Dragosavac Wins Overload Greivance

Arbitrator sides with Faculty; College apparently intends to continue violating CBA; Dragosavac uncertain, hopeful; questions next steps...

From ESEA President, Larry Dragosavac:

I want to share my experience over this last year about my grievance.

The college decided to limit overload and restrict the use of release time, fifteen days after saying in negotiations that they would not pursue those actions. During the months to come, my schedule was affected, and the result that I would lose approximately $10,000 in wages in a year. I believed, and still believe, this was a revenge tactic by our past president; For that reason, I decided to file a grievance. The grievance went all the way to binding arbitration--the arbitrator sided with me, but I am not sure yet what was won.

The arbitrator indicated one of the violations was the lack of notification that my hours would be limited. Since we have been notified for over a year, I believe the college attempt to continue limiting overload. In fact, I have already received an email from my dean indicating that I am limited to 21 hours.

I do not understand the thinking behind the college’s decision. Limiting overload means adjuncts teach instead of a full-time faculty. We have lots of qualified adjunct faculty in many disciplines, but it is difficult to find qualified adjuncts for some classes In my program. The accounting department has built-in quality checks: we assign qualified adjuncts who work in specific fields of expertise to teach classes I am not as qualified to teach, such as tax and auditing.

Their claim that limiting overload saves the college money is mysterious. In the most basic sense, the directive saves money. Adjunct pay per credit hour is less than overload pay for full-time faculty; however, if you consider other factors, you will discover that this costs the college in money, time and quality.

Also, their request that we teach new GEN-101 classes in overload, but limiting overload in our areas of expertise is a stark contradiction.

Cancelled classes and unhappy students who leave for Sinclair, or Clark State, were not factored into the college's decision. Consider this unsettling anecdote: Because of overload limits, the college replaced me with an unqualified adjunct in one particular class. Taught by a cheaper, less-qualified adjunct, the students did not learn the material.

When I first joined Edison’s faculty, I questioned the need for a union--not just at Edison, but any college. I soon discovered that the need for Edison was valid, because of the vast difference between faculty and administration about what is the best interests of student learning.

I hope that with our new leadership, the union issues will be minimal and the faculty and administration will converge on the right activities to ensure quality education for our students.


Larry J. Dragosavac
Professor of Accounting

End of the Semester Musings: Lessons on Raising the Bar and Small Successes

As I rush to grade final papers and revisions, I always find myself making mental notes on how to improve my courses for the next semester. Of course, when that next semester comes around, I find myself scrambling to remember what I told myself. I've solved the problem (somewhat) by taking notes. I've had my share of challenges and successes this semester. My next step is to keep those successes going strong while addressing the challenges to improve for next semester.