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2013-2014 Residential Faculty Policy Frequently Asked Questions

Interest-Based Negotiation and Faculty Involvement in Meet and Confer Process

1.  How do faculty have a voice in the Meet and Confer process?

Throughout the meet and confer process, faculty may provide feedback and input directly to the faculty members serving on the Meet and Confer Team via online surveys, e-mail, in-person visits, and the Faculty Association online forum.  Additionally, Faculty Association members select representatives to serve on the college's Faculty Senate and the district Faculty Executive Council. These representatives play an active role in meet and confer issue prioritization and engage in ongoing dialogue with the Meet and Confer Team throughout the negotiation year.

2.  How does the Meet and Confer Team decide what issues to work?

Each year, the faculty at each college are asked to complete a survey to identify issues of importance to them.  The issues identified at each college are prioritized by the Faculty Senate at that college and the top three issues are forwarded to the faculty Co-Chair of the Meet and Confer Team.  The faculty Co-Chair shares these issues with the Faculty Executive Council. FEC considers all of the issues and recommends to the Co-Chair which issues to pursue. The Co-Chair then consults with the faculty members on the Meet and Confer Team to determine which of the issues are most likely to result in a positive negotiated outcome.  These issues, as well as the top issues identified by the administrative members of the Meet and Confer Team, are prioritized by the full Meet and Confer Team.  The highest priority issues are the issues that the team works during the negotiation year.

3. How does interest-based negotiation benefit residential faculty?

Meet and confer has utilized the interest-based negotiation (IBN) process for the past three years. Prior to IBN, positional bargaining was used.  In positional bargaining, each party identifies its set of demands and seeks to persuade/force the opposing side to accept its demands. The process is non-collaborative and divisive.  In fact, it was not uncommon for the administration to refuse to discuss certain items brought forward by the faculty.  In contrast, in interest-based negotiation, the focus is on issues, interests, and collaborative problem solving. All issues that the Meet and Confer members bring forward for consideration are reviewed by the team and prioritized.  The highest priority items are worked during the negotiation year.  Through this process, we can bring forward tough issues (as can the administration) and engage in productive and meaningful dialogue.  Being able to discuss and resolve tough issues of importance to the faculty benefits all faculty.


RFP Ratification

4.  Why do we ratify the RFP as a whole rather than issue by issue?

Many issues are complex and multi-faceted.  As the team negotiates issues, it tries to keep a holistic view and keen awareness of relationships between issues and unintended consequences. The best resolution to a particular issue may depend upon the resolutions to related issues.  For example, the 60:40 ratio implementation plan will result in the hiring of hundreds of new residential faculty.  The OYO policy revisions and probationary faculty evaluation process revisions were key in helping the team reach agreement on the 60:40 implementation plan. By ratifying the RFP as a whole rather than issue by issue, we provide the Meet and Confer Team with increased flexibility to negotiate solutions to complex and challenging issues.

5.  Why are only Faculty Association members eligible to ratify the RFP?

As stated in the Faculty Executive Council constitution, the faculty members on the Meet and Confer Team are agents of the Council of [Senate] Presidents.  All senate presidents are Faculty Association members elected by the faculty senates at each college.  The Faculty Association "is the nonexclusive representative of the MCCCD Residential Faculty." However, the provisions of the Residential Faculty Policies are "applicable toResidential Faculty who are not members of the Faculty Association" (RFP 1.1.4.)   The Governing Board has agreed to negotiate the faculty contract with the Faculty Association.  As agents of the Faculty Association, the faculty members on the Meet and Confer Team are accountable to the members of the Faculty Association.  Through the ratification process, Faculty Association members affirm their support or express their concerns regarding the work of the Meet and Confer Team. Although faculty who are not members of the Faculty Association may informally provide feedback to the team, the team is accountable only to the Faculty Association members. Consequently, only Faculty Association members vote on the work of the team.

6.       What happens if we don't ratify the 2013-2014 RFP?

The 2012-2013 RFP is valid through August 31, 2013.  If the 2013-2014 RFP is not ratified and the 2012-2013 RFP is not extended, faculty would be without a contract. Additionally, pay rates in the RFP in Appendices C, D, and E have been updated to reflect the 2.5% COLA on the assumption that faculty will ratify.  If the RFP is not ratified, pay rates will revert back to 2012-2013 levels.


Future Steps and COLA

7.       Will we get a step and a COLA next year?

Many faculty have the mistaken perception that the Meet and Confer Team determines whether or not a step and COLA will be awarded.  While it is true that the faculty members on the team asked for a step and a COLA this year, the decision to award the COLA was made at the highest level of the organization, not by the Meet and Confer Team. The faculty members on the team will continue to advocate for strategies that attract and retain high quality faculty (including pay increases).  However, the decision to award a step and/or COLA in future years will continue to be made at the highest level of the organization unless the administration chooses to empower the Meet and Confer Team to play a more active role in this decision-making process.


Salary Inversion

8.       What did the Meet and Confer Team do about salary inversion this year?

Salary inversion continues to be a matter of grave concern to faculty.    For the 2012-2013 negotiation year, the issue was tabled by the Meet and Confer Team while the District Classification and Compensation Advisory Committee completed its work.   A Faculty Compensation Task Force consisting of faculty appointed by the FEC leadership, District HR professionals, and an external consultant met during the Spring semester to dialogue about faculty compensation.  This group was tasked with providing input to the Advisory Committee on the issue of faculty compensation.  Two faculty members from the Meet and Confer Team served on the Task Force. 

During the course of the task force meetings, the faculty brought up salary inversion as an important compensation issue that needs to be addressed.   The Faculty Compensation Task Force provided feedback to the District Classification and Compensation Advisory Committee and the Meet and Confer Team related to the importance of creating a market-competitive, equitable salary schedule that provides faculty the opportunity to progress economically over the span of their careers.  Any recommendations coming out of the District Classification and Compensation Advisory Committee related to faculty compensation will need to be approved by the Meet and Confer Team and ratified by the faculty at large before being adopted/implemented.  We anticipate that the Meet and Confer Team will continue this dialogue during Fall 2013.  Recognizing that all issues related to compensation are of great interest to faculty, we will loop out to faculty with additional details as they become available.


60:40 Ratio and OYO Faculty

9.       Why is OYO instructional load and residential faculty overload included in the 60:40 ratio?

We spent two years negotiating the 60:40 ratio.  As faculty, we did not get everything we wanted (e.g., OYO instructional load and residential faculty overload is being counted as residential faculty load for purposes of the ratio); however, we determined that the negotiated solution would result in hiring more residential faculty than the existing 90:10 policy. (See RFP 5.2. for policy details.)  We determined this benefit outweighed the drawbacks of the negotiated solution.

10.   What steps have been taken to ensure OYO faculty are used appropriately?

We tightened up the language regarding the use of OYO faculty.  By creating a limited set of circumstances under which OYO/OSO positions could be offered, we affirmed the importance of hiring residential faculty to meet student instructional needs. (See RFP 4.12. for policy details.)

11.   How is the 60:40 ratio different from the 90:10 ratio?

The 90:10 ratio indicated that 90% of the day FTSE needed to be taught by residential faculty.  There were several limitations to this policy that are addressed by the 60:40 ratio including the following:
  • By basing the ratio on day FTSE only, the calculation failed to acknowledge the importance of evening/weekend programs and the importance of classes where credits and teaching loads differ from each other (e.g. labs). 
  • Although the percentage of day FTSE taught at the colleges varied from college to college, most colleges have had less than 90% of their day FTSE being taught by residential faculty for a number of years. Forward progress was limited in part because additional financial resources needed to help colleges reach the ratio were not readily available.
The 60:40 ratio addresses each of these issues.
  • The 60:40 ratio is based on total instructional load (day, evening, weekend) not day FTSE.   This acknowledges the importance of all instructional offerings (regardless of time of day) and more appropriately acknowledges the work of faculty teaching classes where credits and teaching loads differ. 
  • The district has committed to infuse significant financial resources over the next 8 - 10 years to increase the number of residential faculty at each of the colleges.  For 2013-2014, the district allocated 32 new faculty lines to the colleges (6 new faculty lines to Estrella Mountain, Chandler Gilbert, and Paradise Valley; 4 new faculty lines to Phoenix College; and 2 new faculty lines to Mesa, Scottsdale, Glendale, Gateway, and South Mountain).  College leaders will be held accountable for the attainment of the 60:40 ratio.
12.   Are service faculty included in the 60:40 ratio?

The 60:40 ratio is based on instructional load.  Although load-bearing courses being taught by service faculty are counted as a part of the ratio, other professional activities of service faculty are not related to the instructional load calculation.  The Meet and Confer team is working to identify a separate ratio for service faculty (not based on instructional load).  The Counseling IC and the Library Department/Division Chair Council recommended FTSE/faculty ratios for the Meet and Confer Team to consider. We anticipate that the Meet and Confer Team will recommend a service faculty ratio in Fall 2013 for inclusion in the 2014-2015 RFP.


Probation Faculty Evaluation Process and Post-Tenure Review

13.   How does the new probationary faculty evaluation process (Peer Assistance and Review) benefit faculty?

The new process will provide probationary faculty with a rich and rewarding professional growth experience that will enhance their instructional expertise and highlight their contribution to the college and district in an environment of support and encouragement.  By integrating systematic peer review into the probationary faculty evaluation process, we elevate the profession and help enhance the image of faculty as viewed by others outside of the faculty body. 

Additionally, the new process provides additional protections for probationary faculty not selected for renewal.  Faculty not recommended for renewal by the Peer Assistance and Review Team are able to provide a rebuttal to the College President before a final decision is made. When a decision is made by a College President to recommend to the Chancellor that a probationary faculty member not be renewed, that faculty member may continue to work as faculty at the college for up to a year during which time the non-renewed faculty member may seek future employment.  (See RFP 3.5. (new) for policy details.)

14.   What is the implementation plan for the new probationary faculty evaluation process (Peer Assistance and Review)?

The Peer Assistance and Review (PAR) process goes into effect on July 1, 2014.  While negotiating the issue of probationary faculty evaluation, the Meet and Confer Team recognized the importance of getting additional input from faculty regarding the process.  During April 2013, representatives from the Meet and Confer Team met with the Faculty Developers from the colleges to receive input.  Faculty at large have provided input as well via the Faculty Association website forum.  This input has resulted in refinements to the PAR process.  Throughout Fall 2013 and Spring 2014, the PAR implementation plan will be developed in collaboration with the Faculty Developers and other interested parties.  A dialogue day will be held to allow faculty at-large to provide input regarding implementation.

15.   Does the implementation of the new probationary faculty evaluation process mean that the post-tenure review process is going to be changed as well?

The post-tenure review process will remain the same unless post-tenure review is identified as a priority meet and confer issue.  In that event, any changes to the post-tenure review process will have to be negotiated. At present, post-tenure review has not been identified as a priority for consideration by the Meet and Confer Team.

16.   How does the new probationary faculty evaluation process affect appointive faculty?

Appointive faculty will serve on the individual Peer Assistance and Review teams as well as the college-wide Peer Assistance and Review Committee. In this way, they provide peer review and mentoring support of probationary faculty.  Appointive faculty will continue to complete a Faculty Evaluation Plan (FEP) every three years as stated in the current RFP.

17.   What will post-tenure review look like in the future?

The current post-tenure review process requires appointive faculty to complete a Faculty Evaluation Plan (FEP) every three years. Any changes to that process will have to be negotiated. At present, post-tenure review has not been identified as a priority issue for the Meet and Confer team.  Faculty at large will be notified if post-tenure review becomes a priority issue in the future so that they may have an opportunity to provide input to the members of the team.


Administrative Evaluation

18.   What changes were made to the Administrative Evaluation process?

The Administrative Evaluation process was identified as an issue during the 2011-2012 negotiation year but was not identified as a priority issue until this past year.  The current language contains no defined purpose as to when and why to utilize it and provides no timeline for completion of the Evaluation.  The proposed RFP rectifies these problems.   There is a clear purpose and a defined and reasonable timeline for proceeding with an Administrative Evaluation.  (See RFP 3.7. for current language, 6.4. for proposed language outlining policy details.)

19.   Why was a professional code of ethics added to the RFP?

Professions typically adopt codes of ethics to communicate to their members and the outside community the standards of the profession.  The code of ethics included in the RFP was adapted from the code of ethics crafted by the American Association of University Professors and was recommended to the Meet and Confer Team by the Faculty Executive Council.  The team readily accepted the FEC recommendation.  Furthermore, RFP 1.1.2. gives the Chancellor the right to establish standards of professional conduct for faculty.  Given the need for such a code, it is far better to negotiate it ourselves than to have it imposed upon us. 



20.   Why were changes made to the RFP section on reassigned time for faculty leadership (RFP 2.12.)?

In the section describing the reassigned time for Faculty Executive Council leadership and Faculty Senate Leadership, we identified specific roles these faculty leaders play at the district and college level.  This helps to codify the shared governance role of faculty. (See RFP 2.12. for policy details.)  Additionally, the new language helps to protect the use of reassigned time for these purposes.

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The Maricopa Community Colleges Faculty Association is a 501(c)5 voluntary labor organization composed of current and retired Residential Faculty of the ten Maricopa Colleges.

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