Chairman's Message - Fall 2011


Welcome back and hi to our new adjuncts:

This year we will begin negotiations for a new contract. However, the college is in very poor financial condition. We will look at what is available and welcome your suggestions. I have reviewed every contract from the other adjunct unions in our union and mined them for ideas that would work for us. I also do not see any value in a contract beyond one year duration since hopefully the college condition may change.

As I write this, student registration is worse than the expected minus 3% which was budgeted. Last year we lost over $300,000 in courses we taught previously. And then the college asked us to give back the meager raise for this year. We did not. Senior Adjuncts (those teaching their 60th credit and more) will receive 724/credit and non seniors 659/credit this year. There have been many problems with ADP preparing checks this summer. Make sure you look carefully at your first check and contact me if you are concerned (hpomerantz@sussex.edu).

I spoke with the college President this summer and discussed concerns that have an impact on adjuncts. We have lost our wonderful VP Kate, HR’s Claudia Olivo and many others in all areas of the college. Those left behind have many added jobs. It is important that you communicate your concerns with me as quickly as possible. If there is a grievance, it must be timely. Copies of the contract are on our web page (nj.aft.org/scccaff/).

We will be electing new officers in the spring. I believe the current slate will agree to continue but we can use at least one more member on the Executive Board. Our new union, United Adjunct Faculty NJ has been working hard to meet the needs of adjuncts throughout the state and is much stronger then each of our previous unions.

I have continued to represent you at the Board of Trustees meetings. With the new members now on the Board I have seen much more open discussion and challenges then in the past. There are two new members that will come onto the Board this year since both of the outgoing members have served the maximum number of consecutive times they can be members - (Mr. Perry and Ms. Case). I look forward to working with the new members and hope they will serve the college well.

Be sure you check the Handbook and know what is required of you as an adjunct. Turn in all paperwork when expected – 10th day rosters, information requested by HR, and final grades. Check your Sussex.edu mail frequently and respond as expected. I’m not sure communications will be as good since so many administrators are gone.

You can sign up for 1 credit course or CCE course within 5 days of the semester with waived tuition except fees. Forms are in the handbook and the bulletin board in the faculty office. Gloves and supplies are also available there. All copying is now done by us and not the secretary. Turn in your Syllabus within the 10th day of the semester to ncellary@sussex.edu.

I will put up notices when new information is posted by me to our web site. Other messages are posted frequently so check often. I will add the web page to the “favorites” on all adjunct computers.

That is all for now. Have a great semester and stay in touch. You can also reach me at 973-383-7807 if needed.

Hank Pomerantz

President

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GRIPE VS. GRIEVANCE

While every grievance begins as a complaint, all complaints do not become grievances.  In order to know what complaints can be processed as grievances, you will need to refer to the collective bargaining agreement between Sussex County Community College and the Sussex County Community College Chapter of the United Adjunct Faculty of New Jersey, Local 2222, for the definition of a grievance.  As you will see in Article IV. Section A. of the contract, a grievance can arise from the interpretation of the collective bargaining agreement, the application or violation of policies, agreements or administrative decisions affecting bargaining unit members.

The purpose of the grievance procedure is to provide for the speedy, orderly and equitable resolution of disputes.

Inherent in the grievance procedure is the remedy sought which must be identified in order to make the grievant whole.  In selecting an appropriate remedy, it is important to keep in mind that the purpose of the remedy is restoration not retribution.  The remedy should be consistent with the collective bargaining agreement in order to protect the integrity of the contract.

If you feel that the conditions for a grievance have been met, please do the following:

  1. Carefully document all facts including dates and times pertaining to the grievance.
  2. Contact the Chapter Chair, Hank Pomerantz.

Remember that there is a big difference between a gripe and a grievance.  A grievance is a formal challenge to the employer that the contract has been violated.

Fortunately, most problems can be settled informally without filing paperwork.  But it is imperative that you contact the local leadership as soon as possible when you feel you have a grievance.  There are strict timelines for the filing process, and they start the minute the violation takes place.

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