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 In addition, 7 of the articles and 2 of the MOUs have been withdrawn and are no longer being negotiated.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.

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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.

 

Update

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

 

Here We Go Again

Negotiations over the 2019-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) are progressing poorly. In a gesture of good faith and with the intent to expedite negotiations, the Chapter put forth very reasonable compensation proposals. The proposals considered a strong economy and increases in student enrollment. Salary and other benefits, including health insurance, were considered together (the total compensation package). They were tailored to align with President Pinto’s proposed Strategic Sizing Initiative (SSI), which seeks to better align UC with other peer institutions.

Unfortunately, the administration countered with cost of living salary increases and huge increases in faculty health insurance costs, including a 21% increase to health insurance premiums in the first year. This would be followed by additional increases in subsequent years, as well as increases in co-pays and the percentage of out-of-pocket costs after deductible. The administration’s proposed increases in health insurance cost would completely offset the proposed salary increases. The administration has also proposed no increases in Regional Salaries (see 10.4 of the CBA), despite the efforts of the Regional Salaries Committee to improve inequities at Clermont and UCBA.[i]. They have also proposed reducing the paid parental leave benefit for any faculty member teaching more than two classes per semester.

In short, this is an unfortunate example of “here we go again.” The administration using the same lowball strategies that it has used in the last two bargaining cycles. The administration’s proposals and the overall tone of bargaining lead to the conclusion that this administration does not view faculty as an asset—much less an integral component of the university—but as an unfortunate budgetary annoyance.

[i] Under the Administration’s proposal, faculty at Clermont and UCBA would be eligible for across the board and other standard compensation increases, but there would no compensation increase specific to the regional campuses. These increases have been included in the last several CBA to better align Clermont and UCBA with other branch campuses across the state and with other colleges at UC.

Bargaining Update

Negotiations over the 2019-2022 Collective Bargaining Agreement are underway. The faculty bargaining team has been busy. There are forty-one provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). Twenty-nine of the forty-one have been opened. There have been tentative agreements (TAs) on the ground rules, definitions, and articles 2, 3, 4, 14, 20, 21, 22, 25, and 31, so much work remains.

The Chapter put forth its initial compensation proposal (article 10). The proposal contains across the board increases greater than the cost of living. This is very reasonable considering the significant increase in UC’s student enrollment and a steady economy. The Chapter’s proposal also includes benchmark increases to better attract and retain quality faculty. Finally, the proposal also seeks increases in regional campus salaries, as UCBA and Clermont continue to lag behind other Ohio regional colleges in salaries.

All of the Chapter’s compensation proposals (the total compensation package) will be designed to complement President Pinto’s proposed Strategic Sizing Initiative, which seeks to align UC with peer institutions such as Michigan, OSU, and Pitt.

AAUP-UC has also proposed a change to article 15. (Article 15 provides that the administration can provide salary or benefit increases to match a bona fide offer, to correct inequities, for retention efforts, or to reward outstanding professional contributions.) The proposal would make it clear in the CBA that article 15 increases could be funded by either the individual colleges’ budgets or the provost’s budget. This is important because colleges have different capacities to absorb these increases potentially leading to inequities between the colleges. Further, all the colleges have been under financial pressure and this could provide some budget relief. Note that there is nothing that currently prohibits article 15 increases from coming out of the provost’s budget, but it is hoped that including this in the CBA would make this clearer to the faculty and the deans.