Special Edition Management Update - March 2, 2012
March 2, 2012
Recently, AAUP-KSU sent a communication to its members concerning the university’s proposals on Article XII (salary) and Article XIII (medical benefits). While the description of the university’s initial proposals in these articles is correct, the communication does include an incorrect statement. The communication alleges that President Lefton received a 3 percent across-the-board raise this past year. This statement is incorrect. As you know, all unrepresented employees at the university, including the president, received an across-the-board salary increase in 2011 of 1.5 percent.
Also in this communication, AAUP-KSU’s characterization of the university’s proposal on employee contributions for health care is misleading. Currently, Kent State University’s 3,400 employees pay an aggregate 13.74 percent of the university’s cost for health care, which is spread over a 12-tier structure based on salary. Employees in the lower tiers pay a lower percentage, and those in the higher tiers pay a higher percentage.
The university has proposed increasing the aggregate percentage by 2 percent in each of three years within the same salary-based 12-tier structure. Employee contributions currently range from 6.5 to 22.0 percent of the university’s cost for health care. Increasing the aggregate contribution level to 15 percent employees would make contributions of 7.5 to 25.0 percent.
The AAUP-KSU communication also suggests that the university has “no intention of agreeing to paid parental leave in the contract.” This statement is misleading concerning the university’s position on this issue. The university believes that contractually mandated paid parental leave for faculty, which only appears in their collective bargaining agreement, would be unfair to other employees, and that this issue should be addressed from a universitywide perspective.
The university respects the AAUP-KSU’s right to communicate with its membership during negotiations. We believe, however, that it is unfortunate that these inaccurate and misleading statements were distributed. The university has elected to address these statements at this time so that management personnel will be able to respond to any questions that they may receive about these issues.
The university is committed to reaching agreement on a successor collective bargaining agreement with the tenured and tenure-track faculty who are represented by AAUP-KSU, and we will continue to meet with AAUP-KSU in good faith to bring this process to closure.
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