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.

Giving Students Tools to Help Others

A Letter of Appeal From Our Own Krystal Woolston
My name is Krystal Woolston and I currently direct the Bonner Leader AmeriCorps program here at Montclair State University. The Bonner Program is a group of 35-45 students each year that commit to doing 300 hours of community service throughout the academic year. As part of their service, Bonners participate in service trips locally in New Jersey as well as nationally in places like New Orleans and North Carolina when they've been declared natural disasters. Often during those trips, we are asked to rebuild or gut homes, but the tools used to do so are typically whatever has been donated many times lacking the appropriate tools or lacking quality (for example plastic scrapers vs. metal).

We are hoping for your help with this. We have created a wish list on of all of the tools and supplies we traditionally use on these trips and service days. We want to create a tool supply kit here at MSU that can be brought on these trips and returned so we will always have the tools needed and be able to do quality service for the individuals we're helping. We'd appreciate anything you could do to help us. 

If you have difficulty following the link (sometimes if you're not already logged into amazon it will not go straight to our wishlist) you also search wish lists. You would put my email address into the search box and the "Bonner Service List" will pop up. A great part of wish lists is when you purchase from Amazon they will ship the items directly to our office here at MSU so you will not need to deliver it!

Feel free to reach out to me at  if you have any questions! Again, any support you could offer would be greatly appreciated!

Investigative Report Uncovers ALEC Ethic Scandal - Lobbyists Build Bills for Legislators

For an inside look into how the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) operates, watch the video of 11Alive's investigative report in Atlanta, Georgia. The news team interviews a Georgia legislator who is a former member of ALEC, and speaks with lobbyists who help fund ALEC. Watch how corporations and lobbyists are working to control the American legislative process and how elected officials are selling influence. Click above to watch the story.