NYSUT marked the 2015 summer with a handful of important victories on the labor and organizing fronts, securing first-ever contacts for two new bargaining units and unionizing more than 80 employees in a suburban school district outside Albany.
In Westchester County, the 250-member Manhattanville Adjunct Faculty and Tutors reached a tentative agreement on a first contract that would set starting salaries for adjuncts at $2,800 per course — a 33 percent increase over the current amount of $2,100.
The new contract, which members still need to ratify, also includes longevity after 10 terms, recognition for a terminal degree, and a new starting salary of $4,000 per course for teaching in the doctoral program.
Other provisions include: money to attend conferences; additional compensation for "over enrollment" of students; a grievance procedure ending in binding arbitration; compensation for class cancellations and the ability to attend faculty department meetings.
Tutors would also see an increase in salary, with their pay going from $25 per hour to $32 per hour.
While the bargaining unit voted to be represented by NYSUT in March 2011, a change in the college administration prolonged negotiations on the union's first contract.
The four-year pact expires June 30, 2019. New salaries are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2015.
Oyster Bay lifeguards
In Nassau County, lifeguards in the Town of Oyster Bay are celebrating their first contract, having ratified their new pact with the municipality by an overwhelming vote of 32 to 1.
The 63-member union — certified in October 2012 after a "consent agreement" was reached with the town on unit determination — will now join the 1,100 member NYS Lifeguard Corp local, a NYSUT affiliate, in providing protection for citizens at the town beach and pools.
The new contract, also expected to be ratified by the town, runs through the summer of 2018.
In Albany County, NYSUT was successful in organizing 83 School Related Professionals who became part of the Guilderland Teacher Aides' Association.
The new titles joining the unit include custodian, custodial worker, groundskeeper, cook, food service worker, maintenance mechanic and messenger.
The new members, formerly part of an NEANY unit, expand the GTAA's ranks to 138.