The purpose of this webpage is to provide a publicly available site for the College to provide information about the collective bargaining negotiations presently on-going between the College and the Nevada Faculty Alliance/American Association of University Professors (NFA/AAUP). Communication and transparency are important to understanding and analyzing the different perspectives coming out of the collective bargaining effort. We also believe it is important to make information easily available to all CSN community members.
Materials exchanged between the College and the NFA/AAUP will be posted here. This webpage will be updated as new proposals are exchanged, and we encourage you to check back frequently.
The sole basis and authority for collective bargaining within the Nevada System of Higher Education is the Regents’ Handbook provisions at Title 4, Chapter 4. Federal law or Nevada statutes concerning local governments do not apply.
In the Spring 2016, the academic faculty, counselors and librarians voted by majority vote to pursue collective bargaining through the NFA/AAUP, and notified the College in November 2016 that it was ready to commence negotiations.
a) Governance models for the College
An important issue that has arisen in the negotiations is the governance models for CSN going forward. One important element currently of the shared governance enjoyed at CSN is a strong Faculty Senate with Senators elected from across the College schools. The CSN Bylaws provide and the current practice is that Faculty Senate is the primary recommending body for CSN policy. It is the College’s belief that the better continuing governance model is to have policies debated within Faculty Senate. The NFA/AAUP’s approach to include various policies in the collectively bargained agreement (CBA) will modify and weaken the role of Faculty Senate. The NFA/AAUP has not proposed that all policies be put into the CBA, but to the extent they are they will be negotiated in the context of these negotiations. Once a CBA is approved, modifications to a policy will require that negotiations be re-opened.
A second issue regarding governance is the role of the CSN president. For example, the NFA/AAUP’s proposal for arbitration will apply to all provisions in the CBA. The arbitration provision provides that a third-party arbitrator selected from outside the College will make decisions brought to them. The College’s position is that this shifts responsibility and obligation on the arbitrated issues away from the President. The NFA/AAUP proposal also requires the losing party to pay the costs of the arbitration which can be thousands of dollars.
b) Regents’ Handbook mandate
As noted earlier, the sole authority for the collective bargaining is the Regents’ Handbook. It is the position of the College that Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 13 prescribes the topics for mandatory collective bargaining when it provides that “…mandatory collective bargaining shall be limited to the following topics....” The College will only negotiate on the topics listed in Section 13. Click Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 13 to view the Handbook.
WHO WILL VOTE ON A CONTRACT?
Who will vote on the collective bargaining agreement?
The NFA/AAUP expressed the opinion in December 2016 that only NFA members should participate in voting regarding any collective bargaining agreement. The College believes that the clear language of Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 10(2) provides that all academic faculty, counselors and librarians in the bargaining unit must have the opportunity to vote regarding the agreement. In December 2016, the NFA/AAUP requested the NSHE Vice Chancellor-Legal provide an opinion on that point. On January 6, 2017, the Vice-Chancellor concurred with the College’s position.
NFA/AAUP has presented almost 2 dozen proposals so far, and the College has presented several counter-proposals. CSN has not presented to other proposals for the reasons discussed in other sections of this page, and some proposals are still being reviewed. NFA/AAUP has proposed the following:
Click on the proposal name to view the information in PDF format.
|Proposal||In Sec. 13*||CSN summary response|
3 Year Term
Benefits are part of State package; NSHE studied the issue, Legislative action req’d
|2) Recognition Clause||Y||Acceptable proposal|
|3a) Grievance Procedure||Y||CSN will negotiate this once the scope of the CBA topics are known|
|3b) Grievance Procedure||Y|
|4) Arbitration Procedure||Y||CSN will negotiate this once the scope of the CBA topics are known|
|5a) Non-Discrimination||Y-for NFA work||Regents’ Handbook has comprehensive policy, investigation & enforcement procedure. Counter-proposal provided that is consistent with Handbook.|
|6) Emeritus Status||N||Retirees/non-full time instructors not within the bargaining unit|
|7) Saving Clause||Y||Acceptable proposal|
|8a) Faculty Handbook||N||All documents/materials should be available electronically|
|8b) Faculty Infobook||N|
|9a) Policies and Practices||N||This description of authority is generally unnecessary|
|9b) Policies and Practices||N|
|10) Faculty Offices||N||Refer to Faculty Senate for update|
|11) Academic Freedom||N||Current CSN policy adopts AAUP policy|
|12a) Distribution of CBA||Y||Counter-proposal submitted to maximize efficiency|
|12b) Distribution of CBA||Y||Acceptable proposal|
|13a) Shared Governance||N||CSN implements shared governance through Faculty Senate, inclusion of Faculty on college-wide committees, and through NFA on collective bargaining topics|
|13b) Shared Governance||N|
|14a) Successorship||Too broad as proposed|
|15a) Safety||Y||Counter-proposal submitted|
|16a) Counselors||N||This area is currently the subject of review and discussion related to the development of a common student experience.|
|17a) Masters of Fine Arts||Y||The HR Dept. and Academics are reviewing the matter|
|17b) Masters of Fine Arts||Y|
|18) Qualifying Time for Tenure Emergency/Part-Time Hires||N||Refer to Faculty Senate for debate|
|19a) Financial Exigency||Y||Counter-proposal submitted|
|19b) Financial Exigency||Y|
|19c) Financial Exigency||Y|
|20) Hiring-Full Time Faculty||Y||Under review|
|21) Summer Teaching||Y||Under review|
|22a) Market Hires||N||Under review|
|22b) Market Hires||N|
|24a) Salary||Y||Under review|
|25) Faculty Engagement and Participation||Y||Under review|
|26a) Discipline and Termination||Y||Under review|
|26b) Discipline and Termination||Y||Under review|
|27) Benefits||Y||Under review|
|28) Contact Hours Multiplier||N||Under review|
|29a) Overload Requests||N||Under review|
|29b) Overload Requests||N|
|30) Immigration Status||N||Under review|
|31a) Work Out of Title||N||Under review|
|31b) Work Out of Title||N||Under review|
|32) Program Directors||N||Under review|
|33) Professional Enrichment Programs||Y||Under review|
|34) Department Chairs||Under review|
|*Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 13|
CSN’s PROPOSALS & COUNTER-PROPOSALS
CSN has proposed the following counter-proposals:
3) Distribution of CBA
4a) Financial Exigency
4b) Financial Exigency
4c) Financial Exigency
5a) Market Hires
5b) Market Hires
7a) Discipline and Termination
7b) Discipline and Termination
8) Grievance Procedure
9) Work Out of Title
10a) Overload Requests
10b) Overload Requests
11) Masters of Fine Arts
CSN has proposed the following proposals:
THE NEGOTIATING TEAMS
|NFA/AAUP team||CSN College team|
|David Steel||Patty Charlton|
|Jennifer Nelson||Mary Kaye Bailey|
|Glynda White||John Adlish|
|Steve Soltz||Juanita Chrysanthou|
|Jerry Hodges||Josh Hamilton|
|Theo Byrns||Richard Hinckley|
|Caprice Roberson/Ted Chodock||Hyla Winters|
ATTENDING THE BARGAINING SESSIONS
The two teams discussed and decided at the outset of the negotiations to invite anyone to come to the negotiation sessions. Non-team members won’t participate in the discussion, but everyone is welcome to attend and observe. So far, there have been 13 negotiation sessions, and the next scheduled meetings are:
- March 10, 2017, 9 am, NLV Campus-Conf Rm A/B
- March 24, 2017, 3 pm, Henderson Campus-C-106
- April 7, 2017, 9am, West Charleston Campus
- April 17, 2017, 3pm, West Charleston Campus
- April 28, 2017, 3pm, West Charleston Campus
- May 8, 2017, 3pm, NLV Campus
- May 19, 2017, 9am, West Charleston Campus
- May 30, 2017, 9am, NLV Campus
- June 16, 2017, 9am, NLV Campus
- June 26, 2017, 9am, Henderson Campus
WHY HASN'T CSN ACCEPTED NFA-CSN's PROPOSAL DEALING WITH DISCRIMINATION?
The College of Southern Nevada has consistently demonstrated its commitment to providing an environment that is free from any form of discrimination towards College faculty, students and staff. CSN does not tolerate discrimination in any form, and actively addresses any allegation otherwise. The Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education (‘Board’) has adopted a comprehensive regulation prohibiting discrimination that includes a strong policy statement, extensive investigation practices, management oversight, and hearing requirements (all of which have the force and effect of law). This regulation is over 20 pages long.
CSN follows this comprehensive policy not only because it must do so, but also because it is the right thing to do. One of CSN’s efforts to fully implement the non-discrimination policy is to support its Office of Institutional Equity (‘OIE’) which is staffed with well-trained, experienced investigators who receive all complaints or concerns of discrimination. OIE fully investigates and provides a written report on each investigation. If an act of discrimination has occurred, the remedies include discipline up to suspension or termination from the College. The hearing board for any suspension or termination can include a third party law-trained hearing officer and a panel of faculty members selected at random to hear the case.
Consistent with the foregoing, the College adheres to all federal and state laws pertaining to non-discrimination. Whenever a complaint is made to a state or federal agency, it also is fully investigated and a response provided.
CSN believes the Board’s policy, investigation requirements and hearing procedures are comprehensive and are, frankly, superior in content to the proposal made by the NFA. There is no difference in attitude or perspective between NFA and CSN with respect to rejecting any form of discrimination. The difference is in the response. CSN believes the Board’s and CSN’s approach is superior to what the NFA has proposed in protecting against and remedying any concerns of discrimination. It is in the best interest of the entire college community not to take a step backward on this important topic.
Another reason for CSN’s position not to accept the NFA’s proposal is that the Board’s policy has specifically prescribed the focus of a non-discrimination provision in a collectively bargained agreement. The Board’s policy is the only authority in Nevada allowing collective bargaining at CSN, and this authority must be followed.
The Board’s policy and direction, in respect to this matter, states:
The scope of mandatory collective bargaining negotiations under this chapter shall be limited to the following topics:
. . .
l. Protection of employees in the bargaining unit from discrimination because of participation in recognized employee organizations consistent with the provisions of this chapter. Regent’s Handbook, Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 13.
CSN has provided a proposed contract provision that fully embraces the foregoing requirement. Therefore, there is no disagreement between CSN and NFA as it pertains to non-discrimination for those within the Collective Bargaining Unit.
NFA’s proposal is brief and proposes no investigation or hearing process, except that its proposed arbitration provision would apparently apply. Pursuant to that proposal, a 3rd party arbitrator will hear and decide complaints under the NFA proposal. CSN will not support provisions that limit the obligations or the authority of the institutional president or the Board of Regents of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
Also, CSN does not support limiting training for discrimination and/or other related programs to not more than once every 5 years. CSN administration asserts such a minimal requirement is inadequate.
CSN does not have an ethnic majority in its student body. It is recognized as one of the most diverse community colleges in the United States. It is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution and a Minority Serving Institution.
WHAT IS THE COLLEGE'S POSITION AND PROPOSAL FOR SALARY ADJUSTMENTS FOR ACADEMIC FACULTY?
NFA criticized CSN’s counter-offer on salary arguing that faculty have received zero raises over the last ten years, which they believe indicates that faculty aren’t valued.
NFA’s argument that there have been no raises for 10 years is incorrect as demonstrated by their own data. The argument that faculty aren’t valued is an emotional reaction that is absolutely untrue. Also, NFA has written that CSN is not willing to commit any resources to CSN’s salary proposal. Again, this is an incorrect conclusion clearly contrary to the CSN salary proposal.
Faculty base salary levels rose 23% since FY07 because of merit and COLA increases. Additionally, the Governor has proposed a 2% increase on July 1, 2017 and another 2% increase on July 1, 2018.
CSN is also fully supportive of efforts to request that the Legislature make an appropriation for merit pay. The College leaves that task primarily to the NFA through its legislative contacts, especially those who have written in support of NFA-AAUP/CSN negotiations.
In addition to merit and COLA increases, CSN performed an internal Equity Study in 2013, and 336 academic faculty (approx. 70%) received increases to base salary levels in 2014. The largest adjustment was just over 42%, the smallest was slightly less than 2%, and the average adjustment was approximately 18.5%. These adjustments were funded by internal CSN resources pursuant to the NSHE Procedures and Guidelines Manual.
Therefore, using the data from the last 10 years, academic faculty base salaries have increased substantially.
NFA also has used a comparison of merit appropriations with step increases for the classified employees. CSN does not believe this is an appropriate comparison because the classified employees’ salary levels are lower (generally ¼ or ½ of the salary levels of academic faculty). This is one of the underlying justifications for the Legislature’s appropriations for step increases.
Nevertheless, the reference to the classified employees emphasizes the point that the Legislature is the source for appropriations for special adjustments, and this overall responsibility is not placed with each individual college or university absent legislative appropriation.
NSHE’s established method to enable a review of the appropriateness of the professors’ salaries relative to the job-market is to perform the NSHE salary study. Everyone agrees that this should be done, and CSN urges that we collaboratively insist that it be done. Thereafter, depending on the results, Legislative appropriations need to be made to match the outcome of the study.
In reply to NFA’s salary proposal, CSN has proposed to:
-Perform another internal Equity Study with a target completion of 4 months after CBA ratification. CSN recognizes that these studies must be performed at appropriate cycles. As noted earlier, the results of Equity Studies are implemented with CSN internal funding sources.
-Join with NFA to request NSHE perform the NSHE salary study.
No one disputes the painful rise in employees’ out-of-pocket costs on the medical benefit. This is a national phenomenon driven by national policy decisions. Salary adjustments can help with this problem, but CSN is not permitted to absorb the increased cost of premiums.
CSN must follow all applicable law, which includes the Regents’ Handbook. Importantly, Section 9 of the Collective Bargaining chapter provides:
The System is constrained by funding resources external to its control and subject to approval by bodies not participant in negotiations such as are provided by these regulations. No provision of any bargaining agreement negotiated pursuant to this chapter which requires the expenditure of funds for any purpose shall be effective unless and until funds are appropriated and are made available to the System by the Nevada Legislature….
So far, NFA has not provided a meaningful or reasonable response to CSN’s point that this law must be followed. NFA’s only response is that “CSN can pay.”
CSN is not permitted to ignore lawful requirements. CSN is not willing to unilaterally modify the means and manner for funding salary adjustments.
At the next negotiation session on April 28, at 3 p.m. in K-134 on the Charleston campus, CSN will discuss the foregoing issues with the NFA negotiating team and will present financial data that is relevant to these salary negotiations. As always, all are invited to attend to hear this important information (if necessary, we’ll move to a larger room). You can also review NFA’s and CSN’s salary proposals posted on this webpage, and we encourage you to do so.