Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Reality Intrudes on the Garden Party Administration
From UT AAUP:
To: UT-AAUP Colleagues
From: Linda M. Rouillard, UT-AAUP Vice-President
Date: November 24, 2014
Interim President Naganathan and Interim Provost Barrett have indicated a desire to improve the Administration's relationship with the faculty. Here is a good place to start: a fair contract now for a faculty that has not seen so much as a cost-of-living increase since fall 2010. After prolonged negotiations of over 3 years, the new Administration, under the directive of the BOT, has filed for fact-finding.
We had our first negotiation meetings for a new contract in the spring semester of 2011, though the Administration later interrupted negotiations for several months as it awaited passage of SB5. When that union-busting legislation failed, the Administration returned to the table, only to protract the process even more, quibbling over the cost and process of distributing paper copies of a final contract to faculty, perplexed over a definition of shared governance, and determined that a mere name change to "Professor of Practice" would greatly improve the working condition of Lecturers. The Administration has flatly refused to negotiate workload.
In the summer of 2012, the Administration again left the table for several months as punishment for a UT-AAUP newsletter summarizing a Consumer's Report article on the state of UTMC.
The UT-AAUP presented its proposals on compensation and health benefits in the summer of 2012 by certified mail because the Administration would not meet with us. The Administration did not respond to the issue of compensation and health benefits until spring of 2014.
We have responded to numerous Administration proposals including proposals that would have eliminated merit for entire departments should one faculty member be late submitting book orders or grades, and most recently, a proposal tying merit to a 2% enrollment increase.
The Administration insists on spending money on everything and everyone but students and faculty. It bears repeating that UT-AAUP faculty salaries are consistently less than 10% of the academic budget.
The Administration has advised the UT-AAUP that if they do not like the fact-finder's report, the Board of Trustees will simply impose a contract. So much for negotiating in good faith. Will the Administration support its hard-working professoriate before the BOT, or will it follow the Jacobs' model of denigrating faculty?