SOMERSET, N.J. August 16, 2007 - Nearly 400 teachers and other educators from Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties - all members of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) - rallied today at the Somerset, N.J. offices of Aniello Bianco, chairman of the Pace University Board of Trustees. They called on him to support fair wages and working conditions in contracts for Pace adjunct faculty and staff.
Bianco is vice president of the Hildebrandt International management consulting firm, located in Somerset. In his role at Pace, he has led the board of trustees and administration in spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to subvert the efforts of the adjunct faculty and campus bus drivers and mechanics to win fair wage and benefit packages for themselves and their families, NYSUT said.
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi expressed the union's disappointment at the university's three years of stalling tactics.
"NYSUT is calling upon Pace's Board of Trustees and administration to use their resources to fairly settle the issues faced by the dedicated Pace adjunct faculty and school bus drivers and mechanics," Iannuzzi said. "Respect for workers and for fair play should be bedrock principles of any great university."
Pace's adjuncts have been a consistent voice for academic excellence on the campus, despite Pace's recent problems including the university president's resignation in July.
"We deserve to be treated as professionals and compensated fairly by this university," said John Pawlowski, president of the Union of Adjunct Faculty at Pace (UAFP). "We voted for the union and we will do what's necessary to convince the administration they need to reach agreements with us."
"All Pace employees feel great frustration at their legal delays in recognizing our rights and our needs," said Jaime Cruz, president of the Pace Transportation Union. "Drop the lawsuits, come to the table, address our concerns."
Some 400 NYSUT members are at a union conference in Somerset this week.
UAFP represents more than 1,000 adjunct faculty at Pace's three campuses. PTU represents Pace's bus drivers and mechanics. Both are affiliated with NYSUT, the 585,000-member union of professionals throughout New York state.