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February 20, 2024

FSU Executive Committee Meeting Minutes

Tuesday February 20, 3.30-5 pm (Zoom)

Executive Committee Members Present: Caroline Coscia (President); Sana Haroon (Vice President); Patricia Krueger-Henney, Chris Barcelos; Lynne Benson; Dana Commesso; Linda Liu; Monique Fuguet; Jared Poole; Wei Zhang

Others Present: Lorenzo Nencioli (FSU Senior Staff Member); Maria Hegbloom (MTA Field Rep); Joel Fish (FSU member)

Meeting called to order 3.40 pm

  1. Adoption of Agenda: Motion to approve the agenda. Motion seconded. Motion passes.

  2. Approval of Minutes: Motion to approve the minutes of the January 30 Executive Committee meeting. Motion seconded. Motion passes.
  3. Introduction of Maria Hegbloom, our new MTA representative

  4. Paid Leave: The University informed the unions that they plan to hire a third-party administrator to manage the administration of employees’ medical leaves pursuant to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). We along with CSU and PSU are concerned about the changes and are informing UMB that we need to bargain the impacts of this change. FSU members have had problems with HR when applying for and on leave. Making the process work for all is what we want but shifting to a third party opens many concerns including but not limited to the need to use a mobile app to apply and track your application, personal information to a non UMB entity, and we must follow strict guidelines or lose the benefits. Actions: We have informed the other unions of our wish to bargain. Sean Barrett, MTA rep for CSU and PSU, is drafting a demand to bargain to submit this coming week to HR Labor Relations. If you wish to be part of this, please inform Caroline. Monique volunteered to participate. Maria to check in with other campuses to ask whether this new system is being introduced there also.

  5. 3.55 Public meeting begins

  6. Computer replacement policy: The university has a new computer replacement policy. This change has been made without discussion and this is a change in working conditions. Jared: the new university computer replacement policy is in IT’s hands. They will make the assessment about whether a machine is work. Lynn asks whether new TT faculty are being offered new machines. Dana: this has been discussed in Faculty Council as well. Sana: this new policy affects TT/NTT faculty and is unifying; do we want to take it up and if so what do we target? Monique: Definition of functionality needs to be made more explicit. We should be asking for true functionality. This is impacting staff in our departments and throughout the university because they are using machines that are not up to the task. Jared: we should definitely take up this issue, but we need to know what the policy was before. We should be advocating for computer replacement for all, in a unified way, not differentiating NTT/TT faculty concerns, achieving something for all on our campus. Maria H.: there’s another layer of argument to be pursued, which is that outdated computers that cannot update sufficiently are a security risk and universities are a key target and vulnerable to cyber security risks. Joel Fish (FSU member): Chief technology officer defended this new policy in Faculty Council. Some defense of the university/administration: the old computer replacement policy was terrible and really wasteful. Many thousands were being spent on computers and there was no understanding of where they went. Maybe tackle this through the grievance process. Sana: let’s write to all unit members asking them who has issues and then take it up from there. Caroline will place this in Nuts & Bolts on Monday and also reach out to CSU and PSU to ask them to ask their members if they have similar concerns.

  7. DEI: Two items for consideration:

    I. Georgiana Mendez’s position: It is unclear what the status is of the position. Caroline is writing to Peter Kelly to ask whether there is an update.

    II. The change in language for hiring that was reported in Mass Media. The Provost reported he was quite irked that it was reported; we were the only campus to be targeted. The change in language was approved by General Counsel. The LGBTQIA+ Caucus wants to know why this has happened and has suggested the need for some sort of reaction. Jared: What effect did the diversity statement requirement really have? But this issue does point to a bigger issue: a need for more collaborative approaches by administration and keeping dialog open. Monique: What is the university doing to pursue its anti-racist mission? Let us not forget the characterization of the vandalism last semester as a hate crime. Let’s ask for a contract provision/money to conduct exit interviews. Maria: We could buy out a course release, offer a CLR, or offer a Racial Justice Grant. Caroline: We are trying to increase the racial justice funds given to FSU each year.

  8. Gender categories on university forms: Gender categories on university forms only include M and F. FSU will ask the university to add a category X on all university forms. DCU, CSU and PSU are on board with this. Jared: Motion to ask HR to add X as a gender category on all university forms. Monique: Second. Discussion: None. Motion passed unanimously.

  9. Change from Blackboard to Canvas: Starting this summer there will be some process of migration that begins. Report from Labor Management: Because Blackboard is switching to Blackboard Ultra, the opportunity arises to make a change. Chris: We can simply migrate our courses directly into Canvas. It doesn’t take long and it’s pretty easy. Caroline: When the memo comes, we have to really engage with it and respond to it. We need to estimate the workload needed to do this. There has to be training and the training should be compensated. Sana, Monique and Wei will look through the memo when it is issued.