Manhattan College Adjunct Faculty Union (MCAFU)

Why We're Voting Yes!

I am voting YES in the union election for one simple reason: I believe it will make Manhattan College a better university. For everyone. YES, there are reasons to vote for a union that include adjunct-centric concerns such as job security, improved wages, and health benefits. And YES it will strengthen the voice of the nearly 200 adjuncts who teach at Manhattan College . But at its heart, this is an effort to improve this wonderful university. I love teaching here because I love the students. And I know that voting YES, that improving the standards for half the teachers who devote their time and energy and passion to Manhattan College , will benefit these wonderful students. When we vote YES we not only improve our position and solidify our voice, we also increase our personal investment in Manhattan College. And that benefits everyone at Manhattan College . Vote YES for yourself, your students, and for this wonderful institution that is Manhattan College.
Michael Ewing (Religious Studies)

I am an adjunct in the CUNY system too. To my utter dismay I found the situation at Manhattan College quite the opposite from CUNY as far as wages and benefits are concerned. Adjuncts make significant contributions to the institution's goodwill and thrive for excellence. I have realized that in order for the adjunct teaching system to function at its best, unionization is essential. A collective voice of thoughts and ideas, needs and requirements will help in setting up an effective framework and a healthy working relationship which would make the system more efficient in pursuing its ultimate goal of achieving unprecedented teaching excellence. I will certainly vote YES in favor of Union representation.
Radhashree Maitra (Biology)

I have been an adjunct professor of Fine Arts at Manhattan College for seven years. Like you, I love teaching here but I also believe that we adjuncts would benefit greatly from having a union. That is why I have volunteered my time over the past several months in serving on the Organizing Committee of the Manhattan College Adjunct Faculty Union. Besides the beneficial monetary impact, a union will also provide a degree of job security that, in spite of teaching at the same institution for many years, adjuncts like me do not have. We simply do not know if we have a job until the last minute. Considering that adjuncts teach a significant bulk of the courses at Manhattan College , we deserve a better system for course assignment, one which recognizes and rewards excellence and long term service with more than tenuous semester appointments. Fairer pay, a more transparent system for reappointment, an advocate to help us when we need one — those are things I want to see in a union contract. That is why I am voting YES. I hope you will join me and vote YES too. Marilyn Cvitanic (Fine Arts)

I also teach at the City University and there I have had the opportunity to witness the support and strength a union can provide to adjunct faculty. This is why I support the Manhattan College Adjunct Faculty Union and will vote YES in the upcoming election. At CUNY, the union acts as an advocate to insure that many basic benefits such as health insurance and fair wages are provided. These benefits make life more rewarding for myself and my children. As a Sociology professor and someone who believes deeply in social justice, I believe it is the obligation of every employer to give fair wages and to make adequate benefits available to their employees. Yet, at Manhattan College , a school that claims “social justice” as part of its mission, adjuncts are denied these fundamental workplace rights. I know from experience that a union will go a long way toward securing fair wages, steady wage increases, health insurance benefits, and job security for adjunct faculty at Manhattan College . I urge you all to seize this opportunity and vote YES in favor of an adjunct union at Manhattan College
Andrew Korral (Sociology)

I have taught at Manhattan College for approximately 5 years and have enjoyed my work here. For the most part, it is a relaxed and cordial atmosphere and the students are motivated. I am a member of the organizing committee for the union drive because I believe a union will actually enhance the experience for the adjuncts. As a retired NYC school administrator, I've seen unions work before. I have been a member of the UFT (teachers' unit) , UFT (guidance unit), and CSA (currently a member). I taught previously at CUNY, and through that mechanism was a member of the Professional Staff Congress, the union for CUNY faculty. I believe in the positive power of unions. I believe they can be a force for the improvement of relationships. I do not see them as necessarily introducing an adversarial atmosphere to our work as a group of professionals dedicated to student success. I foresee a day when adjunct faculty and administrators will sit down at a table and negotiate realities that will work for both parties. I hope that Manhattan sees the potential for the betterment of our community that could result.
Deborah Harris (Education)

We need a strong union in order to secure the benefits and salary increments we so rightly deserve for our dedication and hard work. Some adjunct employees need dental and medical benefits. We should have a pay scale based on seniority. We deserve compensation for our commitment and loyalty.
Eileen Langer (English)

I am voting YES because I believe union representation leads to improved working conditions. If we are good enough to teach the students, then we are good enough to have jobs earning a living wage and a reasonable guarantee of consistent work from semester to semester.
Seth Guinals-Kupperman (Physics)

I've been an Adjunct in Psychology at Manhattan College since 2007. I'm voting YES for a union of adjuncts for the simplest of reasons: a union is the only way that employees can confront their employers as equals. As a psychologist and former psychotherapist I know only too well that simply saying the right words "I know we're equal before the law" doesn't get you far. I don't think that the administration is bad or has bad intentions — it just has more power than me. And it always will unless I band together with others like me who share the same basic interests. Why wouldn't I want a union to join me together with colleagues and represent my interests? I've heard some of my colleagues express the concern that any time you ask someone to represent you they may not do a good job at it, or may even represent their own interests instead of yours. But in this case, Manhattan College adjunct faculty will be the ones making the decisions for our union. We have the opportunity to create and build an organization in our own vision. I hope many of you become actively involved in the union in the coming months so we can have the best representation of our collective interests possible. I'm voting YES because nothing else makes sense to me.
Randolph Schutz (Psychology)

As an associate professor at Parsons School Of Design/New School University for 20 years, I can attest to the positive change in working conditions, compensation and benefits after a union was established. At the same time, I enjoy the same cordial working relationship with the chair of my department and dean that I did before unionization. The union has not intervened in the day to day operations of the school. Because of the union I have the benefit of: full medical and dental health insurance plan, pay increases that acknowledge my years of experience, TransitChek benefit, a full year contract which includes BOTH Fall and Spring semesters, protection from arbitrary termination or class load reduction, timely notice of changes in scheduling, timely delivery of contract, change in title to recognize years of service to the institution. The reliance on under paid adjuncts to teach the bulk of college classes in our own institution (a trend nationwide) is unfair and unethical. I think it's important for our institution to continue to both attract and retain quality adjuncts that are accomplished in their fields as well as caring and supportive of their students. For these reasons I am voting yes to establish a union at Manhattan College . I would be happy to speak with any of my coll eagu es regarding my experience as a unionized adjunct. John Kriskiewicz (Fine Arts)

I am extremely proud to be an adjunct instructor at Manhattan College . I have taught 16 courses since 2003 and have always enjoyed a great relationship with my students, the other instructors, and staff. My vote of YES for a union is not about being divisive but rather a move toward strengthening the connection between adjunct instructors and the college. With union representation we will have a collective voice to bargain on issues such as pay, health benefits and reasonable notice of hire. All the hard-working adjuncts that I have met over the years truly want the best for their students. By negotiating in good faith with the union, the college will show that it also wants the best for its instructors and consequently its students.
Holly Hepp-Galvan (Communication)

I have been an adjunct professor of Fine Arts at Manhattan College since the spring of 2006 and have enjoyed working with the students, department and school every semester. Having worked at several other institutions where the adjuncts were unionized, I realized early on the discrepancies in pay, stability and access to services unavailable to adjuncts at non-unionized school such as Manhattan . I'm voting YES because I have seen first hand that union representation will help improve our working conditions, benefits and pay rate at Manhattan College . Working with the high caliber students at Manhattan College student is one most enriching aspects of my job, and I know that if I am talented enough to work with these students, then I deserve to be offered a job with a living wage, benefits and a guarantee of work from semester to semester. I'm voting YES to the union and YES to positive change for adjuncts and students. Jacob Roesch (Fine Arts)

 

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Manhattan College Adjunct Faculty Union / 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