Sabbaticals: We are happy to announce that we now have an MOA for sabbaticals for this year.
ASEC Reassigned Time: The Academic Senate Executive Committee received reassigned time for both the fall and spring semesters. This is essential for our accreditation.
Rallies at the Board of Trustees: NCCFT presence and request for a fair contract was heard at the Dec. 13 and Feb. 9 Board of Trustees’ meetings. We were delighted to see a strong student presence at the Feb. 9 Board of Trustees’ meeting as well as a strong faculty presence.
Rallies at the Nassau Legislature: May 23, 2022 rally for more operational funding for academic programming and student services and Jan. 23, 2023 rally for a fair contract.
#23for2023 Petition: In May and June of 2022, we organized a petition for more operational funding for academic programming, cutting student fees, and investing more in student services; 718 people signed the petition and we sent a copy to Nassau County legislators.
Creating a Member Communication Systems: We cut expenses from about $2,710 yearly (for our blog) to $252 yearly (for a blog and a business Google Works account). The new blog has also saved expenses by being more secure and less prone to hacking/ crashing. We developed private email systems to communicate off the NCC email system with members, which is important both when communications need privacy and for political organizing. We also created listserves to communicate with friends of the NCCFT and retirees. Over the fall, we worked to get members registered and to date are able to communicate privately with 76% of our membership. Not yet registered? We want and need to be in better communication with you! Go here: https://www.nccft.org/2023/01/12/bad-news-from-trustees-we-need-your-private-emails-for-organizing
Faculty led Tours for State and County Representatives: We organized three tours for State Senators and Assemblymembers representing Nassau as well as Nassau County legislators.
Letter Campaign to Nassau Legislators and County Executive Blakeman: In January 2023, we launched a letter campaign to Nassau County legislators and County Executive Bruce Blakeman asking for a fair contract and protesting the College’s enactment of clause 36-5 of our contract. This clause has functioned like a loaded gun during negotiations since its inclusion in the contract 40 years ago. Until now, this clause has never been implemented. As of Apr. 12, 2023, 1,642 letters have been sent to Nassau’s elected leaders! If you haven’t yet sent one, please do (no writing is necessary other than your name and address and zip!) Click here: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/email-nassaus-legislators-nassau-community-college-faculty-need-a-fair-contract?source=direct_link& or go to the post on our Call to Action page. Coupled with our mass gathering at the Jan. 23 Nassau County legislature, our presence is beginning to be felt. Our contract, given its various sunset clauses, is weak; we do not have a strong bargaining position, so this political presence is especially important!
Informational Leafleting: We worked with NYSUT to create leaflets and placards and engaged in informational picketing with faculty and student volunteers on February 8, 9, and 10 on campus. More days of leafleting are planned for March and April. Please sign up to help here! https://forms.gle/nLNLANw1dqd7uaXs8 Participants reported feeling energized by the positive response from people they have spoken to.
Building Connections with Other NYSUT Unions: We are making connections with other Nassau NYSUT Locals: 17, 18, and 19. President Siminoff, Vice President Stern, and Political Action Committee Co-Chair Caitlin Thurber have attended their union meetings and are maintaining communication with their presidents. Their members have participated in our Letter Campaign, and a number of their retirees participated in our phone banking on Feb. 22.
Building Connections with the County PBA (Police Benevolent Association). President Siminoff, V-P Stern, and Professor Robert Costello met with their President Tommy Shevlin and Vice President David Re, and we will be collaborating with them in the future.
New York State Bill to Include a Faculty Member on Community College Boards of Trustees: The NCCFT introduced a resolution to the NYSUT Representative Assembly (RA) in April 2022 to introduce legislation permitting a non-voting faculty trustee on community college boards of trustees. It is now a bill before the state legislature. Toby Stravisky, Co-Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, will sponsor it. NYSUT is very hopeful it will pass this legislative session, and we could have a faculty trustee on our BOT by fall 2023. This would be a real step forward for our faculty.
Planned legislative proposal: At the NYSUT RA in April, we will be presenting a legislative proposal to end the duties and authorities of community college trustees when their terms expire unless re-appointed. Hold-over trustees has been a problem at NCC.
Higher Ed Lobbying Day: For NYSUT’s Higher Education Lobby day on February 7, we accompanied 44 students from NYPIRG and other student organizations to lobby Nassau’s state representatives for better funding for community colleges.
Health and Safety: We have fielded and assisted faculty with health and safety concerns and expedited action in resolving issues such as: the repair of broken ventilation, mold remediation, building leaks, the installation of HEPA units, and temperature issues.
Attorney: Attorney Beth Margolis has been very beneficial. Margolis, who is a labor attorney, provides outside perspective from her experience with other college contracts. Without her, we would not have procured the MOAs for Academic Senate reassigned time or sabbaticals this year. She is creative and persistent and went through various solutions for reassigned time that eventually led to the MOA. (The presence of faculty members at Board meetings was also important.)
New NYSUT LRS: Kevin Pollit was assigned as our new NYSUT Labor Relations Specialist. He is very proactive, has worked with our attorney, and has experience with college outside counsel John Gross. We are happy that we pressed NYSUT President Andy Pallotta to be paired with a new and proactive Labor Relations Specialist (LRS).
“Becoming More” NYSUT Publicity Campaign: The upcoming NYSUT media campaign to promote community college enrollment is a result of our request to NYSUT to do more for community colleges. NCC will be highlighted in the campaign, and we are hopeful it will contribute to increased enrollment for fall 2023. See the three videos of NCC alumni highlighted in the campaign here: https://www.nccft.org/2023/02/28/become-more-ncc-alumni-share-their-experience