45) Action Council to Meet

November 22nd, 2006

The negotiations teams met Tuesday, November 21, at 3:30 in the Board Room to negotiate the Support Staff contract. Both sides reviewed the items on the table to make sure there was agreement on which items have been settled and which are still on the table. Of course nothing is final until the educators and the Board of Trustees ratify the contract agreed to at the table. There have been times when we thought that there was agreement and Joe has said, “No, that was part of a package and you did not agree to the whole package.” There was at least one time we thought there was agreement, but Joe said that, “That was not a formal proposal – that was just casual discussion.” What we are doing is not straight line negotiating where people have their eye on the prize. It is two steps forward, one step back, twirl, two steps forward and two steps to the side. Then Dom went over the Support Staff proposal noting our position on the issues. Our position was not substantially changed from the time before. Dom has repeated to Joe many times that we do not intend to agree to the changes in working conditions that he is asking for. One example is the 96 hours a week being on call. We have a mature contract. It is working. We are not asking for major changes. After Dom finished presenting our position, Joe, Cindy, and Karen left the room. After about a half an hour, Joe stuck his head into the Board Room and asked to see Dom in his office. Much of the negotiating occurs in Joe’s office. It is not unusual for the chief negotiators to meet privately when the teams are close to closure to try to informally agree on the final issues. It is unusual to have so much negotiation in private all through the process. Joe expressed to Dom his displeasure at the fact that we were not agreeing to his proposals. No other College in New Jersey has the changes in working conditions that he is asking for. I think he is trying to make a name for himself in New Jersey so that he can move on to a President’s position somewhere. I had to leave before the administration’s team came back. I teach in Cape May Tuesday nights. When I returned home I had email messages from two faculty negotiators saying that we need to call a meeting of the Action Council. I have not talked with anyone, but that indicates things did not go well after I

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so that we can settle. Will Parsons, Unity Negotiations Coordinator

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