Updates

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BCF-UAW Releases Report on the Status of Negotiations

Direct Link to the Report HERE.

Text of the cover letter:

September 12, 2016

To BCF-UAW members and the Barnard community,

One year ago, the eligible contingent faculty at Barnard voted overwhelmingly to form a union. This vote reflected a broad awareness that Barnard’s treatment of part-time and full-time contingent faculty, who perform most of the teaching, was exploitive. The new union—Barnard Contingent Faculty-UAW Local 2110 (BCF-UAW)—had a clear mandate to challenge the inequities built into Barnard’s bewildering profusion of faculty titles.

Since February the BCF-UAW Bargaining Committee has met thirteen times with the administration to negotiate a first contract that would guarantee raises, job security, benefits, a grievance procedure, and a host of other needed protections. Attached is a comprehensive report on the status of the negotiations to date. We ask all members of BCF-UAW to read the report and encourage others at Barnard to do the same.

The tenor of bargaining has been dictated by the administration’s spokesperson, a partner in the law firm of Jackson Lewis PC, notorious nationally for its anti-union consulting practice. The rest of the administration team has little experience with negotiating union contracts. The pace of negotiations has been glacial, and it is clear from both the administration team’s demeanor and positions that they do not value us as educators and colleagues.

While we will continue to bargain hard, we must also escalate pressure on the administration. Over the next few weeks, we will be reaching out to all contingent faculty to discuss crucial next steps. We remain ready to negotiate a reasonable compromise; however, the administration must make substantial changes in its position at the bargaining table. If they continue to refuse, then our union, at all levels, will use every available resource to win a fair contract, including action by the membership.

In solidarity,

Siobhan Burke, Dance, Bargaining Committee
Ted Feng, Assistant Director, UAW Region 9A
Georgette Fleischer, English, Bargaining Committee
Maida Rosenstein, President, UAW Local 2110
R. Todd Rouhe, Architecture, Bargaining Committee
Sonam Singh, English, Bargaining Committee

Goodbye to Núria Quella

Núria at the BCF-UAW rally outside Barnard's Annual Gala on May 3 at the Plaza Hotel.
Núria at the BCF-UAW rally outside Barnard’s Annual Gala on May 3 at the Plaza Hotel.

Núria was elected to the BCF-UAW Bargaining Committee as a Term Associate Professor in Economics. After two years as an adjunct and two years as a term faculty member, Núria is moving on to a position at Stony Brook University. We congratulate her on her new job but are sorry to lose her voice on our Bargaining Committee. Núria would have stayed at Barnard (and on our committee) had the administration been willing to offer her a multi-year re-appointment. Her department would also have preferred that she stay. Infuriatingly, the Barnard administration would grant only a one-year re-appointment and that only after a typically opaque drawn-out process. Given Stony Brook’s offer of a three-year appointment with the likelihood of continued re-appointments versus the insecurity of a one-year appointment at Barnard, Núria felt compelled to accept the Stony Brook offer.

Many term faculty face a similar dilemma. This is not only detrimental to the affected faculty but hurts departments and students who need experienced faculty to teach and mentor. We have made proposals in negotiations to rectify this unfair situation but to date, the administration has rejected all of them. We are committed to bargaining a contract that recognizes that, as Núria often said, contingent faculty are not contingent to the operation of the college: we are central to Barnard’s pedagogical mission and deserve to be treated accordingly.

NQ final

Bargaining Update – 10th session

Brief summary of bargaining session 10: On Tuesday, June 28, we had our tenth bargaining session with the Barnard administration. We exchanged proposals on grievance and arbitration, academic freedom and access to services (office space, equipment, library privileges, etc.). We made some progress in these areas but still did not reach final agreement on language. Nor did the administration move on more contentious issues such as wages, benefits, re-appointment rights, or union rights. The pace of negotiations continues to be glacial, driven by the administration’s ongoing rejection (through their corporate antiunion chief negotiator) of the notion that the contingent faculty should have any form of security or parity at Barnard. We will provide all BCF-UAW members with a detailed report on the progress of bargaining later in the summer. In the meantime, please contact any member of the Bargaining Committee with your questions.

Future sessions and next steps: There will be a hiatus in bargaining over the month of July, because of scheduling issues, but three bargaining sessions are scheduled for August. The Bargaining Committee will spend the hiatus reaching out to you via phone and email in order to discuss our options for ramping up activism for the fall semester, building on our strong presence at the Emily Gregory Teaching Award Dinner, at the Annual Fundraising Gala at the Plaza Hotel, and at Alumnae Reunion Weekend. Out of the latter, hundreds of Barnard alumnae, ranging so far from the Class of 1941 to the Class of 2016, have signed a petition urging President Spar and Provost Bell to bargain with us in good faith. That number continues to grow.

Bargaining Update – 9th session

One June 17 we held our 9th bargaining session with the administration. We have made some progress on certain non-economic provisions, but remain far apart on economics and issues related to job security and union rights. A brief summary of our progress is below; a more detailed report will be forthcoming later in the summer.

Agreement has been reached on the formation of a Labor/Management Committee that will meet each semester to discuss issues of common interest and concern including health and safety issues, and on digital access to student evaluations

Some progress has been made, but no final agreement has been reached on contract clauses concerning:

  • provision of bargaining unit information to the union
  • basic union recognition clause spelling out who is in the unit
  • academic freedom and responsibility policy
  • access to space and equipment
  • union access to campus and right to post union notices on bulletin boards
  • grievance and arbitration rights
  • conformity to law (standard legal provision which guarantees that contract will continue in effect even if a change in law makes a particular provision unlawful)

We remain far apart on clauses concerning:

  • re-appointment rights and job security
  • union security and dues deductions
  • management rights
  • right to strike and honor picket lines

No further movement by the administration on health benefits, wages, or other economic areas since their initial offer.

June 28 will be our last bargaining session before August.

Alumnae Support Grows + Bargaining Update – 8th session

Barnard alumnae strongly support us: The petition by Barnard alumnae demanding the administration bargain fairly has garnered hundreds of signatures online, bolstered by hundreds more gathered in-person during Barnard Reunion June 3 and 4. We’ll soon be sharing some of the powerful and pointed words of support alumnae have offered. The petition remains open and the numbers keep growing. Please share it widely among your own networks to reach more potential Barnard alumnae: http://bcfuaw.org/alumnae/

Bargaining: Our 8th bargaining session was on June 7. We will write later in the summer with a comprehensive update on where our negotiations stand. As always, if you would like to know more about the details of bargaining, be in touch with a member of the Bargaining Committee.