Dear MSCA Day Part-Time Faculty,
I’m writing to let you know that we have hit a snag with management in computing the correct day part-time rates for the 2017-2020 contact (which is set to expire in just over nine months).
The snag regards 62 cent. Yes, 62 cents per credit hour taught.
The MSCA computed for management (since they either refused to or were incapable of doing so) the amounts on top of the 2% that were to be added to the per-credit rate on July 1 of 2017, 2018 and 2019.
These additional increases were agreed to and included in the April 16, 2018 settlement, and remained unchanged in the March 4, 2019 settlement. So management knew for 16 months that they needed to compute these amounts, they just never did. We reminded them of this repeatedly over that period, with the general method agreed to in the summer of 2018.
This summer, management asked the MSCA to help with the computations. In August I was asked what data were needed to do the computation. We had told management what data were needed, monthly at meetings of the Employee Relations Committee.
On August 22, 2019 I sent management a spreadsheet that used the (frequently incomplete) data management provided that showed that the rate for July 1, 2017 should be $1,799.33. I suggested rounding the rate up to $1,800, as we have done for at least two decades.
The following week I found an error in the data reported by one university. That university had reported 169 full-time faculty when in fact there were more than 200 full-time faculty. That meant the university under-reported salary data, and therefore shorted part-time faculty by more than a dollar per credit.
As a result I reported the new rate to management as $1,800.38 on August 31, 2019, and suggested rounding to $1,801.
Here is the most revealing line of the email I received in response yesterday:
“As to the first (2017) increase, I cannot round 1,799.33 to 1,800. That would be a $13,000 expense for the universities, considering the number of pt credits taught that year. We should follow the custom taught when I was in second grade that when rounding to a whole number, .50 goes up, .49 goes down. The number when rounded is 1,799.”
Where do you start with a comment like that?
It ignores the fact that the rate was the old, incorrect rate based on bad data from management.
If the agreed-to rate is $1,800.38 (that’s not clear to me yet), then why round down and short part-time faculty what was bargained?
Ignoring the “second grade” comment (rounding decimals is typically taught in fourth or fifth grade), ultimately what struck me most was the excessive cost… $13,000. That’s $13,000 spread across nine campuses. The cost of litigating this will be much more than $13,000.
I will report further as is warranted.