Author Archives: Dan

Implementation of MOA

Dear UFCT Member,

My apologies for the lateness of this email, but the Faculty need to look for the following communication updates regarding compensation (as agreed to in the MOA by membership vote):

  • Part time faculty will receive an email from the Office of the Provost Monday, November 2 with an updated appointment letter attached.
  • Full time faculty will receive an email from Steven Riccobono Friday, October 30 with an WTPA form attached.
  • The 3.25% increase that was already applied will be deducted from the October 30, 2020 through December 23, 2020 payrolls in both cases.

Also w/respect to TIAA:

  • Pratt’s contribution rate to individual faculty member’s TIAA/CREF will be reduced by 50% to 3.5%, beginning with contributions made in November.

Hoping All are safe, that your semester is going well, and that we SURVIVE today’s Election!

In Solidarity,


Election Results

Dear UFCT Voting Member,

Many thanks to ALL who voted; the resuls are clear, a large majority voted in favour of the MOA!

I want to personally thank each and every member who voted whether for or against.

I truly believe that although painful, we made the right decision for the Bargaining Unit given the circumstances.

Now we forge ahead!

In Solidarity,


187 votes were cast, which is ~50% of the total membership

UFCT Local 1460 Status Report

Dear Union Member,

I am sincerely hoping that all of you and yours are safe & healthy in these trying times. These last two-three months have been both surreal & stressful, and the uncertainty that lies ahead only exacerbates the underlying dread & anxiety.

On a personal note, my wife & I have been comfortably ensconced in our upstate schoolhouse since early March, which although idyllic wasn’t enough to shield my wife from the overwhelming anguish of having to countenance no less than seven siblings testing positive for COVID, three critical.

Gratefully, five harrowing weeks later, all have recovered; including my 90 year old mother in law.

Sadly though, as you might have heard, two of our esteemed colleagues in Architecture, Bill Menking & Lou Goodman have both passed due to COVID complications. Which reminds me that my family’s experience is not unlike far too many, and we are all in this together.

We are a Union, a democratic collective dedicated to defending all earned Faculty rights, protections and terms & conditions of employment as enshrined in a legally binding collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the Pratt Administration. So with the semester over, we now await word from our employer Pratt Institute on what awaits us come fall ’20.

Let me state unequivocally that I honestly have no more insight than any of you about what the fall portends.

As Union President I am in regular contact with the Provost’s Office & HR. For what it is worth, there exists a respectful, professional & productive relationship between the UFCT Local 1460 & Pratt Administration.

Thus, fear mongering & rumours to the contrary, there has been NO conversation, much less any negotiation, between Union & Adm about Faculty “furloughs”, terminations and the like.

Whatever plan Pratt might or might not be entertaining (presently or ultimately) employ come fall, said plan will have to comport with ALL external State & Federal mandates, and be in compliance with our CBA.

Therefore, whatever the case may be with other comparable higher-ed institutions, let’s stay focused on the particulars of Pratt Institute — an art & design higher-ed college located in New York City, where roughly 70-75% of courses taught are “studio” in orientation and “hands-on”– thus normally ill suited for distance learning.

Yet, distance learning will almost certainly be the case in fall. As such, I counsel calm at this juncture as none of us knows definitively how this will be effectuated, or what the student enrollment numbers will be in late August / early September.

Moreover, what RISD, LIU, CUNY or New School may or may not do has nothing to do with us.

My conservative estimation is that Pratt could easily be facing a 10-15% drop in enrollment. What happens to a course, discipline, program, department or school when there is such a drop in revenue? This will be the landscape we’ll have to navigate together.

This is where one’s employment level or (faculty) status makes all the difference in the brave new world of diminishing returns we find ourselves. If tenured, FT or CCE, the deluge or hemorrhaging of students — which translates to the amount of work there is to be offered — would have to be rash; upwards of 40% for any tenured faculty member to be vulnerable to such austere measures.

For our brethren who are relatively new to Pratt; many esteemed Visiting Faculty & Adjuncts WITHOUT a CCE, I’d be dishonest in saying there is nothing to worry about.

This fall will commence the 5th year of the current 5 year CBA. There is NO reason to not expect the Pratt Adm to abide by the CBA — wherein ALL incumbent Faculty (FT & PT) “shall” receive a 3.25% increase in salary & 7% admin contrubution to our TIAA accounts.

I am doing my best to answer all email & phone calls, and assure you I will respond in due time if I have not as yet. That said, my personal cell is: 631-662-8508 (I will not be in the Union office for the foreseeable future). Therefore please do not hesitate to email or call as you may need. Although I do not generally answer when I do not recognize a number, if you leave a clear voicemail with your phone number I will get back to you.

Moreover, in the interest of fostering greater communications, Holly & I will conduct at least two Zoom sessions* for all members: Tuesday June 9th, 12:30-2:00 & Wednesday July 8th, 5:00-6:30 and schedule more when and if needed. Please stay tuned. *email for links to the Zoom meetings.

As noted in the Provost’s last communique, Pratt will announce its fall plan no later than June 30th, so we’ll have much to discuss.

A few topics of interest:

I was just forwarded the faculty action (ARPT) report for AY ’19-’20 by the Provost’s Office. All who have conscientiously served their respective PRC or engaged the ARPT process should appreciate the fruits of your labors:

1) all 10 FT tenure track faculty applying for reappointment were rightfully reappointed;
2) all 6 FTers applying for tenure were in fact conferred tenure;
3) 12 adjuncts were conferred CCE;
4) 37 visitors granted adjunct status;
5) 45 promotions in academic rank

Best part: no denials!

There have been many queries about unemployment benefits for those of us who regularly teach summer.

In any usual year, summer teaching falls outside of “regular” fall-spring teaching; regarded as “extra” so no one can claim a right to compensation or any workload should a summer course or courses not enroll. Additionally as a higher ed institution Pratt is NOT on a trimester schedule.

Whatever CARE Act or Relief funds Pratt might have received, no funds were earmarked for Faculty much less those of us who rely on summer income.

That said, if you (like me) teach studio classes normally and would be teaching this summer absent the pandemic & the Institute’s decision to only offer more suitable non studio courses online, you may qualify for unemployment benefits.

I will be applying for unemployment myself, and although not confident that I will necessarily qualify; I have been assured by Pratt HR that they will not contest any claim should it pass bureaucratic muster.

Let’s stay connected.

In Solidarity,



September 23, 2016

Dear UFCT Local 1460 Members,

The 2016 Call for Nominations has ended and the only candidates receiving the required four nominations were the current office holders. As such, those four members; Kye Carbone, Emily Beall, Holly Wilson and Dennis Masback will retain their current positions as President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer, respectively, for another term of 3 years, to end on December 31, 2019.

These results have been compiled and guaranteed by eBallot/Votenet whose Certification of Results and Audit Report on Activity and Integrity Report can be found here:


Many thanks to those of you who participated.


Luis Alonso
Linda Lauro-Lazin
Laura Elrick
Your 2016 UFCT Elections Committee


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.