Category Archives: Negotiations

Discussions with Pratt Administration

Parity and Equity the focus of November 14th General Union Membership Meeting

We will hold a General [Union] Membership Meeting on Thursday, November 14th from 5:00 to 7:00 in the Alumni Reading Room [3rd floor, Brooklyn Library].

The single topic for discussion will be: ‘Equity’ & ‘Parity’, in particular, for Part-Time Faculty…

What is meant by equity? What is meant by parity? How do we get there if at all?

Please bring your ideas and questions to this open-discussion, as this is a ‘global’ issue affecting faculty across higher-ed and the nation. Over his ten years as UFCT President, Kye Carbone has been working on issues of equity and parity: he will provide historical context for the next push for parity/equity, and make the case as to why this issue warrants every single UFCT bargaining unit member’s full-attention, whether you are full-time or part-time, tenured or non-tenured.

No need to RSVP: all dues-paying members are welcome.

Following the meeting, the UFCT will be hosting a Happy Hour(s)!! at the Brooklyn Public House (DeKalb, a few doors in from Vanderbilt…).

Question About Online Voting

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

Dear Kye,

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

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

Thanks,

Jenny Lee

 

From VOTENET:

Votenet Certification and Security Measures

Votenet Secret Balloting

Votenet Security Infrastructure

Contract Ratification, Summer 2012

Dear UFCT Voting Member:

FYI…

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

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

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

In Solidarity,

Kye

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

Memorandum of Understanding 2011-2015

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING

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

1. General Wage Increases

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

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

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

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

2. Equalization Funds

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7. Health Benefits for Adjunct Faculty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In all other respects Article 32 shall remain the same.

11. Office Hours

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

12. Departmental Meetings

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

13. Article XXVII: Health Benefits

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

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

14. Article XX: Workload

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

15. PROFESSIONAL LIBRARIANS SICK LEAVE

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

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

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

16. Article XXII: Pre-Retirement

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

17. Article XXIII: Part-Time Faculty

Eliminate Section 23.5

18. Article XXIX: Leaves

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

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

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

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

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

iii) Add the following section (c):

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

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

v) Add the following section (e):

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

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

vii) Add the following section (f):

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

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

20. INDEPENDENT STUDY RATE

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

21. OVERTIME RATE FOR LIBRARY FACULTY

Section 24.6 will be replaced with the following:

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

22. SABBATICAL LEAVES

Section 29.2(a) shall be revised to read:

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

23. CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT BY FACULTY

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

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

24. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAYS FOR LIBRARIANS

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

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

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

25. SUMMER WORK WEEK FOR LIBRARIANS

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

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

26. TIAA EARLY WITHDRAWL

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

27. CCE LIFE INSURANCE

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

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

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

Part-Time Health Benefits Initiative

A group of union members has initiated a much-needed awareness campaign to draw attention to the following:

  • 75-80% of Pratt faculty are currently deemed ineligible for any form of health insurance benefits through the Institute
  • Of Pratt’s yearly operating budget of 170 million, less than 20% is spent on faculty (that’s including all part-time and full-time faculty benefits).
  • The Pratt administration has agreed to provide healthcare benefits for part-timers in the past 2 contracts, but has yet to honor these agreements in practice.
  • Every other college of Pratt’s prestige and caliber in NYC provides healthcare benefits to both full and part-time faculty (including The New School, Cooper Union, School of Visual Arts, CUNY, NYU, and Columbia).
  • UFCT’s current demand is that Pratt grant all part-timers (who teach a 50% workload for at least two semesters) access to healthcare benefits with a 25% contribution by the employee.
  • This is just the beginning of  a multi-pronged campaign.  Check out the website, or download the Healthcare FactSheet to find out how to support this endeavor.

Preparation for Negotiations, Update 3/27

Dear UFCT Member:

The Union has thus far, conducted no less than fourteen discussion/preparation meetings with an eye on our spring-summer negotiations w/the Pratt Administration.

There are just two such sessions remaining, both this coming week: (1) Monday, 3/28th from 5:00 to 6:30, and (2) Wednesday, 3/30th from 5:00 to 6:30 (both meetings will be held in the UFCT conference room: 123 North Hall). Originally, Wednesday’s meeting was to be held during the 12:30 to 2PM time-slot, and was to be, the “final” or “send-off” faculty meeting. This has changed. Therefore, please stay tuned, as the “final” or send-off meeting has not been scheduled as yet, but will take place within the first two weeks of April.

Lastly, we are finalizing the UFCT’s “slate of demands” which we hope to have completed, and sent to all union members on email by week’s end.

In Solidarity,

-Kye