LAST UPDATE: Thu Nov 21, 2013
Update on the 2 for 1 Fine
As usual, NEWSDAY got it wrong. The maximum number of days an adjunct faculty member teaches is two days per week. Most members who supported the strike missed two days’ work. The fine is two days’ pay for every day missed.
The strike lasted less than a week. The maximum fine, therefore, will be four days’ pay for two days missed. For example, the maximum fine for an adjunct instructor will be less than half what NEWSDAY reported.
Some members have confused the PERB ruling on the loss of check-off with the imposition of the 2 for 1 penalty. It is the employer, in this case the joint-employer, that imposes the fine. We don’t know what the County’s position is on the fine, but we certainly know what John Gross and Jorge would impose if they had the sole authority. It would be more like 10 to 1, and that would be the beginning, because Gross and Jorge want to break the union. They believe the Taylor Law is too lenient. We have seen that they certainly reject the Taylor Law’s mandate that the local employer must negotiate in good faith with the union.
I have often said that the Taylor Law is a good law that is being misused and abused by bad people. Unfortunately, there is a big hole in the law. More on that at another time.
PERB Hearing Cancelled as Deal is Reached
This morning, Thursday November 14th, AFA attorney Richard Betheil called to tell me that he and David Quinn, chief counsel for New York State PERB, had worked out a seven month suspension of dues check-off as the PERB penalty for the AFA strike. I immediately approved and authorized Richard to confirm the suspension.
The deal will not be official until approved by the full Board at next month’s meeting. The significance of this decision and the story of how it came about will be explained after the settlement is approved by PERB.
As a result of the deal, the hearing scheduled for Friday November 15th was cancelled.
From: Charles Loiacono
Date: November 11, 2013
Subject: Attempt at Intimidation
I have never had a college email account. In the past when I wanted to communicate with the college community, I would ask an officer who had an account to post the message. I recently decided, however, to apply for my own account
Soon thereafter, a nameless administrative employee called me to say that my application was denied. When I asked for a reason for such denial, I was told that the denial came from “legal.” When I asked what that meant, the employee apologized saying that she was just doing what she was told, but I could call Richard Lawless who had instructed her to call me. That I did. I got the same response, It was “legal” that ordered the denial. I insisted on knowing if “legal” had a name. Yes, I was told that “legal” was Donna Haugen. She had decided on her own that my First Amendment right should be denied. I asked Lawless to put that fact in writing. He said he could not do that unless Haugen gave him permission.
I immediately emailed Haugen asking for the reason for such a denial. No response. I emailed her a second time. Finally, I received this email: “I’m in receipt of your email and you will receive a response shortly.”
Then I received a letter from the acting president saying, “However, upon thoughtful reconsideration, we have decided to approve your request.” The denial and reconsideration were obviously an attempt at intimidation, because the letter is laced with threats and accusations. Saunders’ wrote:
“The college’s initial determination to deny your request was made in light of your recent violations of New York State Law prohibiting strikes against public institutions, and the written propaganda you have disseminated to College employees encouraging them to violate State Law. The Administration is aware that as recently as last week, you distributed a Union newsletter condoning the AFA strike and praising all those who participated in it.”
Attempting to intimidate the president of the AFA is telling. Beyond that, an academic institution should not seek to condition the exercise of speech on the administration’s approval of the message. The initial rejection of my application for a college email account was heavy-handed. The grudging approval of that request, in a letter from the college president threatening that if I use the email system “in any manner that is contrary to College policy or the educational mission of this College, your email privileges shall be terminated immediately,” was an overt attempt at pre-emptive censorship.
The college reversed its initial denial of my application for a college email account because the First Amendment and the principles of academic freedom require no less. We would hope that in the future the College administration’s initial action would be to promote free speech and academic freedom. Sadly, even “upon thoughtful reconsideration,” this administration’s proclivity is to seek to limit speech. Such constraints would appear to reflect defensiveness inconsistent with the free and unfettered exchange of views which is the hallmark of an academic institution.
Students Drowning in Debt – Faculty on Food Stamps
(a blog post from adjunctasaurus.wordpress.com)
OCTOBER 3 MISSIVE
From: Charles Loiacono
Date: October 8, 2013
Subject: Response to Gardyn/Weiss October 3rd Missive
I felt a sense of pity as I read the most recent attempt by Gardyn and Weiss to defend the indefensible. It was pity that I sensed because there was a discernible difference in style that was indeed pitiable. Their first two missives were neurotic in style—an almost frantic use of dissembling. This latest attempt to excuse their earlier writing was like trying to follow a severe stutterer attempting to explain that the listener misunderstood his narrative because the listener had problems with his hearing... [READ MORE]
Letter to Newsday Editor - October 1, 2013:
October 4, 2013
To the Editor:
It is one thing to have an opinion. It is quite another to base an opinion on accusations and erroneous assumptions.
Consider the assumption in the editorial title: “Keep politicians out of NCC contract talks.” What contract talks? The BOT has refused to negotiate since 2010. They attended a conciliation session on September 18th, but there were no “contract talks.” The “politicians” referred to are the elected County Government, the Joint Employer, and the Sponsor of the College. The reader was sorely misled from just reading the title...[READ MORE]
Letter to County Executive Mangano - October 1, 2013
To Ed Mangano and County Legislators:
Although less neurotic in style than the September 24th letter written by Kathy Weiss and Jorge Gardyn, the maneuvering in the latest missive of September 27th has the same sleight of hand technique that distinguishes it from honest persuasion...[READ MORE]
Letter to County Executive Mangano - September 25, 2013
To Ed Mangano and All County Legislators:
I just had occasion to read six pages of verbiage aimed at obfuscating the simple truth that any reasoned observer could glean if they could but separate the useless padding from the truth...[READ MORE]
Update on the Injunction and the PERB Charge
The Court Hearing
The AFA attorney reports that at the hearing before Justice Margaret Reilly, John Gross was doing his thing explaining to the judge that the AFA defied her order to return to work, when the judge responded with, “What else is new. My kids don’t listen to me either.” With that the hearing was closed pending another visit to the court at the end of October to see if matters between the Board of Trustees and the AFA have been settled. Gross, of course, was disappointed. He was hoping that the court would have been more like the courts were in Alabama and Mississippi in the Jim Crow days...[READ MORE]
Latest Correspondence with Newsday
From: ND-Letters <Letters@newsday.com>
To: Cfrantic <email@example.com>
Sent: Thu, Sep 26, 2013 8:23 am
Subject: RE: Response to Trustees Weiss and Gardyn
Dear Mr. Loiacono,
We have a policy that we wait 60 days between letters from any one writer.
Sent: Thursday, September 26, 2013 6:57 AM
Subject: Response to Trustees Weiss and Gardyn To the Editor:
The quotes from the letter written by the chair and vice chair of the NCC Board of Trustees demonstrate conclusively why this Board is dysfunctional. (NCC adjuncts end strike).
They wrote that the county's involvement in collective bargaining "would confront academic, curricular, and governance issues." The adjunct faculty has no input whatsoever in curricular and governance issues....[READ THE LETTER TO NEWSDAY]
Statement by the AFA President on the
Failure of Super Conciliation
Saturday’s meeting was standing room only. I gave a report on what was supposed to be a negotiations session. The members were vociferous in their condemnation of the Board of Trustees and determined to convince the County Legislature that they have the responsibility to recognize the inability of the BOT to engage in good faith negotiations.
Collective bargaining is a process wherein both sides give and take until an agreement is reached. Coming to a negotiations session and reiterating a position taken 3 years ago is not negotiations, it’s attendance... [MORE]
An Open Letter to the Nassau County Legislature
Charles Loiacono, Editor Special Edition September 2013
MEMBERSHIP MEETING - 9/21/2013 A membership meeting is scheduled for Saturday September 21, 2013 at 1:00 P.M in CCB 252-253. At the meeting we will discuss the Board of Trustees’ offer as described by the super conciliator.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE CONCILIATION SESSION
Last night, the PERB appointed super-conciliator met with the AFA’s attorney and the BOT’s attorney from about 7:00 PM to about 10:00 PM. He shuttled from one room to another meeting separately with each party.
We don’t know what the other side said. The AFA attorney represented our position. That was the extent of super-conciliation.
We believe the following question must be answered: “Is the agreement negotiated between Nassau County and the AFA a legitimate agreement under the law?” We have written proof that the BOT was unresponsive to our requests to negotiate. Of course, the definitive proof is that we have not had a negotiating meeting since prior to the BOT declaring impasse in 2010. That’s pretty conclusive...[READ MORE]
September 16, 2013
TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES
When I opened my e-mail this morning, I read this message from some unknown sender responding to a question (some media adviser, I guess):
Q: How do I handle it when it seems someone else is not telling the truth, especially when I address it and it is denied?
A: The best any of us can do is to be authentic, live with integrity, and focus on ourselves.
Words of wisdom, I thought. But I have always found it frustrating that the truth is often lackluster, while lies can be colorful, malleable, dramatic, and effective. But if we are to live with integrity, we must stick to the truth...[READ MORE]
September 13, 2013
Letter to Newsday - 9/13/13- firstname.lastname@example.org
To the Editor:
Regarding the use of the word “insane” in Friday’s editorial, there are more appropriate applications for that invective when reflecting on pay raises.
For instance, the recently accumulated total $93,100 raise given to the acting president who was rejected by the Presidential Search Committee; the $33,165 raise given to one administrator, the $30,000 given to another; the total $276,896 in raises given to 17 administrators in September of 2011; and the 7.5% - 14.3% raises recently given to 5 other administrators retroactive to September 2012. Perhaps the word “insane” might apply to those increases...[READ MORE]
|NOW THE STRIKE BEGINS IN EARNEST
Confusion reigned the first two days of the strike. We had no way of knowing how the trustees would vote. We had no idea that all the Democrats would oppose the Memorandum of Agreement negotiated with the county—four of the five boycotted the meeting and the only Democrat present voted “no.” But that’s a story for the next regular issue in October.
Only a handful of members were present when, at about noon, the trustees returned to tell us that the vote was 3 for and 3 against. The three that voted “yes” were Republicans. At that point, the handful of us that were present walked out and commenced the strike. Needless, to say, we were lonely on the line and the AFA must have looked weak...[READ MORE]