Comptroller’s Office Releases SEBAC Concession Savings for FY18,19

Executive Summary of the Comptroller’s Report:

SEBAC AGREEMENT SAVINGS FOR FY 2018 and FY 2019

Executive Summary

In 2017 the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) and the state negotiated an agreement to assist in resolving the financial issues of the State of Connecticut while preserving public services. Under the agreement, changes were made to employee pension and health care benefits and agreements on employee compensation. Through these negotiations, the state projected a savings of $700.9 million in Fiscal Year 2018 and $868.6 million in Fiscal Year 2019 or $1.57 billion over the biennium.

The following report is a breakdown of the actual savings associated with the 2017 SEBAC contract amendment.

As the analysis demonstrates, programs and initiatives established pursuant to the 2017 SEBAC agreement have collectively resulted in a net savings of $1.7 billion over Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 – exceeding the total initial projected savings by approximately $128.8 million. Many of these programs are ongoing and expected to continue to produce savings in future fiscal years.

Report submitted to Governor Ned Lamont and the Connecticut General Assembly on 12/10/2019

Report generated by the Office of the State Comptroller

FY18,19.SEBAC-Savings-Report

I Am “All-In” With UConn-AAUP

At the Annual Membership Meeting on October 24, 2019, UConn-AAUP announced its I Am “All-In” With UConn-AAUP membership confirmation campaign as it prepares to negotiate improvements to the current collective bargaining agreement that expires on June 30 2021. The campaign is geared to:

  1. Signing new members to UConn-AAUP;
  2. Identifying new officers and leaders of the Chapter;
  3. Supporting collective bargaining efforts in ramping-up for an improved agreement;
  4. Seeking participation on contract sub-committees;
  5. Working for the Contract Action Team;
  6. Filling vacancies on the Representative Assembly.

All members and non-members of the bargaining unit will be asked to sign a “Confirmation Form” which indicates their willingness to support the negotiating team as they bargain with the administration. Support can take many forms and UConn-AAUP representatives will be reaching to establish the level of support from each member.

Supporting information for the “All-In” campaign, and the Confirmation Form can be found here.

You’re Invited: UConn-AAUP Luncheon 10-24-19

UConn-AAUP Members Only Luncheon
Thursday, October 24, 2019
12 noon
Student Union, Storrs Campus
Room 331
UConn-AAUP members are invited!

Discussions will include –
• UConn-AAUP Constitution Changes
See the proposed changes on our website:
UConn-AAUP Constitution Changes

• UConn-AAUP Negotiations Update
• Membership Update
• UConn Budget Issues
• Legislative Update

Lunch will be provided
Please RSVP if you are planning to attend to
BarbaraK@UConnAAUP.org
860-487-0450
We look forward to seeing you!!

 

Announcement of Constitution and ByLaws changes

In 2017, the Supreme Court in Janus ruled that agency fee payers were no longer required to pay dues to the unions that represented them in collective bargaining. This overturned a 1977  Supreme Court decision in Abood v Detroit Board of Education which required all members of the bargaining units to pay their fair share of dues for collective bargaining.  Many unions hired organizers to assist them in building their membership.

The UConn-AAUP Executive Committee is proposing to create a position on the Executive Committee to oversee organizing/membership building and is recommending the Constitution and By-Laws be amended. Only members of the Chapter can amend those documents at a membership meeting, which has been scheduled for October 24, 2019, 12:00 noon Room 331 of the Student Union. Below you will find the underlined, and in red, amendments for your consideration.

AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS

UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT CHAPTER

CONSTITUTION

April 1978

(Revised June 1988, October 1991, May 2002, April 2009, January 2011, April 2014, April 2019, October 2019)

Article I.

Name

The name of this organization shall be The University of Connecticut Chapter of the American Association of University Professors. This Chapter is a local affiliate of the National AAUP.

Article II.

Purpose

The purpose of this organization shall be to further the interests of all members of the bargaining unit without discrimination by promoting the highest standards of excellence in teaching, research, service, and coaching, and by serving as the members’ collective bargaining agent.

Article III.

Membership

There shall be two categories of membership: active and emeritus.

  1. Active Member:

An Active Member is an eligible member of the collective bargaining unit, as certified by the Connecticut State Labor Relations Board or as defined in the collective bargaining agreement between the Board of Trustees and UConn-AAUP in force at the time of determining eligibility, who is current with Chapter dues as established in Article IV, Sec 1.

Only active members shall have the right to vote in Chapter elections, to hold elective offices in the Chapter, to vote in Chapter meetings and to participate fully in all Chapter activities.

  1. Emeritus Member:

Emeritus member: any person who has retired and was formerly an active member of the University of Connecticut Chapter of the AAUP. Emeritus members shall have no voting rights, and shall neither hold office nor pay dues to the Chapter. They may serve on committees and attend Chapter meetings.

Article IV.

Dues

  1. Dues (a combination of National, Collective Bargaining Congress [dissolving on 1/1/2020], Connecticut Conference, and Chapter) shall be proposed by the Executive Committee each year and be approved by a majority vote at the annual Chapter meeting.
  2. Any Chapter of the AAUP established at UCONN at a geographical location separate from Storrs (pursuant to Article VII., Sec.1, of the National AAUP Constitution) shall have no authority in matters related to collective bargaining nor shall such Chapter receive from UCONN monies for purely local purposes.
  3. Failure to pay dues shall result in loss of membership.

Article V.

Meetings

  1. There shall be three types of meetings:
  2. Chapter meeting: open only to active and emeritus
  3. Collective bargaining unit meeting: open only to members of the collective bargaining unit as defined in Article III Sec 1.
  4. General meeting: open to the entire academic community.
  5. There shall be an annual Chapter meeting held during the month of April. At least one other Chapter meeting shall be called during each academic year.
  6. In the absence of a clear emergency, the call for all Chapter meetings shall be sent to all active members in sufficient time to give seven days’ notice. An agenda shall be sent with the notice stating all items of business to be considered which are known at the time of the call for the meeting.
  7. Special Chapter meetings may be called by a petition signed by five percent of the active members. The petition shall state the reason(s) for calling the meeting, and no business other than that specified in the petition shall be in order. Such a special meeting must be called within two weeks after the AAUP Chapter President has received the petition.
  8. Thirty members shall constitute a quorum at all meetings described in Articles V. and X.

Article VI.

Officers

  1. The elected officers of the University of Connecticut Chapter shall be the President, the Executive Vice-President, the Vice President for Membership Development/Organizing, and the Secretary/Treasurer.
  2. Responsibilities of Officers:
  3. The President: shall assume executive responsibility for all Chapter activities; shall carry out the policies and decisions of the Executive Committee; shall act as Chairperson of the Executive Committee; and shall preside at meetings of the Chapter and of the Collective Bargaining Council; and shall be a non-voting member ex officio of every committee. The President shall chair meetings of the Collective Bargaining Council (CBC), or may, under advice and consent of the Executive Committee, appoint a chair of the CBC. The President shall, with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee, appoint members and designate Chairpersons of the Contract Committee, standing committees that may be established pursuant to Article VII, other chairpersons where appropriate, and the Chief Negotiator of the Negotiating Team. The President shall make every reasonable effort to ensure that appointees collectively represent the various constituencies and interests of the Chapter.
  4. The Executive Vice-President: shall, in the absence of the President, act as the presiding official of the Chapter, of the Executive Committee, or of the Collective Bargaining Council, assume the duties of the President, and shall assist in such duties of the President as the President shall direct.
  5. The Vice President for Membership Development/Organizing shall primarily have the responsibility for building and maintaining the membership of the chapter through internal organizing; identifying activists and future leaders of the chapter; mobilizing members for issue-oriented campaigns; and during contract negotiations, coordinate with the Chair of the Collective Bargaining Council. The Vice President will also assume any other responsibilities the President delegates and, in the absence of the President and Executive Vice President, shall act as the presiding official of the Chapter.
  6. The Secretary/Treasurer: shall supervise the keeping of the minutes of the Chapter, Executive Committee and Collective Bargaining Council meetings; shall oversee the conduct of correspondence and filing of Chapter records; shall be responsible for the receipt and deposit of all monies due the Chapter; shall pay all bills, provided that all non-budgeted expenses over $500 be approved by the Executive Committee; and shall keep Chapter accounts and present a financial report at the annual meeting of the Chapter each year. The Secretary/Treasurer, in the absence of the President, Executive Vice President, and the Vice President for Membership/Development, shall act as the presiding official of the Chapter.

Article VII

Executive Committee

  1. The Executive Committee shall consist of the elected officers of the Chapter, the immediate past President of the Chapter, ten (10) elected members-at-large, and one representative of the Regional Campuses to be chosen by the Regional Campuses’ active members in accordance with procedures established in the By-Laws. The Executive Director, the Chief Negotiator and the Chairpersons of the Contract Committee and CBC, if non-elected members of the Executive Committee, shall be non-voting ex officio members of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may invite Chairpersons of Committees and University of Connecticut faculty members who are officers of the Connecticut State Conference of the AAUP to be non-voting members of the Executive Committee.
  2. The Executive Committee shall:
  3. Be responsible for carrying out the general purposes of the Chapter as stated in Article II.
  4. Have the responsibility to oversee the negotiation and implementation of collective bargaining contracts.
  5. Report regularly on its activities to the membership.
  6. Appoint the Grievance Committee.
  7. Recommend the establishment of any standing committees that may be deemed appropriate. Such recommendations shall be submitted for Chapter approval in accordance with Article XII. The Executive Committee may also appoint special ad hoc committees to assist it in special short-term projects provided such special committees not be granted any of the responsibilities or authority of the Executive Committee, nor shall such special committees have a life beyond one year.
  8. Prepare a budget each year which, along with proposed dues, shall be submitted for ratification at the annual Chapter meeting.
  9. Have the authority to establish an Office of Executive Director and hire such staff as may be necessary to assist in carrying out the responsibilities and the duties of the Executive Committee and other Chapter committees, provided that funding for such staff is contained in the budget approved at the annual meeting.
  10. Call meetings pursuant to Articles V. and VIII.

Article VIII.

Collective Bargaining Process

  1. There shall be a Negotiating Team consisting of a Chief Negotiator, up to four members, and up to two alternate members appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Executive Committee. The Negotiating Team shall be responsible for negotiating a contract with the Board of Trustees. During the process of negotiations, the Chief Negotiator shall report periodically to the Collective Bargaining Council.
  2. There shall be a Contract Committee consisting of a Chairperson and not more than twelve members. The Representative Assembly shall designate up to six members of the Contract Committee. The President, upon advice and consent of the Executive Committee, shall appoint the remaining members of the Contract Committee. The Contract Committee shall be responsible for drafting initial contract proposals, which, if approved by the Executive Committee, and after review by members of the collective bargaining unit as prescribed in Article VIII, Section 4, shall be forwarded to the Negotiating Team to be placed on the negotiating table.
  3. The Chairperson of the Contract Committee may, with the consent of the Executive Committee, appoint special subcommittees to assist the Contract Committee.
  4. Contract proposals drafted by the Contract Committee, upon being approved by the Executive Committee, shall be published and made available for review by members of the collective bargaining unit. After publication of the contract proposals, a collective bargaining unit meeting shall be called to discuss the proposals. Following such review by members of the collective bargaining unit, the President, with the advice of the Executive Committee, may send proposals back to the Contract Committee for revision. Revised proposals need not be subject to a further review by members of the collective bargaining unit.
  5. There shall be a Collective Bargaining Council consisting of voting members of the Executive Committee, the Negotiating Team, the Contract Committee and Chairpersons of other committees involved in the collective bargaining process. The Collective Bargaining Council shall establish strategies for negotiating the proposed contract and generally be the body responsible for decisions regarding collective bargaining while the contract is being negotiated. Names of members of the Collective Bargaining Council shall be published and circulated to the members of the collective bargaining unit.
  6. All members of the Negotiating Team, the Contract Committee, any subcommittees of the Contract Committee, and members of the Collective Bargaining Council must be active members of the AAUP.
  7. The contract that is finally negotiated by the Negotiating Team shall be submitted for ratification to all members of the collective bargaining unit in accordance with the Connecticut State Statutes and Chapter By-Laws.
  8. In the event that a satisfactory settlement with the Board of Trustees is not reached, the Negotiating Team may propose that binding arbitration be pursued. The decision to seek binding arbitration and the initial arbitration proposal must be approved by a majority of available Executive Committee members at a scheduled meeting, to include at least two of the officers. In addition, the final arbitration proposal, if significantly different from the initial one, must be presented to the Executive Committee for final approval. However, if logistics prevent this final in-person review, the Executive Director, with the approval of the Negotiating Team and the President, may proceed with electronic review and voting prior to filing for arbitration.

Article IX.

Nominations and Elections

  1. The Executive Committee shall each year appoint a Nominating Committee of not fewer than three members, each of whom shall be an active member of the AAUP. No person shall serve on the Nominating Committee for more than 3 years consecutively. The Executive Committee shall designate one of the members to be the Chairperson who should have been a member of the Nominating Committee the previous year.
  2. The Nominating Committee shall actively solicit nominations from the entire bargaining unit membership for each of the following positions: President, Executive Vice-President, Vice President for Membership Development/Organizing, Secretary/Treasurer, one Regional Campus Representative, and ten Executive Committee Members-At-Large. The Nominating Committee should actively seek reasonable breadth of representation in the slate of candidates. The slate of candidates shall be published and circulated to all bargaining unit members along with a final call for additional nominations.
  3. The election shall be conducted by the Executive Committee. Ballots will be provided containing the names of all nominees for each position. For all offices and positions, except the Presidency, the person with the highest number of votes shall be declared elected. In case no person shall win a majority of votes for President, an election shall be conducted between the two candidates with the highest number of votes. The office of Executive Director shall assist in conducting elections.
  4. Elected officers, Executive Committee Members-At-Large, and the Regional Campus Representative shall serve for a term of one year commencing July 1. They shall be eligible to succeed themselves.

Article X.

Censure or Removal

of Elected Members of the Executive Committee

  1. Whenever any ten members (either elected or ex-officio members) of the Executive Committee or any one hundred (100) active members of the Chapter have reason to believe that any elected member of the Executive Committee is derelict or negligent in the performance of responsibilities and duties or has violated any provisions of this Constitution or of the Chapter By-Laws, they may initiate the following procedures:
    1. Petition the immediate past President to call a special Chapter meeting. Notice of such a meeting shall be made to all active members at least ten (10) days in advance of the meeting and shall state the nature of the charges against the accused member of the Executive Committee.
    2. The immediate past President shall preside over such meeting until a moderator is elected from among those active members present. Election of a moderator shall be the first order of business.
    3. Those bringing the charges will present their case, and the accused shall have full opportunity to present a defense against the charges.
    4. By majority of legal votes cast by active members, those present at the meeting may decide to exonerate, to censure, or to remove from office. Voting shall be by written ballot.

Article XI.

Vacancies

  1. In the event of a vacancy in the office of President, the Executive Vice-President shall fill the unexpired portion of the term.
  2. In the event of a vacancy on the Executive Committee other than the Presidency, a replacement shall be chosen by the Executive Committee in consultation with the Nominating Committee.

Article XII.

By-Laws and Amendments to the Constitution

  1. The procedure for adopting By-Laws and amendments to the Constitution shall be:
  2. By-Laws and amendments to this Constitution shall be proposed either by the Executive Committee or by petition signed by at least fifty (50) active members. When a By-Law or amendment is initiated by petition, the petition shall contain the complete wording of the proposed By-Law or amendment.
  3. The proposed By-Law or amendment, whether emanating from the Executive Committee or from petition, shall be published by the Executive Committee and circulated with its recommendations to the active members.
  4. The proposed By-Law or amendment shall be considered at the Chapter meeting next following its publication and circulation provided that at least seven (7) days have elapsed between the time the proposal is received by members and the time of the Chapter meeting.
  5. A vote of two-thirds of the active members present at a Chapter meeting shall be necessary for ratification of an amendment. By-Laws may be enacted by a simple majority of those active members present at a Chapter meeting.

By-Law

A-1977

A. Election of a Regional Campus Representative

  1. By October 15 a notice requesting nominations for the Regional Campus Representative to the Executive Committee will be sent to regional campus members by the Executive Committee.
  2. If no nominations are received, the Nominating Committee shall draw up a slate, after further consultation with the regional campus members.
  3. The initial slate of candidates shall consist of all qualified nominations received by the Nominating Committee and shall be published and circulated by February 1.
  4. All nominations must be received by February 15.
  5. The election shall be conducted by ballot, and ballots must be received by April 15.
  6. If no Regional Campus Representative receives one more than 50 percent of votes cast, an election will be conducted between the two candidates with the greatest number of votes. Ballots must be received by May 15.

By-Law

B-1977

B. Schedule for Annual Elections

  1. The Executive Committee shall call for nominations from the entire bargaining unit membership by October 15.
  2. The Nominating Committee shall be appointed no later than November 1 of each year. The Nominating Committee shall report the slate of candidates to the Executive Committee by January 15.
  3. The initial slate of candidates shall consist of all qualified nominations received by the Nominating Committee and shall be published and circulated by February 1.
  4. All nominations must be received by February 15.
  5. The elections shall be conducted by ballot, and ballots must be received by April 15.
  6. The run-off election for the Presidency, if required, shall be conducted by ballot, and ballots must be received by May 15.

By-Law

C-1977

C. Arbitration Appeal

  1. Whenever a grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved at Step 2 of the Contractual Grievance Procedure, the grievant(s) may request the Chapter to submit the case to binding arbitration. Such request shall be made in writing to the Executive Director within three (3) days of receipt by the grievant(s) of the Step 2 decision and shall include an assessment by the grievant(s) of the points meriting arbitration. Upon receipt of a request to arbitrate, the Executive Director shall take such steps as may be necessary to meet the time limits of the contract. The Executive Director shall prepare a synopsis of the case for presentation to the Chapter Grievance Committee together with his/her recommendation; the Executive Director shall also request the Chairperson of the Grievance Committee to convene promptly a meeting of the Committee for the purpose of reviewing the proposed arbitration.
  2. The Chapter Grievance Committee, drawing upon whatever assistance and expertise it shall feel necessary, shall recommend whether the proposed arbitration is to be carried forward. This recommendation shall be communicated immediately to the Executive Director, who will, without delay, notify the grievant(s).
  3. In the event of a favorable recommendation, the Executive Director shall inform the Executive Committee and take such steps as may be necessary for the appeal, presentation and hearing of the arbitration.
  4. In the event of a negative recommendation, the grievant(s) may request the Chapter Executive Committee to hear an appeal of the Grievance Committee recommendation. Such appeal shall be made within three (3) days of the Grievance Committee’s action, shall be in writing and shall include the basis upon which the grievant(s) disputes the recommendation of the Grievance Committee. The Executive Committee shall consider the appeal as soon as possible and shall present its final and binding decision to the grievant(s) in writing.
  5. Nothing in this By-Law shall be construed as prohibiting the Chapter Executive Committee from assuming original jurisdiction in any given grievance or from rejecting a recommendation of the Grievance Committee without appeal.
  6. In cases where the initial grievance is in the nature of a class action, the entire consideration process described above shall commence with the recommendation of the Executive Director to the Grievance Committee.

By-Law

D-1987

D. Executive Committee Membership 

  1. Consecutive years of service on the Executive Committee shall be limited to six (6). The sole exception could be the year of service required of the immediate past President.
  2. The Executive Committee may appoint an additional member of non-faculty rank to the Executive Committee from active members of the bargaining unit should the Executive Committee determine to broaden the representation of the Committee. The six (6) year rule applies to all above-appointed members with regard to appointment and subsequent election.
  3. The Executive Committee may appoint up to two (2) additional active members from the bargaining unit for one-year non-renewable term should the Executive Committee determine to broaden the representation of the Committee. The six (6) year rule applies to all above-appointed members with regard to appointment and subsequent election.
  4. For extenuating circumstances and contingent upon two-thirds affirmative vote of the entire Executive Committee, an Executive Committee member may be allowed a seventh (7th) year of service on the Executive Committee.

By-Law

E-2014

E. Representatives Assembly

The Chapter shall create and maintain a Representatives Assembly structured as follows:

  1. Basis of Representation:

Upon ratification of this By-Law, the Executive Committee will divide the bargaining unit into Units paralleling, as far as possible, existing academic departments, interdisciplinary units, and other divisions. Where an academic department has 10 or more faculty, the department should be considered a Unit.

Representation by an active member of the Chapter shall be afforded to each Unit as follows:

Less than 45 faculty = 1 Representative

More than 45 faculty = 2 Representatives

Full-time, non-tenure track AAUP active members shall elect up to 2 representatives for additional seats in the Assembly which are explicitly reserved for full-time, non-tenure track faculty. Adjuncts, who are active members, shall also elect up to 2 representatives to the Assembly for seats especially reserved for Adjuncts. This shall be in addition to whatever seats that non-tenure track faculty hold as Unit representatives in the Assembly.

After the first year in which the Representatives Assembly is constituted, it will be the annual responsibility of the Assembly to evaluate the appropriateness of the Units, and, where appropriate, re-adjust as necessary. If a Unit is entitled to two representatives, strong efforts should be made to recruit at least one non-tenure-track active member to run for election, and to ensure representation at multiple campuses when applicable.

Members of the Executive Committee cannot simultaneously serve as Representatives, with the exception of the elected Speaker and Vice Speaker of the Representatives Assembly.

  1. Duties:

Representatives are tasked with the following responsibilities:

  1. Keeping their constituencies fully informed of AAUP activities and representing the individual and collective concerns of their constituents to the Representatives Assembly, the Executive Committee, and the staff.
  2. Serving as a point of contact for the grievance issues of their constituents.
  3. Forwarding concerns to the Executive Committee, the Contract Committee, and the staff on contract bargaining.
  4. Encouraging colleagues to actively participate in the activities of the AAUP, and recruiting colleagues for service in the Chapter.
  5. Attending Chapter meetings and orientations for representatives.

 

  1. Authority:

The Representatives Assembly shall elect a Speaker and, when applicable, a Vice Speaker from among its active members. The position of Vice Speaker will only be created in years where the Assembly has 30 or more Representatives. The term of office of the Speaker and Vice Speaker is one year. They shall be eligible to succeed themselves. The Speaker and Vice Speaker shall each have a vote on the Executive Committee. It will also designate up to six (6) active members to the Contract Committee, in accordance with Article VIII, #2.

The Representatives Assembly shall make recommendations to the Executive Committee regarding issues facing the union. The Assembly shall also review the recommendations of the Contract Committee regarding terms to be sought in the contract agreement, and shall assist in gathering the data necessary to support such recommendations.

  1. Elections/Nominations:

By December 1st, the Nominating Committee shall solicit the entire membership for nominations to the Representatives Assembly for the following fiscal year. From departments and units where there are more nominees than available seats to the Assembly, elections shall be held by electronic ballot or by a meeting of the faculty of that Unit, overseen by any person or persons approved by the Nominating Committee. Term of office shall be one fiscal year.

Nominations for the Speaker and Vice Speaker of the Assembly should be called no later than the first fall Chapter meeting or by October 15th, whichever comes first. These positions may be elected by secret ballot at an Assembly meeting, with 40% of the Assembly’s membership constituting a quorum, or by electronic ballot.

 

 

Contingency and Gender: How Adjunct Hiring Disproportionately Effects Women and POC

On September 20, 2019, David Kociemba, AAUP East Coast Organizer, presented “Contingency and Gender: How Adjunct Hiring Disproportionately Effects Women and POC. What adjuncts, tenured faculty and unions can do.” David cited AAUP statistics which show that 2/3rds of contingent faculty nationally are women and people of color. His talk focused on what the AAUP Chapter can do to support them now and in upcoming contract negotiations. His presentation can be found on the UConn-AAUP’s Facebook page.

Joerg Tiede: “Academic Freedom in the Age of Trump”

Joerg Tiede, National AAUP Senior Program Officer, addresses a group of faculty at this UConn-AAUP event. His presentation focused on witnessing the legislative and gubernatorial attacks on individual faculty members, course offerings, governing boards, the institution of tenure, and the institutional autonomy of colleges and universities. In addressing the Campus Free Speech Executive order, Joerg cites the AAUP statement: “Given the important role of colleges and universities in debate, dissent, and the free exchange of ideas, the AAUP strongly supports freedom of expression on campus and the rights of faculty and students to invite speakers of their choosing. We oppose, however, any legislation that interferes with the institutional autonomy of colleges and universities by undermining the role of faculty, administrations and governing boards institutional decision-making…”

SEPTEMBER 2019 UCONN-AAUP UPCOMING EVENTS

UCONN-AAUP UPCOMING EVENTS

PLEASE JOIN US!

September 18, 2019 – 4:00-6:00 pm – McHugh Hall Room #206 – National AAUP Senior Program Officer Hans-Joerg Tiede, Department of Academic Freedom, Tenure and Governance will present “Academic Freedom in the Age of Trump.” Today’s political climate has become increasingly inimical to academic freedom. Over the course of the last two years, the academic community has witnessed legislative and gubernatorial attacks on individual faculty members, course offerings, governing boards, the institution of tenure, and, generally, the institutional autonomy of colleges and universities; the most recent example being President Trump’s executive order on campus free speech.

Conservative advocacy groups are calling for the enforcement of “viewpoint diversity” at institutions of higher education. Websites such as Professor Watchlist are monitoring activities of faculty members and denouncing departures from what they view as acceptable, which, in turn, is often followed by campaigns of targeted harassment of faculty members.  This presentation provides an analysis of current challenges to academic freedom from the perspective of AAUP policy.

September 20, 2019 – 2:30-4:00 pm – Student Union Room #304 – UConn-AAUP Committee W welcomes National AAUP East Coast Organizer David Kociemba who will present “Contingency and Gender:  How Adjunct Hiring Disproportionately Effects Women and POC.  What adjuncts, tenured faculty, and the union can do.”  Contingent academic employment is a gender issue.  Adjunct hiring disproportionately effects women and people of color, who make up 2/3 of contingent faculty nationally.  How can contingent faculty organize? What can the UConn-AAUP do to support them now and in upcoming contract negotiations? And how contingency threatens tenure and academic freedom and what FT faculty can do.

October, 2019 – Edward Marth Mentorship Award Submissions

October 2, 2019 – 4:00-6:00 pm – Open House at the UConn-AAUP Office, 1875 Storrs Road (Route 195) – come meet the officers and staff – light refreshments will be served!

October 24, 2019 – 12:00 Noon – Annual UConn-AAUP Member Luncheon

November 7, 2019 – UConn-AAUP Child Care Reimbursement Deadline for Fall Submission

January, 2020 – 2020 UConn-AAUP Excellence Awards’ Submission

April, 2020 – UConn-AAUP Excellence Awards’ Reception at the State Capitol

April 20, 2020 – 12:00 Noon – UConn-AAUP Annual Chapter Meeting & Luncheon

May 7, 2020 – UConn-AAUP Child Care Reimbursement Deadline for Spring Submission

 

New Board of Trustees Chair – Dan Toscano

On Thursday, August 29, 2019, Governor Ned Lamont named finance executive Dan Toscano as chair of the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees.

Dan is the managing director of global leveraged finance at Morgan Stanley & Co. He is a graduate of the University in 1987 and currently a member of the UConn Foundation.

Commenting on the appointment, Lamont said, “In order to be successful in a 21st century economy, it is essential that our state’s schools and universities strongly connect themselves with the business community.”

“Change is coming, whether people like it or not” Politics by Mark Pazniokas, CT Mirror, July 24, 2019

Josh Geballe, left, with OPM Secretary Melissa McCaw, listening to David Lehman, the governor’s economic adviser, at a cabinet meeting.


 

 

 

Connecticut’s chief administrative officer keeps a spotless desk. Outside his 15th-floor office in a downtown Hartford complex is a big empty space once occupied by file cabinets. Both are signs of things to come in state government — or more precisely, things to disappear.

“You’ll notice when you look around here, there is no paper. People know not to bring paper in here,” said Josh Geballe, a former IBM executive and tech entrepreneur. “We’re working really hard to digitize everything we do.”

Geballe is commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services, the blandly named agency at the heart of the state bureaucracy. DAS is the state’s landlord and construction manager, its hiring hall and purchasing agent, and, perhaps most vitally in the digital age, its information technology office.

He is one of the mid-career, private-sector executives to join the administration of Gov. Ned Lamont, a cable-television entrepreneur who took office on January 9 and hired Geballe two weeks later. 

Josh Geballe, the commissioner of administrative services.


“My hypothesis coming in was that there are going to be more similarities to how we solve some of the challenges we have than differences, private to public,” Geballe said. “With the benefit of five and a half months, I’m increasingly confident that is true.”

Geballe is no stranger to bureaucracies and the opportunities, challenges and necessities of wrenching change: He spent 11 years at IBM, which employs 350,000 people worldwide and preaches that the world is in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, a convergence of new technologies powered by cloud computing.

Government bureaucracies are notoriously resistant to change, layered with the accretion of rules, processes, union contracts, all contributing to a workplace culture. Administrations come and go, taking with them their priorities. As a federal EPA employee recently told the Washingtonian in a piece about the Trump administration, “I fully intend to outlast these people.”

But the Lamont administration is facing a gathering wave of retirements, producing a sense of urgency that Geballe says is shared by labor and management.

Leading Communications“I think we’re at a time where change is coming, whether people like it or not. A third of the state workforce is going to retire in the next three years,” Geballe said.

By the latest estimates of the comptroller’s office, 14,764 state employees — a quarter of the workforce — will be eligible to retire on July 1, 2022, when a concession deal negotiated in 2017 by the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy takes effect. It will slow cost-of-living adjustments for all new retirees and raise health costs for a few, primarily high earners.

Retired state employees now get annual cost-of-living adjustments: a minimum of 2 percent and a maximum of 7 percent, depending on inflation. There will be no guaranteed minimum for those who retire after July 1, 2022, and their first potential COLA would come in 30 months, not 12. 

The comptroller’s office cautions that some those eligible to retire will not yet have earned full retirement benefits, giving some an incentive to stay. But two union leaders say they see the state’s expectations of a significant retirement wave as well-founded.

“We share the concern about what’s going to happen in 2022,” said Dave Glidden, the executive director of CSEA SEIU Local 2001, which represents 5,000 state employees. Its members include scientists, engineers and information technology professionals.

“We have three years to plan for that,” Geballe said. “That’s a big risk, but it’s also an amazing opportunity to reinvent how we do things, to bring in technology to automate a lot of the manual processes that can be more efficiently done by software today.”

Automation is a word that makes unions nervous, even as they acknowledge the nature of work is changing. Sal Luciano, a former social worker who is the president of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, said many state agencies are understaffed.

“We’ve already seen the changing workforce,” Luciano said. “We’ve seen clerical workers go from a high of almost 9,000 to 4,000.”

Geballe said the administration has a vision of where to go with technology, primarily by offering consumers and businesses a digital portal to state government.

In hiring the 44-year-old Geballe, the governor said he was bringing a fresh approach to a state government badly in need of modernization. Lamont called DAS “one of the jobs where we wanted to think a little more out of the box.”

Like Lamont, Geballe is a graduate of the School of Management at Yale. (His mother, Shelley, a lawyer and professor of public health at Yale, is a founding board member of the nonprofit Connecticut News Project Inc., operator of CTMirror.org.)

After leaving IBM, he became chief executive officer of Core Informatics, a software startup that Hartford Business Journal included in its 2017 list of best places to work in Connecticut. Thermo Fisher Scientific bought the company the same year.

Amazon and others in the private sector have “made it very easy to envision what that future could look like, if you think about online shopping or online bank services,” Geballe said. “But the journey to get from here to there, and the ordering of initiatives, is very complex to think about.”

Geballe’s office is open to a conference room, where an erasable white board hangs on the wall, running the length of the room. It was covered recently in goals and ideas tossed around in a brainstorming exercise, then numbered as priorities. 

Some reflected frustrations by the public in dealing with state agencies, as well as employees knowing what is happening elsewhere in government. Number one: “What if the state developed a way for citizens to be known across agencies by the end of 2022?”

Some changes already have come, pushed by Nicholas Hermes, a West Point grad who is the statewide human resources director at DAS, hired in 2016. 

The newest class of state police trainees will be selected from a pool of candidates who were recruited on social media and applied and initially screened online. DAS says the process was cheaper, nearly paperless, and attracted a diverse pool of applicants — with a third more women and minorities — and a 105-percent increase in veterans. 

The Malloy administration hired a customer-service expert to improve service at the much-maligned Department of Motor Vehicles, and Lamont won passage of legislation reducing the need for residents to go to the DMV: Drivers’ licenses now are good for eight years, not six; and renewals of vehicle registrations come every three years, not two.

Geballe said he just renewed his registration on-line.

But overall, as agency heads told Geballe as he made the rounds in January and February, the state’s hiring process still is cumbersome, with rarely updated job classifications that are numerous, narrowly drawn and can require their own tests. 

Examples abound. There are nine classifications for custodians, 12 for assistant attorneys general, and a whopping 221 for program directors. In the prison system, there are separate classifications for supervisors of correctional industries, auto mechanics, data entry, printing, clothing, and general industries.

Meanwhile, too much of the state’s work still is done on paper, and the information that is collected digitally cannot be easily shared among agencies, Geballe said.

“We’re still largely in a world — by the way, very similar to most every other state — where there are numerous processes which are still paper based, which are still highly manual, which rely on very old custom software,” Geballe said. “That is the status quo.”

He said DAS has capable managers pushing for change, such as Hermes and the state’s chief information officer, Mark Raymond. DAS is now working to centralize and streamline H.R. functions now spread across agencies, just as Raymond recently struck a five-year deal with Microsoft that replaces a dozen separate agency agreements.

The new deal will bring Microsoft 365 software to all state agencies. It is cloud-based, lessening the state’s reliance on servers, improving security and taking a step toward the ultimate goal of easing the sharing of data and documents among agencies. The program also will allow the state to abandon plans for a costly upgrade to its email system.

Geballe said the new administration’s job is to support, broaden and accelerate those changes.

“Breaking from the status quo is very hard I think for people generally, but particularly in government, where you don’t have competition the same way you do in the private sector,  where if you don’t change, if you don’t innovate, if you don’t find new ways to add value, eventually you go out of business and everybody loses their job. That helps focus people’s minds and increase their willingness to change and to take risks. That’s something we certainly need to work on here.”

Union leaders say the workforce is ready, if wary. Glidden said the Malloy administration made overtures about a labor-management review of state government in concession talks in 2011 and again in 2017.

“I would say that largely we haven’t seen that partnership happen, but we continue to have the door wide open,” Glidden said.

“The state is so intractable about its longterm bureaucratic practices. Paper versus electronic records is just one of so many,” Glidden said. “I think all of the stakeholders lament it, but then find the excuses for why we can’t change it. It’s, ‘Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.’ ”

Glidden is now engaged with the administration on the possibility of some state government professionals teleworking. He’d also like to talk about a classification system that is flexible and provides a career ladder. Currently, the only way to advance in most agencies is for someone to retire, leaving a specific job open.

His predecessor, Robert J. Rinker, co-chaired a labor-management committee that addressed some of the same issues now under review. In a letter to his co-chair in management, Rinker wrote:  “I predict that some day some one will want to change state employment and the report you signed off on wil be the basis for that change.”

That was on April 21, 1995.