Committee co-chair Eric De Sena reports that a key goal of the committee is to “bolster union membership” with specific focus on recruiting part-time colleagues. One step in that direction is to reactivate monthly adjunct gatherings with the first one planned for Thursday, October 14, at 6pm. This informational meeting will feature adjuncts who have been active participants in various union committees and initiatives. Future meetings may highlight the research and creative activities of adjunct faculty. Anyone wanting to join the committee should write to Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee chair Joyce Cassidy reports that the committee intends to make union members “more familiar with the components of our WCCFT constitution” and to review the current language pertaining to membership, structure, and elections, among other areas.
FACULTY DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Committee chair Gwen Roundtree Evans reports that the application window for professional development activity reimbursements for fulltime faculty closed on September 30. Twelve applications were received and are being reviewed. The deadline for adjunct faculty applications is October 31. Download the form to be submitted by adjunct colleagues.
Questions about faculty development funds should be sent to Gwen at email@example.com
Grievance chair (and WCCFT VP) Deirdre Verne announces the launching of a system of union shop stewards intended to gather information and assist her in defending members’ contractual rights. The initial plan is for appointment of one fulltime and one adjunct steward in each of the College’s four schools along with one steward representing nonteaching faculty and one representing Continuing Education faculty. Any member who wants to serve in this capacity should contact Deirdre at firstname.lastname@example.org
Committee chair Jennifer Gurahian reports that responsibility for this area is a logical extension of her role as WCCFT Secretary since she maintains and updates the union membership list. Jen notes how difficult it is to obtain updated lists of faculty from the Administration. She describes the need to gather accurate data on adjunct faculty “demographics” as a priority—determining the number who are retirees, the number who are employed fulltime elsewhere, etc. Besides data collection, the committee will undertake to provide concrete services to adjuncts, possibly beginning with a Health Fair aimed at the estimated 20% of adjuncts who currently have no health insurance. Such a fair would provide information about health plans available in New York State under the Affordable Care Act.
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE
Please see the following article on WCCFT endorsements in local political races. Political Action chair Ellen Zendman reminds members that “YOUR contribution to Vote-Cope, NYSUT’s nonpartisan political action fund, supports pro-labor and pro-public education candidates and helps our voices be heard at the county and state level. To contribute, please go to http://wcc.votecope.org/, complete and submit the form.”
Committee chair Robin Graff reports that the Executive Committee had to cut funds for the WCCFT scholarship “in order to be fiscally responsible.” The committee is exploring the possibility of once again funding the scholarship through members’ contributions while avoiding the need either of collecting and tracking contribution checks or using fundraising sites that charge high fees.
WCCFT SICK LEAVE BANK
Trustee Sean Simpson reports that there are approximately 180 fulltime faculty currently enrolled in the bank and new faculty are being encouraged to join. Although no sick days had to be allocated last year, the total has been below the required 150-day balance for some time, and we expect that Human Resources will be collecting/deducting one day from each member’s total in order to replenish the 150 day available balance.