Moving towards contract ratification: meetings and voting
It is time to work through the final stages of our contract. Please put the following in your calendars:
- This Thursday 2:00-3:30 there will be a meeting of the Delegates Assembly in the Bailey Howe Dean's Conference room to go over the details with a representative from the Negotiating Team and make a recommendation to the Executive Council. All UA members are welcome.
- On Tuesday, May 22, 11:30-1:00 in Waterman 427 there will be an Informational Meeting for all membership to go over the details of the contract, so that the ratification vote will be an informed one. To attend this meeting remotely by phone or video, please register in advance with this link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/af7f0d1b071fddcc66858a512be5123a
- May 24-29, we will have an electronic contract ratification vote open to members.
If you are not yet a member, but would like to become one to vote on the contract, participate in UA decision making, and strengthen faculty governance at UVM, it’s simple. Just click here: http://www.unitedacademics.org/join-us/ You can bring a filled-out membership form to either of the meetings to participate.
As a democratically run union, it is important that membership have multiple chances to provide input into their contract. We have consulted with membership in multiple ways throughout the negotiations, but it is important that we are all fully informed before the contract goes to membership for a vote. A summary of the process is on our website, as is a link to the full Bargaining Protocol. UA’s Executive Council met this morning, and we worked out this timeline to work through the final stages of finalizing our contract.
Key features of the tentative agreement we will be discussing in the coming week include:
- Raises will be an average of 8.5% over the three years, with 2.5% the first year, and 3% the following two years. 1% is devoted to performance and the rest to Across the Board (ATB) for each year. The bitter pill in the report is that raises are retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018, instead of to the end of the last contract. Given the legal weight of the fact finder’s recommendations, we have concluded it necessary to accept this onerous bit in an otherwise good contract.
- Those who were promoted going into 2017-18 will get full retroactive promotion bumps.
- Those promoted this year and in subsequent years in all categories will get larger promotion bumps than in all previous contracts (which have an effect on career earnings well beyond that of annual raises).
- Faculty development funds have been increased.
- A workload clause has been introduced which not only gives some lecturers some teaching release but also makes workload issues easier to bargain in the future.
- We successfully kept benefits level, headed off an onerous intellectual property clause that the administration wanted, and more.
More details are in the attached document.
Please attend one or both meetings, and please vote. As always, please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
President, United Academics
United Academics is the union of full- and part-time faculty at University of Vermont, with over 700 members from departments and colleges across the campus. We represent faculty in negotiating and upholding contracts, and we advocate for fair labor practices within and beyond our academic community. We are a member-led union committed to academic freedom, shared governance, social and environmental justice.