Political Action Success

A combination of relentless lobbying efforts by Mr. Christopher Black from NYSUT’s Legislative Department and the use of NYSUT’s VOTE-COPE funds which support our friends in the State Assembly and Senate, have resulted in the State Legislature adopting a $100 FTE base aid increase to NYS Community Colleges.  In addition to the $100 FTE increase, we were able to defeat the Governor’s Performance Based Funding initiative again this year.  The more often this proposal is defeated, the less likely it will resurface.

The NCCFT Executive Committee wants to thank the NCCFT PAC Co-chairs, Ms. Dawn Smith and Dr. Stephanie Sapiie for their efforts lobbying our State elected officials and organizing the faculty and students at NCC in the Fair Funding petition drive.  In addition, a thank you goes out to our NCCFT members who worked the drive, who contribute to VOTE-COPE and who have contacted their state representatives. We would like to extend special thanks to Assemblyperson Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan), Assembly Higher Education Chair, and Senator Ken LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), the Senate Higher Education Chairperson, for their support.

This is how success is achieved when we all work together.  Please support the NCCFT Political Action 1/10 of 1 percent campaign when your NCCFT Department Representative distributes the new VOTE-COPE authorization cards in the coming weeks.

Paint Merrick Road Red

Partial List of Gathering Points

(Some locals are planning to meet at the following locations, but all are welcome at any location.)

  • Left Coast Kitchen, 1810 Merrick Rd, Merrick (BMUST)
  • Valley Stream Town Pool, Merrick Rd., 1 block east of Fletcher Ave., Valley Stream (VSTA)
  • McQuades, 275 Merrick Rd, Lynbrook (Lynbrook TA)
  • J. Paul’s Terrace Cafe, 239 Merrick Rd, Oceanside (Oceanside TA)
  • Vine Wine Bar, 2259 Merrick Rd, Merrick (North Bellmore TA)
  • Corner of Merrick Road and Wantagh Ave., Wantagh (Westbury TA)
  • Burns Park, 4990 Merrick Rd, Massapequa Park
  • Massapequa HS, 4925 Merrick Rd, Massapequa (Massapequa FT)
  • NEFCU, 556 Merrick Rd, Rockville Centre (RVCTA)
  • Bayview Avenue Elementary School, S. Bayview Ave. and Merrick Road, Freeport (Freeport TA)
  • Great South Bay Shopping Center, 835 Montauk Hwy, West Babylon
  • Islip Town Hall, 655 Main St, Islip

Voices of Teachers in Education – Campaign on Political Education

VOTE-COPE: Voices of Teachers in Education – Campaign on Political Education

As a follow-up to our General Faculty meeting on March 10 and comments made by Jeff Zuckerman, NYSUT VOTE-COPE spokesman, the NCCFT is launching a new Political Action campaign with the State and County.

The national assault on public education is growing stronger and bolder every day.  Huge corporate interests such as the Koch Brothers outspend unions 15-1 in the political arena.  As these anti-public education forces become emboldened by their successes in Wisconsin and Michigan, they are engaging our Governor, Senate and Assembly with promises of huge savings in public education funding, while filling their campaign coffers.  There is no question that without the support of NYSUT members and their VOTE-COPE contributions, New York State would be on its way in joining the list of Right-to-Work. No one can remember a Governor of New York who harbors more disdain for public education than Governor Cuomo. We are talking about the end of the academy as we know it. We are talking about the abolition of our union, tenure and pensions; the abolition of shared governance, academic scheduling and a reduction in pay and benefits; job security would be a thing of the past.

What has VOTE-COPE lobby efforts done for us?

Statewide

  • protects public pensions.
  • eliminated the 3% ORP contribution after 10 years.
  • protects Triborough and tenure.
  • protects against Right-to-Work intrusions.
  • effectuates both Operating and Capital funding to our campuses.
  • stopped Performance Based Funding on SUNY campuses.

Local (NCCFT receives 40% rebate of VC funds from NYSUT)

  • ensures Maintenance-of-Effort from local sponsor.
  • provides access to County leaders.
  • provides PAC functions for education.

The only way to stem the tide is through relentless lobby efforts. NYSUT has identified and supports those State Assemblypersons and Senators who will vote for sensible legislation. In addition, NYSUT educates those elected officials who don’t understand the importance of a strong public education system. In addition to lobbying our elected state officials, the NCCFT uses VOTE-COPE funds to support our friends in the county and continue educating all of them as to the services we provide.

In the next couple of weeks, your NCCFT department representative will be distributing personalized VOTE-COPE authorization cards. At the present time, Nassau County has indicated they cannot make deductions more than once per year.  Previous VOTE-COPE authorized payroll deductions are scheduled to be deducted from your April 16, 2015 paycheck. Therefore, the VOTE-COPE authorization cards we are asking you to complete will take effect in April of 2016. Of course, if you wish to make an additional contribution this year, please write a check made payable to VOTE-COPE and bring it to the NCCFT office.  Thanks to those of you who are ongoing contributors and those who have sent in new authorizations and/or one-time additional contributions.

We have developed a fair and reasonable plan that will allow the NCCFT to join other NYSUT members who have been supporting NYSUT’s political action and that of the NCCFT in a more equitable manner.

We call it the “1/10 of one percent solution”. This recognizes that there is a difference in salaries, yet clearly expects overwhelming participation from our members. For example:

If you earn $25,000……………………..you would contribute $25

If you earn $50,000……………………..you would contribute $50

In you earn $75,000…………………….you would contribute $75 etc.

We are not talking about making a political contribution, we are asking you to protect your livelihood, your family’s security and your future.

If you have any questions, please contact the NCCFT office. THANK YOU on behalf of every NYSUT member. VOTE-COPE needs us and we need VOTE-COPE.

Grievance Filed

 

The NCCFT has filed a Step II grievance against the College in violation of the CBA with particular emphasis on Section 19 Academic Senate in regards to recent BOT resolutions.  More details will follow at the April 7, 2015 Executive Board meeting.

 

 

Action Requested

Things to Come

The NCCFT Executive Committee along with our NYSUT/AFT Delegates joined  HigherEd colleagues from across the United States for the joint NEA/AFT Higher Education Conference “Advancing Equality On and Off Campus” in Orlando, FL from March 12-15, 2015.

The conference was comprised of workshops covering governance, membership, political action, finances, grievances, and litigation.

Labor History for Higher Education, Fighting Higher Education Corporatization,  Addressing Membership Apathy,  Demystifying the Threats and Opportunities of MOOC’s, Bargaining Issues: Control of Curriculum, Addressing Sexual Violence on Campus, and Transmitting Our Values Across Generations were only a few of the workshops offered.

The session on Advancing Equity on campuses was particularly interesting. At a time when institutions of Higher Education throughout the country are laying off full-time faculty or not replacing those who retire, how do we increase the diversity of our full-time faculty, staff and administration to mirror the faces and experiences of our students and our county?

Citing Angela Davis, one panelist reminded us that equity is not justice. In a similar vain, another panelist noted that diversity is not equality. These are issued for all of us to address in these most challenging times.

In addition, a host of guest speakers described the national threats to public higher education funded by political action committees and hedge-fund managers seeking to privatize our public institutions.

This attack has been successful in other parts of the nation where places such as Wisconsin and Michigan have turned into Right-to-Work States.  It is obvious that even in New York, which has an established union presence and an established public education system, we are being attacked by Governor Cuomo and his hedge-fund backers.   The privatization concept of public higher education  appears to have trickled down to our local political structure whereby the appointment of the Board of Trustees has resulted in directing the NCC Administration to adopt a business model for this campus.  How else can we account for their insistence on lowering the requirements for acceptance into credit bearing classes and then lowering the standards for graduation?

The recent Academic Senate meeting proved that the faculty across this campus, regardless of discipline or educational philosophy, are opposed to the usurpation by the Board of Trustees of the authority and time-honored role of the faculty in determining curriculum and standards for our students.

We urge everyone to speak to your Chairs, Senators, Senate Committee and Union Representatives to join in one voice that we will not be complacent in the BOT’s agenda to dismantle our reputation as a top community college that is recognized for academic excellence and known as “The Gem of Nassau County”.

NYSUT Lobby Day 2015