Current members of the P-fac Steering Committee
Diana Vallera (Photography), President
Susan Tyma (Science and Math), Vice President,Grievance Chair
Elizabeth Yokas (Fiction), Membership Chair
Gregory Kveberg (HHSS), Treasurer
Rosalind Cummings-Yeates (Journalism), Publicity Chair
The Steering Committee consists of seven officers, elected each fall, who take office each spring. Each fall, the entire membership votes for four officers. The top four vote-getters become President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer as the Steering Committee itself agrees. Three specialized positions are chosen by a vote of the department reps: Negotiations Chair, Membership Chair and Publicity Chair. Because people interested in the specialized positions may also be among the top four vote-getters in the general election, this sometimes results in other candidates “moving up” into the four generally elected positions. The purpose of this system is to allow individual Steering Committee members to make best use of their expertise and preferences.
Duties of officers:
The President officially represents P-fac at meetings with the administration and meets regularly with the administration’s liaison with the part-time faculty (currently the Academic Vice President), and also serves on the College Council.
The Vice President assists in these functions and currently is also the Grievance Chair who expedites any potential grievances over contract violations, misinterpretations, or misapplications.
The Secretary keeps minutes and the Treasurer handles finances, including dues.
The Membership Chair handles membership records and sends new Bargaining Unit members appropriate information about P-fac.
The Negotiations Chair is busiest during periods of contract negotiations, but at all times keeps track of contract issues (and sometimes chooses to serve as Grievance Chair).
The Publicity Chair is editor of the newsletter, P-fac News, and also handles internal and external publicity and media communications.
The Steering Committee is a cooperative group, not a hierarchical one. It usually meets every two weeks during the school year and several times during the summer. Decisions that affect P-fac and its members are made via discussion and voting of the entire Steering Committee.
P-fac Picks New Officers; Record Turnout in Voting
The votes were tallied and the election results are in: The Standing Together slate won by an overwhelming majority in the election to fill the four seats on P-fac’s steering committee.
Here are the vote totals:
Diana Vallera 224
Dale Chapman 222
Janina Ciezaldo 206
John Stevenson 198
Joseph Laiacona 70
Amy Braswell 64
Arvis Averette 55
Wanda Barlow 35
Michael Jackson 31
Daryl Satcher 31
David Maina 29
John Casey 19
Following the election, the winning candidates held a vote and elected the following officers:
Diana Vallera — president
Janina Ciezadlo — vice president
John Stevenson — treasurer
Dale Chapman — secretary
A total of 314 ballots were received. This is the largest number of votes cast in any P-fac election.
A meeting Saturday among P-fac department representatives drew a record attendance. The meeting was attended by 40 department reps, who voted unanimously to elect three members to the following steering committee positions. They are:
Nancy Traver — publicity chair
Marylou Carroll — negotiations chair
Christina Gonzalez-Gillett — membership chair
Diana Vallera, newly elected president of P-fac, said, “I am very gratified by the high turnout in this election. The record number of votes shows that P-fac is a newly energized union — one with a committed and involved membership. Many first-time voters cast ballots in this election.”
Vallera, who has been leading the ongoing P-fac contract talks with the college, said the high vote turnout will be helpful in demonstrating to the college administration that the membership stands firmly behind the union and is fully supportive of the negotiating team.
In the election, one write-in vote each was received for Ellen Shapiro, Dan Sutherland and Christopher Thale.
Three ballots were spoiled. Seven ballots were not counted because of uncertainty about eligibility of voters. A final tally will be made when those seven cases have been decided.
The steering committee wishes to extend its thanks to all the dedicated members who ran for office. Vallera said, “Your willingness to work for justice for part-time faculty at Columbia gives strength to P-fac and increases our strength at the negotiating table.”
Many thanks also to the P-fac elections committee — Ellen Shapiro, Dan Sutherland and Christopher Thale.