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Important Update

Judy Sandler, NYSUT Labor Relations Specialist, met with the NCCFT Executive Committee, Academic Senate Executive Committee and Chairpersons Executive Committee on Monday, June 22nd.

The meeting was productive in many respects, including the introduction of new members of these committees to each other. The membership should understand each of these groups is responsible to a different constituency on campus and yet we are connected together whereby our authority is defined in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  This meeting gave the campus faculty leadership the opportunity to discuss a variety of issues of mutual concern including the disastrous Presidential Search, the role of the Deans, replacement of full-time faculty and the role of the Board of Trustees.  The three campus leadership groups recognize the Board’s inability to select a President.  However, the SUNY Board’s resolution to limit Dr. Saunders’ tenure as Acting President to 60 days appears to be a move in the right direction.  It is our hope that an impartial individual who will not be eligible to apply for the Presidency is appointed in the very near future.   Although the Board of Trustees announced replacements to the Search Committee, the Search Committee has received no notification as to the next steps.  The leadership groups agreed to draft a joint letter describing our concerns and questions.   This joint letter will be published upon completion and details will follow.

Furthermore, the NCCFT is also discussing these issues with NYSUT in an effort to bring our message to SUNY.

During the Monday meeting, we also discussed our difficulties working with the Deans, retirements, replacements, budgets and a variety of strategies to improve our relationships or not.  In addition, the three leadership groups agreed to direct NYSUT to review legal action against the BOT with respect to their June 9th resolutions supporting Acting President Saunders’ veto of Senate resolutions on Class Size and Curriculum.

The NCCFT Executive Committee also met with the Chair of the Academic Senate and members of the Academic Senate Affirmative Action Committee to discuss the language and implications of the College’s sexual harassment policy.  In addition, we are in receipt of the draft copy of the Academic Senate Bullying policy, and this is also under review.

We ask our members to review the video of the last BOT meeting.  If you already viewed it, then view it again.   Study it carefully.  Then make a promise to get involved with the NCCFT when we send out a Call for Action.  We will fight to maintain for our students the gem of Nassau County.

One last thought– what role is Nassau County politics playing in the Presidential Search process?  If you don’t know the answer, then start to ask questions.

In solidarity

Amendment to Resolution Appointing the Acting President of NCC

Please click on the link below:

 

 

Get Ready!!!

The June 9th Board of Trustees’ meeting was indeed unique. The agenda was packed with Committee hearings before the actual Board meeting began.

  • An Audit report of the College.
  • Finance Committee report of operating expenditures to date.
  • Capital Committee report on physical construction projects to date.
  • Acceptance of a Food Pantry on campus to assist our students, faculty and staff. Contract with NICE bus transportation to use our roads for bus driver training.
  • Personnel Committee resolution to accept the recommendations of the P&T.
  • Academic Affairs Committee discussion on protocol to hear arguments with respect to the three Academic Senate resolutions to override the Presidential vetoes of the Developmental Education, CWCC and Class size resolutions.

For several days prior to and including the day of the BOT meeting, the NCCFT Executive Committee, Academic Senate Executive Committee (ASEC), P&T and others discussed and coordinated our actions for the meeting.

At 4:30 pm on June 9th, the NCCFT met with the P&T Committee.  Dr. Patricia Halcrow, Chair and Professor Connie Egelman, Secretary were asked by the Administration to be available for consultation.  Upon opening the Board’s Personnel Sub-Committee meeting, Trustee Wanda Jackson, Chair ordered the Committee into executive session. This resulted in a long and thorough examination of the facts.  After a long delay, the BOT approved the P&T recommendation for the faculty member that Acting President Saunders failed to move forward.  This decision was met by cheers from those in attendance.

Finally, the actual Board meeting began after 9 p.m., whereby Dr. Gardyn announced the protocol for reviewing the Senate resolutions.  A table was set-up with chairs, computer, smart-board and microphone. The ASEC and the Administration were each given 15 minutes to make their presentation and afterwards the Board asked questions to both groups. After each resolution/veto was discussed, the Board consulted with each other and Dr. Gardyn announced the decision of the Board.

When the Board called the meeting to order, the first item on the agenda was the Class Size resolution. This was presented by Dr. Evelyn Wortsman Deluty and Dr. David Stern for the ASEC and Dr. Saunders presented for the Administration.  As you can see in the video, the Board does not fully understand the time-honored practice of process, contemplative and collegial discourse and shared governance. Yet, in minutes they made their decision to uphold the veto of the President and allow the Class Size increases to stand.  The ASEC recognized the appropriateness of addressing the financial concerns of the College, however, this should be accomplished through the governance process.

Next, the Board placed the CWCC Curriculum resolution on the agenda. This was presented by Dr. Evelyn Wortsman Deluty and Prof. Christopher Merlo for the ASEC and Acting Deans Tom Fernandez and Jerry Kornbluth for the Administration.  This “hearing” was particularly disturbing. Aside from process and/or merits, the class-size resolution as presented by the Acting President was a straight-up financial impact decision.  We can even understand the Board’s and Acting President’s position on that issue. However, the CWCC resolution is a complete assault and insult to the academic areas these Acting Deans represent.  Acting Dean Kornbluth was a Professor in the Math Department.  Acting Dean Fernandez was a Professor in the Engineering/Physics/Technology before becoming Acting Dean of the Math and Science Area.  It is our position that the Deans (Acting or not) should understand the needs of the Departments in their area, build a consensus amongst the faculty and administration, and then advocate for the Area. Instead, Acting Dean Fernandez, figuratively, threw his Area “under the bus”. He convinced the Board that our Science and Math requirements were excessive, unnecessary and irrelevant to the General Liberal Arts students.  Furthermore, Acting Dean Kornbluth convinced the Board that Physical Education (his Area) was a waste of the students’ time. The Board agreed with both of them. What will happen to the Math, Science and PE programs, offerings and faculty will be devastating.  Fortunately, the new student trustee, Jennifer Borzym, realized the faculty made the stronger arguments and voted accordingly.  The NCCFT cannot be silent and complacent on this issue; remember the writings of Martin Niemoller, “first they came for the …”.

Some members of the Board attempted to convince the audience that there was no intent to cut our programs to 60 credits, however, Trustee Donna Tuman explained that at LIU Post, where she is Chair of the Art Dept., they are scaling back their Bachelors programs to 120 credits. For those of us who have taken excessive Math courses, we can equate this to 60 at Nassau and 60 at Post, unless Post will allow our students to only take 56 credits at their campus for a Bachelor’s degree.

The last item on the agenda was the resolution regarding the Developmental Education Committee recommendations for the Placement Exam scores.  An exhausted, yet articulate Dr. Evelyn Wortsman Deluty and Dr. Paul Rosa presented for the ASEC.  Dean Melanie Hammer and Dean David Follick presented for the Administration.  At the conclusion of this “hearing”, the Board recognized that the committee was close to a consensus and decided to send it back to the governance structure for a final recommendation by November of 2015.

In past posts, the NCCFT discussed the “Silence of the Deans”, whereby their participation in Senate debates is minimal, if existent at all.  It seems that the silence is intentional. The Deans gather their own data; they do not vet this data through the governance process.  Instead, they aggregate their material, make assumptions and then present their conclusions to the Board.  This is worse than “shadow governance”. This is an affront to the faculty, students and staff of this college. To make matters worse, the Board chided the faculty and administration to learn to work together.  Perhaps the silence of the Deans was better than the sounds of Acting Deans, Acting Vice-Presidents and Acting President.  We need our administration to stop acting and become.  We insist the SUNY Chancellor appoint an Interim President from outside the campus while the College proceeds with another search.  Much more on this will be forthcoming.

Here is an idea to work together:  The NCCFT will meet with the ASEC and with the Chairs to review the actions of the Board with respect to the resolutions and the Presidential search to discuss further measures.  Of course, we ask you to review the video that is posted. We are certain the ASEC and the Chairs will have their own analysis of events, and we recommend everyone understand those positions.   Please be ready to stand united as the next steps are announced.

BOT Meeting June 9, 2015 – Pt I

BOT Meeting June 9, 2015 – Pt II

A Just Result

Thanks to Promotion and Tenure Committee Chair, Dr. Patricia Halcrow, P & T Secretary, Professor Connie Egelman, and all of the members of the committee for their tenacious and unwavering persistence on behalf of one of our members whom they had recommended for reclassification but whom Acting President Saunders had failed to recommend to the Board of Trustees.

How did this result happen?

  • The P & T Chair and Secretary were called to meet with Dr. Saunders to describe the process and outline their decision making regarding this applicant. (They were refused Union representation at this meeting by Dr. Saunders)
  • The issue was discussed on several occasions during monthly meetings between the NCCFT Executive Committee and the Administration in an effort to resolve the situation.
  • The P&T Committee wrote a letter to the BOT expressing their concerns over Acting President Saunders’ refusal to forward one of their recommendations to the BOT.
  • The BOT requested additional information.
  • An outstanding letter to the Board of Trustees outlined both the process and the rationale for recommending the reclassification.
  • Almost all of the members of the Promotion and Tenure Committee were present at last night’s Board meeting.
  • The Chair of the P & T Committee met with eight members of the Board and several administrators in Executive session.
  • The Board finally announced their unanimous decision to approve the P&T Committee’s recommendation. (The new student trustee abstained since she had not been a part of the discussion)

Once again, thank you to the P&T Committee members for their Union support and solidarity as well as the time and effort necessary to effectuate a just result.

This was a monumental and extraordinarily important decision not just for the faculty member but for our entire promotion process.

In solidarity

The NCCFT Executive Committee

NYSUT – Benefits that matter to you!

NYSUT May-June 2015

We Will Prevail

The Faculty at Nassau Community College are remarkable in their professionalism, knowledge, commitment and spirit. This semester has been marked with countless achievements, awards, promotions, resolutions, debates and successes in and out of the classroom.

There are many changes in the composition of the many committees that comprise the shared governance structure on campus including the Academic Senate Executive Committee, Senate Committees, NCCFT Committees, Chairs Committee, Faculty Student Association and more. We want to thank everyone who has served with distinction and honor this year, especially considering the dysfunction on campus and welcome the new and continuing members.

It would seem unfathomable that the College is wrapping up the Spring semester in such chaos. Yet, the “new normal” places the faculty, administration and board of trustees in an adversarial position. We have heard discussions in various Union meetings, Senate meetings, Chairs meetings, Administrative meetings, Board of Trustees meetings, Department meetings, Area meetings and hallway meetings. Every side believes they are correct, every side claims they are willing to cooperate, compromise and communicate.

Yet, we end the semester with unresolved Senate issues such as the Planning Committee resolution, the Curriculum resolution, the Developmental Education resolution, the Class-size resolution and emergency days.  However, most of these issues were resolved through our very successful Shared Governance Process but vetoed by our Acting President!

Furthermore, we have unresolved NCCFT issues such as retirements, replacements of full-time faculty and the catastrophic interference by our Acting President with the recommendations of the P&T committee.

And then, there is the issue of NO decision on who will be the next College President.

The current state of affairs cannot and will not be the “new normal” if the NCCFT membership continues to work together within the shared governance structure!

We have witnessed your commitment to those values that have made this Union strong allowing us to achieve a contract that has given each of you the ability to realize your dreams while maintaining the quality education and national reputation that our students expect from the “Jewel of Nassau County”.   The Executive Committee thanks you and asks that you continue your support for the initiatives that will be forthcoming. We will prevail.

In solidarity

The NCCFT Executive Committee

Endorsed Local School Board Candidates

2015 Local Endorsements in Nassau School Board Elections

District Union Endorsed Candidate

Incumbent (Y/N)

Contested Race (Y/N)

Massapequa Maryanne Fisher

Y

N

Massapequa Joe LaBella

Y

N

Levittown Kevin Regan

Y

Y

Levittown Marianne Adrian

N

Y

West Hempstead Caitlin Close

N

N

West Hempstead Patricia Greaves (NYSUT member)

N

N

West Hempstead Adrianne Shinsato

N

N

Freeport Ernest Kight, Jr.

N

Y

Lynbrook Leslie Dininno (NYSUT member)

N

Y

Lynbrook Dave Yaker (NYSUT member)

N

Y

Lynbrook Renee Gaughran

N

Y

Westbury John Simkins

Y

Y

Westbury Dr. Pless Dickerson

Y

Y

Uniondale Emerson Mott

Y

Y

Uniondale James Sharpe

Y

Y

Syosset Bill Weiner

N

Y

Syosset Dale Predmore

N

Y

Syosset Chris DiFilippo

Y

Y

 

2015 NYSUT Suffolk Locals Endorsed Candidates

 

Amityville: Juan Leon, Jeannette Santos

Babylon: 1A – Tricia Pané (NYSUT member), 2A – Ann Donaldson (NYSUT member/ Incumbent)

Bayport-Blue Point: Christopher Richardt (HS Principal) Challenging BOE President.  Tight Race. Gina Murphy (NYSUT Member)

Central Islip: Fred Philips (incumbent), Bill Softy (incumbent), Both of these candidates are in a tight race.

 Commack: Jarrett Behar

Connetquot: Craig Amarando (NYSUT member-West Babylon Teacher), Nick Ferraioli  (NYSUT member-Brentwood Teacher)

Deer Park: Donna Marie Elliott (incumbent), Robert Marino (incumbent), Kristine Rosales (incumbent)

East Moriches: Local has not endorsed candidates, but wanted the following shared with other locals – EMTA has not endorsed, but is sponsoring a community Meet the Candidate Night on May 13th @ 7pm, Elementary School, two seats are open.

Bill Hempfling – NYSUT Member, Joann Lapinski- Incumbent, Lisa Pesce- NYSUT Member

Islip: Brian Clock, Maryann Coughlin, Tom Leggio

 Kings Park: Diane Nally (incumbent), Kevin Johnston (NYSUT member)

Also: Vote YES proposition 1 (Budget), Vote YES proposition 2 (Bus Purchases), Vote YES proposition 3 (Capital Reserve – H.S. Roof)

Harborfields: Chris Kelly, Suzie Lustig, Don Mastroianni

 Lindenhurst: Todd Lemieux, Tory Vine

Middle Country: Arlene Barresi (incumbent), Karen Lessler (NYSUT member/incumbent), James Macomber (incumbent)

Northport: David Badanes (incumbent), David Stein , Tammie Topel (former BOE trustee)

 Patchogue-Medford: Bunnie Schiller

 Also – Vote Yes on Prop 1 (Budget), Vote Yes on Prop 2 (Captial Reserve Fund

Vote No on Prop 3 (Transportation mileage increase for private school students)

Rocky Point: Ed Casswell, Scott Reh (incumbent)

 Smithtown: Chris Alcure, Jeremy Thode

South Country (Bellport): Lisa DiSanto, Regina Hunt, Chris Picini

 Three Village: William Connors (incumbent/NYSUT Member- Suffolk Community College), Deanna Bavlnka (incumbent)

Westhampton Beach: Steve Wisnoski – NYSUT retiree/Former Teacher Presidents.  He is in a tight race.

NYSUT’s 43rd Representative Assembly

NCCFT Update – 5/1/2015

This weekend, elected delegates from the NCCFT attended the 43rd NYSUT Representative Assembly in Buffalo, NY. This Assembly includes K-20 teachers and school related professionals from across New York State.  In addition, representatives from our national affiliates, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), were also in attendance so that educators across the nation could share a common narrative, “Be the Union”.

The Assembly

  • held a rally in support of the Buffalo Teachers Federation who has been without a contract for 10 years
  • witnessed NYSUT confer Constituency Awards wherein Steve London, VP of CUNYs Professional Staff Congress, won HigherEd member of the year (of course, you recall Frank Frisenda won this award in 2012)
  • held caucus meetings for all the various constituency groups – HigherEd, K-12, SRPs, political action, social justice, LGBTQ, health and safety and many more

We focused on HigherEd which includes the SUNY, CUNY, Community Colleges and private colleges of NYSUT. The concerns are the same in every corner of the State:  inadequate funding, inadequate staffing, privatization efforts and the attacks on tenure and governance.

While there are a variety of court cases that directly attack tenure making their way through the justice system, our own Governor, State Assembly and Senate have dealt a deadly blow to the K-12 constituency by tying test scores to teacher evaluations via the APPR.  NYSUT is presently gathering data on the number of parents that have participated in the Opt-Out campaign.  This campaign encourages parents to have their children not participate in the reading and math tests.  In addition, the State has increased the K-12 probationary period to four years from three for tenure.

Some of the resolutions brought forward for HigherEd include

  •  NY University to reform taxation of Graduate Tuition Remission which would allow the cost of Graduate     school to be tax-deductible for its employees
  •  a resolution supporting the United University Professionals Action Plan for the success of SUNY
  •  a resolution encouraging HigherEd faculty across the SUNY system to NOT adopt Pearson Textbooks. This is the company that has the $32 million contract with NYS to design and implement the unacceptable Common Core testing along with a gag-order on teachers. Please consider this resolution as you consider adopting your course texts.

Finally, Karen Magee, President of NYSUT, encourages us all “To Be the UNION”.  We are organizing from K-20 and have beat back the “Hunger Games” policy the Governor has tried to impose upon us through  Performance Based Funding.  The Opt-Out movement is growing, Downstate Medical has been saved, NYSUT’s legal department is defending tenure and due process, challenging the tax-cap, Pearson Publishing and the Governor’s unacceptable attacks on teachers and public education.  Of course, this takes, both, member boots on the ground and money. VOTE-COPE is the only financial tool at our disposal to fight back. So please, fill out your VC forms with a contribution of 1/10 of 1 percent of your annual salary and return them to the NCCFT office.

We must organize more than ever. The new leadership at NYSUT promises “we will NOT back down” and declares that all NYSUT members must standup, be engaged, be counted and “Be the Union”.  We, the Executive Committee of the NCCFT, are committed to this end and ask that you join one of our many NCCFT committees, Be the Union and, together, we can make a difference.