Special Edition Management Update - Jan. 19, 2012
AFSCME and Kent State Enter Into Fact-Finding
Kent State University and Local 153 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) will enter into fact-finding on Monday, Jan. 23.
Contract negotiations between the university and AFSCME began in September. In November a mediator was requested by both parties. The last mediation session was held on Dec. 14, at which time the union declined to mediate further.
Fact-finding is part of the bargaining process outlined by the State Employment Relations Board (SERB). The first step is for the two parties to agree on the selection of a fact-finder. Both Kent State and AFSCME have agreed that the mediator will serve as the fact-finder.
The next step is for both parties to submit a fact-finding pre-hearing brief outlining the unresolved issues, followed by the private hearings that will begin on Jan. 23. At the last bargaining session, there were 40 unresolved issues from AFSCME and less than a half-dozen from the university. Although AFSCME has reduced the number of issues to 18, there are still a large number of issues for the fact-finder to resolve.
Once the hearings are completed, the fact-finder has 14 days to issue a written recommendation on the unresolved issues. The recommendations are not binding and must be submitted to both parties to accept or reject by a 3/5 vote.
The current contract between the university and AFSCME expired Sept. 30, and both sides continue to operate under the terms of the expired contract.
Manager updates on AFSCME and faculty (AAUP) negotiations are available online at www.kent.edu/hr/labor/collective-bargaining.cfm.