Dear CBU members,
The process of working with the administration’s team to reach a tentative agreement (TA) on specific language for Articles XII (Salary) and XIII (Medical Benefits) to reflect the recommendations of the fact-finder as well as on the remaining Article XIV (Other Benefits) is taking longer than anticipated.
The parties met on the morning of May 20, 2019. At this meeting, AAUP-KSU presented its proposals on Articles XII, XIII, and XIV as well as on a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would retroactively address AY 18/19 as well as a number of other issues. The administration team asked for additional time to review our proposals. Late in the afternoon of May 20th, we received the administration’s proposals on Articles XII and the MOU. We received the administration’s proposal on Article XIII on the morning of May 21, 2019.
AAUP-KSU was disappointed that the administration’s proposal for the MOU contained almost none of the language that we had proposed. In particular, the administration seems to have back-pedaled on a prior understanding between the parties that we would include language from a grievance settlement involving banked workload hours in the MOU. At this point, the MOU seems to be a major sticking point.
We did not receive a proposal on Article XIV from the administration until the afternoon of May 22, 2019. In the cover email, Jack Witt asserted that “it is the university’s position that the language should be as that provided in the KSU March 11, 2019 proposal” and the email contained an attachment entitled ‘Article XIV.proposal.3-11-2019.docx’. However, the attached document was not the proposal we had received on March 11th. On the morning of May 23rd, I wrote to Jack Witt expressing confusion about the administration’s position on Article XIV. Jack Witt responded by email later that afternoon: “I believe that the language contained in the original March 11 proposal […] would be the correct description of the University’s position on Article XIV.”
The administration continues to ignore all of the “housekeeping changes” we suggested in our original proposal for Article XIV of September 19, 2018. For example, in none of its subsequent proposals has the administration accepted our proposal to add ‘domestic partners’ to the language of Article XIV, Section 1.B.2 and Section 10 even though Article XIII, Section 5 makes it clear that domestic partners are eligible for these benefits. Additionally, we have repeatedly pointed out that, as currently written, Section 11.A.1 of Article XIV provides paid parental leave only to same sex spouses when they become parents by marriage. Clearly, that was not the intent of the parties. However, in none of its proposals has the administration accepted our proposal to delete ‘same sex’ or proposed an alternative to address the problem.
We’ll let you know as soon as we reach a tentative agreement on a complete contract. Once a tentative agreement is reached, AAUP-KSU will conduct an email vote of our dues paying members on whether to accept or reject the fact-finder’s report and ratify the new contract. Additional information concerning the vote will be forthcoming. It is important that every member cast a vote. The results will be certified, notarized and submitted to both the administration and the State Employment Relations Board.
Should either AAUP-KSU members or the Board of Trustees vote to reject the fact-finder’s report, AAUP-KSU will likely notify the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) of our intent to strike starting the first or second week of the Fall semester.
Deborah C. Smith
Chief Negotiator, AAUP-KSU Tenured & Tenure Track Unit