UConn-AAUP Newsletter

UConn-AAUP Newsletter

Spring 2019

President’s Column – Tom Bontly

Janus

Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the case of Janus v. AFSCME that public employee unions can no longer collected “agency” or “fair share” fees from unit members who refuse to join the union but nonetheless reap the benefits of collective bargaining. While I believe that the five-justice majority’s reasoning was flawed and their ruling unjust, Janus is now the law of the land, and UConn-AAUP is in compliance.

The good news is that, as a result of our membership drive, UConn-AAUP now has a higher membership rate than ever before. The challenge will be to keep those numbers headed in the right direction, so that the chapter can continue defending our rights, protecting our salaries and benefits, and supporting excellence in higher education.

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Lunatic fringe rates and the sins of the past

Among the many challenges facing our university, perhaps the most formidable is the fringe rate. For many months, our AAUP chapter has been working with other unions and with our friends in the General Assembly to find a solution. While nothing has been solved yet, there is at least progress to report.

Here’s the fringe problem in a nutshell.

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Parking Changes for September 2019

Development of the Northwest Science Quadrant (NWSQ) is scheduled to begin in January 2020 and will include the construction of a supplemental utility plan and a new science building.  The NWSQ site is currently occupied by parking lots “N”, “L”, and “X”, located along King Hill Road. These three lots currently provide parking for employees (~325 spaces) and commuter students (~725 spaces).  All three of these lots will close in January 2020 in order to accommodate the construction of these buildings.  

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Preparing for Negotiations

UConn-AAUP has begun to prepare for the next round of negotiations with the administration by asking for volunteers to fill important committees. With the current contract schedule to expire on June 30, 2021, a newly negotiated agreement will need to be submitted to the legislature during the Spring 2021 session. This means negotiations would have to be wrapped up toward the end of 2020 or very beginning of 2021.

One of the most important committees is the Contract Committee. This committee reviews the current collective bargaining agreement, investigates other AAUP Chapter contracts, and begins to develop proposals for improvements for a the new agreement. The Representative Assembly will designate up to 6 members and the chapter president, upon advice and consent of the executive committee, will appoint the remaining members. There will be subcommittees to investigate deeper into potential proposals.

It is important that you provide your experience and opinion on issues when asked.

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In Memoriam: Richard Rockwell

Former UConn-AAUP President and Sociology Professor Richard Rockwell died on December 27, 2018 at the age of 76.   Richard severed as chapter president during the 2013-14 academic year. His term began under difficult circumstances related to a tumultuous staff shakeup and then worked long and hard to bring people together and get us through a challenging year. During his term, he oversaw the creation of the Representatives Assembly and, crucially, hired two invaluable staff members: Associate Director David Amdur first, followed by Executive Director Michael Bailey. UConn-AAUP is a stronger organization today thanks to his many efforts, and we will miss his deep intellect and gentle humor.

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