Monthly Archives: October 2014
Our Message to the TC3 Board of Directors, “Don’t Waste Financial Resources and Community/Employee Good Will on Delays”
On Thursday, October 23rd several TC3AA Organizing Committee members attended the October meeting of the College’s Board of Trustees. Robert Earle, an adjunct instructor in English and Philosophy read a statement to the Board while Gregg Weatherby, also an instructor of English who had read his own statement to the Tompkins County Legislature on Tuesday, passed out a letter signed by over 100 TC3 adjuncts urging President Haynes and the Board of Trustees not to waste money on lawyer and delays.
Below are Robert Earle’s remarks to the Board. The letter from adjuncts (which you can still add your name to) can be found here.
Mark your calendars: the next meeting of the TC3 Board of Trustees is scheduled for Thursday, November 20th at 5:30pm in the Ronald W. Space Board Room.
Dear President Haynes and Members of the Board of Trustees:
Speaking on Agenda Point #14A: Board of Trustees Retreat: We believe the following will be valuable information to consider during that retreat.
I am an adjunct, a member of the TC3 community, and a member of the Organizing Committee of the TC3 Adjunct Association. It is on behalf of that organization that I now speak. TC3 tenure track faculty, as well as professional and support staff have all had union representation for some time. Many of our counterparts at other institutions also have union representation. Now we feel it is our turn.
We see unionization as a benefit not only for adjuncts at TC3 but for our students and the institution as a whole. We all know
that building relationships with faculty is a critical factor in student success, especially at an institution like TC3, which has a large population of non-traditional students. But it can be difficult for students to build relationships with instructors who may not be at the College the next semester. We believe union representation and a fair contract will be a crucial component to helping TC3 not only attract but also retain the most qualified and dedicated adjuncts for years to come. We want to get started on that goal as soon as possible.
Yesterday, the President received our NYSUT representative’s mailed letter announcing the formation of our union and asking him to voluntarily recognize the TC3 Adjunct Association, NYSUT,/NEA/AFT,/AFL-CIO as the exclusive bargaining agent of TC3 adjuncts. We urge you to respect our wishes for voluntary recognition.
Because of the widespread support for union representation, there is no question that TC3 adjuncts will have a union. The only question left is if the Administration and Board will adversely affect College funds (not to mention employee and community good will) by needlessly wasting resources on legal fees and forcing us to go through a hearing for union recognition at the Public Employment Relations Board.
The TC3 Adjunct Association looks forward to a cordial and productive relationship with the College and, of course, we also look forward to continuing our hard work and dedication in serving the needs of our students. We await your prompt response.
Robert Earle, speaking on behalf of the Organizing Committee of The TC3 Adjunct Association
On Tuesday, October 21st, several members of the TC3 Adjunct Association Organizing Committee attended the semi-monthly meeting of the Tompkins County Legislature to address the legislators and ask for their help in our union organizing drive of TC3 adjuncts. Theresa Alt, a community resident and a member of the Tompkins County Workers Council, also spoke in support of TC3AA.
The core message to the legislature was simple: “TC3 adjuncts need, want, and deserve a union. Please tell President Carl Haynes and the TC3 Board of Trustees to respect our wishes and voluntarily recognize our union. Please tell them not to waste taxpayer money fighting us.” The details of the message were often moving as Cynthia Coleman (Sociology), Nancy Crane (Modern Languages), Sherry Tacktill (English) and Gregg Weatherby (English) told their personal stories which touched on everything from continuing to teach as an adjunct at TC3 even after finding fulltime employment elsewhere because of a passion for teaching, to working seven days a week (including weekends at the Ithaca Farmers Market) to try to make ends meet as an adjunct, to how adjuncts teach the majority of the college’s courses yet are not paid a living wage, to the struggle faced to be assigned classes again after a six month medical absence spent fighting Stage IV cancer.
Several of the legislators were openly supportive in their comments that followed. We are hopeful we can count on the Tompkins County Legislators’ help in the days to come as we press the TC3 Administration and Board of Trustees to voluntary recognize the TC3 Adjunct Association as the union for TC3 adjuncts.
County taxpayer dollars help fund community colleges. TC3 gets 25.1% of its funding through local (county) sources.
Tonight, at 5:30pm the Tompkins County Board of Representatives are holding their semi-monthly meeting at 121 East Court Street in Ithaca.
Come tell our legislature to tell TC3 management that they should not waste taxpayer monies on legal fees to fight adjuncts’ right to organize a union. TC3 management should take the high road and voluntarily recognize the TC3 Adjunct Association.
A few weeks ago the Ithaca Times published an article exploring the growing reliance on (and accompanying exploitation of) contingent faculty in colleges and universities nationwide and focused on the experiences of several Ithaca area adjuncts.
We noticed there was no mention of the organizing drive underway at TC3 and were concerned that the article did not do justice to the challenges that local adjuncts face professionally and financially.
So we wrote a letter to the editor. Check out the Guest Opinion in the October 15th edition.
We’re curious to hear your thoughts, both about the original article and about our response.