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September 2015

 

Four more years
Kevin Peterman

 

kevin peterman

Welcome back! As we begin this semester we also begin the terms of the four-year contract extension negotiated last year. Yes, we have labor peace. Yes, we did make adjustments. As most of you know, we did agree to continue the “plus two” class size agreement. In addition, adjuncts may now teach nine credits, faculty eligible for steps received them on September 1 and all faculty will get a raise in the spring semester. The 2015-19 MOA can be found at www.fascc.org/docs/MOA2015-2019.pdf.

This agreement allowed us to work with the college to find savings and to address some non-money issues. As a result the college has not reduced faculty lines. In fact, there are five new FA positions this fall.

Election Day is around the corner

This article’s title is not just a reference to our contract but a political one as well.
While the presidential election is not until 2016, we do have important local elections this November. The Suffolk County executive and the 18 Suffolk County legislative officials are on the ballot this November. The FA political action committee has screened the candidates and our recommendations will be announced next month. If you have not already done so, please register to vote at www.elections.ny.gov/VotingRegister.html.

As some of you have heard me say, “the county Legislature is like a school district’s school board: they vote on our collective bargaining agreements and the college operating and capital budgets every year.” This is why we screen and endorse candidates. Regardless of party affiliation, we support those who support the college and labor issues.

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association

The last issue I want to mention is a case before the U.S. Supreme Court: Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association. Some individuals are insisting they should be entitled to the benefits of a unionized work place without contributing their fair share for the union representation that benefits them. They want all the benefits and contract protections the union negotiates without paying their “fair share” for those services, either as a union member through union dues or as a “fee payer” through a fee for representation.

Depending on how the court rules, this could have a real impact on public sector unions. So please, if you’re uncertain whether you are an FA member, please contact Anita by phone (451-4151) or email (anita@fascc.org).

New FA initiatives

The FA has two new programs this semester: the Conflict Mediation Program and The Write Time, an open workshop to help members pursue research and scholarship goals. In addition we’re continuing our popular New Member Discussion Series in collaboration with the Office of Faculty and Professional Advancement.

Our most successful program, the award-winning Professors on Wheels in which faculty volunteer their time offering lectures to residents in Suffolk County nursing homes, is expanding to include libraries now too. As always we encourage you to get involved because activism works!

Have a wonderful year.