Union votes in favor, negotiation ends

  After more than 10 months of negotiation sessions, the faculty union United Academics (UA) reached an agreement on a three-year contract with the University.   UAs’ full-time faculty union ratified the contract on Dec. 5, according to a UA press release.   Ninety-one percent of the Union participating in the vote was in favor of the contract’s new terms and conditions, UA stated.   UA President David Shiman said that the contract had accomplished much of what UA wanted, but that it is still confronting problems with administrative support for the faculty’s academic mission.   “The University’s appeal to students as a student-friendly, small university of quality is at stake,” he said. “The faculty must do everything it can to reassert the primacy of this academic mission.”   The contract, which will run until July 2014, provides a five percent salary increase over three years, an improvement in workload conditions and keeps all existing health benefits for current employees, according to the press release.   The contract also maintains existing sabbatical rights and tuition remission benefits, and retains job security as an incentive for more experienced faculty who fear being replaced by lower-paid faculty.   The new contract increased the eligibility age for retirement benefits from 60 to 65 and raised the post-retirement premium payments for future retirees, the release stated.