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ACT-UAW – Part-Time Faculty Successor Contract Negotiations Update: Session #9

On September 22, 2022, the university participated in its 9th bargaining session with ACT-UAW, Local 7902. 

The union presented four proposals: two proposals of changes to existing contract articles, and two proposals for new articles. The union also indicated that it is planning to present  one more proposal, which the union said it would send to the university by Monday, September 26, 2022. After the union walked the university through its four new proposals the parties engaged in a robust question-and-answer session about the proposals so that the university could fully understand the changes—and rationale for changes—that the union seeks.  

During the session, the university provided an overview of the extensive work its team has been undertaking in between bargaining sessions:

Market Research 

  • The university is researching to learn more about what part-time faculty are receiving in salary, benefits, and other terms & conditions of employment at other institutions.

Modeling and Forecasting

  • The university has continued modeling and forecasting the costs associated with all of the union’s proposals. It is important to know the total cost associated with the proposals in order for the university to make prudent decisions.

Deliberation and Assessment

  • In addition to the financial modeling, the university is assessing what contract language would work best to achieve each party’s respective goals, as well as shared goals.  

The university then followed up on items raised by the university at the previous bargaining session.

Proposed Extension

  • The university provided clarity regarding its contract extension proposal presented to the union last week. Part-time faculty who taught between Spring 2020 through Spring 2022 could receive $200 per semester, if the union agrees to a contract extension, even while negotiations on a new, successor contract  continue. The union continued to reject the university’s offer without advancing a counter offer or any further engagement over the proposal.  

The exchange of proposals as Word documents 

  • The university acknowledged the union for having sent its proposals in Word document format per the university’s request.   

Status Update on Complete Package 

  • The university asked the union to confirm that it would be finished presenting its package of proposals after it provided the university with its paid academic leave proposal. The union stated that it believed it had only one other proposal to present. However, the union was unwilling to confirm for certain whether it was finished with presenting all of its proposals, and stated it was preserving its ability to produce new proposals in the future.  The union  agreed to send its paid academic proposal to the University by Monday, September 26, 2022. 

The university then announced a modification to the roles of some of the members of its bargaining team. The university explained that its external counsel will transition into the role of chief spokesperson, allowing the university to bring supplemental capacity to the university’s bargaining table in addition to the expertise of the existing team members.  

Finally, the university signaled a desire to amend the bargaining schedule to one that best facilitates engagement in productive discussions at the table, without compromising progress. The university will present a formal construct for a new bargaining cadence soon.  

As the union signals the end of its intended proposals, the university is shifting its focus to comprehensively evaluating and responding to the union’s proposals, which is something both parties desire. The university intends to present the union with its own proposals that embody the university’s vision for the successor agreement – one that reflects both parties’ mutual interests.

There is still much work ahead but the university remains optimistic that in good time the parties will reach agreement on a comprehensive and mutually beneficial agreement just as the parties always have.

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