MCC Daily Tribune

Rumors and Reality

In a typical year, the stress of the end of the academic year can be difficult. This year, these stressors are layered on top of concerns about declining enrollment and the impact of the challenges MCC has faced this year, as well as a 24-hour news cycle that seems to careen from bad to worse. It's hard. Throw rumors and misinformation into the mix, and the stress builds. So, each day from today through the end of academic year, I'll be tackling one rumor. I have a whole list, but if you have one you would like addressed, please send it along through the portal.

Rumor: Faculty received multiple appointment letters this year, each one correcting an error in the last. Faculty are not being paid for and/or getting their negotiated increase for their work in August.

Reality: Yes, there have been multiple versions of appointment letters this year, and yes, regardless of the errors in the letters, faculty are being paid for and getting their contractual increase for work in August.

First: the multiple letters. I apologize for the confusion and concern these have caused. This situation does not reflect how we should be handling an important matter like appointment and salary nor how we should be treating our employees. It is not acceptable. I understand that an error like this makes building trust more difficult, and we can and must do better.

While I will not offer any excuses, I do want to provide an explanation. HR has traced the source of the errors to challenges in pulling information from Banner, issues with the mail merge function, and an over-reliance on manual processing. These are not new issues and have caused errors before; we need to resolve them. HR is developing a process that will include a template for each type of change that could occur within an employee's appointment letter: contractual increase, promotion, etc. These individual components will pull separately into a new letter format that does not rely so extensively on manual processing. HR has been tasked with completing the new templates and process this summer and reviewing it with the Faculty Association before implementation.

Second: faculty pay. An employee's annual salary covers the length of the appointment (which, for teaching faculty, began this year in August). The College's fiscal year begins on September 1, which sets the beginning of the payroll calendar, not the employee's appointment date.

Each pay period an employee receives a payment that is calculated by dividing their annual salary by the number of pay periods that employee has selected (21 or 26). This process smooths paydays, providing a consistent paycheck regardless of the actual number of contractual days an individual has worked in the period. It is based on the assumption that all days will be worked by the end of the appointment. This smoothing is usually invisible, unless employees leave the College before their appointments' end. In such cases their salary may have to be adjusted if they have been paid for days they will not work.

Kress, Anne
Office of the President