Monthly Archives: November 2009


Dear Union Member:

As a reminder, I have scheduled a UFCT General Membership Meeting for Tuesday, December 8th, 12:30-1:50, room: 110/Engineering Bldg. This will be the only GMM for the fall 2009 semester, and I will be on sabbatical for the spring 2010 semester. I will have for distribution my 2009 UFCT Status Report.

Lastly, we would like to serve lunch on the 8th, but will need you all to RSVP ASAP. Few have responded thus far.

Regards, and Happy Thanksgiving!


Strikes in California Protest Cuts in Public Ed

Here's the story from Democracy Now .  Tuition at California state schools is due to rise an average of 32%.

Update (November 21): Protests continue across the state.  Democracy Now continues to provide excellent coverage, here with an articluate interview with the president of University of California, American Federation of Teachers, Bob Samuels.  The interview reveals not only the the stakes of the current budget crisis, but the more pervasive and long term pressures on universities to be run as corporations and businesses, environments in which education and learning becomes subsidiary to corporate sponsored research and what Oscar Wilde would call "l'administration pour l'administration," i.e. administration for the sake of administration, with no ultimate educational end to administrative activity.

Update (November 24): Continuing protests, building occupations, arrests, and accusations of police brutality.

-Suzanne Verderber 

General Membership Meeting December 8

The next general membership meeting will take place Tuesday, December 8, 12:30-1:50 in Engineering Building 110.  Topics for discussion include executive and grievance team configuration during Spring 2010 when President Kye Carbone is on sabbatical leave, the status report, elections, and negotiations.  Please RSVP (718-636-3614; as lunch will be served.

Article 28.4 (b): Tuition Remission

A benefit enshrined in the Collective Bargaining Unit involves a full-time or adjunct faculty member's ability to follow any course of study at Pratt Institute and to receive full or partial reimbursement depending upon the faculty member's status (full time or adjunct). 

Article 28.4 (b) of the UFCT 1460 Collective Bargaining Agreement states the following:

28.4  Tuition Remission and Tuition Exchange Plan

(b)  Part-Time Faculty

The tuition remission program set forth in Article 28.4(a)(1), above, shall be available on a pro rata basis to the spouses and children of the adjunct faculty who have completed ten (10) or more semesters of employment (as a visitor or adjunct).  The pro-ration per semester shall be based on the faculty member’s workload in the last preceding semester as against a full-time per semester workload in the faculty member’s department.

This means that there is no limit to the reimbursement based upon some arbitrary maximum number of course credits set by Human Resources.  Course credits are nowhere mentioned in the CBA.  If the adjunct takes 8 credits, the reimbursement will be figured based on that, and if he or she takes 12, it will be figured based on that, and so on.  The adjunct receives reimbursement based upon the ratio of his or her workload the previous semester in relationship to a full-time workload in his or her department.  That ratio in turn is multiplied by the total tuition, resulting in the amount Pratt covers, and the amount for which the adjunct is responsible.      

As such, if you are an adjunct faculty member who has used the tuition remission benefit for yourself, spouse, or any dependent child in the last three years, please contact the UFCT ASAP as you most probably paid much more than was warranted for your tuition remission benefit.

The UFCT will not countenance such abuse and bad faith.

In Solidarity,


Union Office: (718) 636-3614



Tackling the Employee Free Choice Act at the State Level

Recognizing that passage of the Employee Free Choice Act is currently stalled at the national level, unions are acting at the state level to achieve the same effects, which are to inhibit employer interference in employees' ability to form unions: Kris Maher, Unions Push Issues in State Capitals, Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2009.  The glaring question here is, if President Obama has pledged to sign it, why is it stalled? Will the Democrats compromise here as well, as they already have on so many progressive causes?

Here is the text of H.R. 1409: The Employee Free Choice Act.

–Suzanne Verderber

Health Care Bill Narrowly Passes in House

Good news or bad?  Democrats and progressives are all over the map.  Here is a range of articles addressing the issue:

1.  New York Times Op-Ed November 12, 2009: Trading Women's Rights for Political Power

2.  Nicholas Kristof Op-Ed, New York Times, November 12, 2009: A Defining Choice

3.  Ralph Nader,, November 11, 2009: Still Waiting for Health Care

4.  Dennis Kucinich,, November 8, 2009: Why I Voted "No."

5.  Lucinda Marshall,, November 8, 2009: Dems Sell Women's Rights Down River of Health Care Denial

6.  NYSUT,, November 9, 2009: Thank Your House Representatives for Passing Health Care Reform