United Academics and Administration Negotiations Continue

In recent news, United Academics, the full-time teachers union at UVM, has been negotiating with the administration to create changes in their faculty contracts. The negotiations have been occurring throughout October and those that have been most recent have been concerned with intellectual property rights: the ownership of things such

as syllabi and publications.

There has been no resolve to the issue, but the administration is preparing a revised document for the union to review. There is optimism for the new document, because many union members feel that it will represent most of their concerns.

There have been no negotiations this week, but they will resume on November seventh, at which time the union and the administration will meet again and work to resolve the remaining issues of salary, benefits and other contractual discrepancies. There

will be a third party mediator at the negotiations, who will work with both the administration and the union to come to an agreement.

The part-time faculty unit of United Academics has not begun negotiations yet, since the impasse last December, but they will have two days of mediated negotiation on November tenth and eleventh. Michele Patenaude, a part-time faculty member and chief negotiator for the part-time union, said that the fact that the administration had only designated two days of mediation could be a sign that they are ready to work with the union and resolve the issue quickly. She also noted that the two days of negotiation

could be indicative of an attitude taken by the administration, in which they perceive

the plight of part-time faculty union as being paltry.

The primary issue that will be discussed is job security. In the status quo, many part-time faculty members are hired on a semester-to-semester basis and have little assurance of retaining their jobs. Other issues that will be discussed will be about salary, benefits and student accessibility to the teachers: Patenaude feels that it is difficult for students to meet with part-time faculty members because many of teachers do not have an office.

This week, the part-time faculty union members will be working in conjunction with the AFT to host a Campus Equity Week (CEW). There will be a series of events that will occur between the thirty first of October and the fourth of November. On Monday, October thirty first there will be a press conference at 4:30 pm in the Billings Marsh Lounge. There will be a table set up in front of the Bailey Howe Library entryway on Tuesday, November first, Wednesday, November second and Thursday, November third. Also on Thursday, there will be a film showed in the Waterman Lounge at 7:00 pm. The film is called “Degrees of Shame” and will be followed by a panel discussion.

The Student Labor Action Project will be representing the UVM student body at the CEW events and will also be continuing their petitioning there. SLAP has been petitioning for over two months to any captive audience that they can find and they have been gaining signatures from students and faculty members so that they will be able to be presented the petition to the administration.

SLAP is also planning a massive gathering at the UVM Board of Trusties meeting, at which SLAP will attempt to put itself on the agenda of the Board and draw attention to the student body and the solidarity that has formed within it to support the faculty union.