UConn Professors Union to continue contract negotiations into new year


 Diana Rios, AAUP at UConn president and professor of communciations, speaks at an AAUP rally in the Student Union on February 24, 2016. UConn and the AAUP will continue contract negotiations into 2017. (Jackson Haigis/The Daily Campus)

The University of Connecticut and the American Association of University Professors’ contract negotiations will continue into the new year due to fiscal concerns at the state level, said university spokesperson Stephanie Reitz.

“A different UConn contract agreement went before lawmakers during their last session, and its economic terms were not warmly received,” Reitz said.

After being ratified by the Board of Trustees and members of the UConn-AAUP, UConn’s contract terms for professors must be approved by the General Assembly, which cut university funding by $4.7 million in March, according to the Daily Campus. With several new members following the post-election season, Reitz said the university is still getting a sense of what economic terms the legislature would find palatable.

In the meantime, two negotiation sessions are scheduled with the UConn-AAUP for next week, with a third scheduled early in 2017. Michael Bailey, executive director of the UConn-AAUP, said they have met around five times already this semester, but that he could not share the specific articles under discussion because of the ongoing negotiations.

According to the UConn-AAUP’s website, the union and administrators have presented counter-proposals on academic freedom, governance, nondiscrimination policies, contractual grievance procedure and union rights, among other issues in the past month.

“Things have been slow, but we’ve been progressing, we’ve got some temporary agreements settled,” Bailey said.

This is due in part to the lack of a hard deadline, but the beginning of the new legislative session in January could put some pressure on the negotiations, he said.

“When you think of K-12, they have a deadline for the day the students come to school, the hard deadline is, ‘are the teachers going to strike, are they not going to go the classrooms.’ We don’t have that deadline yet,” Bailey said.

Kimberly Armstrong is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at kimberly.armstrong@uconn.edu.

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