Union of Adjunct Faculty and Tutors at Manhattanville (UAFTAM)


Why We’re Voting YES!

Patricia Stepanovic (Chemistry) As a member of a strong teachers' union for almost 40 years, I know the benefits that such membership brings to teachers and their students. A union of adjunct professors would help to bring about more certainty in our employment future. A collective bargaining agreement would enable the adjunct faculty to be represented in dealings with administration, expressing opinions on issues important to us and to our students. Voting for a union is not voting against administration but voting to become a partner with administration.us and to our students. Voting for a union is not voting against administration but voting to become a partner with administration. Let's help to maintain the great education our students receive here at Manhattanville by voting yes for an adjunct union.

I have been a member of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) since the statewide union was formed back in the early 1970s. Prior to that I was a member of the United Teachers of New York and the New York State Teachers Association. It was the merger of these two groups that formed the New York State United Teachers. Being active in the union movement was a very important part of my public school teaching career. Having a union represent me and my colleagues will not only benefit wages, hours and working conditions, but enhance the overall environment in which we work. It is very crucial to be a member of our professional organization, especially during these times. The teachers union movement has greatly helped our profession, whether we teach kindergarten or graduate school. I will vote yes in the election so we can form the Union of Adjunct Faculty at Manhattanville. Having been a Union president and officer for well over thirty years, I see no reason to vote any other way. Frank Pandolfo (Education)

Kevin Klein (Art Studio) I was reluctant to join NYSUT 13 years ago when I started teaching at my other teaching job, but in retrospect I’m very glad that I did. I had no previous union experience and frankly didn¹t see a point in joining one. I always worked hard and did a good job, so what could a union do for me? I soon discovered a number of ways the union was valuable in both quantifiable and psychological ways. I’m grateful that I had an experienced group of my colleagues negotiating my contracts for me. They had long experience in the classroom and were familiar with working conditions in many other teaching institutions, and I’m sure they did a far better job of negotiating a good agreement than I ever could have managed individually, especially as a newer teacher. Beyond the business of negotiating contracts, I simply felt more secure to have the union representatives nearby.
Though I have never found myself in any disputes with my supervisors, it was always a comfort to know I had someone — my building representatives — to turn to for counsel if an issue were to arise. My union representatives have all been experienced fellow educators who were ready and willing to offer unbiased advice on any of my professional concerns. Having the support of NYSUT has made me feel more confident to focus on being a rigorous teacher and doing what’s best for my students’ education. Without the buffer of a union I am acutely conscious of the “popularity contest” aspect of adjunct teaching, and of the immediate risk of surprise class cancellation or reduced payment if my class size falls too low for a semester.

As an adjunct who has also taught at College of New Rochelle, Hunter College/CUNY, St. Thomas Aquinas College and Western Connecticut, I have experienced the limbo that an adjunct lives in. The affiliation with the college's policy and procedures is predicated by the distribution of an Adjunct Faculty Handbook, a.k.a. "contract", of do's and don'ts. If you have concerns about your responsibilities or need clarifications the resource available to you is to approach management while a proverbial "sword of Damocles" hangs over you. Likewise, the lack of peer relationships that is the "nature of the beast" prevents an adjunct from experiencing a sense of a cohesive group and affiliation. You really don't know your colleagues and may feel uncomfortable approaching them about a personal/personnel issue. I am sure that there are faculty for whom benefits are important concerns. As an AFT member (BOCES Teachers Association), I am privileged to have secured salary and benefits through contract negotiations.
John Szolnoki (Education)

Bonnie Snyder (Education) As a new adjunct supervisor of student teachers at Manhattanville, I look forward to sharing my love for teaching with many future teachers in years to come.  During my 33 years of teaching elementary students, my passion grew stronger and I want to share my positive experiences and enthusiasm.  However, I believe that union representation would be an asset to my future at Manhattanville. The reality is the salary does not create an incentive for adjuncts to stay long term. Yet, caring professionals make the experience for students so much richer. The union would help Manhattanville create a more stable workforce, thus improving the learning experience for students. So, I am voting YES for the union, and YES to positive change for adjuncts and students.

I also teach as an adjunct instructor at SUNY Purchase College; that status automatically made me a member of the teacher's union, and it has been a very positive experience. Also, I see the issue from the vantage point of history: the organizing of laborers has to be. I know that many of my colleagues are supporting a union because there are specific improvements they want to make to their jobs here. For me, it's very simple. Even though I personally have the good fortune to be in a stage in my life where I don't have to be particularly concerned with getting a higher salary from Manhattanville, I have to say, now and always: I am pro-union.
Michael Gerber (Musical Theatre)

John Fontana (Economics Finance & Mgt.) As a business owner I do not rely on a livelihood from teaching as an adjunct professor, but feel that those that do need a voice. The Union will provide that voice and work for the welfare of everyone.

The diverse adjunct faculty of Manhattanville College is promoting creative thinking, a creative curriculum and presenting an insightful understanding of the significance of global cultures in a fun and stimulating manner. Let us unite!!
Yutaka Yamada (Asian Studies)

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Union of Adjunct Faculty and Tutors at Manhattanville / NYSUT / AFT / NEA / AFL-CIO
339 Lafayette Street, Room 202, New York, NY 10012
phone: 212-989-3470; fax: 212-989-8154
email: organize@nysutmail.org