Faculty and administration reach agreement

“On Jan. 20 the University’s board of trustees approved an agreement between the university and its faculty union. Negotiations between the two parties began last July, and there had been talk in the union of a strike at the beginning of this semester. Negotiations concluded with a one-year agreement on health care, two years on compensation and four years on all other issues.”

On Jan. 20 the University’s board of trustees approved an agreement between the university and its faculty union. Negotiations between the two parties began last July, and there had been talk in the union of a strike at the beginning of this semester.

Negotiations concluded with a one-year agreement on health care, two years on compensation and four years on all other issues. Because of the short agreement on health care, both parties will be negotiating again this year, perhaps as early as the summer.

We’re pleased that it’s done, but there is still a lot to do in the future, said Walter Hixson, the president of UA’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

The agreement does give faculty a 2 percent salary increase, though this does not apply to their base pay. They are also being given the 2 percent bonus that was given to all other UA employees in 2009 – a bonus that the union rejected in December. The agreement also allows the union to distribute a .75 percent merit increase, a 1.5 percent increase for faculty with below-market salaries, and a .75 percent special equity increase.

I think the university understands it needs to pay its faculty competitively, Hixson said.

The 713 union members have been given access to the bargaining agreement and online voting will take place from Jan. 26-28.