Archive for December, 2007

Checking Your File Is Easy

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

I checked my personnel file today as I said I would. The procedure is easy. Go upstairs in J building to Human Resources, and ask one of the clerks to see your file. I asked Charita McClain. Charita gave me the file and directed me

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to the small round table just outside the office. She also gave me a small pad of yellow stickies to put on pages I wanted copied. I thumbed through the file and ten minutes later handed it back. Human Resources could ask that you look through the file under supervision. There was an incident many years ago where some documentation was removed by the employee. So check your file soon and then yearly. If you get into a situation that you think could result in a law suit or in arbitration, check it right away. Wilfred Parsons, ACCCEA Secretary, Faculty Association President

Check Your Personnel File

Thursday, December 6th, 2007

At the last Faculty Association meet I spoke in general about a grievance this

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semester that involved a disciplinary note in the person’s personnel file. I said that the importance of the file is that only material in that file can be used in an arbitration or legal case. I also said that if the administration put something in the file that the person had not seen, the arbitrator or judge would not admit it as evidence. After the meeting, a faculty member corrected me. She said that if the material had been in the file for a long time, it could be used as evidence.

I wrote to Chris Berzinski, our NJEA Higher Ed consultant, and he said that “it doesn’t have to be in a personnel file for a long time for it to be used as evidence. It can be in for a short time – even a few days.”

At least we do have language in our contract saying that only material in the personnel file can be used in the hearing. Without that clause in the contract Chris says “arbitrators can and do bend the general understanding that you can’t use material from other “secret” files depending on the “probative value” of whatever document the administration may try to introduce.”

I have not looked at the contents of my personnel file since the Seventies. I spoke with Dennis today who said he has never checked his file. I suggest that faculty members check their file every year and make a copy of everything in it. I will set a good example and make an appointment to check my file and report back next week. Chris says that, “If a faculty member gets involved in a dispute with the administration, the member should check the file immediately and regularly and copy everything in it.”

What we might want to do in the next negotiations is to add a statement that anything that may be categorized as derogatory in nature cannot be placed in the file without the faculty member being notified and asked to sign an acknowledgement that they have seen it. Will Parsons, ACCCEA Secretary and Faculty Association President