Author Archives: LSherwood

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.




General Membership Minutes October 9, 2013

FNTFO General Membership Minutes

October 9, 2013

Present: Sarah Rescoe, David Griffith, Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck, Gerald T. Evans, Laurie Nelson, Kristin Lennon, Mary Baxter, Jean Walling, Lilia Caserta, Cynthia Milligan, Ken Main, Bernadette Fox, Denise Cosper, Linda Sherwood, John W. Johnson, Anna Rizzo, Jerry Nickles, Thuy Karafa, Dharma Shetty, Mary Bacon, TJ Lakin

Welcome President Anna Rizzo

Introduction of Officers:

President Anna Rizzo (biology); Vice President TJ Lakin (communications); Secretary Linda Sherwood (Language & Literature); Treasurer Dharma Shetty (math); Grievance Chair Beth Reynolds (Language and Literature), Contract Review Chair Cynthia Fitzwilliams-Heck (biology); Event organizers Lilia Caserta, Mary Bacon and Thuy Karafa; and academic senate Bernadette Fox.

Contract Maintenance Update

  • Insurance Bridge – no longer need Corbra for nonworking summer session
  • Service award committee – union members will be recognized for years of service
  • Initial restructuring of CAS evaluation tool completed – still not in final form
  • New tenure positions – adjunct members will not be converted to the positions


Gary Huey, FSU Historian, how the FFA came to be and the struggles

Jon Curtis, AFT, impact of new Affordable Care Act

Current FNTFO issues:

  • Adjuncts excluded from department votes
  • Adjuncts excluded from hiring committees
  • Adjunct 3 possible extinction in future

Committee reports

  • Contract revision
  • Membership chair
  • Union stewards
  • Web site maintenance

Union Meeting reviewing Contract

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.

Lunch with Leadership!

Our first monthly lunch with FNTFO leadership is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 17 at the Rock from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The lunch is a “buy your own” opportunity to meet informally with leadership members to discuss concerns you have about the union, your job, benefits, etc.

There will be a sign posted nearby to help you identify the union leadership.

General Membership Meeting Jan. 16, 2013

FNTFO General Membership

Jan. 16, 2013

Member’s present: Paul Zube, Mary Bacon, Jerry Nickels, Cynthia Milligan, Lilia Caserta, Bernadette Fox, Thuy Karafa, Cynthia Fitzwilliams-Heck, Anna Rizzo, Janice VanEck, David Griffith and Linda Sherwood

Meeting called to order 6 p.m.

President’s update:There is a lot up in the air due to right to work legislation. I don’t anticipate a big problem. For those who don’t want to join, we won’t need to pay to AFT state and national.

Everyone we have represented so far has not been a member, so our work is going to decrease drastically. If you don’t join the union, and the university decides to eliminate your position, you won’t get any union representation.

When you are outside of the union, you are really at the mercy of how the university wants to treat you. That needs to be our tactic when we talk to people and be proactive and having them come to the lunches, etc.

The Affordable Health Care act is another thing we need to figure out. If you have a full time employee, the employer is obligated to provide insurance

Secretary’s update:

We have approximately 74 members and 48 feepayers.

The new website is up and running at You can find the form you will need to sign annually on there as well as additional information about events, etc.

Treasurer’s update:

Total income $30,356.21

Expenses $14,573.07

Net income $15,783.14

Our biggest expenses are dues to AFT Michigan and National, which is approximately $11,000 quarterly. We have to pay during the summer as well even though we aren’t collecting dues in the summer.

The quarterly amount will change in April when Michigan’s Right to Work law goes into effect.

Dues are based on how much money you make. We need to review what they actually made and review against what we anticipated they would make.

We need to find out if we have to issue a 1099 to officers’ for their stipends.

Grievance Report

Two possible grievances in play.

One is involving a 3 to have release time and an overload. It is in his letter of appointment that the 3 can have both.

The other involves mileage pay for 2s who previously received it.

Spring 2013 Calendar of Events

  • Monthly lunches with the FNTFO leadership on the third Thursday of each month from 11-12. This is meant to be a get-to-know event and for members to voice their concerns to the membership. The first lunch is Thursday, Jan. 17. There will be a sign nearby to help members identify the leadership.
  • There will be sack lunch socials on the first Thursday of each month at various locations around campus. Please join the FNTFO when you are near you. The first meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 7, in the Starr building. The room location will be announced later.
  • FNTFO River clean-up. We did this last year. It is organized by Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck, and it is a great chance for positive media coverage. This year the river clean up will be April 18, 2013.
  • Farmer’s market: June (Tues or Fri), which is an informational stand, possibly fund scholarship/sell lunch.
  • Adopt a highway (requires a fall and spring clean up)
  • End of year party (May 2013)

Election Results:

Election was handled by election committee via secret ballot.

Unanimous vote:

Secretary: Linda Sherwood

President: Anna Rizzo (who resigns from VP position to accept president office)

Vice President: T.J. Lakin

New Business:

In January 2014, we will need to create a union negotiation team.

Question: Does the state organization set up for deals for belonging to the union (car deals, etc.) It could be a selling point for some people in membership.

Motion to adjourn by Karafa. Seconded by Zube. Motion carried. 6:43 p.m.