Collective Bargaining Management Update - Jan. 24

Kent State University and AAUP-KSU collective bargaining negotiating teams met Jan. 23, 2019, in a mediation session with the federal mediator. This update is intended to keep the university’s management team fully informed about current negotiations between the university and the full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members who are represented by AAUP-KSU.

In advance of the mediation session, university leadership and its negotiation team worked to develop a formal proposal that, with the mediator’s assistance, might settle the contract. At the mediation, the university presented its formal proposal on a salary and benefits package designed to address concerns previously expressed by the AAUP-KSU. It is important to note that this package is the most generous offer to date and represents a more than reasonable approach given the salary and benefit packages of the majority of the university’s valued employees, both represented or unrepresented. Here is a summary of the university’s proposal:

KSU PROPOSAL PRESENTED IN MEDIATION

Jan. 23, 2019

Salaries

Academic Year 2018 - 2019*
Annual salary less than $80,000 3%
Annual salary $80,000 to $100,000 2%
Annual salary more than $100,000 1% 
Academic Year 2019 - 2020
Annual salary less than $80,000 3%
Annual salary $80,000 to $100,000 2%
Annual salary more than $100,000 1% 
Academic Year 2020 - 2021
Annual salary less than $80,000 2%
Annual salary $80,000 to $100,000 2%
Annual salary more than $100,000 2% 
  • President’s Faculty Excellence Awards - seven per academic year at $10,000 each
  • Promotion to full professor increased from $9,000 to $10,000

Medical Benefits

  • 85/60 PPO (Effective 01/01/2020)
    • Annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum - $1,200 / $2,400 (in network)
    • Other plan design features as previously proposed

*Retroactive to Aug. 19, 2018

The AAUP-KSU has expressed a desire to negotiate its own health insurance plan for full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members. The university responded by offering a benefit plan design that would be unique to those faculty and would provide lower out of pocket maximums than other plans currently offered by the university.

The university also enhanced its salary proposal. It maintained a tiered approach to salary increases in the first two years of the contract in order to ensure more significant raises to existing faculty who currently earn less than $100,000. In the third year of the contract, the proposal calls for an across-the-board 2% increase (i.e. no tiers based on salary), thus addressing the AAUP-KSU’s concern that the tiered approach be perpetuated indefinitely.

The university’s proposal also continues the President’s Faculty Excellence Awards over the three-year contract. Additionally, this proposal expressly confirms the intent of the administration to make the Academic Year 2018-2019 raises applicable to the entire academic year (i.e. retroactive to Aug. 19, 2018).

We believe this proposal acknowledges AAUP-KSU concerns and is a good-faith effort to reach an agreement with faculty while also acknowledging revenue challenges the university is facing that likely will continue through the negotiated contract period. The university is disappointed to report that AAUP-KSU rejected this improved salary and benefits proposal.

The university is committed to a fair and generous salary and benefits package for our valued faculty. The previous contract, which featured 2% across the board salary increases, was negotiated at a time of record domestic enrollment and unprecedented growth in international enrollment. When compared to other universities in the region who are in contract negotiations with faculty, Kent State’s proposal offers generous increases in salaries and benefits for KSU faculty.

The university will continue to negotiate in good faith and work diligently toward a reasonable and fair agreement for our talented faculty.

The parties have agreed to schedule additional mediation sessions as the fact-finding process also moves forward. We will provide additional updates as the negotiation process continues.

POSTED: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 2:57pm
UPDATED: Thursday, January 24, 2019 - 4:43pm