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?

As we are still in negotiations, we may only provide the actual last, best proposals from both sides to Chapter members. However, we are providing a characterization of both side’s proposals on the remaining issues for non-members. If you would like to receive the actual proposals, detailed information about negotiations, the right to vote to authorize a strike, the right to vote to accept or reject a fact finder’s report, and the right to ratify a contract – become a member today, and stand with us.

In the Chapter’s last, best proposal for Article 16 Compensation, we have proposed the following:

  • For AY 14-15, faculty with at least a “satisfactory”rating for their merit evaluation will receive a retroactive raise of 1%.
  • For AY 15-16, faculty with at least a “satisfactory” rating for their merit evaluation will receive a 2.0% increase and eligibility for a 2.0% merit increase
  • For AY 16-17,  faculty with at least a “satisfactory” rating for their merit evaluation will receive a 1.5% increase and eligibility for a 1.5% merit increase, with an additional 1.0% for salary compression/market adjustments.
  • For AY 17-18,  faculty with at least a “satisfactory” rating for their merit evaluation will receive a 1.75% increase and eligibility for a 1.75% merit increase, with an additional 0.50%  for salary compression/market adjustments.
  • For AY 18-19,  faculty with at least a “satisfactory” rating for their merit evaluation will receive a 1.75% increase and eligibility for a 1.75% merit increase, with an additional 0.50% for salary compression/market adjustments.
  • For AY 19-20,  faculty with at least a “satisfactory” rating for their merit evaluation will receive a 1.75% increase and eligibility for a 1.75% merit increase, with an additional 0.50% for salary compression/market adjustments.

For Academic Years 16-20, the Chapter has included language providing reasonable economic “triggers” to protect the University’s financial condition by allowing reduction of up to 50% of our proposed increases in the event of significant and verifiable reductions in future revenues.

The University administration’s last, best proposal on Article 16 Compensation

  • No retroactive increase for 2014-15.
  • No salary increase for the current year.
  • Salary increases of 0.75% (plus 0.25% for strategic initiatives as determined by the University) for 2016-17 through 2018-19, but only on the condition of an increase of 1.5% in university revenues.  If revenues do not increase by at least this amount, then faculty will receive no raises. Each increase of 1.5% in university revenues will result in an increase of 0.75% (plus the 0.25% as determined by the University)  in salary, but…
  • …in the event that the university’s financial circumstances recover, even remarkably so, all salary pools will be capped at a maximum of 2.0% each year.

It is entirely possible that, under the terms of the University’s proposal, there will be no salary increases at all for the next several years.

The Chapter’s last best proposal on Article 17 Benefits

With the exception of a slight adjustment to faculty premium contributions for the Gold and Blue plans, our proposal is essentially to maintain the status quo on health coverage.  We are convinced that faculty already pay a responsible share of the cost of health care.

The University administration’s last, best proposal on Article 17 Benefits

With respect to health care, these are just some of the consequences of the administration’s proposed changes:

  • Beginning January 1, 2017 through 2019 faculty will pay 14% of insurance costs for single coverage under the Blue plan; an increase from 5% now; and 19% for dependent coverage.  In-network deductibles will increase for single/family from $400/$800 on the Blue plan to $700/$1,400.
  • Faculty will pay 20% of insurance costs for single coverage under the Gold plan and 25% for dependent coverage. In-network deductibles will increase for single/family from $200/$400 on the Gold plan to $500/$1,000.
  • The Gold Plan currently covers 90% of in-network costs up to the out-of-pocket maximum; that will be reduced to 80% in 2017 and thereafter. The Blue Plan currently covers 80% of in-network costs up to the out-of-pocket maximum, which would be reduced to 70% in 2017 and thereafter.
  • In-network out-of-pocket maximums for the Gold Plan will triple, increasing from $1,500/$3,000 for single/family to $4,500/$9,000.
  • In-network out-of-pocket maximums for the Blue Plan will increase from $3,000/$6,000 for single/family to $6,850/$13,700.
  • Increases in prescription costs.
  • The imposition of a new payment of 20% of the cost for single dental coverage and 25% for dependent dental coverage.
  • OVERALL – the University estimates the above changes would shift approximately Two Million Dollars from the University’s responsibility and place it on the employees.

Additionally, in 2010, the Chapter agreed to substantive revisions of the Retiree Spouse and Dependent Health Care benefit. Those concessions saved the University at least 26 million dollars over the life of this long-standing commitment. We have already done our part to address financial concerns about the cost of the University’s fulfillment of this time-limited commitment to faculty made at the time of their hire. The University’s current proposal essentially eviscerates this promised benefit by the end of the proposed contract term by imposing an increasingly burdensome share of the cost on retirees and their families–the current contribution of 15% will increase to 35% in 2017, 55% in 2018, 75% in 2019 and the entire cost is assumed by retirees in 2020. Bargaining unit faculty hired at The University of Akron prior to 1992 were promised spousal and dependent lifetime health insurance benefits as a retirement benefit. The current proposal makes it clear the University administration intends to terminate this promised retiree benefit. We strongly oppose this revision.

The Akron-AAUP regards the University’s salary proposal as entirely insufficient, and the increased costs of health care plans as punitive, unnecessary, and indefensible.

It would be a grave mistake for anyone to underestimate the faculty’s resolve in their opposition to these measures.

There has never been a time when your membership as a member of this Chapter counts more – stand with us, and become a member today.

Join the Akron AAUP