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September 2018


Adjunct update: Importance of union membership
Kim Ng Southard


Kim Ng Southard is the newly elected adjunct coordinator for the FA. (photo by Kevin Peterman)

Let me start with an introduction: I’m the new adjunct coordinator for the FA and a long-time union advocate.

Before becoming a full-time member of the English department at Ammerman, I taught classes as an adjunct both at the Ammerman and Eastern campuses.

I have served our union as an EC rep for several terms, as coordinator of and a mentor for the new member program, an attendee at the annual NYSUT Community College Conference (many times), a member of the FA’s Local Action Program team, a TEAM FA member for Making Strides and much more.

In other words, I have long been pro-union and certainly pro-FA.

I had the pleasure to meet some of our newest adjunct hires at the adjunct orientation on August 29 and was impressed that they came out on such a hot balmy afternoon to attend this crucial, informational meeting. It is outstanding that nearly 100% of those new hires joined the FA.

During the union portion of the meeting, outgoing adjunct coordinator Kevin McCoy stressed that adjuncts gain the following benefits by joining the FA:

  • Union members are guaranteed union representation at observations, disciplinary hearings and Title IX investigations.
  • Having strong membership ensures the union can continue to advocate for faculty. Our contract expires next year so we are negotiating a new contract this year.
  • Union members can attend union events, meetings and provide input on the contract.
  • Being a member allows you to vote in EC elections and to vote whether to ratify a new contract.
  • As automatic members of the New York State United Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers unions, FA members are entitled to the member discounts and other benefits provided by these unions.
  • Joining the union shows solidarity with your peers. At the time of this publication, 100% of the full-time faculty and nearly 90% adjunct faculty are current FA members.

Imagine an adjunct experiencing an observation, disciplinary hearing or Title IX hearing without union representation. The adjunct would be in the hands of administration alone. Scary!

For this reason, I urge all adjunct faculty to join the FA today. Call the FA office at 631-451-4151 to obtain a membership form.

I look forward to working with the adjuncts this year. Contact me with any inquiries at or 631-905-6999.