Pima’s epic battle over BP 1.25

By BRIANNA HERNANDEZ

Since October, the Pima Community College Education Association has been entangled in drama with the PCC administration over the proposed revisal of Board Policy 1.25.

BP 1.25 covers Meet and Confer, which is the yearly negotiation process between PCCEA that represents faculty and the college’s administration. The process centers on improving employee-related working conditions.

PCCEA accused administration of trying to  weaken the Meet and Confer process, since the revised BP 1.25 cuts three pages of the previous policy.

“We want to be sure people understand what portions will remain and what is being deleted, since there was such a reaction with people saying ‘oh gosh you’re cutting all this out,’” Daniel Berryman, PCC vice chancellor of human relations said.

PCCEA main concern lies with PCC Chancellor Lee Lambert’s proposed role

“The biggest concern for PCCEA is that the board is delegating all responsibility for creating and revising employment policies and procedures to the chancellor and is not required to approve them,” PCCEA Spokesman Matej Boguszak said.

Boguszak cited at a Nov. 8 Board of Governors meeting that the administration may be attempting to persuade the board that a Meet and Confer process is not necessary because small rural Arizona colleges may lack one.

Boguszak said it’s incorrect to compare PCC to small rural colleges, because PCC aligns more closely in structure and program offerings to Maricopa Community College, which has a similar process to Meet and Confer.

“Under the current process and at every other public institution in the state that does Meet and Confer in Arizona, the board must always approve any final agreements and Memorandum of Understanding that outline policy changes,” Boguszak said. “This is similar in all right-to-work states, so we really would be the exception here.”

PCCEA believes that taking the board out of BP 1.25 is a mistake.  

“If there is no mandate or incentive for administration to work towards an agreement and for us to compromise if necessary and consider inconvenient input … then we will be headed toward perennial conflict and low morale and flight of our best employees,” Boguszak said.

Boguszak said at the meeting that administration must proceed with caution with the revised board policy.

“I cannot say whether my statement had a direct effect, but the administration did appear to be more forthcoming and open to discussion and language revisions at the following meeting of the Personnel Governance Task Force,” Boguszak said.

Boguszak has expressed that throughout the years administration has shown decreased interest in Meet and Confer.

“Numerous administrators assigned to Meet and Confer missed meetings and were only tangentially involved in the policy discussions,” Boguszak said. “The chancellor tried to suspend Meet and Confer last year and only relented after we made a public comment at a board meeting.”

Berryman disagrees with this assessment.

“Administrator’s schedules are much more subject to sudden change than most faculty and staff, and I can assure you that any absences that have occurred  are not related to a lack of interest in participating in the process,” Berryman said.

BP 1.25 is currently posted for public comment for 21 days and  scheduled to be voted on by the board

“Our purpose for wanting to modify BP 1.25 was to suggest changes to the current meet and confer process that would make it more inclusive of all employees and allow it to be more timely and responsive to the changing needs of the College,” Berryman said .”The administration’s position is we need a meet and confer process, we just want to modify it to better meet the needs of the College.”

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