The members of The University of Akron Chapter of The American Association of University Professors have voted to not ratify the proposed collective bargaining agreement with The University of Akron Board of Trustees. The electronic balloting process ended at 1pm, Wednesday August 5th. The University’s Board of Trustees had previously approved the proposed agreement at a special Board meeting held July 15th.
As the proposed agreement has been rejected, the current contract will remain in place until December 31, 2020, with negotiations for a new contract beginning in the near future. The Chapter will take its grievance over Article 15 and the University’s invocation of force majeure to arbitration. Faculty who were included in the reduction in force action will be severed from employment effective August 22nd pending the arbitration ruling, unless they have retired or otherwise separated from the University by that time.
Out of 364 Chapter members, 184 voted against ratification and 159 voted for ratification. We are presenting the exact vote tally because we want our members to know the facts. While the Akron-AAUP Executive Committee and Departmental Liaison Council recommended against ratification, we acknowledge the significant number of votes in favor of ratifying the proposed agreement. We understand that those not included on the administration’s RIF list are concerned they will be targeted during retrenchment, as has been threatened by the administration. We pledge to you that we will continue to fight for the interests of all bargaining unit faculty.
Chapter President Dr. Pamela Schulze said “The recent negotiations have been difficult and divisive. The Chapter members have anguished over how to vote on this contract, and now that the vote is over, we hope that the forces that unite us — our shared commitment to student success, the production and dissemination of knowledge, and making UA the best university it can be — will outweigh anything that pits us against each other. We need to work together to strengthen ourselves as a collective force so that the next negotiation is a better one. I am dismayed by the increasingly adversarial nature of our relationship with the Administration, and I call on the Administration to return to the negotiating table with us to work out an agreement we can all live with, before or after arbitration. We owe it not only to our students, but to this institution and the greater community”.
The Communications Committee of Akron-AAUP