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RCCAFA Bargaining Agreement

Bargaining Agreement between the Board of Trustess, Rockland Community College and Rockland Community College Adjunct Faculty Association (September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2013)

RCCAFA Bargaining Agreement


Article I – Recognition

The County of Rockland and SUNY Rockland Community College recognize the Rockland Community College Adjunct Faculty Association, Local 4896, NYSUT, AFT, AFL-CIO ("Association") as the exclusive bargaining representative for all employees of the College in a collective bargaining unit including all Adjunct Faculty, Adjunct Librarians (a/k/a hourly professional librarians), Adjunct Science Lab Instructors (a/k/a hourly professional lab instructors) and Adjunct Clinical Nurse Instructors (a/k/a hourly professional nursing instructors); excluding, however, all other employees including elected Rockland County officials, other employees already members of another Rockland County bargaining unit, and Rockland Community College managerial/confidential employees.


Article II – Grievance Procedure

  1. Definitions:
    1. "Grievance" shall mean a claim by a unit member, group of unit members or the Association that there has been a violation, misinterpretation or misapplication of any provision of this Agreement.
    2. "Supervisor" shall mean the appropriate immediate supervisory officer responsible for the area in which an alleged grievance arises.
    3. "Grievant" shall mean the Association and/or any person or group of persons in the negotiating unit filing a grievance.
    4. "Days" are work days.
  2. Procedures:
    1. A grievance shall include the name and position of the grievant, the particular section(s) of the Agreement alleged to have been violated, and a statement of the nature of the grievance and the redress sought.
    2. All decisions shall be rendered in writing at each step of the grievance procedure, setting forth findings of fact, conclusions and supporting reasons thereof.
    3. Failure at any stage of the grievance procedure to communicate a decision to the aggrieved party and/or the Association within the specific time limits shall permit the lodging of an appeal at the next stage of the procedure within ten (10) days after the expiration of the period which would have been allowed for appeal had the decision been communicated on the final day.
    4. The time limits specified herein may be extended only by mutual agreement.
    5. A grievance brought by the Association may be submitted directly at Stage 2.
    6. The preparation and processing of grievance may be conducted during working hours and if so, the grievant and employees who are involved shall be excused from duty without loss of pay or benefits.
  3. Stages of Grievance Procedure:
    1. Stage 1 – Cluster Chair. A grievance must be filed in writing within thirty (30) days of the event or knowledge of the event giving rise thereto and will be discussed with the appropriate supervisor with the objective of resolving the matter informally. If the matter is unresolved, a decision shall be in writing and rendered within ten (10) days of presentation. If the grievance is filed by an individual, the Association shall be made aware of its filing, and no settlement of a grievance filed by an individual may be made if its terms are inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement.
    2. Stage 2 – Vice President. If the grievance is not resolved at Stage 1, the Association may, within ten (10) days, file a written appeal with the appropriate Vice President or Division Director. Copies of the written decision at Stage 1 shall be submitted with the appeal. Within ten (10) days after the receipt of the appeal, a date for a conference shall be set; such conference to commence within five (5) days thereafter. The Vice President or Division Director shall render a decision in writing ten (10) days after the conclusion of the conference. A copy of the decision at Stage 2 will be provided to the Association.
    3. Stage 3 – President. If the grievance is not resolved at Stage 2, the Association may, within en (10) days, file a written appeal of the decision at Stage 2 with the College President. Copies of the written decision at Stage 2 shall be submitted with the appeal. Within ten (10) days after receipt of the appeal, a hearing date shall be set; such hearing to commence within fifteen (15) days after the receipt of the appeal by the College President. The College President or designee shall render his/her decision within ten (10) days after the conclusion of the hearing. A copy of the Stage 3 decision shall be provided to the Association.
    4. Stage 4 – Binding Arbitration.
      1. If the grievance is not resolved at Stage 3, the Association may make a demand for arbitration within twenty (20) days of the decision at Stage 3 to the American Arbitration Association.
      2. The parties shall be bound by the Voluntary Rules of the American Arbitration Association.
      3. The selected arbitrator will submit his/her decision not later than thirty-five (35) calendar days from the close of the hearing. The arbitrator’s decision shall be in writing, setting forth his/her findings of fact, reasoning and conclusions and shall be final and binding upon all parties.
      4. The costs for the service of the arbitrator, including expenses if any, will be borne equally by the College and the Association.
      5. The arbitrator shall have no power to add to, subtract from, or modify the terms or provisions of this Agreement.


Article III – Association Dues and Deductions

  1. Dues
    1. Pursuant to the plans certified by the Association and as any members thereof shall individually and voluntarily authorize in writing, the College shall deduct from the salaries of the employees the regular Association membership dues at agreed upon intervals and remit the same to the Treasurer of the Association. Dues deductions may only be revoked by instrument in writing, delivered to the College between September 1 and 15 of any year. The College shall promptly notify the Association of the receipt of any such revocation.
    2. The employer agrees, in accordance with Section 208.3 of the Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act, to deduct from the salary of any employee who is not a member of the Association, but who is represented by the Association for the purpose of collective negotiation, an Agency Shop Fee in an amount equivalent to the amount of dues payable by a member of the Association provided that the Association establish and maintain a procedure providing for the refund of any part of such Agency Shop Fee in accordance with applicable law.
  2. NYSUT VOTE/COPE. Upon the presentation of written authorization, the College shall make payroll deductions for NYSUT VOTE/COPE
  3. Indemnification. The Association shall indemnify and hold harmless the College, and its officials, and employees from any cause of action, claim, loss or damage incurred as a result of the College’s deduction from employees pursuant to this Article, provided such deductions are done consistent with instructions given the College by the Association, and provided that such indemnification and hold harmless provision does not include any legal fees that the College may incur.


Article IV – Leave and Absence

  1. Sick/Personal Leave. Members of the bargaining unit shall receive two paid sick/personal days per contract year (September 1 through August 31) which may be used during any semester in the year earned.
  2. Bereavement Leave.
    1. A member of the bargaining unit teaching two or more days a week shall be allowed two (2) working days bereavement leave without loss of pay in the event of a death within the employee’s immediate family.
    2. A member of the bargaining unit teaching one day a week shall be allowed one working day bereavement leave without loss of pay in the event of a death within the employee’s immediate family.
    3. "Immediate family" is defined as spouse, domestic partner, grandparents, parents, siblings, children, step-children, spouses of children and parents of spouse.
    4. A member of the bargaining unit teaching one or more days a week shall be allowed one working day bereavement leave without loss of pay in the event of the death of the grandparent of a spouse, mother/father-in-law, step-parent of a spouse, or brother/sister-in-law.
    5. When a member of the bargaining unit is absent for purpose of bereavement, she/he will notify her/his immediate supervisor as soon as possible.
  3. Absences.
    1. When an adjunct is absent, she/he will exercise her/his best efforts to reschedule her/his class or to obtain a suitable substitute for the classes she/he will miss;
    2. When the absence is a paid leave day, or when the class is rescheduled or a suitable substitute is found as above, the adjunct shall suffer no loss of pay. In all other cases, the absent adjunct will suffer a pro-rata reduction in pay for each class missed based on her/his then-current rate of pay;
    3. Unit members who provide coverage as substitutes will be compensated at a rate equal to their then-current credit hour rate on a pro-rata basis.
  4. Leave for Court and Jury Attendance.  On proof of the necessity of jury service or appearance as a witness pursuant to subpoena or other order of a court or body, a unit member shall be granted a leave of absence with pay with no charged leave credits; provided, however that this section shall not apply to any absence by a unit member occasioned by an appearance if she/he is a party to an action.  Any payment received for jury duty shall be remitted to the college.


Article V – Course Tuition Waiver

Adjunct Faculty covered under Article I of this Agreement shall be entitled to a waiver of tuition costs for credit courses taken by them, their spouse, or their dependent children at SUNY Rockland Community College upon completion of any 4 semester of adjunct teaching (including Winter and Summer sessions). This benefit shall be available in the semester following the fulfillment of the teaching requirement, and for each academic thereafter, provided the adjunct has taught at least one semester in the previous academic year. There shall be a limit of 36 total credits per adjunct family per academic year. Once the adjunct is no longer eligible, he or she must serve the 4 semester teaching requirement to regain eligibility.


Article VI - Facilities

  1. Office Space. Effective September 1, 1998 the College shall provide to the Association, for its exclusive use, office space on the grounds of the main Campus of the College.
  2. Bulletin Board. The College shall provide a bulletin board for the exclusive use of the Association. The bulletin board shall be located next to the Association office.


Article VII – Miscellaneous

  1. In the event that Adjunct Faculty will receive their first paycheck of the semester later than four weeks after the start of that semester, the College will contact the President of the RCC Adjunct Faculty Association and will advise him/her of the reasons for the lateness of pay within a reasonable time after the College has such knowledge.
  2. The College shall provide to the Association 300 copies of the Collective Bargaining Agreement within 90 days of the signing of the Agreement.
  3. Labor - Management meetings.  Labor - Management meetings will be scheduled at least once per semester between union representatives and upper level College administrators.  Additional meetings will be held at the request of either party.  The Labor-Management meetings will include discussions pertaining to facilities, related to teach, that are available to adjunct faculty.


Article VIII – Unit Member Rights

  1. Personnel Files. All materials placed in the personnel file of a member of the bargaining unit will be communicated to the unit member within five 5) days of insertion into the file.  The unit member shall be permitted to respond in writing to any material to which she/he may take exception.  The written reply shall be placed in the unit member's personnel file.  Unit members' personnel files shall be confidential but any unit member shall have the right to review her/his own personnel file in the Human Resources Office at any reasonable time and she/he may be accompanied by an advisor of her/his choice, except material from previous employers shall be privileged and not available to the individual unit member.  With the exception noted above, the unit member may have a copy of any material in her/his personnel file.
  2. Discipline for Cause. In the event a bargaining unit member is to be disciplined for cause or non-renewal, he/she shall receive notification in writing before action is taken.  The member shall be entitled to a meeting with his/her supervisor, which shall take place within ten work days of notification, before action is taken.  The member shall be entitled to Union representation at such meeting.
  3. Academic Freedom. Each faculty member covered by this agreement shall be entitled to full academic freedom as defined and may not be disciplined or discharged for conduct for conduct falling within the definition of academic freedom. The full definition is as follows:
    1. The faculty member is entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of his/her other academic duties, but research for pecuniary return should be based upon an understanding with the authorities of the institution.
    2. The faculty member is entitled to freedom in the classroom in discussing his/her subject, but should be careful not to introduce in his/her teaching controversial matter which has no relation to his/her subject. Limitations of academic freedom because of religious or other aims of the institution should be clearly stated in writing at the time of appointment.
    3. The faculty member is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and on officer of an educational institution. When one speaks or writes as a citizen, one should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but one’s special position in the community imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educational officer one should remember that the public may judge one’s profession and institution by one’s utterance. Hence, one should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinion of others, and should make every effort to indicate that one is not an institutional spokesperson.
    4. Members of the bargaining unit share the right of expression and assembly set forth as College Policy in the College Student Handbook and subject to the same provisions as established by § 6450 of the Education Law of New York State, as referenced in the Student Handbook in III. Freedom of Speech and Assembly
  4. Orientation.  In the event a member of the bargaining unit is not present at orientation, the College will forward to the member's home address any orientation material not otherwise available on the College's website.
  5. Professional Activities.  Members of the bargaining unit shall be engaged in professional aspects of the College, including but not limited to, committees, shared governance, advising, tutoring, substituting, and curriculum and course development.  Advising, tutoring, substituting and course/curriculum development (where applicable) will be compensated at rates established by the College.
  6. Course Assignment.  Priority in course assignment shall be granted to members of the bargaining unit based on semesters taught at the College.  After full-time faculty schedules are set, the departments will assign courses to unit members within his/her department in order of seniority following the protocol established between the AFA and the College.  Nothing herein shall be construed or applied in such a way as to violate the full-time faculty agreement pertaining to course assignment priority.  Nothing herein shall be construed or applied in such a way as to deprive the College of the right to disregard seniority in the assignment of courses in unusual circumstances or when a particular specialization or expertise is needed.  Where possible, course assignments will be completed before registration and every effort will be made to include the name of the unit member assigned in the course listing at registration.  In the event of a loss of an assigned course due to reassignment to a full time faculty member or due to low registration, seniority will be observed.  Seniority of unit members, for purposes of course assignment, will be maintained for up to twenty-four (24) consecutive months of absence.  Implementation of this section in contract year 2009-2010 shall not exclude from initial course assignment unit members employed at the College as of Fall 2009.  The College shall provide the Union a seniority list by department prior to the start of the Fall and Spring semesters each year.  Details of the course assignment protocol are appended to his agreement.



Article IX – Compensation and Benefits

  1. Credit Hour and Hourly Rates. Base per Credit Hour and Hourly rates shall be increased as follows for all bargaining unit members: 

    2008/09 3%
    2009/10 3%
    2010/11 2% at start of the Fall semester and an additional 2% at the start of the Spring semester
    2011/12 2% at start of the Fall semester and an additional 2% at the start of the Spring semester

  2. Longevity. The four year longevity rate for adjunct faculty, adjunct librarians and adjunct science lab instructors shall be:

    2008/09 5.5%
    2009/10 5.4%
    2010/11 5.3%
    2011/12 5.2%

    The nine year longevity rate shall be:

    2008/09 11.1%
    2009/10 11%
    2010/11 10.9%
    2011/12 10.8%


    Implementation of the above-described increases will result in the following per credit hour rates:

    Contract YearBase per Credit Hour4 year Longevity4 year per Credit Hour9 year Longevity9 year per Credit Hour
    2008/09 $789.80 Plus 5.5% $833.24 Plus 11.1% $877.47
    2009/10 $813.50 Plus 5.4% $857.43 Plus 11% $902.99
    2010/11* $829.77 Plus 5.3% $873.75 Plus 10.9% $920.21
    2010/11** $846.36 Plus 5.3% $891.22 Plus 10.9% $938.61
    2011/12* $863.29 Plus 5.2% $908.18 Plus 10.8% $956.53
    2011/12** $880.56 Plus 5.2% $926.35 Plus 10.8% $975.66


    Adjunct Science Lab Instructors with a BA will have a base hourly rate of 23.70 and with an MA will have a base hourly rate of 25.70 in academic year 2008-2009.
  3. Adjunct librarians will have a base hourly rate of 29.60 in academic year 2008-2009. 

    Adjunct Clinical Nurse Instructors: 

    Contract Year Post 8/2000 BA Post 8/2000 MA Pre 8/2000 BA Pre 8/2000 MA
    2008/09 49.37 60.76 52.22 64.26
    2009/10 50.85 62.58 53.79 66.19
    2010/11* 51.87 63.83 54.86 67.51
    2010/11** 52.90 65.11 55.96 68.86
    2011/12* 53.96 66.41 57.08 70.24
    2011/12** 55.04 67.74 58.22 71.65

    *rates shown are for the Fall and Winter Semesters
    ** rates shown are for the Spring and Summer Semesters

    1. Recognition of Service - After completing 13 years of service with at least twenty-six (26) semesters of service members of bargaining unit (Adjunct Faculty Association, Local 4896) will receive a retention adjustment of $60 per credit/contract hour taught.

    • Health Insurance.
      1. All members of the bargaining unit shall be eligible to apply for coverage under any health insurance plan available to Rockland County employees without any contribution from the College or Rockland County at their own cost and expense. Eligibility for participation shall be determined by the then-current laws, regulations, requirements and contractual obligations applicable to the plans. Participants must pay the required premium to the County of Rockland in accordance with the reasonable rules, regulations and instructions promulgated by the County of Rockland Insurance Department from time to time.
      2. A member of the bargaining unit who, prior to the date of this MOA, participated in a County of Rockland health insurance program and is no longer eligible to participate in the plan in which they were enrolled, may continue his/her coverage under COBRA by remitting the premium payment plus the administrative charge as required under the law. Alternatively, such employees may apply for participation in a different County provided health insurance plan in accordance with the provisions of paragraph A above.
      3. The health insurance coverage provided by the County or the College to its employees may be modified at the sole discretion of the County or the College without negotiation with or the concurrence or approval of the Association
    • Flex Plan. Members of the bargaining unit will be permitted to enroll in any available section 125 flex program offered to College employees, in accordance with the provisions of said program and the law.


Article X - Term

The Agreement shall be effective September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2013, and from year to year (09/01 – 08/31) thereafter unless either party notifies the other, in writing, on or before May 1, 2009 or the same date in any subsequent year of an intent to renegotiate the Agreement.


Article XI – Requirement of Legislative Action

It is agreed by and between the parties that any provision of this agreement requiring legislative action to permit its implementation by amendment of law or by providing the additional funds therefore, shall not become effective until the appropriate legislative body has given approval.


In witness whereof, the parties have caused this Agreement to be executed by their duly authorized representatives as of the ___ of August, 2009.

SUNY Rockland Community CollegeRockland Community College Adjunct Faculty Association




Shane Burd

Donna Sauer

Howard Schuh

Keith Walters

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