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  Main >  Member Communications > PAnorama > November 2003

PAnorama: November 2003

PA members participate in NYSUT’s 25th Annual Community College Conference

“Going on the offensive: The union in critical times.” The theme of this year’s NYSUT Community College Conference, held in Saratoga on November 7-9, set a tone of seeking proactive solutions.

Twelve PA members were proactive participants in this year’s Conference. President Ellis Gage Searles offered a workshop on internal organizing, Marie Czarnecki moderated workshops on collective bargaining, and Cynthia Villanti made a brief presentation on distance education (see related article below). After the Conference, both President Searles and Steve Getchell were pictured in a New York Teacher review of the Community College Conference.

In President Searles’ workshop--also reviewed in a New York Teacher article titled "Faculty union forges identity"--she shared with participants a number of ways in which the PA has been able to mobilize the membership in recent years. She reviewed our strategic planning concepts to know, educate, and mobilize the membership and highlighted specific activities with numerous photos and graphics in a PowerPoint presentation.

Another proactive PA member, Ron Miller, attended the workshops on collective bargaining. Ron commented, “I never fully realized the great amount of work and the intricacies involved with the negotiations process.” Ron left Saratoga with a renewed appreciation for the dedication of PA and NYSUT activists. “I was moved by the tribute to [retiring ED39 Director] Lou Stollar,” Ron added, “because of the expressions of camaraderie and closeness that come from working together for common cause.”

Margaret Partyka, for her part, seconded Ron’s positive review, but did offer one complaint about the workshops she attended: “I wish that they were longer. In each session, it seemed that people left feeling like they had more to say, more questions to ask.” Margaret attended the legal updates workshop, which focused in part on the University of Michigan affirmative action ruling. In short, the Supreme Court struck down a point system used in undergraduate admissions regarding applicant race but upheld a separate policy in the law school that gives race lower prominence in admissions. “It was interesting to hear how that was handled,” Margaret said, “because of how differently the court ruled in each.”

Steve Getchell, Carolyn D’Argenio, and other PA members attended the health and safety workshop and returned with numerous ideas to help make our campus a safer and healthier environment for the entire campus community.

Coalition building was the destination for PA members like Beverly Quist and Gene Militello. At that workshop, they learned from other locals that have cultivated relationships their county legislators, many of whom are local business leaders. Gene reflected on lessons for our local: “The PA has been working more closely than ever with our legislators, and things have been improving, but we really have to keep the communications going.”

This is surely an important message that all of the Conference attendees took back to their own locals: to keep sharing ideas and being proactive--especially during critical times.

Benefits Fund news, reviews, and reminders

Our first benefit has been going along smoothly, with many members reporting how happy they have been with their new glasses and lenses, but that’s just the beginning. By the first of the year, the MVCC PA Benefits Trust Fund expects to put another benefit in place for the membership.

The trustees--Julie Dewan, Sam Drogo, Ron Miller, Ellis Gage Searles, and I--along with Fund Treasurer Mike Donaruma and Fund Secretary Marie Czarnecki, have been meeting to discuss additional benefits. A session has been scheduled for December 4 with NYSUT Member Benefits representative Laura Calhoun to gather more information.

Also, as provided in the contract, another contribution to the fund will be made by the College in the next few weeks. Article 10.11 H provides for a “concurrent contribution to the Benefit Fund of an amount equal to the gross amount paid to bargaining unit members who receive Health Insurance Waiver payments.” This will be an annual contribution based on the number of members who opt out of the College’s health insurance plan.

On October 23, a workshop on HIPAA regulations and how they affect benefits funds was held at the NYSUT Utica Regional Office. Fund Secretary Marie Czarnecki, Web manager Norma Chrisman, and trustees Sam Drogo, Ron Miller, and Ellis Gage Searles attended and brought back printed information and a CD of templates for typical forms. Most regulations take effect in April of 2004, so work has already begun to make sure we are in compliance.

Meetings have also been held during the past few weeks to prepare COBRA notification documents and make improvements to the benefits fund page on the PA website.

Benefits Fund Reminders!

  • Davis Vision requires that your vision care benefit be used just once a year. If you schedule an eye exam and your eye exam indicates that you need corrective lenses (glasses or contacts), you must order them that same day. See Benefits Chair Paul Halko if you have a question about this or anything else regarding your PA benefits.
  • If there is a change in your status--dependents, dependents’ student status, name, address, phone, or anything else--please contact Paul so he can make sure that the Fund’s records are accurate.

Congratulations are in order
by Ellis Gage Searles

The ballots have been counted, victories celebrated. In a few weeks, newly elected officials will begin their terms of office. With the exception of a recount or two, the 2003 election is over.

Admittedly, it would be a rare individual indeed who didn’t at least occasionally want to escape from the paid political announcements, the ubiquitous campaign posters, and the predictable slogans and sound bites that characterize voting seasons everywhere.

At the same time, every one of us welcomes the opportunities elections afford: to choose those who will represent us, to support those who share our beliefs, and to make our priorities known.

This year the PA has been more involved in election activities than ever before. Since mid-summer I’ve been working with the Political Action Committee to develop and implement the PA’s endorsements policies. Chair Mike Sewall, Past President and VOTE-COPE Coordinator Bill Perrotti, other PA members, and I have been attending fundraisers and meetings, talking with candidates, and following the political news closely.

What we’ve learned is that the Professional Association certainly has a role to play in expanding our representatives’ awareness of issues that are important to our professional lives at MVCC. We’ve also found that the men and women in local government do listen. They are sincerely interested in knowing more about their constituents’ needs, and they willingly articulate their point of view.

The PA’s increased involvement in the political process has fostered a new kind of dialogue with our representatives in Oneida County. More and more, we have gotten to know each other. Information about important issues can flow in both directions. As a result, when a decision is being made, it can be drawn from perspectives that include ours.

All of this is good. But it has also taken time. Over the last few years, many things have contributed to this improved communication, although recently the endorsements process has been the focus of most of our energies.

Even after our endorsements decisions were made, there was a great deal of work to do. First, we set about letting our friends and colleagues know about the candidates we were supporting.

Through coalitions in the labor and education communities of which the PA is fortunate to be part, word went out. The Central New York Labor Council sent more than 700 postcards. Local NYSUT presidents put up posters and included our endorsements in their newsletters and other communications.

Announcements were sent to the media: <I>Observer-Dispatch</I>, <I>Rome Sentinel</I>, and <I>New York Teacher</I>. PA postcards were stamped, labeled, and sent to more than 900 NYSUT members. In one legislative district alone, that represented 265 registered voters.

The results were very satisfying. Of the eight candidates we endorsed, seven were elected.

We can be proud of our efforts to help elect representatives who support affordable, accessible, quality higher education for the people of Oneida County. And we can look forward to working with them in the months ahead as they address a variety of issues that will have an impact on MVCC and on our professional lives.

I hope you’ll join me in extending congratulations to our new County Executive and to the legislator who represents your district. A letter of just a few lines would be all it would take to let our elected leaders know that we appreciate their efforts on our behalf. Mike Sewall will be making stationery available for any member who would like to use it. Sending your message on PA letterhead will identify you as both a constituent and a member of the MVCC faculty and professional staff.

Help us to keep the lines of communication open. The 2003 election may be over, but our meaningful, productive dialogue has only just begun.

Learning to love your laptop: PA presents laptop training sessions
by Norma Chrisman

This semester, I have hosted two laptop trainings and plan to host a third on Tuesday, December 9th, from 3 to 4 p.m., in IT225.

The idea to offer these trainings came from brainstorming by the PA Education & Training Committee after reviewing the results of the Membership Survey conducted by the Local Action Project (LAP) team last fall. One survey question asked our members to indicate what kinds of training they’d like to receive from the PA, and many indicated that they’d appreciate training in educational technologies. Thus, the “Learning to Love your Laptop” workshops--as I affectionately call them--were born.

As the Educational Technology Specialist in the Faculty/Staff Resource Center, I have been on the front lines of training faculty and staff in the use of their laptops. As each person has come to “Laptop Central” at the IT Help Desk to retrieve their machine, I have assessed their level of proficiency and have offered individualized instruction on the basics of the new computers as needed.

In addition, I made sure that each person knows that I am readily available in Payne Hall 220 at the Faculty/Staff Resource Center for further training, instruction, and review.

To supplement this individualized instruction, it was decided to offer these PA-sponsored trainings not only to PA members but to other members of the College community as well. At each workshop, participants have asked a great variety of questions about their laptop’s hardware and software, whether PC or Macintosh. Participants’ questions have included many topics, including but certainly not limited to the following:

  • burning CDs
  • connecting USB devices
  • accessing MV Hawk folders from off campus
  • using email distribution lists in Microsoft Outlook
  • navigating Windows XP
  • using the Calendar feature in Microsoft Outlook
  • utilizing the audio and video capabilities of the laptops
  • browsing the Internet
  • cleaning the screen and keyboard
  • maintaining the life of the battery pack.

We also had extra laptops on hand for those participants who haven’t yet received a laptop but who wished to explore the use of one. If you’d like to participate in our final workshop, there are still openings. Please register by contacting me by email ( prior to December 9th, and you too can learn to love your laptop!

CPR + AED = PA members prepared to help save a life
by Jen Krohn

About 220,000 people die each year from sudden cardiac arrest. That’s 600 people a day, about 25 people per hour. That’s just a little smaller than the size of most MVCC classes. Most cardiac arrests result from some form of heart disease, but some come without warning.

Defibrillation is the only known therapy for most of these occurrences and it must happen quickly. In August, MVCC purchased eight Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) to be placed on both the Utica and Rome campuses. As an Instructor in our Physical Education & Life Science Departments and Coordinator of our Athletic Trainer curriculum, I’d like to share my expertise in the use of this device, in anticipation of their implementation in Spring 2004.

What is an AED?

An AED will restart a heart that is no longer beating properly. AEDs have received a lot of attention lately because of recently enacted New York State law that requires at least one AED in every public school. While MVCC is not specifically required to comply with this law, the College has recognized their value and has purchased them for our two campuses.

Why should I learn about AEDs?

Consider this: For every minute that defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival is reduced by 10%. Right now, the survival rate for cardiac arrests outside a hospital setting is less than 10%. However, the growing use of public access defibrillators is increasing this survival rate, and so the need for even more rescuers trained in CPR and AEDs is essential.

If you’re not already trained in CPR, we have the faculty at MVCC to provide this important training. If you are trained in CPR, consider receiving training in the use of an AED. Together, the use of CPR and an AED can prepare you to step up during an emergency and save the life of a member of our College community.

How does an AED work?

Scientifically, it’s a little like pushing Ctrl/Alt/Del on your computer. The shock from the AED “reboots” the rhythm of the heart and tries to get it beating normally again. Sound complicated? Actually, it all happens with the touch of a button. When an unresponsive victim is found, the rescuer will use their CPR training and begin the process. After phoning 911, the rescuer assesses the victim for breathing and a pulse.

Once the AED is brought to the scene, the rescuer turns it on and the machine talks to him or her. The machine gives step by step instructions on how to proceed. There are even pictures on the pads that are placed on the chest as to where to put them. After the machine analyzes the heartbeat of the victim, it will advise the rescuer whether or not to shock the victim. If a shock is advised, a push of a button devlivers the shock. Don’t worry, the machine includes safeguards so that even if the rescuer pushes the shock button when advised not to, the machine will not shock the victim.

How can I become trained?

If you’re not already trained in CPR, stay tuned! In the coming months, I will announce CPR classes open to the College community. If you’re currently certified in CPR and want to add AED training, there will be opportunities available as well. Announcements will be made in Spring 2004, after protocols and procedures are finalized by the College.

In the meantime, please contact me if you’d like further information and resources on the basics of AED use.

Be prepared in an emergency: Get trained in CPR and AED.

A “Millennium Tour” helps dispel myths
by Kathy Bernstein

A grand “Millennium Tour” provided myth-busting information for numerous members of the PA and other staff from throughout the College, thanks to the PA Education & Training Committee. This tour was designed to introduce MVCC faculty and staff--PA members and non-PA members alike--to the basics of the Millennium Project and to provide a personal tour of the recently renovated Proctor Senior High School.

Millennium Project Coordinator Delores Caruso provided an introduction to and overview of the Millennium Project, then led two tours of the Proctor High School building--one before and one after the lunch provided by the PA to tour participants. The tour was organized by our PA Education & Training Committee while planning activities for the Fall 2003 term. Our committee selected this event because we wanted to keep our focus on interests and concerns of PA members and because it was listed as an item of concern on the LAP Membership Survey of Fall 2003. Once we came up with the idea for the tour, I suggested Veteran’s Day as the date because I knew that we had school that day but that Proctor teachers didn’t.

For PA members not familiar with the Millennium Project, it is a multi-tiered initiative between the Utica City School District and MVCC to create innovative programs, expanded educational resources, and a restructured Proctor High School. One project goal is to subdivide the large Proctor High School into four themed academic “houses” to make instruction more individualized. Another goal was to develop articulation agreements between Proctor and MVCC, such as one that resulted in the football stadium that you see on Armory Drive. Other initiatives are in progress.

In the Summer of 2000, I became involved with the Millennium Project by participating in a ten-day planning conference, in which participants from both Proctor and MVCC discussed numerous issues and concerns relating to the project, such as how Proctor’s four new houses would be structured, the problems between college and high school teachers, and the similarities and differences between high school and college course work. For example, MVCC participants expressed concerns about curriculum, and Proctor teachers expressed concerns about meeting State Education Department guidelines. Other questions included “Are the students ready for this kind of learning experience?” and “Are our faculty and staff ready for this?” Also, more specific concerns arose. For example, the Proctor teachers of AP courses were afraid of having those eliminated. The Proctor teachers didn’t want to lose their best students to us, and the MVCC faculty didn’t want Proctor to push so-called “problem students” on us. Given such honesty in expressing concerns, the discussions were immensely useful.

Most importantly, however, our primary concern was to find ways in which the two institutions could complement, rather than compete with, one another.
All of the participants brought some expertise to the planning discussions. For example, I had been involved with “College Now,” a special grant-funded program by which high school students in the Mohawk Valley region could take our MVCC placement exams and take our classes without paying tuition. From this program, I saw first-hand the various problems that students had in making the transition from high school to college as well as the general areas of success. Since “College Now” students could take college-level and/or remedial courses, I was able to bring my experiences from that program to the Millennium Project planning conference.

During those summer meetings, we worked in small groups to discuss how to divide Proctor into the four themed academic houses. We made every attempt to develop broad themes that cut across vocational and educational goals (to avoid “tracking”). One common myth about the Millennium Project is that students are locked into certain themes or majors at the time they come to Proctor. This is not true. Students don’t have to make long-term career decisions in junior high. The four houses simply give students an opportunity to explore their ideas during the time they’re enrolled in that house, and they can move between and among them. Thus, they are exploring the career development process rather than making actual, hard and fast career decisions.

Because Proctor still has to meet all of the basic core State Ed curriculum requirements, students can fairly readily move between the houses. Teachers try to show how students can apply their knowledge in a real-world setting, giving students a more realistic view of what are the expectations for jobs related to that house’s theme. Thus, the emphasis is on exploration of future possibilities regarding each broad career field and on helping students develop a better sense of what the requirements will be for them at the college level.

What does the Millennium Project mean for MVCC faculty and staff? Since Proctor High School is the largest “feeder school” for MVCC, this new approach may alleviate some of the heavy load of students who perennially enter MVCC in General Studies because they’ll arrive better prepared to make decisions about their major. It may also help students obtain remediation at the high school level prior to coming to MVCC, which will be an improvement. Further, because the Millennium Project provides students with an opportunity to take a few MVCC courses during their senior year, they can get a head start on college rather than float through study hall or get done at 11 a.m. and go to the mall. For example, if some students take MA050 during their senior year, they will be ready for MA108 or MA110 when they arrive at MVCC.

Another benefit concerns ESL students (students for whom English is not their first language), a tremendous number of whom attend Proctor. Some ESL students are senior age chronologically but are in 9th grade academically. The Millennium Project enables these students to at least begin looking at vocational areas of interest, so they’ll get a chance to see how ESL helps them in their future, such as at MVCC. Sometimes ESL students feel disaffected because they’re just studying English, and this new approach will give them some motivation to stick with their ESL classes, to see the value in them, and to see that there’s an end in sight. This is also true because there’s a big difference between high school and college requirements for ESL students. So, as you can see, the benefits of the Millennium Project can be numerous:

  • With the more structured curriculums in each house, students will have less free time in their senior year.
  • Students going on to college can begin college-level coursework.
  • Students not planning to go to college will have an opportunity to get a head start with some career preparation/training classes.
  • Students who need remediation have the time and space for that too.

If you’d like to learn more about my involvement in the Millennium Project planning, please contact me in AB152 or at 792-5523. If you have questions about the Millennium Project itself, contact the Coordinator, Delores Caruso, in AB153 or at 792-5308.

“Negotiating the Distance”: PA cited as distance ed example in state, national union publications
by Cynthia Villanti

This year, our very own Professional Association has been cited as an example in two union publications addressing the ways in which distance education (DE) is affecting union members in American higher education.

The first, published by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Higher Education Department, is titled the Technology Review: Key Trends, Bargaining Strategies, and Educational Issues. A member-driven, member-focused document, the Tech Review cites the PA as one case-study example for other locals to consider when negotiating compensation for DE courses. Also, I contributed a research article for the Educational Issues section that analyzes the pedagogical benefits of hybrid, or blended, DE courses. Because of the speed at which technology changes, the Tech Review is presented in the style of a fieldbook, as a three-ring binder, so it can be easily updated as new materials and resources are distributed by the AFT. The sections of the Tech Review are as follows:

A) Guide to the Review and Glossary of Terms
B) Key Trends
C) Bargaining Strategies and Selected DE Contract Provisions
D) Educational Issues

The document begins with an introduction from Larry Gold, Director of AFT Higher Ed, followed by a guide to the Tech Review and a glossary of terms as Section A.

Section B is a research piece on current DE trends by Tom Kriger, Director of Legislation & Research for United University Professions (UUP), another one of the three higher-ed units within NYSUT. In this update to his 2001 publication Virtual Revolution, Tom explores the nature of the growth of educational technologies, then examines issues of access, cost, quality, and modes of delivery, specifically, a look at corporate America’s adoption of blended learning.

In the segment devoted to Bargaining Strategies, Section C, the Tech Review offers strategies for negotiating DE provisions by offering several case studies as well as sample contract language. The PA is cited as Case Study #3: “Creating an Innovative Approach to Compensation for Distance Education at Mohawk Valley Community College.” Our contract language for web-based course compensation is examined for its merits in separating compensation for the development and the teaching of web-based courses as well as for implementing a gradually diminishing amount of compensation for each course developed and for each time the course is taught. One of our sister NYSUT Community Colleges, Suffolk County Community College, is cited as the case study on maintaining academic control.

Section D of the Tech Review offers articles addressing various educational and pedagogical issues in the field of DE. My article, “The Inevitable Convergence of Bricks and Clicks: On the Pedagogical Effectiveness of Hybrid Courses and Implications for Higher Ed Faculty and Unions,” offers my assessment of the structurally enabling potential of hybrid DE courses. In it, I examine five lines of argument that researchers have put forth in which the structural advantages of hybrid courses make them pedagogically sound options, with lots of rich potential for the future of DE. I conclude with my assessment of what this hybrid trend means for faculty and their unions.

The second publication, titled Negotiating the Distance: Bargaining Contract and Policy Language for Effective Community College Distance Education Programs, is published by New York State United Teachers (NYSUT).

As Chair of NYSUT’s Community College Distance Education Committee (CCDEC), I contributed a great deal to the development and publication of this document. The CCDEC, comprised of representatives from NYSUT Community Colleges across the state, focuses on issues and concerns related to DE in our locals. The CCDEC, which began as a task force of DE practitioners and non-practitioners alike, was formed in 2001 when NYSUT recognized the need to address the ways in which DE courses were affecting the terms and conditions of employment of our faculty and staff.

At our first meeting at the 2001 Community College Conference, it was clear that our locals were all over the map in terms of how DE issues should be approached. Some locals already had many DE provisions; others had few or no DE provisions. Some locals felt that online courses should be treated as similar to on-campus courses as possible; others felt that they should be treated very differently. Thus, one of our first major projects was to develop a document to provide advice to locals on bargaining contract and policy language for DE. We saw two major benefits: in terms of process, we felt that this would be a good way to focus our own discussions about various philosophies and approaches regarding DE; in terms of product, we hoped to develop a resource for fellow unionists.

In Negotiating the Distance, we identify ten major issues that should be negotiated regarding DE, offer some rationale for each, and share sample contract language from NYSUT Community College locals. We aimed to show a range of good practices and strove to be as inclusive as possible, given the language current at the time we were researching and writing. As a committee, we hope that other locals--within New York and across the nation--can use this document as a framework to generate their own discussions on how to bargain effective contract and policy provisions for their own DE programs.

Karen Buono to serve as new PA area rep

Karen Buono, Coordinator of Child Care Services at the Kiddie Campus Child Care Center, has agreed to serve as a new PA representative. Karen replaces Jessica Basi of Ready, Set, College! in this role. Karen will represent members in the areas of Child Care, Student Activities, Facilities & Operations, and Community & Corporate Economic Development (CCED).

Karen has worked at MVCC since 1986 and takes great pride in having obtained many of the materials and resources in the Kiddie Campus through writing and achieving various grants. Help us welcome Karen to her new role in the PA!

PA sponsored MVCC Gala

The PA was one of the sponsors of the 2nd Annual MVCC Gala. This year’s event, a black-tie optional affair, featured a performance by Gap Mangione and His Big Band in the MVCC Theater.

PA leaders attend NYSUT Regional Leadership Conference

On the weekend of October 17-19, the NYSUT Utica Regional Office held its annual conference for local leaders in Alex Bay.

Marie Czarnecki, Mike Donaruma, Sam Drogo, Paul Halko, Gene Militello, Dennis Rahn, Ellis Gage Searles, and Cynthia Villanti met in sessions on Friday night, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday until noon to do strategic planning for the Professional Association. Of real value to the PA is the uninterrupted time that this conference affords to discuss issues in depth.

Also, since the Alex Bay conference is attended by both NYSUT staff and union leaders from many of the K-12 locals in our region, it provides opportunities to network and to gather information that is valuable in the day-to-day operations of the union.

Union leaders urge calls to oppose health bill: The Medicare bill as written is bad for union workers and retirees
from The NYSUT Leader

The Congressional battle over Medicare reform legislation that would add prescription drug coverage is coming to a head and it’s time for members to act. NYSUT’s national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, reported that the final compromise bill is likely to be very bad news for union members. As the bill reads now, any prescription drug coverage would be unaffordable. The reform plan would change Medicare for workers by privatizing its traditional fee-for-service benefits and penalize employees who provide drug coverage and contribute other health care benefits to retirees. In addition, higher-income people will pay bigger premiums, co-pays, and deductibles than other beneficiaries.

“Higher income could be defined as low as $50,000,” New York State United Teachers Executive Vice President Alan Lubin said. “As written, the plan would strip Medicare’s guaranteed benefits from current workers who contribute to the program with every single paycheck.” Lubin urged members to use the AFL-CIO’s toll-free number, 800-839-5276, to contact U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy, urging him to keep up the fight for legislation to protect retirees. You may use the same toll-free number to call New York State Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton in Washington, D.C. Tell them to urge the Medicare conferees to fix the legislation to ensure that retirees will not lose the benefits they now have from their former employers. Tell them you want a final bill that does not privatize the Medicare system, and if the bill can’t be fixed, to support a Senate filibuster.

To fax a letter to your congressional representatives, go to NYSUT’s website at and click on “Fax Your U.S. Legislator.” “We have to let our representatives know we won’t stand for legislation that privatizes Medicare or takes away existing employer-provided benefits,” Lubin said.

PA continues legislative outreach efforts
by Mike Sewall

As you can see by reading this month’s From the President’s Desk column, we have been very busy this year on the political action front. But our work is not done, and we need a little of your time.

We are asking you to write a congratulatory note to your newly elected Legislator and County Executive. We would like each PA member who is an Oneida County resident to send a letter on PA stationary congratulating your elected legislator, thanking them for their past support of MVCC, and encouraging their continuing support. We would also like you to send a congratulatory letter to County Executive Joe Griffo.

These letters are important to let them know that we have members living in their legislative districts who are concerned citizens. This will only take a few minutes of your time but can have a powerful impact on our future relationship with these elected officials.

If you’re not sure who your legislator is, go to this page on the PA website: memdb/contact-reps.cfm. Here, you can view Oneida County district maps or call the number provided (798-5765) to find out who is your county legislator. This PA webpage also gives a direct link to all contact information for the Oneida County Board of Legislators. Also, please contact me so I can provide you with PA stationary and envelopes.

Your Political Action Committee wants to thank you in advance for your support of this effort. This is one piece of our continuing effort to educate our legislators on the importance of MVCC and the important role the PA plays in this institution. How effective we are depends on you.

PA web updates

If you’ve checked out the PA website lately, you’ve already noticed several improvements.

These include the addition of a new section for the PA Benefits Trust Fund (see also Benefits Fund updates above) and a subsequent reorganization of the other main sections. A full site map has been added to the home page, with section maps within each main section.

Also, web manager Norma Chrisman has further developed our online membership database to enable convenient updating of membership status and is currently finalizing online email capabilities. We rely on member feedback to continue improving our website, so send your suggestions to Norma.

Give generously to the United Way

Editor’s Note: The following is a recent email sent by VP Daniel Larson as a joint effort between the College and the three bargaining units on campus.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the United Way campaign this year. As we come to the conclusion of the fund drive, we have reached $8,164 or 68% of the goal of $12,000 and a total of 76 people who have contributed. These funds will provide critical support to the organizations and agencies that do such fine work for our neighbors in need. Your contributions surely help to make a difference.

As we wrap up the campaign, there still is time to turn in your pledge. You can complete your pledge card and return it to the Office of Instruction. Remember, every contribution makes a difference. Thank you for your generosity.


Dan Larson, VP Instruction, Mohawk Valley Community College
Bob Jubenville, President, Association of Mohawk Valley Administrators
Ellis Gage Searles, President, MVCC Professional Association
and members of the United Public Service Employee Union

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