Frequently Asked
Questions

1.   What is the mandate of Pratt’s Union and who can be a member?

Our union is special in that it covers visitors, adjuncts, non-TT full-time, TT, and tenured faculty.  This is common in the public sector, but only a few private universities have one big faculty union.  The only exceptions are staff who teach (their union is OPEIU local 153), Continuing Ed faculty, and chairs.  For all other faculty, the UFCT 1460 collective bargaining agreement (a.k.a. contract) governs our teaching and working conditions. As part of that, you have every right to become a member and have a say in that contract. 



2.   How did PUFF begin?  


Our Union has two branches of governance: the executive board (four elected leaders) and the delegates assembly (currently 24 volunteer faculty). In one delegates assembly meeting, delegates began to break the taboo around pay by going around in a circle and stating their Pratt income.  In this way, we began to build solidarity amongst each other, and we also noticed huge inequity in pay.  


The delegates assembly formed a working group to carry out a Pay Transparency Survey.  The executive board had a neutral stance toward this working group at first, but once survey responses started pouring in, they opposed the effort.  Most delegates felt a moral imperative to speak out about the survey findings.  


Although the executive board holds that contract negotiations should be a secretive and quiet affair, we were inspired by the many faculty unions leading participatory campaigns and winning great contracts as a result.  We wrote an open letter inspired by our survey results and collected hundreds of signatures from Pratt faculty.  The delegates assembly coordinator delivered it to Pratt’s Provost with a note that we supported our UFCT 1460 negotiating team.  When the executive board disowned this brave action by hundreds of the workers they represent, the working group and enthusiastic letter signatories decided that a caucus approach would be necessary.



3.   What is PUFF’s relationship to the Union? 


PUFF is a caucus of Union members pushing for a stronger, more inclusive UFCT 1460.



4.   How are working artists represented on PUFF’s slate of leadership candidates?


Two of the four PUFF candidates are working artists, even though they currently teach within the Humanities & Media Department. Jennifer is a performance artist and Elæ is a multimedia artist. The PUFF slate will fight just as hard for equitable working conditions within studio departments as they will within all departments. The ranks and statuses of the four PUFF candidates (Adjunct Instructor, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Adjunct Professor, and Professor) also reflect their diversity. 



5.   X weeks/months/years ago, I submitted my Union membership form, but I am unsure if my membership paperwork was ever processed. How do I know if I am a Union member?


Recent faculty organizing has led to the realization that over the past few years and especially since the pandemic, dozens of membership forms have gone missing and/or were never processed. Unfortunately, the fact that you submitted paperwork doesn't ensure your membership. 


PUFF has made it a priority to raise awareness about Union membership and register new members. If PUFF leadership is elected, we will ensure easy access to membership for all Pratt faculty.

 

To check your current membership status, look to see whether you have received any Union messages from ufct1460@gmail.com or ufct1460election2019@gmail.com since last December. If not, you probably aren't a member. If so, you probably are. 

 

Membership forms should be available on the Union office door (North Hall, Room 125). For your records, document your signed forms with a photo and keep one of the carbon copies. Trouble accessing forms? Write to puff@puff1460.com and we'll help you out.



6.   How much are dues? 


Based on the UFCT 1460 constitution, dues are 1% of pay for those who make less than $60,000 and 0.85% for those who make more than $60,000 per year.  Dues are only charged on fall and spring teaching income.


However, verified members of the Pratt faculty Union in good standing have reported that they have gone years without these deductions. These dues are important to financially support the necessary work by Union leadership and members to fight for fair and equitable working conditions. If the PUFF slate is elected, we will ensure that dues are deducted from all members and that they are spent responsibly in the service of membership needs.



Have other questions? Email PUFF@PUFF1460.com