at , Boston, 02114 United States
We are the union representing the part-time lecturers of Suffolk University.
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Dear Colleagues, The SAF bargaining team (Carolyn Salvi, Robert Rosenfeld, and Jamie Bondar), with the additional help of our counsel from the national offices of AAUP, Michael Mauer, met this afternoon with representatives from the University’s administration to figure out a way to protect the lecturers should the University move to rearrange its credit structure. The goal on both sides was to find a resolution that would allow us to move forward with ratification of the new contract in time for it to be completely in place by the beginning of the spring semester. At the table, the University’s representatives affirmed again that there is currently no formal proposal on the table to change the credit structure of the University classes. The University is working to ensure that it is meeting the standards set forth by the Department of Education regarding what goes into constituting a credit hour, and does feel that it needs to clarify what distinguishes a 3-credit course from a 4-credit course in greater detail. A move back to a 3 credit per course structure remains on the table as a possibility, but that is just one option the University is considering among many and would not, as they told us, be made “suddenly or capriciously.” Nevertheless, we felt it our duty to make sure that we left the table with some form of written assurance that if such a change were to be made we would not be left without protection or recourse as a bargaining unit. After some discussion, we have agreed to add a legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to the CBA which reads as follows: In the event that the University exercises its right to alter the course credit structure during the life of this agreement (September 1, 2015 – June 30, 2018), the University will negotiate, upon request of the union, over the impact, if any, on affected bargaining unit members. This means a couple of things. First and most importantly, it reaffirms that SAF retains the right to bargain over the impact that implementation of such a change would have upon our membership, including how it would affect issues like workload, compensation, and eligibility for medical and dental benefits. Second, and of nearly equal importance, this MoU means that if the University does decide that this is the course of action it wants to pursue, they have to take into account our needs before making the change. In other words, this assures that we continue to have a place at the table when it comes to the University’s processes for making decisions that would impact our work life. Securing this MoU now also means that all the other significant gains that we made in this contract have been upheld: higher compensation over the course of the contract (starting in January), easier eligibility for medical and dental benefits, shortened timeline to become a senior lecturer in CAS and NESAD, the right to teach more than 2 classes a semester, etc. In light of the need to get this wrapped up quickly, we are un-suspending our ratification of the contract. Ballots that have already been received will be counted and if you have not yet sent in your ballot you are now most enthusiastically invited to do so. We will now be accepting ballots until Monday, Nov. 30th, which means they must be postmarked by Wednesday, Nov. 25th. As soon as we have secured a third-party to watch the ballot counting, we will set a date and time for the count, and you are invited to attend if you wish. Remember, as always, that if you wish to vote you must be a union member and be up-to-date on your dues paying. Please contact us if you need a ballot and/or a dues form. The last two weeks have been stressful, but they have also given us some great gifts. We have seen significantly more activity and engagement from our membership, and though this issue is now resolved, we are committed to continuing to build on the energy that has been generated. Furthermore, we have taken this as an opportunity to begin opening up lines of communication between ourselves and our full-time colleagues, which will, I believe, lead to greater collegiality and transparency throughout the University. With your help, we can continue to make Suffolk a great place to work, to teach, and to learn. In solidarity, Carolyn Salvi Robert Rosenfeld Jamie Bondar Ken Martin Larry Overlan
A quick update: We have a meeting with the University's bargaining team on WEDNESDAY, November 18, from 1-2:30pm. It's a closed session, but we encourage you to send us any statements or information you'd like us to share with the administration. We are very hopeful that Wednesday's session will allow us to resolve the issues currently impeding ratification of the contract and are excited to be moving forward. A few reminders: -- we are looking to update our mailing and contact lists. Please send email with your snail mail address and a good non-Suffolk email for you to email@example.com. This is also the email address to use if you need to contact the executive committee generally and/or to share information with us that you want us to take to the administration for this week's meeting. -- We want you to be an active, voting member! Please contact us if you need a dues form so that you can vote! --We will be scheduling Town Hall meetings to answer questions that have arisen from recent events. Please watch this space for an announcement of dates and times.
Hi Everyone--we are working on getting good email addresses for everyone, and we are particularly looking for getting NON-SUFFOLK email addresses for our membership. If you are reading this, please send an email from the address you want us to use for you to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!!!!
We had disappointingly low turn-out and both yesterday and today's Town Hall meetings. However, there are very important and troubling NEW developments that we need to communicate to you. Please comment on this post to give us some idea of meeting times that might work for you next week. Please encourage all of your colleagues to watch this space for updates and to attend meetings!
This is just a quick reminder that the Townhall meetings to discuss the CBA will be held on Wednesday, November 4, from 5:30 to 6:30 PM in Somerset 214 and on Thursday, November 5, from 1 to 2:30 PM in Somerset 216. We hope to see you there!
Tomorrow we send out CBA ratification ballots! Please keep an eye on your personal mailbox for your ballot. If you don't receive a ballot in the mail it means we either A) can't send you a ballot until we have collected dues from you or B) Don't have the correct mailing address for you. In either case, we still want you to vote! Please contact Carolyn Salvi, Robert Rosenfeld, or Jaime Bondar to get a ballot! Townhall meetings to discuss the CBA will be held on Wednesday, November 4, from 5:30 to 6:30 PM in Somerset 214 and on Thursday, November 5, from 1 to 2:30 PM in Somerset 216.