Donna M. Hope for NCCFT Vice President Classroom Faculty

Donna-Hope

Donna Hope NCCFT Vice President Classroom Faculty

This is a difficult and complex time at Nassau Community College… We have several major challenges ahead… including two key issues we must address:  regaining middle states accreditation and our upcoming contract negotiations, always keeping in mind the importance of protecting shared governance, the ongoing issues of restricted budgets, and the continual threats and issues in higher education facing us today. Some of these issues include threats to academic freedom, free speech, tenure, protecting intellectual property, fighting against unfair immigration policy for undocumented students, protecting full-time faculty jobs, higher education funding, and college affordability.

Passion, emotion, interest, good intentions are all key components in dealing with these issues, however, promises and passion must be backed with substance, knowledge, experience and conviction. Working through these issues will also take grit, commitment, focus, and the ability to work cooperatively and collegially with all of the stakeholders involved. I have been serving on the NCCFT’s executive committee as Secretary since 2014 and I am currently serving, since 2016, as your elected Vice President of Classroom Faculty. I am also serving the union as the Grievance Chair, our union representative on the Institutional Planning Committee, several other college-wide committees, and a voting delegate to AFT/NEA (American Federation of Teachers/National Education Association) conventions.   I began my NCCFT service in 2008 as the alternate representative for my department on the Executive Board. Additionally, I have gone through extensive union leadership training over the last several years, which have included; contract negotiations, union leadership, coalition building and strategic planning. I know that I have, and will continue to bring, the passion, substance, knowledge, experience and conviction it takes to get the job done. If you would like to learn more about my union involvement and union leadership training, please follow this link.

This is the time to bring the most experienced team together to negotiate for the best possible contract for every member of our bargaining unit. The planning for our upcoming contract negotiation began the minute the last one ended. Serving as the Grievance Chair it has been my responsibility to defend our member’s rights through the tenets of our collective bargaining agreement.  I have had the opportunity to represent, advocate for, and file grievances on behalf of our member’s when we could not mediate another solution. Although we have had a great deal of successes, there were times when very sensitive and very personal issues could not be resolved, times when we could not get a satisfactory outcome. For every one of those times, I have learned and have never forgotten the faces and stories of the people who drive me to fight for and represent in the future.

We have to work with every stakeholder on this campus to figure this out – every member of the NCCFT, students, the administration and the BOT, and the other campus unions as well… including the AFA, and the CSEA. We are all in this together, and we know we stand stronger when we stand together.

To succeed, we have to work together; which requires that we have open minds, be able to express our opinions, and be able to listen to each other. Part of the objectives of the NCCFT is “To further the development of NCC as in institution of higher learning, serving students and the community”. We have to figure out how to save this institution…for our students, our community, our futures, and the future of NCC for generations to come.

If re-elected I will continue to serve the NCCFT, as I have for nearly the past decade, and represent the needs of all constituents and preserve the strength of our contract, which is one of the mechanisms by which we guarantee our assurance of academic freedom and integrity.  I believe that it is our responsibility to affirm the dignity and worth of every individual on our campus and I will work with honesty and impartiality to ensure that all parties have an opportunity to be heard and be treated with fairness and collegiality. I ask for your vote and continued support so that I may continue to serve you, our students, and our college.