Category Archives: Public Support
This Friday, November 21st, will mark the 30th day since we informed President Haynes that a majority of TC3’s adjuncts have signed authorization cards indicating their desire for union representation and the 30th day since we requested that the College “voluntarily recognize” the TC3 Adjunct Association. On the eve of the 30th day — at 5:30pm this Thursday, November 20th — TC3’s Board of Trustees will hold its next regular monthly meeting (open to the public) and…. YOU are invited! We’ll meet up first, at 5:15pm, in the Fireside Café, on the first floor of the Main Building on the Dryden campus (closest parking is in Lot #4) and then proceed together to the Board meeting in the Sprole Boardroom (Room 200, near the Empire State wing of the building) with the goal of arriving a few minutes before the 5:30pm start time. The Trustees plan to discuss the union in an executive session immediately following the regular meeting so if you are a member of the TC3 community or a resident of Tompkins or Cortland county please join us for this important opportunity to let the Trustees know we want them to respect the decision of the majority of TC3 adjuncts. Earlier today President Haynes informed the Union that he would not voluntarily recognize the TC3AA. While disappointing, that is the College’s legal right. However, what made the rejection more disappointing (and somewhat disturbing) was the assertion by President Haynes (later repeated in a repeated in a press release issued by the College) that the Administration has doubts as to our majority status. It’s odd since last week, as media coverage of the TC3AA started picking up (like in The Ithacan, The Lansing Star, 870 WHCU, and 14850, to name a few) we started hearing of TC3 Administration’s that about whether or not we have achieved majority support amongst TC3 adjuncts. For example, in an article that appeared in last week’s edition of The Ithacan, one member of TC3’s administration is quoted as saying, “If the union is going to come into existence, we want to be confident that it is supported by the majority of people it wants to represent.” Apparently this same administrator also told the Ithacan reporter that the fact that only 100+ adjuncts had signed on to a public letter of support was in and of itself cause for concern since those adjuncts do not constitute a majority of the 250’ish adjuncts teaching this semester at TC3. We guess it’s not as obvious as we thought but not every adjunct who signed a union authorization card was willing to announce to Administration (let alone the world) that they had done so. But, WHEW, it’s not every day we get an opportunity to clear up a misconception so easily! We certainly DO have a strong majority (in fact, we have a strong majority even of the somewhat inflated list that TC3 provided to us which included several managers who would not be eligible for union representation). All that’s needed is to count the cards in a way that confirms our majority status but does not violate our commitment to respect the wishes of the many adjuncts who are reluctant to publically state that they signed a union authorization card. A local elected official was willing to help us out by acting as a neutral third party and comparing the names on the signed union authorization cards to the names on TC3’s list to confirm that a majority of the adjuncts listed on TC3’s list did indeed sign a union authorization card. But on Friday, President Haynes summarily rejected the local elected official’s offer. The offer still stands and we’ll make it again to the Board of Trustees on Thursday. Though technically it’s not to late for President Haynes and the Board to change their mind and agree to voluntary recognition, the second “highest road” they can take is to agree that when PERB confirms our majority status and then seeks to certify the TC3AA that the College will not then waste taxpayer money by engaging in any legal challenges in an effort to derail or delay our decision to form a union.
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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.