Category Archives: Chapter Announcements

News items and chapter events UA faculty may find to be of interest between issues of the newsletter.

Note From Acting Akron-AAUP President Regarding Today’s Reorganization Announcement

Dear Colleagues,

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.

With solidarity,

Julie A Cajigas
Acting President, Akron-AAUP

Notification and Request for Information: Umbrella Grievance Filed Regarding Program Terminations 

Dear faculty colleagues,

The Akron-AAUP has been inundated with concerned emails, calls and visits in the weeks since cuts to 80 of our academic programs were announced. We have also met with units and colleges, and held listening sessions with the faculty.

Because it was simply unfeasible to obtain information about all situations and all adverse effects of the cuts in such a short period of time, the Akron-AAUP has filed an “umbrella” grievance regarding the University of Akron’s termination of academic programs. We have also filed one additional program-specific grievance based on faculty requests, and have submitted a request to the University to engage in effects based bargaining. You can view all three at the links below.

Grievance 2018-5: Program Termination Grievance (Umbrella)

Grievance 2018-6: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Demand to Bargain over Effects of Academic Program Changes

What does an umbrella grievance do?

The umbrella grievance extends our window of time to learn about factual and/or procedural errors that were used to justify program cuts. The timely file of an informal resolution on this grievance, on September 24, 2018, ensures that we continue to be able to address the adverse effects of program cuts on bargaining unit faculty members past the original grievance file deadline. We can now navigate the recent decisions and consider your individually-based program needs.

What does this filing mean for you?

The filing of this informal resolution gives your Akron-AAUP chapter limited additional time to hear from you, our constituents, and learn about the intricacies of program-specific grievances that may arise after the 20-day filing period. So far, we have heard from concerned faculty members across campus, both as individuals and as groups.

Who can we include in the umbrella grievance?

Under this umbrella grievance, we are only able to file program-specific grievances based on procedural errors and factual mistakes that resulted in program cuts. If you have evidence of these types of errors that were used as UA’s justification for cutting your program, please contact us immediately so we can determine if your case can be addressed by this grievance.

NOTE: this process is time sensitive. To report factual or procedural errors used in UA’s justification for a program cut, please immediately contact the grievance committee, Russ Davis (russ.davis@akronaaup.org), Executive Director and Grievance Administrator, and Mark Rittenour (mark.rittenour@akronaaup.org), Grievance Officer and Contract Administrator.

Thank you,

The Akron-AAUP Grievance Committee

President’s Note: Akron-AAUP 2017-2018 School Year in Review

More hands make lighter work:

We’ve been busy the past year. I wanted to send an update to you all about some of our activities, and, if you took part in any of them–thanks! A faculty union relies almost entirely on volunteer labor. Thanks to all of you who pitched in.

This past year, we’ve created a lovely new brochure, thanks in large part to the work of McKenna Vietmeier, Assistant Professor of Instruction in the School of Communication. We’ve been hard work at building a new website under the direction of our Vice President and communications specialist, Julie Cajigas. Thanks, McKenna and Julie!

John Zipp, our Chief Negotiator, has been representing us well this year! We negotiated with the administration over the VRIP program, the RTP and Merit for NTT faculty, prescription benefits, and policy issues such as faculty load for administrative work. The work goes on, and we will keep you updated. Please be sure to thank John when you see him–the Chief Negotiator job is critical, and it is 100% volunteer.

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2018 Spring Chapter Meeting: Thursday, April 26

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.

New Collective Bargaining Agreement Signed and Available Online

The much anticipated fourth Collective Bargaining Agreement between the University of Akron administration and the Akron-AAUP, approved by both parties in April, has now been completely collated and signed. You may find it here, on the Akron AAUP website, under “Current Contract.”

Or, you can download it here.

We again thank Kevin Kreider and the Negotiation Team for their outstanding work in procuring such a strong contract for all of us.

It’s been a busy and challenging semester – through collective action, we’ve achieved a lot. We thank you for your support, and wish you a happy and fruitful summer!

UA Board of Trustees – Akron-AAUP Finalize Collective Bargaining Agreement

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.

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Tentative Agreement Reached by The University of Akron and Akron-AAUP

The Administration of The University of Akron and the University of Akron Chapter of the American Association of University Professors have reached tentative agreement on all issues pertaining to contract negotiations. The tentative agreement now must be ratified by the University’s Board of Trustees and by the membership of the Akron-AAUP. The timetable for ratification is being established.

The Akron-AAUP chapter membership will begin voting after an informational meeting on Wednesday, March 16.

Both parties recommend ratification to their respective constituents.

Strike Authorization Vote Begins March 7, 2016

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?

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The FACTS about the Administration’s Spending Priorities

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.  

Instructional Salaries V Tuition at UA Continue reading