If you are receiving this email you are a dues-paying UFCT Local 1460 member.
Greetings, I hope this email communique finds all well as we immerse ourselves in the 2017-18 AY — the second year of the current 5-yr Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
As some of you know, I was away on sabbatical leave for SPR’17 — my second BTW, which leads me to remind all FT tenured and Adj CCE faculty to please avail yourself of this hard-fought-for-and-maintained faculty benefit. Granted, a Pratt sabbatical leave is just full-pay for one semester (thus 50% of your annual compensation) yet nonetheless, a great benefit which is shrinking-on-the-vine — becoming more-and-more extinct in today’s corporate-academia. Check the Institute calendar, this year’s October deadline for sabbatical application is coming up. Eligibility is being FT tenured or CCE, not for how long you have been tenured, unless you are applying for a 2nd or 3rd sabbatical wherein six-years since is required for that “seventh year of rest” :)
Please review the following updates, summaries, and anticipated opportunities & challenges that lay ahead for ’17-’18:
(I) Current Collective Bargaining Agreement on Website Here!
For all who have inquired find the current CBA ‘electronically’ above. If you wish a printed copy please stop by the union conference room: 123 North Hall.
A few highlights:
- A minimum of 3% for all FT & PT faculty for each of the five years (3.25% for years 4 & 5);
- CCE receive an additional 2% for yrs ’17-’18 & ’18-’19 (thus 5.06% each year);
- $300,000 Adjunct Equalization Fund ($150,000 dispensed this ’17-’18 AY & $150,000 dispensed next ’18-’19 AY);
- CCE Medical contribution reduced from 25% to 15% (an average annual savings of $2,500);
- TIAA-CREF Adm contributions per year(s): 1 (7%), 2 (5%), 3 (5%), 4 (5%), 5 (7%)
(II) Faculty Actions, Interfolio & ARPT Forum
The 2016-17 ARPT (Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure) faculty action cycle was yet again, another banner year! Note the following conferred — by B.o.T final determination — actions:
- FT Tenure: 4
- CCE: 16
- Reappointment: 18
- Promotions: 41 (FT & PT combined: 9 to Assistant Professor, 18 to AssociateProfessor, 14 to Full Professor )
- Status Change (from visiting to adjunct): 46
Article XVI of the CBA enumerates the procedures for ARPT. Each of Pratt’s twenty-plus department/area(s) has an autonomous ARPT or so-called: ‘Part’, ‘Cart’ or [Faculty] Peer Review Committee (PRC). When a faculty member applies for faculty ‘action’, i.e. reappointment, status change, promotion and/or tenure their application is first submitted to their department’s faculty/ARPT committee. Those faculty colleagues serving the committee make either a “recommendation” or a “non-recommendation” to the department’s Chair or the area’s ‘Head’; the faculty serving as they do in a strict advisory capacity only. Starting then at the Chair’s level [tier 2 of this 5-tiered process], three administrative tiers: Chair, Dean and Provost ultimately determine the fate of the faculty action request, the Board of Trustees ‘final approval’ [tier 5] sanctioning said determinations by the end of the spring semester of the academic year.
I am pleased to report that the level of concurrence and agreement between PRC recommendation & B.o.T final determination hovers in the 95% range. This fact is testament to the Faculty’s activism, due diligence & focus on this critical matter!
ARPT Process Transitioning to Online Platform over the Next Year
Over the next year, the ARPT process will be transitioning to the online platform “Interfolio.” Several departmental Peer Review Committees have begun to use Interfolio this Fall, and everyone else will need to make the switch next Fall.
This process is occurring in collaboration with the Provost’s office, and came about as a result of extensive discussion and study with faculty. You can read more about the process that brought us to this decision here. Great thanks to all faculty who participated in those discussions and process, and especially to PRC chairs working on the task this Fall! We’re confident that moving to the online platform Interfolio will both fit to our individual and unique departmental standards and procedures, as well as make the process of applying and reviewing easier.
PRC Chairs in particular, please keep an eye out for more information about preparing for next Fall over the upcoming year. If you have any questions, please get in touch with Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Union will yet again host an ARPT Forum this fall semester (off campus as usual). The format this year however, will be more panel-symposium than in years past. I believe in leading by example, and that we all learn more through personal testimony and experience. We are looking at a late-October or early-November Friday afternoon-evening booking. Stay tuned!
(III) UFCT Membership, Dues or ‘Agency Fee’
The dues authorization schedule for the UFCT, Local 1460, remains the lowest in the nation. For those faculty members making up to $60,000, union membership dues (or agency fees) will continued to be assessed at 1% of one’s pre-taxed (teaching) gross income for the fall and spring semester(s) only (no dues are paid on summer teaching, or on stipend-ed income). For faculty grossing more than $60,000, the percentage will remain at 0.85%.
It is crucial to keep in mind that the UFCT Local 1460 is obligated to pay its parent affiliates: New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) at the state level, and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) at the national level, a combined annual per capita rate of $609.36 for each union member making $34,000 or more, $399.18 for those with incomes between $25,500-$33,999, $304.68 for those making between $17,000-$25,499, and $152.34 for those colleagues making between $8,500 and $16,999. As you can easily surmise, the UFCT retains very little money at the local level with a dues structure in the range of 1% (the nation-wide average is upwards of 1.75%).
Due to the fact that the UFCT is the exclusive bargaining representative for all of Pratt’s teaching staff employees i.e. all full-time and ‘regular’ [fall/spring] part-time faculty [adjunct and visiting] including our professional librarians, should not each of us be obligated to pay our ‘fair share’ for this representation?
As such, we will facilitating an enrollment drive this fall semester. I will be contacting delegates shortly asking that they follow-up with those FT, CCE or Adj faculty who have not as yet chosen membership or agency-fee.
Lastly, as UFCT President I continue to choose to remove as many disincentives to joining the union as I am empowered to effectuate; namely in reducing our Local’s dues schedule. However, I need each of you – as dues paying union members – to spread the word of the merits and benefits of membership through your respective department/area[s]. Although cliché, it is most assuredly true, there is strength in numbers!
During Spring semester 2017, a committee of 18 faculty from across all five schools met to discuss the possibility of transitioning the ARPT (Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion, and Tenure) process from paper to a digital tool.
In our first meeting, we discussed the specific needs our departmental PRCs (Peer Review Committees) had, what features a digital tool would need to have, and what challenges we might anticipate. You can read minutes from that first meeting below.
In our subsequent meetings, we considered the online platform provided by “Interfolio” (https://www.interfolio.com/). Interfolio is an outside provider whose platform is specifically designed for Academic Institutions. We determined that Interfolio’s platform includes important features for us, including ease of use, committee control of security settings, an ability to solicit and keep confidential outside letters, and flexible templates that each PRC can customize to their standards. We determined, therefore, that Interfolio would work for us. You can read minutes from those meetings & information about Interfolio below.
In order to best accommodate each PRC’s needs, we determined that some committees who choose to can start using Interfolio this Fall 2017. All PRCs will need to start using it with Fall 2018. There will be ample training and help for PRCs and applicants.
Lastly, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact Emily (email@example.com)
Minutes from first meeting here
Minutes from second meetings here
Power point about Interfolio here (updated Feb18).
Quick-turnaround grants of up to $250 are available now on a rolling basis to Faculty-led, spontaneous responses to current events. Bring a speaker, host a workshop, create a pamphlet, plan a screening, etc. All faculty are eligible (full- and part-time, adjunct and visitor) and collaborations with students and/or staff are welcome. Email a brief proposal along with a basic budget to firstname.lastname@example.org. Coordinated by Darini Nicholas, Erum Nagvi, and Anna Moschovakis.