FAQ

Are there initiation fees to join the union?

No.

How much are dues?

Dues are 2.5% of your gross earnings for Adjuncts; 2% of your gross earnings for Tutors, Accompanists, and Voice Instructors.

 

What are dues for?

The majority of the money paid in dues doesn’t go to our Local – it gets forwarded to both the AFT and NYSUT, our parent unions. What’s left after that is what is in the treasury of the Local, to pay for copying, postage, a bank account, etc.

 

When do we start paying dues?

Beginning in the Fall Semester of 2010.

 

Are dues tax deductible?

Most of them are (the part that goes toward representation). If you complete an itemized tax return you can claim a deduction.

 

I've heard that I can lose my job if I don't join the union.

That's a misunderstanding, but one that is related to a reality. What MAC and MMC Administration agreed to in the collective bargaining agreement is  what is called an "Agency Shop." That means that anyone covered by the collective bargaining unit has the choice to become a union member or not. But those who decide not to join the union still must pay their "fair share" of what it costs to represent them. All bargaining unit members are required to pay the equivalent of membership dues, either through a "dues check-off" (where it is automatically deducted from your paycheck) or through remitting the amount directly to the union. If a bargaining unit member refuses to sign the "dues authorization form" (which gives MMC permission to automatically deduct your dues) AND also refuses to personally remit dues to the union directly, then thirty days after the implementation of the contract (or thirty days after hiring), the Union will request that MMC terminate that individual's employment. So, nobody HAS to join the Union and nobody HAS to authorize that dues be deducted directly from their paycheck. But everyone MUST pay the amount of money it costs to represent them and if they don't do that they WILL lose their job.

Isn't that unfair?

Not really. Union representation costs money. The gains the union was able to negotiate in the contract will apply to everyone. Similarly everyone -- member and non-member -- is entitled to equal representation by the Union. Any adjunct faculty member, tutor, or accompanist who needs to use the grievance procedure, for example, will get exactly the same attention, advice, and support from the union regardless of whether or not s/he is a MAC member. What WOULD be unfair is to expect ONLY members to shoulder the financial responsibilities of union representation and let everyone else have a "free ride" so to speak.

What is the difference between being a member and not? 

Non-members are known as "Agency Fee Payers." Practically speaking that means that although Agency Fee Payers are entitled to the exact same representation as members, they are not entitled to have a voice in the union. Only members can vote on union matters, run for office, etc. Financially speaking, Agency Fee Payers initially pay the same amount as members do (either by automatic deduction or through personally remitting the monies to MAC). However, at the end of the year, Agency Fee Payers may request (in writing) that they be refunded what amounts to a small portion of their dues. The monies they get back cover the amount of their dues which went to things that were NOT directly related to the Union's representation of them. Agency fees, therefore, are the "fair share" portion of representation. Legally, agency fees cannot include monies MAC (or NYSUT or AFT) used for things like political lobbying or organizing workers elsewhere. The difference, which can't be calculated in advance (that's why Agency Fees payer wind up getting a small refund) is a very small amount of money, probably somewhere around a few dollars a year. Generally speaking, only people who are philosophically opposed to unions or are followers of certain religions (like Jehovah's Witnesses who often abide by certain restrictions about the types of organizations they can belong to) choose to become Agency Fee Payers instead of members.

Retroactive Pay

The raises achieved in the contract are retroactive to September 1, 2009. 

If you are an adjunct faculty member who taught in Fall 2009 and/or Winter 2010, you will receive a retro check for $575 per course you taught, which is the difference between the old rate of $2325 per course and the new rate of $2900 per course. 

If you are a tutor who worked during Fall 2009 and/or Winter 2010, you will receive a retro check for $3.61 for every hour you worked, which is the difference between the old rate of $21.67 per hour and the new rate of $25.28 .   

If you are an accompanist who worked during Fall 2009 and/or Winter 2010, you will receive a retro check for $4.16 for every hour you worked, which is the difference between the old rate of $25 per hour and the new rate of $29.16 per hour.

If you are a private voice instructor who worked during Fall 2009 and/or Winter 2010, you will receive a retro check for $30 per every student you taught, which is the difference between the old rate of $780 per student and the new rate of $810 per student.

All adjunct faculty members, tutors, accompanists, and private voice instructors who worked during the 06-07 and/or 07-08 and/or 08-09 academic years are entitled to a one-time 4% lump sum payment, provided you also worked during the 08-09 and/or 09-10 academic year.

The College is aiming to issue these checks on January 21, 2010. If you usually get paid through direct deposit you will receive these monies through direct deposit, too.

 

Why isn’t there an Adjunct Representative on the Executive Committee?

Since the majority of our membership are Adjuncts, it was felt that it would be likely that the four elected positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary would be filled by Adjuncts. The Constitution Committee felt that it was important that the minority constituents of the Union have an assured voice on the Executive Committee, hence the three Representative Seats for Tutors, Accompanists, and Voice Instructors.

 

Why isn’t there a representative from Bedford Hills on the Executive Committee?

The Constitution Committee felt that the Bedford Hills program’s Adjuncts would be fairly represented on the Executive Committee by any elected Adjunct.

 

Can I apply for the Medical Assistance Fund?

Not this very second, as we are still ironing out the details of how it will function. As soon as it is in place, though, be certain we will get the word to you. If you have questions, please contact us at maf@macmmc.com

 

Can I apply for a grant from the Professional Development Fund?

Not this very second, as we are still ironing out the details of how it will function. As soon as it is in place, though, be certain we will get the word to you. If you have questions, please contact us at pdf@macmmc.com

 

Who do I turn to if I have a problem?

For now, contact us at info@macmmc.com

 

How can I help?

A Union exists for its Membership. One of the most important aspects of unionization is the ability of the individual or small voice to be heard, and for us to help each other. Participation is the key to that. Contact us at info@macmmc.com and we’ll see how we can help each other.