EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MINUTES
Present: Beck, Buck, Fech, Fuller, Logan-Peters, Peterson, Shea, Spann, Whitt, Wunder
Absent: Alexander, Carlo, Miller
Date: Wednesday, October 1, 2003
1.0 Call to Order
Wunder called the meeting to order at 3:08 p.m.
2.1 Appointments to Committees
Wunder reported that several committees still need to have faculty assigned to them. He noted the Academic Standards Committee, Judicial Board, and Curriculum Committee all need additional members. He asked the Executive Committee to forward names to him of people who could serve on these committees.
2.2 Changes to Academic Rights and Responsibilities Procedures
Wunder reported that he has asked Beck to assist Professor McShane and others with revising the Academic Rights and Responsibilities Procedures.
3.0 David Corbin, AAUP President, UNO
President Wunder thanked Professor Corbin for coming down to UNL to discuss the collective bargaining unit at UNO. He stated that this visit was by invitation because the Academic Senate last spring voted to learn more about UNOs and UNKs collective bargaining processes. Wunder stated he and other members of the Executive Committee were ignorant about the unit and that is why they asked for Corbin to come speak with them. Corbin stated that next year will be the 20th anniversary of the collective bargaining unit at UNO but he pointed out that it took many years for the contract to be written and accepted. He noted that the contract not only covers issues of salary, but also working conditions, academic freedom, and benefits. He stated that the Executive Committee of the AAUP Chapter at UNO meets monthly with the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs to discuss contract issues.
Corbin reported that merit is part of the negotiated salary. He pointed out that the contract states that 70% of the salary increases are across the board and 30% is for merit raises. He noted that these percentages have not been changed for a number of years. Logan-Peters asked if the 30% goes to the department to determine merit raises. Corbin stated that increases due to promotion must come out of the faculty salary pool first and the remaining amount is used for salary increases. He stated that the merit increases are determined by the year end annual evaluation of faculty members. He noted that the bargaining unit can negotiate what can be submitted in the annual review file.
Corbin stated that it would take two years to eliminate an academic program at UNO because it is stated specifically in the contract the process that must take place. He pointed out that the intellectual property policy is also included in the contract and they are currently negotiating adding additional language. He noted that some parts of the University-wide Computer Policy are in violation of the contract.
Wunder asked if the bargaining unit played a role in the budget cutting process. Corbin stated that they are not as directly involved in the process as the Faculty Senate is, but the unit does provide input through their ongoing communications with the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. He stated that any budget cutting decisions involving changes in employment status for faculty members must be discussed with the unit. He noted that a large portion of the members of the Faculty Senate are also members of the AAUP. He stated that the two organizations communicate regularly with each other. Corbin noted that past practice of how things are done will be the guiding principles even though they may not be spelled out in the contract.
Corbin stated that all faculty members are represented by the bargaining unit although not all members pay dues. Peterson asked what the dues cost. Corbin stated that .75% of a persons UNO salary goes to dues and a portion of this goes to the national organization. Peterson asked if the link to the national organization is ad hoc. Corbin stated that the national unit sponsors training workshops for faculty members. Peterson asked if the national organization provides assistance with the negotiating process. Corbin stated that normally the faculty negotiators would call and get legal advice from the national unit. He pointed out that in extreme situations the national headquarters would send someone out to assist.
Corbin stated that the salaries of faculty members in UNOs peer universities are considered when determining the contract. He stated that UNOs AAUP agreed to the list. The goal is to reach the mid-point of UNOs peers in salaries but he noted that UNO is now getting to be in the higher levels of salaries. Wunder stated that faculty members at UNK told him there had been gross discrepancies in pay for women but their collective bargaining unit was very helpful in rectifying this situation. Corbin stated that this is correct and that the UNO unit has argued for a higher salary increase for women in some years to correct problems.
Spann asked how many faculty members at UNO belong to the union. Corbin stated that approximately half are members. He stated that they hold a social event each year to increase memberships.
Shea asked if there was uniform campus-wide agreement about promotion. Corbin stated that there was and that it is stated in the contract. He pointed out that prior to the contract, promotion increases were based on the good old boy system.
Corbin noted that sometimes the administration will use the union as an excuse. For instance, if someone receives an outside offer, the administration cannot change the faculty members salary to match the offer because the contract will not allow this.
Logan-Peters asked if the contract covers workloads of faculty members. Corbin stated that they are covered. He noted that there is a twelve-hour course workload but that three hours can be released for research. He noted that the workload can be flexible.
Beck asked if there were strategies that UNL should look into regarding collective bargaining units. Corbin stated that just asking him to come down to speak about the unit was a strategy. Beck pointed out that the Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee at UNL is the committee that is supposed to deal with faculty salary increases, but she noted that the committee is not very functional. Whitt stated that UNOs negotiations usually determine the amount of increase that UNL gets but this year it was different.
Whitt asked what the downsides are to having a collective bargaining unit. Corbin did not think there were any downsides yet. He pointed out that Nebraska is a no-strike state so striking is not an option that the faculty members can take. He stated that one of the downsides is that all faculty members benefit from having a collective bargaining unit but not all members pay the dues to have it.
Whitt asked how the relationship is between the AAUP and the administration. Corbin stated that it is overall very good although there are some disagreements. He noted that much of the focus in the next negotiations will be on health care benefits as opposed to salary.
Shea stated that he heard that UNO and UNK might not want UNL to become unionized because it would weaken their negotiating abilities. Corbin stated that this is not the thinking of the union. In fact, he believes that UNL being unionized might strengthen each campuses negotiating power.
Peterson asked how UNO handled the last budget cuts. Corbin stated that the administration went after those that were not unionized. He noted that staff and administrators were hit hard, particularly the administrators. He pointed out that a number of Vice Chancellors were eliminated. He stated that many people at UNO would like to see the staff unionized. Wunder asked if the Chancellor is considered a faculty member. Corbin stated that from the Deans level on up, personnel are considered administrators and are not protected by the contract.
Fech asked if the union risks cannibalizing themselves in the lean budget years in order to cover salary increases. Corbin stated that this would not happen because program cuts cannot be made for two years. Wunder asked if non-tenure track faculty members, such as extension personnel, are considered faculty members. Corbin stated that they are and that a complete list of who the contract covers is listed in the actual contract. Wunder asked what kind of faculty members would not be covered. Corbin stated that part time instructors with less than 50% FTE would not be covered.
Wunder asked if there has been any discussion of the staff joining UNOs collective bargaining unit. Corbin stated that they cannot join because they are not classified as faculty members and AAUP requires faculty status. He noted that some contracts are more inclusive of members and others are not, depending on state law and union rules.
Wunder noted that UNO is not a closed shop, strictly voluntary. He asked if non-teaching faculty members are included in the contract. Corbin stated that they are. He noted that the contract also discusses the tenure process.
Spann pointed out that UNK has a union. He asked what the differences are between UNO and UNK. Corbin stated that he did not know the differences in the collective bargaining units but they do try to cooperate with each other. He stated that there is no desire to change either one of the unions.
Wunder stated that the UNL Academic Senate would like to invite members of the AAUP collective bargaining unit of UNO to come speak to the Senate in November. Corbin stated that the AAUP Executive Committee would need to decide if they could come. He stated that it would strictly be an informational presentation and that no effort is being made to unionize the UNL campus. Corbin noted that the UNO contract can be found on their AAUP website (http://www.unomaha.edu/aaup/contract/contract.pdf).
4.0 Approval of 9/24/03 Minutes
Griffin reported that Professor Gaussoin, Chair of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee requested that a clarification be made to the 9/24/03 minutes. The minutes should read: The IACs Oversight Scheduling Committee does not control scheduling of athletic events. Their role is to monitor the compliance of the team schedules with the Academic Senates 2001 Missed Class Policy, making sure that none of the student athletes is placed in a situation of missing more classes than the policy allows. Scheduling of athletic events is a complex contractual negotiation between the two athletic departments and sometimes the media. The contracts are frequently signed years in advance. Spann moved and Beck seconded approval of the minutes as amended. Motion approved.
5.0 Unfinished Business
5.1 Wasted Time Committee Resolution
Logan-Peters reported that the Committee does not have a resolution to bring to the Senate on Tuesday. She distributed an informal report indicating the processes and procedures the Committee is focusing on revising. She noted that many of the suggested changes in procedures are not under Senate control but rather under the control of the college and departments. She pointed out that the Curriculum Committee is looking into streamlining its processes.
Wunder suggested that a resolution could be drafted inviting the Senate to endorse these changes. He noted that each suggestion could then be discussed individually at the Senate meeting. Beck stated that each of the suggestions should be voted on. Logan-Peters stated that a resolution should be prepared for the November meeting and Past-President Miller could report on the Committees work at the October meeting.
Buck stated that she is disappointed that not enough of the processes that waste faculty time are being reviewed. Peterson suggested that a follow up committee could be formed to see if the changes have been made in the procedures and how they are working. Logan-Peters stated that the committee just wanted to focus on some of the main time wasters.
Beck stated that the report needs to reflect how much time these procedures take to complete. She stated that without that information, it does not appear that the procedures waste sufficient time of faculty members.
The Committee agreed that the Wasted Time Committee needs to write a more complete report and that a resolution needs to be written to take to the Senate.
5.2 University of Missouri Request for Resolution in Intercollegiate Athletics
Fech noted that there are some good points in Missouris resolution but he stated there are others that do not apply to UNL or are already being done. Peterson suggested that the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee should review the proposed resolution and recommend to the Executive Committee whether it should be considered..
5.3 Blue Skies Report
5.4 Accounting of Programs of Excellence
Beck asked if the Committee has received any feedback on the request to have a complete accounting of the Programs of Excellence funding. She noted that a request was made by the Committee nearly a month ago to SVCAA Edwards. Wunder stated that he has not received anything at this time. He suggested that this be put on the agenda when the Committee meets with Chancellor Perlman on October 8th.
6.0 New Business
6.1 Emeriti Professor Browns Comments on the Climate Survey
The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 pm. The next meeting of the Executive Committee will be on Wednesday, October 8th at 3:00 pm. The meeting will be held in 201 Canfield Administration Building. The minutes are respectfully submitted by Karen Griffin, Coordinator and Shelley Fuller, Secretary.