Over the past week, I have had the opportunity to meet with Provost Rex Ramsier and Interim President John Green to discuss many of the issues you have raised at the listening sessions and at one-on-one meetings over the past few weeks.
Although there are still many challenges that we are facing, I am encouraged by Interim President Green’s response to our immediate concerns. As you may have already read, the Interim President has committed to extend the timeline for consideration of the reorganization proposals. He also agreed in our meeting to listen and consider additions to the process to allow for additional data collection and analysis.
I also had the opportunity to raise your concerns about Akron-AAUP representation and the overall faculty representation on the Steering Committee for the development of the Three-Year Action Plan. I have assurances that the Akron-AAUP will have representation on the committee beginning next week. We will share information on that with you as soon as it is publicly announced.
My pledge is to continue listening to your ideas and concerns as we move forward and to continue to serve as your representative to the administration.
Thank you for taking the time to complete our survey, attend listening sessions and reach out individually. A lot of work lies ahead, and I feel privileged to serve you as we navigate it together.
Julie A Cajigas
Acting President, Akron-AAUP
The Akron-AAUP Grievance Committee Drs. Russ Davis (Executive Director and Grievance Administrator) and Val Pipps (Contract Administrator and Grievance Officer) are ending the 2017-2018 year having responded to more than 40 individual faculty and/or groups for consultation or direct intervention/support.
The Grievance Committee has worked daily throughout the semester to support, advocate for, and help improve the working environment and rights of bargaining unit faculty (BUF).
The committee has worked on formal grievance-related labor/management issues such as:
- One formal individual-level grievance related to tenure/promotion
- One formal individual-level grievance related to disciplinary actions taken by the administration
- One college-grievance related to the appointment of dean
- One department-level related grievance related to the appointment of chair
Our spring chapter meeting is being held Thursday, April 26, from 3:00-5:00 pm, in Student Union 312. Snacks will be served at 3, the meeting proper will begin at 3:15 pm.
Please note that this is a members only event, but membership forms will be available at the door for those who wish to join the chapter (or non-members can click the button below this message to join).
The results of the chapter officer and for chapter delegates to the National AAUP Annual Meeting and Collective Bargaining Congress meetings will be announced.
Additionally, we will have two special guests, Sara Kilpatrick, Executive Director of the Ohio Conference – AAUP, will speak on “Political Engagement to Protect and Advance Faculty Unions & Public Higher Education,” and Ben Ratliffe, National AAUP Department of Organizing & Services – Ohio Organizer, will give a talk, “Issue Campaigns and Building Power.
The agenda for the Spring 2018 Chapter Meeting is available HERE.
The minutes from the Fall 2017 Chapter Meeting are available for review HERE.
To help address continuing concerns about the actions and future plans of the administration at The University of Akron, the Akron-AAUP has conducted a third campus-wide survey of the faculty, following up on surveys conducted in the spring of 2015 and the fall of 2015. The results of the survey, shared here and also with the community, offer a gauge of faculty sentiment on a wide range of important issues facing the University.
Along with the majority of the faculty, the leadership of the Akron-AAUP believes the situation at the university is worsening, and we encourage the Board of Trustees to take the steps necessary to rectify the situation. There is much work to be done to repair the damage done during the past year and a half—we must begin this work as soon as we possibly can. Only by including faculty in the process will we be successful.
Thank you to all who participated in the survey.
Brief summary of the survey results:
The text of the recently ratified collective bargaining agreement is in the final stages of proofing and formatting. The document will be posted here, under Current Contract, as soon as it is available.
The University of Akron Board of Trustees and The University of Akron Chapter of The American Association of University Professors have concluded the process of negotiating a new labor agreement by affirmative ratification votes of both parties. The membership of the Akron-AAUP voted in favor of ratification in an electronic vote that ended Wednesday, March 23. The University’s Board of Trustees approved the agreement at a special Board meeting held today.
Members Only Strike Authorization Vote Begins March 7 – Join Today to Vote
After over a year in negotiations for our fourth collective bargaining agreement, negotiations between the Akron-AAUP and the University administration have reached an impasse. Accordingly, the Akron-AAUP will be conducting a strike authorization vote from Monday, March 7 to Friday March 11. Only members may vote to authorize a strike.
It is imperative that we all understand what is really at stake in these negotiations. Let’s be absolutely clear about why we’re even considering a strike: the administration’s priorities are out of line with the educational mission of the university. Did you know that a 1% raise for all of the bargaining unit faculty amounts to around $520,000 (not including benefits), or approximately 1/10 of one percent of the total university budget? It’s clear that the goals of this administration are not compatible with the quality educational experience that our students deserve.
Compensation and Benefits – How far apart are Akron-AAUP and the university administration?
Akron-AAUP had Dr Rudy Fichtenbaum, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Wright State University, conduct an analysis of The University of Akron’s finances. Here are some facts from that analysis we thought you ought to know.
Despite tuition increases, instructional spending per student is flat.
From 2002 to 2015, although tuition per student more than doubled, the university has not spent that money on student instruction. Over the same period, the total spent on instructional salaries remained nearly flat (not adjusted for inflation).
The administration’s priorities are not in line with the educational mission of the institution.
Tuesday, March 1, noon – 2 p.m. in SU 312
Wednesday, March 2, noon – 2 p.m. in SU 312
Join us for an emergency all-member chapter meeting to discuss the status of negotiations and the potential for a strike. These meetings will be held in the Student Union, in room 312. Please choose whichever date works best for your schedule.
We will be discussing the upcoming strike authorization vote, the current status of negotiations, and will answer questions about the need for a strike. These are members-only events, but membership forms will be available at the door. There has never been a better time to become a member of Akron-AAUP than now. The more members who are standing behind us, the better chance we have to secure a fair contract and avoid a strike.
There are a number of extremely important dates you need to be aware of. Here is a tentative timeline that shows the negotiating and fact-finding events occurring over the next few weeks:
March 1 & 2: These two emergency all-member meetings are an opportunity for chapter members to meet with chapter leadership and our negotiating team to discuss the status of negotiations, our imminent strike authorization vote and to discuss next steps. It is critical that members attend in order to be fully informed of the issues.