1435 Morris Avenue - Suite 3A, Union, NJ 07083
Tim Haresign, President

President's Report - Honor

The agreements we negotiate are part of the foundation of what we do and reflect what we stand for as a union.  This is true whether we are referring to state-wide agreements or to local agreements.  The utility of these agreements to both our membership and to management should be obvious. They delineate rights and responsibilities, they codify procedures as they pertain to terms and conditions of employment, and they establish avenues by which to pursue redress should either side feel that the agreements are not being adhered to properly. As such our agreements, along with underlying labor statues form the legal basis for fair and equitable working conditions on our campuses.

However, there is another aspect of agreements that we should consider.  When union leaders sign their name to an agreement, they are making a commitment on behalf of their membership. The signatories for management are making the same commitment.  They are promising to adhere to the terms of that agreement in good faith.  In essence those who have signed have given their word that they will act with honor to ensure that their organizations will meet the terms of the agreement.  As union members one of the ways in which we should judge the character of administrative leadership at our institutions is how well they live up to the commitments.  Does your administration live up to the commitments it made, or are agreements followed only grudgingly, with constant attempts for find loopholes or, even worse, are agreements often ignored?  The answer to this question provides a reflection of the character and honor of the leadership of your administration.

Equally important is to carefully consider whether or not your administration is willing to enter negotiations on issues affecting the terms and conditions of the careers of your members.   If you have an administration that is reluctant to negotiate, it is a strong indication that they do not want to make commitments that bind them to fair treatment and transparent and consistent procedures.  On those issues that they won't negotiate, we need to ask why they won't put their name on a piece of paper, why they won't "give their word".  From my vantage point as President of the College Council, it seems to me that some institutions behave with more honor than others, and one of our institutions behaves with almost no honor at all.  But this judgement is better made by those at the local level, so I ask each of you to consider the question:  How do you perceive the character of the leadership at your college or university?  This is and will be an important question for all of us to keep in mind as we evaluate statements coming from administrators during any negotiation process.