NTT Contract Conversion Update

NTT CONVERSION UPDATE 8/26/16

The FSU and the Administration have concluded settlement discussions on all pending NTT contract conversion issues. These discussions included agreement on a number of outstanding grievances related to NTTs and Article 21 (see here for a detailed update of FSU grievance matters).  The settlement agreements for both the grievances and the NTT contract conversion have resulted in some changes to the language in Article 21 that have enhanced the rights of NTT while clarifying many areas of the agreement that remained ambiguous and thus open to dispute. We will hold an information meeting on September 22 in Wheatley-6-047 to discuss these changes after discussing the budget crisis at 2 pm,  and will send the revised Article 21 language when completed. A summary of this NTT contract conversion settlement agreement is below (see here to view both the current and prior conversion updates).

Continuing Appointments and Just Cause Rights

The Administration had asserted that any time served at 25% would not be counted in the FTE total for a continuing appointment (Lecturers must be minimum 50% at time of eligibility). The FSU contested this interpretation and engaged with the Administration to resolve the dispute. We have reached an agreement that allows NTTs to qualify for continuing appointments if they are at a minimum 50% at time of eligibility with 3 full-time equivalent years of service including up to 2 prior semesters at 25%.  ). In exchange, the Administration has agreed to grant continuing appointments as of Fall 16 to a group of 9 Lecturers who were half-time or greater and who would have had just cause rights by 7/1/14 but would not yet be eligible for continuing appointments according to this settlement  language. (The previously negotiated language for NTTs who attained just cause under rights under the previous contract remains the same: they have priority for reappointment over new hires, but they do not have a guarantee of reappointment and must be given a written explanation if they are replaced).

Calendar versus FTE Year for Promotions

The FSU had asserted all prior service under previous agreements must be calculated according to the language in the respective contract.  The administration had denied this interpretation and the FSU filed a grievance on this issue.  We initially anticipated that this grievance would be decided by an arbitrator near the end of the summer. However, we concluded one day of mediation without an agreement, and, after conferring with the MTA lawyer who had been assigned to the case, we decided that arbitration would not result in a favorable ruling. So instead, we improved the situation for Lecturers who faced economic disadvantage from the switch to the FTE year calculation for promotion. We obtained an agreement in which a specific group of 9 Lecturers identified by the FSU and the Administration as being substantially disadvantaged salary-wise by the conversion to the new method of calculating time would be made eligible to apply for Senior Lecturer in Fall 16 (promotion to be effectuated Fall 17), regardless of their FTE totals.

Course Cancellations

The Administration and the FSU agrees that without a year’s notice, salaries for NTTs with continuing appointments  cannot be reduced even in the event of a course cancellation.  However, for those without continuing appointments, the FSU and the Administration disagreed whether or not the requirement for notification of reappointment excludes or includes the possibility of course cancellations. The Administration asserted that reappointments at a particular percentage of time are provisional to classes not being cancelled. The FSU initially asserted that reappointments must be at a particular percentage of time even if courses are cancelled but we came to believe that such an assertion was not warranted by the contract language and past practice.  Therefore the FSU proposed and reached agreement with the Administration on modified language in Article 21 that a) clarifies that a course cancellation of an NTT with a continuing appointment will not result in a reduction in time/pay but will require reassignment of additional course to that NTT or, if none is available, will require assignment of an overload in a subsequent semester, and b) in the event of a course cancellation for NTTs without a continuing appointments, the Administration will attempt to assign another course, which may include the reassignment of a course from an Associate Lecturer (i.e. Associate Lecturers may be “bumped” from courses in order to preserve the full appointments of Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Senior Lecturer II’s). If no additional courses are available, NTTs not yet on continuing appointments will be reduced in salary as a result of the cancellation.

Appointment, Reappointment, and Notification Schedules

The FSU had asserted that the Red Book language on appointments, reappointments, and notification of non-reappointment deadlines applies to all NTTs regardless of title or percentage of time. The Administration had asserted that only those lecturers (not Associate Lecturers) who are 50% or greater are subject to any appointment, reappointment, and notification deadline language. We settled on an agreement that would apply the current reappointment language in Article 21.9.1 (see chart in #2) to Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, and Senior Lecturer II’s who are less than 50% as well as Associate Lecturers (any percentage of time) who obtained just cause rights under the predecessor agreement. 

Incorrect Titles, Post-Conversion

The Administration presented the FSU with a master document outlining all the conversion actions taken to date (i.e. new titles given under the 14-17 contract). The FSU notified the Administration of cases where we believed the conversion was incorrect. The Administration has fixed many of these, but there are approximately 25 cases left (down from over 100) where we believe the conversion was done improperly or where there are still questions about a particular conversion. We expect to address this issue again at a labor-management meeting scheduled for the end of the month.

Salary Floors

Salary floors under the new Agreement were effective as of July 1, 2014. The Administration indicated that there are still approximately 35 NTTs whose salaries need to be changed retroactively to July 1, 2014 to reflect their new titles. We expect to address this issue again at a labor-management meeting scheduled for the end of the month.