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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
February 15, 2016
Why are we considering a strike? What are the issues at stake?
The larger issues at stake are the quality of education at The University of Akron and the University’s misplaced priorities. We believe that the University administration must prioritize the educational mission of the institution in a way that places academic instruction and student learning first. Faculty who are fairly and competitively compensated is essential to this goal.
Where do we stand today?
We have submitted all of our proposals to the University and now have all of theirs. The following Articles are still being negotiated; Article 20 (Distance and Distributed Learning); Article 16 (Compensation) and Article 17 (Benefits). Recently, we have reached agreement on Article 18 (Professional Development Leave), and Article 19 (Intellectual Property).
While there has been progress on non-economic issues, we now face very difficult negotiations on compensation and health care benefits. The Akron-AAUP regards the University’s salary proposal as entirely insufficient, and the increased costs of health care plans, and aggressive phase-out of retiree spouse and dependent coverage, all as punitive, unnecessary, and indefensible. Continue reading