Fall 2016 was a productive semester. Here on campus, and at conferences and meetings throughout New York State, the NCCFT Executive Committee was busy representing our interests as a faculty and as a union. We’d like to share with you some of the highlights, and we’d love to hear from you about what you’re thinking.
Along with eleven of our colleagues, we attended NYSUT’s 28th annual Community College Conference in Saratoga. We took part in workshops and discussions on topics ranging from “At The Negotiating Table” and “National Issues” to “NYSUT Member Benefits” (about which we post regularly to our blog), “Communications,” and “Legal Update.” The lessons we learned in these sessions—and we learn something new every year—help us serve you better. Indeed, you’ll see some of those lessons at work on this blog, and in our online presence, in the upcoming months.
In Albany, over the course of the semester, we
- attended a Higher Ed Policy Council meeting, along with CUNY, SUNY, and other community college union leaders;
- took part in the annual SUNY President’s Conference, where community college presidents and the presidents of community college unions meet to discuss issues of mutual interest;
- participated in the Vote-Cope strategy meeting.
More locally, we
- attended a meeting in NYC of the Community College Conference Planning Committee;
- attended the NYUST Leadership Conference in Huntington;
- showed solidarity with our K-12 colleagues by attending the meetings of Election District 19;
- maintained our involvement with organized labor on Long Island;
- began discussions with NYSUT and others to figure out whom to endorse in the upcoming midterm elections.
On campus, we
- continued to meet regularly as an executive committee with President Keen and Acting AVP Collins;
- met regularly, along with the rest of the elected faculty leadership, with Dr. Keen regarding Middle States;
- negotiated with Acting AVP Collins a memorandum of agreement concerning the colleagues who will become Assessment Coordinators and Fellows and who will be taking over management of our assessment process to bring it into compliance with Middle States Standard 14;
- attended an assortment of disciplinary hearings to make sure our members’ rights were respected and protected;
- attended, spoke at, and videotaped all Board of Trustees meetings, as well as attending all BOT committee meetings;
- jointly with Fed Ex (and on your behalf), made a significant donation of food, household goods, and money to the NEST;
- completed the first stage of a PR campaign that will launch within the next couple of weeks.
Perhaps most significantly on campus, in Fall 2016, we worked with President Keen to make important revisions to Board of Trustee Policy Documents 1200 & 1300, which ultimately set the stage for the forums Dr. Keen will hold with us to discuss our concerns about the next set of Board policy documents under discussion: 3100 (News Media Relations), 3200 (Marketing, Advertising & Promotional Materials), and 5600 (Protection of Minors on Campus). The first forum one was held on January 19th; the second one will be on January 26 at 3:30 PM on the 11th floor of the Tower. It is our understanding that these forums will become a regular and welcome feature of the Board policy-adoption process.
In our post about the most recent Board of Trustees meeting, we pointed to these forums as part of the ongoing, trust-building process that needs to happen if we, as a campus community, are going to emerge from the very difficult period we’ve been through stronger and better prepared for the future. As we work through the remaining Middle States issues confronting us, and as we prepare for contract negotiations, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that things have gotten better, even we keep our sights on how much farther we still need to go. Comments are open. Please let us know what’s on your mind.