The negotiating teams for the AAUP and administration (ANT) met on November 30. It was a long afternoon in which we discussed several important proposals and actually closed the books on three.
Below is a description of the proposals that were discussed, followed by a list of the proposals that have been resolved and those that are still on the table:
- Shared Governance [Tentative Agreement Reached] — We officially signed a Tentative Agreement (TA) on this article. The article confirms the faculty’s role in institutional decision making, particularly in regard to curriculum, research and scholarship, admissions standards, hiring and evaluating administrators, organization of the academic structure, and other academic matters. This was one of the faculty’s top priorities, as reported in our survey of the faculty in the fall of 2016, so the AAUP negotiating team has fought hard trom the beginning of these negotiations to ensure that our contract acknowledged the role of shared governance in institutional decision-making at Plymouth State. We are very pleased that the administration worked with us to reach agreement on this article.
- Management Rights [Tentative Agreement Reached] — We officially signed a Tentative Agreement (TA) on this article. As reported in the last recap, the ANT reconsidered some of our arguments and agreed with the previous AAUP proposal that the administration would collaborate with faculty in determining the curriculum, programs and degrees to be offered, as well as the academic calendar, and relevant portions of the Faculty Handbook. They also agreed to collaborate with faculty on hiring decisions and directing, assigning and scheduling work to faculty.
- Intellectual Property [Tentative Agreement Reached] — We officially signed a Tentative Agreement (TA) on this article. The article agrees to retain the IP Policy created jointly by the faculty and the administration in 2014 until such time as the faculty approves a new policy through the traditional avenues of shared governance.
- Salary (ANT) — The data supplied by the administration at the outset of negotiations confirmed that PSU faculty salaries are (and have been for some time) at least 8% behind those of our official comparators. In our last salary proposal, we acknowledged that immediately correcting the significant salary deficit was not possible given the financial plight the administration has found itself in. We instead asked for a reasonable raise that would cover increases in cost of living and make a small step toward closing the salary gap. The administration brought a counter proposal to this session that was very similar to their original salary proposal. Rather than no raise, this proposal offered faculty a .75% raise with another .25% set aside for merit raises. For a faculty member making $75K, that would come to approximately $10 per week. Put another way, it would cover less than a third of the increased health costs the administration is proposing in their Benefits article. As with their original proposal, this one offers no raises for the following two years and instead asks that the administration and the AAUP reopen negotiation on salary next year and the year after. The administration’s argument that there is not enough money to even guarantee cost of living increases for this year or the next three years seems to be in conflict with their continued significant spending on new programs, new facilities, and consultants.
- Promotion, Tenure & Evaluation (AAUP) — We brought a counter proposal that, again, struck out language about Post-Tenure Review and inserted language that called for them to track whether or not P&T committee-chairs had undergone training. We also reinstated our call to acknowledge that student evaluations cannot be the sole measure of teaching quality. The ANT listened to our arguments and agreed to go back to work on another counter-proposal.
- Retrenchment (AAUP) — We brought a counter proposal for retrenchment that clarified processes that could lead to retrenchment decisions. The process we proposed creates more transparency around the conditions that may call for retrenchment, protects faculty participation in the decision to retrench, and sets rules for how subsequent faculty retrenchment would occur. The ANT listened to our arguments and agreed to go back to work on another counter-proposal.
Our next bargaining session is scheduled for December 7.
Proposals that have been resolved and those that are still on the table:
|Definitions OPEN AND ONGOING|
|√ Recognition Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Union Rights Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Non-Discrimination Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Savings Clause Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Safety Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Faculty Rights Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Personnel Files Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Academic Freedom Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Appointments & Rank Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Grievance Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Discipline Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Professional Development Funds & Leaves Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Workload Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Shared Governance Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Management Rights Tentative Agreement Signed|
|√ Intellectual Property Tentative Agreement Signed|
|Promotion, Tenure & Evaluation and Post-Tenure Review OPEN AND ONGOING|
|Retrenchment OPEN AND ONGOING|
|Salary OPEN AND ONGOING|
|Agency Fee OPEN AND ONGOING|
|Benefits OPEN AND ONGOING|
|X No Strike or Lockout Refused (AAUP)|