Special Edition Management Update – June 3, 2015 | Kent State University

Special Edition Management Update – June 3, 2015

Management Update Regarding AFSCME Negotiations


The fact-finding report for the AFSCME collective bargaining agreement was issued on Friday, May 29, 2015. As explained in a previous Management Update, both the university and AFSCME have seven days (until Saturday, June 6) to vote on the fact-finder’s report. If neither the union membership nor the university’s Board of Trustees rejects the recommendations by a three-fifths vote, then the fact-finder’s recommendations along with the parties’ prior tentative agreements become part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

If the fact-finder’s recommendations are rejected by either party, then the State Employment Relations Board will mail both parties (and the press) a copy of the fact-finding report and a notice of rejection, which the university must post for a period of 30 days. It is only at the end of this 30-day publication period that AFSCME would be legally permitted to engage in a strike, and then only if it has provided the required 10-day strike notice. In the meantime, the university and AFSCME could continue to negotiate in an effort to reach agreement on a new contract.

The university’s Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet on June 4, 2015, at which time it will vote whether to accept or reject the fact-finder’s recommendations. In the event that the board rejects the report, based on the timeline described above, AFSCME could not lawfully engage in a work stoppage until on or about July 6, 2015.

The fact-finder’s recommendations with respect to wages, benefits and contract term may present an issue in the long term, given the substantial financial uncertainty the university faces in light of a seemingly more and more likely state-imposed, two-year tuition freeze. The following is a summary of the fact-finder’s recommended changes to the collective bargaining agreement:

Art. 1: Recognition and Definitions

  • Add the following classifications: Steam Fitter Crew Leader, HVAC Crew leader, Maintenance Repair Worker Crew Leader, Glass Technician, Groundskeeper II, HVAC Technician I, HVAC Technician II.
  • Remove the Publications and Printing department.
  • Add the university’s new Section C which will state: “The university will notify the union of the creation of any new bargaining unit classified job title within those departments specified in Section A above within five (5) calendar days prior to posting. If the university and the union agree that the new job title should be included in the unit, the parties shall meet and discuss the classification description and the appropriate wage rate. In the event the university and the union are unable to reach agreement on the issue, the university shall establish a temporary rate, classification and description and will promptly notify the union in writing. The temporary rate, classification, and description shall remain in effect until there is agreement between the university and the union.  In the event the university and the union do not agree that the new job title should be included in the unit, then the union’s staff representative may submit the matter to the State Employment Relations Board.”

Art. 5: Joint Responsibilities and Employee Rights

  • Add language stating that management agrees not to reclassify bargaining unit employees for the purpose of eroding the bargaining unit. 

Art. 9: Union Stewards

  • No change to current language.

Art. 10: Contracting and Subcontracting

  • No change to current language.

Art. 11: Work of Supervisor

  • No change to current language.

Art. 12: Bulletin Boards

  • No change to current language.

Art. 19: Hours of Work

  • No change to current language.

Art. 20: Overtime

  • Increase maximum accrual of compensatory time from 120 to 180 hours.
  • Add new Section C which will state:  “An employee may make a request to the immediate supervisor or designee for the immediate use of compensatory time for extraordinary or emergency personal needs that require the employee’s immediate attention.  Such requests shall not be unreasonably denied.”

Art. 21: Equalization of Overtime

  • Add language which will state: “For purposes of football games played by the Kent State University football team at Kent State University, all service areas within Dining Services will comprise one unit.”

Art. 23: Report in Pay

  • No change to current language.

Art. 26: Clean-Up Time

  • No change to current language.

Art. 27: Leave of Absence

  • Add new Section O which will state: “Employees who are members of the union will be provided with up to thirty (30) minutes of release time without loss of pay once during the term of this agreement or any extension thereof to vote on ratification of a successor agreement provided the polling is conducted on the Kent Campus.”

Art. 28: Sick Leave

  • No change to current language.

Art. 32: Vacation

  • No change to current language.

Art. 33: Holidays

  • No change to current language.

Art. 35: Seniority

  • No change to current language.

Art. 41: Discipline

  • No change to current language.

Art. 44: Parking

  • No change to current language.

Art. 45:  Insurance

  • For the remainder of 2015 and for 2016, employees will continue to contribute a monthly amount which will be calculated with the contribution at the median university salary level equal to 17 percent of the cost of coverage for the 90/70 PPO, 15 percent of the cost of coverage for the 80/60 PPO and 13 percent of the cost of coverage for the 70/50 PPO.  
  • The parties will enter into reopener negotiations in July 2016 to negotiate both employee contribution and plan design, with the intention that such changes would take effect Jan. 1, 2017. 

Art. 48: Wages

  • Effective with the pay period which contains Oct. 1, 2014, each employee on the active payroll shall have his/her individual wage rate as of that date increased by two percent (2.0%).
  • -- Employees in pay grades 1 through 3 shall also have their individual wage rate as of that date increased by an additional $0.15 per hour, which is approximately an additional one percent (1.0%) increase for employees in pay grades 1-3.
  • Effective with the pay period which contains Oct. 1, 2015, each employee on the active payroll shall have his/her individual wage rate as of that date increased by two percent (2.0%).
  • Effective with the pay period which contains Oct. 1, 2016, each employee on the active payroll shall have his/her individual wage rate as of that date increased by two percent (2.0%).

Art. 49: Termination

  • Three-year contract commencing Oct. 1, 2014, and ending on Sept. 30, 2017.
  • Benefits reopener in July 2016.

New Article: Successors

  • No new article. 
POSTED: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 12:00am
UPDATED: Monday, November 30, 2015 - 11:02am