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NFA News

  • 07 Jun 2017 2:20 PM | Deleted user

    NFA’s full post-session bill watch list is posted here. Bills of interest on the Governor’s desk for approval or veto are listed below.

    The big news from 11:50 pm on the final day of the session is the passage of SB368, which adds a 1% COLA each year of the biennium for all state employees including NSHE classified staff, academic faculty and administrative faculty, on a party line vote in the Senate and a few Republicans supporting in the Assembly. This is in addition to the 2% each year in AB517 and already signed into law. Contact the Governor to urge him to sign SB368 (and to take action on other bills listed below). Deadline for signatures is June 16, but action may happen any day.

    Other bills on Governor’s desk as of 6/6 awaiting signature or veto (BOLD for split votes or signature uncertain):

    AB94 NV Grow Program. $125K to CSN.

    AB407 Audit of Cooperative Extension and designates UNLV and DRI in addition to UNR as Land Grant institutions. Hearing 5/24 Passed Assembly 30-12, Passed Senate 15-6, north/south split.

    AB475 Kickstart program for College Savings Plan--accounts for kindergartners. Amended to add eligibility for graduate credits to Nv Pre-paid Tuition Program.

    AB511 $20M appropriation to Millenium Scholarship fund.

    AB522 $300K for NevadaTeach at UNR.

    SB200 Allows computer science/tech courses to count toward math requirement for H.S. graduation, college admission, and Millenium Scholarship. NSHE opposed to changing college admission requirement which would reduce math preparation.

    SB306 $300K to CSN for prison education pilot program.

    SB391 $3.5 M for Nevada Promise scholarship for community college students, with community service requirements.

    SB457 NSHE must award credit toward degrees for military training per a standards organization.

    SB478 Provisions for handling allegations against state workers including NSHE. Adds notice requirements. Changes time limits.

    SB546 Capital improvements projects statewide including UNR Engineering, UNLV Hotel Mgmt, CSN/NSC health science bldg, others. Failed 2/3 supermajority 12-9 in Senate. Passed re-vote 15-6 in Senate on 6/4 with Marijuana Tax/Opportunity Scholarships compromise. Passed Assy 34-8. To Governor.

    SB548 $1M for Nevada Teaching Institute to garner philanthropic gift. Not certain from hearing at which NSHE institution.

    SB551 PEBP employer contributions authorization, includes increases to cover rising medical costs.

    SB553 UNLV Engineering Bldg planning & design $1.75M match from general fund . Amended on final day to add $25M match for UNLV Med School building to anonymous donation. Reportedly part of deal for passage of SB546.

    Best regards,

    Kent Ervin, Legislative Liaison

    Nevada Faculty Alliance

  • 28 May 2017 11:50 AM | Deleted user

    Dear colleagues:

    With a just 10 days left in the Legislative session, time and money are running out for funding of fair compensation for faculty and other state workers. The end game is all about Education Savings Accounts (a.k.a. vouchers). Many lobbyists in the building think their pet bill is the big bargaining chip, but I don’t know of any single cause that is as important to Democrats as ESAs/vouchers seem to be to Republicans. Improved state employee compensation including faculty merit is looking less likely but can still be addressed in the end-of-session compensation bill, which is being drafted now. The NFA is advocating for higher COLAs for all state employees as well as funding of faculty merit. Please contact decision makers with the contact information and talking points at this link.

    Our complete NFA bill watch list is linked here. Bills of particular interest or recent action:

    AB16 & AB407 Cooperative Extension unfunded mandate and north/south split. AB407 was heard on 5/20 Assembly Ways & Means with extensive testimony. New hearings could be scheduled at any time.

    AB188 Expands Silver State Opportunity Grant eligibility down to 12 credits (from 15 currently). Passed Senate with 2 Republican votes and sent to Governor.

    AB202 Interim study of higher education affordability and faculty compensation. Bipartisan passage, to Governor.

    AJR5 Removes Regents from Constitution. Amended in Senate LOE Committee to add academic freedom clause. Passed. Will come back to Legislature in 2019.

    SB384 Amended to make PERS info confidential except name, pension amount, and last employer, as favored by Governor. Passed on party lines, to Governor.

    SB486. Collective bargaining for state Classified employees. NFA testimony in support of including NSHE employees.

    SB502. Adds 2nd NSHE representative to PEBP Board and refines RFP procedures for PEBP and Nevada Deferred Comp. Passed unanimously in both houses and sent to Governor.

    Best regards,

    Kent Ervin, Legislative Liaison

    Nevada Faculty Alliance

  • 21 May 2017 10:01 AM | Deleted user

    Dear colleagues:

    The NSHE budgets closed this week with only modest changes versus the Governor’s budget. The faculty merit pool is not funded, but state employee compensation including merit can still be addressed in the end-of-session compensation bill. The NFA is advocating for higher COLAs for all state employees as well as funding of faculty merit. Please contact decision makers with the contact information and talking points at this link.

    Good news on capital improvement projects: UNLV Hotel School Building furnishings and UNR Engineering Building funded. Planning and design for CSN/NSC Health Science building funded. Planning and design for NSC Education building approved but not yet funded.

    Our complete NFA bill watch list is linked here. Governor Sandoval has indicated he is more likely to veto bills without bipartisan support in Legislature, so partisan bills are likely to survive only with an end-of-session deal. Bills of particular interest or recent action:

    AB16 & AB407 Cooperative Extension unfunded mandate and north/south split. In Assembly Ways & Means; hearings could be scheduled at any time.

    AB188 Expands Silver State Opportunity Grant eligibility down to 12 credits (from 15 currently). Needs bipartisan support in Senate.

    AB202 Interim study of higher education affordability and faculty compensation. Passed, to Governor.

    AB390 Whistleblower act and NSHE SAGE Commission. Died on 5/19 deadline.

    AJR5 Removes Regents from Constitution. Amended in Senate LOE Committee to add academic freedom clause. To Senate floor.

    SB384 PERS retiree privacy. Held for vote in Assembly for possible amendment. Needs bipartisan support.

    Best regards,

    Kent Ervin, Legislative Liaison

    Nevada Faculty Alliance


  • 08 May 2017 9:26 AM | Deleted user

    NFA Legislative Update 5/7/2017 by Kent Ervin

    While our biggest push during the final weeks of the Legislature needs to be on faculty compensation, there are other bills with important impacts good and bad. See our full bill watch list here. Regarding the priority bills under consideration this week listed below, please take a few minutes to express your opinion on the Share Your Opinion page, contact your own Legislators, or contact the legislative committee members listed at the committee links below. NFA positions below are those approved by the state board.

    Hearings scheduled

    AB202(R1) Interim study on affordability for students at NSHE colleges & universities. Includes study of faculty compensation. Passed Assembly 41-1. Hearing Tuesday May 9 in Senate Education Committee. NFA supports. SUPPORT AB202 as amended 4/19/2017 on the Share Your Opinion page.

    AJR5(R1) Constitutional amendment to remove Board of Regents, its authority, duties, and election requirement from Nevada Constitution. The Board would still be in statute, but its composition, election, and duties could be changed by any future legislature. NFA opposed. Passed Assembly 38-4. Hearing Monday May 8 in the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee. OPPOSE AJR5 as amended 4/24/2017 on the on the Share Your Opinion page.

    AB390(R1) Companion bill to AJR5. Spending and Governmental Efficiency (SAGE) commission for NSHE. Expands whistleblower protections for state employees who expose false statements by state officials and employees to Legislators. Passed Assembly 42-0. Hearing Monday May 8 in the Senate Legislative Operations and Elections Committee. NFA opposes the SAGE commission because of past negative experience with business-oriented SAGE commissions. NFA opposes the current over-broad bill language on whistleblower protection (taken literally would prevent supervisory action to influence the behavior of any state employee), although the basic concept is good. Select AB390 as amended 4/24/2017 on the Share Your Opinion page.

    Heard, committee votes needed

    SB384(R1) Makes confidential the personal information about PERS retirees, including names, except ID number, employer, retirement date, years of service, annual pension. 18% of NSHE active faculty are covered by PERS. Would prevent future publishing of names with pension amounts of PERS retirees. NFA supports. Needs to be passed out of the Assembly Government Affairs Committee. Support SB384 as amended 4/20/2017 on the Share Your Opinion page.

    SB502(R1) As amended, adds 2nd NSHE representative to PEBP Board and fixes RFP procedures for PEBP and the Deferred Compensation Program. NFA opposed original version of SB502, but we worked with our public employee coalition partners and the Department of Administration to create a good bill. SUPPORT SB502 as amended 4/24/1017 on the Share Your Opinion page. Needs to be passed out of the Senate Finance Committee.

    Hearings not scheduled yet

    AB16(R1) and AB407(R1) Cooperative Extension reorganization and funding. Exempt and referred to Assembly Ways & Means Committee with no hearing date set. NFA has serious concerns about the unfunded mandate in AB16, although increased funding for Cooperative Extension programs would be good in principle. NFA is opposed to how AB407 would impinge on faculty employee rights, causing terminations of southern Extension faculty under financial exigency by July 1 with no assurance of rehiring by a new Southern Cooperative Extension program. Select AB16 as amended 4/24/2017 and AB407 as amended 4/24/2017 on the Share Your Opinion page.

    The best way to contact Legislators is by phone, or e-mail from a personal account preferably outside of regular work hours. On merit pay and other compensation issues in particular, also encourage friends of our colleges and universities to contact their legislators in support of faculty and students.

    Best regards,

    Kent Ervin

    Nevada Faculty Alliance Legislative Liaison

  • 24 Apr 2017 9:10 PM | Deleted user


    Rob Manis, CSN

    Fellow NFA members,

    As all of you know, higher education has been under assault for years by those who wish to outsource, privatize and corporatize our jobs. At the same time our wages have been stagnant and our benefits getting worse and worse. We need to reverse those trends, difficult as it may be.

    I have been an NFA member since I was hired at CSN in 1998, and have been CSN Membership Chair and Chapter President. In the last four years, I have helped turn around the chapter and together we recruited over 100 new members culminating in winning collective bargaining rights in 2016.

    I have also been active in the state NFA board for nearly four years, serving as state Vice President and Legal Coordinator for the last two.

    I have a Ph.D in Sociology from UC Santa Barbara, and prior to coming to Nevada taught Organizational Development for 6 years as an adjunct at the McLaren Business School at University of San Francisco. I believe my academic background and experience will also come in handy in continuing to move the state organization forward.

    I am progressive in my politics and will fight hard to preserve the rights of faculty in higher education against those who would abridge or corporatize them. But I am also experienced in working with people of all political agendas and believe in a “big tent” where we all can work together to advance the interests of all students, faculty members and their families in Nevada.

    I will fight hard to increase the clout of NFA, to improve lobbying and support membership growth and collective bargaining in any chapter that is interested.

    Vice President

    Jeff Downs, WNC

    Hello, my name is Jeff Downs and I am a tenured Mathematics faculty member at Western Nevada College. I have been a member of the Nevada Faculty Alliance since 2004, when I was hired at WNC, and a chapter president for three years.

    In 2012, when serving WNC as the Faculty Senate Chair, I was part of the team that worked with the Regents and the Chancellor to allow a vote at WNC to bring Collective Bargaining to our college. I am currently second chair on the Collective Bargaining renegotiating team. I believe in the principals of Collective Bargaining and believe Faculty Rights need to be protected and expanded, regardless of Collective Bargaining status.

    I would appreciate the honor of serving as a State Vice President to help grow the NFA, represent the State Board in the North, and support the next State President. I hope you will consider voting for me.

    Shari Lyman, CSN

    I am honored to be nominated for Nevada Faculty Alliance State Vice President.

    I have been a member of the CSN NFA Chapter since 1990 both as a part-time Economics and Mathematics instructor and now as a full-time tenured professor of Economics, Women’s Studies, and Latin American Studies.

    I teach onground, online, and hybrid classes in the 16-week, 8-week, and 4-week formats.

    I served as the CSN NFA Chapter President from 2008 to 2010.

    I served as NFA State Treasurer from 2011-2015

    I continue to be an active member of CSN NFA and AAUP.

    Also, I serve on the CSN Women’s Alliance, the Social Sciences Pedagogy Committee, and various other college committees, department committees, and community organizations such as 4-H, Boy Scouts of America, Moapa Valley Community Education Advisory Board, and the Clark County School District Attendance Zone Advisory Commission.

    I value my membership and leadership experiences with NFA due to the work and support NFA provides for its members and all faculty members in Nevada’s System of Higher Education.

    As Vice President I will serve the NFA members throughout NSHE as an advocate for academic freedom, shared governance, and legal defense. I will advocate on behalf of positive work and learning environments that include access, inclusion, and diversity for all faculty, staff, and students.

    I will continue to work actively with the institutions, administrations, NSHE, and the State of Nevada legislators to support, fund, and promote higher education for all of Nevada.

    I am committed to the fundamental mission of NFA to ensure academic freedom, shared governance, and economic security for all of Nevada’s higher education faculty and staff for the benefit of our students.


    Jennifer Nelson, CSN

    Despite having no opponent in this race for State NFA Treasurer, I write this candidate statement to affirm that I do not take your vote for granted. Instead, I take this opportunity to brief you on some of my accomplishments from my current term in this office. From retiring an AAUP back dues debt one year early and controlling operational expenses to preparing and presenting accurate, clear semi-annual financial reports and realistic budgets to support State Board planning and decision-making, I have maintained our organization’s sound financial condition. To update State NFA’s adherence to fiscal best practices for non-profits, I have written and received State Board approval for financial operating policy that delineates procedures for planning, approving, reimbursing, and annual budgeting of NFA chapters’ events and activities. As your steward of the dues you pay to NFA and AAUP, I pledge to continue putting forward my best effort to manage State NFA’s finances effectively. I hope I have earned your vote.

    Thank you,

    Jennifer S. Nelson, Ph.D.


    Andrea Brown, CSN

    I would like to respectfully express my hope to continue to serve as NFA Secretary for the 2017-2019 term.

    I have been an AAUP member for 10 years and joined Nevada Faculty Alliance in 2013 shortly after joining the Department of Human Behavior at the College of Southern Nevada. As a full time faculty member, I have been a member of a variety of department and college-wide committees including, hiring and convocation. Furthermore, I have provided a number of professional development workshops and conference presentations related to instruction, student success, diversity and inclusion.

    I was elected NFA-CSN Secretary in 2014 and re-elected in 2016. Over the past three years, I have developed strong working relationships with chapter leadership. As a NFA-CSN member, I have been a member of the political action committee and met with legislators to advocate for faculty and ascertain their support for legislative efforts that benefit higher education in Nevada. Additionally, I have been a member of the NFA-CSN Organizing Committee for collective bargaining where I gained invaluable insight into organizing, and along with other dedicated faculty--contributed to our collective bargaining victory.

    My service to NFA has been rewarding and has provided me with invaluable learning and training experiences. I am hard-working, dedicated and committed to our cause. If re-elected, I will continue to push our organization forward. Thank you for your consideration.

  • 23 Apr 2017 4:41 PM | Deleted user

    The deadline for passage of bills in the first house is Tuesday April 25. For complete information on bills we are tracking, please see our updated bill watch list. Contact your Senator or Assemblymember now to try to influence the marathon voting on Monday and Tuesday. Telephone calls are best, or e-mails from your personal address. Also register your opinion online on the latest versions of bills (include your address to allow tracking by district).

    Our primary issue of faculty compensation including merit steps will come to the fore with the Economic Forum revenue projections on May 1 and budget hearings shortly thereafter. Bills of particular interest with 4/25 deadlines are listed below.

    SB502 As amended with help of NFA and its public employee coalition partners, adds second NSHE representative to PEBP Board and removed bad 'advisory' board provisions. Clarifies RFP procedures for PEBP and Nevada Deferred Compensation Program. NFA in support of amended bill.

    SB391 Nevada Promise Scholarship for community college students. Supplements other financial aid programs.

    AJR5 Constitutional amendment would remove Board of Regents, its authority, duties and election requirement from Nevada Constitution, making NSHE just another state agency subject to legislative and executive branch oversight. NFA opposed.

    AB407 Splits Cooperative Extension north/south, transferring three counties form UNR to UNLV. Designates UNLV and DRI in addition to UNR as Land Grant institutions. NFA has serious concerns about faculty employment rights with expected terminations of southern UNCE employees and about lack of shard governance consultation in institutional reorganization. Advocated by Lincy Institute. Opposed by UNR and UNCE.

    AB390 Whistleblower protections for state employees who report that state officials lied to legislators, former legislators, and their employees and former employees. Spending and Governmental Efficiency (SAGE) commission for NSHE. Amended to remove $20000/yr stipend for Regents.

    AB16 Requires NSHE or UNR to provide higher funding for matching county funds for Cooperative Extension. No funding in current bill. NSHE fiscal note is $10M unfunded mandate for UNR (and UNLV if AB407 becomes law).

    AB188 Would expand Silver State Opportunity Grants for community college students, eligibility reduced to 12 credits (as amended, from 15 currently). NFA supports.

    Best regards,

    Dr. Kent M. Ervin

    Legislative Liaison, Nevada Faculty Alliance



  • 21 Apr 2017 3:23 PM | Deleted user

    The UNLV and UNR NFA Chapters held Forums April 18th and 19th entitled "Is faculty merit pay gone for good? Should we consider collective bargaining?" The Forums were well-attended with good discussion.

    Dr. Kent Ervin, NFA Legislative Liaison gave an update on the legislative session. He explained NFA's advocacy for merit pay and how this is an uphill struggle. NFA Executive Director David Steel and AAUP Western Regional Coordinator Jason Elias spoke about faculty collective bargaining at research universities.

    Lively discussion ensued. One thing is certain: Nevada faculty are sick and tired of falling to the bottom of the priority list for funding.

  • 27 Mar 2017 5:27 PM | Deleted user


    Dr. Roberta Kaufman, Associate Professor, School of Education

    I am seeking the position of NFA president at Nevada State College for a number of reasons. Higher education in Nevada needs strong faculty voices on campus and across the state who are committed to being present at the table and advocating for members and non-members at Executive Committee meetings, Provost Council, Executive Budget Committee meetings, advisory at Faculty Senate meetings and other such state-wide meetings as appropriate with colleagues considering policies and practices of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) that impact academic or administrative faculty.

    As past chair for NSC's Faculty Senate, I am aware of the various concerns faculty face on campus and in the state. In this capacity, I served as a spokesperson on campus seeking to listen first and negotiate effectively in the ongoing attempt to navigate faculty concerns. Additionally, I was able to develop a working relationship with other faculty senate chairs, NFA officers, institutional administrators and faculty. My background, including knowledge of NSC’s policies on workload, promotion and tenure; Board of Regents focus on efficiency and effectiveness; and equity issues across university, state college and community colleges is a conduit to NFA presidential responsibilities.

    It is vital to have faculty leadership positions staffed by representatives of the various schools and units on campus in order to get multiple perspectives. This helps to strengthen and ensure the success of the organization. I am an active member of NFA at Nevada State College recruiting members, attending meetings and social events sponsored jointly by NFA and Faculty Senate. As a recently tenured School of Education faculty it is my desire to engage with and encourage new faculty to become involved in all facets of the campus community which includes building capacity through governance.

    Thank you for your consideration.


    Dr. Leila Pazargadi, Assistant Professor of English

    Dear NFA members,

    Since joining the Nevada Faculty Alliance in 2012, I have enjoyed serving you as an NFA member, Vice President of Membership, and Member-at-Large of the American Association of University Professors. I wholeheartedly believe in the philosophy, strength, and power of academic unions and their advocacy work, which is why I wish to run for NFA President for the upcoming 2017-2019 term. As President, I hope to strengthen the power of our chapter’s advocacy by:

    ·      further developing policies and protocols for faculty advocacy during grievances and disputes

    ·      streamlining an efficient response from NFA to assist faculty during grievances and disputes

    ·      promoting the formation of a Collective Bargaining Chapter, which would allow us to consult CBC lawyers to create and better negotiate our contracts, challenge “at will” termination clauses, and confront salary/equity issues

    ·      providing workshops and hang-out opportunities to strengthen our camaraderie and advocacy presence

    ·      increasing chapter lobbying of NSHE, the governor, and state legislators to push for pre-determined objectives, such as better healthcare coverage, retention of COLA, and reinstatement of merit pay, to name a few

    I appreciate your consideration.

    Thank you,

    VP of Communications

    Laura Decker, Lecturer of English Composition

    My name is Laura Decker, and I am in my second full-time year of teaching at NSC. Previous to NSC, I taught part-time at CSN and worked full-time as Learning Specialist for the TRIO Student Support Services Grant Team there, where I worked to support first-generation college students. As evidence of my dedication to a population, I have also taught for two years for NSC's Nepantla program, which is also geared toward first-generation students. In total, I have 6 years of full-time experience as a college faculty member between Texas and Nevada, across two-year and four-year institutions. I am interested in serving as the NSC-NFA VP of Communications for a few reasons. First, I have been an active union member in the past, helping with basic organization for the Culinary 226 union. I really enjoyed learning about the issues that culinary members face in their positions within the hospitality sector as well as assisting in their efforts for fair pay, equitable working conditions, and a viable presence in the negotiating process. Second, as a faculty member myself, I care about working for positive faculty relations and understand that faculty can be most effective when their voices are acknowledged. Finally, one of my strongest skills is writing and specifically disseminating information to large groups, which makes me a strong candidate for your next NSC-NFA VP of Communications

    VP of Membership

    Vikash Patel, Lecturer of Biological Sciences

    I accept the nomination of Vice President of Membership for NSC NFA chapter. It is an honor to be part of this alliance and to actively take on a significant role that can assist in building a strong alliance in both quantity and quality. I believe that this platform can nurture a sustainable level of employee/employer relationship with accountability. I would make a strong candidate for this position because I truly care about our work environment. When we harness a great working community, we can synergistically create qualitative efficiencies, productivity, and well-being that benefits both the individual and institution. Working at Nevada State College since January 2012, I have continuously built rapport with staff, faculty, and administrative leaders. From the facilities personnel to the Dean, I consider all employees as team members. My goal is to continue to build more and better relationships with all team members, serve our alliance to increase membership, and to increase involvement of current members.

  • 13 Mar 2017 3:55 PM | Deleted user

    Hire more Counselors? Better pay for faculty? CSN students say: yes!

    NFA-CSN activists and bargaining team members spent several days tabling, discussing the collective bargaining negotiations and asking students to sign a support petition.

    The students shared all kinds of feedback about their experiences at CSN with the NFA-CSN tablers. Tablers described some of the working conditions at CSN, and how the bargaining could improve those conditions.

    There was tremendous support for NFA-CSN bargaining from students: they signed the petition at a rate of more than one a minute, resulting in over one thousand signatures so far.

  • 06 Mar 2017 1:57 PM | Deleted user

    Board of Regents, 3/2/2017

    Good morning, Chair Trachok and Regents.  For the record my name is Kent Ervin and I am representing the Nevada Faculty Alliance. 

    We would like to thank Chancellor White and NSHE for giving NFA the opportunity to present our views on faculty compensation at Tuesday’s budget hearing.  The Board has repeatedly stated that your highest budget priority is having NSHE faculty compensation treated the same as other state employees.  We are very appreciative of the 2% COLAs in the Governor’s budget, which allows salaries to keep pace with inflation. Unfortunately, the COLAs have been misstated at the legislature as a substitute for merit pay, which was funded for classified staff but not faculty. COLAs are not a substitute for merit. Our performance-based merit award system rewards and promotes academic excellence. Merit is essential for recruiting and retaining high quality faculty, and for preventing salary inversion due to new hires coming in at higher competitive market salaries than continuing faculty who have performed excellently.  NFA asks for your strong support at the legislature for restoration of merit pay, even if that means a compromise from NSHE’s request of 100% from the general fund

    I would also like to call the Board’s attention to “understatements in the NSHE base budgets in the executive budget.  While the Governor’s budget for NSHE is indeed positive over all, the touted full funding of caseload growth and CTE and capacity enhancements is simply not true because of arbitrary reductions of the base by up to $35M. Rather, a portion of those enhancements and formula funding are either carveouts from existing program budgets or else using student funding.  That subverts the intent of the new WSCH formula and the spirit of the agreement that student fee growth would not be offset by general fund reductions.  At best, it is a non-transparent method for redirection of program funding in the executive budget.

    Please provide appropriate direction to the Chancellor when you discuss legislative actions and the budget.  We ask for your proactive support for restoring a sustainable merit pay system along with COLAs. Thank you.

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