New Collective Bargaining Agreement Between Kent State University and Its Tenure-Track Faculty Unit Now Ratified
Kent State University and the full-time, tenure-track faculty unit of the American Association of University Professors-Kent State Chapter (AAUP-KSU) are pleased to announce that a new, three-year collective bargaining agreement has been ratified. The Kent State University Board of Trustees held a special board meeting last week in Independence, Ohio, at the university’s new College of Podiatric Medicine to complete the ratification process for a successor collective bargaining agreement for tenure-track and tenured faculty. The Board unanimously approved the new contract. The Board’s action follows the AAUP-KSU membership accepting the agreement by a vote of 414-31 (or 93.03 percent) in favor of ratification.
“We’re glad we have reached an agreement that was approved unanimously by the board and with very strong support of the faculty,” says Jacqueline F. Woods, chair of Kent State’s Board of Trustees. “The administration and faculty share many common goals and a strong commitment to our students. On our campuses, we all want to create the best possible environment for learning and scholarship.”
“We are pleased that a new collective bargaining agreement is now in place,” says Eric Mintz, associate professor of biological sciences and chief negotiator for AAUP-KSU. “With the fall semester upon us, the faculty members are looking forward to working with the administration to provide the best possible education for our students and enhancing the visibility of Kent State as an internationally recognized research university.”
Kent State President Lester A. Lefton expressed his appreciation following the completion of the ratification process.
“I’m grateful to everyone involved for the dedication they demonstrated throughout the negotiating process,” Lefton says. “I am pleased that after good-faith effort from everyone on both sides of the negotiating table we can now move forward. We enter a new academic year in a spirit of cooperation and commitment to academic excellence and student success, which are hallmarks of Kent State’s faculty and our university.”
The successor collective bargaining agreement with the tenure-track/tenured faculty unit will become effective starting Aug. 23, 2012, and expire on Aug. 23, 2015. The new agreement includes:
For Academic Year 2011-2012, a 2 percent across-the-board increase, applied retroactively to the beginning of the 2011-2012 academic year. For Academic Year 2012-2013, a 2 percent across-the-board increase, plus a 1.4 percent pool for Faculty Excellence Awards (merit). Merit reviews at the department level will be conducted during the fall semester and salary increases applied by March, retroactively to the start of Academic Year 2012-2013. For Academic Years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, a 2 percent across-the-board increase, plus a 1.3 percent merit pool each year.
The percent of total medical costs paid through premiums will increase from the current 14 percent for an employee at the median university salary to 16 percent in calendar year 2013 and 17 percent for calendar years 2014 and 2015. In terms of net cost compared to salary, it is estimated that this represents 0.5 percent of salary for the average Faculty member. There will be no changes in deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums or coverage.
Regarding parental leave, the president will convene a commission with broad representation across campus to examine best practices and make a recommendation on a paid parental leave policy. Faculty will be permitted to use three weeks of sick leave as paid parental leave in the interim.
A university-level handbook will be created by a broadly representative committee in which faculty are a majority. The current handbooks will be maintained but will transition to college/campus/unit subsections of the university handbook, which will be made available on the university website.
To view a copy of the new agreement, visit the Labor Relations webpage.