On Monday, October 16th, the Nassau County Legislature voted unanimously to approve the Nassau Community College Federation of Teacher’s new collective bargaining agreement. This is an important contract for a number of reasons, not least of which is that it demonstrates the commitment of both faculty and administration to move Nassau Community College forward into a period of new growth and development. We thank the Legislature for its vote. If you’re an NCCFT member, or someone who supports Nassau Community College and the work we do, please remember the support these legislators showed for quality higher education in Nassau County when you go to the polls in November:
- Kevan Abrahams, District 1
- Siela A. Bynoe, District 2
- Carrié Solages, District 3
- Denise Ford, District 4
- Laura Curran (whom we are endorsing for County Executive), District 5
- C. William Gaylor, III, District 6
- Howard J. Kopel, District 7
- Vincent T. Muscarella, District 8
- Richard J. Nicolello, District 9
- Ellen W. Birnbaum, District 10
- Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, District 11
- James Kennedy, District 12
- Norma L. Gonsalves, District 13
- Laura Schaefer, District 14
- Arnold W. Drucker, District 16
- Rose Marie Walker, District 17
- Donald N. MacKenzie, District 18
- Steven D. Rhoads, District 19
Our recently inked and approved contract contains 1% raises along with “binding arbitration” that our NCCFT President proudly proclaimed as: “the gold standard.” Anyone following the growing use of binding arbitration in consumer contracts and by employers knows that while binding arbitration is the “gold standard” for employers it is the death knell for the rights of employees. When employees lose the right to go to court as a final recourse for the redress of an injustice their ability to vindicate rights is severely curtailed, if not crushed. It is no surprise the County unanimously approved this CBA.
In contract negotiations it is always a mistake to devalue yourself- it only emboldens the employer as well as guarantees that it will be even harder to negotiate a fair contract next time.
Let’s take a hard look at ourselves as a faculty. When we consider our last two CBAs provided for near non-existent wage increases, more work, a diminishing full-time faculty and now the decimation of shared governance we need to ask ourselves: who do we want to be and how can we get there?