Monday, July 9, 2012

A Message from the NJ State AFL-CIO

…via colleagues Robin Brownfield & New Faculty Majority board member Bill Lipkin 

The New Jersey State AFL-CIO Mourns the Passing of Nick Yovnello

It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the tragic loss of Brother Nick Yovnello, who passed away in a car accident Saturday afternoon. Nick served as that President of the Council of New Jersey State College Locals and was a dedicated union leader for over 40 years.

Nick will be remembered for his skill as a negotiator, kindness, unwavering commitment to the labor movement, and most of all as our union brother. It was Nick’s leadership that resulted in the organizing and winning of union benefits and protections for the adjunct faculty at New Jersey’s state colleges and universities.

While this comes as a shock to us all, we can take solace in the fact that Nick made a positive difference in the lives of many, and leaves a legacy of strength and wisdom to guide his union into the future. Nick was a fine man, a gentleman, dedicated trade unionist, and he will be missed.

In Unity, 
Charles Wowkanech, President
Laurel Brennan, Secretary-Treasurer


  1. Nick was a supporter of Higher Ed causes for over 40 years in New Jersey and in 1998 started the first campaign for unionizing adjunct instructors in the 4-year state colleges and universities. He served as President of the College Council for over 15 years and as a VP in AFTNJ's Higher Ed division for the past 2 years. He aslo sat on the AFT National Program and Policy Council (PPC) for Higher Ed for several years. Nick will be sorely missed.

    1. Thanks, Bill, for the additional details. 1998, wow ~ that shows he was among the earliest to championed adjunct faculty and before national level directives. He set quite an example.


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