Collective Bargaining Management Update - Oct. 31

We want to update you on two important developments in our negotiations with AAUP-KSU. 

First, you may have seen an article in the Akron Beacon Journal or on Ohio.com on Friday, which reported on AAUP-KSU’s decision to unilaterally declare an impasse and to invite mediation from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). The online version of that article contained an error, which the newspaper subsequently corrected. To avoid confusion about the university’s most recent salary proposal, you can find full details in our Management Update of Oct. 24. As a reminder, our current salary offer is:

 

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

2% increase

President's Faculty Excellence Awards

Total pool of $210,000 over three years

Second, in that same Management Update, we expressed our surprise at AAUP-KSU’s decision to declare an impasse, particularly since we had just presented a counterproposal at the bargaining table. We find this posture frustrating and disingenuous given that both sides have agreed on many non-economic issues and that the university has consistently presented enhanced proposals on salary and benefits to the AAUP. We continue to believe that most faculty are unaware of the university’s salary proposal (shown above) given that AAUP-KSU has consistently translated our proposal to an across-the-board equivalent. This re-calculation of the university’s true salary proposal is misleading and intentionally minimizes the positive impact on faculty compensation, particularly for the majority of faculty who earn less than $100,000. In fact, 74 percent of KSU faculty would receive annual salary increases of 2 percent or more in 2019 and 2020, under the current proposal. Despite these challenges, the university remains firmly committed to bargaining in good faith and we are optimistic that we can arrive at an agreement that serves the best interests of Kent State faculty.

Further, we were extremely disappointed to see that a member of the AAUP-KSU leadership was quoted about the current status of bargaining in the recent Beacon Journal article. We are very concerned that AAUP-KSU has escalated negotiations in this way. When the Beacon Journal reporter contacted the university, we responded that our bargaining rules prevent us from making public comment.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the Ground Rules written and agreed to by both AAUP-KSU and the university require that we discuss negotiations at the bargaining table — NOT through external and social media outlets during the bargaining process. The Ground Rules between the university and AAUP-KSU are clear that all communication with the media is governed by Article XXIV, Section 2.G of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. That agreement states:

It is the intent of both parties that negotiations be conducted at the bargaining table and not through the media. Media is understood to include both traditional media (e.g., newspapers, television, radio, etc.) and social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.). If both parties mutually agree that a joint statement to the media regarding negotiations is necessary or advisable, such must be mutually acceptable and shall be jointly released. Each party has the right to make periodic progress reports to the party's constituencies, though such reports shall be truthful and designed to be informative of the bargaining process.

A good-faith bargaining process requires both parties to bargain in good faith and abide by their mutually agreed upon Ground Rules. The university now feels compelled to contact the State Employment Relations Board (SERB) in Columbus to respond to AAUP-KSU’s disturbing violation of those rules. To that end, the university has notified AAUP-KSU that we have filed an unfair labor practice charge. SERB will investigate this charge. Kent State remains committed to the bargaining process and we are hopeful that a positive resolution will be reached soon. We will provide additional updates on this and other matters related to collective bargaining as more information is available.

POSTED: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 1:22pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - 1:32pm