Category Archives: Grievances

Union actions based on contract

Grievance Update September 22, 2007

From Kye Carbone’s September 22, 2007 status report:

I am exceedingly proud that the UFCT has now established – over the last four years – an impressive track record of vigilance in defending the Contract, the bargaining unit and its bargaining unit members. A lengthy grievance report, giving summaries of all grievances for academic years: 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 is being completed at this writing and will be distributed to each and every UFCT member by mid-semester.

 

NLRB Appeal

Dear Pratt Faculty Colleague [with a special nod to our full-time faculty brethren]:
 
For over two years the UFCT has been chasing-down the arrogant, bizarre and surreal actions of the Pratt Administration regarding their unilateral practice of conferring to the "excluded" various [so-called] "faculty" actions; most notably, the conferral of tenure to non-faculty. How is it that Pratt's management is granting to the ineligible what they are instinctively loath to confer to the eligible? 
 
There have been many twists and turns in the unraveling of this caper.
 
On February 21, 2006, a "decision to dismiss" was handed down by Alvin Blyer, Regional Director NLRB, Region 29 [downtown Brooklyn]. I have appealed this decision, and now await a determination from the General Counsel of the NLRB in Wash, DC.
 
The following is the full text of the appeal which is in three parts:

  • Foreword
  • The Appeal [Sequence of Events]
  • In Conclusion / Statistical Analysis

General Counsel,
National Labor Relations Board,
Office of Appeals,
1099 14th Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C.  20570
 
Letter of Appeal Re: Pratt Institute, Case No.: 29-CA-27298.
 
To Whom It May Concern:
 
I respectfully take exception to and am appealing the February 21, 2006 Decision to Dismiss rendered by Alvin Blyer, Regional Director of the NLRB, Region 29, Re: Pratt Institute, Case No.: 29-CA-27298.
 
Foreword:
 
In my capacity as President of the United Federation of College Teachers [UFCT] Local 1460, I filed an 8(a)(3) charge against the Pratt Institute Administration [The Employer] alleging discrimination against the UFCT bargaining unit, a Unit that is exclusive to and includes only: all regular full-time and part-time faculty teaching staff employees and professional librarians.
 
I believe that the Board has incorrectly decided to dismiss the UFCT's charge of discrimination and in doing so, has ignored the merits of this case. The following two reasons for dismissal were cited: 1) the 8(a)(3) "charge is time barred by virtue of Section 10(b) of the Act"; and 2) "the evidence is insufficient to support finding a violation."
 
Despite Director Blyer's citing of 'timeliness' as a reason for dismissal, the record of this case [note: sequence of events] shows definitively, that the UFCT has doggedly pursued the issue of "conferral of faculty tenure to non-bargaining unit/non-faculty personnel" since fall 2003, the first point of awareness. Moreover, in a two-year period, the initial finding that certain sitting chairpersons 'appeared' to have been conferred 'faculty tenure' (for the future should they return to or enter the faculty ranks) while they were non-faculty, ineligible and 'excluded' from the UFCT Unit, had progressed to the level of an unfair labor charge. We had no knowledge of, nor knew to what extent the Pratt Administration was engaged in a practice of conferring faculty actions to the ineligible. Other than what are rather generic annual 'faculty action' reports (which literally lists hundreds of various faculty actions) there was no direct evidence of this peculiar practice. Conversely, the decision to go to the NLRB was not warranted until fall 2005, at which time an initial 8(a)(5) charge was filed only to be subsequently withdrawn by the UFCT who then filed the said 8(a)(3) charge.
 
At each phase of this two-year ordeal, the UFCT had employed and exhausted all reasonable means at its disposal to remedy the situation: 1) meeting with and discussing the issue with the Pratt Administration, where we initially believed an agreement was at hand; that the Administration's practice of conferring faculty actions to non-faculty would cease; this a verbal agreement the Employer reneged on, 2) using the grievance/arbitration process enumerated in the collective bargaining agreement [CBA] and only filing a grievance following the Employer's intransigence, in defense of faculty/ARPT committee members who were put in the untenable position of evaluating their supervisors [see: Grievance Settlement Agreement in 'sequence of events'] and 3) having to make repeated 'information & data' requests for information that was emanating from this ordeal [see: Minkoff  Determination in 'sequence of events'].
 
This 'faculty tenure' issue has had many layers, each more daunting than the former. Time and statutes of limitations have worked in favor of the Employer and to the great disadvantage of the UFCT who was challenged at each turn to chase discoveries (after the fact) and 'catch-up' with events (that had long passed). Thus, the challenge of trying to ascertain and unearth what we ultimately learned was secretive from the outset, has been mystifying and frustrating, especially when we had no knowledge of when that 'outset' actually began.
 
It is within this context therefore, that I find Director Blyer's chief reason for dismissal that "the evidence [of discrimination] is insufficient to support finding a violation" most objectionable. He continues: "Since 1994, the Employer has been granting tenure to department chairpersons without regard for the guidelines or procedures to which unit employees are subject, by virtue of the collective bargaining agreement between the parties. However, the decision to take such action lies solely with the Employer and is not a mandatory subject for bargaining. Accordingly, even if some unit members were denied tenure in favor of department chairpersons, this fact alone, without evidence of anti-Union sentiment, is insufficient to establish a violation."
 
With due respect, this missive is utterly dismissive of all the UFCT has evidenced. How can it not be discriminatory to the UFCT Unit when "unit members were denied tenure in favor of department chairpersons" and management overtly practices preferential treatment and favoritism "without regard for the guidelines or procedures to which unit employees are subject"?
 
It goes without saying that the Employer would not be reckless enough to couch what I believe to be anti-faculty actions with "anti-Union sentiment". I fail to see that shy of flagrant anti-unionist sentiment, the Employer is not engaged in some form of discrimination.
 
By unilaterally conferring to non-faculty: "faculty status" and endowing, that chairs will be "treated as faculty in respect to seniority, promotion, Certificate of Continuous Employment, and Tenure as provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the United Federation of College Teachers [UFCT]", the Employer has brazenly invoked, taken and conferred our rights and protections at our expense!
 
Contrary to the default position of the Employer and one to which Director Blyer seems sympathetic when he iterates: "cthe decision to take such action lies solely with the Employerc", this issue has never been about the Union not "recognizing" and/or "accepting" the authority of the Board of Trustees "acting in all matters concerning appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure" [CBA: Article XVI, 16.1]. The UFCT adheres to the word, intent and spirit of the CBA. We only wish the Employer would do the same. Moreover, the UFCT has always understood the extent to which 'managerial rights' are both asserted and recognized. That said; the conferral of tenure to the ineligible would not be the central focus were it not a fact that the Employer is showing preferential treatment to the ineligible or if the Employer was simply conferring to non-faculty/non-bargaining unit personnel, like benefits and protections [in addition to the faculty].
 
These are unfriendly times for labor in general, and particularly difficult times for the few private sector unions that include full-time faculty and a tenure-track. Moreover, the issue of faculty tenure has been from the beginning, a contentious matter between academic unions and university managements. The perversity of a university management wanting to grant to the ineligible what they instinctively wish to confer seldom – if at all, to legitimate, eligible and qualified faculty is certainly not lost on those actual full-time faculty, whose teaching effectiveness and professional development is assessed and reviewed each year of a seven-year tenure track.

[As backdrop to these events, contract negotiations between the Pratt Administration and UFCT lasted two-years. This negotiation context, its contentiousness and protracted nature, must be considered in assessing this period.]

The Appeal [Sequence of Events]:  

Fall 2003      

In fall 2003, the UFCT discovered that the Pratt Administration had told a number of sitting chairpersons that they would have tenure (in the future) should they return to, or enter the faculty ranks. This seemed odd considering chairpersons are administrative personnel at Pratt, non-tenure-able, not covered by the 'Act', 'excluded' from the UFCT – a 'faculty' bargaining unit (and by extension, the protections and procedures enumerated in the CBA), and that there was never a 'past practice' of conferring tenure to non-faculty/non-bargaining unit personnel at Pratt Institute.
 
Upon this discovery, the UFCT surmised that should the Administration decide to change the way in which the contract shall be implemented, they must consult the union, not choose to go it alone. Throughout the fall of 2003, the UFCT met with the Administration repeatedly and made this very point only to be ignored. However, in these same private discussions, there was agreement that this selective procedure for conferring tenure was "problematic" (the Provost's term); especially when as the Provost claimed: "some chairs don't even teach." There appeared to be an agreement that this practice would cease at the end of the 2003-2004 'faculty action cycle' (all faculty actions follow a fall-spring calendar).

Spring 2004
 
Only after the Union was informed by the Institute Provost that the practice of conferring tenure to sitting chairs will cease only after all current chair applicants as well as all other chairs – who have not applied as yet, but have been assured by the Employer that they may in fact apply for tenure (while chairperson) was the step III grievance: "Faculty Tenure" filed. The UFCT had hoped that meetings in the fall would have averted a grievance. The grievance was 'denied' by the Employer and as such, a request for arbitration made by the UFCT. The grievance was appropriately predicated on protecting the contract and the ARPT ('Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure') process enumerated in Article XVI of the CBA. The central issue, that faculty peer committees were not created to evaluate department heads, chairpersons or other administrative personnel and that using these committees in this manner violated the language, intent and spirit of the collective bargaining agreement.  

A procedure for conferring tenure cannot be fair when peer committees are put in the position of "recommending" or "not recommending" to their chairperson a candidate for tenure, who might in fact be one and the same — the actual chairperson. Is this chairperson to then decide the merits of his/her own application for faculty tenure?
 
What is the meaning of tenure in this context? What qualifications are necessary for tenure? Who shall have tenure? How was it that the Pratt Administration deemed eligible and determined, that non-faculty non-bargaining unit personnel shall be conferred tenure and other "faculty" actions?
 
Chairpersons are evaluated by their students in their capacities as teachers — the 20% (at most) of the eleven-month a year, four day a week job of department chairperson. This teaching workload is hardly equivalent to that of a "full-time teaching staff employee." [Some chairs don't teach at all.] Moreover, the chairperson's immediate supervisor evaluates them, the respective school dean who assesses their administrative performance. In short, the teaching faculty does not (and should not) evaluate their supervisors, their department heads or their chairpersons. 

As both parties were in contract negotiations (a two-year process from spring 2003 to spring 2005) the arbitration Re: 'Faculty Tenure' became one of five pending grievances. Both parties agreed that if at all possible, the negotiation process was the ideal time in which to address and possibly remedy these significant issues. Moreover, it was during this period that a mediator was brought in to oversee the negotiations which were deadlocked. We awaited a date for the arbitration and were prepared to postpone while in negotiations.
 
Fall 2004
 
At a meeting in the Provost's office on November 11, 2004, I learned for the first time of a "determination" made back in the early nineties by then Acting Provost, Jack Minkoff and the Board of Trustees (BoT), which seemingly effectuated the allowance for 'non-bargaining unit members' to apply for faculty action. I was told that "according to Minkoff, non-faculty could be conferred faculty actions." It was immediately apparent to me that any such "Minkoff determination" was probably the foundation on which the Administration has justified its practice of conferring tenure to chairpersons.

I requested all substantiation: memos, minutes, etc. supporting this 'determination'. As is par for the course, the Administration was reluctant and resistant; the UFCT filed another step III grievance ('information & data') which again, was destined for arbitration.

Spring 2005
 
At the last minute, the UFCT was given documentation (a memo and minutes of a Trustee meeting) showing that on February 3, 1994, the acting Provost at the time: Jack Minkoff, in league with Pratt's Board of Trustees – decided without consultation or notification of the UFCT – that, "chairpersons will have faculty status with the beginning of the 1994/1995 academic year" and be "treated as faculty in respect to seniority, promotion, Certificate of Continuous Employment, and Tenure as provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the United Federation of College Teachers [UFCT]."

In March 2005, a 'Memorandum of Understanding' was signed effectively bringing our contract negotiations to a close. At our last negotiation meeting, both parties agreed that the mediator (and arbitrator) who had just overseen the negotiations would return in May to officiate a meeting to resolve any arbitration(s) still pending following the just completed negotiations. 'Faculty Tenure' was still unresolved.   On July 7, 2005, Pratt Institute and the UFCT signed a 'Grievance Settlement Agreement' that addressed the grievance/arbitration: 'ARPT/tenure for chairs'. The following is the text of the agreement: "Departmental committees on appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure shall have the option whether to review any case concerning the promotion or granting of tenure to the department's chair. The Union recognizes and accepts the authority of the Board of Trustees acting in all matters concerning appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure."
 
In this same period, two faculty members were denied tenure and while two sitting chairs were conferred tenure. For the first time (during my tenure as UFCT President) the Pratt Institute Administration was on record as showing an overt preference for non-faculty, non-bargaining unit members at the expense of the faculty. The UFCT offered to grieve both 'denial[s] of tenure'. One faculty member has agreed, the second has left Pratt Institute.
 
Although I believe the above record and history demonstrates definitively that Pratt Institute acted unilaterally in crafting a 'determination' that directly impacts, prejudices and discriminates against the UFCT bargaining unit, I recognized the difficulty in proving the UFCT would not have been aware of this administrative practice (dating back over a decade) and subsequently withdrew what was originally an 8(a)(5) charge filed on October 17, 2005 and filed the heretofore 8(a)(3) charge of discrimination.

In Conclusion:
 
[Please refer to the 'statistical analysis' that follows]
 
The Administration's practice of conferring various faculty actions including reappointment w/tenure, to non-faculty, non-bargaining unit members is discriminatory:

  • The 'tenure-track' for Pratt's few full-time faculty is a seven-year probationary period in which one's teaching effectiveness and professional competence is evaluated yearly — this a condition for reappointment and still the bedrock qualifications for tenure [note AAUP standards].
  • Of the roughly nine hundred faculty Institute-wide, only one hundred twenty are full-time.
  • It wasn't until fall 2003 that the UFCT discovered the Pratt Administration told a number of sitting chairpersons that while they were administrators, they could apply for and be tenured (for the future) should they return to, or enter the faculty ranks. For over twenty years – from the UFCT's inception in 1972 to 1994 – there was never a practice of conferring faculty actions to non-bargaining unit members. This [Minkoff] determination was deliberately withheld from the Union. Why would such a determination have been necessary if a past practice of conferring faculty actions to non-bargaining unit members already existed
  • What is the meaning of tenure in this context? What qualifications are necessary and what standards of 'eligibility, fitness and evaluation' are implemented when conferring tenure to the ineligible?
  • There have been a total of fifty-three (53) applications for reappointment w/tenure since 1994: forty-five (45) conferrals and eight (8) denials (see attached statistical analysis).
  • All eight (8) denials were of faculty.
  • Fifteen (15) or thirty-three percent (33%) of the forty-five conferrals have gone to sitting chairpersons.
  • Every chairperson deemed to have 'faculty status' by management has been granted tenure. In other words, these chairpersons have a 100% chance of being conferred tenure by this procedure.
  • The legitimate and eligible full-time faculty has now only a 56.6% chance of being conferred tenure.
  • This practice has given an unfair advantage to those applicants who are ineligible for tenure and discriminates in their favor.
  • Article I 'Recognition' is quite clear about who is included and who is excluded from the Unit. As such, chairpersons cannot be "treated as faculty in respect to seniority, promotion, Certificate of Continuous Employment, and Tenure as provided for in the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the United Federation of College Teachers [UFCT]" contrary to, and in spite of, Jack Minkoff's 1994 claim.

     
    Respectfully Submitted,
     
    Kye Carbone
    Adjunct Professor w/CCE
    President UFCT Local 1460
     
    Cced:
     
    Alvin Blyer, Regional Director, NLRB, Region 29
    Peter Barna, Provost, Pratt Institute
    David Zurndorfer, Esq., Proskauer Rose LLP
    Judy Sandler, Esq., NYSUT
     
    ——————————————————————————–
     
    Statistical Analysis:
     
    Conferral of Reappointment w/Tenure 1993-2005
     
    Academic-Year  Conferrals Denials  Faculty  Chairs  Total
    1993-1994         2              1           0           2         3
    1994-1995         4              0           4           0         4
    1995-1996         7              2           5           2         9
    1996-1997         1              1           1           0         2
    1997-1998         4              0           3           1         4
    1998-1999         2              2           1           1         4
    1999-2000         0              0           0           0         0
    2000-2001         5              0           2           3         5
    2001-2002         4              0           4           0         4
    2002-2003         7              0           5           2         7
    2003-2004         2              2           0           2         4
                             [45]           [8]       [30]       [15]     [53]
     
    30 out of 38 faculty members were granted tenure. During that same time period 15 out of 15 chairs were granted tenure. The statistical question is did the faculty and the chairs each have the same chance of being granted tenure?
     
    First, a model for the analysis:
     
    Let p be the probability that anyone who comes up for tenure will get it. [To give an idea of the meaning of this mathematically, we often in the tossing of a coin, consider the probability of tossing a head's p = ½, this is often bourn out by seeing for example, that out of 1000 tosses maybe 497 might come out heads. The law of large numbers indicates that this should probably be close to .5. In this example we say the sample mean was .497.]
     
    Let us assume that the granting of tenure is a binomial distribution with probability p, (this means each person has chance p of getting tenure and each persons outcome does not influence the granting of tenure of another person.) For the faculty we have a sample mean of 30/38 = .79. Our null hypothesis is that the faculty and chairs have the same p. (We are testing the probability that this is a reasonable likelihood.)
     
    Moreover, we would like to know how close .79 is to p. Using one tail of a binomial distribution we find that p < .851 with a 90 percent confidence limit. And for any such p we have that the probability of 15 chairs with the same p has less than 8.9% chance of occurring. So it is more than likely the chance of a chair getting tenure has a p, which is larger than that for a member of the faculty. If we want a confidence limit of 95% then p < .88 and the probability of 15 chairs with the same p have a chance of less than 12.3% of occurring.
     
    Conclusion:

  • There were 53 applications for reappointment w/tenure in the 1993-2005 period.
  • There were 45 conferrals: 15 to sitting chairs (*or* 33.33% of all tenure conferred) and 30 to eligible full-time faculty.
  • In this same period, there were 8 denials — all eligible faculty applicants.
  • In the same period, all 15-chair applicants — non-faculty and ineligible for faculty action – have been conferred 'faculty' tenure.

Grievance and Arbitration [1 of 2]

The content of the following 'Protecting the Contract' posts are gleaned from the last two academic years' grievance reports, the first for the 2004-2005 academic year, the second for 2003-2004 (a complete report for the last 2005-2006 academic year will be posted shortly):

PROTECTING THE CONTRACT [Grievance Report: 2004-2005]

The enforcement and protection of the faculty contract [the collective bargaining agreement, the CBA] is the single most important function of the Union. The contract enumerates all rights, privileges and protections; it’s various articles outlining all issues of employment that underlie the working conditions for all full-time and part-time faculty. The contract may be amended during negotiations between the Union and Pratt Administration but at all times, the Union [and by extension the entire faculty], as well as the Administration, are bound by the full text of this legal agreement.

The UFCT is the exclusive bargaining representative for all full and regular part-time faculty members [or teaching staff employees] including librarians…

Article I: Recognition, "The Administration hereby recognizes the Union or its successor as the exclusive bargaining representative for all full-time and regular part-time members of the faculty presently or hereafter employed by the Institute in the bargaining unit certified as appropriate for election by the National Labor Relations Board."

Article II: Administration-Union Relationships [2.2], "The rights, privileges and obligations of members of the Unit as set forth in this Agreement supersede and replace any individual contract of employment between such member and the Institute.”

The Grievance Committee is the contract enforcement arm of the faculty Union. Each semester, three faculty members are each granted a quarter-release [1/4 of the full-time workload for the member's department] to serve as grievance counselors. The Grievance Committee is charged with acting on all faculty complaints concerning issues of employment. Language in the contract can appear ambiguous at times. Therefore, the faculty should use their Grievance Committee to help sort out, clarify and help determine whether a violation in the letter or intent of the contract exists. Article VII: ‘Grievance and Arbitration,’ sets forth the formal steps of the grievance procedure.

All grievances are initiated by an "informal" meeting [Article VII, section: 7.1] — wherein the Union and Administration shall use, "their best efforts to encourage the informal and prompt settlement of grievances which may arise under the terms and conditions of this Agreement." There are three steps at which a grievance may be initiated. A step one [I] grievance is at the departmental Chair's level, step two [II] at the level of school Dean and step three [III] at the level of Provost (as representative of the Institute). If a grievance is not settled or remedied at Step III, the grievance goes to arbitration. A grievance may be filed at any step as well as expedited — depending on where the complaint or alleged violation originated, the number of employees affected or if initiated in the last four weeks of a semester or trimester…

Example: An adjunct faculty member is intentionally under-loaded — which is to say they have been granted a workload less than they are permitted to teach according to the contract [an adjunct may teach up to seventy-five percent of a full-time workload.] If a remedy is not achieved following an informal meeting with the faculty member’s Chair, a Step I grievance is subsequently filed. The clock is thus started whereby a response is now required within a set time period or the grievance is elevated to Step II [Dean's level] and so on. As stated, a grievance need not be initiated as "Step I"…

Example: An adjunct faculty member is over-loaded — which is to say, for all intents and purposes, teaching a full-time workload, yet is only being paid at their part-time rate and not adequately compensated at an equivalent full-time salary [a 4/3 formula may be used to determine an equivalent full-time salary: contact hourly rate (CHR) times the full-time workload + 33.33%.] Departments are budgeted by the School; therefore a remedy is sought at an informal meeting with the School Dean. If not resolved at this meeting, a Step II grievance is filed. If not settled at the Dean's level, the grievance is elevated to Step III, if not settled at the Provost's level; the grievance goes to arbitration.

Arbitration is a hearing before an arbitrator. Once a formal request for arbitration is made and filed with the American Arbitration Association [AAA], a date is set, both parties make arguments and the said arbitrator renders a binding decision.

[The Pratt Administration exercises an over reliance on legal counsel and has needlessly and purposely – to my mind, "run the clock” on any number of grievances that could have easily been settled at any step prior to arbitration. Their "best efforts" would have saved money for both sides — not only the expense of the arbitrator’s fee and filing costs, but the day's pay for each Pratt employee called as witness — not withstanding the costs and penalties incurred in the loss of the arbitration.]

Grievance Settlement Agreement

On July 7, 2005 Pratt Institute and the UFCT signed a ‘Grievance Settlement Agreement’ (GSA) that effectively resolved a number of standing grievances and pending arbitration(s) between the two parties. Clarification in ‘benefits eligibility’ language associated with a number of faculty benefits (i.e. health benefits, tuition remission, CCE and sabbatical leave), and the rectification of a fundamental procedure for ‘faculty action’ review (Article XVI of the collective bargaining agreement) was achieved in the signing of this GSA.

[The following agreement language will be incorporated into the 2003-2007 Collective Bargaining Agreement]

Pratt Institute and the United Federation of College Teachers, Local 1460 hereby agree as follows:

Health Benefits:

Article/section 26.1(b)(3) reads: “Adjunct faculty without a CCE who have completed at least four (4) semesters of employment, will be provided with coverage under the US Healthcare plans provided to Pratt Institute administrators. Coverage shall be available for the adjunct faculty member, his/her spouse, and dependent children. The full cost of individual or family coverage shall be borne by such insured adjunct faculty.”

The UFCT was unequivocal in its position that “employment” includes all years of employment irrespective of faculty status – that an adjunct’s prior years of employment as a visiting faculty member should be applied towards the “four (4) semesters of employment” requirement. The Administration’s narrow view excluded all years of employment other than those as an adjunct. The signed GSA states: “In 26.1(b)(3) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the four semesters shall include service as both a visitor and as an adjunct.” The UFCT’s position prevailed.  

Tuition Remission:

Article/section 27.4(b) reads: “The tuition remission program set forth in Article 27.4 (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. 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.”

Again, usage of the word “employment” includes all years of employment irrespective of faculty status, including any such years the said adjunct was employed as a visiting faculty member – this total number of years employed thus applied towards the “ten (10) or more semesters of employment” requirement. The signed GSA states: “In 27.4(b), the ten semesters shall include service as both a visitor and as an adjunct.” The UFCT’s position prevailed.  

Certificate of Continuous Employment:

Article/section 22.1(b)(1) reads: “Service prior to September 1972 will count toward the ten semester probationary period required for the Certificate of Continuous Employment.” Article/section 22.2(a) reads: “Prior to the completion of ten (10) semesters of service, faculty members in this category shall make a decision as to whether or not they wish a full-time position.” Article/section 29.5 reads: “subject to the provisions of Article 16, part-time faculty who hold adjunct titles and who have served a total of ten semesters and have been appointed for an eleventh semester or more, beginning with the fall semester of 1972 shall be deemed to be professionally competent and shall be given a Certificate of Continuous Employment.”

The requirement of a five-year probationary period as adjunct for the conferral of CCE (tenure status for adjunct faculty) is a reaffirmation of a long and continuous past practice and completely in keeping with the language, spirit and intent of the collective bargaining agreement. The signed GSA states: “In 22.1(b)(1), 22.2 (a), and 29.5, the ten semesters shall include only service as an adjunct and shall not include service as a visitor.” The UFCT’s position prevailed.

Sabbatical Leaves:

Article/section 28.2(a) reads: “Sabbatical leave eligibility shall require at least six years (6) of continuous service at the Institute.” Precedent as well as an established practice supports the inference that “six years of continuous service” should refer to service in status. Sabbatical leaves remain available for both the adjunct and full-time faculty – however, years of service accrued are not interchangeable between statuses.

The signed GSA states: “In order to be eligible for a sabbatical leave pursuant to 28.2, a full-time faculty member must have at least six years of continuous service at the Institute as a full-timer. In order for an adjunct to be eligible for a sabbatical, she or he must have at least twelve semesters of continuous service at the Institute as an adjunct.”  

Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion & Tenure:

As was stated by the UFCT in its original grievance statement of April 12, 2004, “Article XVI section 16.2, establishes the departmental peer committee for evaluation of faculty. The ARPT faculty committee makes recommendations to the department chairperson. It is neither appropriate nor a function of the peer committee that these faculty members evaluate their chairperson. This practice therefore violates the language, spirit and intent of Article XVI.”

Chairpersons are supervisors, administrative personnel and non-bargaining unit members. They are not faculty – as defined at Pratt Institute – and therefore ineligible for all faculty actions, i.e. reappointment, promotion and tenure. To reaffirm (verbatim) section 16.1 of the collective bargaining agreement that, “The Union recognizes and accepts the authority of the Board of Trustees acting in all matters concerning appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure” is quite simply stating the obvious; the UFCT having never challenged the authority of the BoT “…acting in all matters concerning appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure.”

However, the Administration’s conceding that, “Departmental committees on appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure shall have the option whether to review any case concerning the promotion or granting of tenure to the department’s chair” permits faculty ARPT committees to remove themselves from any potential for intimidation in being pressured to evaluate their “bosses.”

The signed GSA states: “Departmental committees on appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure shall have the option whether to review any case concerning the promotion or granting of tenure to the department’s chair. The Union recognizes and accepts the authority of the Board of Trustees acting in all matters concerning appointment, reappointment, promotion and tenure.”

All in all, the GSA is very much to the faculty’s benefit.

Grievances:

[I have omitted all references to specific remuneration and to the individual parties involved in the following grievances and arbitrations]…

Workloads:

The vast majority of faculty grievances deal with workloads – the under and/or over-loading of part-time faculty. There are two part-time statuses, visiting and adjunct. Status is one’s employment level and determines the percentage of a full-time workload the part-timer may teach. Visiting faculty may teach no more than 50% of the full-time workload for their department, an adjunct may teach up to 75% of the full load.

[Adjuncts] Many grievances or potential grievances lie in the workloads of adjunct faculty — wherein an adjunct with “seniority within areas of competence” is intentionally under-loaded by a department chairperson, in essence denied a full adjunct workload. If courses an adjunct is “senior” and/or “competent” to teach are granted to a visitor in place of an adjunct, a grievance may be initiated on behalf of the adjunct. The grievance is predicated on the “seniority within… clause, which is specific to adjunct workloads only. The Union defended six adjuncts this past year and was successful in preventing their being under-loaded.

[The distinction between the visiting and adjunct statuses is significant. There is no doubt that achieving adjunct status is neither a given nor easily achieved and that there are broader protections for adjuncts in the CBA — as related to evaluation and eligibility for benefits. This should mean something. The Administration’s practice of treating all part-timers alike and ignoring these clear distinctions has been divisive for the faculty and the Union.]

Moreover, the Union was successful in securing the 4/3rds compensation for six adjuncts this past year. The Union’s position is that making an adjunct full-time is preferable to their being over-loaded. Barring that, the 4/3rds compensation can at least give the adjunct an equivalent full-time salary.

[Visitors] Fifty-seven percent of Pratt’s faculty is visitors, the majority teaching just one three-hour course a semester. Many of these visitors will eventually become adjuncts. However, the biggest difference between a visitor and an adjunct is the allowable percentage of a full load one may teach. A visitor may teach no more than 50% of a full load — unless a deviation* is requested of the Union.

*The Union’s granting of deviations from the CBA in the “over-loading” of visiting faculty members is neither a guarantee nor precedent setting. Each deviation request shall be considered on a case-by-case basis. The Union will exercise discretion and will not grant repeated deviations for the same faculty members.

The Union requires that the deviation request meet the following two conditions: 1) The said visitor will be supported by his/her chairperson and dean should he/she apply for a status change to adjunct in the next round of faculty actions, and 2) That no current adjunct faculty member in the said visitor’s department(s) will be purposely or intentionally “under-loaded” by the granting of the said deviation.

Twenty-one (21) deviations for part-time faculty were approved by the Union this past academic year, sixteen of which were for visitors. Consequently, these visitors were supported for adjunct status change by both their department chairperson and school dean. No adjuncts were intentionally under-loaded as a result.

Irrespective, the Pratt Administration’s continued ‘misuse’ of the visiting category is fraught with innumerable problems. Accordingly, a joint Union/Administration Committee will be convened this academic year to address this intractable issue.

Note, the following language as enumerated in the new ratified contract:

Visiting Category

A joint committee shall be established comprised of a mutually agreed-upon equal number of voting members (not to exceed a total of ten) appointed by the Provost and the President of the Union. Subjects to be discussed by the committee shall include but not be limited to the following:

  • The appropriate use of the visiting faculty;
  • The number of visiting faculty;
  • The appropriate procedures by which visitors may attain adjunct status; and
  • The evaluation system for visiting faculty.

The committee shall also include, in a non-voting capacity, a representative of the Academic Senate selected by the Senate. Other non-voting participants may be invited by agreement of the Provost and the President of the Union to participate in the committee’s discussions. The committee shall be constituted by October 1, 2005. It shall issue a report including any recommendations by December 31, 2006. Recommendations of the committee may result in amendment of the collective bargaining agreement only upon the written agreement of the Union and the Administration.

On a positive note, the UFCT was successful in achieving individual settlements for two visitors, both victims of the arbitrary and capricious practices of management. Moreover, thirty-three (33) visitors were granted adjunct status change and six (6) adjuncts were conferred the CCE in the 2004-2005 round of faculty actions. Equitable ratios between visiting and adjunct, and between adjunct and adjunct w/CCE are trending in the right direction for the part-time faculty.

Due Process & ARPT:

Article XVI of the CBA enumerates the process for Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure. Each department has an ARPT, “Part” or “Cart” Peer Committee. When faculty members apply for any “action” [status change, promotion, etc…] their application package is first submitted to their faculty peers. The ARPT Committee makes a “recommendation” or a “non-recommendation” to the department Chair. Starting at the Chair’s level, three administrative tiers [Chair, Dean and Provost] determine whether the faculty member is granted the said faculty request – the Board of Trustees finalizing all decisions by the end of the spring semester.

The entire ARPT issue is of critical importance to the faculty. I have described the issue as the “mother” of all faculty issues and the one issue I actually lost sleep over during contract negotiations. In short, the Administration wished to “gut” the ARPT process; effectively neutering the faculty’s chief role in freely developing the “standards of eligibility, fitness and evaluation” the [faculty] committee “deem(s) appropriate to effectuate the foregoing.”

The Administration’s proposal was to supplant section 16.2 of Article XVI with: “The Institute shall set the criteria to best effectuate the foregoing.” The repercussions of this fundamental change would have had profound implications for the entire faculty. You’ll recall that I placed a letter re: ARPT in every faculty member’s mailbox last fall 2004. A letter that was responded to by the Provost – his taking exception to what I contended.

The full-text of my letter follows:

“All faculty personnel are entitled to a due process procedure for application of all faculty actions, i.e., reappointment, promotion, status change, tenure, etc. This process is expressly enumerated in article XVI of the collective bargaining agreement. As defined in Article XVI of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on: Appointments, Reappointments, Promotions and Tenure, each departmental committee on ARPT “shall develop standards of eligibility, fitness and evaluation.”

Faculty peers play a vital role in the ARPT process. Article XVI of the CBA establishes and defines the steps necessary for one to be appointed, reappointment, promoted and tenured. The Faculty Peer Committee “must have input at the point of closest contact with the faculty members individually affected.”

No undue influence [from any outside party] should be permitted to impose its will or taint in any way – the ARPT committee’s role in freely developing the standards of eligibility, fitness and evaluation the Committee “deem(s) appropriate to effectuate the foregoing.”

It is imperative that the autonomy of each department’s ARPT Committee (Pratt has over twenty individual departments institute-wide) be empowered, respected and protected. Please read Article I: Recognition. Under “Included” — the faculty bargaining unit is clearly defined as including, “All full-time and regular part-time members of the teaching staff including full and part-time professional librarians employed at the Institute’s two locations…” Moreover, and of equal importance is understanding who is expressly excluded from this bargaining unit and by extension: the rights, privileges and protections enumerated in the CBA.

In short, Article XVI applies to teaching personnel only! Any and all administrative personnel are thus excluded. Therefore, ARPT faculty committees should only accept applications from their teaching staff peers: the full-time, adjunct and visiting faculty. It is inappropriate for chairpersons or other administrative personnel to apply for any faculty action through the departmental faculty peer committee.

If any administrative personnel should submit such an application for review to your department’s ARPT committee, it should be returned in kind and noted that the faculty peer committee is not the proper forum for evaluating administrative personnel. Any further questions should be directed to the UFCT. Clearly established and published criteria for eligibility, fitness and evaluation should afford every faculty applicant a due process that is both fair and transparent. The ARPT committee’s work is serious and meaningful. The level of thoughtfulness and care applied to this process is vitally important to the entire faculty.”

Rest assured, autonomous and individual faculty/ARPT committees have a contractually protected right to develop the standards of eligibility, fitness and evaluation best suited for their department. This is a rarefied right indeed; yet one we the faculty should not take for granted. However, this saga continues: the Provost’s push this fall (2005) for a ‘Personal History Form’; only the latest front of an issue that shows no sign of disappearing any time soon. Stay tuned!

Cost Basis Numbers & Health Benefits Costs:

The UFCT initiated an outside audit of the cost basis numbers for the ‘Aetna Open Choice PPO Plan,’ the cost of this Self-Insured Plan having fluctuated radically in recent years; an inexplicable 45% drop in 2004 was followed by a 67% rise in 2005. The UFCT’s intervention has forced the Pratt Administration – albeit reluctantly – in the direction of greater openness and transparency in the sharing of pertinent data and information related to all health benefits. Yet, we have a long way to go. For more information on this ongoing issue go to the UFCT message board: http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/ufct1460/vpost?id=524490

Information and Data:

Article VI: Information and Data, “The Administration shall make available to the Union upon its reasonable request and within a reasonable time thereafter such information which is reasonably available and is related to this Collective Bargaining Agreement which is within the possession of the Administration, as may be necessary for negotiation and implementation of this Agreement.” The Union has cited this article repeatedly this past year. The proper implementation of the contract and the general operations of the Union is dependent on having all appropriate information and data regarding faculty salaries, rates of compensation, medical and fringe benefits costs, etc. Unfortunately, the Administration has been loath to readily grant requested information. Arbitration had to be threatened three times this past year before the Administration acquiesced and forwarded all necessary data, thus avoiding costly arbitration.

Arbitrations:

Ratio of Full-Time to Part-Time Faculty:

An arbitration concerning Article XXV [Ratio of Full-Time to Part-Time Faculty] was eventually settled during contract negotiations. As stated in Article XXV section: 25.1, "Pratt Institute agrees to maintain the ratio of full-time faculty to part-time faculty at no less than existing during the 1993-94 academic years." In academic year: 1993-1994, the ratio of full-time to part-time faculty was 20% FT to 80% PT. Ratios for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 were in the vicinity of: 13%FT to 87% PT. At both the informal and formal stages of the grievance process the UFCT informed the Pratt Administration that at any point they wished to include the faculty in on a plan that would best "fit" Pratt Institute; to determine a ratio that was both attainable and sustainable and would bring the Institute into compliance with the CBA, the Union was willing to "stop the clock" on the grievance/arbitration. This gesture was rebuffed.

During the first mediated negotiation session on: May 5th 2004, the mediator suggested that the Union postpone this arbitration – rationalizing that its contentiousness was a hurdle for negotiations and that more importantly, the issue should be addressed during negotiation/mediation. The UFCT agreed to postpone first until December2004, and again until April 2005. At the close of negotiations in March 2005, the UFCT agreed to the following: “Pratt Institute agrees to maintain the ratio of full-time faculty to part-time faculty at no less than the ratio existing during the 2004-05 academic year. In 2004-05, the Institute employed 128 full-time faculty and 739 part-time faculty.” This constitutes roughly, a 15%FT/85%PT faculty ratio – insufficient, but a minimum nonetheless that allowed the Union to retain article XXV.

For more information on this ongoing issue go to the UFCT message board: http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/ufct1460/vpost?id=727130  

Overload of Adjunct Faculty Member:

An arbitration concerning the overloading of an adjunct faculty member was adjudicated on September 21, 2004, a determination rendered on: October 12, 2004. This case involved a fully loaded adjunct who as an officer of the Academic Senate was to receive as compensation, “one quarter of a full-time load as release time, or its equivalent (per semester)” — a means of compensation enumerated in the Senate Handbook, not the CBA. The Union’s position was that whether as release or equivalent stipend, the “quarter of a full-time load” when added to a full adjunct workload (75% of the full-load) loaded this adjunct as a full-timer thus entitling them to an ‘equivalent’ full-time salary (the 4/3rds compensation).

The non-existence of stipends in the CBA notwithstanding, by invoking ‘workload’ the Administration was in violation of Articles: XX [Workload] and XXII [Part-Time Faculty]. However, the arbitrator’s ruling was against the UFCT, essentially denying this overloaded adjunct the additional 33% in income he/she effectively deserved. The arbitrator’s reasoning was based on the following assertions: “the contractual definition of faculty workload does not cover work outside of teaching” that all, “previous deviation cases have dealt with teaching overloads” and that, “there is no past practice with regard to [the] non-teaching work” of the part-time faculty.

Moreover, it was affirmed that because there is no “contractual provision” in the CBA that governs the duties of an officer of the Senate, the Institute “was within its[managerial] rights to apply the terms of the Faculty Handbook in compensating [said adjunct].” Ironically, the actual method utilized in compensating this adjunct was in contradiction to the method memorialized in the Handbook. Coincidentally, none of the three methods that have existed since this grievance was filed has invoked a percentage of ‘a full-time workload.’

‘Faculty Tenure’ for Chairs:

The arbitration concerning ‘faculty tenure’ or better yet, ‘tenure’ for chairs was effectively settled on July 7th in the signing of the aforementioned GSA. As such, the issue of granting faculty actions to non-faculty/non-bargaining unit members will now be adjudicated in another forum. The UFCT has filed an ‘unfair labor charge’ against the Pratt Administration with the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board). On October 7, 2005, I gave testimony to the Board and will return shortly to give an affidavit.

For a bullet pointed account and history of this issue, go to the UFCT message board: http://www.websitetoolbox.com/tool/post/ufct1460/vpost?id=672343

The Union’s Grievance Committee will steadfastly act on behalf of all faculty/bargaining unit members by enforcing and ‘Protecting The Contract.’ Pratt’s faculty should take comfort in knowing its Grievance Committee is defending the letter, spirit and intent of the CBA.

In Solidarity,

Kye Carbone

President UFCT Local 1460

At present, the following five issues are scheduled for arbitration:

  • Faculty-Staff Housing (Article XXVII, section: 27.5a, 27.5b)
  • Tuition Exchange Eligibility (Article XVII, section: 27.4)
  • Personal History Form/ARPT (Article XVI, section: 16.2)
  • Workload & Schedule for Adjunct w/CCE (Articles: XVI, section: 16.10, XX, 20.4, XXII, 22.4)
  • Denial of Tenure (Articles: XVI, XXIX)

Grievance and Arbitration [2 of 2]

PROTECTING THE CONTRACT [Grievance Report: 2003-2004]

Grievances: [A Summary]

[I have omitted all references to the individual parties involved in the following grievances and arbitrations]…

1.) Workloads:

The vast majority of faculty grievances deal with workloads – the under and/or over-loading of part-time faculty. There are two part-time statuses, visiting and adjunct. Status is one’s employment level and determines the percentage of a full-time workload the part-timer may teach. Visiting faculty may teach no more than 50% of the full-time workload for their department, an adjunct may teach up to 75% of the full load.

[Adjuncts]

Many grievances or potential grievances lie in the workloads of adjunct faculty — wherein an adjunct with “seniority within areas of competence” is intentionally under-loaded by a department chairperson, in essence denied a full adjunct workload. If courses an adjunct is “senior” and/or “competent” to teach are granted to a visitor in place of an adjunct, a grievance may be initiated on behalf of the adjunct. The grievance is predicated on the “seniority within… clause, which is specific to adjunct workloads only. The Union defended six adjuncts this past year and was successful in preventing their being under-loaded.

[The distinction between the visiting and adjunct statuses is significant. There is no doubt that achieving adjunct status is neither a given nor easily achieved and that there are broader protections for adjuncts in the CBA — as related to evaluation and eligibility for benefits. This should mean something. The Administration’s practice of treating all part-timers alike and ignoring these clear distinctions has been divisive for the faculty and the Union.]

The Union was successful in securing the 4/3rds compensation for two adjuncts this past year. The Union’s position is that making an adjunct full-time is preferable to their being over-loaded. Barring that, the 4/3rds compensation can at least give the adjunct an equivalent full-time salary.

[Visitors] Sixty-two percent of Pratt’s faculty is visitors. Many of these visitors will eventually become adjuncts. However, the biggest difference between a visitor and an adjunct is the allowable percentage of a full load one may teach. A visitor may teach no more than 50% of a full load — unless a deviation* is requested of the Union.

*The Union’s granting of deviations from the CBA in the “over-loading” of visiting faculty members is neither a guarantee nor precedent setting. Each deviation request shalll be considered on a case-by-case basis. The Union will exercise discretion and will not grant repeated deviations for the same faculty members.

The Union requires that the deviation request meet the following two conditions:

1) The said visitor will be supported by his/her chairperson and dean should he/she apply for a status change to adjunct in the next round of faculty actions, and

2) That no current adjunct faculty member in the said visitor’s department(s) will be purposely or intentionally “under-loaded” by the granting of the said deviation.

[Nineteen deviations for part-time faculty were approved by the Union this past academic year, sixteen of which were for visitors. Likewise, both their Chair(s) and Dean supported these visitors for adjunct status change. No adjuncts were intentionally under-loaded as a result.]

There is at present, an outstanding grievance regarding two of Pratt’s graduate programs*. Both programs are being scheduled and administered with workloads that are not in compliance with the six workloads enumerated in the collective bargaining agreement. Workloads are determined by the specifics of the program/department; whether undergraduate, graduate, studio, lecture, lab, etc.

*A special allowance in the contract or the appropriate deviation request must be made of the Union. A remedy/proposal is apparently forthcoming; in the meantime, the Union has re-instated this grievance.

2.) Due Process and Academic Freedom:

Academic freedom and due process are integral to our roles as teachers and underlie the principles on which our faculty contract is predicated. The teacher who feels intimidated or the “chilling effect” of administrative procedures and/or directives that threaten one’s academic freedom or rights to due process; have a faculty Union to represent them through the grievance process. On two separate occasions this past year, the Union was asked to intervene on behalf of two faculty members, both of whom individually, found themselves in situations where charges of alleged misconduct were lodged against them by students with little or scant substantiation. In both instances, the faculty member was given little or no support from their department chairperson. In both cases, the chairperson immediately directed the complainant to Student Affairs — now involving other administrative higher ups, yet incredulously chose to neglect keeping the faculty member fully apprised of the status of the complaint.

A right to know what one is being charged with and whom one’s accuser may be seems to me, a minimum “due process” requirement. However, in both circumstances, the faculty member was never granted as much. To make matters worse, the Pratt Administration pressed both faculty members to write “apologies” – an apology for something they were not responsible for, an apology that would have been placed in their personnel files. In both cases, the Administration presented the “apology” as a “compromise.” In both cases, the Administration worried that the student’s family would pursue legal action. From the Union’s perspective, the Administration’s posture and complete lack of support for their faculty was both deeply disappointing and completely unacceptable. Both students’ eventually dropped or had dismissed their charges against these two faculty members.

3.) ARPT Process [Faculty Personnel Actions]:

Article XVI of the CBA enumerates the process for Appointment, Reappointment, Promotion and Tenure. Each department has an ARPT, “Part” or Peer Committee. When faculty members apply for any “action” [status change, promotion, etc…] their application package(s) is first submitted to their faculty peers. The ARPT Committee makes a “recommendation” or a “non-recommendation” to the department Chair. Starting at the Chair’s level, three administrative tiers [Chair, Dean and Provost] determine whether the faculty member is granted the said faculty request – the Board of Trustees finalizes all decisions at the end of the spring semester. It is critical that this process be administered properly. The faculty “shall have the opportunity to append or affix his or her comments” at each stage of this process. Faculty members have a contractual right to be fully apprised of the criteria set forth by their ARPT Committee [who shall, “develop standards of eligibility, fitness and evaluation set to best effectuate the foregoing.”]

[At this juncture — at the end of the semester, all of the final determinations are coming in. The Union is engaged in preparing a number of appeals and/or grievances regarding the ARPT process.]

4.) ‘Benefits Eligibility’ [Health Benefits & Tuition Remission]:

Adjunct faculty are entitled to purchase their health benefits through one of Pratt’s group plans and may utilize the benefit of tuition remission. Contrary to the practice of Human Resources, you may not be turned away and do have a right to these benefits if you have met the requisite years of employment…

Health Benefits:

As noted in Article XXVI section 26.1-b3, “Adjunct faculty without a CCE who have completed at least four (4) semesters of employment, will be provided with coverage under the US Healthcare plans provided to Pratt Institute administrators. Coverage shall be available for the adjunct faculty member, his/her spouse, and dependent children. The full cost of the individual or family coverage shall be borne by such insured adjunct faculty.” The key word here is employment. HR takes the position that one must be an adjunct for at least four semesters. The above contract language does not particularize “employment” as that of an adjunct. One need only be an adjunct [presently] and have been employed at Pratt for at least four semesters.

Many faculty members have shied away from signing on to a grievance that challenges the Pratt Administration’s practice of refusing adjuncts the opportunity of purchasing health benefits. Just this month, the Union filed a Step III Grievance that states, “Human Resources routinely turns away adjuncts ‘who have completed four (4) semesters of employment’ determining they are ineligible until employed four semesters as an adjunct. The Union believes that this practice violates the collective bargaining agreement.”

Tuition Remission:

As noted in article XXVII section 27.4-b, “The tuition remission program set forth in Article 27.4(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. 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.”

Again the key word here is employment. The pro-ration is based on the percentage of a full-time workload the adjunct teaches. If you teach seventy-five percentage of the full load for your department, seventy-five percent of the costs for the course(s) you, your spouse or children take will be covered – you would then be responsible for the remaining twenty-five percent of the expense.

5.) Information and Data [Article VI: Information and Data]:

“The Administration shall make available to the Union upon its reasonable request and within a reasonable time thereafter such information which is reasonably available and is related to this Collective Bargaining Agreement which is within the possession of the Administration, as may be necessary for negotiation and implementation of this Agreement.” The Union has cited this article repeatedly this past year. As you can imagine, it is imperative that the Union have all the proper information and data regarding faculty salaries, rates of compensation, medical and fringe benefits, etc – to properly prepare for negotiations and for the general operations of the faculty Union.

Unfortunately, the Administration has been loath to readily grant requested information. Arbitration was threatened twice before the Administration finally acquiesced and forwarded necessary data. Moreover, arbitration dealing with ‘Stipends and additional compensations’ [non-regularized faculty compensations that the Union has not been kept abreast of] is scheduled for November.

Cost Basis Numbers:

I have initiated an outside audit of the cost basis numbers for the ‘Aetna Open Choice PPO plan.’ This Self-Insured Plan experienced an unusual spike in its costs for the last few years and suddenly at the start of 2004 (subsequent to the Union’s queries?), has seen its costs miraculously drop by 19 to 45% [?] The faculty has a right to know what happened to the costs of this health plan.

Arbitrations: [A Summary]

1) Last summer the UFCT filed for arbitration on behalf of two Pratt librarians. On December 8, 2003 the UFCT won this arbitration. The initial grievance was based on the accrual/allotment of vacation days. The administration settled, agreeing that each librarian was due thirty-two days of full compensation.

2) Last summer the UFCT filed for arbitration concerning a communiqué sent by an Institute Dean directing chairpersons not to provide information to Union representatives. It was the Union’s position that the Dean’s advisement violated articles I [Recognition], VI [Information and Data] and VII [Grievance and Arbitration, 7.2.] The Pratt Administration requested a postponement just prior to the scheduled arbitration date of January 12th, acknowledging their non-compliance with the contract. [Settlement language is still being reviewed and conditional upon Union approval.]

3) Last fall the UFCT filed for arbitration concerning Article XXV [Ratio of Full-Time Faculty to Part-Time Faculty] According to section: 25.1, "Pratt Institute agrees to maintain the ratio of full-time faculty to part-time faculty at no less than existing during the 1993-94 academic years." The ratio of full-time faculty to part-time faculty was 20% FT to 80% PT in the 1993-94 academic years. The ratio for the 2003-2004 academic years is: 13.5% FT to 86.5% PT. [Truth be told, the Administration has been in violation of the contract for at least five years.] Using the Administration's own faculty numbers I filed a Step III grievance this past fall. At both the informal and formal stages of the grievance process I let the Administration know that I would be willing to "stop the clock" on the grievance when and if they would decide to include the faculty in on a plan that would best "fit" Pratt Institute; to determine a ratio that is both attainable and sustainable and would bring the Institute into compliance with the contract. This gesture was rebuffed.

[During our first mediation session on: May 5th, the mediator suggested that the Union postpone this arbitration – rationalizing that its contentiousness is a hurdle for negotiations and that more importantly, this issue should be addressed during mediation. We have agreed to postpone the arbitration until December.]

4) This spring the UFCT filed for arbitration concerning the overloading of an adjunct faculty member. A fully loaded adjunct (teaching 75% or more of a full load) was granted, “one quarter of a full-time load as release time, or its equivalent.” Whether as release or equivalent stipend this “quarter of a full-time load,” when added to a full adjunct workload, loads this adjunct as a full-timer and therefore, entitles them to an equivalent full-time salary. The non-existence of stipends in the contract notwithstanding, the Administration is in violation of Articles XX [Workload] and XXII [Part-Time Faculty.] Arbitration is scheduled for September.

5) This spring the UFCT filed for arbitration concerning the Administration’s refusal to forward Institute-wide “stipends and additional compensations.” The Administration is in violation of Articles I [Recognition], II [Administration-Union Relationships] and VI [Information and data] of the CBA. Arbitration is scheduled for November.

6) This spring the UFCT filed for arbitration concerning faculty tenure. The Administration has told a number of sitting chairpersons they have tenure should they return to, or enter the faculty ranks. In granting “faculty” tenure to chairpersons who are administrative personnel, the Administration actually acknowledges that tenure can only be bestowed on faculty; that the day a chairperson becomes a member of the faculty they will have tenure. Yet, the conferral of tenure by this practice contravenes the CBA. Article XVI section 16.2, establishes the departmental peer committee for evaluation of faculty.

The ARPT faculty committee makes recommendations to the department chairperson. It is neither appropriate nor a function of the peer committee that these faculty members evaluate their chairperson (they being subordinates not “peers” to the said chairperson). This practice therefore violates the language, spirit and intent of Article XVI.

Kye Carbone, President UFCT Local 1460

Grievance Committee:

Gerson Sparer

Kye Carbone

Irving Perlman