbeau and recorder would be turned off.
Based on the approved guidelines there were seven individuals signed up to address the membership: Sharon Hilton, Barbara Wurtzel, Gail Dunn, Linda Harrington, Maureen O'Brien, Dennison Rice and Nan Rice. Each submitted a 3 x 5 card with their concern(s).
* Remarks reflect Dental Depts observations
* Appalled at e-mails after last mtg
* Over last 10yrs respect and value for faculty work diminished; tired of hearing what we (faculty) do/do not do in relation to professional staff; description of workload, prep load, service activities
G. Dunn and L. Harrington concurred with Sharon.
K. Czuchra on issue of division between prof stf and faculty - who is saying this, where does it come from. S. Hilton said it is everywhere and that faculty morale is low. Ken said he agreed faculty and prof stf morale was low. S. Hilton asserted that 2 faculty and 2 prof stf reps had gone behind faculty backs to speak with Dean before ever speaking with the involved faculty. Issue not identified . Sharon said "you are always in Michael's office". M. Bourbeau that she and Carol respond when issues are brought forward by faculty and outlined the procedures they follow. Sharon responded that her issue which was workload and advisee load could have been resolved differently if the contract had been carefully applied - "there are ways" to adjust these.
L. Harrington responded with her issue over a student with mental health problem and her recent e-mail on the campus system which she sent after not hearing from Carol.
S. Hilton concurred and noted that members are not getting response to their concerns.
P. Hutchinson, as a new faculty member, is nervous about the possibility of something happening in her future and the leadership response - matter of who to trust.
R. Rodgers addressed Ken's issue of where the devisiveness came from and Bob said he believed it arose out of Carol's comment at last mtg about 4 hour faculty work days.
S. Hilton concurred.
M. Bourbeau tried to explicate Carol's remark in the context of dealing with College Service and WTR and talked about how the contract impacts faculty and prof stf differently. She also noted the change in the leadership in last 3 yrs from faculty dominated to prof stf in leading position and how that changes perception.
S. Howell sees WTR issue is what started the whole thing. Stated we are one union and the need to be unified especially now.
D. Buckley noted that he did not take remarks of last meeting personally. Real point is to "heal" this and work on our real problems - heal and fix what is going on.
C. Pettingill sees dramatic decline in faculty morale and community seems splintered more than ever before. Feels getting mixed messages about WTR.
M. Rovelli feels educators across the state are being denigrated. No time to be divided, but Carol's remark hit a sensitive spot because of negativity statewide.
M. Szumowski said need support of professional stf. Feels faculty has been talked about badly by "support staff".
B. Schaedler observed we have allowed politicians in this state to take away our FT faculty - "where are they - we're all overworked - we are flat out - sometimes feels more prof stf than FT faculty."
B. Wurtzel in response to Margaret and Barbara made commendatory remark about faculty.
L. Meccouri "we are divided - over WTR - let's deal with what is real - we are intimidated when we come to meetings where we might be bullied - divided by persistent and consistent contempt toward faculty - accountability to too many people - workload swelled - faculty involvement gone down ."
B. Scannapieco sees problem with MTA and wants to decertify. What are we getting for monies? Questions MTA leadership and benefits. C. Mathison responded that concern was valid but that this meeting really needs to concentrate on the local leadership issues. The issues of contract, pts, and WTR are planned for the next meeting.
P. Hutchinson asked if MCCC/MTA has process to help members to bridge differences such as these and suggested that this line be investigated and pursued.
C. Mathison apologized for comment at last meeting and feels this meeting is positive outcome. Noted much of her union time spent on dealing with faculty issues not professional staff issues. Carol also said that when Mary Donovan walked out of the meeting it seemed that the whole meeting disintegrated and felt it was very difficult to try and pull it back together. L Harrington responded that she still felt Carol did not respond to her message to Carol appropriately.
B. Wurtzel declined opportunity to speak.
Gail Dunn stated she loves institution, students and job. Feels institution slowly spiralling down and down. Grave concern over stcc prof association union - Pres. C Mathison. Institution in transition - Need leadership in strong support for faculty - Brought up Leadership of Carolyn Tetrault and how she, Carolyn, would take care of everything.
* Does not feel strong support of Carol.
* Feels Carol's stance on WTR equivocal
* Believes too concerned with cooperation with new President, his inauguration, and reception for his wife
* Recounted experience of another faculty member dealing with behavior of disruptive student and administrator's conduct toward that faculty member. Believes that Carol failed the faculty member despite the fact that she - Carol - was present at the meeting and acknowledged the inappropriate conduct of the administrator. The unidentified faculty member and Gail feel that Carol should have produced documentation on this meeting when it was requested, and that Carol has ignored repeated requests to fulfill this request.
M. Rovelli - we still are hurting each other - we need to move on - let's get our pts, figure out how to do that. N. Rice said can't move on when "we are being betrayed all the time" and we can't do our job because of policies being forced on us and our union representatives will not help us straighten this out. Called for a vote for Carol's resignation - "betrayal needs to stop and lies need to stop."
J. Nicoli felt their was inadequate representation when trying to save jobs. Had fear and still has fear of losing job. Never got answer wanted. Does not want to be told to develop new skills
M. Bourbeau responded that it seems like faculty get upset when they don't get the answer they want. Leaderships jobs are very difficult and lacks member support. Administration sees union as weak because of it. Carol spends "30 odd hours a week" on union business. "Seems like no matter what we do not everyone is happy and I don't know what we need to do to bring everyone together - pointing the finger is not going to help."
B. Scannapieco lays lots of problems to lack of state leadership - "forget MTA" - no protection - need someone like longshoremen or teamsters.
C. Pettingill took exception to M. Bourbeau's remark about not being happy with outcomes. Feeling is current leadership is more aligned to administration than faculty.
M. O'Brien noted her position as Bldg Rep in Bldg. 13. She pointed out that Carol had in fact tried to schedule a meeting with the members in Bldg. 13 who were voicing their concerns. Not everyone could commit to a mutually agreeable time. She reiterated the sense of lack of support and possible conflict of interest expressed by the faculty in Bldg. 13. But we really need to focus on the real enemy here who are at the state level - politicians and Governor.
M. Donovan asserted we need a more militant leadership.
R. Serino brought forward how for years the former President had ignored his concerns over summer work and retirement credit. C. Mathison resolved that for him and for others like him. The situation was in fact a contract violation that had gone on for years. Felt was being heard for the first time.
M. Rovelli - are these paid positions? How can work and do this job as well - need full time staff. Could we drop MTA and use money to pay FT leadership? K. Czuchra stated that executive committees across the 15 campuses all get a small stipend. "Dropping" MTA not a simple process - very complicated. Dozens of people across union who volunteer time.
M. Bourbeau pointed out that C. Tetrault had a 3 course release on a 4 course workload equating to about 75% of time spent on union. C. Mathison has a one course release equal to 7 1//2 hrs which is about 20% of her time - need to petition President for additional release time. A. Scibelli denied extra release to Carol. M. Donovan asked why weren't we told this?
N. Camerota distressed by sense that people might suffer punitive action for speaking. "Why are we here? Is it to solve the problem? or to hear ourselves talk?" He suggested taking a vote of no confidence to resolve. Discussion followed about "vote of no confidence" and "recall" process.
M. Gabrenas asked who would take over? Has job concern herself? Need representation for all members not just faculty - need to think about this.
M. Piccus concern is "if we say we don't have confidence in leadership where is the bite in 2 or 3 weeks when we have to get things accomplished?" We are "pissed off" - would we be here if the points had been passed? Several responded that we would still be here. Next Megan asked when Carol's time was up - next April (2006). Can't be divided - can't we wait until next April to decide the leadership?
N.Rice said can't wait .
B. Schaedler talked about a very good experience with Carol and that she got the union support she needed. Need administration to know we will not roll over for the crazy ideas coming out of this administration. Need to hire more FT faculty
L. Meccouri an awareness has been brought forward and may be time to stop and deal with work concerns - "would give up my points to regain respect and my dignity".
Several members questioned whether Nick had actually made a motion for a vote of no confidence. L. Kleindienst stated he had made "suggestion" but not a formal motion.
N. Camerota made motion to take vote of no confidence in the leadership of C. Mathison. Seconded by N. Rice and then by R. Rodgers.
M. O'Brien noted vote should not be by show of hands.
Question about recall process and relation to "no confidence vote".
L. Eaton objected that such a vote should not be taken because not all members were present. N. Rice stated that was their problem.
W. Hall felt not enough time given to discussion of "no confidence vote". He also noted that many people who have had positive experiences with the leadership have not had their say. "Considerable discussion needs to be given to both sides".
N. Camerota said the next issue is "who counts the votes!"
D. Buckley can another motion be made. No. R. Rodgers suggested that Secretary be directed to prepare a "no confidence" ballot.
B. Schaedler felt taking vote without all members present not right and (2) sending bad message to administration. W. Hall said those are things that need to come up in a larger discussion before vote should be taken.
D. Buckley "can we make a motion to postpone vote? " All agreed. Motion made by D. Buckley to postpone vote of "no confidence" until next meeting on April 5, 2005. Seconded by S. Hilton.
P. McClure asked what further actions might be taken with regard to WTR. C. Mathison said that 3 weeks ago the executive committee had begun serious work on a student teach-in and some other activities, but then the legislature let stand the Governor's veto of funding for points. Right after that everything was blown out of the water by the flurry of letters going around. Conversation then went back to motion. Vote taken and motion to postpone "vote of no confidence" passed.
M. O'Brien stated need an action to help heal and suggested writing our legislators would be a positive step. L. Kleindienst noted that on the STCC PA website members would find a suggested list of ideas to be addressed. Also union benefits are listed at MCCC website.
L. Harrington asked what could be done to further WTR that would not impact students. She then asked why are we teaching 5 courses if we do not have a contract? Applauded. Suggested we ask AFSCME to put their raises in escrow in support of us.
S. Howell pointed out STCC has always been a leader among the campuses. Recommended we need a Crises Committee. Turn anger where it belongs toward Governor and politicians.
V. Grassetti recounted his experience with the SEA (Springfield Education Association) when it went on strike and when the leadership broke down. Stated there was no sympathy from the community and that in the end the overall impact was negative. Job actions need to be directed at appropriate parties. V. Grasetti feels Pres. Rubenzahl is on our side.
Motion to Adjourn 2:05 PM G. Dunn, S. Hilton.