With the recent victory of the pay reduction plan being rescinded, and given that the financial outlook for state appropriations looks good (though still uncertain), the Executive Council of United Academics has agreed with the university to pause bargaining until this summer. At that point we’ll have a better idea of enrollment and know state appropriation numbers. It will also give us an opportunity to partner with the university in securing those financial resources from the state and recruiting a large, diverse student body. We hope this, in turn, will allow the administration more of a sense of financial security so they can provide a better economic package and respond positively to some of our bargaining planks that require investment of resources.
We also know that everyone is tired right now. United Academics relies on the energy and enthusiasm of our members to move bargaining forward. An educated, engaged membership leads to a better contract. And, we recognize that everybody (us included) is “zoomed out.” We expect to be back in person in the fall. We suspect we will be able to bargain at least mostly in person this summer. We think the physical bargaining table is a better place to share ideas, and we are willing to take a couple months pause to be able to share physical space and collaborate with the administration on the new CBA.
In the next few months, we will ask you to engage around the legislative session and look for ways that we as faculty may be able to cheerlead the effort to recruit the post-COVID freshman class. The university (and our salaries) are highly dependent on state appropriations and tuition dollars, and we want the university to feel flush with cash (keep dreaming!) before we return to the bargaining table.
Of course, we are still here to represent and support you. If you have any work-related issues, need to talk through changes to your job due to COVID or returning to in-person, or just need a community of like-minded scholars to hang out with, please reach out to [email protected] and we’ll get you connected to the right officer or group of folks to help out.
As always, thanks for everything you do for the university, and for being a member of United Academics. Your support over the last year has been critical to our success, and we look forward to a bright future as we (hopefully) move out of the COVID19 pandemic.