Palo Verde College CTA

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Executive Board Meeting


In today’s Exec Board meeting, we discussed a set of faculty concerns—one of which, as it happens, has to do with a faculty member or two seems to feel are, “discrepancies,” in our salary schedule vs. our scattergram.

The first thing you should know is that there is no such thing as, “Bill,” figures,“ vs. “Debbie,” figures. Mr. Ponder and Ms. Mitchell sat down after our TAs got signed off on by the Board in its Sept. 26th meeting, and painstakingly checked and rechecked the numbers on the salary schedule and the scattergram everybody was supplied with.

In other words, they mutually worked hard (and without extra pay or much thanks in Mr. Ponder’s case, I might add) to make darn sure that the CTA and the District agreed on the figures. And the two sets of numbers were agreed upon by both Ms. Mitchell and Mr. Ponder.

The two sets of numbers are different, yes—but there is no, “discrepancy,” of which I am aware. Why do they differ?

The two sets of numbers differ because as we discussed at some length during our meetings on salary, the salary schedule is the theory, while the scattergram is the practical reality. The salary schedule distributed via the CTA is based on a 177-day schedule; the scattergram shows what everybody is actually earning for a schedule that may be 177 days, or may be more—and which in a few cases includes “special assignments,” such as Accreditation.

The long and the short of it is this: the schedule shows what you’d earn if you worked 177 days at a particular row and column; the scattergram shows what people earn for their actual work-year (which may be more) and any special assignments. Please recheck two things: a) the handout distributed at our CTA meeting, showing salary schedules, graphs against State averages, and a scattergram; the b) xerox a faculty member has created, which itself shows that different faculty are working a different number of days per academic year.

I very much appreciate having faculty involved in these discussions, especially in our scheduled, public meetings. A lively and collegial debate is, I feel, essential to making things work in a college—as is asking clear, open questions of people who put out information.

As someone who remains still a bit of a scholarly type, I still appreciate the open dissemination of information, the public, collegial debate of issues, and the willingness to inquire. I appreciate too, the presentation of evidence—and the willingness to question one’s own arguments, and evidences. And I still feel that this works best when it’s done out in the light.

And last, speaking from under the tinfoil hat of the CTA President—I appreciate the way our meetings have been going this fall. It seems to me that the more we work to come to meetings prepared, the more we’re willing to have our ideas and arguments and facts scrutinized in open, free debate, the more we work for consensus and against backdoor politicking, the stronger we’ll be.

By the way, we had a great first Exec Board meeting—some of it involved better ways to do things on my part, and I learned a great deal. We’ll get a set of minutes out to faculty as soon as we can, what with finals and grades and all.

Oh yes—let me strongly encourage anybody to drop by and ask me, or your Exec Board members, what’s going on. We’ll give a straight answer—even if it is, “Sorry, I don’t agree,” or, “Huh. I dunno. Let me go find out, and I’ll get back to you.”

Thanks for the soapbox,
R.M. Robertson


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