Collective Bargaining Management Update

As we launch a new fall semester, we believe regular management updates are necessary to keep you informed about the status and progress of contract negotiations between the university and the Kent State Chapter of the American Association of University Professors, Tenure Track Unit (AAUP-KSU).

From our previous update, you will recall the university offered a salary proposal with a tiered salary structure designed to provide the most significant salary increases to our lowest-paid faculty. By offering a 3 percent increase to faculty who make $80,000 per year or less, our limited salary dollars can have the biggest impact on the greatest number of people.

On Aug. 24, 2018, the AAUP-KSU rejected the university’s tiered approach to salary increases. The AAUP-KSU proposed more traditional across-the-board salary and merit adjustments, and eliminated funding for the President’s Faculty Excellence Award.

In an effort to keep negotiations moving to a successful conclusion, the university’s team then called a caucus and prepared a counterproposal. The enhanced counterproposal maintained the tiered salary structure that the university originally proposed and included an additional 1 percent increase in the second year for our lower-paid faculty members. An outline of today’s university counterproposal on salary increases appears in the table below:

 

 

2018-19

2019-20

2020-21

Below $80,000

3% increase

3% increase

1% increase

$80,000-$100,000

2% increase

2% increase

1% increase

Above $100,000

1% increase

1% increase

1% increase

President’s Faculty Excellence Awards

Total pool of $210,000 over three years

 

The university continues to propose a tiered salary approach in order to maximize the impact of salary increases for lower-paid faculty across the university. In order to recruit and retain outstanding faculty members, the university is committed to keeping faculty salaries competitive on all of our campuses.  With this tiered structure, faculty members will still have opportunities to increase their base salaries through successful promotion in rank (an additional $6,000 for promotion to associate professor; $9,000 for professor), President’s Faculty Excellence Award and/or special salary adjustments in certain situations.

The AAUP-KSU proposal on health benefits dismisses the consistent (and equitable) approach historically used at Kent State for plan design and premium contribution. The university’s initial proposal on health benefits included the same plans at the same rates that are offered to unrepresented employees on all campuses. The new 85/60 plan that was rolled out in January of this year includes a wide range of preventive services that are paid at 100 percent, such as routine physical exams and testing; well child care services; immunizations; routine mammograms and pap tests; and routine PSA tests. There is an extensive list of preventive services that are covered under the university’s 85/60 PPO and high-deductible healthcare plans. Our older plans (i.e., the 90/70 PPO and 80/60 PPO) do not offer the same range of these generous preventive care benefits at no cost to employees.

Follow-up bargaining sessions have been scheduled, and more updates will be provided as additional information is available.

Distributed: Aug. 24, 2018