Chief Negotiator’s Blog- August 27

Copied from August 27, 2015 UCONN-AAUP Newsletter.

Chief Negotiator’s Message

Michael Bailey, UCONN-AAUP Executive Director

As previously reported to you, the administration has decided to hire a law firm to represent their interests at the negotiation table. This is the first time since collective bargaining began at UCONN in 1976 that the administration has invoked this strategy. As of this date, they have chosen a firm but have not been able to secure the “Professional Service Agreement.” We have requested to see that agreement, once it is signed.

Experience in negotiations, in all levels from higher education to local government, has shown that when law firms are hired to represent the interest of parties, the process slows down. A response to a proposal becomes a “positional” counter-proposal and there is a lack of dialogue at the table. This interplay is counter to the shared governance commitment from the administration and the input requirement by faculty to balance their investment in the University. Please follow the Chief Negotiator’s Blog for updates on the negotiations.

There are many events and activities planned for this semester that will coincide with the negotiations. Your participation in these will be a significant statement to our community that the faculty are concerned about these negotiations and intend to be informed and engaged throughout the process.

As we begin negotiations, let us examine information that Howard Bunsis, Professor of Accounting at Eastern Michigan University and Chair of the AAUP Collective Bargaining Congress, presented to us in March of this year.

This is a comparison of salaries for UCONN and our peer institutions, using information from the 2014-15 AAUP Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession “Busting the Myths” and the UCONN Office of Institutional Research, the following was revealed for the AY 2013-14:

peer salary

The salary figure represents the contracted salary excluding summer teaching, stipends, extra load, or other forms of remuneration. Department heads with faculty rank and no other administrative title are reported at their instructional salary – excluding their administrative stipends. Where faculty members have duties for eleven or twelve months, salary is converted to a standard academic-year basis by applying the appropriate multiplying factor.      

As you can see from the chart, UCONN faculty salaries rank above average with peers in all ranks except Assistants. The more important data that the AAUP has on hand is a longitudinal comparison with peers over the past two contracts, which included concessions prior to the end of the 2006-12 contract inclusive of two 0% increases. This information will be brought forward in the present negotiations.

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