CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR THE OFFICES OF: PRESIDENT, VICE PRESIDENT, SECRETARY AND TREASURER UFCT LOCAL 1460, AFL-CIO, PRATT INSTITUTE

Dear Faculty Union Member:

This letter is to inform you of the Procedure for Nominations to begin the process of holding elections for UFCT President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. These four officers comprise the organization’s Executive Committee as specified in the Constitution or the Bylaws. For descriptions of the duties of these officers, and of the Executive Committee as a whole, please see the bottom of this document. Terms are for three years; the current term will expire on December 31, 2016.

On September 1st, you will be receiving an email from the outside organization Votenet or eBallot that will be conducting both the nominations procedure and the general elections for UFCT in 2016 in accordance with the AFT Constitution, the local Bylaws and the standards set out by the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA).The ballot they send you will enable you to write-in the name of a candidate for any of the positions listed above. Online nominations will begin September 1, and will end at 5pm on September 22, 2016.

Here are the rules for Nominations as stipulated by the bylaws:

  1. Any member in good standing may nominate someone for office, including one’s self. [Agency payers are ineligible to vote or to have their names nominated for office]
  2. A nominee must have been a member in good standing for at least one year prior to his or her nomination.
  3. A nominee must receive at least four (4) supporting nominations, including self-nominations, in order to be eligible to appear on the ballot during General Election.
  4. You are not obligated to submit a nomination for all four positions.
  5. After reviewing the nominations, the Elections Committee will validate the eligibility of nominees. Eligible nominees will then be contacted and may either accept or deny their nomination.
  6. Once the nominees have been established, ballots for the General Election will be prepared in accordance with our local’s bylaws and LMRDA. At that time, Final Nominees may be invited to submit a half-page statement with respect to their qualifications and beliefs regarding the office they are seeking.
  7. Soon thereafter, rules for General Election balloting and ballots will be mailed to union members after receiving all materials from the candidates.

Again, please be on the lookout for an email from Votenet/eBallot. This email will contain a link to the Write-In Nomination ballot. All nomination ballots must be received by Votenet by September 22, 2016 at 5pm.

Thank you for your participation!

Your 2016 UFCT Elections Committee:

Luis Alonso, Linda Lauro-Lazin, and Laura Elrick

**********

Definition and Duties of our Officers, taken from our Bylaws:

Article V: Officers of the Union

5.1 The Union’s four (4) officers shall be: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. These four officers shall comprise of the organization’s Executive Committee.

5.2 All officers shall perform the customary duties and exercise the usual powers of such offices as specified in the Constitution or the Bylaws.

Article I: Duties of the Officers

1.1 President: The President shall be the chief executive officer of the the UFCT Local 1460 and shall preside at meetings of the Executive Committee and membership meetings. The President shall make decisions between meetings on the basis of organizational policy, making every effort to consult with Executive Committee, and shall have such powers as may be required for the exercise of those duties.

1.2 Vice President: The Vice President shall assist the President and assume the duties of that office in the absence of the President, and shall become President if that office is vacated.

1.3 Treasurer: The Treasurer shall be responsible for maintaining accurate financial records, the payment of all bills, the annual audit of the union’s financial status which shall be disseminated to membership, for maintaining a budget, and for reporting the dues- paying status of membership.

1.4 Secretary: The Secretary shall be responsible for the preparation of the minutes of the Executive Committee and of the membership meetings, and for their prompt dissemination to the membership, and shall maintain the non-financial records of the union.

Article II: Executive Committee

2.1 The Executive Committee shall meet monthly, or at the call of the President, or at the call of two (2) or more of its members, or at the call of the Delegates Assembly, for the purpose of initiating, overseeing or revising the program of the organization and to conduct other business of the organization that is within its authority. A quorum for the Executive Committee shall be a majority of its members.

2.2 The Executive Committee with the assistance of the Treasurer shall prepare, establish, and present to the Delegates Assembly and the membership an annual budget in the month prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.

2.3 The Executive Committee shall employ all professional, technical, clerical, and support staff of the organization.

2.4 The Executive Committee shall establish the salary, benefits, and expense guidelines of any general officer who is employed by the organization.

2.5 The Executive Committee shall be empowered to make contracts and incur liabilities including the purchase of services, equipment, and real property, to borrow money, to secure such obligations by mortgage or other instrument, and to otherwise engage in financial transactions to the extent permitted by applicable law or statute. The Executive Committee shall have the power to sue, complain, and defend on behalf of the membership.

2.6 The Executive Committee shall be responsible for adherence to and enforcement of the Constitution and Bylaws of the organization.

2.7 The Executive Committee shall issue regular reports, including an annual report, to the Delegates Assembly and the membership.

UFCT MOU 2016-2021 Ratification Vote Results

The results for the UFCT MOU 2016-2021 Ratification Vote Results for the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between UFCT Local 1460 and the Pratt Administration for the 2016-2021 Academic Years which was completed at 5pm on June 15, 2016 were as follows:

Out of 374 eligible members, 139 (37%) Voted.

Votes for YES, I vote to APPROVE the MOU: 137 (99%)

Votes for NO, I vote to REJECT the MOU: 2 (1%)

For more detailed results from Votenet, click here.

UFCT MOU 2016-2021 Ratification Vote

UFCT MOU 2016-2021 Ratification Vote

Dear UFCT Voting Members,Our union contract negotiating team has reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Pratt Administration for the 2016-2021 Academic Years. If ratified, this MOU will become our new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Here is the link to the Pratt Faculty Union’s webpage announcing and explaining the proposed 2016-2021 MOU:
New MOU!!! Membership meetings May 31-June 3 | The Pratt Faculty Union

There will be four, two- hour meetings held for members to learn about the new MOU. We encourage you to attend at least one of those meetings:

  • Tuesday, May 31, from 10am-noon, in the Alumni Reading Room
  • Wednesday, June 1, from 10am-noon, in the Alumni Reading Room
  • Thursday, June 2, from 10am-noon, in the Alumni Reading Room
  • Friday, June 3, from 10am-noon, in Library MMB (lower level, behind the desk to the right).

If you cannot attend any of the meetings, please review the MOU and, should you have any questions, contact The Executive Committee via email or by calling the union office and leaving a voicemail at
718-636-3614.
Someone from the negotiating team will get back to you ASAP (don’t forget to leave a return phone number).

The 2016 MOU Ratification Committee have secured the services of Votenet Solutions (in Washington, D.C.) to oversee and facilitate this  contract ratification vote. Votenet was provided a full name and email list of 375 eligible voting members (Agency fee payers are ineligible). 

On Wednesday, June 8, all eligible voters will receive a ballot directly from Votenet.

We, the Ratification committee, have no access or influence upon the vote other than acting as facilitators.
Voting will begin at 9am on Wednesday/June 8
Voting  will end at 5pm on Wednesday/June 15.

If you have any difficulties voting or questions regarding the voting process itself please contact the 2016 MOU Ratification Committeeat contractratificationcomm2015@gmail.com (We are continuing to use the email address from the 2015 MOU ratification).

In Solidarity,
The 2016 MOU Ratification Committee
(Luis Alonso, Laura Elrick, Linda Lauro-Lazin)

New MOU!!! Membership meetings May 31-June 3

Dear UFCT Local 1460 Voting Member,

On May 2nd, the Union Negotiating Team closed negotiations with the Pratt Administration!

The signed “Memorandum of Understanding” (or MOU), which outlines changes to our Collective Bargaining Agreement, is below for you to review.  Additionally, there is an “explanation” PDF of the MOU with short blurbs explaining the changes.

There will be four, two-hour meetings for members to learn about the new MOU.  They will be

  • Tuesday, May 31, from 10am-noon, in the Alumni Reading Room
  • Wednesday, June 1, from 10am-noon, in the Alumni Reading Room
  • Thursday, June 2, from 10am-noon, in the Alumni Reading Room
  • Friday, June 3, from 10am-noon, in Library MMB (lower level, behind the desk to the right).

Additionally, for anyone unable to attend any of these sessions; yet have questions… please feel free to call the union office and leave a voicemail 718-636-3614 and someone from the negotiating team will get back to you ASAP (don’t forget to leave a return phone number).

Shortly after the review sessions, the Elections Committee will run a “ratification vote” for this MOU.  All members will be asked to vote on this MOU.

Stay tuned, and we hope to see you at one of the meetings!

UFCT MOU 2016-2021 – signed copy

MOU 50550265_2 26May15_explainations (1)

 

New Contract!!!

From:  Kye Carbone

Date:  Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dear UFCT Dues Paying Member,

As we come to the close of the ’15-’16 AY, the UFCT can confidently announce we are looking at a new five-year Contract with the Pratt Administration!

In the next few weeks, the negotiating team will thoroughly review a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) enumerating all contractual changes.  We will then forward this MOU to all dues paying members for review.  Additionally, the Union’s Negotiating Team will conduct multiple review sessions, and be available for questions.

Following this thorough review, we will ask the Elections Committee to conduct a ratification vote of the MOU.

It is our belief and hope that this review and ratification process can be accomplished within the next five-to-six weeks, so as to not get too deep into the summer months, and allowing the Institute sufficient time to update all necessary systems by September 1, 2016, the start date of this new CBA/Contract..

As you’ll recall, our two main focus-points for this negotiation cycle were:  (1) Adjunct ‘Equity’, and (2) CCE / Librarian [Pay] ‘Parity’.

As such–while holding the line on all other past contractual gains–our focus was on how to make bold strides in such areas of equity and parity, while maintaining a continued record of robust percentage increases across-the-board for each year of the Contract.

(We have had 3% or or more each year for the last twelve-years.  Should we ratify the MOU, we are looking at 3% or more for the next five years as well…)

Highlights

  • Five year Contract, across-the-board annual percentage increases as follows:  3% (’16-’17), 3% (’17-’18), 3% (’18-’19), 3.25% (19-’20), and 3.25% (’20-’21);
  • Administration contributions to TIAA-CREF accounts as follows:  7%, 5%, 5%, 5%, and in the fifth year 7%;
  • $25,000 Librarian Equity Fund (salary adjustments made prior to any annual percentage increase);
  • $300,000 Adjunct & Adjunct w/CCE Equity FUnd (dispensed over two years:  $150,000 in 2017 & $150,000 in 2018; contact hourly rate adjustments made prior to any annual percentage increase);
  • Additional 2% increases on all CCE rates for year one and two (applied prior to any across-the-board % increase);
  • Lowering the current 25% medical contribution rate for CCE Faculty to 15%!

It is the view of this Union and its negotiating team that effective collective bargaining requires that ALL faculty shall benefit!  We are confident that when reviewed in full, by you, the voting membership, you will agree that this is great deal for us ALL!

In solidarity,

Kye

 

MOU Ratification Vote Results

Dear Members,

We would like to announce the final results of the UFCT1460 MOU Ratification Vote:
Overall Participation was 42.39% (167 out of 394).

164 Members voted to APPROVE the MOU.
3 Members voted to REJECT the MOU.
The Certification of Results and Audit Report on Activity and Integrity provided by Votenet Solutions will be posted on our website shortly.

In Solidarity,
The Pratt UFCT 1460 MOU/Contract Ratification Committee
(Luis Alonso, Mark O’Grady, Linda Lauro-Lazin and Darini Nicholas)

Contract Ratification Vote

The Pratt UFCT1460 MOU/Contract Ratification Committee Announces the Contract Ratification Vote for the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the UFCT Local 1460 and the Pratt Administration for the 2015-2016 Academic Year (Voting will begin at 1am on Thursday, Sept. 10th & end at 1am on Friday, Sept. 18th)

Dear UFCT Voting Members,

Our union contract negotiating team has reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Pratt Administration for the 2015-2016 Academic Year. If ratified, this MOU will become our new Collective Bargaining Agreement that extends our past contract and includes a 3.25% across the board raise in compensation and a 7% TIAA-CREFF administrative contribution for eligible faculty.

For your information, Kye’s email from Aug. 21st regarding the recent meetings that were held from Sept. 1 – Sept. 4th to review the MOU can be downloaded by clicking the link below:

Kye’s Email from Aug. 21st

The Contract Ratification Committee have secured the services of Votenet Solutions (in Washington, D.C.) to oversee and facilitate our contract ratification vote. Votenet was provided a full name and email list of 394 eligible voting members (Agency fee payers are ineligible).

In the coming days, Votenet will notify all eligible voters with a ballot and voting procedures via email. Voting will begin at 1am on Thursday, Sept. 10th & end at 1am on Friday, Sept. 18th.

Review the MOU by clicking on the link below:

MOU between UFCT and Pratt for AY 2015-2016-1

Should you have questions please contact The Executive Committee. All other questions related to this ratification process can be directed via email to The Contract Ratification Committee at contractratificationcomm2015@gmail.com .

In Solidarity,

The Pratt UFCT 1460 MOU/Contract Ratification Committee

(Luis Alonso, Mark O’Grady, Linda Lauro-Lazin and Darini Nicholas)

Cigna Grievance

Email from Kye to Membership, December 12, 2014
——————
Dear Concerned Members,
W/respect to the ‘extreme’ Cigna cost increases being imposed on Pratt faculty, please read the attached grievance statement as filed on 12/10/14.
The UFCT Local 1460 is determined to pursue arbitration if the Administration’s response to the attached formal grievance statement is less than satisfactory.
Warm Regards,
-Kye

 

MEMORANDUM

TO:                   Peter Barna, Provost

FROM:             Kye Carbone, President UFCT Local 1460

DATE:               December 10, 2014

RE:                    Step III Grievance:

Cigna Plan Changes & Extreme Cost Increases

=====================================================================

One hundred twenty-nine full-time and sixty-five adjunct w/CCE UFCT Local 1460 faculty bargaining unit members are currently enrolled in one of four Cigna plans: Plan A/single, Plan A/family, Plan B/single, or Plan B/family.

Likewise, many of our bargaining unit members are rightfully concerned about what are — from any objective stand-point – extreme cost-increases to these Cigna Plans.

CONTEXT

  • The employer, i.e. the Pratt Institute Administration, through its Human Resources, shops for, and negotiates with various health-care providers, plan-designs for its eligible employees;
  • Pratt’s contract with Cigna recently came-up for renewal. (For the record: over the last decade Pratt has been in contract with Cigna, prior to that Oxford and before that Aetna…);
  • Cigna is demanding — apparently as a condition for contract renewal with Pratt — that should the current A & B plan designs go forward without amendment or change, there will be an across-the-broad increase of 43.8% for each and every employee currently enrolled in Plans A or B;
  • Cigna contends they “lost money” this past year due to the fact that twelve (12) individual claims each exceeded $100,000 in cost, when their ‘probability-rate’ (or cost-loss ratio) for the year was just one (1) claim potentially exceeding $100,000 in cost;
  • The UFCT Local 1460 does not negotiate directly with any health-care provider. We only negotiate w/the Pratt Administration: (1) who should be ‘benefits eligible’ and (2) the respective contribution or percentage rate(s) for its bargaining unit members;
  • At present a FT faculty member contributes 15% of the cost of their health-care plan, while an Adjunct w/CCE contributes 25%. These contribution rates remain the same and are not being increased.

The UFCT met w/HR on November 6th. Break-downs, information, data, and documentation ‘justifying’ the aforementioned Cigna increases were forwarded to the Union, which we have since forwarded to the Local’s State Affiliate: NYSUT for its review.

PLAN PROPOSALS

  • Plan B (the higher of the two options) will continue without loss of benefits but w/a 43.8% increase;
  • The current Plan A will be supplanted or replaced by a new ‘equivalent’ (in coverage) plan, although it disallows any out-of-network care. Moreover, this plan will now be a “High Deductible” alternative, i.e. wherein $1,300 for an individual, and $2,600 for a family plan, must be met before coverage is 100%. The Administration is proposing that they will contribute 100% of these deductibles to respective HSAs or ‘health savings account(s)’. The cost increase for this Plan A alternative will be 8.9% higher for 2015 than the current Plan A for 2014.

Grievance Statement

This Union clearly objects to what we and our members regard as exorbitant, irrational, extreme, and unjustifiable 43.8% increases in the costs of our bargained for health benefits. Cigna’s justification for such extreme increases, as was explained to us at our November 6th meeting, was Cigna’s inexplicable use of a low probability-cost-loss-ratio of one (1) ‘probable’ claim for the year exceeding $100,000, when there were in fact twelve (12) such claims.

It would appear then from the UFCT’s perspective, that in deliberately low-balling the ‘probable’ cost(s) of delivering health-care to Pratt faculty, Cigna is passing-off their diminished profit-margin to the unsuspecting bargaining unit member; who to the tune of a 43.8% increases in cost, will effectively subsidize Cigna’s so-called “loss”. This form of accounting is from the Union’s perspective, dubious at best, and possibly a calculated maneuver on Cigna’s part to appear as benevolent in ‘coming-in-low’ (two years ago) only to gouge their Pratt customers at a later date once we have become comfortable w/our plan-coverage, doctors, and/or health-care providers.

As such, the Union is rightfully concerned about what will be in the end, significant cost-increases to its members, and reserves all rights in contesting through the proper forum: Arbitration: (1) whether Cigna is permitted by law to fleece its customers or the ‘insured’ in using low-probability rates designed to maximize profit, and (2) whether the new high-deductible alternative plan replacing the current Plan A — disallowing any out-of-network care — is in fact “substantially comparable” in accordance w/the 2011-2015 CBA, Article XXVII: Health Benefits, section: 27.2.

To be clear, this Union will not and has not made any demands of the Pratt Administration to: (1) ‘cease and desist’ in withdrawing these plan proposals, or (2) postpone or discontinue its scheduled open-enrollment period… as the Union is convinced that were we to make any such demand(s), the fall-out would most assuredly guarantee that each and every member currently on either of the Plan A or B options, would be gifted by Cigna a draconian 43.8% increase to their respective health-care contribution(s) for the new 2015 year.

The Union believes this is exactly what Cigna wants. We will not be party to such antics.

As such, the Union will not take the bait nor be cuckolded by Cigna in appearing to be standing in the way of members having a choice between their current plan designs, and now, a new high-deductible plan alternative.

Remedy

A formal hearing in which a full-review of all related information & data; cost analyses, and break-downs are presented to the Union, explaining how Cigna was able to impose such extreme increases to the insured.

Questions:

  • Did Pratt ‘shop-around’ for another health-care provider other than Cigna?
  • If so, why did Pratt then choose to renew its contract w/Cigna?
  • Has Cigna acted in good faith?
  • Are Cigna business practices par-for-the-course? Do they meet a reasonable standard with respect to profit, and do such practices comport w/recognized norms within the health-care industry?