The University has invoked force majeure under the provisions of Article 15, Section 12. They claim it allows the University to lay off faculty immediately and without regard to tenure status, rank, or the other criteria in the retrenchment article of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). They have also claimed exigent circumstances under Article 33, Section 3, which allows them to seek changes to the CBA which both sides must negotiate in good faith. The changes they seek include pay reductions, increased contribution to health care premiums, the elimination of health care benefits for dependents of retirees, and furloughs.
If the two sides are unable to come to an agreement on one or more of these issues, the differences will be resolved through arbitration, but we will attempt to resolve our differences through negotiation.
We know that this is difficult news for everyone to hear. Please remember that this is exactly why we have a union. With your support, we will succeed in protecting our academic mission. We are stronger together.
The Communications Committee of Akron-AAUP