Chapter Chair's Message 2021

We, your executive board, hope your semester is going well, whether you are teaching in person or online.

Our contract negotiations have been stalled due to the Pandemic, but we have been working with AFT-NJ and United Adjunct Faculty of NJ to plan our strategy to settle our first contract. We are scheduled for in person mediation on December 14.

Our strength comes from working together. We may need to call on you to support our initiatives to settle the contract.

Negotiations Update

NEGOTIATIONS TIMELINE-

The official recognition of the Union by the College was February 13, 2018

Both sides first met in January 2019 and continued to meet on a regular basis to focus on the issues which the unit members identified as priorities

November 21, 2019, the parties reached impasse

Our first mediation session was held on March 5, 2019

Our second mediation session was canceled due to Covid 19

Our next in-person mediation session is scheduled for December 14, 2021

AFT PLUS MEMBER BENEFITS

Since Brookdale Adjunct Faculty do not yet have a contract adjunct faculty are not eligible for the AFT PLUS Member Benefits Program!

BROOKDALE MEETINGS OF OCT. 19 and 20, 2020

On October 19th & 20th, our Chapter conducted meetings via Zoom with unit members, some of whom were participating in the meetings for the first time; others had attended past meetings.

 

Joan Carroll, the Acting Chapter Chair, began the meeting by introducing herself and the other officers, Jim Schmitt, Chair of the Negotiating Committee,  Richard Jesmajian, Treasurer, and Karen Strickland, member of  the Negotiating Team.

 

Joan stated the following:

-        The bargaining unit was certified by the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) in February of 2018.

-       The Negotiating Team surveyed the unit members before preparing the proposals and approached the College in the beginning of the Fall semester to commence the process of negotiations

-       The official recognition of the union by the College was February 13, 2018

-       Both sides first met in January of 2019 and continued to meet on a regular basis to focus on the issues which the unit members identified as priorities

-       November 21, 2019, the parties reached impasse

-       Our first mediation session was held on March 5, 2019

-       Our second mediation session was canceled due to Covid 19

-       PERC, who assigns the mediator, has indefinitely suspended in-person meetings

 

Next, Joan introduced Joanna McAvoy, AFT-NJ Staff Representative, who is our Negotiator.  Joanna stated the following:

 

-       While we have negotiated some of the more basic components of the collective bargaining agreement, we were not able to reach an agreement in its entirety

-       Unfortunately, no progress was made at the mediation session, and the mediator recommended we schedule session #2

-       Since that session was canceled due to the pandemic, we have been advised by our legal counsel to resume mediation once we can schedule an in-person session

-       One of the participants asked what issues we are still seeking to resolve and Joanna answered by saying that while it would not be prudent to list outstanding issues at Brookdale, what’s very important to adjunct faculty in general includes an improved pat schedule and increased compensation.

 

Jim Schmitt, the Chapter’s Negotiating Chair, talked about both Chapter officers and unit members participating in the Zoom Board of Trustees meetings.  He reported that at the past couple of Board meetings, officers and unit members have spoken up about the lack of progress with the initial adjunct faculty contract.  He stressed the importance of getting our message out there especially since we cannot resume the bargaining process while pandemic restrictions are in place.

 

The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27th, and Jim will provide the necessary Zoom information via email for those who wish to attend.  Jim also thanked the adjunct faculty who have spoken out at these meetings thus far and those who plan to do so on Tuesday, October 27th

 

The floor was opened for concerns from membership.  Issues discussed were:

-       Amount of money adjuncts are currently spending of own money to print documents and update computer/visual/audio components

-       Student access to necessary advanced computer technology, i.e. access to adobe software for graphics labs when students don’t have necessary internet bandwidth or current enough computers to handle the software.

-       Extra time adjuncts are contributing, unpaid, to learn (50 hours on TLC training) and to change lessons to accommodate new mode of instruction (20 hours at minimum of extra preparation time before semester began)

-       The lack of standardization of technology which makes training and interactions among adjuncts difficult

-       Short time between semesters to prepare classes.  Need minimum of 70 hours of unpaid labor to retrofit a class for effective instruction.

 

If you have not had an opportunity to attend one of our virtual membership meetings or you wish to attend another one in the future, the Chapter has scheduled two additional meetings during the month of December as follows:

            Monday, December 7th at 11:30 a.m.

            Tuesday, December 8th at 8:00 p.m.

 

Further information will be provided as soon as it becomes available.