Friday, August 7, 2015

A Call to Action for Young Workers

From left to right: Jennifer Higgins and Carli Meneses
IBEW Local 94 in Mercer County became a classroom on Friday, July 31, 2015, for young workers taking part in Common Sense Economics led by Jennifer Higgins of AFT Local 1904 and Carli Meneses, president of IAM Local 2339N. The workshop focused on how workers can harness their collective power to improve their economic circumstances. First, labor must be united. Second, all members of the labor movement – especially our future leaders – must be engaged in the political process and be invested in electing leaders who believe in advancing progressive policies that help working families get and stay ahead [read the entire article here]

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Paid Internship Opportunity

The AFT Local 1904 is looking for a dedicated, hard-working Montclair State University student with an interest in learning more about the work of unionism, political activism, contract law, and/or social policy. This paid internship extends from June 1st through August 29th, with the possibility of renewal for fall and spring semesters. The internship requires solid research, writing, computer and communications skills, including experience with social media. The intern reports directly to the Internal Vice President and will assist with multiple projects, as appropriate. Work assignments will be based on how the intern's skills and interest best interface with the evolving needs of the union. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled or until September 1st, whichever comes first. [Download Application]

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July Board of Trustees Statement

Yesterday, July 27th, on behalf of you, I addressed the Board of Trustees at their regularly scheduled business meeting. It is the July meeting when the Board approves tuition, fee and residence hall rates for the next year. This year they raised Fall and Spring tuition 2.0%, reduced summer and winter sessions tuition, as well as raising existing fees and instituted some new ones. July also is when the Board approves a new budget, which now is approaching 381 million dollars. 

July is also when the Board typically approves President Coles compensation package for the upcoming year. Last year Dr. Cole received a 3.5% raise to a base salary of $403,650. On top of that she received a $60,547 (15%) performance bonus and a $25,000 retention bonus for a total package of $489,197. There was no mention of any actions concerning Dr. Coles compensation on yesterday's published agenda, but that was also the case last year when the agenda was amended after I completed my remarks.

At yesterday's meeting I was informed just before speaking that Dr. Cole will not be receiving any increase to her base pay and that no administrators on campus will be getting an increase either.  And that her $25,000 retention bonus does not require Board action as it is automatic as per the 2013 Board resolution creating it. What is not clear is whether Dr. Cole will be receiving a performance bonus as provided by that same 2013 Board resolution allowing for a 10-20% bonus. No mention was made about it at the meeting and I cannot confirm if it was or was not granted. Which means that for the upcoming year President Cole will either be taking a $60,547 reduction in pay if she is not receiving the performance bonus or can be making as much as $509,380 if she is getting the full 20% as provided by the 2013 resolution. Again, I simply don't know.

What is clear that none of you will be receiving any bonuses or cost of living increases and the university has additionally suspended our increments (Step Increases) until a successor contract is negotiated which may be more than two years away in this political climate. Of course I will keep you informed as more information is available.

I really appreciate your taking the time to read this and stay informed. You can read the entire text of my board statement here and I appreciate that too. 

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees is scheduled for Thursday, September 10th and they will post the agenda here a week before. Unfortunately the agenda for this past meeting is no longer available on the Board website

In solidarity-
Rich Wolfson, President-AFT Local 1904

Monday, June 8, 2015

Local 1904 Congratulates Cassidy DeProspo

L-R: Sandy Marschall, Cassidy DeProspo, Local 1904 VP - Bill Sullivan
On Sunday, June 7th, the Essex-West Hudson Labor Council, AFL-CIO, held the 28th gathering of its Annual Breakfast.  The breakfast honorees were Sharon Eastwick, Business Manager for OPEIU Local 32, Lionel A. Leach, Jr., President of CWA Local 1039, and Assemblyman John F. McKeon. The EWHLC Scholarship Fund awarded 18 scholarships at the breakfast, one of which was given to Cassidy DeProspo, daughter of Sandy Marschall AFT Local 1904 member who works in the Sprague Library.