In this issue:
* Changes in communications
* Retirement survey ready for faculty participation
* Negotiating Team Prepares for upcoming talks with the Administration
* BGSU-FA files Unfair Labor Practice against their Board of Trustees
* Implications of Issue 2 defeat
Changes in communications
The Akron-AAUP Communications Committee is switching to a new and more efficient system for delivering messages and newsletters to the bargaining unit, the University community, and union members. This improvement will come with a new “look” for the chapter’s messaging (which is and will remain for a while a work in progress as our volunteers figure this out). Our new email system will allow us to message the entire bargaining unit and any members of the community who have opted "in" to receive our newsletter. We can also more easily target the population of dues-paying members with messages specifically of interest to them; negotiations updates, for example. In keeping with current internet standards recipients of our newsletter can "opt out" by clicking a simple link at the bottom of the message.
Department liaisons will, from time to time, receive messages of special interest to their colleagues but they will no longer be asked to forward newsletters.
NOTE: If you are a member of a department without a liaison there will be announcements that you will miss. The position of department liaison is a union position and those serving as such must be chapter members (not simply fair share fee payers) and be elected by their department colleagues who are also dues-paying members of the chapter. Some of our updates on the progress of negotiations are limited by law to distribution to our full dues-paying membership. Paying the "fair share" fee does NOT equal membership in the union. The "fair share" fee is mandatory (after a democratic vote hugely in favor of a fair share fee after our first contract went into effect); membership in the union is voluntary and requires completion of a membership form.
Akron-AAUP is now on Facebook and Twitter. You can more easily follow chapter announcements as well as updates on issues of concern to UA faculty and to the profession across the country. Please join us there.
Retirement survey ready for faculty participation
Beginning this week, the chapter will be conducting a short online survey of the bargaining unit faculty regarding plans for retirement. The survey will be anonymous. No identifying information will be shared with the administration. We plan on using the data in preparation for our upcoming contract negotiations. Only aggregate data will be shared with the administration. Our intention is to prepare ourselves with the most reliable data possible as we negotiate faculty replacement of those who retire as a result of upcoming STRS pension reforms.
Each bargaining unit faculty member will receive a Survey Gizmo invitation to participate in the survey from firstname.lastname@example.org. Each non-responding BUF will receive reminder emails until a response is made or the survey closes. Please participate, for the overall health of the UA faculty, in this very brief and anonymous survey.
Negotiating Team prepares for upcoming talks
with the administration
In anticipation of an early Spring semester start for contract negotiations, twelve of your colleagues from the AAUP Executive Committee, Grievance Committee, AAUP Communications Committee and the AAUP Negotiation Team met for an all day retreat, on Saturday, November 2nd. The goals of the retreat were two-fold: 1) to prepare new chapter officers for what to expect as we approach the negotiation table, and, 2) to identify sections of the current contract that are working as planned, need improvement, need to be deleted, or are missing altogether. This was the first of several all day planning sessions.
Sandy McNair, Akron AAUP legal counsel, with Chief Negotiator, Mike Cheung, began the retreat by reviewing the negotiation, mediation, and fact-finding processes for new officers and the members of our leadership teams. Included in the discussion was a walk-through of probable time lines from day 1 of negotiations (for both the compensation “reopener” and the new contract) through to the Akron AAUP membership approval vote.
After legal issues were addressed, the group reviewed the current contract…article by article…in some cases word by word. Faculty grievances from the past 2 years were considered as we evaluated each article. The team noted what has been working and what is not working as planned.
Additionally, the members of the Negotiating Team began meeting in October to discuss the upcoming negotiations on compensation for AY 2013-14, and to make plans for negotiations for the complete contract afterwards. The contract provides for and requires negotiation on the subject of compensation alone for the 2013-14 academic year.
Our current contract expires December 15, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.
If you have experienced any difficulties with the current contract that have not been addressed by the grievance procedure, please let us know via an email to email@example.com .
BGSU faculty association files
unfair labor practice charge
The Bowling Green State University Faculty Association (BGSU-FA) has filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge against the administration of BGSU. The BGSU-FA is the AAUP affiliate that won the collective bargaining election at BGSU and has been negotiating its first contract with the administration. The Bowling Green administration has delayed negotiations and refused to provide data related to healthcare that are essential to the faculty in crafting its proposals. Such a refusal is illegal. The BG administration's actions have led to filing of an unfair labor practice charge.
You may remember that it was the administration of BGSU that was behind the language in Senate Bill 5 that would have stripped all faculty in Ohio of the right to bargain. After the BG faculty won their collective bargaining election, the BG administration resorted to secretly attempting to throw out the results via SB5. While that legislation was being contested, and ultimately defeated, the BGSU administration refused to negotiate with faculty despite its legally binding obligation to do so. The administration’s new strategy appears to be to delay further and to continue to refuse to provide critical information on the current healthcare plan.
Contact your friends and colleagues at BGSU and give them your support. They are working hard to secure the rights they earned in winning the collective bargaining election.
Implications of the defeat of Issue 2
From Ohio Conference Executive Director, Sara Kilpatric: The defeat of Ohio State Issue 2, which would have changed the way we draw congressional and state legislative districts failed by a vote of 63% No to 37% Yes. The vote was less a reflection of the merits of the proposal and probably more of a reflection of the resources and manipulation of the opposition campaign.
Our efforts to inform the voters weren't for naught. We brought a very obscure, technical government issue to the forefront and even got the people who opposed this amendment to admit that the current system is seriously flawed. We Are Ohio is meeting later this month, and we will be discussing how we might try to pursue this issue in the future.
A very unfortunate side-effect of the defeat of Issue 2 is the looming of a "right-to-work" ballot initiative. I received word that the pro-RTW group was gathering signatures at polling locations across the state yesterday. There's no reason at this time why we shouldn't believe that they will be pursuing this in earnest to place on the 2013 ballot.
As always, your participation in local chapter and state conference proceedings is very much appreciated. We have a working relationship with Ohio’s organized labor which will continue to be useful.
Join Akron-AAUP today.
Volunteer your skills to help secure and protect your rights and privileges as a member of the faculty.
It's hard work and work worth doing.