CTC Link updates

June 2018 (update)

A DTB was filed on 1/5/18 to modify the Community College Coalition contract for the implementation of I-1433 (paid sick leave & minimum wage law). The parties remain in the process of exchanging language that would update the contract to reflect legally required changes. At this time WFSE is still awaiting the employer’s counter proposal.

Various DTB’s have been filed related to the implementation of CTC Link. A meeting was held 11/18/16 to discuss with the employer the many concerns at the pilot colleges (Spokane and Tacoma) and what must be avoided moving forward. The team for this meeting was Tom Cline, Brenda Martinson, Tracy Stanley, Patti Hermoso, Sherri-Ann Burke, Jennifer Dixon, Laura Hartless, and Amy Spiegel. Below is a detailed summary of the issue broken into categories:

Issue

CTC-Link Implementation by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC), the failure of the Colleges to notify WFSE, and the resulting negative impacts on WFSE members, students and the community.

What is CTC-Link?

Similar to HRMS in General Government, CTC-Link is new software that creates a single, centralized system of online functions to give students, faculty and staff "anytime, anywhere" access to doing their college business. The intent, according to the SBCTC, is that as the current administrative system is replaced, colleges will also align their core business processes with the delivered software solution. There is not yet clarity on what this means for our membership. The cost of the software was approximately $100 million according to the Spokesman Review (does not include associated FTE's).

Current Status (As of 11/2016)

Following numerous delays, the current intent is implementation in "waves" as follows:

  • Pilot Colleges (implemented August 2015): CC's of Spokane & Tacoma 
  • Wave 1 (TBD - Delayed but new date not yet determined): Green River, Lower Columbia and Peninsula
  • Wave 2 (TBD): Renton, Seattle Colleges, and Shoreline
  • Wave 3 (TBD): Bellevue, Centralia, Everett, South Puget Sound, and Whatcom

Note that all colleges are implementing but only those where there are WFSE BU's are listed above.

The CTC-Link Steering Committee, a policy and decision-making body, meets monthly and includes representatives from WACTC, the WACTC Technology Committee (WACTC-Tech), the Washington State Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), a member of each WACTC commission, and SBCTC. There is no labor involvement.

Known Impacts

Much has been said regarding errors and glitches being "old news" however that is simply false. CC's of Spokane estimate that, even now, the system is only 17% functional and we have reports of serious problems as recently as Fall 2016 Quarter at pilot colleges.

Members:

  • Workload increases for all staff using system, particularly finance - this is exacerbated tremendously when errors occur drawing walk-ins who need assistance 
  • Staff at pilot colleges are dealing daily with tears, anger, and cursing and are unable to offer a fix due to the inadequate system - highly negative work environment and little job satisfaction
  • Highly inadequate training and unclear or insufficient communication from CTC-Link helpdesk - "each area (or pillar) speaks a different language and there are not interpreters" was a comment made in reference to the new terminology and lack of training 
  • Classified duties are being redirected to exempt staff (skimming) at TCC
  • Purchasing processes take 2-3 times as long to complete 
  • Purchasing and/or contract duties are being removed from incumbents due to inflexible access in system creating need for separation of duties 
  • Blackout periods for vacation approvals preceding, during and immediately following implementation
  • Non-payment of wages to employees upon implementation at pilot colleges
  • Incorrect W-2's issued to staff following data conversion at pilot colleges - this was not corrected until after taxes were filed resulted in amended filings and added costs to the employees impacted
  • Leave tracked inaccurately and in conflict with contract provisions - problem areas include PLD, PH, LWOP, and cyclic leave

Students and Communities:

  • Non-payment of funds to students upon implementation at pilot colleges - this resulted in their inability to pay rent, tuition, etc. 
  • Overpayment of funds to students at pilot colleges as recently as Fall 2016 Quarter - recovery is now being attempted resulting in their potential inability to pay rent, tuition, etc. 
  • Students erroneously charged up to 20 times the appropriate technology fees at pilot colleges. (Some did not notice and, to our knowledge, their money was not refunded)
  • Students erroneously refunded parking fees at pilot colleges 
  • Students due refunds as a result of errors had moneys held and applied to a subsequent quarter without their knowledge at pilot colleges - in at least one case this reduced a student's benefit eligibility

Bargaining Status

None of the colleges sent notice to the WFSE regarding CTC-Link and, when questioned, blamed SBCTC for being the decision-maker. The first notice received was regarding a small piece of CTC-Link, a proposed change in LWOP calculation, on March 16, 2016. This was 7 months after implementation of CTC-Link at pilot colleges. A DTB was filed for each college in response to that notice. Following much debate, we have agreed to hold more global meetings in phases to discuss issues at the pilot and Wave 1 colleges.

Request to the SBCTC

Given the significant financial investment it does not seem likely the system will be removed although that would be our first desire due to its proven deficiencies. Rather, the following two requests are quite reasonable given the history:

  • Delay any further implementation, including Wave 1, until all issues are addressed at each of the pilot colleges and the software fixes are in place to ensure they will not recur
  • WFSE participation in the CTC-Link Steering Committee

CTC-Link Update December 2016: The Employer has withdrawn their notice of changing LWOP calculations. The overarching issue remains in DTB and discussions will continue.

CTC-Link Update January 2017: We are still discussing how to transition the many open DTB’s on the LWOP recalculation into one overarching DTB on CTC-Link, more to come. Wave 1 colleges no longer have a target implementation date, this is further delayed and at this point it is “to be determined.” It has been confirmed that 2016 tax documents are accurate this year at CCS. In addition, an agreement was made at CCS to extend the window for requesting leave cashout due to CTC-Link’s inability to accurately calculate leave balances. Below is the extension notice sent to employees on 1/30/17:             

“From: CCS, Payroll
Sent: Monday, January 30, 2017 11:01 AM
To: CCS, Everyone <[email protected]>
Subject: Sick Leave Buy Out Option
Importance: High

Colleagues:

The CBA and the Faculty Master Contract both stipulate that Sick Leave Buy Out letters be sent to employees by the end of January. However, because of on-going issues with leave balances in ctcLink, these letters will be sent by the Payroll office to eligible employees by mid-February. For affected employees who choose to exercise this option, compensation will be paid on the March payrolls. Please email [email protected] if you have any questions.  

We appreciate your patience and understanding.

 Payroll, Community Colleges of Spokane”

 CTC-Link Update February 2017: We have now closed all of the open LWOP calculation DTB’s due to the Employer’s withdrawal of their proposed changes. This has been replaced with one overarching DTB on CTCLink and we will meet as notice of changes is received. We also continue to monitor and address contract violations as they occur at the pilot colleges.

CTC-Link Update March 2017: A number of significant issues and questions have come up. We’ve sent those questions and concerns to OFM/SBCTC and are still awaiting a response. More to come.

CTC-Link Update April 2017: We’ve received responses to the questions referenced in the March update and have since learned that the CTC Link contractor, Ciber, has filed for bankruptcy. In addition, Ciber has filed a law suit against the State of Washington and the SBCTC. There is much unknown at this point but we have made it very clear that relief is necessary for our impacted members at pilot colleges. More to come as we get updates.

CTC-Link Update May 2017: Following concerns being raised that the colleges and/or SBCTC is once again looking to implement changes without bargaining, we reached out to OFM to follow up. OFM is reminding colleges and the SBCTC of the requirements to follow the CBA and meet bargaining obligations regarding any changes being discussed. At this time, there has been no further movement on implementation as a result of the flaws in CTC Link. In addition, the SBCTC has announced a new CTC Link project director and Ciber staff are no longer in the SBCTC office.

  • CTC-Link Update June 2017: No changes.
  • CTC-Link Update July 2017: No changes.
  • CTC-Link Update August 2017: No changes.
  • CTC-Link Update September 2017: No changes.
  • CTC-Link Update October 2017: No changes.
  • CTC-Link Update November 2017: No changes.
  • CTC-Link Update December 2017: No changes.