Our colleague Jim Costanzo has asked me to circulate his comments…
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.
p.s. Kye please send this out to the rest of the Union members. My email cant deal with that many recipients.
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.