Monthly Archives: July 2012

Memorandum of Understanding: Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that the full text of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) can be found in the right-hand column under “Categories.” The MOU amends and adds to the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) or “contract,” which can also be found to the right.

1. Q: One thing that the MOU seems to do is to “fix” (and also therefore “cap”) the number of CCE’s and Adjuncts (MOU sections 4 &6). There is also a small provision for transitioning three CCE’s into full-time tenure-track positions (MOU section 5). What is unclear to me is whether this is a “give” or a “get” for us. In part this will depend on whether the remaining teaching needs are fulfilled by additional full-time tenure-track hires or by additional visiting hires. What is the rationale for fixing the number of faculty in these two “intermediate statuses” and how does it relate to the provision of 50% healthcare to CCE’s and adjuncts? How does this change relate to the union’s overall goal to improve the work conditions of contingent faculty?

A: A “minimum” now for CCE (100), and for adjunct faculty (250), is a more accurate description as opposed to these numbers being “caps.” They are not. Truth be told we are not happy with having to countenance such ‘minimums’ but recognize that CCE and adjunct titles (much like “full-time”) are not limitless. BTW, how many full-time faculty should there be at Pratt? I’m certain 100 CCEs feel they should be full-time. Problem is, how does this happen when the union has absolutely no ‘hiring’ or ‘staffing’ authority? Therefore, there is nothing the union can do to counter what is an administrative prerogative other than try and keep such MINS as high as possible. In other words, the employer determines who and how many employees there shall be, the union then protects those on the ground through enforcement of the Contract. Interestedly, effective 9/01/12, there will be 134-136 full-time faculty, a minimum of 102 CCEs, and upwards of 290 adjuncts (without CCE) institute-wide. Pratt’s “plan” or better yet “report” to Middle-States/NASAD is that 30% of student credits delivered will be taught by full-time faculty, 20% by CCE, 25% by adjuncts, and 25% by visiting faculty. Knowing well how Pratt has “staffed” faculty in the past, objectively, this looks like a reasonable landscape, although you and I would probably like that full-time percentage to be higher, say 50%+…??

2. Q: In reference to the “fix” provisions in MOU sections 4 & 6, how will this affect the APRT process for those who are applying for change in status from visiting to adjunct or from adjunct to CCE? What happens if 20 faculty submit successful applications for CCE via the ARPT process but there are only ten “open” slots available? Who gets the promotion, and what happens to the applications of those who do not?

A: As a first principle, in the ARPT process as outlined in Article 16, faculty ARPT committees make recommendations on promotion in status (from Visitor to Adjunct, from Adjunct without CCE to Adjunct with CCE) based only upon the academic criteria developed by those faculty. The Administration has and has always had the sole prerogative to incorporate “staffing” criteria into its recommendations to the Board of Trustees (16.3: “Review and determination shall also take into account enrollment trends, distribution, and budgetary considerations”). This always has been, and will continue to be the case. The faculty do not base its recommendations on these issues. According to 16.10, if any recommendation by the administration is shown to be “arbitrary and capricious,” including the portion of Article 16.3 outlined above, it may be subjected to the grievance process, outlined in Article 7.

3. Q: MOU section 8 seems to really clamp down on adjunct status, making it critical that people with adjunct status maintain a regular commitment to the Institute. This change will cause one of two things to happen: either more people will start teaching more courses or a lot of people are going to drop down to visiting status. What does the union leadership anticipate will be the effect of this change? A proliferation of visiting status appointments or a re-consolidation of the adjunct faculty (or both)?

A: It is impossible to predict what will happen. It would seem logical that if the Adjunct status generally entails teaching more classes, the Visiting faculty will shrink, and more classes will be taught by more established Pratt faculty, both full and part time. The establishment of a minimum workload of 50% for Adjunct status (which is actually the maximum workload for Visiting status) is in part tied to New York State requirements for minimum workload for the provision of health benefits to Adjuncts, perhaps the most important gain in this CBA.

4. Q: Section 9 is a concern for me because I feel that in order for Pratt to become more administratively functional we need to have more full time faculty around to tell the administration what to do (sorry, but that is where I am coming from so I need to blunt here — part-timers overall do not have the time and/or security to engage in the kinds of battles necessary to change this place). Obviously it is also better for everyone in the Union if we share roughly the same benefits, so I would like to see more of my part-time colleagues get full-time status. What is the rationale for this “give” to the administration on maintaining faculty lines? Aren’t we just giving an administration with a severe procrastination problem a pass on this one? Doesn’t the school need to up the number of full-time hires to satisfy Middle States? What is the rationale for MOU section 9?

A: This provision is in place just for the length of this contract. You may consider this a “win” for the administration. According to the Union’s lawyers, it is not uncommon to make this kind of agreement for a fixed period. This does not mean that involved faculty cannot continue to challenge the Administration on this crucial issue. Anecdotally, it appears as if Pratt is moving towards increasing its full-time faculty, not decreasing it.

5. Q: MOU sections 11 & 12 are interesting… they seem to indicate that the administration intends to actually maintain faculty quality in accordance with the contract, something that they seem to have neglected for years. Is this a “heads up” provision — make sure that you hold office hours and go to department meetings — or does this portend something more aggressive on the part of the administration? [Also note that it appears to me that MOU section 11 should read “Article XX, Section 20.6” — if it does apply to Article XXX that suggests a far more aggressive stance on the part of the administration].

A: We think it means just what it says: faculty are expected to attend meetings, and Chairs are expected to hold them. You may interpret this as you wish; it could indeed reflect a change in culture towards a more professional, more regular, more academic workplace. This is good for the faculty, since we do see ourselves as professionals who want to be involved in the workings of our respective departments. On that note, see the new line added to Article 3, the “Academic Freedom Article” (a true gem in our contract) that stipulates faculty participation in curriculum development: “Departmental faculty shall have appropriate input to new or revised curriculum within their departments.”

6. Q: MOU section 18 seems to be a balance between a give (higher threshold of service to attain more full leave benefits) and a get (longer period of leave benefits for those with more service). Is this an accurate description of the compromise in this section?

A: That is an accurate assessment of this Article, which also more clearly defines medical leave and disability than the previous CBA.

7. Q: Regarding MOU section 8, part iv: The phrase “academic competence” makes me a bit nervous, because of past instances of chairs using this idea of competence to effect retribution (trying to push someone out of a class or a department, even). Plus, this can be very uneven: someone deemed “incompetent” by one chair can be understood as “competent” by another. In turn, upper administrators don’t really know faculty members, so neither can they sort out who’s “competent” for what. At the end of the day, who determines what “academic competence” is? And, given all this, isn’t the phrase “arbitrary and capricious” too broad?

A: This is an excellent question. First of all, the new language in 23.3b shall be added to the existing language; it shall not supplant it. The existing language of that article, taking seniority into account, remains. The question of what determines “academic competence” to teach a course must be determined in part by the curriculum for that course. As Pratt faculty get more involved in curriculum, they should have input in, logically speaking, determining what competencies would be needed to teach that course. Vague terms like “arbitrary and capricious” work in the Union’s favor in conducting grievances because they leave a wide field for interpretation. The Chair will determine “academic competence” (based upon the faculty-generated curriculum), but must also provide valid reasons for these decisions.

8. Q: Regarding MOU sections 4 & 6: These new “caps” (this was the word the questioner used) of 100 CCE faculty and 250 Adjunct faculty: how do these numbers reflect on the growth of the institute?

A: These “caps,” which the Union reads as minima, must be interpreted in light of the success of the growth of these categories over the past decade. In 2003, there were in the neighborhood of 30 CCE’s; there are now over a hundred. There are currently approximately 290 Adjuncts, and 102-104 CCE’s. In the next 5 years, we understand that the Administration will be hiring more Full-time faculty (with at least 3 of those positions going to existing CCE’s, per this MOU). While you may see these as caps, they may be seen as a move to “lock in” these more established Part-time positions, which we have gained over these past 10 years through faculty diligence in applying for promotion and Union encouragement and support, that come with significant benefits (now health benefits for Adjuncts with a 50% Administration contribution; health benefits with a 75% Administration contribution and TIAA-CREF plan for CCE’s, as well as a 75% workload)

9. Q: Chairs come in, stay for six years, and then get dropped into Full Time positions. Will this change at all with the new contract?

A: These provisions remain the same; they were unaffected by this negotiation.

10. Q: Regarding MOU section 23: We now have a new sentence added to our Academic Freedom article (Article 3): “Departmental faculty shall have appropriate input related to new or revised curriculum within their departments.” What does this mean for faculty, what might we do with this new addition?

A: This is a great gain for the faculty! It memorializes faculty participation in the development of curriculum, since this is the essence of academic freedom. It will be incumbent upon faculty to make sure that structures like curriculum committees are established in their departments to make sure that they exercise this right to have input in curriculum development from the bottom up.

11. Q: Regarding MOU section 8: If an Adjunct Faculty with CCE chooses not to take their health benefits, will they loose their CCE status?

A: Absolutely NOT. There is no mandate whatsoever to take health benefits offered by Pratt. This goes for faculty in all statuses.

12. Q: Relates to MOU sections 1 & 2: The salary minimums didn’t change at all with this MOU. Why aren’t they being bumped up to reflect current average salaries?

A: It’s a long story and countless hours were devoted to this at the negotiating table. Various schemes were tried to address pay disparities for both FT and PT. Given the amount of money that was realistically available, the negotiating team opted for excellent percentage increases across the board for 4 years (including one year of retroactive pay for 2011 and 2012—should the contract be ratified, EVERYONE will see a retro check in August) and a targeted equity fund for Full-time faculty as the best way to “spread the wealth” around. With salaries at far higher levels than they were in the previous two negotiations, increasing minima became a blunt instrument in fixing inequities, especially in the Full-time area. While at first glance 3 and 3.25% increases don’t sound like much, if you do the math, it really adds up! In addition, these percentage increases should be seen as a MAJOR gain for every single faculty member—Visiting, Adjunct, or Full-time—in a economic climate in which many Unions are getting nothing or 1%. In other words, this is a good deal.

13. Q: Regarding MOU section 1: Will I get my back-pay for the academic year 2011-2012 in a lump sum?

A: Yes, you should receive it before the start of the 2012-2013 academic year (as long as the membership ratifies the contact!).

Question About Online Voting

Re: Question about the When and How We Vote on the MOU

Dear Kye,

Could you and/or vote-net provide information about its security protocols and if and how they preserve the secret ballot process: that they assure that votes are legitimate (from an eligible voter); cast only once; and secret/confidential (voters remain anonymous and free from outside influence and retribution).

Also, does the MOU have a sunset clause that compels immediate action during the off-semester?

Thanks,

Jenny Lee

 

From VOTENET:

Votenet Certification and Security Measures

Votenet Secret Balloting

Votenet Security Infrastructure

An Email Conversation About the MOU…

Email conversation between Kye Carbone, Union leader, and Liza Williams, CCE teacher of Freshman English

READ FROM THE BOTTOM

From Liza, Sunday July 8, 2012:
Yes , I think it’s a good idea to circulate this entire conversation to the whole union list, to promote open and vigorous discussion of sensitive issues, of which I’m sure my concern about arbitrary minimum contact hours is only a small speck.

Thanks for clarifying that CCEs are eligible for a 75% contribution from the Institute toward the Oxford plan. You seem also to be saying that CCEs “shall be” loaded to 75% of a full-time schedule, but later suggest that state law about part-time work does not pertain to CCEs. Today we had en email exchange in which you said that language is only “binding” if it comes to arbitration, and that the administration would not, in your opinion, come after “a few CCEs who are costing them very little.” But this is in opposition to the proposed language:
v) Existing and future Adjunct faculty choosing not to teach a minimum of 50% of a full time equivalent work load for 2 semesters (whether consecutive or not), shall have their status changed to Visiting.
My question is, which is it? Must CCEs work a certain number of credit hours even if they elect not to partake in the health plan, or lose their CCE/adjunct status? And your answer seems to be, no, but “why would any CCE faculty choose NOT to” …

The administration does not agree to “parity” and therefore cannot expect 75% participation across the CCE population. Every individual is different, and a “union” must surely be the first place to recognize that. If I am a Democrat and you a Republican, I a man and you a woman, I a 20-year-old and you a sixty-year-old, etc., that does not mean we can’t understand or respect each other’s differences. I do not agree with you that my scheduling and health coverage preferences “squash” those of CCE faculty wishing full-time status. It is interesting that the administration says “too many of “us” choose to teach less than 75%…” — that would seem to indicate that CCE status is prized by many faculty members for its intangibles: job security, access to potential benefits if we find it necessary in the future, and demonstrated confidence in us on the part of the Institute, for example.

I certainly understand your passion about “hard-won achievements.” I also understand why the administration would be reluctant to contribute 75 % of health plan costs (for CCEs) if the faculty member is only teaching 50%, or whatever amount. If I wanted health insurance, I would be singing a different tune. I just believe there should be room for individual needs. If I hear you correctly, there is room, in your opinion – but I would like to see that reflected in the language of the new contract.

Thanks,
Liza

From: Kye Carbone [mailto:kyecarbone@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, July 07, 2012 8:05 PM
To: Liza Williams
Cc: Rosenberg, Aura
Subject: Re: MOU Review: A QUESTION

NYS law applies to full-time and part-time employees…
At Pratt there are three part-time faculty statuses: visiting, adjunct, and adjunct w/CCE. These statuses are irrelevant to NY State.

‘Apples and oranges’ to an extent though at Pratt… as CCE is “adjunct tenure” where the immediate benefits in addition to full tenure rights are: (1) health benefits w/a 75% administration contribution (the current Oxford — formerly Aetna — Plans offered to administrators and full-time faculty), (2) 5 to 7% annual administration contributions to TIAA-CREF retirement accounts, and (3) having “every” assurance to a 75% workload…

While adjuncts (without CCE), “may” [not “shall” as it is w/CCE] be loaded to 75%, they do not receive administration contributions to a[ny] retirement account, but will now be able to receive health benefits provided they teach 50% of the full-load for their department/area [as set by NYS law!] Moreover, this is a less-rich HIP Plan, not any of the Oxford offerings. However, said adjunct does not in any way, have to take health benefits at Pratt!

Again, State law does not affect your “choice” in teaching a limited workload due to the fact that you choose also to NOT take health benefits through Pratt. That said, should you in the future “choose” to take greater advantage of your CCE status, by taking a greater workload and health benefits, you would be covered by Oxford not HIP.

I have tried my best to explain the “intent, spirit and meaning” of the MOU’s language. You know “English”, I know contract language; ‘English’ it is not!

Yet, I have to say, that in the larger operations of the still existent CCE status at Pratt, when any CCE faculty member does not take full advantage of the rights, privileges and protections of CCE; the same rights, privileges and protections this Union fights for every single day, this rarefied faculty status is thus diluted; the justifiable complaints of CCE faculty wishing full-time, stymied and/or squashed altogether.

As you might or might not know, this Union fought like hell to get “parity” for CCEs during this last round of negotiations. We were not successful. So you know, parity would have been 75% of a full-time salary for CCEs teaching 75% of the a full-load. Sounds logical, humane, and reasonable, but such parity doesn’t exist anywhere in this country where “contingent faculty” i.e. adjuncts without tenure, are working at slave wages, but neither does CCE for adjunct faculty! And, that is my point, management was only too eager to throw in my face that too many of “us” choose to teach less than 75%… So are we supposed to pay 66%, 50%, 33%?

This fall there will be — for the first time — just over 100 adjunct/CCE faculty at Pratt Institute. Hard won achievement? Damn right! I simply ask, why would any CCE faculty choose NOT to embrace to the fullest, this rare status indeed?

In Solidarity,
-Kye
I will circulate this conversation if okay w/you…
______
On Sat, Jul 7, 2012 at 6:59 PM, Liza Williams wrote:
Thanks for responding, Kye. So, it seems you are saying that CCE and adjuncts are ‘apples and oranges’: the NY State law applies to adjuncts but not CCEs? And that as a CCE not taking benefits my current ability to teach fewer courses than “allowed” would NOT be affected by the new contract? And that CCEs will continue to be covered under Oxford, and not the new HIP plan? And that, presumably, should I decide to apply in the future for coverage, I would be eligible if I worked the requisite number of credits? And which semester would the credit requirement be based on? Can you answer these specific questions, or would I need to speak with HR? (I’m copying Aura Rosenberg on this letter, since you wrote to both of us.)
But what about adjuncts: will they be forced to buy insurance? In a number of places, (being an English teacher), I don’t find the language in the agreements you forwarded to be very clear (for example, To be eligible for benefits under this provision, Adjunct Faculty must teach a minimum of 50% of a full time workload each Fall and Spring Semester. Does this mean 50 % in the Fall AND 50% in the Spring? Or a 50 % average of the two?)
Maybe some of this could be clarified in a very specific bullet-points summary (similar to the ones you’ve made in recent emails).
Also, I would like for my letter to be forwarded to all of the union members, not just the end-of-the-alphabet ones in my “group” that I “replied to all” to. Could you do that for me? I think you did it for Leslie Roberts.

Dear Liza:

Your question is an excellent one…

First of all, the mandatory 50% workload for adjuncts without CCE is mandated by NYS law. In other words a ‘part-time’ faculty employee is not recognized as “benefits eligible” if they are NOT working 50% [or more] of the applicable workload for the workplace. [If the metric were hours per week, any part-time employee working less than 20 would be ineligible for benefits.]

As a CCE faculty NOT taking benefits through Pratt, this 50% threshold would not apply to you. Moreover, were you to take health benefits at Pratt, your contribution to its cost would only be 25%, as CCEs receive a 75% administrative contribution, not 50% which is what adjuncts without CCE will have to contribute.

For better-or-worse, this hard won health benefits plan for adjuncts is a ‘HIP’ Plan — thus tailored to this new ‘eligible’ class — not either of the two current ‘Oxford’ Plans offered to full-time and CCE faculty. Bottom-line, Oxford steadfastly REFUSED to cover any of what were 272, and will now be (effective 09/01/12), 290 adjunct faculty. To be expected then, the HIP Plan is less rich than either of the two Oxford Plans, but does contain total catastrophic coverage w/no deductibles which is of paramount importance for anyone w/coverage. As such, it is far less expensive to Pratt, therefore less expensive to the adjunct. The Oxford Plans cost Pratt roughly $16,000 per capita each year. The HIP Plan will cost about $8,000. Trust me, I cursed them out repeatedly and tried my best to at least get a 75% contribution… it will be 50%.

We live in the United States of America where it is acceptable to countenance 40 million uninsured and multiple-millions more w/scant and/or inadequate coverage. Something like four “United Health-care” syndicates run rough-shod over a complacent and gullible populace in this country; If we knew what it was anymore, we should be ashamed of ourselves!

I have spent the last six years on this issue. In a word, I hate it, because I hate what we accept in this country! However, I can only do my small part, and know that in the end, this was the very best that was possible.

I hope I addressed your concerns Liza.

Warm Regards, Kye

______
On Sat, Jul 7, 2012 at 4:36 PM, Liza Williams wrote:
Hello Kye, and all – First, thank you, Kye, for all your hard work on this. However I do have a question, and I will ask it here since I seem to be unable to enter the union website inner sanctum to post a comment or read others’ comments. (And I will not be able to attend meetings at Pratt because I have recently had knee surgery.)
I have been teaching at Pratt since 1983 and have my CCE, but quite often I do not (by choice) teach a half-time load; I work harder than anyone I know at my Freshman English courses, and work (by choice) several additional unpaid jobs at Pratt such as advising the literary/art magazine and coordinating the annual poetry contest, in addition to having a busy personal and creative life.
I understand the rationale for “making” adjuncts work a half-time load in order to qualify for 50% of the cost of health care – but presumably I am not the only member of the faculty who does NOT want either the larger load or the health care (as I mentioned to you a year or two ago). My question: would it not be possible for CCEs and adjuncts to keep their (hard-won) rank, and have a choice of how much they work, and of adopting the healthcare benefit or not, with an annual election option to buy in to the coverage (and the hours) as one’s circumstances may change, as is already practiced in the HR office for other benefits? The new proposal seems to me MOST un-democratic: to ‘save a faculty member from injustice’ as it were, by curtailing the freedom to work in the way best fitted to his or her style and needs? And so if the contract language can’t be rewritten for faculty across the board (though I think it should be), possibly faculty members whose adjunct or CCE status predates this contract could be “grandfathered in” to participate in the 50% deal on an optional basis.
You recommend to Leslie Roberts, below, that she form a private discussion group about her concerns. Personally I would like to hear her concerns, just as I would like her, and others, to hear mine, and I feel the email chain is the most efficient forum for this, given the very short amount of time remaining for discussion.
What do other faculty members feel about this issue of a mandatory 50% adjunct load and mandatory 50% buy-in to the health plan?
Respectfully,
Liza Williams
HMS CCE
From Kye:
Leslie:

We have a website where you can post comments on: www.pratt-union.org. Note that the Union does not distribute private member information including contact info such as home addresses, phone numbers and emails.

However, what I will do is send your comments around to all members I have on email. If one is interested then in creating a discussion group w/you, they may contact you directly.
Members have had the MOU for two weeks now, and yesterday was the first of three scheduled two-hour MOU discussion sessions open to all members. We understand that many cannot attend, so will post and send to all members on email (early next week), our responses to the most FAQs…

Bottom-line, the MOU is not a menu where one selectively votes up or down its various items. The MOU is the resultant document representing nine months of negotiations w/the Pratt Administration. It has been vetted thoroughly by the UFCT’s eight member negotiating team including our NYSUT lawyer (who comes from the NLRB and represents both LIU and Cooper Union in addition to Pratt). Each member will now have the right to vote up or down the MOU in its entirety.

As I informed all members earlier (see: below): “…it was never the wish of the UFCT that we would have to effectuate a ratification vote during the summer months. Yet, here we are, and we will do so, as it is important to all bargaining unit members that: (1) retroactive pay for (each and every bargaining unit member) the 2011-12 academic year be processed and dispensed by late summer, and (2) that all faculty rates of compensation will be adjusted upwards by the start of the 2012-13 academic year…”

Two other items that I should add are: (1) the first half of the equalization funds affecting 25 full-time faculty is scheduled for distribution on August 31st, and (2) the open-enrollment period for what will be upwards of 290 adjuncts enrolling in health-care benefits for the first time is scheduled to begin at faculty orientation. In other words, we were pushed into the summer months. Nothing is being rushed.

Lastly, and I think you’ll agree, this is an extremely strong Contract. We urge all members to vote for its ratification.

Kye

——
On Thu, Jul 5, 2012 at 4:37 PM, Leslie Roberts wrote:
Dear Kye,
Thanks to you and the negotiating team for your long hard work in reaching this proposal.
I request that an email group be set up for all Union members, so we can have inclusive dialogue about the MOU and ratification process while many of us are away.
Comparing the MOU to our CBA takes time, and raises some questions and concerns. I realize gains are likely to entail trade-offs, and gains such as adjunct health coverage are extremely significant. But we all need to understand the changes, and we need to address any issues as a whole body.
At least as important, we need to decide collectively whether to set precedents for a summer vote, which as you say we’ve always hoped to avoid, as well as for an online vote.
I also request we set a longer time frame for communication (online and meetings), especially given the time of year and the holiday weekend. The middle of next week seems too soon for reaching any collective decisions.
I regret that I can’t attend meetings at the times you’ve scheduled. But since so many faculty aren’t in the city, an online forum seems the most practical way to have an inclusive process during the summer.
Would you forward this to your other Union mailing lists? I look forward to hearing colleagues’ views, and having a collective discussion about the terms of our Collective Bargaining Agreement. Thanks.
Best,
Leslie Roberts

From: Kye Carbone
Date: Mon, 02 Jul 2012 23:23:03 -0400
Subject: MOU Review & Contract Ratification Vote
Dear UFCT Voting Member:
FYI…
The UFCT will be holding three MOU review meetings: (1) Friday, 7/6th, 12-2PM, (2) Monday, 7/9th, 12-2PM, and (3) Wednesday, 7/11th, 12-2PM. All three meetings will be held in the “MMB” room on the lower level of the Brooklyn campus Library. Enter the Library, and take the elevator down to “LL” (note: the second L appears as an “I” as its horizontal is worn!)
That said, our negotiating team: Steve Doloff, Suzanne Verderber, Ric Brown, Holly Wilson, Emily Beal, Gerson Sparer, and myself (and our NYSUT lawyer: Judy Sandler) worked doggedly to get the absolute best contract possible under the circumstances.

A few highlights:
• health benefits for 273 adjunct faculty who have heretofore NEVER had access to health benefits @ Pratt w/a 50% administration contribution… (this will be a HIP plan tailored to adjunct faculty so long as they teach 50% of a full-load: total
[…]

Invitation to Members to Post on Website

Dear Pratt Faculty Union member,

If you would like to make a public comment about the memorandum of understanding that will appear on the website, you may:

1. Comment upon an existing post, after logging in (comments are moderated by me, but I promise to post comments directly, unaltered).

2. Write a post that will appear on the front page, again, unaltered. The easiest way to do this is to just email your post to me (sverderb@pratt.edu), and I will then post it on the website.

Best,

Suzanne Verderber
VP UFCT 1460

Contract Ratification, Summer 2012

Dear UFCT Voting Member:

FYI…

The UFCT will be holding three MOU review meetings: (1) Friday, 7/6th, 12-2PM, (2) Monday, 7/9th, 12-2PM, and (3) Wednesday, 7/11th, 12-2PM. All three meetings will be held in the “MMB” room on the lower level of the Brooklyn campus Library. Enter the Library, and take the elevator down to “LL” (note: the second L appears as an “I” as its horizontal is worn!)

I have again attached to this email, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).* Please review. Any questions you might have will be addressed at the aforementioned three meetings.

Moreover, we have secured the services of Vote-net (in Wash, D.C.) to oversee and facilitate our contract ratification vote. Vote-net was provided a full name/email listing of 500+ eligible voters (agency fee payers are ineligible). In the coming days, Vote-net will notify all eligible voters of voting procedures. Tentatively, voting will take place between Wednesday, 7/11th, and Wednesday, 7/18th. I will have more information about this in the coming days.

In Solidarity,

Kye

*For the MOU, please see below or click on the tab at right, “Memorandum of Understanding, 2011-2015”

Memorandum of Understanding 2011-2015

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

Pratt Institute and the United Federation of College Teachers, Local 1460 hereby agree to extend the existing collective bargaining agreement in full force and effect until and including August 31, 2015 with the changes set forth below.

1. General Wage Increases

Full-time faculty members employed during the applicable academic year shall receive the following increases in salary:

Effective September 1, 2011 – 3%
Effective September 1, 2012 -3.25%
Effective September 1, 2013-3.25%
Effective September 1, 2014-3.25%

Part time faculty members (CCEs, Adjuncts and Visitor Faculty) employed during the applicable academic year shall receive the following increases in their contact hour rate:

Effective September 1, 2011 – 3%
Effective September 1, 2012 -3.25%
Effective September 1, 2013-3.25%
Effective September 1, 2014-3.25%

2. Equalization Funds

Effective 8/31/2012, Pratt shall make available $80,000 in equalization funds to be distributed in accordance with the attached Schedule A.

Effective 8/31/2013, Pratt shall make available an additional $80,000 in equalization funds to be distributed in accordance with the attached Schedule A.

Effective September 1, 2013, the equalization funds that have been distributed shall be added to the base salary of those individuals (i.e., the general wage increases effective September 1, 2013 and September 1, 2014 shall apply to the equalization funds distributed).

Following the distribution of the aforementioned $160,000 on 8/31/2013, Pratt will have no additional obligation with respect to this paragraph.

3. Amend the contribution rates in 28.1(b) to provide as follows:
2011-2012-7%
2012-2013-5%
2013-2014-5%
2014-2015-7%

4. Effective 9/1/2012, there shall be 100 CCE positions. Thereafter during the term of the Agreement each year on or about 9/1 there shall be 100 CCE positions. These positions shall be filled in accordance with regular Pratt administration practices and Article 16 of the CBA. However, no current CCE Adjunct faculty members who hold this status as of 9/01/12 shall lose his or her status as CCE Adjunct as a result of the operation of this provision.

5. Prior to 8/31/2015, at least three full-time tenured track positions shall be awarded to Adjunct professors with CCE status.

6. Effective 9/1/2012, and on or about that date every year thereafter during the term of the Agreement, there shall be 250 individuals in the status of Adjunct faculty (i.e., excluding faculty with CCE and Visiting faculty). These positions shall be filled in accordance with regular Pratt administration practices and Article 16 of the CBA. However, no current faculty possessing adjunct faculty status shall lose his or her status as Adjunct as a result of the operation of this provision.

7. Health Benefits for Adjunct Faculty

The current language in sections 27.1(b)(2) and (3) will be deleted and replaced with the following:

The Institute shall make health benefit coverage available to Adjunct faculty (i.e. excluding Visiting faculty) and contribute 50% toward the cost of individual coverage under any such plan. The Institute shall have the right to determine and select the carrier, nature of plan, type of coverage, plan design, and other terms and conditions of the plan and shall also have the right to change, modify, replace the plan without the need to bargain with the Union, provided that the cost to the Institute of the plan remains substantially the same as the cost of providing the benefit as of the effective date of the Agreement. The Institute will give notice and an opportunity to discuss any such changes to the Union in advance.”

To be eligible for benefits under this provision, Adjunct Faculty must teach a minimum of 50% of a full time workload each Fall and Spring Semester. If the Adjunct Faculty member is assigned one converted contact hour below the 50% minimum, that Adjunct Faculty member will retain eligibility for medical benefits.

8. Workload and Assignment for Adjunct Status (including CCE)

i) Effective Spring 2013, Adjunct faculty shall be assigned a minimum of 50 % of a full time workload each Fall and Spring semester.

ii) Adjunct faculty may be assigned a maximum workload of 75% of a full time equivalent.

iii) It shall not be considered a violation of this Paragraph if adjunct workload assignments are one converted contact hour below the minimum or above the maximum each Fall and Spring semester.

iv) For purposes of interpreting and applying 23.3(b), “academic competence” shall be determined by the Administration and said determination shall not be overturned unless arbitrary and capricious. If the incumbent is not being offered the course, he or she will be provided the reason for that decision.

v) Existing and future Adjunct faculty choosing not to teach a minimum of 50% of a full time equivalent work load for 2 semesters (whether consecutive or not), shall have their status changed to Visiting.

vi) Assignment of courses for Visiting faculty shall be made by the Administration in its discretion.

9. The Union agrees that it will not pursue any grievance enforcing Article XXVI (ratio of full-time to part-time faculty) for the duration of the Agreement.

10. Non-Tenure Track Full Time Appointments, Article XXXII. Replace Article 32.1(b) with the following:

(b) to temporarily fill a budgeted full-time tenure track line, for a maximum duration of three years.

In all other respects Article 32 shall remain the same.

11. Office Hours

The parties reaffirm their commitment to compliance with Article XXX, Section 20.6, notwithstanding any contrary past practice.

12. Departmental Meetings

Amend Article VIII to add “…and faculty shall make every reasonable effort to attend such meetings.”

13. Article XXVII: Health Benefits

i) With respect to the medical coverage offered to full-time faculty, delete specific references to Aetna and substitute language to clarify that reference is to the fully insured plans provided to Administrators.

ii) Change section 27.1 (c)(1) to read as follows:
“Future retirees who are not Medicare eligible will be offered the plans being offered to Pratt Institute administrator retirees. Pratt shall have the right to change, modify, discontinue, or eliminate medical coverage for future retirees who are not Medicare eligible without the need to bargain over any change, modification, discontinuance, or elimination, provided that Pratt makes the same change, modification, discontinuance, or elimination of retiree coverage for Pratt administrators.”

14. Article XX: Workload

Change footnote “1” under 20.2(b) as follows:
i) Strike “the requirements of New York State Education Department”
ii) Add in its place “Pratt’s teacher certification accreditation agency”

15. PROFESSIONAL LIBRARIANS SICK LEAVE

Article XX, Section 20.2(e) The Library, Add the following as Item (5):

Professional Librarians shall earn sick leave at the rate of 0.833 days for each continuous month of service, to a maximum of ten (10) days per year. Unused sick days may be carried over into the following year up to a maximum of sixty (60) days. Upon a reasonable suspicion of misuse, an employee may be required to provide substantiation of a personal illness to justify paid sick leave.

Unused sick leave is forfeited upon the employee’s retirement, resignation, or termination.

16. Article XXII: Pre-Retirement

Change section 22.1 (b) to read:
“Must have completed at least twenty (20) years of service at Pratt as a member of the full-time or adjunct faculty or as an academic administrator, including the last eight (8) years of service as full-time faculty or CCE, as of the end of the semester in which the application is submitted.”

17. Article XXIII: Part-Time Faculty

Eliminate Section 23.5

18. Article XXIX: Leaves

i) Add the following sentence to the end of Section 29.1:

“Faculty shall be responsible for 100% of premiums for any medical coverage during a leave of absence exceeding one month, except for sabbatical leaves, FMLA, medical, or disability leaves, or approved leaves to perform work or service that is not compensated and that reasonably is deemed by the Institute to enhance the professional reputation of the Institute.

ii) Section 29.3: Delete sections (a) and (b) and substitute the following:

(a): “Non-tenured full-time faculty shall be entitled to medical leave at full pay for one calendar month for each year of service for the first three years of service and then, beginning with the fourth year of service, up to a total maximum of six months, or one semester. If necessary, such medical leave may be extended without pay up to a maximum of one year total, including paid and unpaid medical leave.”

(b): “Tenured full-time faculty and Adjunct faculty with a CCE shall be entitled to medical leave with full pay, up to a maximum of one calendar year.”

iii) Add the following section (c):

“Full-time faculty and Adjunct faculty with a CCE may be eligible for disability coverage under article 28.3 following the exhaustion of medical leave pursuant to sections 29.3 (a) and (b). Medical benefits will continue pursuant to article 27 for eligible faculty on disability coverage for a period of one calendar year.”

iv) Rename existing section (c) as (d)

v) Add the following section (e):

“Following return to work after a paid medical leave, any faculty member must complete a full academic year of service before being eligible for additional paid medical leave pursuant to this article.

vi) Full-time faculty and CCEs will be eligible to return from medical leave to the same or similar position within the Institute, at the beginning of the next semester following the end of the medical leave.

vii) Add the following section (f):

“Professional Librarians shall be eligible for paid medical leave pursuant to sections 29.3 (a) and (b) except that any and all paid leave, including vacation, sick leave, and discretionary leave, must be used concurrently during the medical leave and shall not be used to extend the length of the medical leave.”

19. If a faculty member received tenure during the term of the 2003-2007 CBA, that faculty member may during the Fall 2012 Semester request that the Provost assess that member’s scholarship as of the date of tenure to determine whether that scholarship warrants a compensation adjustment. The Provost’s decision with respect to that request will be in his/her sole discretion, non-reviewable, non-grievable, non-arbitrable and otherwise not subject to litigation. Such compensation adjustment shall commence at the beginning of the Fall 2013 Semester and will not be retroactive.

20. INDEPENDENT STUDY RATE

Section 24.7 will be revised to provide for $150.00 per student per contact hour.

21. OVERTIME RATE FOR LIBRARY FACULTY

Section 24.6 will be replaced with the following:

Full-time Library faculty who work excess hours beyond their normally scheduled work week will be compensated at $45.00 per hour.

22. SABBATICAL LEAVES

Section 29.2(a) shall be revised to read:

(a) Sabbatical leave eligibility under subsections (b) and (c) shall require at least six (6) years of continuous service at the Institute before and between sabbaticals. Sabbaticals will not be awarded prior to the award of full time faculty tenure, or the award of CCE status.

23. CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT BY FACULTY

Section 3.1 shall have the following language added to end of this section:

Departmental faculty shall have appropriate input related to new or revised curriculum within their departments.

24. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAYS FOR LIBRARIANS

Article XX, Section 20.2(e) The Library, the following shall be added to end Item (4) – “upon the approval of the Director.”

Article XX, Section 20.2(e) The Library, Item (5) shall be replaced with the following:

(5) Full-time tenured and tenure track librarians will have three (3) days per quarter release time for professional development. Each year, quarters shall be defined as September 1 to November 30, December 1 to February 28 (or the 29th during a leap year), March 1 to May 31, and June 1 to August 31. These days may not be carried over between quarters. The scheduling of days will be determined by the Director, in consultation with the librarian.

25. SUMMER WORK WEEK FOR LIBRARIANS

Article XX, Section 20.2(e) The Library, Item (1) Work Week add Item (iii) as follows:

(iii) Professional Librarians shall have a reduced summer work week in accordance with policies for administrative summer work weeks.

26. TIAA EARLY WITHDRAWL

Pratt Institute will investigate the possibility of allowing faculty members who have reached age 65 to withdraw self-contributed TIAA Benefits. It is agreed that if this option becomes available and if it is offered by the administration, and if an individual exercises this option, Institute contributions to that individual’s retirement funds may, in the Institute’s discretion, cease upon the date of the decision to withdraw funds.

27. CCE LIFE INSURANCE

It was agreed that the administration will explore the possibility of increasing the existing death benefit for CCE faculty, dependent upon cost, from the present level of $10K to a term value of between $20K and $30K.

Arbitrator Martin F. Scheinman shall have jurisdiction over disputes between the parties involving interpretation or application of this Memorandum.

This Agreement shall become effective only upon its approval by the Board of Trustees of the Institute and upon its ratification by the Union.