NOTE: THIS COMMUNICATION WENT OUT BEFORE THURSDAY’S TOWN HALL.
Yesterday, the AAUP-UC Chapter received a request from the Administration to engage in formal discussions—including the exploration of potential contractual means—to address the financial crisis facing UC.
Re-opening the Collective Bargaining Agreement as part of UC’s response to the COVID-19 budget crisis is not required. In considering the Administration’s request, the AAUP-UC Executive Council will be seeking feedback from the Bargaining Unit, a conversation that will begin with the 3rd Town Hall scheduled for Thursday, June 11th at 10:00 a.m. A zoom invitation for this Town Hall will be sent to all AAUP-UC Bargaining Unit members.
As a reminder, AAUP-UC and the Faculty Senate have convened a Joint Committee to collect data and propose solutions to the financial challenges facing the university. Specifically, the Joint Committee has been tasked with:
- fully understanding the implications of UC’s financial crisis;
- identifying solutions; and
- advocating for the core educational and research mission of the university.
All of AAUP-UC’s actions, as well as the actions of the Joint Committee, are designed to preserve the University’s core academic mission. This includes working in solidarity with adjunct faculty and the staff members who are critical to this mission.
The Joint Committee will provide an update at the Town Hall.
I look forward to seeing you on Thursday.
Connie Kendall Theado
TOMORROW at 10 a.m. AAUP-UC will host a second Town Hall meeting to update and solicit feedback on UC’s COVD-19 response tomorrow at 10 a.m. The Town Hall is limited to AAUP-UC Bargaining Unit members. A Zoom meeting invitation will be sent via email.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the AAUP-UC Town Hall meeting last week. Over 200 people attended! As a result of this very productive meeting, we are in a better position to respond to the COVID-19 challenges we face. For those unable to attend, a video of the Town Hall meeting and other COVID 19-response information is available on the website.
In a continued effort toward transparency and education, the Chapter has decided to host a follow-up Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, May 20th at 10 a.m. A link to the meeting will be sent to the Bargaining Unit, and the meeting is only open to Bargaining Unit Faculty.
Many thanks, too, to all of you who have joined AAUP-UC as full members in recent weeks. By offering a clear procedure that includes Faculty in decision-making processes, our Collective Bargaining Agreement protects us from arbitrary layoffs and furlough such as those facing other Ohio faculty including Ohio University and Miami University. Ultimately, however, it is not the Collective Bargaining Agreement that makes us strong but our collective action working to improve higher education for all. If you have not already done so, please join AAUP-UC today.
In addition to the follow-up Town Hall next week, there will also be a Twitter workshop on Thursday, May 21st at 10:00 a.m. for faculty members who are looking to use Twitter for the first time or improve their tweeting skills. The workshop is open to full AAUP-UC members.
Finally, and despite our ongoing efforts to clarify the situation, misinformation persists and continues to be communicated within and across colleges. To reiterate:
- The Provost, the Faculty Senate, and the AAUP-UC are working together in the spirit of shared governance to understand the problems and respond to the COVID 19 crisis.
- Any change to salaries or other working conditions would require a renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) or the declaration of a financial exigency per Article 28 of the CBA. To date, NO ONE has proposed either of these alternatives.
- Salaries and salary increases are covered by the CBA. They cannot be waived by individual faculty members.
- Faculty members cannot work “overload” without receiving compensation as defined by Article 13 of the CBA.
- Faculty members cannot switch from a 9-month appointment to a 12-month appointment without a corresponding change in compensation and duties.
- Stipends and course release outlined in an appointment letter cannot be unilaterally changed. Changes to stipends or course release covered by the CBA, such as those for unit heads, must comport with the CBA. Other types of stipends or course release can be withdrawn by the administration; however, faculty members cannot be required to continue to perform work that was being done previously for a stipend or course release, and should only do so voluntarily after weighing their own circumstances and the needs of their Academic Unit.
- Any changes to the Workload document—or to RPT criteria—must be approved by the Faculty in the Academic Unit. Nothing that has happened changes this fact.
To be clear, COVID-19 has placed the university in a very difficult situation. The financial situation, although not fully understood, is very real. AAUP-UC is willingly and actively working with the Provost and Faculty Senate on solutions. The process must be inclusive, transparent, methodical, and data-driven. Efforts by some administrators to circumvent this process while perhaps well-intentioned are counter-productive. Faculty should also remember that, although motives may be altruistic, no single individual can solve this crisis on their own. We need to work together for a solution.
Connie Kendall Theado
Here is a link to a video of the AAUP-UC Town Hall Meeting on UC’s COVID-19 responses: https://vimeo.com/417300939. The video contains many updates and answers to questions regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). AAUP-UC is striving to be as transparent as possible during this period. If you have any questions after viewing the video, contact the AAUP-UC office. The time and date of a follow-up Town Hall Meeting will be announced shortly.
Today, May 1, also known as “May Day,” all Faculty and higher education supporters are encouraged to participate in a day of action and solidarity. Possible actions include Twitter and social media, signs, a solidarity statement, and a webinar.
> Click HERE for signs, specifics, and more suggestions.