Teacher’s union gains new improved contract

Members of the University of Vermont’s full-time faculty union ratified a new three-year contract with the University administration on Thursday, Sept. 25. The new contract holds health care costs to employees at their current percentage rates and increases in parental and family leave for faculty, according to a press release by United Academics (UA), the UVM faculty union. Additionally, the contract also gives pay increases to full-time faculty, a total of 15 percent in five percent increments over the next three years. Nearly half of UA’s members voted on the contract, and the contract passed in a vote of 214-1.Ross Thompson, the secretary and lead negotiator for UA, said in the press release that he was “gratified to see the administration and the union working so closely together to achieve our common goal.” University administration and United Academics negotiated for eight months to reach the version of the contract that was ratified.The two parties last negotiated a new contract in 2005, when negotiations had to be mediated by a third party after administrators and union representatives reached an impasse on salary and benefit issues.The new contract is retroactive, meaning that the benefits and pay raises apply back to July 1, and it will be effective until July ,2011.”I’m very pleased to see that the faculty union membership has ratified the contract that we had tentatively reached with union leadership earlier this month,” UVM President Daniel Fogel said in a press release on Sept. 25.