FSU Grievance Update

8/26/16

The FSU and the Administration have recently concluded settlement discussions on a number of pending grievances, including all outstanding grievances related to Article 21 (for NTTs). The settlement agreements for some of these grievances and the NTT contract conversion agreement (see here for an update on the NTT contract conversion) have resulted in changes to the language in Article 21 that have enhanced the rights and benefits of NTTs while clarifying many areas of the agreement that remained ambiguous and thus open to dispute. We will hold an information meeting on September 22 in Wheatley-6-047 to discuss these changes after discussing the budget crisis at 2 pm,  and will send the revised Article 21 language when completed. A summary of all the grievance settlements along with other pending grievance matters is below (see here for the following update as well as prior grievance updates).

NTT Policy Grievances

Additional Work for Part-Time NTT

Article 21.3 stipulates that when additional work arises, the administration must offer the work to current, qualified part-time NTTs in the department in order of seniority. This clause may not have been followed in the College of Management, so a step I grievance hearing was held and the Administration expressed interest into entering into a settlement agreement. We have reached a settlement agreement that would allow for very limited circumstances under which additional work could first be offered outside of the department (only if there is a new full-time NTT who is hired with the expressed purpose of creating new programmatic offerings). In addition, we have reached agreement that notification of additional work to current part-time NTTs must occur in the form of advanced written notice. This proposed remedy will apply to all part-time NTTs at UMB (NOTE: we filed a separate grievance on this same issue for part-time NTTs in Math; a step I hearing was recently held).

Associate Lecturers Hired at Half-Time or Greater

The new contract language stipulates that certain temporary NTTs may be hired as Associate Lecturers rather than Lecturers (see Article 21 of the contract for more information). However, the language also stipulates that Associate Lecturers may only be hired at less than half-time. The Administration violated this provision by hiring faculty into Associate Lecturer positions with a workload of half time or greater.  A step I hearing for this grievance was held, and the Administration expressed an interest into entering a settlement agreement. We have reached a settlement agreement that would allow Associate Lecturers to be hired at 50% or greater provided that the number of semesters at 50% or greater that an Associate Lecturer would need to serve before being converted to Lecturer would be reduced from 6 to 4. In addition, Associate Lecturers who are converted to Lecturer will have their time as Associate Lecturer count towards eligibility for both continuing employment and Senior Lecturer and Senior Lecturer II promotions.

Calendar versus FTE Year for Promotions

The FSU had asserted that all prior service under previous agreements must be calculated according to the language in the respective contract.  The administration had denied this interpretation and the FSU filed a grievance on this issue.  We initially anticipated that this grievance would be decided by an arbitrator near the end of the summer. However, we concluded one day of mediation without an agreement, and, after conferring with the MTA lawyer who had been assigned to the case, we decided that arbitration would not result in a favorable ruling. So instead, as part of the implementation discussion, we pursued a means of improving the situation for Lecturers who faced economic disadvantage from the switch to FTE year calculation for promotion. We obtained an agreement in which a specific group of 9 Lecturers identified by the FSU and the Administration as being substantially disadvantaged salary-wise by the conversion to the new method of calculating time would be made eligible to apply for Senior Lecturer in Fall 16 (promotion to be effectuated Fall 17), regardless of their FTE totals.

Update on NTT Salary Grievance, 2012-14 Contract

Many NTTs had incorrect salaries and titles under the 12-14 contract. The FSU filed a grievance on this a number of years ago (this grievance covers incorrect salaries/titles up to and including the Spring 15 semester). This grievance is still pending though the Administration has said it hopes to review the data provided by the FSU before the end of August. Members with incorrect titles and/or salaries from the 12-14 contract as of Spring 15 will first have their titles/salaries corrected retroactively if/when the grievance is decided. Any new title from the 2014-17 contract that would have applied during the conversion will be retroactively applied as of Fall 2014.

Other Issues

Due Process Violation in Title IX Investigation

We filed a step I grievance on behalf of a member who was suspended after the Office of Diversity Inclusion (ODI) concluded the member had violated Title IX regulations regarding sexual harassment. We believe the penalty was imposed without proper recourse to the due process requirements outlined in Article 18.5 of the contract. A step II decision was recently issued that required the UMB Administration to re-implement the previous Sexual Harassment Policy that had been approved by the FSU (this previous policy would replace the new policy that had never been negotiated with the FSU). However, it did not require that the member in question be subject to the step II decision. We have formally requested that the case go to arbitration (NOTE: a separate grievance was filed by a different member alleging due process violation during a Title IX investigation; this grievance is in abeyance pending resolution of the first grievance).

Other Grievances

  1. An Associate Lecturer who teaches in a CAPS program was seeking but denied additional work. The FSU asserts that the MOU- University College (now called CAPS) should apply to this individual, which requires additional work to be offered to current NTTs regardless of title). We held a step II hearing and are hoping to enter into a settlement agreement shortly.
  2. We are engaged with the Administration to ensure that due process is maintained for a part-time NTT who is undergoing a dismissal hearing (see Article 21.12). During the course of the dismissal hearing, the FSU and the Administration became aware of problems in the language of 21.12 specifically in regards to the appeals process and have agreed to amend the language (this language will be sent once the final version of Article 21 is completed).
  3. A Lecturer with just cause but without a continuing appointment received reduced teaching time due to the assignment of courses to a graduate student. A grievance was filed (see Article 16.2) but was put in abeyance pending resolution of the NTT conversion issues. The FSU and the Administration have entered into a settlement agreement for this individual and so the grievance has been formally withdrawn.