LETTER ACCEPTING CANDIDACY OF JENNY LEE AND KYE CARBONE FOR UNION PRESIDENT AND EXPLAINING ELECTION PROCEDURES TO CANDIDATES 

For the Fall 2014 Re-Run Election for Union President of Local 1460 UFCT

IN THE INTEREST OF TRANSPARENCY AND FAIRNESS, THE LETTER ACCEPTING CANDIDATE’S ELIGIBILITY AND OUTLINING THE ELECTION PROCEDURES, SENT TO THE CANDIDATES BY THE ELECTION COMMITTEE, ON NOV. 9TH, 2014, IS BEING PROVIDED BELOW FOR ALL MEMBERS TO SEE:

Union Letter to Kye and Jenny

The Elections Committee

election2014local1460@gmail.com

2014 Re-run Election for Union President of Local UFCT 1460

Dear Union Members,

The Union Elections Committee  of Pratt Institute announces the 2014 Re-run Election for President of the Union Local UFCT 1460.

This election will start on:

December 3rd at 12 p.m. Eastern and conclude on:

December 12th at 5 p.m. Eastern.

Candidates: Jenny Lee and Kye Carbone.

This election is being rerun due to a technical violation of the LMRDA that the union was made aware of after the December 2013 election.

The candidates have been asked to provide statements which will are posted on the Union website.

Method of polling will be by electronic balloting administered by Votenet.

You will receive an email and paper mailing from VoteNet instructing you how to cast your vote securely and privately.

If you are not able to vote for any reason, please contact the election committee below.

Please note that we the Elections Committee, will be sending out additional reminders and notification by email up to the time of the election but please be aware of this upcoming important election.

SPECIFIC VOTING INSTRUCTIONS WILL BE PROVIDED BY VOTENET. We will post them on the website before December 3rd and as soon as they are available.

Thank you for your attention,

The Elections Committee

election2014local1460@gmail.com

2014 Re-Run Election for President – Candidate Statements

Hello Members,

We are happy to announce the beginning of the Fall 2014 Re-Run Election for Union President of Local 1460 UFCT.

This election will be starting December 3rd and concluding on December 12th, 2014.  Specific times and instructions will be following shortly.

The candidates are Kye Carbone and Jenny Lee. Their election statements are provided below:

Candidate’s Statements:

Kye Carbone:

Kye Carbone for UFCT Local 1460 President:  A Decade of Positive Faculty Accomplishment

I am honored to again be nominated for President of UFCT Local 1460.

Since 2003, I have faithfully served the office of Union President.  I believe I have demonstrated the necessary strength, forthrightness, integrity, honesty, drive, focus, and transparency of means warranting leading our Union going forward.

Accordingly, I respectfully ask for your enthusiastic and affirmative vote.

Moreover, a vote for me is a vote of confidence for the Local’s elected officers: Emily Beall (VP), Holly Wilson (Secretary), and Dennis Masback (Treasurer). As a team, we are dedicated to strengthening faculty’s roles in academic life at Pratt Institute.  As a Union, it is our individual acts that coalesce to form collective gains.

Three pillars constitute effective union governance:  I. Contract enforcement, II. Grievance adjustment and III. Collective bargaining. I have a deep and demonstrable understanding of each.  I led the negotiating team for our last three Contracts, which encompass twelve-years of verifiable gains in salary, benefits, rights and protections:

  • annual percentage increases of 3+% a year;
  • FT salary and PT rate increases, granting 10-15% at promotion;
  • expanded health benefits for PT Faculty;
  • expanded medical leave for PT Faculty, full medical leave for FT and CCE;
  • increased sabbatical leaves for tenured Faculty;
  • equity “adjustments” for FT Faculty;
  • strengthened Academic Freedom to protect faculty’s right to input on curriculum

I continue to pledge my dedication and commitment to the challenges that invariably lie ahead and promise never to lose sight of the confidence and trust you have bestowed upon me.

In Solidarity,

Kye

Jenny Lee:       Statement not provided by candidate.

 

The Elections Committee

election2014local1460@gmail.com

UFCT Local 1460 Fall ’14 General Membership Meetings

Dear UFCT Local 1460 Members,

The current 2011-2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) will expire on August 31, 2015.

The UFCT Local 1460 has been in ‘contract’ with the Pratt Administration since 1972 when the Union was first granted recognition as “the exclusive bargaining representative for all full-time and regular part-time members of the faculty presently or hereafter employed by the Institute in the bargaining unit certified as appropriate for election by the National Labor Relations Board”.

It is in this tradition that we will be calling for negotiations to begin in spring 2015, thus entering a new negotiation-cycle w/the Pratt Administration for our next CBA.

The Union wishes to gather input from all bargaining unit members regarding said negotiations: What are the most pressing issues at hand?, What issues should comprise our ‘slate of demands’?

Our delegates have started this process in individual department/area(s) and collectively as an ‘Assembly’ which is open to all dues-paying members.

As UFCT President, I will therefore be holding three open-form ‘General Membership Meetings’ this Fall ’14 semester:

(1) Tuesday, 10/28 – ENGR #109, 5:00PM – 6:00PM

(2) Monday, 11/17 – ENGR #111, 5:00PM – 6:00PM

(3) Thursday, 12/11 – ENGR #109, 5:00PM – 6:00PM

Please bring your questions and concerns about the negotiation process: What is a negotiation?, What happens in a negotiation?, When is an issue or demand withdrawn?, How does the Union counter an administrative demand?

Directly following each GMM, will be a ‘Happy-Hour (two or three!) at the newly re-opened Brooklyn Public House (DeKalb & Vanderbilt).

Looking forward!

In Solidarity,

Kye

‘Clarification': Academic Calendar & “Studio” Days

Dear UFCT Members,

In my 8/24 email re. the new academic-calendar, studio-days, and ‘poaching’, I stated the following: “The Administration did not have a hand in “poaching”. Yet, I wholeheartedly agree, the Pratt “roll-out” for “studio days” is clumsy at best…”

It turns out, my statement is not completely accurate. Some administrators have indeed had a hand in poaching, as pointed-out and explained by our faculty colleague: Chris Jensen (Associate Professor, Math & Science, conferred tenure 2014, congrats!)

Note the following “summary of the poaching problem” which comes from Chris, a UFCT member and faculty representative on the campus-wide Calendar Committee. This summary represents Chris’ perspective alone and is not necessarily shared by other (faculty and non-faculty) members of the Calendar Committee…

“Based on what I learned as a member of the Calendar Committee, parts of Pratt’s Administration have definitely had a hand in the problem of class time ‘poaching’. Individual instructors also poach time, but this happens more rarely and much less systematically. The biggest poaching problems involve an administrator — most prominently department chairs in Interior Design, Communications Design, Industrial Design, and Architecture — who “schedules” one to five days of mandatory views/crits/survey; during this time students are expected to prioritize these studio activities over regularly-scheduled non-studio courses. This has been going on for a long time, and as far as I can tell represents a form of insubordination: the Provost and Registrar say this cannot happen, but certain Department Chairs just go ahead and poach time anyway.

The new calendar was designed to end this practice by giving those programs that hold comprehensive “crit weeks” the space they need to operate. Rather than having these departments steal time, the Calendar Committee figured that we should just give these programs what they claim to need. We all realized that these year-end crits are valuable; they just could no longer poach time from other courses.

The Calendar Committee considered the CBA in making its recommendation for Studio Days to the Provost. Whether or not these administrator-imposed crit weeks represent a violation of the CBA comes down to contact hours. If instructors show up for their normal weekly contact hours during the crit week — but just do so on a modified schedule — then presumably this is not a violation insofar as there is not expectation of any contact with students during the following “finals week”. Studio Days need not violate the CBA if properly scheduled and implemented by department and program chairs. That said, UFCT members should be vigilant, looking out for Studio Days requests on their time that exceed their contractually-mandated total of contact hours per course.”

Many thanks to Chris for this clarification.

In Solidarity,

Kye

Academic Calendar & “Studio” Days

Dear Pratt Faculty Colleague,

Many of you have written me privately inquiring about this year’s Academic Calendar and so-called “studio-days”.

To be clear:  No faculty member is obligated to teach more than fifteen (15) sessions per course / per semester, as we are contracted; thus, paid for 15 sessions per course, per semester. Therefore, at base, I take the new implementation of ‘studio-days’ to mean that a faculty member either works during the studio-days week (for their final 15th class), OR works during ‘exam’ week (for their final 15th class). If teaching ‘studio’, your final critiques will fall within the studio-days week, if teaching ‘lecture’ then exams fall within finals week.

Moreover, the fall 2014 semester is not any longer in duration than usual, it beginning on: Monday 8/25 (the first day of the semester), and ending: Friday 12/19 (the last day of the semester). This period encompasses some seventeen calendar weeks, which is par-for-the-‘course’ (pun intended) to accommodate some twenty-plus individual and independent undergraduate, graduate, studio, and lecture department/area(s).

As example, for myself, I teach Wednesdays (my first class: 8/27th), and other than a missed Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving), I am for the most part holding class on consecutive Wednesdays week-by-week; thus, my last or 15th class (I teach undergraduate studio, the last class no more than a final in class critique…) is held on Wednesday, 12/10th.

Which is to say, the 15th class for studio courses will fall within the week of 12/8th…, and for or liberal arts courses, during the week of 12/15th…

Further, determining when a semester begins, ends, and/or when there will be semester breaks and/or days-off in between, are all administrative prerogatives; not withstanding their having to accommodate national and religious holidays. And, although ‘service’ on committees, etc, is certainly a part of faculty work (outside of teaching), particularly for full-time and CCE adjuncts, being invited to, or attending a faculty colleague’s critique or student review, is not, and will never be, recognized as a form of required faculty “service”. In a word, no faculty member is now being required to attend anything they do not wish to.

To reiterate, there is no added week or 16th class-session now being required of any faculty member institute-wide, thus no violation of a[ny] faculty term and condition of employment. Moreover, no ‘new’ faculty member is now required to teach beyond 15 sessions per semester.

Were this calendar change however, as many thought or feared, a surreptitious means for expanding faculty teaching hours without due compensation, the matter would have had to have been negotiated w/the Union. It was not, as it is not the case that in said changes to Pratt’s academic-calendar, and now with the memorization of ‘studio-days’, faculty are now being required to teach an ‘additional’ week.

That said, the implementation of ‘studio-days’ is actually an outgrowth of the unfortunate reality of [faculty] “poaching”, wherein a faculty colleague schedules his/her final student presentations or reviews, on days-or-times outside or beyond his/her regular scheduled class time(s):

  • ‘Imaginary’ Example:  ‘Design Studio’ meets Wednesdays 2:00-5:00, but final reviews are (incredulously) scheduled for Thursday at 9:30-12:30 [?], which is when you, I, or another professor teaches the same student, or section of students, but for another course. This ‘design’ professor In this example, is effectively ‘poaching’ on your time, my time, or another professor’s class-time.

The Administration did not have a hand in “poaching”. Yet, I wholeheartedly agree, the Pratt “roll-out” for “studio days” is clumsy at best, which unfortunately is too often the case w/such Pratt administrative initiatives, wherein a needless sense of insecurity is created for no good reason.

Alas, rest assured, there is no threat to our teaching.

Wishing all members an amazing fall 2014 semester

In Solidarity,

Kye

 

Need for UFCT to Re-Run Fall 2013 Officer Election for the Position of President

As a result of a complaint filed with the American Federation of Teachers (UFCT’s “parent” union), the UFCT will re-run the Fall 2013 officer election for the position of President.

The AFT recommended this rerun because of “a defect in the election process concerning the notice of election,” in violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act.  Here is the full text of the AFT response: Response to Pratt College Election Investigation Request

The AFT also recommended we develop a Constitution and Bylaws.  A Constitution and Bylaws was developed and ratified, by membership vote, in May 2014, and can be found here, on this website.

A subsequent complaint containing a different allegation was filed with the Department of Labor.  The Department of Labor found, in response to the allegation, that no violation of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act occurred.  Findings from US Dept of Labor 29 May 2014.  The Department of Labor subsequently issued a Statement of Reasons for their decision.  Statement of Reasons from the US Dept of Labor 22 July 2014.