Message from the President
Greetings Fellow Union Members,
With the holiday season arriving and the fall semester coming to a close, it is a fitting time to take stock. LIUFF has had a very busy semester! The Executive Committee began several new projects: We initiated weekly @lounge hours with the goal of making the LIUFF Office in M602 a warm and inviting place for the membership. It has a refrigerator, a microwave, and a great supply of snacks. I’m thrilled to report that quite a few members stop by, some with questions and concerns and others simply for a chat. LIUFF is here to help, so please feel free to bring any questions you may have. Everyone needs a little downtime during a hectic workweek, and we hope you consider LIUFF a place where you can relax and unwind.
In early October, we hosted our first LIUFF Faculty Forum. Jim Paulsen, Brooklyn Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and Judy Sandler, NYSUT labor relations specialist, provided important legal updates. The Faculty Forum focused on a number of key NLRB cases throughout the county. Perhaps of greatest relevance to us was an overview about the 1980 Yeshiva court decision (NLRB v. YESHIVA UNIVERSITY, 444 U.S. 672). Mr. Paulsen and Ms. Sandler provided a historical analysis which suggests that LIUFF need not feel overly constrained by the legacy of the 1980 Yeshiva decision. We are a union with a long and proud history of collective bargaining dating back to 1971. We intend to continue onward!
LIUFF held monthly Executive Committee meetings this semester. These meetings are where the elected leadership of the union comes together to discuss and plan LIUFF priorities and activities. Two general membership meetings are on the calendar: the first was held on 11/11/14 and the second will be on 12/2/14, in HS 121 from 3:30 – 5:00 pm. It will be followed by a holiday party – please join us!
The 11/11 meeting was dedicated to providing support to our sister union, Local 153. Local 153 represents approximately 220 members at Post and Brooklyn, 100 of whom work on the Brooklyn campus. They are our colleagues, working as department secretaries, in the Registrar and Admissions offices, in the library, as laboratory technicians, and in other positions throughout the University. And they have been working without a contract since March 2012. LIUFF has taken a strong position in support of Local 153, and the 11/11 meeting was a powerful and moving expression of union solidarity. We have much to gain by joining with other unions on campus. United We Stand! The 12/2 General Membership meeting will be an opportunity for union updates, membership input, and discussion.
This semester, LIUFF reconstituted the Facilities Committee, which is codified by our Collective Bargaining Agreement and mandates that faculty and administration work together on physical plant issues and concerns. The Facilitates Committee, capably chaired by Chuck Guarria, has been very focused and productive. They are drawing up a list of priority issues regarding facility maintenance needs and are regularly meeting with administration to get problems fixed. Please feel free to contact Chuck Guarria (Chuck.Guarria@liu.edu) if you have a concern about the physical plant that you would like to bring to the committee’s attention.
The Adjunct Benefit Trust Fund, chaired by Michael Pelias and Melissa Antinori, has just finished accepting applications for distributions to qualifying adjunct faculty to help them offset health care costs. To learn more about the Fund, please visit our website, LIUFF.net and/or see Michael Pelias and Melissa Antinori (Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org and Melissa.email@example.com)
On other fronts, the LIUFF Executive Committee is exploring conducting a salary study to review internal salary equity among full-time faculty.
As we move into the spring semester, the LIUFF Executive Committee has placed preparing for our 2016 contract negotiations at the top of our agenda. We will be drafting several proposals about health care, wages, contingent faculty, professional development funds, and other key areas. Please be on the lookout for a survey where we will be eliciting your priorities and concerns. We always welcome new ideas and energy, so if you have an interest, please get in touch with us. Consider joining a committee or running for a position on the Executive Committee. Elections will be held this spring.
With best wishes to each of you for a wonderful holiday season.
Jessica Rosenberg, LIUFF President