A Message from WCCFT President Jim Werner

Jim Werner

Election Time!

The current officers and Executive Committee (E-board) of the WCCFT have been hard at work on your behalf for almost two years now (some much longer!). They’ve been tireless advocates for our best interests as faculty. But, as I announced at our membership meeting on February 1, their two-year term ends at the close of this semester. That means (believe it or not) it’s here again: time for our union elections!

Please note that two important changes to the E-board’s makeup have been instituted with your approval last semester of our constitutional revisions:

1) Up till now, the E-board had to have 12 members (four officers, an adjunct representative, and seven “at-large” members). The newly revised WCCFT Constitution allows the Board to have UP TO 12 members, including seven mandatory positions– the four officers, an adjunct representative, a full-time teaching faculty representative, and a full-time non-teaching faculty representative–and up to five at-large members (either full-time or part-time). As noted above, this is a two-year commitment; the Executive Committee meets approximately eight times during the academic year (common hours), but no fewer than five times, as well as at least once during the summer.

2) Also, there is no longer a separation between the E-board and our negotiating team, so there will be no separate election for the negotiating team. Our next negotiating team (to be formed after the current contract negotiations are concluded) will be comprised of specific members of the Executive Committee: the officers (President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer), Adjunct Representative, and the full-time Executive Committee members representing the teaching and non-teaching faculty (see above). There will also be an opportunity for any union member (not necessarily on the Executive Committee!) to run for a position as an alternate on the negotiating team. The alternate will be expected to attend negotiation team meetings and bargaining sessions as needed and will assume voting rights if a regular member of the team is no longer able to fulfill their duties. If a vacant seat for the alternate (or for any of the five at-large E-board members) has no candidates, it will remain unfilled.

Please consider running for one of these positions! This is an outstanding opportunity for you to be more involved and active in your union. If you’d like information on the responsibilities involved for each, I am happy to answer any questions: write me at jimwwccft@gmail.com.

Another way to be more involved in union issues is to become a delegate to the annual Representative Assembly (RA) of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT, our State affiliate union). The RA is NYSUT’s highest policy-making body, comprised of delegates elected from its locals. Those delegates discuss, debate, and vote on proposed amendments to NYSUT’s Constitutional and Bylaws (as well as other business items). Delegates are critically important as the voice of local NYSUT members. That said, the commitment is a relatively light one in terms of expectations: delegates simply attend the RA in April, participate in the discussions if they wish, and vote on motions made in session. We are currently entitled to as many as nine (9) delegates to the RA and one alternate. I hope I’ll see you as one of them! The deadline for RA nominations is Monday, March 6, so we’ll elect these delegates before our officers, E-board members, and Sick Bank Trustees.

Here’s the calendar of important dates associated with the upcoming elections:

2/15: I’ll send an email soliciting nominations and providing dates for the elections

3/1: At our next membership meeting, RA delegates will give their candidate statements. I’ll also solicit nominations for officers, E-board, and volunteers to serve on our Election Committee

3/3-3/5: E-voting for RA delegates by Simply Voting (if we have more candidates than openings)

3/6: Certify RA delegates to NYSUT (electronically)

4/5: I will announce nominations for officers and other E-board positions at our membership meeting, and we will hear candidate statements. Electronic ballots will be made available after the meeting has ended.

4/5-4/28: E-voting for officers and other E-board members.

5/3: I will announce election results at our membership meeting.

I look forward to this biannual renewal of interest in union leadership, and I hope to see your name among the candidates!