Author Archives: tc3aa

Room 122

is not only the location of the “Adjunct Office” at TC3, it’s also the name of our newsletter which recently debuted. Click here to read the very first issue of Room 122.

Congrats to Cayugians!

Cayugites? Cayuga’ers? However one says it, congratulations are in order for Cayuga Community College’s adjuncts (Cayuyadjuncts?) for now being one step closer to the bargaining table for their union, the Cayuga Community College Part-time Faculty Association.

On January 29th, the Public Employment Relations Board affirmed the April ruling of an Administrative Law Judge that adjuncts at Cayuga are entitled to their own union, separate from the existing union for Cayuga’s fulltime faculty.

A little background: Adjuncts at Cayuga had started organizing a union back in Spring 2014. Despite a majority of adjuncts supporting a stand-alone adjunct union, the College’s administration interfered, insisting that the “most appropriate” union for adjunct was a merged one with fulltime faculty, something that neither Cayuga’s adjuncts nor its fulltime faculty wanted. The College’s refusal to recognize an adjunct-only union forced the issue into a long (and expensive) legal battle.

Sound familiar? It should. Back when a majority of TC3’s adjuncts signed “authorization cards” indicating our support for union representation, TC3 Administration and Board took a page from Cayuga’s anti-union handbook, insisted that despite the preference of TC3’s adjuncts and fulltimers to be in separate unions, the “most appropriate” union was a merged one of fulltimers and adjuncts. Thus, the TC3AA was forced into a similar legal delay as the Cayuga adjuncts had been and we are currently waiting for an Administrative Law Judge to issue his ruling from the June 2015 hearings.

When the judge issues his ruling on the TC3 situation sometime in Spring 2016 (which we anticipate will be favorable to our position for separate unions) we call on TC3 to accept his decision and not undertake additional legal delays (which are funded with public monies) by filing an appeal that is all but certain to end in the same way the Cayuga case did — with PERB upholding a judge’s ruling that separate unions for fulltime and part-time adjuncts are most appropriate.

It’s time, it’s high time, for TC3 to respect the decision of its adjuncts to organize, recognize our union, and begin the process of collective bargaining with the adjuncts’ chosen union — something they do for every other employee at the College.

*For press coverage of the recent PERB decision on Cayuga’s adjuncts click here.

*To read the actual PERB decision, upholding the judge’s ruling for separate fulltime faculty and adjunct unions, click here.

*To add your name to the Open Letter calling on President Haynes and the TC3 Board of Trustees to commit to respecting the judge’s decision on this matter and refrain from wasting more time and money on unnecessary appeals, click here.

Questions? Please contact any member of the TC3AA Executive Council or email us at

Spring 2016 — Come By and Say Hi

Welcome back!

Adjunct volunteers from the TC3 Adjunct Association will be on hand in Room 122 with refreshments and the latest information about our Union. Come by to learn more, say hello, or just grab a snack. We look forward to seeing you!

Wednesday, January 27th

Thursday, January 28th

Friday, January 29th

Monday, February 1st

Wednesday, January 27th

Tuesday, February 2nd

Wednesday, February 3rd
*Also from 12pm-1pm, a representative from NY State United Teachers’s Member Benefits department will be hosting a presentation in Room 122D. Come find out all the “other” union benefits (aside from having a voice at work and a collective bargaining agreement) that come through membership in the TC3AA and NYSUT!

Thursday, February 4th
*Also from 11:30am-12:30pm, a representative from NY State United Teachers’s Member Benefits department will be hosting a presentation in Room 122D. Come find out all the “other” union benefits (aside from having a voice at work and a collective bargaining agreement) that come through membership in the TC3AA and NYSUT!


Membership Meeting

TC3 Adjunct Association members: we hope to see you all at our meeting on Tuesday, the eve of the Spring 2016 semester. We’ve budgeted an hour for chatting and pizza before we work through our agenda. If you missed the invite, contact an Executive Council member or email us at We really hope you can make it!

We Are Proud

to have been honored by the Midstate Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, and the Tompkins County Workers’ Center as one of the recipients of the Mother Jones Award at this year’s Labor Day picnic.

Thank you to the Central Labor Council, the Workers Center, and the many, many individuals from TC3 and beyond who have supported the TC3AA this past year. It has been a more difficult journey than many of us anticipated when we set out, but then that’s probably not unlike the way many of us felt about teaching before we actually started doing it.

As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty…”

Mother Jones AwardWinners

Meet the TC3AA Executive Council

If we haven’t already met, please introduce yourself when you next see any of us!
Or contact us at

Top row, left to right:
Herman Altmann (Biology), Cindy Coleman (Sociology), Nancy Crane (Modern Languages/Spanish)

Middle row, left to right:
Robert Earle (Philosophy, English, and Sociology), Barbara Need (English), Pat Sewell (Environmental Studies)

Bottom row, left to right:
Sherry Tacktill (English), Gregg Weatherby (English), Diane Williams-Altmann (Biology)

The Road to Cayuga

Road to Cayuga

Take 13 South to 38 North. Continue on 38 for about thirty-four miles as it winds its way north, taking on alternate identities of Railroad Street, Main Street, and West Cayuga Street. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto Lake Street, then turn left onto Owasco which is 38A. Make a left onto Franklin. Arrive at 197 Franklin Street, Cayuga Community College.

It’s fewer than forty miles in all and, in normal traffic conditions, it should take you 56 minutes. That’s the preferred route.

Then there’s the OTHER road to Cayuga. This is the road to Cayuga which detours hundreds of miles to Albany, a journey which might take you years (if you’re lucky) to complete.  This is the road to Cayuga where you and a majority of your adjunct colleagues decide you want union representation to improve your jobs and, by extension, your students’ success but — instead of respecting the will of the majority — your employer uses taxpayer money to fund a continuing legal battle at the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) in an attempt to make the whole process of forming a union so long and so onerous that you give up.

That’s the road we don’t want: the one Cayuga administration erected roadblocks on in Spring 2014 after a majority of CCC adjuncts signed cards in favor of union representation, the one clogged with legal traffic which isn’t going to clear for many more months if not years, the one littered with the taxpayer dollars Cayuga wastes battling its own employees.

That’s the road TC3 has started down but still has time to turn around.

On June 10th and June 11th, a hearing was conducted in Syracuse by a judge from the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), the State agency which oversees unions and workers in the public sector. At the hearing, representatives of the TC3AA and the Tompkins Cortland Community College Faculty Association presented arguments about why adjuncts should have their own union, separate from that of the fulltime faculty. TC3’s attorney argued the College’s position, that a combined unit of both fulltime faculty and adjuncts was more appropriate. Legal briefs from each party will be due by the end of the September and then the judge will deliberate and eventually (most likely sometime this semester) issue his ruling.  We anticipate the judge in the TC3AA case will rule in favor of two separate unions — just like the judge from the Cayuga hearing did. But we hope that, unlike their counterparts at CCC, President Haynes and the TC3 Board of Trustees will respect the judge’s decision and not continue to waste taxpayer monies (not to mention employee goodwill) on a continued fight.

Help us persuade President Haynes and the TC3 Board of Trustees to change course and get on the high road: the one where once a judge from the Public Employee Relations Board rules in our favor, the College respects the judicial decision, recognizes our Union, and — just like they do with every other employee at TC3 — sits down with us at the bargaining table to negotiate a fair contract  which covers all the terms and conditions of our employment.

Thank you.

Judgement Days

In April, adjuncts at Cayuga Community College got good news — the judge who had presided over their two day hearing last year at the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruled in favor of there being an “adjunct only” union at CCC, separate from the existing union for fulltime faculty. In her decision Judge Burritt wrote “‘There is no question that “[I]t is the policy of the Act to find appropriate the largest unit permitting effective negotiations.’ I find, however, that the adjunct faculty is appropriately placed in a separate unit from that of the full-time faculty, because of the significant conflicts that exist between part-time and full-time faculty which will prevent effective negotiations.”

It’s important to note that the only reason a judge had to make a ruling at all was because for close to a year, CCC Administration had been fighting their own employees’ efforts to form a union. Though the CCC administrators claimed their only interest was in determining the “most appropriate” union for adjuncts, all of their legal machinations are a thinly disguised strategy to delay the organizing efforts in the hopes that adjuncts will become so demoralized by the how long the process takes and/or how contentious it becomes, that they give up.

And we mention the Cayuga situation because we strongly believe that TC3 administration has been closely watching (and mimicking) their Cayuga counterparts ever since adjuncts at TC3 started organizing our union. That’s why the TC3 Administration refused to voluntarily recognize the TC3 Adjunct Association when we obtained majority status last October.  That’s why the TC3 Administration tried to spread rumors and doubts about our majority status last November and December.  That’s why the TC3 Administration refused to let PERB confirm our majority status and certify our union last January. And that’s why they insisted we go through a hearing similar to one that Cayuga adjuncts had gone through: it’s all about delay, it’s all about hoping that TC3 adjuncts will give up on forming a union.

Anyhow, our hearing, before Judge Kenneth Carlson from PERB, was held on June 11th and June 12th in Syracuse. Representatives of the TC3AA argued that we should be able to have our own union, separate from the existing union for fulltime faculty. Representatives of that union, the Tompkins Cortland Community College Faculty Association, also argued that we TC3 adjuncts should have their own union and not be forced to merge into theirs. TC3’s attorney from the Harris Beach law firm argued that the 250+ adjuncts at TC3 had enough in common with fulltime tenured faculty that the only way union representation for adjuncts could work at TC3 would be if adjuncts could merge into the Faculty Association.

All three parties at the hearing now have to submit legal briefs which will be due at the end of the summer. Then Judge Carlson will begin his deliberations, and will probably issue his ruling sometime in the Fall 2015 semester. We anticipate that his decision will mirror Judge Buritt’s, and that Judge Carlson will rule that adjuncts at TC3 should have their own union, separate from fulltime faculty. And if that happens, we hope that TC3 Administration will choose to take a higher road than their counterparts at Cayuga did when they appealed Judge Burritt’s ruling (that appeal is still pending, a decision is not likely to be issued until October at the earliest). We hope TC3 will respect Judge Carlson’s decision, refrain from wasting more money and personnel resources on further legal delays, recognize the TC3AA as the union for TC3’s adjuncts, and begin negotiations in good faith  on  a first collective bargaining agreement.

Good News for Adjuncts at Cayuga Community College (AND at TC3)!

We are very happy to report that adjuncts at Cayuga Community College  just won an important legal victory last Wednesday. A judge from the Public Employment Relations Board (“PERB,” the government agency that oversees public sector employers and unions in New York State) ruled in favor of Cayuga Community College adjuncts having their own union!

Many of you are aware of the backstory that by March 2014, a majority of CCC adjuncts had signed union authorization cards in support of union representation. However CCC administration refused to voluntarily recognize the adjuncts’ union, and instead insisted that adjuncts properly belonged in the same union as the Cayuga fulltime faculty and that having a separate union for adjuncts would be an administrative and economic burden for the College. Since neither the Cayuga fulltime faculty nor the Cayuga adjuncts wished to be in the same union (as they have different and sometimes conflicting interests) and since the CCC administration was insistent that an adjunct-only union was “inappropriate,” the dispute had to be settled through the PERB hearing.

Does any of this sound familiar? (It should. We strongly suspect that TC3 administration has been following in the footsteps of their Cayuga counterparts in an attempt to delay if not derail entirely the desire of a majority of TC3’s adjuncts to form our own union.)

We are excited at what the judge’s ruling means for our colleagues in the Cayuga Community College Part-Time Faculty Association. We are also excited that the judge’s ruling could have a positive impact on our own upcoming hearing at PERB (scheduled for June 10th, 11th, and 12th) since we believe there will now be additional legal precedence for the judge who deliberates our case to rule in favor of the TC3 Adjunct Association being separate from the fulltime faculty union at TC3. BUT, it’s not necessary to have a hearing at all — at our pre-hearing conference in February, the judge made it clear to TC3 management that they could decide at any time to drop their legal objections to our union. Now, with this decision at Cayuga, it seems even more wasteful for TC3 to waste financial resources and administrative time on legal delays fighting their own employees’ decision to form a union.

We hope you will join us in extending our best wishes to our adjunct colleagues at Cayuga Community College. If you are on TC3’s Dryden campus this week, feel free to stop by the kitchen area in the Adjunct Office (Room 122) and sign the congratulatory card we have for the CCC adjuncts. If you’re not on campus would still like to join us in sending our congratulations, just email us whatever message you want us to forward to the CCC adjuncts, and we will print it out and we enclose it with the card when we mail it off. Email your message to

TC3AA Executive Council Nominations and Election

Nominations are now open for the 9 member Executive Council of the TC3 Adjunct Association. The nomination period will run through April 20th.

Only TC3AA members can nominate others (or themselves). Only TC3AA members can run for Council. Only TC3AA members are eligible to vote in the upcoming election. Membership in the TC3AA is limited to adjuncts/tutors who have taught or tutored at TC3 anytime in the 2014-15 academic year. You may nominate yourself or you may nominate an adjunct colleague (or multiple adjunct colleagues). If you nominate an adjunct colleague who is not yet a TC3AA member, s/he will be given the option of joining the TC3AA in order to be eligible to accept the nomination.

If you have not already joined the TC3AA, you can download a membership application, complete it, then:

1) Fax it back to 201-221-7541 (no cover sheet is necessary), or

2) Scan it and email it back to, or

3) Give it to any Organizing Committee Member, or

4) Mail it to TC3AA/NYSUT, 4983 Brittonfield Parkway, POB 247 East Syracuse, NY 13057

Here are the relevant dates for the nomination period and the election:

NOMINATIONS — Must be received by Monday April 20, 2015 either by postal mail delivery or by 11:59pm via email/fax. (See above for email./fax/mailing address). Be sure to state your name either in the body of the email or on the nomination form. IF you would prefer, you may use a pre-printed nomination form available for download here. NOTE: We must receive a membership card from you by April 20th in order to consider your nomination.

ELECTION — Paper ballots will be mailed to members’ home addresses on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Ballots are due back by Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Please note, May 6th is NOT a postmark deadline, ballots must be received back no later than Wednesday, May 6, 2015.

We hope all TC3 adjuncts will take an active role in determining the elected leadership of our union. Please feel free to contact us with any questions/concerns.

Sincerely the TC3AA Organizing Committee,
Herman Altmann, Betsy Caughey, Robert Chapman, Cynthia Coleman, Nancy Crane, Elizabeth Grant, In Shik Lee, Kristin Lovelace-ross, Randy McGory, Barbara Need, Jaclyn Pittsley, Jessica Ryan, Pat Sewell, Lorraine Sinclaire, Sherry Tacktill, Gregg Weatherby, Steve Weed, Butch Westlake, Michele Whitecraft, Diane Williams-Altmann, Sarah Wolff