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Broadside 10-13-17

FFECC Broadside, October 13, 2017

If you want to inform your colleagues about what you and your department are doing, please email a short summary to and

Academic Department Professional Hours (Formerly Known as 91 Hours)

There have been widespread misunderstandings of the purpose of the full-time teaching faculty professional hours (unfortunately known as the 91 hours.) We hope this article will provide more clarity.

  1. These hours are not for the use of administration. They are for academic departments to plan their own priorities and divide up the work through a collective conversation among the department faculty. It’s not intended that faculty fill these forms out separately and hand them in to the chair without talking with each other. There should be a departmental conversation about what needs to be done and who is going to do it. There are only a few rules about what work qualifies and what does not: you cannot use them for teaching-related activities such as office hours or prepping for classes, and you cannot use them for activities for which you are otherwise being compensated via reassigned time or pay. Beyond that, whatever work your department decides needs to be done qualifies.

  2. The hours were already in the contract. They were the “13 faculty responsible days.” 91 hours = 13 days times 7 hours. At first, under the “responsible days” system, Erie administration assigned 13 full workdays of tasks every year to teaching faculty (exclusive of courses and office hours) and required them to come to campus to do these tasks. The days and tasks for the coming year were communicated via a memo in May from what is now the Provost’s office. For the past 20 years or so this system has been obsolete and not maintained by administration. FFECC leadership worked with Provost Rick Washousky to make this system more flexible and adaptable to departmental needs, despite efforts by ECC’s former chief negotiator (hint: Legal VP) to make it more prescriptive and administratively controlled.

  3. During our recent contract negotiations, the FFECC team often heard what we call “the bad faculty” narrative: the idea that our faculty don’t do their jobs and generally do very little work. We will tell you more stories about our last negotiation in a future article. Collecting data from our faculty about what they actually do, to counter the “bad faculty” narrative, is one of the main purposes of filling out and handing in these forms.

  4. We had heard from a few departments that the chair is expected to do most or all of the work of running the department, despite our contractual requirements that faculty participate in departmental committees. We hope this system helps departments to share their workload more equitably.

  5. Please put down all the work you do on your forms, no matter what you may have been told, or how many hours are involved. 91 hours is a floor, not a ceiling. The data collected about how much work our full time faculty does over and above their contractual obligations may be useful to FFECC leadership in advocating for additional departmental full time faculty or for more faculty compensation.

For more information about this topic, please contact your FFECC campus vice president, as listed below. We are happy to attend your department meetings to explain all this, or other matters of concern to your members, given a request. You can also send a request to the FFECC office manager at

Accelerated Increase in the Adjunct/Overload Rate

Article 73 Sections 9 and 11 of the FFECC contract states in part “In the event there are 45 or more retirements between ratification and January 1, 2017, the parties agree that the adjunct professor and overload rate will increase to $700 on January 1, 2019 rather than January 1, 2020 as outlined herein.” Accordingly we have confirmed there were more than 45 retirements during the timeframe previously referenced and as a result the adjunct professor and overload rate will increase one year earlier than noted in the contract. However, there was not enough retirees during this timeframe to cause the adjunct professor and overload rate increase to $750 on January 1, 2020.

FFECC Leadership Team:

Andrew Sako, President

Patricia Kaiser, VP City

Adrian R. Ranic, VP North

Jason Steinitz, VP South

Denise Crowden, Secretary

Kristin Kozlowski, Treasurer

Michael Delaney, Grievance Chair

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