Our faculty union, Plymouth State University AAUP, has been engaging in negotiations with the administration to produce our second collective bargaining agreement. Our negotiations must be a frank, robust, and collegial exchange of views on solutions to the problems we face as a faculty and as a university. Through bargaining, we seek to build a better Plymouth State University by:
Protecting the mission of Plymouth State: Institutions across the nation are responding to the pandemic by abandoning the public good of higher education. They’d rather cut faculty than use other means to solve the problems posed by the past year. We stand by the mission of Plymouth State by insisting on a deliberative financial planning process that bans the retrenchment of our faculty for the years covered by the contract. Students need faculty to help them become educated citizens.
Ensuring students have access to advanced courses: We think that enriching courses can be included in our curriculum even when they have lower enrollment than we’d like. For years, the administration has refused to offer a formula that would account for the total number of students we teach so that our high-enrolled courses can balance the occasional low-enrolled course that offers such rich experiences for our students.
Committing to a safe, family-friendly work environment: The University System of New Hampshire wants to dramatically increase insurance costs on faculty and staff. We pledge to fight this attempt to burden our families at the worst possible time. We know USNH has the money to weather temporary deficits. More than that, we aim to ensure safe working conditions, new resources for new parents, and to help faculty on the tenure-clock if tragedy strikes their family.
Enhancing the transparency of the onboarding process for new faculty: We want to help new faculty be able to negotiate effectively their credit and time towards promotion and tenure.
Recognizing that you’re working harder than ever: We’ve heard your concerns and made them into proposals to better match your work plan to your actual workload. Even better, we want to ensure that there’s funding for your next sabbatical so that you can take time to invest in the projects that make Plymouth State innovative.
We cannot keep doing more with less. Our motto of Ut prosim (That I may serve) does not mean we must sacrifice ourselves to the institution. We must hold the line so that USNH sees that overworking and underpaying employees is a bad deal for everyone. With millions in cash and short-term investments, they can afford to support faculty and staff. We seek nothing short of a fair contract.