Author Archives: LSherwood

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.




General Membership Meeting Sept. 19, 2012

FNTFO General Membership Meeting

September 19, 2012

Present: Bijaya Acharya, William Burmeister, Lilia Caserta, Cindy Fitzwillaims-Heck, Bernadette Fox, David Griffith, Therese Harper, Cynthia Milligan, Jerry Nickels, Beth Reynolds, Janice VanEck, Kathleen Wykes, Paul Zube, Jean Walling, David Schrock, Thuy Karafa, Dale Skornia

Welcome: President Janice VanEck

  • Gave background of union/budget update
  • Need to meet obligations to state/national
  • Member numbers
  • Treasurer Harvey Hanna resigned
  • Cynthia Milligan appointed as treasurer
  • Financial Committee created: Beth Reynolds, Cynthia Milligan and Janice VanEck – open to additional nominations

Secretary Report

  • 115 unit members
  • 7 members weren’t listed in unit
  • To date: 13 feepayers and 48 members with 4 new members signed at meeting for total 52 members
  • Still need 56 members to sign form

Treasurer Report

  • Presented July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013 Budget based on 97 members from Spring 2012 with an additional 20 to compensate for extra fall employees
  • Dues based on salaries
  • $30,000 of budget goes to AFT national and state
  • Union officers receive hourly wage (no minimum)
  • Expenses (some already purchased due to immediate need) laptop
  • Budget based on everyone becoming a member
  • Other budget costs: auditor, legal fee
  • Fee payers dues pay only for bargaining and defending contract

Questions about budget?

  • Legal fees? For defending contract, amount recommended by AFT
  • Budget is frugal – no extras
  • Why not base budget on fee payers instead of members?
  • Payroll nightmare
  • Initial budget does not include overload but will in spring
  • Employee ID is the # on printed paystub. It is not online. SS# can also be used.

Motion by Reynolds to pay outstanding officer stipends since July 1.

Point of order by Nickels. Need to approve budget first and then make motion.

Reynolds withdrew motion.

Motion by Nickels to approve budget. Griffith seconded. Motion carried.

Motion by Reynolds to pay reimbursement to Officers Reynolds and VanEck. Caserta seconded. Motion carried.

Other Business:

  • Secretary and President positions are up for reelection in January 2013.
  • President appoints and membership approves a nominating committee. President VanEck appointed Thuy Karafa, Cindy Fitzwilliams-Heck and Bernadette Fox.

Motion by Sherwood to approve president’s nominations for nominating committee. Nickels seconds. Motion carried.

New Business:

  • Stewarts needed. Nickels, Nelson, Lakin, and Alles.
  • Terry Harper requested FNTFO donate to the Big Rapids community library project but noticed no extra funds in budget. Possibly reconsider in January.

Meeting adjourned.


General Membership Dec. 7, 2011

The general membership minutes for Dec. 7, 2011.

FNTFO General Membership Meeting

Dec. 7, 2011

20 members present

Called to order by Tracy Busch 5:12 p.m.

Busch reports:

  • Bargaining update: final best offer, little progress, not about to settle, put hours and hours into negotiation
  • Told by admin they’d do more if no more actions
  • Admin wants to see if we’ll stand together
  • We make progress at bargaining table by organizational actions

Janice VanEck reports:

  • Worked with meditator throughout semester
  • Process of negotiation started previous fall
  • Made lots of progress
  • Focused on salaries, benefits and job security
  • Haven’t agreed on job security
  • Disagree with number eligible for benefits
  • Fact finding isn’t binding and is an effective delay tactic for university

Possible actions:

  • Strike
  • Grade withholding

None of us want to hurt students.

Update on VanEck’s mistake: mentioned to students in class that they wouldn’t receive final grades EARLY due to possible union action.

Beth Reynolds reports:

  • Occupy Wall St.
  • Possible things we can do: display posters and signs, wear FNTFO pins and shirts, send out press releases, sit-in at president’s office, post video of sit in on YouTube, hand out info packets at Timme, grade action TBD, withhold final grades for Fall 2011

Motion carried by membership to allow leadership to determine possible action.

Meeting adjourned.