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.