ESS/ESS Track ACADEMIC Staff
Annual and Salary Reviews
Academic staff with ESS/tenure are reviewed annually through the Selective-Salary Review process. However, academic staff without ESS/tenure are reviewed twice, through two different and distinct processes: the Selective-Salary Review process, and the Annual Review process. Should these two be merged into one, contact the Union immediately. The Annual Review process in Article XX, for academic staff without ESS/tenure, is intended to mentor ESS/tenure-track academic staff members and assess their progress toward ESS, or as preparation for contract renewal for non-ESS/tenure-track academic staff members. For a Things Worth Knowing handout about Annual Reviews, click here.
Article XII, Compensation, provides that there shall be an academic staff salary committee in any unit (School/College or division) where three (3) or more academic staff members holding tenure or Employment Security Status (ESS) are assigned. A majority of the committee must be made up of members holding tenure or ESS. The dean/vice president (or his/her designee) shall chair the committee with vote.
According to Article XXIV.II.C.2, if the School/College or division does not have an academic staff salary committee, any reference to the salary committee shall refer to the University Academic Staff Tenure and Promotion Committee (as defined in Articles XXII.D.2.b and XXIII.C.2)
The committee shall make recommendations for selective-salary increases guided by unit factors, and general University criteria and factors for tenure, or ESS, and promotion for academic staff. It shall also consider equity, when appropriate.
Workload issues are governed by the provisions of Article XXIV, Professional Duties, of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The contract requires workloads to be “reasonable and fair.” The contract also allows for academic staff to appeal changes in workloads when they are considered a “substantial change” in the duties contrary to his/her responsibilities. A review of substantial changes in duties may be initiated by a member within five (5) days of the member’s being notified in writing of a change. Please contact the Union as soon as possible if you believe your workload has been changed unfairly or unilaterally.
Leaves, Time Off, Sabbaticals
Leaves of absence are governed by the provisions of Article XIII, Leaves of Absence, of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Occasionally, a bargaining unit member may need an unpaid leave of absence for personal or professional reasons. These may be applied for under the provisions of Article XIII. For a quick handout about leaves of absence, click here.
In the event a bargaining unit member falls ill, s/he has the right of up to six (6) months paid leave after five (5) years of University service. S/he is awarded one (1) month of paid sick leave when hired, and accrues an additional month for each year of service, until s/he reaches the maximum of six (6) months paid medical leave.
Parental leaves of absence are provided for in the CBA. These may be unpaid or partially paid. They may be coordinated with the provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The tenure-clock may be suspended during these leave periods. These issues can be complex, and members are encouraged to call the Union office at (313) 577-1750.
Academic staff members who work on a 12-month basis are granted earned vacation days at their regular rate of pay after an initial four (4) months of service, amounting to twenty-two (22) working days per year. Vacation days will stop accumulating once at twenty-three (23) days (so you must “use them or lose them.” Upon termination (except retirement), those with tenure or ESS will be paid for unused vacation. Those without tenure or ESS, are paid their accumulated vacation, or the remaining dates in his/her appointment, whichever is less.
All employees earn two (2) personal days after 6 (six) months of service, which must be used between October 1st and September 30th. An additional personal day is earned after ten (10) years of service.
There are eight (8) paid holidays: July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Martin Luther King Day, and Memorial Day.
A tenured or tenure-track member of the academic staff may apply for a one or two-semester sabbatical. S/he qualifies for application for a one-semester sabbatical after six (6) semesters of service. The reimbursement is 80% for that semester. After six (6) years (twelve  semesters), s/he qualifies for a one-semester sabbatical at 80% of salary, or two semesters at 60% of salary.
Applications for sabbaticals must be submitted to the unit administrator by November 15th of the year preceding the academic year in which the sabbatical is to be taken, and are reviewed by the University Sabbatical Committee.
Promotion procedures are specified in Article XXII. Except for exceptional circumstances, academic staff members become eligible for a promotion once in a particular rank for a minimum of three (3) years. A promotion also results in a five percent (5%) pay increase. The academic staff in each unit where three (3) or more academic staff hold ESS or tenure, elect an Academic Staff Promotion & ESS/Tenure Committee. This committee is responsible for initially evaluating candidates and for making promotion recommendations. The ASSC has compiled very helpful resources for academic staff applying for promotion. To see more information about the timeline and preparation for promotion, click here. To see information about preparing your packet, click here.
The academic staff member has no right to receive promotion or tenure/ESS, but s/he has a right to fair consideration for either of these. If the Union believes that a candidate did not get fair consideration, through some violation of normal procedure, for example, it may file a grievance. If the grievance is successful, the arbitrator may not award a promotion, but the matter is forwarded to the following year’s University-Wide Promotion and Tenure Committee for reconsideration in the light of the arbitrator’s decision.
You are eligible for ESS after four or more years of ESS-track service, including credited prior service at WSU. The procedure for ESS is nearly identical with the procedure for granting promotions, and is administered by the same committees. The ASSC has compiled very helpful resources for academic staff applying for ESS. To see some helpful strategies for applying for ESS, click here. To see information about preparing your packet, click here.
If the dean/vice president does not recommend employment security status, the candidate may, within fifteen (15) days after written notice of the decision, request, in writing, reconsideration. Please contact the Union as soon as possible if you are considering an appeal of an ESS decision.
For certain personal or professional reasons a faculty member may request a one-year stoppage on the ESS clock. Please contact the Union if this something in which you may be interested.
Retirement and Resignation
To retire from WSU, you must have attained age 55, and have ten (10) years of service with the University, or five (5) years of University contributions in the retirement program.
All bargaining unit members who qualify for retirement, and retire from WSU, are eligible for coverage under the healthcare plans available to members of the bargaining unit. Retirees shall be responsible for paying the full premium for coverage.
All bargaining unit members who qualify for retirement, and retire from WSU at the age of Medicare eligibility, are eligible for coverage under the plans currently authorized to administer Medicare contracts. Retirees shall be responsible for paying the full premium for coverage.
A member of the bargaining unit who has received University contributions to the WSU retirement program for five (5) years, or who has served ten (10) years in the University and retires after age fifty-five (55) shall, upon retirement, qualify for the $2,500 retirement life insurance policy in force, fully paid by the University.
Academic staff with ESS or tenure, and ten (10) or more years of full-time service to the University, may retire through the Academic Staff Buy-out Program. Academic staff with 10-19 years who elect this program, shall receive a payment of $8,500 per annum for a 3-year period. Academic staff with 20 or more years of full-time service to the University shall receive a payment of $12,000 per annum for a period of three (3) years.
For more information on retirement, click here.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) provides for a wide range of benefits. Healthcare is managed through the Office of Total Compensation and Wellness. Their website has all of the forms you need to get started or to change your benefits. The CBA also provides for tuition assistance for both faculty and academic staff, as well as a confidential service for matters ranging from financial difficulties to family turmoil. For more information about this Employee Assistance Program (EAP), click here.
A Letter of Agreement on online teaching was appended to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), that provides for a joint Union-Administration Committee to negotiate an agreement on the terms that the University will follow in the assignment of online courses. This process should be finished by January 2014.
Notice of Non-Renewal
Generally, the initial term contract between a bargaining unit member and the University is for one (1) year or less. Sometimes, they are for two (2) years, and occasionally, three (3) years. Under normal circumstances, for bargaining unit members on the tenure-track or ESS-track, only the initial term appointment may be for one (1) year or less. Subsequent renewals shall normally be for multiple years.
Notices of non-renewal must be in writing, and personally served or mailed to the bargaining unit member’s home address by certified, express, or registered mail, or via a method that provides a receipt showing the date sent.
For academic staff on the ESS-track, written notice of non-renewal shall be sent at least three (3) months prior to the expiration of a term appointment during the first two (2) years. Non-renewal during the third (3rd) and fourth (4th) years shall be sent at least six (6) months prior to the expiration of the appointment. In subsequent reappointments, written notice of non-renewal shall be sent at least twelve (12) months prior to the expiration of the appointment. A member of the academic staff who receives a notice of non-renewal for the final year prior to attaining ESS may request the job-related reasons for the non-renewal from the dean/vice president. Such job-related reasons shall be based on the totality of the academic staff member’s employment record, including the annual written reviews described in Sections C.1 and C.3 of this Article.
For academic staff on the tenure-track, written notice of non-renewal of appointment shall be sent at least three (3) months prior to the expiration of initial term appointments that are less than two (2) academic years. In subsequent reappointments of less than two (2) years, written notice of non-renewal shall be sent at least six (6) months prior to the expiration of an appointment. Where the term appointment is for two (2) or more academic years, written notice shall be sent at least twelve (12) months prior to the expiration of the appointment.
Department/College/School Review Committee
When a new chair, dean, or administrator of similar function is to be appointed, a committee will be formed to recommend candidates. The administrator chosen shall not have an appointment longer than five (5) years. This committee is called a Selection Advisory Committee. For more information about the selection and constitution of the committee, please see Article XVIII, Selection Advisory Committees.
One (1) year prior to the end of this administrator’s term, a review committee shall be formed. At least three-fourths (3/4) of the committee members will have ESS or tenure, except in clinical departments of the Medical School. Except in the case of the School of Medicine, or the University Libraries or Archives, half (1/2) of the bargaining unit members of the committee will be from the department/School/College in question, and half (1/2) of the bargaining unit members will be appointed by the President. An additional student member of the committee will be selected by the Student Council.
In the case of the University Libraries or Archives, the committee will include representation from the bargaining unit members in the affected unit. In the School of Medicine, the membership of the committee will include N members elected by the School, N members appointed by the University President, one (1) student member chosen by the School of Medicine Student Council, and at the discretion of the President, up to N-1 members from affiliate medical organizations. If N-1 representatives of affiliate medical organizations are added, the President may increase the number of Presidential appointees to N+1.
The President will appoint the chair of the committee and establish procedures for review. This committee will evaluate the progress of the department/School/College, and will forward a report to the President or his/her designee.