February 2005 aaUPBEAT
Build Bargaining Power - Join the AAUP
Collective Bargaining Proposal
As in other bargaining years, over the coming months the aaUPBEAT
will occasionally be composed by the Collective Bargaining Committee.
This is the first such issue this year. We do this in order to make
sure UD faculty have a direct link to the committee that represents you
at the bargaining table. Gerry Turkel remains editor in both cases.
As indicated in previous newsletters, preparing for contract
negotiations with the Administration entails conducting a faculty
survey, independent analysis of the University's financial condition,
and the formulation and approval of contract proposals by the
association's Bargaining Committee, Executive Council and Steering
Committee. When the collective bargaining sessions are completed and a
tentative agreement has been reached by the AAUP and Administration,
this agreement cannot be finalized until it is ratified by the faculty.
We enter negotiations this year confident of our bargaining
agenda. First, we have taken great care to make sure that our
proposals, both in terms of bread and butter issues and matters of
procedural protections, speak directly to the interests of UD faculty.
Second, we have been rigorous in developing proposals that are
realistic and affordable. With regard to this last point, the
University's financial condition is certainly strong enough to invest
in faculty needs, particularly given the great success of its current
fundraising drive, which has already exceeded its $225 million goal by
$158 million although the drive doesn't conclude until the end of 2005.
These are important negotiations. Over the past decade we have
improved working conditions in a number of ways, including moving us
from below our comparator group's salary median to a stronger position.
Yet comparisons within the comparator group frequently shift and it is
not wise to assume that past gains guarantee continuing gains. Hard
work and lots of clearheaded strategizing, not assumptions, are the
only way to more improvements. In spite of past successes, (1) faculty
salaries are still not as competitive as they could be and (2) we lack
certain fundamental protections, for instance, a "just cause" contract
provision. Such provisions, which enable a faculty member to use the
grievance procedure in case of termination, are part of collective
bargaining agreements at other universities. We at UD, however, do not
have such a provision. As you will see below in our list of contract
proposals, we plan to change this situation during the current round of
As the Executive Council stated in the January newsletter,
this year's bargaining agenda affirms the AAUP's ongoing support for
the belief that "UD's commitment to academic values" must be "first and
foremost evidenced in its financial and other commitments to faculty."
The remainder of the newsletter summarizes our key proposals
for this year's negotiations. If you want to read the contract
proposals online, log onto our website (http://www.udel.edu/aaup/).
1. Administering the Contract (Article VIII).
In order to more effectively administer the contract, the union must
better clarify the division of labor between the Grievance Committee
Chair and the Contract Maintenance Officer. Accordingly, we have
proposed that the preamble to Article VIII of the Collective
Bargaining Agreement should be amended to include the
following two changes:
"Faculty who believe there has been a potential violation of
the Collective Bargaining Agreement and related University policies or
violation of his/her academic freedom should contact the Chair of the
AAUP Grievance Committee for advice as to the merit, or lack thereof,
of the alleged violation..."
"The Contract Maintenance Officer shall represent the UD-AAUP
in all matters involving the interpretation or implementation of the
Contract. The AAUP Contract Maintenance Officer shall also represent
faculty in matters dealing with sexual harassment."
2. Just Cause Article (VIII). Both the AAUP
membership and leadership find it inconsistent that the AAUP can
represent faculty in cases where the Collected Bargaining Agreement is
violated but is not allowed to represent faculty in that worst of all
possible cases: termination. Due to both the aggressive approach taken
by the Administration on workload policies and the increasingly hostile
climate in the country to academic freedom, the time has come for a
stronger role for the AAUP in termination proceedings. It is precisely
the AAUP's commitment to maximum protection for faculty rights that has
made just cause clauses key features of other AAUP-Administration
agreements around the country. Accordingly, the AAUP has proposed a
new item (no.12) on the contract's Article VIII. Part of the
new section will state:
"In the event of termination proceedings against a faculty
member, the University must demonstrate through clear and convincing
evidence "adequate cause" - incompetence, gross irresponsibility, or
moral turpitude - except for termination caused by extraordinary
Another part of the new section will state:
"The faculty member shall be entitled to all procedural
protections provided under the Agreement, as well as under University
Policy. The faculty member is also entitled to file a grievance under
Article VIII of this Agreement."
3. Childbirth/Adoption (Article IX).
Conceptions of childrearing have evolved to the point where it is now
accepted throughout society that fathers and mothers should have equal
opportunity to care of a newborn or adopted child when the child first
comes home. In this light, the AAUP proposes that the second
paragraph in Article 9.13 of the contract be altered to
include the following language:
"Department chairpersons and faculty members must develop
workload options that meet department and individual needs immediately
following the birth or adoption of a child by the family of the faculty
member. One such option is to be granted a one semester administered
load that allows a choice of either partial or full relief from
teaching during the semester of the birth or adoption of a child or
immediately following the birth or adoption of a child by the family of
the faculty member."
4. Parking (Article IX). The Bargaining
Committee will present a proposal to the Administration for improving
the number of gold parking positions available to faculty. This
persistent problem demands a solution.
5. Faculty Contact Hours (New Footnote for Article
11.9). The current 12 credit contact hours vs. 18 teaching
contact hours formula for determining the value of faculty academic
activities is outmoded and must be changed/simplified by placing a
specific contact hour value on each such activity. Accordingly, the
AAUP proposes the deletion of Article 11.9's current footnote no. 3 and
its replacement by a new footnote which will spell out these values.
The new footnote will state in part:
"Each hour spent in scheduled classroom teaching counts as 1
contact hour. Each hour spent in scheduled laboratory, field, studio,
clinical, or applied music instruction, or individual instruction
(which requires the constant attendance of the faculty member for the
entire scheduled period of instruction, and which does not involve the
participation of teaching assistants) counts as 2/3 contact hour.
Scheduled individual special problems and theses count as 1 contact
hour, and dissertations count as 2 contact hours."
6. Salary and Related Matters (Article XII).
For UD to remain competitive, it is mandatory that the faculty
financial package be improved. This means not only receiving adequate
salary and merit gains, but also COLA. Although we do not know whether
or not Given the continuing instability of inflation, winning COLA is
particularly crucial now.
7. Merit Evaluations (Article 12.4). An
effort must be made to eliminate the vagueness from the contract's
current language governing the relationship between a department
chair's evaluation of a faculty member's performance and the allocation
of merit pay. The current language states that merit pay must be
"consistent" with the chair's evaluation. Unfortunately, "consistent"
can be interpreted in too many different ways for it to be a useful
guideline. Consequently, we have proposed substituting the word
proportional for consistent. This change will have the effect of
requiring that administrators in charge of merit pay decisions explain
their decisions in terms based directly and specifically on faculty
evaluation policies. In each faculty unit, faculty members with the
same numerical evaluations should receive the same merit increase.
Actual merit increases depend upon the unit's merit pay policy.
Accordingly, Article 12.4 must be rewritten to include the following
"Merit pay increases shall be awarded in a fashion which is
proportional to the faculty member's performance as reflected in the
annual evaluation conducted by the department chairperson or dean (in
units where there are no chairpersons)."
"The chair or dean shall make public information
which indicates the correspondence between merit pay and the faculty
members' department or comparable unit evaluation ratings within this
unit so that an individual faculty member may know whether his or her
merit pay is consistent with his or her annual evaluation."
8. Buyout Policies. Current UD buyout
policies differ from college to college. This lack of consistency
spawns confusion and arbitrariness. To rectify this problem, we need
more clarity. To set in motion the process for accomplishing this, a
letter of understanding must be developed that states in part "that a
committee be convened to formulate university wide guidelines for
9. Domestic Partner Benefits. Since the
Administration is already on record as supporting the domestic partners
benefit concept, the time has come for them to act. In the recent
faculty survey, faculty members strongly endorsed moving forward on the
issue and finally establishing such benefits. After all, it was almost
a decade ago that a joint AAUP-Administration committee recommended
creating domestic partner benefits. To make sure this now happens, it
is necessary to develop a letter of understanding which in part states:
"The Administration and the AAUP agree that it is highly
desirable that the recommendations of the June 27, 1995 final report
from the Committee on Benefit Options for Domestic Partners be
implemented during the term of this agreement and will appoint a joint
committee dedicated to the task of trying to achieve this goal."