How Negotiations Work
(The following is derived from UA’s Constitution and Bargaining Protocol; Click here for the full bargaining protocol)
Tentative Agreement and Contract Ratification
As negotiations are moving towards resolution of the most pressing concerns (i.e. the final articles), the Chief Negotiator or his/her designee shall provide the EC and DA/Bargaining Council with ample opportunity to provide input/feedback on the positions held by the Negotiating Team.
When a Tentative Agreement (T.A.) that covers all the items has been reached with the University at the bargaining table, the Negotiating Team, prior to any public issuance of a statement announcing this Tentative Agreement, shall submit the T.A. to the DA for comment and recommendation to the EC. The EC shall then vote on the T.A. If this vote is counter to the DA’s recommendation, the EC shall meet with the DA to reconsider the votes and, if necessary, to co-construct a statement to the membership explaining the disagreement. If the EC vote is consistent with a favorable DA recommendation, there shall then be a public announcement of the Tentative Agreement. At this point, the process for a member ratification vote shall commence. (7.3)
At least seven days in advance, the Executive Council shall (a) announce the date, place and time of at least one informational meeting for Active Members of the appropriate bargaining unit of UA, plus any persons whose attendance is invited by the Executive Committee, for their consideration of a proposed contract, and (b) circulate available information about the proposed contract to members. In unusual cases of crisis, the Executive Council may reduce the 7-day notification rule to not less than 48 hours. (7.4) The meeting shall be at a time when few classes are held. (7.4.1) Copies of all available information about the proposed agreement must be made readily available. (7.4.2) Following the informational meeting(s), the Nominations and Elections Committee will conduct a ratification vote. Any vote taken on the contract shall be by secret ballot. Only Active Members of the appropriate bargaining unit shall have the right to vote. (7.5)
Members of the bargaining unit who are not members of United Academics will be provided with the negotiated contract and/or its detailed highlights and will be encouraged to join the Union so that they may participate in the ratification vote.
A contract negotiated by the Negotiating Team shall become binding when ratified by the Board of Trustees of the University of Vermont and by a majority of the Active Union Members of the appropriate bargaining unit of UA who vote on ratification. (7.6)
UA shall comply with all rules and regulations of the Vermont State Labor Relations Board which are applicable to the resolution of contract disputes and ratification of contracts. (7.7)
Negotiations Flow Chart