Nassau Community College adjuncts spend week on strike

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Attorneys for NCC and the AFA met with a PERB conciliator on the evening of Sept. 11, but the discussions did not go anywhere, according to Charles Loiacono, president of the AFA.

The AFA persisted with its strike on Sept. 10, 11 and 12 in open defiance of the court’s injunction. Adjuncts walked a picket line each day on the central plaza in front of NCC’s administration tower, as they had done on Sept. 9.

Asked if he was concerned about being arrested, Loiacono, said he was willing to go to jail. “Was Martin Luther King concerned? Was John Adams concerned?” Loiacono retorted.

A disputed deal

The AFA has been without a contract since 2010. Loiacono said the union negotiated an agreement with Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s office for an eight-year contract that would retroactively raise adjuncts’ salaries 4.9 percent per year for the past three years and keep the 4.9-percent-per-year pay increases going for the next five years, but a vote to ratify it at the NCC Board of Trustees’ Sept. 9 meeting failed.

“The county executive engaged in good-faith bargaining,” Loiacono said. “And he only got involved because we reached out to him, and because he knew that the Board of Trustees had refused to negotiate. How did he know that? I showed him the documentation. There was a letter from [NCC’s] attorney, John Gross, in which he says at the end, ‘you must be patient.’ Well, we’ve waited three years.”

Mangano’s office denied this version of events, however. A Mangano spokeswoman forwarded the Herald a statement from Peter Bee, the county’s labor counsel, in which he wrote “the county did not make any deal.”

“The county simply encouraged the communications of both sides to avoid a strike that would greatly affect countless faculty and Nassau students,” Bee stated. “Local law places labor relations within the jurisdiction of the college.”

Loiacono said his union had obtained from Mangano’s office a written “memorandum of agreement” for the eight-year, 4.9-percent-raise-per-year deal, but that he could not give the Herald a copy of the memorandum. Loiacono did not respond to a request for further comment on Bee’s denial.

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