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December 2018

Contract negotiations: We have a team
Kevin Peterman

  FA negotiations team members 2001-2005
The above photo shows members of the FA negotiations team from 2001-2005 at work. Members of this year's team are listed below. (photo by Kevin Peterman)

As you know our contract expires August 31, 2019. We now have a negotiations team, which the Executive Council approved at its November meeting. In accordance with the FA Bylaws, we have representation from all campuses and constituency groups, and we will be ready to begin the process at the start of the spring semester.

The team will be meeting for several days in January before the spring semester begins. We will be discussing the process, setting priorities and developing a negotiations package and notifying Dr. McKay and the County Executive that we are ready to sit down and begin the process.

Our negotiations package will be based on membership feedback that has been collected from faculty since our last contract, during our fall 2018 negotiations forums on each of the campuses and from the results of our member survey. It is critical that you add your voice to this process by completing the member survey, and if you could do so before January 18, that would be most helpful.

  Negotiations Team 2018-19
  • Kevin Peterman: President and Chief Negotiator
  • Dante Morelli: Executive VP
  • Peter DiGregorio: Coordinators
  • Frank Vino, Ben Laudicina: Counseling
  • Courtney Brewer, Jill Malik: Economics, History, Political Science, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Geography, Anthropology, Sociology
  • Andrew Stone, Yu Zhang: Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Space Sciences, Fire Science, Culinary, Physics, Automotive Tech, Engineering
  • Lisa Aymong, Elizabeth Tomlet: Nursing, Health Careers, Nutrition, Chem Dependency, Early Childhood, Physical Ed, College Seminar
  • Rich Lauria, Gertrude Postl: Foreign Language, ESL, Sign Language, Music, Visual Arts, Philosophy, Reading, Humanities
  • Dave Dujmovic, Nic Pestieau, Jane-Marie Wright: Mathematics
  • Tim McHeffey: Computer Science, Accounting, Business Admin, Business Law, Legal Studies, Office Technology
  • Carl Coulanges, Sophie Painchaud: Speech, Theatre, Broadcast Communications, Communications
  • Kerry Carlson, Krista Gruber, Kevin McCoy: Library
  • Cynthia Eaton, Dan Linker, Kim Ng Southard: English
  • Danielle Bonasera, Doug Cody, Rebecca Peason, Priscilla Pratt, Marshal Stein: Adjuncts
  • Donna Krompinger, Joan Wozniak: PAs and Specialists

We've mentioned the timeline at the meetings we held this semester, but for those who could not attend, this is the process:

  • Negotiations begin during the spring 2019 semester and will continue until a successor agreement is reached. It could be months or it could take years; e.g., our colleagues in Association of Municipal Employees (AME) have been without a contract for almost two years.
  • Until an agreement is reached, there will be a "media blackout." Nothing will be discussed until a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is reached. We will not be discussing specifics. However, we will be sending out negotiations updates as needed.
  • Once an MOU is agreed upon, it will be presented to the FA Executive Council for approval. Then the agreement will be sent out for a vote in accordance with our Bylaws and election procedures via US mail to all FA members.
    • If the membership rejects the proposal, the negotiations process would have to begin again.
    • If approved, the MOU then needs to be approved by the college Board of Trustees.
  • Finally, the Suffolk County Legislature must approve the agreement. Once that happens we have a new contract. If for some reason the legislature rejects the proposal, we would have to start the process all over again.

If we don't have an agreement finalized by August 31 next year, our current contract stays in effect. This is possible due to an amendment to the state's Taylor Law known as the Triborough Amendment. Basically, the amendment makes it an improper practice for an employer "to refuse to continue all the terms of an expired agreement until a new agreement is negotiated."

1988 FA members on strike for contract  
In 1988 FA members went on strike for a contract settlement. From left are Bob Stone, George Tvelia, George Pinnata, Estelle Kochis and Dennis Kochis. (photo by Gayle Sheridan)

So, next fall, if no successor agreement is reached, the current contract and all of its provisions remain in effect. If you are not at the top of your rank, you will receive a step next fall.

Thanks to all who attended the negotiations forums. We urge all members to also participate in our online negotiations survey, which will be out shortly. Your input and suggestions are vital to this process. We are confident that the FA negotiations team is well represented and will do whatever it takes to negotiate a good contract which will continue to benefit our students by addressing our members' needs.

2019 will be an interesting year. We will negotiate a new contract because we have a great process, a great team and we are union strong!