| To the Manhattanville College Community,
Good news! Today we have reached an agreement with Manhattanville's Administration on the parameters of a union election for Manhattanville's adjunct faculty and tutors. We were far apart on many issues as recently as this morning. We had proposed a mail ballot election (with ballots sent to adjunct faculty's home addresses) in mid to late January. Manhattanville proposed an onsite election during the week of February 21st with polls being open for a total of nine hours over three days -- Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 4pm to 7pm). Because we were so far apart, we had expected to have to go through a hearing today with both sides presenting their arguments, following up with legal briefs, and having the Labor Board make a determination on all these issues.
Happily, Labor Board agents Maria Patricia Belonis and Burt Pearlstone helped guide us through several hours of back and forth discussion today and at about 3:30 this afternoon we were able to reach agreement. You can view the agreement in its entirety, but here is the summary:
*The Labor Board will mail ballots to eligible voters' homes on February 7th. Ballots (which will come with postage-paid return envelopes) are due back at the Labor Board by February 22rd. Ballots will be counted at the Labor Board on February 23rd at 10am.
*If you taught at least one graduate or undergraduate course as an adjunct faculty member in Spring 2010 and/or Summer 2010, and/or Fall 2010 you are eligible to vote. Adjunct faculty who did not teach in these semesters, but do teach at least one graduate or undergraduate course in January or Spring 2011 are also eligible to vote so long as they also taught in any semester of 2009 or 2008.
* We also agreed to the College's proposal that part-time tutors in the Higher Education Learning Program and the Academic Resource Center who are employed as of today will also be eligible to vote.
We realize that the election date is farther away than many of you have told us you would prefer. Manhattanville was insistent that the election be conducted during the Spring, 2011 semester and argued that it would be inappropriate to hold the election during the first two weeks of the semester. We know, of course, those are excuses - Manhattanville Administration (like most every other employer) wants to delay an election so they can have time to try and persuade their employees not to vote in favor of the union. That said, we felt that even though the election will not take place as quickly as we know adjunct faculty prefer, it was not worth the delay of a hearing to argue over this point. We do expect Manhattanville to conduct an anti-union campaign (they actually started a standard boilerplate anti-union campaign many weeks ago - see www.nyorganizing.org/plate ) but we are confident that Manhattanville adjunct faculty will not be swayed from their already strong desire to form a union.
This is a long enough email given that so many of you are in the middle of grading papers and exams, so we'll end it here. Congratulations! The opportunity to get to the important work of negotiating a fair contract for Manhattanville adjunct faculty is now even closer.
We will keep you updated with further developments. Questions? Concerns? Would you like to join the Steering Committee? Please email us or call us at 212-989-3470.
Julie Berman and Daniel Esakoff
New York State United Teachers
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Union of Adjunct Faculty and Tutors at Manhattanville / NYSUT / AFT / NEA / AFL-CIO