Saturday, June 02, 2001

UC faculty has long wish list

Contract negotiations begin in July

By Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Disregarding administration assertions of poverty, University of Cincinnati faculty this week embraced an expensive agenda for negotiations on their next three-year contract.

        UC is getting virtually no new money in its basic state subsidy during the next two-year budget cycle, but the faculty is talking about across-the-board increases, higher minimums and sharply limited use of part-time faculty.

        All of this would cost tens of millions, but the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) said it was too early to say what its proposals might cost.

        Negotiations begin next month. AAUP represents 1,990 faculty members. Its proposal includes:

        • Salaries equal to similar state research universities. AAUP President Joe W. Fisher said Friday that UC salaries were equal to Big Ten schools in 1989 but have fallen below their average. He would not say how large an across-the-board increase this would require.

        • Higher universitywide minimums to “address the problems of low salaries” at University College and Raymond Walters and Clermont Colleges, where pay is likelier to remain near minimums. AAUP spokesman John K. Brackett said raising minimums to where they would have been if UC had kept up with inflation since 1975 would be “quite a jump,” costing at least $7,900 a year for instructors, $10,480 for assistant professors, $14,350 for associate professors, and $19,510 for full professors.

        • Discretionary individual increases to veteran professors as competitive salaries for newcomers approach or exceed their pay.

        • More money for teaching courses beyond regular assignments.

        • Better dental and medical coverage.

        • Benefits for same-sex and heterosexual domestic partners.

        • Increased stipends for department heads.

        • Professional liability insurance.

        • No increases in faculty parking fees, something Dr. Brackett called a “major morale issue” on the main campus.

        “Those are things that we'll talk to them about in negotiations,” UC spokesman Greg Hand said after going over the AAUP proposal.

        The financial pinch already is being felt as vacancies go unfilled.

        President Joseph A. Steger imposed a hiring freeze on many positions and ordered budget cuts for administrative and academic departments.

        UC officials say additional money for faculty can must come from further cuts or tuition increases.

        AAUP also wants to slash the proportion of undergraduate credits taught by adjunct faculty from 46 to 15 percent.

        Dr. Brackett said this proposal reflects a growing faculty concern about the “erosion of tenure” and the abuse of long-term adjuncts who are not covered by the AAUP contract.

        Dr. Fisher said he expects the Faculty Senate next week to embrace a recommendation that would pay part-timers as much as tenure-track professors get for the same courses as part of their total workload.


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