NYSUT Executive VP Pallotta’s Testimony

The full testimony of Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice President, NYSUT, to the Senate Finance Committee Chair, John DeFrancisco and the Assembly Ways and Means Committee Chair, Herman D.Farrell, Jr. on the Proposed 2015-2016 Executive Budget for Higher Education, February 10, 2015:


BOT Meeting Updates





Nancy Barker                                  Barbara Barnard                     Paula Wheeler Carlo                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wendy Eisner                                Eileen Engelke

Louis Gioia                                         Holly Giordano                       Jason Gorman                          

                         Stephan Ogumah                               Christina Rau

Norman Spencer                                 Joyce Stern                              Peiran Teng          

                           Caitlin Thurber                        Pramila Venkateswaran


In addition, please see the two resolutions that the BOT passed at the February 10, 2015 meeting:



Additional details about this meeting will be discussed by President DeSanto at the next Executive Board meeting.

NYSUT Talking Points

Public Higher Education Quality Initiative

New York State’s system of public higher education-the largest in the nation-is the essential path to economic opportunity and equality for our students. Yet, SUNY and CUNY have suffered close to $2 billion in cuts over the last six years, driving up tuition, imperiling opportunities for students and threatening quality and access. The Public Higher Education Quality Initiative is dedicated to ensuring quality, opportunity and access at public colleges and universities across New York State.

Today, students are shouldering far too much of the weight in funding the academic services and programs offered at these campuses. The Governor again grossly underfunds public higher education and adds insult to injury by subjecting our campuses to ill-conceived pay-for-performance schemes designed to hide his lack of support for our campuses and our students.

NYSUT Urges the Legislature to:

* Provide increased funding and a real maintenance of effort for SUNY and CUNY four-year campuses that includes mandatory costs (collective bargaining, energy and other inflationary costs). We must keep the promise made to our students that increases in their tuition would be used to enhance academic programs and services. It should not be used to fill budget gaps because the state is not paying its fair share.

* Provide an increase of $250 per full-time equivalent student to begin to move towards the promise that was made by the state forty years ago to provide 40 percent of operating costs to community colleges. We must reclaim this promise to these campuses, which are the gateways to public higher education for hundreds of thousands of students in this state.

* Create an endowment to restore and rebuild SUNY and CUNY academic departments through the addition of full-time faculty and professional staff, ensuring the quality courses, programs and mentoring students deserve.

* Reject the Governor’s cuts to SUNY hospitals and restore funding back to the 2010-11 level of $128 million. Reject the ill-advised proposal to authorize private business corporations to own or operate hospitals, which will lead to the privatization of our SUNY hospitals. Re-program the $700 million in capital funding to restructure health care facilities in Brooklyn to be used for the development of comprehensive ambulatory care facilities.

* Reject the Governor’s assault on teacher preparation programs. The Executive Budget includes language to bring about policy changes that would negatively impact teacher preparation programs and teaching students. The proposals are grounded in the New York State Education Department’s deeply flawed and poorly implemented new system of teacher certification exams. If enacted, the proposals could: lead to a dramatic and irreversible decline in college-based teacher preparation programs; reduce access to and diversity in teacher education; and lead to educationally unsound standardization of teacher education curricula.

* Invest strongly in student financial aid and opportunity programs, updating and reforming the state’s Tuition Assistance Program, to advance a strong system of public higher education that ensures quality, access and opportunity for all.

Congratulations NYS Assembly Speaker Heastie

Congratulations Speaker Heastie

Message from NYSUT President Karen Magee

Sisters and brothers:

Gov. Cuomo has declared war on teachers and public education … and every student, parent and educator is threatened by his attacks.

He wants to:

  • · gut collective bargaining and due process rights
  • · hold school funds hostage to his threats
  • · deny college students access and opportunity and
  • · more than double the weight of high-stakes standardized tests.

And he’s pushing his Billionaires’ Agenda by demonizing teachers and unions.

This is the most punishing education plan ever put forward by any New York governor. And it’s a plan that MUST BE STOPPED!

This brief video is my urgent call to action for all NYSUT members. I ask you to take a moment to watch it and then share.

And go to nysut.org/allkidsneed for actions you can take right now to get involved.

Stand up against scapegoating and support what all kids need.

· Please watch this brief video call to action.

You will find action steps, resources and information at nysut.org/allkidsneed to help us win this war.

Thank you in advance for joining the fight to save public education!

In solidarity,

Karen E. Magee


NYSUT Member Appreciation Month

February is Member Appreciation Month!

Don’t forget that NYSUT Member Benefits is teaming up with its endorsed program providers for a special month-long event in February 2015.

Member Appreciation Month will feature a special prize drawing each day of the month in February, including a Bose Wave Radio, iPad Mini, several Amazon Kindles, and a variety of gift cards. The winners of the daily prize drawings will be announced exclusively on the Member Benefits website throughout the month of February.

You MUST be a member of the voluntary Member Benefits MAP Alert email service to be eligible for these drawings!

For more details about Member Appreciation Month, visit the Member Benefits website at memberbenefits.nysut.org or call 800-626-8101.

NYSUT’s Take Action Tuesdays

NYSUT Members

Membership mobilization and keeping everyone informed as we move forward in our fight against the governor will be a challenge.  In an effort to work through this together as one unified union, we need your help.

In an effort to both mobilize our members and keep them informed, I am proud to announce, “Take Action Tuesday.”  On Take Action Tuesdays, we will text a simple idea or action to you and your members.

To accomplish this, we ask you to sign up for the new NYSUT MAC Text Alert. Signing up for text alerts is easy: just text NYSUT to 38470.

We want each of our members to get involved in the work of the union and we need each member involved in the fight for public education.

Remember, the UNION starts with YOU!

In Solidarity,
Andy Pallotta, Executive Vice President



The dysfunction that exists within our administration does not end at the gates of Nassau Community College. If you follow the breadcrumbs, you will find the trail leads to the County Legislature, State Legislature, SUNY and the Governor. Beyond those boundaries, there lies much more, but not for this post.

We heard the State of the Union and the President’s plans for education; we heard the State of the State and the Governor’s plans for education; we heard the State of SUNY and the Chancellor’s plans for SUNY; we heard from our Board of Trustees and their plans for education. Of course, we have not heard from our Deans, but the Deans Remain Silent.

Make no mistake about it, We Are At War! Our previous post is the message from NYSUT President Karen Magee. This battle includes N-20 and beyond. We must build coalitions in the community we serve in order to identify areas of common concern and interest.  Areas of the community we are building coalitions with are our N-12 brothers and sisters and the LIFed Jobs with Justice group. These efforts are being led by our PAC Co-Chairs, Dawn Smith and Stephanie Sapiie, respectively. I know many NCCFT members work closely with various groups in the community and we need to hear from you so that you may share your advocacy efforts with us.

More immediately, we urge all our members to join the NYSUT Member Action Center. You can log in with your computer to https://mac.nysut.org/; or, better yet, download the App to your phone (download the MAC App from the Apple store if you have an iPhone, download from Google-Play for Android phones); still better, right now you can text “38470”.  With this, you will receive NYSUT MAC (Member Action Center) Text Alerts.

These alerts will ask you to take ACTION.  It makes it easy to immediately send emails and faxes to your Legislators and the Governor on important educational issues.  We need to be heard!

NYSUT President Karen Magee on Gov. Cuomo

Magee 1-21-15

Silence of the Deans

We want to recognize and extend our appreciation to the non-classroom faculty who continued working over the winter break and welcome back the classroom faculty to a new semester that will prove to be a challenging time.  A quick review of events with respect to the Senate, Administration and Board of Trustees is in order.

We began the Fall semester with the ill-conceived SUNY Seamless mandate still unsettled. The Academic Senate determined that the College-wide Curriculum Committee could discuss a new proposal to bring us into compliance with the MtP, whereby the CWCC responded conscientiously with a proposal. This proposal was crafted as a result of months of deliberations with the Administration, Chairs, NCCFT, SUNY, faculty and students.  As this proposal was being processed through our governance structure, the Administration crafted a resolution http://nccft.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/101414.pdf for the BOT to adopt, that rushed the process. What is most disturbing to us is that the Administration knew fully the plans and procedures that were in place and yet still moved forward with this resolution to mischaracterize to the BOT our failure to act in good faith and demonstrate their need to insert themselves in order to bring the College into compliance.  Although the campus governance process had already been addressing the MtP mandate, the Senate responded to the BOT resolution professionally and the new degree requirements have been approved and are being aggregated for logistical implementation.  And, the Deans remain silent.

With triumph and glee, the Administration then crafted another resolution http://nccft.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/111314.pdf for the Board. This time it was to direct the Developmental Education Committee to lower the cutoff scores that require students to take the placement exams for Math, Reading and English. This issue is already addressed in several of the DevEd charges this year and the committee has been working on it. Nassau Community College faculty showed up in large numbers to address the BOT Academic Affairs Committee concerning this resolution.  (A word about the Academic Affairs Committee – the membership is fluid based upon which BOT members are available on any given night). The Committee announced that they noticed the number of faculty at the meeting and wanted to hear from them. However, the Committee members spent so much time discussing the concept, intent and wording of the resolution without our input, they voted on the resolution, announced they were running out of time and would only allow one or two speakers to speak.  And, the Deans remain silent.

Since that time, the DevEd Committee has been able to obtain some data from the Administration and is reviewing it. Meanwhile, the BOT is insisting the Committee provide monthly progress reports to the Board and the Board believes this is their prerogative as part of the shared governance process.  The position of the NCCFT is this may be a violation of the terms and conditions of employment and ask the Senate to continue their work within the scope of their established process.

At the December 2014 Board meeting, our Administration, once again, joyfully brought the BOT a resolution http://nccft.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/120914.pdf.  This time, they want to change the degree requirements that were just approved by the Academic Senate, (of which the Administration are a part of and vote).  In addition, a review of this resolution is demonstrative of the disregard for process and application as it is fraught with errors and nonsense.  And, the Deans remain silent.

This past week, the Administration, embarrassed by the mistakes in the last resolution, produced an updated resolution http://nccft.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/011315.pdf for the BOT to enact regarding our degree programs.  Since the CWCC already has within its charges to review the NCC degree requirements, this is nothing new.  It is within the scope of responsibilities of the CWCC to constantly review our requirements. As a matter of fact, the CWCC just spent over a year deliberating, formally and informally, with all the stakeholders and proposed and recommended an entirely new set of degree requirements for the AA, AS and AAS programs which was just approved by the Senate, President and BOT.  Faculty members from across the campus have been speaking at the BOT meetings, attempting to explain our governance process. What we hear back is our process is unacceptable, our solutions are unacceptable and our commitment is unacceptable. The Board seems to believe that, much like their appointments to the Board, our curriculum is politically motivated.  What they do not seem to recognize is we are the Senate, Chairs, Classroom Professors, Professional Faculty Unit, , Counselors, Librarians, Academic and Club Advisors,  Technologists, Technicians and we are all the NCCFT.  And, the Deans remain silent.

The Board of Trustees does not consult with faculty on matters of Capital expenditures or Operating Budget. We have Senate Committees that are involved in these issues, such as the Planning Committee, and it seems the Administration brings “the message” or, “a message” to the Board.  This academic year, the BOT has revivified the Academic Affairs Committee.  The process involves the Administration writing resolutions for the BOT’s consideration when they disagree with the will of the Senate.  Since the Administration has representatives, including the Deans, assigned to each of the Senate Committees and to the Senate itself, we must wonder why the administrative representatives and Deans do not speak of their concerns during the vetting process. Instead, these administrative representatives report their observations to the Administration and/or BOT and assist in crafting mischaracterizations of the governance process, then allowing these mischaracterizations to be presented to the Board where they translate into a BOT resolution.  We urge all members of the Bargaining Unit to be mindful of this and take precautions to ensure another faculty member be present at all meetings with the Administration. Whether the meeting is private or public, on or off campus, this is necessary to ensure an accurate accounting of events, understandings in spirit, intent and word. We cannot allow any mischaracterizations to be crafted in order for the Administration to scheme with the Board. And, the Deans remain silent.

We ask that the Faculty remain united and committed to our values and governance process and not to become complicit in the schemes devised by our Administration and Board.  Remember this commitment when we consider what happened to the last President who wanted to dismantle our entire structure.

And, the Deans remain silent!