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The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

The Student News Site of Utica University

The Tangerine

AAUP-Utica reaches tentative agreement

Poster+outlining+that+a+tentative+agreement+has+been+reached.+Courtesy+of+AAUP-Utica+website
Poster outlining that a tentative agreement has been reached. Courtesy of AAUP-Utica website

The Utica University chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP-Utica) reached a tentative agreement on Sept. 6, which has since been approved by the governing board, after working without a contract for more than 200 days. 

The agreement will be presented to the voting members for ratification on Wednesday, Sept. 20. The AAUP-Utica chapter represents 178 members and 151 are in good standing, meaning they are dues-payers and eligible to vote on tentative economic agreements. 

According to the bylaws of AAUP-Utica, only members in good standing and persons who were members in good standing as of the last day of the month prior to when the voting period commences are eligible to vote in collective bargaining agreement ratifications.

Under the tentative agreement, the economic proposal includes:  

  • Yearly raises and lump sum payments for this year and the next three years
  • A new minimum salary framework to help [their] most underpaid members
  • In academic years 2024-2025 and 2025-2026, additional reimbursement pay added to the base salary for any member whose salary was reduced in 2020-2021 under the July 2020 MOA
  • Yearly increases to promotional raises, professional development raises (PDC), overload pay, and faculty research funds (FRC)
  • Stronger language to protect jobs in the case of retrenchment
  • Clear language codifying bargaining unit faculty members as 9-month employees, and specifying that faculty duties are only required during the 9-month academic year
  • No cuts to healthcare and no cuts to retirement

“We had to be creative in figuring out how we could satisfy our bargaining unit and take care of the different factions in our bargaining unit,” AAUP-Utica President Leonore Fleming said. “With this tentative agreement, I’m very happy with the ways in which we’ve found different strategies to try to take care of different groups.” 

The current contract, was effective from June. 1, 2015 through to May. 31, 2020, but had been extended multiple times through to Jan. 31, 2023, marking the initial day of AAUP-Utica members “working without a contract” includes all full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members, including full-time non-tenured faculty members employed under terminal contracts; academic program directors, coordinators, and department chairs in their capacity as full-time faculty; librarians and all Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP personnel).

Before the voting period, two informational sessions were held on Sept. 13 where members had the opportunity to discuss the tentative agreement and address any questions or concerns.

“We had good attendance [and] very good questions,” Fleming said. “We were able to answer a lot of people’s questions.”

A third-party service will email secret ballots to AAUP-Utica members. The voting process, which requires ratification from the majority of those voting, will be open for one week and will close on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at noon. Assuming the agreement passes, the Board of Trustees will approve the agreement then the paperwork process will begin. 

According to AAUP-Utica’s website, the agreement is a result of the hard work of their negotiating team, governing board, grievances officers, and everyone in the union leadership, and also a result of the membership uniting as one and standing up to the administration last year.

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About the Contributor
Mickale Thompson, Editor-In-Chief
Class Year: Senior Dual Major: Communication and Media & Business Management Previous Position: Contributing Writer (2021), Staff Writer (2021), Special Assignments Reporter (2022), Features Editor (2023), News Editor (2023)

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