Category Archives: Minutes

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






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

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.


Minutes Sept. 14, 2011.

The general membership minutes for Sept. 14, 2011.

FNTFO General Membership Meeting

Sept. 14, 2011

Attendance: Anna Rizzo, Linda Sherwood, Rick Saliers, Alice Bandstra, Bill Burmeister, Carol Deurloo, Janice Van Eck, Thuy Karafa, Kathy Wykes, Bernadette Fox, Laurie Nelson, Mary Bacon, Paul Zube, T.J. Lakin, Carole McKenna, Cynthia Milligan, Terry Harper, Susan North, Tracy Busch, Jean Walling, David Griffith, Lilia Caserta, Dharma Shelty and Beth Reynolds

Meeting was called to order by President Alice Bandstra, 7 p.m.


  1. 1.      General Announcements:
  • General membership meetings will be held approximately the third week of each semester.  Watch for announcements.
  • Eric Hansen earned his doctorate. Congratulations!
  • Cindy FitzWilliams-Heck received a grant.
  • Mary Bacon will attend a forensic science conference in Chicago.


  1. Introductions were made including Paul Zube who is new to the university this fall and will be teaching public speaking.


  1. History of FNTFO was presented by President Alice Bandstra. The union attempted to organize in 2008 and 2009 with MEA before successfully organizing with AFT in 2010. Union representatives have been working on various issues and language since an organizing meeting in January 2010. A vote to become a union successfully passed in June 2010. Contract negotiations have been ongoing since February 2011.


  1. Bargaining Update: Contract negotiations continue. In July, 2011 the administration requested a mediator. The two sides have been meeting regularly since February 2011. There has been progress on noneconomic issues. The union and administration have reached tentative agreements on many noneconomic issues including academic rights, arbitration and grievance procedures, health and safety, leaves of absence, sick leave (4 hours per pay period), bereavement leave and more.


The 3 most important things identified in a survey of union members were: 1) job security, 2) pay and 3) benefits.


Bandstra reported the two sides are getting closer on job security and haven’t started to discuss economic issues. The union has requested some cost information from the university. Health benefits are being negotiated but not yet finalized.


Initially, Bandstra had hoped to have the contract finished before this semester. Her new goal is to have it done by the end of this semester.


  1. Election Procedures: Officers were elected last January 2011. A decision was made to keep the elected officers in place until a contract was complete.
    1. Secretary Thuy Karafa resigned her position. As outlined in the union’s constitution the president appointed a secretary until the next election. Linda Sherwood was appointed as secretary.
    2. The current executive board includes President Alice Bandstra, Vice President Tracy Busch, Treasurer Harvey Hanna and Secretary Linda Sherwood.
    3. An election committee needs to be identified and approved by the membership. This committee is responsible for identifying candidates for the next election of the executive board. Committee members cannot seek office. The proposed election committee includes Beth Reynolds, Gitte Hansen, Anna Rizzo and Rick Saliers. Linda Sherwood motioned to approve the election committee as proposed. Mary Bacon seconded. Discussion about whether Gitte was still with Ferris (she is).  No more discussion. Motion approved with no opposed.


  1. Video Project: Vice President Tracy Busch has started a video project. There is a local filmmaker donating his time. Busch reported the project was initially conceived as an action to pressure administrators after they seemed upset about a YouTube video interview posted by The Pioneer. It now has developed into a larger idea to become a documentary and tell the story of AFT nontenure unions all over Michigan. The videos will tell member stories similar to the flyers the union put out earlier this year. It will tell the story of our union as well as how we are just part of a larger phenomenon. If you are interested in telling your story, contact Tracy.


  1. Stewards: The union is actively seeking volunteers to act as union stewards. Anna Rizzo is recruiting anyone interested in this position. It requires someone to be the liaison for about 10 union members. The plan is to have a union steward in each department in order to ensure the needs of each department are being heard. There is training involved. A few of the traits for a union steward include being a work-site leader, a diplomat, cheerleader, educator and communicator. If you are interested, contact Anna Rizzo.


  1. Forums: A few questions were asked during the open forum including the need to identify new hires that qualify for union membership. Union t-shirts were also distributed. Those present were then broken into small groups and asked to brainstorm about the union including developing alliances, projecting a positive image, possible actions, etc. After meeting for a while, each small group reported their ideas. The union plans to develop some weekly and monthly events including an FNTFO Awareness Day where union members would wear their union shirts to work. Other ideas include partnering with local nonprofits and doing events together, sponsoring a coat drive, collecting can goods for local food pantries, volunteering to work at the recycling center, adopting a highway, an Earth day event, developing a newsletter or some form of communication where FNTFO members can share good news and information about what they are doing in the classroom. Ideas for possible actions included wearing academic robes to class, walking in the homecoming parade, attending campus events as a group while wearing FNTFO shirts and buttons, etc. If anyone is interested in helping out with starting/working any of these events and/or ideas, contact Anna Rizzo.

Meeting adjourned.