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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Nassau Community College adjuncts spend week on strike
(Page 4 of 5)
Brian Racow/Herald
Charles Loiacono, president of the Adjunct Faculty Association, addressed AFA members on Sept. 11 outside Nassau Community College’s administration tower.

Mary Adams, a Democratic appointee to NCC’s board, said she missed the Sept. 9 meeting because she was sick. Arnold Drucker, another Democratic appointee to NCC’s board, said he did not attend because of prior commitments at his law firm, and he called Loiacono’s allegations “pure fiction.”

“I never spoke to Jay Jacobs or anyone else about my attendance at the Sept. 9 meeting,” Drucker said.

John Donnelly and Kathy Weiss, the other Democratic appointees on NCC’s board, declined to be interviewed. Loiacono said Weiss was at the meeting and voted against the agreement with the union.

NCC has not yet made the minutes of the meeting available. Molina said she was there, but she would not discuss how she or her colleagues voted. She said the board conducted its vote by “secret ballot” while in executive session, which means the public was barred from the room.

Suozzi’s campaign declined to comment on Loiacono’s claims.

The strike

During the five days it was under way, the strike caused a fair amount of disruption and consternation on campus. Close to 10 percent of classes went untaught, according to Saunders. Administrators and AFA members traded barbs at one another via the media, sometimes while they simultaneously stood conversing with reporters a few dozen feet apart on NCC’s central plaza. Students worried about how the strike would affect them. Several who spoke to the Herald worried about whether they and their peers would be able to fulfill class requirements for graduation, how their financial aid awards would be impacted if they were reduced to lighter course loads, and the tuition dollars they had spent for classes that were no longer running. Many, if not most, students blamed the adjunct faculty for the situation.

Loiacono acknowledged that the union’s struggle for higher wages might be burdensome, but he said it was a struggle worth fighting. “Students should perceive that when the American system is operative, people sometimes have to stand up for their due, and that sometimes it inconveniences people,” Loiacono said.

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