Message from the President

Jun 8, 2015 by

Message from the President

Greetings Fellow Union Member,

 

Summer is finally here! I hope you are beginning to unwind after a busy year of teaching, service, and scholarship, and I wish you a productive and relaxing summer.

I’ve learned a tremendous amount in my first year as Union President. The LIUFF leadership team has worked incredibly hard and we accomplished a great deal.  I’d like to share with you some high points of this year’s successes and a road map of where we intend to go. First, a quick review of some of our accomplishments:

Facilities Committee. LIUFF established a Facilities Committee, chaired by Chuck Guarria (Library). The Facilities Committee works collaboratively with Administration to identify facility-related problems, needs, and concerns, as well as developing and implementing solutions. Several tangible outcomes on our campus can be directly attributed to this Committee’s efforts. If there’s a facility issue that you think needs to be addressed, please contact Chuck at [email protected]

LIU Labor Council. We created an LIU Labor Council, which is an umbrella organization comprised of the leadership of all the LIU Brooklyn unions. Council membership includes the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 30, AFL-CIO (Building and Grounds Workers); Long Island University Faculty Federation (LIUFF) Local 3998, NYSUT, AFT, AFL- CIO (faculty); Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 153, AFL-CIO (department secretaries, lab techs, enrollment services employees, and clerks); 32BJ Service Employees International Union (SEIU) CTW (janitorial workers); and United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Local 926, Local 45, AFL-CIO (carpenters). The Council meets regularly. For our inaugural activity, we sponsored a May Day event celebrating union solidarity. We also established a formal relationship with the Long Island Federation of Labor.

National Adjunct Walkout Day. On February 25th, LIUFF participated in the first National Adjunct Walkout Day. While we didn’t walk out (prohibited by our contract), we held a successful event for the entire campus community that focused on bringing awareness to issues of adjunct equity.

Support for Our Sister Union – Local 153. As you may know, our sister union has been working without a contract for over three years. LIU’s secretaries, Enrollment Services staff, and clerks work alongside us every day. They are essential to LIU’s mission of providing an exceptional learning environment for our students. LIUFF has taken a strong stand in support of their struggle to get a fair contract.

Communication. Achieving good communication within an organization is among its most difficult tasks. We conducted a membership survey in March 2015, which clearly demonstrated that our members want to be informed about LIUFF. In response, we are continually improving our communication tools. LIUFF Treasurer Mohammed Ghriga built our website and LIUFF secretary Emily Drabinski is assembling a non-LIU email listserv that we use to communicate with our members. Beginning in September 2015, LIUFF will sponsor a series of issue-focused forums, the first of which will be on salaries.

LIUFF @lounge. One on my goals as President is to promote a union culture that is open and inclusive, and that is why I organized weekly LIUFF @lounge hours. They will continue throughout the next academic year, and we intend to improve upon them – so stay tuned!

Our Leadership. On June 1st, we welcomed a new Executive Committee: Sara Campbell, English; May Dobal, Nursing; Charles Guarria, Library; Stacy Horstmann-Gatti, History; Edward Keane, Library; Arthur Kimmel, Sociology/Anthropology; Glen Lawrence, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Deborah Mutnick, English; Maureen Nappi, Media Arts; Michael Pelias, Philosophy; Jennifer Rauch, Journalism; Tracye Rawls-Martin, Sports Science; Vidhya Swaminathan, English. Our Officers are: Ralph Engelman, Vice-President; Mohammed Ghriga, Treasurer; Emily Drabinski, Secretary; Melissa Antinori, Grievance, and, as you know, I serve as President. We come together with diverse talents and perspectives and are united by our singular commitment to LIUFF and to our University. In the fall, we will hold a special election for a Delegate from the School of Education.

For the Academic year 2015-2016, I will be supervising Chrystine Johnson, a 2nd year MSW student from SUNY Stony Brook School of Social Welfare. Chrystine will be doing her fieldwork with the LIUFF and will take on several new projects.

A Road Map for the Future

 

LIUFF is actively preparing for our negotiations. Our contract expires in August 2016, and we are fully prepared to fight for a fair contract. We are strategically laying the groundwork for our negotiations along several key fronts:

1) Contract Proposals. A Contracts Working Group, convened by Grievance Chair Melissa Antinori is developing several proposals that will inform our negotiations. A Health Care Committee is researching health care benefits. We have an Adjunct Faculty Committee, chaired by Michael Pelias, that is developing proposals on adjunct faculty issues.

2) Salary Study. We are conducting an equity study of our salary structure. Study findings will be presented in the aggregate to the membership this fall and are expected to yield data that will be useful to us in our negotiations.

3) Resources. We are working with our parent union, NYSUT, to explore what kinds of resources they can give us for our upcoming negotiations.

4) Connections. Our alliances with organized labor and our community contacts are essential. We plan to strengthen our relationships with higher education institutions, elected officials, and community organizations.

5) Our Members. We are a strong and committed faculty. LIUFF understands that the membership wants ongoing updates and information and that is why improved communication is a centerpiece of our strategy. Look for frequent communications from us. Make sure your non- LIU email has been added to our listserv (you can check with Emily Drabinski).

As a faculty union, we are motivated by our passion for equity and our dedication to our campus community. You have my promise that upon entering negotiations in 2016, we will be highly organized, well prepared and strongly united.

 

In solidarity,

Jessica Rosenberg, LIUFF President

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2 Comments

  1. william lemmey

    How will the faculty be notified of a strike?

  2. Mohammed Ghriga

    Please contact Emily Drabinski with your non-LIU email so that you start receiving updates.

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