Broadside 10-23-17

October 23, 2017








FFECC Broadside, October 23, 2017


Our Health Insurance Rates Will Not Increase

By Andrew Sako, FFECC President


As a result of collaboration between the College and the Faculty Federation, partnering with the Labor Management Health Fund (LMHF), we have worked diligently to keep our health insurance and pharmacy costs at a very low level. As many of you know, two years ago SUNY Erie Community College was at risk for drastic increases in our health insurance premiums. Erie’s healthcare utilization was more than $1.5 million above the LMHF “stoploss” limit (the maximum dollar value to be used per year), and the whole college (including  all bargaining units and the Senior Executive Staff) spent more on health care than almost any of the LMHF partners. The cost sharing in our most recent union contact, our two retirement incentives, and the College’s wellness initiative have all drastically decreased our overall spending on health care and thus brought the college’s “experience rating” (the basis for our insurance rates) to a more reasonable level. I am pleased to announce that our health insurance rates for 2018 will not be increasing, and the College and all its bargaining units will be sharing in the savings. All other LMHF groups will increase their rates by 2%. Health insurance rates in the private marketplace are typically going up by 18% in the coming year while ours are staying level.


Affordable Instructional Materials Faculty Incentive Program


Many faculty have been asking about the incentive program to use Affordable Instructional Materials (AIM – formerly AEM) for our classes.  AIM classes are low cost, defined as $30 or less.  Hopefully, the following will clarify the program:


  1. If you missed Saturday’s SUNY OER workshop sponsored by the Center for Professional Development, there will be many other opportunities to attend a CPD workshop or “sandbox” session on AIMs (there will be many scheduled) or another SUNY OER workshop SUNY OER Workshops - If you go to another SUNY OER session you will need to provide attendance verification.

  2. Stipends are $1000 for any AIM courses run between fall 2017 and spring 2020 for any two semesters (not necessarily consecutive).  Stipends are paid after the second semester of the course.  There are additional requirements for the stipend – see below.

  3. If you run any AIM courses for four semesters, you will receive $300 more after the fourth semester.  For six courses, an additional $200 after the sixth semester.

  4. Stipends are available for full- and part-time teaching faculty.  Adjunct faculty must receive departmental approval of their course.

  5. Participating faculty must report student pass rates and textbook savings to ECC Excels Access committee, comparing that data with previous, non-AIM classes. 

  6. The material for the AIM courses must be of high quality, which will be determined by a faculty peer-review committee.

  7. Participating faculty must make good-faith commitment to using AIM courses for at least, two years after spring 2020 (Program’s end date) and to collaborating with colleagues to develop their AIM courses.

  8. Faculty teaching courses that traditionally do not require purchased materials and faculty using ECC Master Courses that contain AERs will be paid 50% of the stipends.

  9. The College commits to making every effort to find funding to defray the costs of course materials in subjects in the arts and technologies and other areas typically requiring student-bought tools and materials, making faculty in those programs eligible for this incentive program.


Lunchtime Workshops to Help Students Succeed


The START Orientation Department has partnered with Starfish and the Counseling Departments to offer a series of lunchtime workshops at each campus.  There are three sessions left, and they are designed to improve student study and test-taking skills, learning strategies, and time management, which are all crucial elements for student success.  Complementary pizza will be provided to attendees.


  1. The Low Down on High Achievement: How to Identify Your Learning Style and Develop a Learning Strategy -- Wednesday, November 1, 2017, 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., South Campus, building 5, room 5101

  2. Doing It All . . . Well:  Balancing School and Life While Being Great at Both, Thursday, November 16, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., City Campus room 420

  3. Stay Calm and Test On: Reducing Test Anxiety for Students Who Want (NEED) an A Grade -- Friday, November 17, 12:45 to 1:45 p.m., North Campus Bretschger Hall, room 209


Please, inform your students of these workshops; many will be interested and will benefit from attending. The following link is the RSVP:


Faculty Peer-Sharing Sessions


One of the more successful ways to improve our teaching is by sharing strategies and practices with our faculty peers, by discussing in class experiences, problems, and successes.  With this in mind, we are sponsoring a series of peer-sharing sessions on teaching, learning and classroom practice. There are five sessions left:



Monday, November 13: 3 - 4 p.m. South Campus, building 1, room 1107

Monday, December 11: 3 - 4 p.m. City Campus, room 162



Monday, February 12: 3 - 4 p.m. South Campus, building 1, room 1107

Monday, March 12:  3 - 4 p.m. North Campus, Gleasner Hall, room 106  

Monday, April 9: 3 - 4 p.m. City Campus, room 1107


All faculty are invited.  The idea is to build some social cohesion and group problem-solving, so the more sessions you attend, the better the experience will be for you and your fellow faculty.


FFECC Leadership Team:

Andrew Sako, President

Patricia Kaiser, VP City

Adrian R. Ranic, VP North

Jason Steinitz, VP South

Denise Crowden, Secretary

Kristin Kozlowski, Treasurer

Michael Delaney, Grievance Chair

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