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WCC Faculty Making Demands

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Salary increases, umon access to individual personnel files and "shared decision-making" are the demands being pressed by the Washtenaw Community College faculty bargaining organization on the college administration and trustees. The Board of Trustees heard about all of these in a lengthy meeting last night. The first request of the Washtenaw Community College Education Association (WCCEA) was to reopen the two-year contract of instructors on economie iSsuês. That contract which runs to June 30, 1969, provides for a $1,600 increase over the twoyear period of the contract, $900 for the current school y e ar and $700 for 1968-69. The 1967-68 salary range for instructors at WCC is $7,100 to $13,100, while the range for the previous year was $6,500 to $12,000. The college uses only the title "instructor" for all teachers and does not have ranks such as assistant, associate and full professor used in other colleges and universities. In response to a WCCEA letter in which the group asked for reopening the contract on salaries because it. was concerned with having good faculty, the trustees questioned whether the college is having difficulty in recruiting faculty. Dean John P. Wooden reported in his general studies area he has had more than 400 "serious applications" which amounts to 20 high qualjty candidates for every position he will have open in the fall. Dean Paul R. Hunt reported that he is having no difficulty in recruiting faculty in the occupational división, except in the areas of food service and possibly health science. There is a shortage of personnel in these areas and thus fewer people are available for teaching posts, he said. His applicants are also "high quality," Hunt said. Trustee Richard C. Creal commented that reopening the contract which he said "was feit to be adequate" when ratified, would be necessitated only "by very unusual circumstances." The burden of showing this to be the case is on the WCCEA, he said. Trustee Edward Adams Jr. commented that there is a higher living cost factor here so that ' 'there is a danger to board comparisons for'the entire state." Trustee Anthony J. Procass'ini, who is a personnel man, said, "The real key is whether we can obtain and retain faculty at a salary which we feel is competitive. I feel the contract should stay in effect until we Pind we can't compete, to be fair to the entire community." ._Asked by Procassini about faculty turnover, Wooden said tiis división has had none, although the national average is 20 per cent, and Hunt said two af his 13 part-time faculty had left because of conflicts with iheir other employment, but no full-time teachers have left. Philip Encinio, president of the WCCEA, said the teachers' jrganization feels that the point allocation system by which salaries are partly determined has not been adequately applied, that "many people here are experiencing difficulty economically," and the association would like to discuss this informally with the board to help it determine whether or not to reopen the contract. He said, "A salary figure we could live with in another area isn't adequate here. The new applicants may find this true, too." A motion by Creal not to reopen the contract but to have informal discussions was passed on a five to one vote with Adams against. Adams said he was "not totally in sympathy with the wording" of Creal's motion but agreed with Board Chairman Ralph C. Wenrich's statement: "The disposition of the board is not to close the door but to get the flow of information started. We need information other than raw salaries to make our decisión." On the issue of union access to records, the WCCEA has charged the college with unfair labor practices and a state Labor Mediation Board examiner will hear the matter May 17. The association fiied charges March 16, when it says it was "refused access to information used to determine individual instructors salaries. Having negotiated a salary schedule based upon a point system, the instructors alleged that their salaries were not in line with the salary schedule," the WCCEA contends. The WCCEA said it requested "point allocation charts used by the administration and board to determine individual salaries, and the pages from instructors' job application forms in which their qualifications are to be found and upon which the points are based." It also asked for a list of salaries. College President David H. Ponitz told the trustees that the administration position is that it does not have the right to give an individual's personnel records to the association but that it has said repeatedly that it will furnish this information to the individual concerned. He said the salaries of all instructors appear in the board minutes which have been available to the WCCEA. A personnel directory was also supplied. The college board does not have access to these personnel documents either, Business Manager William E. Jelneck pointed out. An organizational plan for shared decisión - making was presented to the trustees last night for the first time. It was drafted by deans, división di-l rectors and WCCEA representa-! tives, Ponitz said. This plan is the fourth such! plan worked out in the last two years and the problem has been i complicated by developments j affecting the national educational community, Ponitz said. A major problem was to develop a method for shared deci-j sion-making which would not limit the strength of the WCCEA in the negotiating process, the president said. Encinio said that the teaching staff is "committed to seeing the college grow and progress" and that "most teachers came here in a pioneering spirit, proud that the college would try to teach in a former fire hall and former bowling alley." Their view "has not substantially changed," he told the board. He then listed a number of demands by the WCCEA which he said had not been met by the administration and efforts he said had been made by the WCCEA to assist the administration in developing policies. After a board comment critical of his attacks on the administration, Encinio said, "There has been cooperative work in some areas. My implication was that the faculty is highly qualified and interested in helping to form the future of the college. Our primary interest is in getting a job done." The plan under consideration establishes nine joint committees, each with five instructors and three administrators. The committees are on ing, guidance and counseling; continuing education, extended day and extensión programs; curriculum; instructional serv- ices and academie af f airs; Learning Materials Center; student affairs; business operations and physical plant; institutional research; and faculty evaluations. Creal questioned the compatibility of a faculty organization! formed for faculty welfare having a role in the decision-making. He also questioned a provisión which would bar i WCCEA members on the faculty from voting if the vote were close. Ponitz closed the discussion with the statement that "after three abortive attempts to find a way for shared decision-making we need to find the positives." To Encinio he said, "I assume the willingness of the WCCEA to cooperate. Let's gei to work and try out the document instead of debating it.' II faults." (Other WCC coverage on II Page 21) I