Anna Baas Anderson
It’s been a few months now that I have had the opportunity to participate on the Union College Committee (UCC). As the latest member to join the committee, I’ve gained much insight into how we, as Union representatives and Sheridan management representatives work together to discuss matters that arise from the Union Faculty Membership. To quote Jack’s WildCAAT fall 2015 article, “political battles are won by calm persistence and cool perseverance” this is true to form at the meetings. Jack, Doug, Maureen and myself, attend these honest discussion monthly meetings. It is my experience during the meetings, that the committee works collegially together, to inform and problem solve issues that have been brought forward from the membership.
One of the first agenda items that I had a chance to participate in, was around the “hoteling” at HMC. The process took place by the persistence of our union representatives informing management of the issues that faculty at HMC brought forward. UCC Union Side relentlessly promoted the need to have a portion of faculty personal residence designated as work space. Eventually after your union representative’s ongoing perseverance, management agreed to grant this HMC Faculty home office as a taxable benefit.
This example is only one of several successful negotiations that occur at the UCC table. Other negotiations, some resolved, others still in process, have ranged from insurance issues, work load monitoring, reduction of expenses for partial load faculty, prep and evaluation time for degree vs diploma courses and credential reimbursement. The latest, most prevalent ongoing negotiations is Voluntary Recognition Agreement VRA and the Academic Credits senate paper.
It’s been a smooth initiation to the committee, albeit a learning curve. I realize, even more, how our union hears the voice of the members and approaches management openly and directly, formatively confronting the key issues to support the membership as set out by the Collective Agreement and Sheridan’s Journey.