Union nears agreement

    One out of three contract impasses at UVM is nearing an end.   On Oct. 20 President Bramley sent an email to University community stating that a tentative agreement has been made during the negotiations between the administration and United Academics (UA), UVM’s faculty union. Over the course of the past year, UA has been in negotiations with the administration about salary increases for the 2012 school year.   Bramley said that he would need to consult with the Board of Trustees before the negotiation can be finalized.    “I am told by United Academics that they have a bump in the road to ratification,” he said.   However, UA president David Shiman said he is concerned that deal might not go through.   If no consensus is reached, the Vermont Labor Relations Board will intervene and make the decision for the two parties without a faculty vote, Shiman said.    “No one wants to negotiate for all those hours, then have someone else make the decision, hopefully it won’t come to that,” he said.   A discussion on Nov. 14 will hopefully end with an agreement that can be approved by faculty vote, he said.   “This has been a slow process,” Shiman said.  “We have been going since January and put in so many hours, as has the administration, and hopefully in November, we will get close enough for both sides to say okay we can sell this one.”   Some students and faculty have voiced concern that an agreement will not be reached in a timely fashion, but Shiman said he disagrees.  

 “Yes, an agreement can be made,” he said.

  If the consensus is reached on Nov. 14, a new contract will be created, salary increases will be offered and the impasse will be lifted.   “In theory it’s a ‘not lose, not lose’ situation, and it’s okay to go away from [these discussions] with that. That’s what bargaining is,” Shiman said