AAUP Bargaining Recap for June 15

The negotiating teams for the administration and the PSU-AAUP met on June 15. Below is a summary of the topics and proposals discussed:

Shared Governance – Knowing that more faculty than ever are being asked to volunteer for service initiatives over the summer and fall–and that many of the deadlines for such roles were approaching in late-May and early-June–we have asked the ANT about the status of our proposal on Shared Governance in every meeting since presenting our second proposal in April. At each of those meetings, the ANT said either they had not heard back from the President, or that they were focusing on finishing new proposals before they got back to Governance. At the June 15 session, they returned to their original position stating they will not discuss Shared Governance in these negotiations. The ANT said President Birx would prefer to discuss this again with faculty away from the bargaining table.

Workload (AAUP) – We brought a response to the ANT’s counter-proposal on Workload to this session. Our last discussion on Workload was very productive and seemed to indicate that some of the ANT’s concerns about our original proposal resulted from confusion over our intent rather than actual disagreement. Knowing that workload was the number one issue faculty had asked us to address, the AAUP negotiating team had an extended meeting last week to produce a counter-proposal that maintained our original position, but clarified ambiguities the ANT had identified. We are pleased to say the discussion this time was, again, very collaborative and that the ANT seems now to be in agreement with the overall principles at play in our proposal:

  • that all elements of workload (including service and scholarship) must be better accounted for in order to more accurately understand the complex demands on faculty time
  • that faculty should have an opportunity to ask for a temporary differentiated workload when the needs of service or scholarship demand
  • that consistent and transparent processes must be in place for determining the differentiated workloads mentioned above, as well as for determining class-sizes, assigning overload teaching, etc.

They promised to bring another counter-proposal soon. The exact details of the workload percentages are still under discussion.

Budget – Additionally, we discussed budget projections for this year and next with Tracy Claybaugh, Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration. Since this was not a proposal on the table, the discussion was wide-ranging and touched on several topics, such as:

  • mis-communications about the nature of cluster funding (rather than “start-up” funds from the BOT, cluster funding is actually borrowed from our own reserves and must be repaid)
  • the budget rules imposed by the BOT (the extraordinarily high margin required of institutions in the USNH system and its connection to the lack of state support)
  • the budget impact of recent campus buildings
  • and explanations of general fund and auxiliary budgets.

We requested additional information about the personnel costs associated with bargaining unit faculty.

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The AAUP negotiating team will now turn our attention to earlier proposals on PT&E, Appointments & Rank, Intellectual Property, and Faculty Development. At the next bargaining session (July 25), we hope to see the ANT’s counter-proposal on Workload, as well as a presentation on benefits.


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