Author Archives: LSherwood

FNTFO Constitution

This version was posted Mar. 2, 2017 and has been revised to add actual UNION name and delete repetitions and errors.

Constitution of The Ferris Nontenure-Track Faculty Organization

As approved April 6, 2016

Article I – Name

Section I

This organization shall be known as the Ferris Nontenure-Track Organization (FNTFO), American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Michigan, Local 6528, American Federation of Labor – Council of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) hereafter referred to as the FNTFO.

Article II – Purpose The purpose of the FNTFO is:

Section I To represent the interests and protect the rights of nontenured faculty of Ferris State University.

Section II To promote and advance the professional, economic, social, and political welfare of the nontenured faculty of Ferris State University through collective bargaining, member participation and organizing.

Section III To work in cooperation with the Ferris State University Board of Trustees and other interested organizations and individuals in endeavors to support such legislation as will provide adequate support of the university and its faculty.

Section IV To promote democracy and justice in the society at large. Article III – Membership Section I All persons meeting the criteria as agreed upon with the employer shall be eligible for membership in the FNTFO. Section II No person shall be denied membership on the basis of age, sex, race, color, national origin, ethnicity, veteran status, height, weight, marital or family status, pregnancy, religious or political beliefs or affiliation, disability, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or social status. Section III A member in good standing is one who has signed a membership card and whose current dues are paid.

Section IV Members experiencing a break in employment at FSU shall have the right to vote on union matters provided they have been a member in good standing at least one semester during the previous calendar year and they have a reasonable expectation of future employment with the university.

Article IV – Officers

Section I The following Officers shall be elected biennially by the FNTFO: President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer.

A. The President shall: serve as the primary spokesperson for the Union, preside over meetings, represent the Local when and where necessary, oversee the ongoing administration of the Union, sign all necessary papers and documents, authorize payment of bills, and be able to delegate the responsibilities of the office except where otherwise specified by the constitution.

B. The Vice President shall: assume the duties of the President in the event of that person’s absence, co-sign financial documents in the absence of the President or Treasurer, and perform other duties as delegated by the President.

C. The Secretary shall: maintain the non-financial files and records of the Union, record and keep accurate minutes of the Executive Board and the Membership Meetings, assist the President in handling the correspondence of the Union, receive and certify the reports of the Elections Committee, and perform other duties as delegated by the President.

D. The Treasurer, with the assistance of the finance committee, shall: receive, record, and deposit all dues monies and other income in the name of the Union; Chair the Finance Committee, which shall assist and advise the Treasurer in all duties; maintain accurate membership records, issue membership cards and notices of delinquency, be one of the responsible financial officers of the Union and be authorized to co-sign financial documents and make regular and usual disbursements of funds, maintain all financial records of the Union; prepare and submit financial reports, make payment of all per capita dues to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and other affiliates, and submit a monthly per capita membership report, as required by the AFT; make timely payment of all bills authorized by the annual budget or this Constitution, and of other approved expenses; prepare and file all appropriate tax returns
on behalf of the Union, and perform other duties as delegated by the President or assigned by the Executive Board.

Section II
Officers shall be elected to serve a term of two years.

Section III
Officer elections shall be staggered.
A. The election of President and Secretary shall take place concurrently during odd numbered years.
B. The election of Vice President and Treasurer shall take place concurrently during even numbered years.
C. In the event that an officer cannot fulfill their full term, whether by circumstances or choice, the President shall appoint another union
member to fill that role until a proper election can be held. Should the President be the officer unable to fulfill her/his term, the Vice
President shall assume the office until a proper election can be held for a new President.
D. Election of officers for vacated positions shall be for the time to fulfill the vacated position term. Then normal election processes shall
apply.

Section IV
All Officers must have a membership in good standing for a period of at least one year to hold office and to continue to hold office.

Article V – Stewards Council

Section I
The Stewards Council shall serve as representatives of the members as determined by the Officers, and as organizers for the Union.
All Stewards must have a Membership in good standing.

Section II
The duties of a Steward shall be to: promote participation and activism, attend and participate in Steward meetings, attend and participate in committees as needed, facilitate contract awareness and compliance within assigned employing unit(s), and handle grievances following proper procedural guidelines.

Section III
Stewards shall meet regularly with the members in their specified units to discuss workplace and Union issues, and to initiate grievances and resolve disputes.

Section IV
The Stewards Council shall adjust assignments as needed to ensure Steward representation among all FNTFO members.

Article VI – Executive Board

Section I
The Executive Board shall consist of elected Officers and three (3) Stewards selected by the Stewards Council.

Article VII – Elections

Section I
An Elections Committee shall be appointed by the President with the approval of the General Membership. This committee shall identify interested candidates for
each position to be filled. The Elections Committee shall supervise the election process, and the official results will be made public.

Section II
Election of Officers shall take place by secret ballot. Candidates receiving a majority of votes for each vacancy shall be declared elected and take office. If the election does not produce a majority of votes for a candidate, a run-off election of the two candidates receiving the greatest number of votes shall be held. In the event of a tie between candidates receiving the second highest number of votes, the candidate receiving the most votes and those involved in the tie will constitute the candidates for the second election. In the event this election does not produce a winner, other run-off elections following the same procedure will be held until one candidate receives the majority of votes and is declared the winner.

Article VIII – Meetings

Section I
Meetings of the Membership shall be announced during the academic year. All regular meetings shall have an agenda published in advance of the meeting.

Section II
The Executive Board shall meet at least once each month during the academic year.

Section III
Committees shall meet monthly from August through May for the purpose of initiating, overseeing, or revising the Union’s organizing program, and to conduct other
Union business within its authority. Committees may also more frequently as seen necessary.

Article IX – Committees

Section I
The Organizing Committee shall consist of all elected Officers and Stewards. The committee shall promote the development of an informed and active membership, and work to support bargaining.

Section II
The Bargaining Committee shall consist of the President and other members approved by the Executive Board. This committee shall oversee the development of a bargaining platform and engage in collective bargaining, keeping the membership fully informed of developments as they unfold, and conducting the necessary research, surveys, hearings, and other activities to promote the realization of the objectives.

Section III
The Elections Committee shall conduct and supervise all elections and referenda. It shall also determine which members are in good standing, and therefore, eligible to vote in the elections. No officers or candidates for office shall serve on the Elections Committee.

Section IV
The Finance Committee shall develop and maintain internal controls to safeguard the Union’s assets, guidelines for the reporting of expenses, and policies and procedures for the preparation of the Annual Budget. The Finance Committee shall assist in the preparation of the Annual Budget. It shall oversee the dispersal of funds in accordance with the approved budget, and maintain financial records as required by law. It shall identify and pursue activities to generate revenues. In
general, the Finance Committee shall assist and advise the Treasurer in all the duties assigned to that officer.

Section V
The President, with the approval of the Executive Board, may establish special committees as the need arises to meet the short-term, specific requests of the Union.

Article X – Dues

Section I
Revenue for the Union will include membership dues that are set as a part of the budget process. Membership dues shall be 1.6% of member salaries, which include the per capita amounts for the AFT, state federation, local and state affiliates of the AFL/CIO. Whenever the dues of a required affiliate increases the duesfor the FNTFO shall automatically and simultaneously increase by a percentage sufficient to cover the increase.

Section II
Revenue shall also include agency fees, when legally allowed for nonmembers, which are set at 1.3% of the member salary.

Article XI – Recall

Section I
All elected Officers and Stewards shall be subject to recall or removal.

Section II
The procedure for recall shall be as follows:
A. Charges against the accused shall be in writing, signed in duplicate copies by at least ten members in good standing; one
copy of the charges must be given to the accused and the other copy to the Executive Board;
B. The accused person shall have a hearing before the Executive Board within thirty days of the presentation of the charges, and
the Executive Board shall make recommendations to the Steering Committee;
C. A two-thirds vote of those in attendance at the meeting shall be necessary for recall. Voting shall be by secret ballot.

Article XII – Affiliations

Section I
This Local shall maintain affiliations with the American Federation of Teachers, the Michigan Federation of Teachers, the local AFL-CIO Central Labor Body Assembly, and the Michigan State AFL-CIO Labor Body Assembly.

Section II
Delegates to any and all of these respective bodies shall be elected by the Membership in a special election and shall submit reports to be presented at Membership meetings.

Section III
Delegates from this Local to affiliated organizations shall meet the same requirements as Officers of this Local.

Article XIII – Auditing

Section I
The books shall be audited at the end of the calendar year and a written report submitted to the Membership.

Section II
The appointment of an auditor shall be confirmed in regular meeting.
Note: Formal auditing: may not be required, depending on size of unit.

Article XIV – Rules of Order

Section I
Robert’s Rules of Order will be applied when deemed necessary by any member.

Article XV – Amendments

Section I
A proposed amendment to this Constitution must be made by a majority of the Executive Board or must be endorsed by at least five members of the Local and
submitted in writing to the Executive Board.

Section II
The proposed amendment shall be submitted at the next regular Membership meeting of the Local, provided that notice of the proposed amendment is given to all
members at least five working days before the meeting. It shall be voted upon at the next regular meeting.

Section III
A two-thirds vote of all votes cast shall be necessary for the adoption of an amendment.

Article XVI – Ratification

Section I
Copies of this Constitution shall be made available to any member of this Federation upon request to the Secretary.

Section II
Copies shall be made available to other affiliated organizations upon request.

Section III
This constitution shall go into effect upon its ratification by a majority of the votes cast in a ballot of the Membership.

2016 News from Your FNTFO President Mary Bacon

Dear colleagues,

I hope your semester is going well.  There are a few updates of which I wish to make everyone aware.

1.  Professional Development- This fund started at $15,000 in September.  Today the balance is about $3805.  If there is anything you may wish to do, please send your applications in as soon as possible.  We have funded 8 faculty members so far.

2.  The 2015-2020 contract is in the final editing stages.  We expect to have this signed before spring break and in everyone’s hands.

3.   Save the date for an upcoming spring general membership meeting the first week of April.  Tentative date and time is Wednesday April 6 at 6:00pm.

4.  There are twelve (12) nominations for the 2016 Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award.  It is wonderful to see so many of you nominated for the award!

5.  For dues paying members, new AFT benefits booklets are being sent to your Ferris mailboxes.

6.  If you have any membership questions or work related questions, the current Executive Board directory is attached.  We are here to answer questions and help you with work issues.

As always, thank you for your service to the university, and for your work with our students.  If I can be of any assistance to you, please contact me via email or phone.

Sincerely,

Mary

____________________________________________________
Mary K. Bacon, MS, MT(ASCP)

President, Ferris Non-tenure Track Faculty Organization
Forensic Sciences
Ferris State University
Dept. of Physical Sciences
820 Campus Drive, ASC 3019
Big Rapids, Mich. 49307
Phone (231) 591-2586
Email: marybacon@ferris.edu

Ferris Nontenure-Track Faculty Organization, University, reach tentative contract agreement

Ferris State University and the Ferris Nontenure-Track Faculty Organization have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract as the result of bargaining that took place on Thursday, Aug. 27.  When ratified, the pact would replace the previous contract between non-tenure faculty and the university.
“We are thrilled to start school with a mutually beneficial five-year contract. We now look forward to bringing our professionalism and experience back into the classroom and helping our students reach their career and educational goals,” said Linda Sherwood, lead bargaining negotiator for the FNTFO.
“I want to express my gratitude to the negotiators for both the Ferris Nontenure-Track Faculty Organization and the university for the time they put in to reach this agreement,” said David Eisler, president of Ferris State University.  “We are deeply appreciative of the work of our faculty.  This agreement is good news for our non-tenure faculty, the University, and most importantly our students.”
Details of the contract will be released pending its ratification.  The FNTFO has a general membership meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8.
Classes begin at the university on Monday, Aug. 31.

 

On August 27, Bargaining Continues!

ED Note: Changes have been made to this document as of 8/26/15.

As we approach the fall semester, the FNTFO continues to bargain for a fair and just contract for all of our members. The bargaining team meets with administration again August 27. Fall semester starts August 31. The administration has called in a mediator who will be present at the August 27 meeting. Both sides hope we can come to an agreement to take for ratification. Our general membership meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m. in Science 111.

We have learned that it is important to speak out and let the administration know when there is problems with our contract. It will help the bargaining team during the NEXT bargaining process. We need to let them know when we are unhappy. If you have issues, remember you are not ALONE. Contact your union representatives and let them help you navigate through the issue. It will help you and your fellow FNTFO members!

Your bargaining team members are: Linda Sherwood (Lead Negotiator), Mary Bacon, Paul Zube and Keith Calkins. This team represents all three levels (1s, 2s and 3s) that our contract covers.

Ask your bargaining team as well as your FNTFO leadership including Anna Rizzo (President), Mary Bacon (Vice President), Dharma Shetty (Treasurer) and Paul Zube (Grievance Chair), how you can help make our issues visible and stress the importance of our needs in this next contract, which we are currently negotiating.

 

 

Agreements with Administration

As part of the bargaining process, the two sides have a tentative agreement about what articles in the current contract that won’t be changed.

Those articles include the following:

  • Article 3 Scope of Agreement
  • Article 5 Harassment
  • Article 6 Health and Safety
  • Article 11 No Strike No Lockout
  • Article 14 Personnel Records
  • Article 18 Academic Freedom and Responsibilities
  • Article 26 Assignment of Classes
  • Article 29 Cancellation of Classes
  • Article 30 Student Complaint Procedure
  • Article 31 Holidays

 

These two articles will only have changes to reflect the dates of the new contract:

  • Article 1 Preamble
  • Article 40

 

For those articles that will require changes, the FNTFO bargaining team plans to present all of their suggested changes by the end of today, Wednesday, June 3.

 

Bargaining in Process

Your FNTFO leadership has started bargaining for the next contract with the administration at Ferris State University.

Your bargaining team includes:

Lead Negotiator Linda Sherwood

Vice President Mary Bacon

Grievance Chair Paul Zube

AFT Rep Sonya Alvarado

Alternatives:

Keith Calkins, Anna Rizzo

Updates will be posted to this blog.

Minutes April 2 – Review Contract – General Membership Meeting

Meeting called to order.

Agenda Items:

  • Clarification of Article 24, Reappointment
  • Retirees and wages
  • Review contract and solicit input
  • FNTFO paperwork

Present: Patti Meyer, Scott Foos, Mary Baxter, Megan Gibson, Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck, Harvey Hanna, Julia Regs, Dave Schrock, Paul Zube, Anna Rizzo, Linda Sherwood, Bernadette Fox, Jerry Nickles, Jean Walling, Ken Main, Dharma Shetty, Ghada Mahri, Angela Brown, Laurie Nelson, John Johnson, and 2 guests from Central Michigan University, Sue Murphy and Hayden Golden; and from AFT David Griffin Dobbie.

New FNTFO Paperwork Approval: The university requested we change the paperwork we use that authorizes payroll deductions as fee payer/member. The same paperwork will be distributed by the university to new hires to fill out and return to the union.

The paperwork will request information from the hiring contract, which will allow the union to gather information about its membership. There has been a significant and unacceptable delay from the university about bargaining unit members, which as delayed the collection of fees and dues in a timely basis for new hires. The paperwork was approved as presented with a minor typographical change. The final paperwork is attached.

Clarification of Article 24, reappointment:

Problem as described: The math department has a problem with assigning contracts to level 3s and 2s. The department is not granting contracts unless the department can guarantee a full load for both fall and spring semesters. The problem exists, in part, because there are more classes offered in the fall than the spring, and the department can’t always guarantee spring classes. Upper administration has apparently deemed it is “all or nothing” in granting contracts. If a full load can’t be determined, adjuncts will not be offered a contract.

Members of the math department wrote up a clarification of article 24’s intent, which is to offer classes first to 3s, then 2s and then 1s. The clarification also notes that if a full contract is not available in the fall but later becomes available, a retroactive contract will be offered. There is precedent for this after the first year of the union’s contract.

Discussion was also noted in the Language and Literature department that 11 new tenure-track lines will significantly reduce the number of adjuncts with full loads.

In Allied Health, the costs of unemployment versus adjunct wages were mentioned with similar issues.

Union discussed need to fight the overall goal of the university to require PhDs of all new hires. This has already been lifted in technical teaching areas where PhDs do not exist.

Motion to approve clarifying language in contract maintenance meeting before May 1.

Moved by Jerry Nickles, second by Paul Zube. Motion carried.

Retirees and Pay: 

Retired teachers working as adjuncts can only make a percentage (1/3) of their former pay in order to still qualify for retirement benefits. There needs to be an awareness of this group when negotiating future contracts. There was some concern that a level 2 adjunct was offered full wages as a level two despite not having a full load.

Contract Review:

A number of members reported on their review of the contract and what wording/benefits  would be ideal to change.

  • The biggest change to seek: Treat everyone the same for doing the same work. In the current contract, 3s and 2s are identified as receiving benefits like bereavement, but 1s do not receive it. All levels should be treated the same.
  • Review sick time and requirement it be taken with a minimum of 4 hours; if adjunct needs to miss only 1 hour of class, why charged 4 hours of sick time?
  • Get “just cause” in contract
  • clarify performance evaluation
  • Question office space and lack of dedicated computers for 1s — possibly a FERPA issue.

Other Issues:

  • Importance of unity and strength that will result from that unity
  • Organize connections between campus unions. For instance, CMU has a joint union counsel that meets once a month among all unions on campus. The unions have agreed to ask administration for 1 issue on everyone’s next contract.
  • Increase visibility with signs, group organization
  • Get shirts to new union members
  • Meet monthly
  • Wear shirts on a regular basis

Motion to wear union shirts first Monday and Tuesday during the last full week of class, April 28 and April 29. Motion by Linda Sherwood, second by Jerry Nickles. Motion carried.

Motion to adjourn by Paul Zube, seconded by Julia Reges. Motion Carried

 

 

 

 

 

FNTFO Meeting April 30, 2014

We made great progress on the contract last night. Be sure you review the comments.

There will also be updated summary and minutes posted later today.

The next meeting to continue looking at the contract and other issues will be Wednesday, April 30, at 6 p.m. in Science 137.

We hope to see you there!

 

Reminder: Meeting April 2, 2014

In preparation for contract negotiations in 2015, the union is reviewing the current contract.

This discussion will take place Wednesday, April 2, at 6 p.m. in SCI 137.

If you have questions or suggestions about the contract, you can reply to this post or attend the meeting.

The full contract is available on this site, and you can download it as a .pdf.

Members who signed up to review the contract are encouraged to post their findings and questions as a comment on this post.

General Membership Minutes Feb. 27, 2014

Ferris NonTenure-Track Faculty Organization

General Membership Meeting Feb. 27, 2014

Called to Order 5:10 p.m. by Anna Rizzo

Guest Speaker Gitte Hansen

Need help in the following areas:

  • Candidate for the vice president (see union constitution for duties)
  • Union stewards (collect information from your area members – be the person who knows the contract and can answer questions from members in your area – would talk regularly to 6-8 people in your college or department.
  • Nominations for Academic Senate
  • Additional Grievance officers –  these people are the people that negotiate problems with the contract; since the union has started, grievance officers have already helped save jobs!
  • Review contract and suggest changes – if you want changes to the contract, review it and let us know. There will be a contract review meeting March 25 at 5 p.m. in Science 136.

Discussed the following concerns:

  • Accurate information from the administration regarding members
  • Collecting dues/fees from members – approximately 40 not paying and will be sending certified letters
  • Need treasurer training from AFT as well as additional officer training
  • Upcoming contract negotiations
  • Discussing possible grievances/contract issues with administration
  • Need for More active membership

Assigned sections of the contract for review to members/volunteers present.

Meeting adjourned.