Chief Negotiator’s Blog – Session #18

Chief’s Negotiator’s Blog #18

March 23, 2016

The two bargaining teams were back at the table negotiating a successor agreement on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Accompanying our Team was observer Adjunct Faculty member Trudi Bird.

UConn-AAUP responded with proposals from the University on Faculty Governance (Department Documents), Student Evaluations of Teaching, Workload, and Office Space. The parties broke to work separately and when we returned, the administration had counter-proposals on Faculty Governance and Workload. They informed us they were holding firm on their previous proposal on Office Space and we were able to reach agreement on Student Evaluations of Teaching, which is available for viewing on the website.

The Teams are scheduled to meet on March 28, 2016. At that time we will consider scheduling more meetings for the month of April.

The bargaining climate created by the governor and legislature has made it difficult to negotiate a fair and equitable contract for our faculty. The playing field is clearly favoring the employer and this creates more leverage on their side of the table. There is the possibility of “suspending” the negotiations until the playing field can be leveled, either in the Fall or Spring 2017.

We are also hearing a consistent drumbeat from the leadership of the general assembly to have the SEBAC coalition come to the table to discuss concessions from the SEBAC 2011 agreement. That agreement covers pension and health care for all state employees. The governor and the legislature are asking state employees to carry the burden of balancing a badly constructed budget. After agreeing to two 0% increases in salary and merit over the past 5 years, the state employees should be the last place they look to balance this budget.

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