The negotiating teams for the AAUP and administration (ANT) met on July 25 and again on August 10. We are pleased to report that we have made real progress in the last two sessions and go into the Fall on a mostly-positive note. Below, is a summary of most of the proposals exchanged and the discussions that followed, organized by topic.
Our discussions on this issue have been very collaborative and both sides agree we are getting closer to agreement on workload. The current proposals agree on most issues such as credit-banking, ability to teach winter/summer courses in-load, and a more realistic distribution of faculty workload. Importantly, on the question of a differentiated workload, the ANT has now agreed to a simplified version of our proposal to allow faculty to temporarily negotiate more time for scholarship or service when significant needs or opportunities arise in those areas. We’re still working to come together on a description of basic expectations of faculty. The goal is language that clearly articulates those expectations in a manner that will allow for consistency across the university. We’re also still working on models for lab credit and overseeing student-teaching that meet accreditation and program needs and that gives faculty appropriate credit. The AAUP will present another draft of the proposal in September.
Our discussions on this issue have also been productive. We continue to press for important issues like Dependent Care subsidies and a standardized timeline for Separation Incentive Programs–and we are insisting that the contract include explicit mentions of dental, vision, group life, and other benefits–but we are relatively close to agreement on medical coverage, leaves of absence, and other benefits. The AAUP will present another draft of this proposal in September or early October.
Evaluation, Promotion, & Tenure
Our discussions on P&T have resolved several issues but we have a way to go on this one. We have been arguing the need for more consistent training for evaluators and continued development of department or disciplinary P&T guidelines. Most troubling to us, the ANT has inserted a proposal for post-tenure review that fails to account for heavy teaching loads, an astonishing lack of professional development funds, and the very real uncertainty around the structure of the University (and especially the dissolution of departments). The AAUP will present another counter-draft of the P&T proposal, minus post-tenure review, in September or early October.
This has been an issue of some frustration for us. In January, we submitted a proposal that simply endorsed the Intellectual Property policy that resulted from the lengthy shared-governance efforts of faculty, staff, and administration in 2015. The proposal that the ANT returned to us has not been seen, or worked on, by faculty, staff, students, and others. While we are eager to include an IP policy in our contract, we want to honor the spirit of shared governance that marks the current University policy. We have asked the ANT to gather feedback on the policy from all campus constituencies and to bring the resulting draft of this proposal to the table in October or November.
In addition to the proposals described above, both the AAUP and the ANT agree that we are very close to agreement on the following proposals:
- Appointments and Rank
- Discipline (we have worked to ensure that processes here are more transparent and more standard)
- Personnel Files (we’ve ensured that files may only include complaints with merit and that faculty can ask to have them removed after 7 years)
- Academic Freedom
Finally, we have agreed to a bargaining schedule for the Fall. We will be meeting with the ANT on the following dates:
- September 7
- September 21
- October 5
- October 26
- November 2
- November 16