August 05, 2011

Nassau CC faculty spread word about inequities

Author: Darryl McGrath
Source: NYSUT Newswire
Caption: Union members protest the Nassau Community College administration's treatment of faculty at a rally Aug. 3. Miller Photography.

A series of demonstrations by the Nassau Community College Federation of Teachers this summer is helping faculty get their message out to their union sisters and brothers; to students; and to the community at large.

Frank Frisenda, the local's vice president for classroom faculty and this year's NYSUT Higher Education Member of the Year, said members attending the informational rallies – including the most recent on Aug. 3 - will distribute hundreds of leaflets at each event to students and colleagues to educate the community on campus and beyond about inequities by the college administration.

Among the specific complaints by the local: The creation of "shadow governing bodies" by the administration that have ignored the academic senate; and the non-renewal of 39 "temporary appointment" faculty who were let go just before their status would have moved into the probationary stage on a track to permanent employment. In past years, such employees would have had every reasonable expectation for probationary status, Frisenda said.

A third and final such rally is planned for Aug. 17. Organizers were pleased with the Aug. 3 turnout, which included a number of NYSUT members who interrupted their vacations to support their union sisters and brothers.

"The people who came out are so dedicated," Frisenda said. "They're remarkable individuals, and I think informing the students is very important. They'll take this home to their parents, and that's how it will get out to the community."