Bargaining Update–Tentative Agreement

AAUP-UC and the UC administration have reached a tentative agreement over the 2019-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

AAUP-UC’s Executive Council believes that the proposed contract is favorable and will recommend its ratification by the membership. As with the past several CBAs, the administration proposed significant increases to the cost of health insurance. Our team successfully defeated these efforts (again)! This was a tremendous victory.

There will also be larger salary increases than in the past several contracts. The increases will be 2.50% in the first year of the contract (2019-2020), 2.75% in the second year of the contract, and 3.00% in the third year of the contract. The increases in each year of the contract are larger than in the corresponding year of the previous contract. The increases will be divided between a percentage increase and a flat dollar (benchmark) increase.

Minimum salaries will be increased. There will additional increases to the regional campus faculty salaries, but they will be smaller than in the previous CBAs.

Special thanks to the faculty bargaining team Amber Peplow, Ali Hammond, Greg Loving, Daniel Langmeyer, and lead negotiator Dave Rubin. Thirty-three of the forty-one provisions of the CBA and seven accompanying Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) were opened, mostly by the administration. This resulted in significantly more work than in previous contract negotiations, and the team deserves many thanks.

Challenges remain at the University of Cincinnati. Performance Based Budgeting (PBB) and President Pinto’s Strategic Sizing Initiative (SSI), and other issues are of concern. The administration’s positions and tone during this round of bargaining were often disappointing. This does not bode well for the University of Cincinnati moving forward, and it indicates that faculty will need to continue challenging the idea that our institution can keep reducing spending on research and instruction and yet somehow also achieve its goal of entering the upper echelons of higher education in the US.

These contract negotiations were a step in the right direction. The negotiations took place at the most difficult moment in U.S. history for public employee unions. They’ve been under attack by the U.S. Supreme Court, national legislators, Ohio legislators, and the Ohio governor for the past 10 years. As a result, public employers across the U.S., including Universities in Ohio, have been taking advantage of that and trying to weaken or eliminate public employee unions. In some places they are succeeding. Here in Ohio, professors at Wright State University in Dayton had their longest ever strike in January after negotiations failed, and ended up giving significant concessions on health insurance. The Ohio Attorney General has been pressuring universities to stop withholding union dues from faculty paychecks.

So in the face of this, to have negotiated this next 3-year contract before the current contract expired (a rare occurrence in the AAUP’s existence at UC) was huge. More importantly, we did so while actually getting better benefits and wage increases for the faculty than any other contract in the last 10 years.

More details about the proposed contract and a timeline for ratification will be forthcoming.

Bargaining Update

Negotiations continue on the 2019-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Outstanding issues include the processes to handle faculty grievances (articles 8), faculty development funds (article 24), and compensation issues. Mediation begins on Thursday. During mediation, a professional third party will be brought in an attempt to resolve outstanding issues and broker a settlement. More information will be forthcoming.

Bargaining Update

Negotiations for the 2019-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) continue.

Thirty-three of the 41 articles of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and 7 accompanying Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) have or are being negotiated. One new MOU has been proposed. This is much higher than in previous contract negotiations. There have been tentative agreements (TAs) on 17 of the articles and 3 of the MOUs. In addition, 7 of the articles and 2 of the MOUs have been withdrawn and are no longer being negotiated.

There has been a TA on article 16 (health insurance). There will be no significant increases in health insurance costs during the period covered by the next CBA. The articles dealing with RPT, disciplinary, and other grievances (articles 7, 8, and 9), and compensation are still being negotiated.
Mediation could take place on outstanding issues, including compensation (article 10), later this month. In mediation, a third party would be brought in to attempt to resolve differences and broker an agreement.


PBB Teach In

The idea for holding a Budget Teach In was hatched during a meeting of the Blue Ash College Action Team leaders. Many of the individuals present in the meeting did not understand the Performance Based Budgeting (PBB) Model or the problems associated with UC’s implementation of this model. As a result, the team decided that UCBA faculty could benefit from a teach in on PBB. Although the primary audience of the teach in was UCBA, the entire university community was invited. The call by faculty across the university for additional sessions across the university were quickly received, and versions of the Budget Teach In have been offered during the spring semester at UCBA, Clermont, A&S Faculty Senate, and the UC Faculty Senate. For those who weren’t able to attend one of these sessions, a summary has been provided below:

Under the Performance Based Budgeting (PBB) model, senior administrators determine how much money is needed to run the university for the year. Based on this amount, each college is assigned a share of this amount, which is called the “threshold.” Each college is expected to either grow, make cuts, or use a combination of these two to meet the threshold, which is a predetermined budget deficit. When a college doesn’t meet the threshold, the college “owes” the university money. This model is problematic for several reasons: 1) The threshold is set by upper administrators without sufficient shared governance in this process; 2) The model assumes unlimited growth capacity, and fails to account for limitations such as space or pedagogical needs; and 3) Performance is only measured on growth and cost cutting measures because measuring quality of student learning is messy and challenging.

The Budget Teach In compared several of UC’s primary expenses since the inception of PBB in 2010. Since onset of PBB, UC’s revenue has increased from $1.16 billion to $1.38 billion. From 2010 to 2018, UC’s total revenue increased by 6.9% and their expenditures grew by 5.6%. Very little of this growth was invested in Instruction. Instruction and General Support* only increased by a paltry 0.9%. Meanwhile Institutional Support**, Academic Support*** and Auxiliary Enterprises**** expenditures have grown by 35.6%, 36.1% and 37.2% respectively. Meanwhile, from 2010 to 2017, student Full Time Equivalencies (FTE) at the UC main campus increased by 14.9% and for the entire system by 8.3%. Since the core mission of UC is education, the disproportionate increase in instructional spending compared to Institutional Support, Academic Support and Auxiliary Enterprises is shocking considering the significant increase in enrollment.

Faculty have identified several priorities that need additional funding. Although several ideas were identified by faculty, a common theme centered on improving quality of instruction. Faculty would like more funding for professional development and to convert adjuncts to full time tenure-track positions so that these faculty members could make a living wage teaching fewer classes, which will allow them more time to meet and interact with students. Similarly, smaller class sizes would allow faculty to provide more personalized instruction to students.

* Instruction and General refers to activities directly related to instruction and expenses for public service and research that cannot be separated from instructional costs.

**Institutional support refers to the services that are not related to instruction but to the administration of the university.. Human resources, Finance, Public Affairs, and Executive Management are some examples of services included in this category.

***Academic support are services provided that directly further the core mission of teaching, research and public service. The Deans’ offices, the Library, Museums & Galleries are examples of the types of services that fall under this category.

****Auxiliary Services references units that provide a service(s) to students, faculty or staff for a fee. The fee charged is related to the cost of the service but does not necessarily cover the entire cost of the service. Auxiliary Service units are often partially or fully self-supporting. Examples of Auxiliary Services include Residence & Dining Halls, Intercollegiate Athletics, Student Unions, Bookstores, Parking Lots & Garages, Kingsgate Conference Center, the Campus Recreation Center, and the Fifth Third.



Everyone have a productive summer. Bargaining is ongoing and we will continue to post updates.