Monthly Archives: May 2008

A letter of support and solidarity from a Union member

Our colleague Jim Costanzo has asked me to circulate his comments…

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Kye,

I appreciate all that you, the negotiating team and other officers have done to negotiate and ratify the contract.

Pratt Institute is at a crossroads and the changes and acrimony that you mentioned go beyond the Union. The Master Academic Plan has proposed significant changes that has generated debates as intense as those involving the Union.

I believe that change is a good thing for the Institute. Those of use who have taught at Pratt for over 10 years will remember that Memorial Hall was at the point of literally collapsing. It was closed and the roof might not have made it through a few more winters, drawing rooms in the main building had to close during heavy rains because of leaks. After numerous renovations the administration has rebuilt the Brooklyn campus and bought a building in Manhattan.

There has also been a serious effort to improve the Institute's reputation. We have always had a good reputation, with some departments and schools rated higher then others, but financial difficulties of the last century have had a negative effect on the academics.

The faculty has consistently worked to improve Pratt's reputation and I hope that we can all agree that a strong and committed Union will work with the Administration to improve the quality of education.

Change is never easy but with an 86% victory I hope that we can return to the reason that we joined the Union, a secure and positive teaching environment.

In Solidarity,

Jim

p.s. Kye please send this out to the rest of the Union members. My email cant deal with that many recipients.

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kyecarbone2@aol.com wrote:

Dear UFCT Member:

I am obviously thrilled that the 2007-2011 Collective Bargaining >

Agreement has been ratified, and by such an overwhelming margin [86% > ‘In Favor’!!]

Yet, I would be less than honest if I did not confess being disturbed

> by the negative efforts of a few naysayers these last four weeks. The > UFCT's Executive, Negotiating and Grievance Committees are exhausted, > as we have had to beat back and counter [twenty-four-seven] what was a > concerted campaign of innuendo and slander by a few spoilers who > instinctively reject all change and reform.

In the final analysis though, WE have achieved a strong contract for

> ALL, as every one of us will benefit from our collective efforts, > including – as it should – our naysayer brothers and sisters.

It has been an honor being your Union President. I continue to pledge

> my dedication and commitment to the challenges that lay ahead and > promise never to lose sight of the confidence and trust bestowed upon me.

In Solidarity,

-Kye

VOTING RESULTS

1:25 PM

The 2007-2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement has been ratified.

The ballots were counted and the results are as follows:

149 Yays

25 Nays

26 Invalid Ballots (unmarked by any name, signature, or return address)

200 Total Votes Received

Vote

I think it is important for all Union members to vote on the MOU. What ever side you are on. The contract is yours. If you still have questions on the MOU and its implications, attend the meeting today ( May 15th ) or call the Union office at 718-636-3614.
Gerson

Vitally Important Information for Members

INFORMATIONAL MEETING TO DISCUSS THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING MAY 15, 12:30-2, 110 ENGINEERING

 

BALLOTS DUE BY FRIDAY MAY 23 by 12 NOON

 

A package containing a cover letter with ballot and balloting instructions, a contact information letter, a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding, a mailing envelope, and a blind envelope was sent last week to all UFCT 1460 members.

 

If you are a member of the Union and have NOT received this package by May 12, please contact Kye Carbone at the Union office as soon as possible (kyecarbone2@aol.com; 718-636-3614).

 

Your UFCT Negotiation Committee strongly endorses this agreement and recommends that you vote in favor of its ratification.  This is a strong Contract with many positive improvements for the ENTIRE Bargaining Unit, namely:

 

1.  Significant increases in all salary minimums and minimum rates

2.  Medical benefits with a 50% institute contribution for a segment of the adjunct faculty heretofore been uninsured (by no later than 1/01/2011), following a restructuring of the part-time faculty.

3.  An increased number of sabbatical leaves for adjuncts.

4.  A monthly professional day for librarians.

5.  A streamlined reappointment process for the full-time tenure track faculty.

6.  An agency fee for the UFCT which effectively compels every bargaining unit member to pay their fair share of dues to the Union for the benefit and protection of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

 

These accomplishments, particularly salary increases (including higher minima AND 3% annual increases for all faculty) and gaining benefits for a previously uninsured group, are significant given the current stormy economic climate and health care crisis. 

Moreover, the Union held the line on its past accomplishments and on the issues most important to the Unit: ARPT (faculty input on issues of appointment, reappointment, promotion, and tenure); Tenure (including CCE); and yes, Academic Freedom despite the Pratt Administration’s demand for a full rewrite of the article. 

The Academic Freedom article in the Memorandum of Understanding (article 3) is modeled upon that of the American Association of University Professors (see the link http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/protect/academicfreedom/), with the notable addition of “creativity” and “constructive dissent” to article 3.1.  We hope it gives our members confidence that, as the AAUP’s website puts it, “protecting academic freedom is the AAUP’s core mission,” and was the reason the organization was formed in 1915.  The new language of Article 3 brings Pratt into alignment with nationally-accepted standards of academic freedom.  It also preserves the faculty member’s fundamental right to choose what material to present in the classroom in relation to the subject he or she is teaching. 

Finally, the AFT, in its statement on Academic Freedom, observes that “…the greatest threat to academic freedom today is the subtle removal of many faculty positions from the tenure track and from shared governance structures.”  The Union, in its firm refusal to allow tenure or CCE to be weakened, thus works to preserve faculty academic freedom in this way as well.  Only 2 schools in the nation have CCE: Pratt is one of them and we are going to keep it that way.

Sincerely,

The UFCT 1460 Executive Officers and Negotiating Team