On Thursday, July 30, the Akron-AAUP filed a grievance on behalf of the bargaining unit faculty members on the reduction-in-force (RIF) list approved by the University’s Board of Trustees on July 15 (excluding those who have since been removed from the RIF list and remain employed indefinitely and those in Developmental Programs) as well as those on an earlier RIF list who retired in order to avoid being laid off on July 15. The grievance alleges that the selection of these faculty members for inclusion in the RIF list was based on individualized considerations (in contrast to laying off all members of an academic unit that is being eliminated) and violates the Collective Bargaining Agreement in these respects:
The University failed to provide the affected faculty members notice of its intended action, a statement of the reasons for selecting them, and an opportunity to dispute the factual bases for the decision. This was an arbitrary and capricious exercise of management rights and a denial of due process.
In some instances, faculty members were selected for the RIF list at least in part because they had engaged in protected activities such as filing grievances against the University or were members of protected classes.
The selections had a disparate impact on older faculty members, those with disabilities, women, those with national origins other than the United States, persons of color, and other minorities.
In some academic units, faculty members were laid off while others were being hired, belying the University’s claim that those layoffs were motivated by economic necessity.
The Akron-AAUP seeks an expeditious resolution of this grievance.
The Chapter’s legal counsel has advised us that individual claims based upon retaliation or discrimination remain viable even if the membership ratifies the proposed agreement. The Chapter’s counsel repeatedly has asked the Administration’s counsel If the Administration agrees with our counsel’s position. The Administration’s counsel has refused to answer this question.
The Communications Committee of Akron-AAUP