UVM faculty rallies for higher wages

Lily Keats | The Vermont Cynic

Faculty members stood outside the room where their contracts were being negotiated, holding signs and rallying for higher wages.

Negotiations began Feb. 6 between the University and United Academics, UVM’s faculty union.

Professors are pushing for wages equal to those at peer universities like the University of New Hampshire and the University of Maine, said Denise Youngblood, history professor and former UA president.

Under the current contract, professors make less than national averages, according to a 2016 study done by Oklahoma State University.

The study surveyed 137 universities across the nation and broke salary averages down by college and title.The study only looked at tenure-track faculty and does not include the salaries of lecturers.

The only faculty members making more than the national average were associate and assistant professors in the Grossman School of Business.

“I think it is important for the administration’s negotiators to realize that we are not numbers on a page, that we’re real people,” Youngblood said. “That’s part of UA’s campaign; to put faces to the salary numbers.”

However, she doubts it will change the administration’s mind regarding salary increases, Youngblood said.

Enrique Corredera, director of University News and Public Affairs, issued a statement to the Cynic regarding the negotiations.

“The University looks forward to a set of productive, good-faith negotiating sessions with United Academics that lead to a new, mutually agreeable contract,” Corredera stated.

Both the University and the union agree not to discuss negotiations while they are happening, he stated.