Important information for all FFECC union members

August 22, 2018

 

Dear fellow union members:

 

No doubt you have heard about the recent Supreme Court decision in the Janus case.

 

Our union includes a wide range of professions, people, and perspectives. We haven’t always agreed on everything, and yet we have found ways to work together and stay strong and united. The Janus decision has the potential to change this. If we continue to work out our differences and stick together, we will be all right, and we will remain strong as a group. We may even become stronger. If we don’t, and we allow ourselves to be divided, then our professional lives will change, and not for the better, if the experience of public sector union members in states that have recently become “right to work” is any guide.

 

As a result of the recent U. S. Supreme Court decision in the Janus v. AFSCME case, non-members of public employee unions in the United States may no longer be charged agency fees in lieu of union dues to support collective bargaining and other activities of their union from which they reap benefits. Union activities protect our profession and our contractual rights, which benefit us all, as well as the students we serve.

 

This is not just about union dues. It is about all of us having representation, protection, and a voice at the table.

 

Changes made this year in New York State labor law for public employees (referred to as the Taylor Law) do not require a union to represent non-members above and beyond the basics of the contract. If a non-member needs the services of our union in a disciplinary or termination action, that individual may be required to pay for the union’s services. There are other valuable services that will only be available to members.

 

Current union members will need to take no action to continue their member status. All rights and privileges of membership will remain in place.

 

Former fee-pay members who wish to change their status to that of a union member must sign a new membership form. This may be accomplished by contacting your Campus Vice President or the FFECC office, Room 473 City Campus, 716-270-2938, to make an appointment to fill out the form.

 

The annual opt-out decision period for the FFECC is August 1 through August 30th.

 

However, during the 2018-2019 academic year this decision period will be extended until September 30th to allow members to have a clear understanding of the implications of any decision they might make regarding union membership.

 

Anyone contemplating opting out of membership in the FFECC and NYSUT, please call the FFECC office at City Campus at 716-270-2938. Our Office Manager Sara Riggie will make an appointment with one of our FFECC officers at a mutually convenient time and place to review issues of concern as well as the items that will be no longer available to non-members.

 

Members choosing to opt out will no longer be eligible to hold any elected or appointed FFECC office including committee membership, participate in FFECC social or educational events, vote on proposed contracts, receive any representation from NYSUT, or any of the other rights and privileges of members. There will be a process for former members who have opted out to re-join, but there will be a long waiting period before full membership rights and privileges are restored, and a fee associated with re-joining – the details are yet to be worked out.

 

Members still wishing to opt out will be asked sign opt-out form that states they understand the Implications of this decision. 

 

Members choosing to opt out will also be contacted by the NYSUT member retention team.

 

Please contact your FFECC leadership team with any questions or concerns.

 

In solidarity,

 

Your FFECC leadership team

Andrew Sako, President           sakoad@ecc.edu        851-1026
Patricia Kaiser, VP City             kaiser@ecc.edu          270-5639
Adrian R. Ranic, VP North        ranic@ecc.edu            270-5828

Michael Delaney, Grievance Chair     delaney@ecc.edu       238-0115

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