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February 2019


Negotiations ready!
Kevin Peterman


  negotations meeting
The FA negotiating team met on January 22 and 23 at NYSUT Regional Office to discuss member feedback from our campus forums and online survey and to draft a negotations package. (photo by Joan Wozniak)

On January 22 and 23 the FA negotiating team met at NYSUT's Suffolk Regional Office to discuss and prepare our negotiations package. Damon Levenstien, our NYSUT Labor Relations Specialist, discussed the ins and outs of negotiations with the team, or, as I like to say, he conducted "Negotiations 101."

The team discussed all of the index card suggestions we had collected during our campus negotiations forums last fall as well as the results of the online survey that was emailed to faculty in December. We were quite pleased that 589 faculty completed the online survey as of January 22. Thank you to all members who took the time to submit that survey; your input is invaluable.

The team was apprised of the negotiations understanding by all involved that there is a "media blackout" regarding the process and that, until an agreement is reached, there is no public discussion. As a result, negotiation team members are not able to discuss any specifics until there is an agreement.

The negotiations package will be presented to the Executive Council and, once adopted by the EC, it will be available for perusal by members at the FA office. Also, after approval by the EC, the FA will commence negotiations with the college administration and the county.

Our current contract, as is true of the Guild contract which covers the administrators, expires August 31. Also of note is that the other eight county unions—the PBA, SOA, and AME, to name a few—are currently working with expired contracts. We will do our best to reach an agreement by September, but we do not control the process. Until a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is reached and signed, there is no new contract.

The good news is that if we do not have a new agreement in September, the current contract and all of its provisions remains in effect. This is possible due to provisions in the New York State Taylor Law called the Triborough Amendment; if you're unfamiliar, read this NYSUT article explaining Triborough.

While the contract negotiations process is not public, we will do everything we can to keep our members informed regarding the progress of our negotiations.

We will also do our best to negotiate a new contract, which FA members will have to approve before it can continue through the process for final implementation.

Stay tuned.