Letter: Adjuncts at NCC want some respect

Adjunct Faculty Association members, on strike, picket outside Adjunct Faculty Association members, on strike, picket outside the Administrative Building at Nassau Community College in Garden City. (Sept. 12, 2013) Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

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I was a member of the Adjunct Faculty Association negotiating committee when our contract expired in 2010 ["Mangano: Deal or no deal at NCC?" Editorial, Sept. 13]. We met with the college and its attorneys four or five times, but for the trustees to say that they have done everything possible to negotiate with us is far from the truth.

Our association president wrote to the board of trustees, saying that we were willing to negotiate anytime and anywhere. We were first offered two zero percent raises by the college attorney. At the next meeting, he offered us three zero percent raises!

I have taught at the college part time for 43 years, and the adjuncts have always been disrespected. When I first started, we were not even given parking stickers. Today, we do not have office space. Some of us teach in buildings that are run-down and do not have constant heat or air conditioning.

Jorge Gardyn, acting chairman of the trustees, said the board recognizes that the adjuncts are qualified and do a great job. How can he reconcile that with the 3-3 vote rejecting a proposed contract? This was the final insult. Our strike is not about the money (although we do deserve better pay); it is about respect.

Ruben Friedman, Central Islip

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Editor's note: The writer is an adjunct professor of English.

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