Wednesday, August 15, 2001

UC administrators, professors butt heads over contract

University rebuffs 8 of 11 proposals

By Emily Biuso
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Contract negotiations between the University of Cincinnati faculty and administrators hit a snag Tuesday, mostly over money issues.

        The administration rejected eight of 11 proposals from the American Association of University Professors, including one on minimum salaries, a faculty negotiator said.

        The three other proposals presented Tuesday did not draw immediate response.

        “The faculty have worked very hard for the past two years to identify real problems at the University of Cincinnati and have proposed reasonable solutions,” said John Cuppoletti, chief negotiator for the AAUP. “This series of rejections by the administration greatly saddens me.”

        UC spokesman Greg Hand said he had not been briefed on Tuesday's negotiations and could not respond to specific issues.

        AAUP represents 1,990 full-time faculty on all five UC campuses. The current three-year contract expires Aug. 31.

        Faculty negotiators and administrators have been sparring for weeks, mostly over noneconomic issues, but Tuesday's rejections signaled that money will be a significant hurdle in reaching agreement.

        Administrators have said a decrease in funds from the state has caused a financial shortfall at UC. Faculty negotiators have pointed to other sources for salary increases.

        Proposals rejected Tuesday by the administration include:

        • The union wants higher minimum salaries.

        The administration is countering with a $3,000 increase to minimum salaries. “This amount is considerably less than the AAUP requested to alleviate the problem of excessively low salaries at the access colleges,” Mr. Cuppoletti said, referring to UC's satellite campuses.

        • The AAUP wants catchup raises for longtime professors when newer colleagues are hired at or above their salaries because of changes in the job market.

        • The union wants a contractual guarantee of health insurance and other benefits such as parkingand use of campus facilities for faculty about to retire.

        The administration is studying health insurance, but has rejected the rest of the proposal, Mr. Cuppoletti said.

        • The AAUP wants increased compensation for teaching beyond a normal load. They proposed a full professor should get $724 per credit hour per quarter for such “overload” teaching.

        The administration countered with a proposal for a full professor to receive $480 per credit hour per quarter, Mr. Cuppoletti said.

        Other rejected proposals include ones regarding personnel files, increased department head stipends, professional liability insurance and having an AAUP representative on the Part-time Issues committee.

        Representatives from both sides said rejection does not mean the end of discussion on issues.

        “It just means a rejection of the form the issue came to the table in,” Mr. Hand said.

        “The fact that we have some disagreement is not an indication that the process is breaking down. It's just an indication that we've gotten the easy stuff out of the way and that we've move onto the next stage.”


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