403(b)

A retirement plan similar to a 401(k), but one which is offered by non-profit organizations, such as universities and some charitable organizations, rather than by for-profit corporations. There are several advantages to 403(b) plans: contributions lower taxable income, larger contributions can be made to the account, earnings can grow tax-deferred, and some plans allow loans. Longy's 403(b) plan offers employer matching contributions for CBU members with 15 or more benefit units. Longy makes matching contributions up to 3% of pay for those with 15 or more, but less than 18, benefit units, and up to 5% of pay for those with 18 or more benefit units.

AAA

See American Arbitration Association

AFT

See American Federation of Teachers

Agency fee

Refers to the union's ability in particular states or at particular academic institutions to collect a fee in lieu of dues from all bargaining unit members (including non-union members) to pay for “chargeable expenses,” or those expenses that arise out of a union’s representation activities.

American Arbitration Association

The American Arbitration Association® (AAA), with its long history and experience in the field of alternative dispute resolution, provides services to individuals and organizations who wish to resolve conflicts out of court.

The AAA role in the dispute resolution process is to administer cases, from filing to closing. The AAA provides administrative services in the U.S., as well as abroad through its International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR). The AAA's and ICDR's administrative services include assisting in the appointment of mediators and arbitrators, setting hearings, and providing users with information on dispute resolution options, including settlement through mediation. Ultimately, the AAA aims to move cases through arbitration or mediation in a fair and impartial manner until completion.

Additional AAA services include the design and development of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems for corporations, unions, government agencies, law firms, and the courts. The Association also provides elections services as well as education, training, and publications for those seeking a broader or deeper understanding of alternative dispute resolution.

American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

The parent organization of the LFU. There are both Massachusetts and national AFT organizational structures with which the LFU is affiliated.

Arbitration

A legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, in which the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the “arbitrators”), by whose decision they agree to be bound. Our CBA provides that in grievances that are not resolved satisfactorily in an internal three-step process, the Union or the School can take the grievance to arbitration with an arbitrator from the American Arbitration Association.

Base rate

A faculty member's pay rate upon which the ratio system is based. See Compensation ratio system.

Benefit units

A faculty member's average weekly benefit units for a given academic year are calculated using pay information from the previous year. The calculation is as follows:

  1. Total pay  from the previous summer term through the end of the previous spring semester, divided by
  2. The faculty member's base rate, divided by
  3. Twenty-eight (28)

CBA

See Collective Bargaining Agreement

CBU

See Collective Bargaining Unit

CCC

See Conservatory Curriculum Committee

Chargeable expense

Those expenses that arise out of a union’s representation activities. These include, for example, expenses incurred in negotiating a contract, in grievances and arbitrations, and in activities and undertakings normally and reasonably employed to implement the duties of the union as representatives of the employees in the bargaining unit. Non-chargeable expenses are those of an ideological or political nature and those that are not germane to work-related interests of employees. Also see Agency Fee.

Collective Bargaining

A method whereby representatives of employees (unions) and employers negotiate the conditions of employment, normally resulting in a written contract, known as a “Collective Bargaining Agreement,” setting forth the wages, hours, and other conditions to be observed for a stipulated period (e.g., 3 years). The term also applies to union-management dealings during the term of the agreement.

Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)

A contractual agreement regarding terms and conditions of employment setting forth the wages, hours and other conditions to be observed for a stipulated period (e.g., 3 years). A collective bargaining agreement applies to all members of the relevant collective bargaining unit regardless of union membership.

Collective Bargaining Unit (CBU)

A group of employees that have been determined by the NLRB to be an appropriate unit for collective bargaining within the meaning of Section 9(b) of the National Labor Relations Act. In our case, the CBU has been defined by the NLRB as:

All faculty currently teaching, and who have a weekly average of at least three benefit units in one of the last two fiscal years, excluding all other employees, visiting faculty, administrators, confidential employees, office clerical employees, managers, guards, and supervisors as defined in the Act.

Community Programs Curriculum Committee (CPCC)

A resource for faculty and administration to bring forth curriculum proposals and new ideas about curriculum and to make recommendations to the Director of Community Programs. It is comprised of six voting members: two members of the Community Programs administration and four at-large members of the faculty, elected by the Community Programs faculty, serving two-year, staggered terms. The Director of Community Programs is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the CPCC. Election of faculty members occurs in March with terms beginning in September. All non-management Community Programs faculty both inside and outside the bargaining unit may vote in elections and serve on this committee.

Compensation ratio system

The pay system for faculty members at Longy. All Conservatory and Community Programs faculty are part-time employees and therefore paid per service on an hourly basis. Faculty compensation is calculated using each faculty member's base hourly rate multiplied by per-activity compensation ratios specified in the CBA.

Conservatory Curriculum Committee (CCC)

A resource for faculty and administration to bring forth new or revised curriculum proposals, to propose changes to departmental curriculum or requirements, to periodically review school-wide requirements within the Conservatory programs and to make recommendations to the Conservatory Academic Council. The CCC is comprised of six voting members: two members of the Conservatory Academic Council (CAC) and four at-large members of the Conservatory faculty, elected by the Conservatory faculty, serving two-year, staggered terms. The Dean of the Conservatory, the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and the Assistant Dean for Faculty and Curriculum Development are ex-officio, non-voting members of the CCC. Election of CCC members occurs in March with terms beginning in September. All non-management Conservatory faculty both inside and outside the bargaining unit may vote in elections and serve on this committee.  

CPCC

See Community Programs Curriculum Committee

Divisional reassignment

This occurs when a faculty member’s official status at the School is changed regarding eligibility to teach in either the Conservatory or Community Programs Divisions.

Faculty Development Committee (FDC)

The FDC makes recommendations for approval of faculty professional development applications.  Applications for faculty professional development are submitted to the FDC. This committee consists of three faculty members (one from the Conservatory, one from Community Programs, and one at-large) along with two people from the administration who serve as ex-officio non-voting members.

Faculty Planning Committee (FPC)

The FPC makes recommendations for long-range faculty planning. The FPC consists of six voting faculty members (three from Conservatory and three from Community Programs) plus the Dean of the Conservatory and the Director of Community Programs as ex-officio, non-voting members.  Elected faculty members serve two-year staggered terms, and are chosen in elections open to all non-management Longy faculty, whether or not they are members of the CBU or LFU.

FDC

See Faculty Development Committee

FPC

See Faculty Planning Committee

Global settlement

In our case, this refers to more than a dozen different individual settlement agreements along with the Collective Bargaining Agreement and a “side-letter” from Bard College agreeing to hire all members of the CBU and to assume the CBA. The global settlement deals with and resolves all of the issues raised in the NLRB complaints against Longy. For details of the global settlement, see “Union faculty vote unanimously to ratify contract (LFU News, March 25, 2011) and “Your settlement in action” (LFU News, April 25, 2011).

Injunction

A court order by which an individual or organization (e.g., a corporation or a union) is required to perform, or is restrained from performing, a particular act or acts. It is an extraordinary remedy, reserved for special circumstances in which the temporary preservation of the status quo is necessary. An injunction is usually issued only in cases where irreparable injury to the rights of one party would result otherwise. Injunctive relief is not a remedy that is liberally granted, and, therefore, a court will always consider any hardship that the parties will sustain by the granting or refusal of an injunction.

Just cause

The labor movement in the United States has secured a number of important rights for unionized workers. Among such rights, just cause, or bare sagen, provides important protections against arbitrary or unfair termination and other forms of inappropriate workplace discipline. “Just cause” has become a common standard in labor arbitration, and is included in labor union contracts as a form of job security. Typically, an employer must prove “just cause” before an arbitrator to sustain an employee's termination, suspension, or other discipline. Usually, the employer has the burden of proof in discharge cases or if the employee is in the wrong.

In the workplace, “just cause” is a burden of proof or standard that an employer must meet to justify discipline or discharge. “Just cause” usually refers to a violation of a company policy or rule. In some cases, an employee may commit an act that is not specifically addressed within the employers policies but one which the employer believes warrants discipline or discharge. In such instances, the employer must be confident that they can defend their decision.

When an arbitrator looks at a discipline dispute, the arbitrator first asks whether the employee's wrongdoing has been proven by the employer, and then asks whether the method of discipline should be upheld or modified. In 1966, an arbitrator, Professor Carroll Daugherty, expanded these principles into seven tests for “just cause.” The concepts encompassed within his seven tests are still frequently used by arbitrators when deciding discipline cases.

Daugherty's seven tests are as follows:

  1. Was the employee forewarned of the consequences of his or her actions?
  2. Are the employer's rules reasonably related to business efficiency and performance the employer might reasonably expect from the employee?
  3. Was an effort made before discharge to determine whether the employee was guilty as charged?
  4. Was the investigation conducted fairly and objectively?
  5. Did the employer obtain substantial evidence of the employee's guilt?
  6. Were the rules applied fairly and without discrimination?
  7. Was the degree of discipline reasonably related to the seriousness of the employee's offense and the employee's past record?

The last test, the degree of discipline, is important because arbitrators want to ensure that the “punishment fits the crime.” An employer's use of progressive discipline often gives the employer an advantage in arbitration.

Labor Management Committee (LMC)

The purpose of the LMC is to discuss and resolve issues of concern to the faculty and/or management as they may arise. The LMC is comprised of six members: three members appointed by the Longy Faculty Union Executive Board, and up to three members appointed by the President of Longy. Faculty committee members serve without compensation.

LMC

See Labor Management Committee

Member of LFU  

A faculty member in the Collective Bargaining Unit who has paid the required dues to the LFU,  and met other membership requirements as specified in the LFU Constitution and By-Laws.

Membership Meeting

A meeting open to all current members of the LFU, as opposed to Special Meetings, which are open to LFU members and others as specified by the LFU Executive Board on a meeting-by-meeting basis.

National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)

Congress enacted the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) in 1935 to protect the rights of employees and employers, to encourage collective bargaining, and to curtail certain private sector labor and management practices, which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the United States economy.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)  

An independent federal agency that protects the rights of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve their wages and working conditions. (See http://nlrb.gov/)

NLRA

See National Labor Relations Act

NLRB

See National Labor Relations Board

Per capita dues

The amounts charged to the LFU by the state and national AFT organizations based on the actual earnings of each member of our CBU.

“Realignment” of faculty

Announced by the administration on March 5, 2010, the "realignment" describes the process through which some faculty members were not renewed to teach starting in 2011-2012 and other faculty members received divisional reassignments or other changes in teaching responsibilities. 92 faculty members were directly affected by the “realignment.”

Special Meeting

A term the LFU uses to label meetings that are open to members as well as others, as designated by the LFU Executive Board on a meeting-by-meeting basis.

ULP

See Unfair labor practice

Unfair labor practice (ULP)

Certain actions taken by employers or unions that violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and other legislation. Such acts are investigated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Weingarten rights

In the case of NLRB v. J. Weingarten, Inc., 420 U.S. 251 (1975), the United States Supreme Court upheld a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decision that employees have a right to union representation at investigatory interviews. These rights have become known as the "Weingarten Rights."

The Supreme Court ruled that the following rules apply during an investigatory interview:

Rule 1: The employee must make a clear request for union representation before or during the interview. The employee cannot be punished for making this request.

Rule 2: After the employee makes the request, the employer must choose from among three options. The employer must: grant the request and delay questioning until the union representative arrives and has a chance to consult privately with the employee; deny the request and end the interview immediately; or give the employee a choice of having the interview without representation or ending the interview.

Rule 3: If the employer denies the request for union representation, and continues to ask questions, it commits an unfair labor practice and the employee has a right to refuse to answer. The employer may not discipline the employee for such a refusal.

In July 2000, the NLRB under the Clinton administration extended the Weingarten Rights to employees at non-unionized workplaces. On June 15, 2004, the NLRB under the George W. Bush administration effectively reversed the previous ruling by a three to two vote.