UConn-AAUP Statement on Furlough Days
Article 19.10 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement states the following regarding furlough days:
“As per the SEBAC 2017 Agreement, bargaining unit members shall be required to take (3) unpaid furlough days between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. The furlough days shall be administered as follows:”
“Employees may schedule their furlough days as they choose, before June 30, 2018, balancing competing responsibilities of teaching, service, and research, subject to the approval of their supervisors in accordance with University business needs and staffing requirements.”
UConn-AAUP wishes to clarify what the new contract language says. Faculty may schedule their furlough days before June 30, 2018 as THEY choose. They have to balance their competing responsibilities of teaching, service, and research and their choice of furlough days is subject to the approval of their supervisors in accordance with University business needs and staffing requirements.
Nothing prohibits faculty from taking a furlough day on a teaching day or a group of faculty members from voluntarily coordinating their furlough days. If taken on a teaching day, faculty members are encouraged to ensure that overall learning objectives of their courses are not compromised.
We believe that UConn faculty members are responsible professionals who will exercise their best judgment to ensure that their choice of furlough days will balance their competing responsibilities of teaching, research, and service. We also believe that supervisors are best suited to evaluate whether a faculty member’s choice of furlough days fails to balance the competing responsibilities, and any difference of opinion regarding this matter should be resolved within the department.
Supervisors have the authority not to approve a furlough day proposed by the faculty member. In that case, the faculty member should have a dialog with their supervisor to explain the rationale behind their choice of furlough day and address any concerns. Faculty members can also contact the UConn-AAUP for advice and support.
UConn-AAUP Representation for Members in the PTR Process
The UConn-AAUP can work with our members who are in the process of promotion, tenure, and re-appointment (PTR). The union can get involved when a member believes the process as laid out by the Provost’s office has not been followed. We do not get involved over issues of substance involving the peer evaluation of a faculty member’s work or the criteria used. That said, we can always discuss with our members in the PTR process their concerns and how they can respond.
As we move into the PTR cycle, the Deans and the Dean’s PTR Advisory Committees are now looking at and evaluating faculty going up for promotion, tenure, and reappointment. The next step in in the process is for candidate’s PTR files to go to the Provost’s office for review. When this happens it is possible faculty will be contacted by the Provost’s office and asked to meet with the Provost to discuss whether the candidate would like their PTR file reviewed by the Faculty Review Board (FRB). This is a group of six tenured full professors who advise the Provost on PTR related questions. The FRB may recommend that a candidate by promoted, tenured, or re-appointed, but the Provost is not obligated to change their decision.
Normally, faculty receive an invitation in January or early February to meet with the Provost to discuss whether they want their PTR file sent to the FRB for review. If you receive such an invitation, the UConn-AAUP can go with you to provide representation. Our strong advice to faculty who receive such an invitation is to first contact our office to discuss your situation and second, to have a representative from our office accompany you to that meeting.
Please contact Michael Bailey or David Amdur at 860-487-0450 if you have questions or concerns.
You Have a Right to Access and to Copy Materials in Your PTR File
It has come to the attention of the UConn-AAUP that a few of our members in the PTR process have been given limited access to materials in their PTR files and/or not allowed to make copies of what is in the file. We want to clarify with the following from Article 12 Personnel Files of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Article 12.1 of the UConn-AAUP CBA states that:
“For the purposes of this article, personnel file shall mean any file that may be used in evaluating the performance or conduct of any member of the bargaining unit. The personnel file includes, the Promotion, Tenure and Reappointment (“PTR”) file.”
Article 12.2 states that:
“Bargaining unit members are entitled to see any materials used to support personnel actions. Nothing in this article shall preclude the maintenance of other personnel files. In the presence of a staff member, and at a time convenient to both parties, but not later than five (5) working days after the request is made by the faculty member, a faculty member shall have access to his/her personnel files, or PTR files at all levels. “
Finally, Article 12.3 states that:
“A faculty member may at any time obtain a copy of material in the files, for which the faculty member may be charged at cost. If requested, copies shall be authenticated by an appropriate administrator.
Faculty in the PTR process have access to all materials in their PTR file; they may add materials to the file at any time, and they can obtain copies of anything in their PTR file, although they may have to pay for the cost of copying. Please contact Michael Bailey or David Amdur if you have concerns or questions.
Article 30 – Faculty Participation in Department Governance
In negotiating the current collective bargaining agreement, the administration and UConn-AAUP came to agreement that department or school faculty shall develop and maintain governance documents for the governance of their departments. Those document to include Bylaws, Merit Criteria, Promotion and Tenure, and Workload Policies. Many departments already have these documents in place.
There are templates for you to follow and examples of other departments to review. In addition, the department governance documents must now be consistent with your existing school/college documents and the UConn-AAUP contract.
Please contact UConn-AAUP for assistance.
UConn-AAUP Executive Director