Monday, November 12, 2001

UC faculty seek more than cash in new contract




By Ben L. Kaufman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        When federal mediator Lou Manchise restarts stalled faculty contract talks at the University of Cincinnati a week from today more than compensation will be on the table.

        The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) also wants changes in the way UC handles discrimination, sabbaticals and other non-economic issues.

        These are the kinds of issues that contributed to strikes in 1979 and 1993. This year, AAUP already has established a strike headquarters.

        On the money side,AAUP seekss 5, 7 and 8 percent raises over three years.

        UC, hit by recent state budget cuts,is offering 2, 3 and 3 percent increases.

        AAUP also proposes modest increases in health plan premiums, co-pays and prescription prices. UC wants the 1,988 faculty represented by the union to pay more to bring costs closer to those paid by other UC employees.

        On non-economic and campus governance issues, sparring con tinues:

        • AAUP seeks a Joint Gender Equity Study Committee with a $500,000 budget to correct proven inequities. UC countered by proposing to put its longstanding discretionary fund — which can be used to raise faculty salaries affected by racial or gender discrimination — under the contract.

        • Tenure typically is awarded to successful new faculty after six or seven years, including family and personal leaves. AAUP wants to stop the clock for those breaks and to include adoption leave using bankable sick days. UC opposes only including adoption leave.

        The AAUP contends that faculty raises have not kept up with inflation. UC spokesman Greg Hand rebutted that , saying:

        • From fiscal year 1992, UC faculty average salaries have risen 34.8 percent while the Consumer Price Index is up 26.6 percent.

        • Since fiscal year 1996, he said faculty average salaries have risen 25.6 percent while the CPI has climbed 12.5 percent. During that same period, UC administration average salaries went up 17.1 percent.

       



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