UConn-AAUP Update: January 24, 2022

JOIN UConn-AAUP HERE

In this Issue: UConn-AAUP Wins Arbitration Cases

Arbitration is the foundation of union representation in workplace disputes. The opportunity for an employee to take a workplace dispute to an independent third party for resolution is what separates union-protected employees from non-union employees. Non-union employees, for the most part, are “at-will” employees and can be dismissed from their employment “without cause.” Union represented employees have “just cause” protection that allows access to an independent arbitrator who will decide if the employer had just cause to terminate an employee.

Two UConn-AAUP members are grateful they were union employees represented by UConn-AAUP for their workplace disputes.

The most prominent case is the former head coach of the men’s basketball team, who was fired by the University in March 2018 for allegedly violating NCAA rules. The arbitrator determined that the university did not conduct an investigation and lacked evidence to substantiate “just cause” since the only charges at the time his contract was terminated were minor offences. As a result of the arbitrator’s decision, the coach was awarded his negotiated full compensation package, which exceeds 11 million dollars.

An equally important case involves a tenured research professor. In January 2019, the administration moved to terminate her allegedly for non-compliance with federal funding disclosure requirements and violating University policy. After her contract was terminated in September 2019, the University destroyed her lab, which contained animals critical for her research. The arbitrator determined that the University relied on insufficient evidence and did not have “just cause” to terminate or to suspend her research.  Her award includes full back-pay, a return to her rank as Full Professor with tenure, and the restoration of her lab equipment and space.

According to our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), dismissal should occur as the final step in a progressive disciplinary process.  In both cases, the University neglected to conduct thorough investigations to support its allegations against these well-respected professionals.

The administration will file appeals in both cases, but there is a very slim chance that the decisions will be overturned.

Why should this matter to you? These awards show the strength of our union and CBA:

  1. The arbitrators upheld the importance of due process in a termination hearing.
  2. The arbitrators ruled that the UConn-AAUP CBA is the controlling document

and overrides any Individual Employment Agreements (IEA).

  1. Our CBA, with stronger “just cause” protections, must be used in all disciplinary cases.
  2. Arbitration can be used to resolve workplace disputes and contract negotiations.

We are pleased that UConn-AAUP won these cases and wish our colleagues the best as they move forward professionally and personally.  We also extend our sincere thanks and deep appreciation to Executive Director Michael Bailey, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the coach and tenured faculty member had the union representation they fully deserved.

Today is a proud day for our union membership with justice being served. If you are not a member, please consider joining UConn-AAUP. As you can readily see, the benefits are worth it.

In Solidarity.                                                                           JOIN UConn-AAUP HERE

 

Mary Ellen Junda, President

Jeffrey Ogbar, Executive Vice President

Michael Bailey, Executive Director

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UConn-AAUP Website: http://www.uconnaaup.org/AAUP

 

UConn-AAUP Update: January 18, 2022

In this Issue: The faculty are UConn, and UConn deserves better

Welcome Back!

We wish all a healthy start of a new year and new semester. The last two years have offered us all new challenges, both professionally and personally. We recognize and deeply appreciate the commitment and dedication of our members, who have made numerous adjustments and sacrifices during these trying times to keep UConn’s superior reputation intact.

As our university community yet again faces transitions in administrative leadership, in addition to the relentless pandemic-related challenges, we must continue to recognize how central faculty are to the steady machinations of the University of Connecticut. While our students and their education are the heart of our mission, faculty are the backbone of the University. Our critical partnership with the administration is essential to the wider health of UConn.

More than the typical five-year appointments in leadership positions, every year our faculty members meet face-to-face with our 30,000 students during their matriculation at UConn. From classrooms, labs, workshops, internships, seminars, to study abroad, advisory roles and letters of recommendation, our faculty engage our student body at every stage of their training and education. Our coaches and trainers ensure that our student athletes they meet their academic responsibilities and achieve high academic standards, while competing at the highest level in college sports. Additionally, each year UConn faculty are collectively responsible for publishing hundreds of peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters. Last year faculty achieved a University record $286M in research funding. From research on climate change, to Grammy award-winning recordings, to offering cutting-edge, globally-recognized research on COVID-19, our faculty are central to making UConn the world-class university that it is. In all, they have helped draw nearly 40,000 applicants from around the world to join our newest, and most diverse, freshman class.

We start 2022 with a University administration with a balanced budget, and the state, so flushed with cash, that it has met its maximum contributions to the Rainy Day Fund. Some state lawmakers are so convinced that the state’s coffers are excessively bloated that state revenue should be reduced with tax cuts, rather than give state employees a raise. Specifically, UConn-AAUP members have gone six of the last twelve years without a raise. In fact, the University wants its faculty to take essentially a pay cut with its parsimonious offer of 0%, .75%, and 2% pay raises over three years (up from its initial offer of 0%, 0% and 2%). This amounts to a 2.75% pay increase over three years. However, against current 6%-7% annual inflation rates, this offer emerges as a net pay reduction of between 10%-15%.

Our faculty deserve better than this. UConn deserves better than this. The administrators, the Board of Trustees can do better than this. We will continue to push forward in our negotiations and ask our membership to write to lawmakers, express your support via social media, traditional media, the President’s Office, as well as the Board of Trustees.

The faculty are UConn, and UConn deserves better.

In Solidarity.                                                                                                   JOIN UConn-AAUP HERE

 

Mary Ellen Junda, President

Jeffrey Ogbar, Executive Vice President

Michael Bailey, Executive Director

“Follow” us on Twitter: @UConnAAUP

“Like” Us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/uconnaaup

UConn-AAUP Website: http://www.uconnaaup.org/AAUP

 

UConn-AAUP 2022 EXCELLENCE AWARDS

The UConn-AAUP seeks nominations of its members for the UConn-AAUP Excellence Awards in Teaching, Research, and Service Recognition. The primary nominator must send the complete submission in a single pdf file, indicating the award category, via e-mail to Barbara Kratochvil at BarbaraK@uconnaaup.org.  Special consideration will be given to those members who have addressed issues related to social justice or have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UConn-AAUP encourages updated submissions for applicants nominated within the last three years 2019, 2020, and 2021.

We are especially interested in issues related to social justice and responses to the COVID19 pandemic.

The deadline for submitting nominations to the UConn-AAUP office is FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2022.  All nominees must be dues-paying members of the UConn-AAUP.

TEACHING EXCELLENCE AWARDS

Required Supporting Materials for All Teaching awards:

1)    Two letters of support from UConn faculty members, including at least one with extensive knowledge of the applicant’s teaching.

2)    Two letters of support from current or former UConn students (undergraduate or graduate).

3)    OIR teaching evaluation data for all courses, as relevant.

4)    Curriculum Vitae.

 TEACHING EXCELLENCE: EARLY CAREER

Eligibility: Untenured faculty member with 3 to 6 years of service at UConn and no more than 6 years of teaching experience as a faculty member at any institution.

TEACHING EXCELLENCE: CAREER

Eligibility: Any faculty member with over 6 years teaching experience. This award recognizes classroom instruction, and advising and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students.

TEACHING INNOVATION

Eligibility: Any faculty member. This award recognizes new methods and curricular design.

RESEARCH EXCELLENCE AWARDS

 Required Supporting Materials for all Research awards:

1)    Four letters of support from faculty members with extensive knowledge of the applicant’s research, with at least one from UConn.

2)  Curriculum Vitae.

EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AND CREATIVITY: EARLY CAREER

Eligibility: Untenured faculty member with 3 to 6 years of service at UConn and no more than 6 years of research or creativity experience as a faculty member at any institution. This award recognizes outstanding scholarship, which may include journal articles, conference papers, books, exhibitions of creative work, external funding, and other appro­priate criteria as determined by the evaluating committee, with an emphasis on scholarship performed at UConn.

EXCELLENCE IN RESEARCH AND CREATIVITY: CAREER

Eligibility: Any faculty member with over 6 years of experience. This award recognizes scholarship with a national and international reputa­tion, outstanding service in promoting scholarship at UConn, and long-term impact on UConn scholarship.

SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD

Required Supporting Materials for Service Excellence award:

1)      Four letters of support, including at least one from a faculty member with extensive knowledge of the applicant’s UConn service.

2)      Curriculum Vitae.

Eligibility: Open to all UConn-AAUP members.

This award recognizes service performed while maintaining satisfactory performance in other regular assignments (e.g., teaching and scholarly activities) such as:

  1. Professional service that positively impacts the citizens of the State, consistent with UConn’s land-grant mission.
  2. Professional service that contributes to the common good at national and/or international levels.
  3. Leadership in enhancing the visibility of UConn among prospective undergraduate and graduate students, thus improving enrollment and the quality of incoming students.
  4. Contributions promoting significant program excellence and/or improved productivity of students, staff, and faculty.
  5. Leadership in fostering cooperative activities within the University to enhance success in its mission.

 

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UConn Vaccination Policy

Title

Mandatory Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Policy Owner

Human Resources

Applies to

All employees, including volunteers and contractors

Campus Applicability

All campuses, excluding UConn Health

Effective Date

August 18, 2021

For More Information Contact

Human Resources

Contact Information

HR@uconn.edu

Official Website

http://hr.uconn.edu

PURPOSE

UConn is committed to protecting our students, employees, and our communities from COVID-19. Toward that goal, and in consideration of guidance released by the state of Connecticut, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and a variety of public health authorities and professional organizations, UConn is implementing a mandatory vaccination policy for its workforce.

APPLIES TO

The Mandatory Workforce COVID-19 Vaccination Policy applies to all Workforce members (see definition below)1. This policy applies to Workforce members regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely, unless the individual qualifies for an exemption as provided herein. Exemptions may be granted to Workforce members (1) who have certain medical conditions; or (2) on the basis of a strong religious or sincerely held belief. Workforce members who are denied an exemption shall have ten (10) days from the date of the notice of the denial to receive the vaccine (either a single dose vaccine or first dose of the 2-dose vaccine). Deferral of the receipt of the vaccine may be granted to Workforce Members (1) who have certain medical conditions; (2) who are on approved block FMLA or supplemental leave; (3) due to a positive COVID test or treatment; or (4) due to current pregnancy or breastfeeding.

DEFINITIONS
Workforce Members— all UConn employees, volunteers, and any contracted individuals.

COVID-19— COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a new coronavirus discovered in 2019. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.

Fully Vaccinated— Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 1) two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series (such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines); or 2) two weeks after a single-dose vaccine (such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine).

International employees shall be considered in compliance with the COVID-19 vaccine requirement if they have been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that has either been authorized for emergency use

1 Workforce members represented by bargaining units under the jurisdiction of the State’s Office of Labor Relations (OLR-OPM) are not currently subject to mandatory vaccination requirements of this policy until negotiations have concluded. They are subject to the mandatory reporting, testing and health and safety requirements if unvaccinated.

in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or been authorized for emergency use outside of the United States by the World Health Organization (WHO).

POLICY STATEMENT

All Workforce members are required to have or obtain a COVID-19 vaccination as a term and condition of employment at UConn, unless an exemption or deferral has been approved. All Workforce members shall be required to report their vaccine status and to provide approved documentation as proof of vaccination. All current employees shall be required to report their status not later than September 10, 2021. All new Workforce members shall be required to provide proof of their vaccination status prior to the start of their employment. All records of vaccinations and approved exemptions will be maintained by Human Resources. Such records will not be included in Workforce members’ personnel files.

ENFORCEMENT

Violations of this policy or associated procedures may result in appropriate disciplinary measures, up to an including dismissal, in accordance with University By-Laws, General Rules of Conduct for All University Employees, applicable collective bargaining agreements, other applicable University Policies, or as outlined in any procedures document related to this policy.

PROCEDURES/FORMS

Procedures and forms associated with this policy are available on the Human Resources website.

REFERENCES

 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html  https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus
 https://cthosp.org/covid-19-update-center/
 https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets

 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Chief Negotiator’s Blog 2.23.21

Attendees: K. Buffkin, K. Bannister, P. Diplock, G Kersaint, J. Wade, T. Cheng

Administration Proposals:

Article 22 2.23.21 University Counterproposal[2]

UConn-AAUP Proposals

Article 3 2.23.21 UConn-AAUP Counterproposal

Article 15 2.23.21 UConn-AAUP Counterproposal[1]sent

Article 1 2.23.21 UConn-AAUP Proposal

Article 2 2.23.21 UConn-AAUP Counter Proposal

Article 20 2.23.21 UConn-AAUP Proposal

Article 32 2.23.21 UConn-AAUP Counter Proposal

Article 8 1.14.21 UConn-AAUP Counterproposal[2]

Article 10 2.23.21 UConn-AAUP Counterproposal(1)

Article 28 2.23.21 UConn-AAUP revised-2[1]

 

Chief Negotiator’s Blog 2.18.20

Attendees: K. Buffkin, K. Bannister, G. Kersaint, T Cheng, P. Diplock, Special Guests Scott Jordan, Lloyd Blanchard, and Chris Delello

Scott and Lloyd made a Powerpoint presentation on the UConn budget.

Administration Proposals

Article 10 2.16.21 University Counterproposal

Article 3 2.10.21 University Counterproposal

Article 32 2.4.21 University Proposal

UConn-AAUP Proposal

Article 12 2.18.21 UConn-AAUP Proposal

UConn-AAUP Coaches’ Handbook 1-2021

Link to the coaches handbook:

Coaches’ Handbook 1.2021

 

The University of Connecticut Chapter of

AAUP

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS, INC.

COACHES’ HANDBOOK

January 2021

Welcome to the UConn Coaches’ Handbook.

UConn-AAUP is providing you with the Coaches’ Handbook for you to become familiar with your rights and benefits under the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA). It is only a guide to the relevant provisions of the CBA that coaches may encounter in their employment at UConn. If you have any questions regarding this guide and your employment at UConn, please contact UConn-AAUP as soon as possible.

UConn-AAUP has found that many of the concerns that are brought to us are a result of the administrators and employees not being aware of what has been bargained in the CBA. This guide should be used to help the parties avoid an unpleasant working environment.

UConn-AAUP and representatives of the Board of Trustees periodically meet to negotiate improvements to the CBA. In order to make such improvements, UConn-AAUP makes note of challenges and concerns that are raised throughout the terms of the CBA. They also reach out to its members to hear ways to make the employment environment work more effectively through a bargaining survey. When asked, please fill out the survey to the best of your ability.

As you know, UConn coaches and their support staff have a different relationship with their school than many other coaches in the NCAA. The opportunity to be a member of a union provides for collective representation in protecting inequities in the employment environment. Many coaches are envious of this relationship.

In order for UConn-AAUP to be effective in enforcing this relationship through the CBA, every bargaining unit member should be paying his or her fair share of dues. If you are not a member, please consider the importance of joining your fellow coaches in supporting UConn-AAUP.

The more members in the union, the more voices that will be heard, the stronger the union will be in continuing to make improvements in the “collective” bargaining agreement and in protecting members from retaliation. 

  1. EMPLOYMENT

INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT (IEA)

The Individual Employment Agreement (IEA) is different from the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) or contract.

The CBA is negotiated with representatives of the Board of Trustees every few years and is the master agreement for all bargaining unit members identified by their titles listed in Article 1 Inclusion. The terms of your employment as a coach are specified in the IEA, and include length of contract, salary, bonuses, and other benefits. It is important to read both documents carefully, especially Article 37 Athletics of the CBA, which has the most impact on coaches.

If there is a conflict of terms between the CBA and the IEA, the CBA is the controlling document and the union will enforce the terms in the CBA.

PERSONNEL FILES

Your personnel file contains documents on which decisions regarding your reappointment are based, including original copies of all of your annual evaluations. According to Article 12 Personnel Files of the CBA, you are entitled to see, and obtain a copy of, all materials contained in your file. You also have the right to place a rebuttal to any material contained in the file. The Athletic Director is responsible for maintaining this file in the Athletic Department.

No anonymous material shall be included in your file and therefore it is recommended that you periodically review your file so that you are familiar with its contents.

EVALUATIONS

            Evaluations are an important part of your continued employment at the University and through negotiations; coaches have won an important right to periodic evaluations.

Article 37.10 and 37.11 of the CBA state the purpose and process for evaluations. The purpose of the evaluation is to ensure the quality of job performance and to inform decisions regarding reappointment and promotion in rank (assistant coach to associate coach).

The Athletic Department will determine the procedures for evaluations and publish them for all coaches to view prior to the evaluation. The written evaluation must be shared with the coach within 14 calendar days of the time they are completed. The coach will be asked to sign the evaluation acknowledging that they have read it and received a copy of the evaluation for his/her records. A coach also has the right to append a response to his/her evaluation.

REAPPOINTMENT/NON-RENEWAL

According to the current contract in Article 37.1, in the unlikely occurrence that the IEA terms for an existing coach has expired, the terms and conditions of the expired IEA will remain in effect until a new IEA is in place. Most importantly though, is that the coach must be contacted by the Athletic administration and agree that the current terms remain in place prior to the contract expiring. If your IEA expires without being contacted by the Athletic administration, please contact UConn-AAUP.

Following a one-year probationary period, all members of Article 37 of the CBA may be hired or renewed for a multi-year term of employment. However, Associate and Assistant Coaches, and Specialists in Tier 1 may not be hired for a longer term than the head coach.

After six years of continued employment and beginning in the 7th year, Tier 2 Specialists and Trainers shall be hired for longer-term contracts of between 3 and 5 years.

The administration must notify a coach, trainer, or Specialist of their IEA’s non-renewal according to a specified schedule:

  • Probationary employees – 14 calendar days
  • After one year of non-probationary employment – 60 days
  • After 3 or more years of non-probationary employment – 120 days
  • After receiving a multi-year contract – 300 days

DISMISSAL FOR CAUSE

A recent arbitrators decision in the Kevin Ollie v The Board of Trustees of the University of Connecticut, makes an important statement concerning the interaction between the CBA and the IEA. The arbitrator ruled, “CBA’s supersede conflicting terms in IEA’s.” In the Ollie case, there was conflicting language between the CBA and EIA regarding the just cause standard for termination. The arbitrator stated:

“The CBA does not allow a finding of “just cause” in the absence of serious noncompliance” and “each incidence of misconduct shall be judged solely on its own factual merits.” Thus, “serious misconduct” amounting to “serious noncompliance” has to be grounded in what the NCAA considers serious noncompliance and not what Director Benedict believes is a violation of NCAA rules and regulations.

It is important that all members read their IEA’s carefully and bring any conflicting language between the CBA and IEA to the attention of UConn-AAUP.

CURRENT CBA LANGUAGE IN ARTICLE 37 ATHLETICS REGARDING TERMINATION

The administrators and bargaining unit members (the parties), wish to encourage open communication and agree that whenever possible, problems should be resolved informally before these procedures listed below are initiated.

The parties agree that, except for serious misconduct, dismissal of a bargaining unit member in Athletics should occur only as the final step in a progressive disciplinary system and each instance of misconduct shall be judged solely on its own factual situation merits. The level of proof shall be a preponderance of the evidence.

Any discipline or dismissal during the term of an employment contract shall be for just cause. Any non-renewal of all bargaining unit members in Athletics shall not require just cause, except for Trainers and Specialists in Tier II NCAA Team Sports. The collective bargaining agreement defines just cause to mean:

  1. Neglect of assigned responsibilities, incompetence, or failure to fulfill professional commitments;
  2. Insubordination or serious noncompliance with the University of Connecticut By-Laws, (Revised August 15, 2015), with the Code of Ethics for Public Officials (Chapter 10 of the Connecticut Statutes), or with NCAA rules or regulations;
  • The use of fraud, collusion, concealment, or misrepresentation of a fact material to obtaining employment with the University and/or obtaining promotion, salary increase, or other benefit;
  1. Sexual harassment, serious misconduct, or other conduct which impairs the rights of faculty, students, employees, or others who are engaged with the University in its business or operations;
  2. Repeated, documented failure to meet generally accepted satisfactory standards of job performance based on written evaluations conducted in accordance with paragraphs 37.10 and 37.11 above.

There is a set of procedures to be followed for dismissal, demotion in rank and/or salary, or leave without pay during the term of the IEA. Please refer to the CBA for more information.

Following a discussion with the member of the bargaining unit, a Deputy Director of Athletics or equivalent official may issue written warnings and written reprimands. The member of the bargaining unit may ask for UConn-AAUP representation in that meeting.

  1. SALARY

Effective August 23, 2020, those members of the bargaining unit employed on April 1, 2020 and still employed in August, whose performance is satisfactory, shall receive an 3.5% general wage increase to their base salary.

Effective August 23, 2020, a merit pool shall be established comprised of 2.0% of the combined salaries of all coaches to be distributed to eligible coaches. The Athletic Director should post the criteria for merit so that coaches are aware of how the merit will be distributed.

  1. BENEFITS

HEALTH INSURANCE

Health Insurance plans offered by the State of Connecticut are available to all bargaining unit members as specified both in the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) and as expressed in the CBA. The Office of the State Comptroller offers several medical and dental coverage options. Detailed information about medical, dental and pharmacy plans is available to you on the Comptroller’s website.

RETIREMENT

Each eligible State of Employee is required to be enrolled in a retirement plan. The Office of the State Comptroller offers three different retirement plans for bargaining unit employees. Please see the Comptroller’s website for more information regarding the State Employees Retirement Plan (SERS), Alternate Retirement Plan (ARP) and a Hybrid plan.

TUITION WAIVER

In addition to the waiver of tuition permitted under State statute, the Board of Trustees have the authority to waive tuition for dependent children of members of the bargaining unit matriculating in an undergraduate degree program at UConn and its regional campuses.

TUITION REIMBURSEMENT

A sum of money is set aside each year for the reimbursement of tuition for courses taken at the UConn and/or other higher education institutions. The money will be allocated according to existing guidelines.

CHILD CARE

A pool of money is available each year to reimburse bargaining unit members for childcare expenses incurred in a licensed day care facility. (See details/eligibility at www.uconnaaup.org)

 

Chief Negotiator’s Blog – 10/20/2020

October 20, 2020

Present for Administration: K Buffkin, K Bannister, P Diplock, J Wade, G Kersaint, T Cheng

This was the third meeting of the parties where there were technology challenges with our team entering the meeting.  It appear to be due to the  program Microsoft Teams. Teams is a University owned product using uconn.edu accounts. AAUP team members have been using alternative email addresses to protected account passwords. We have suggested using Zoom, but the university is reluctant to use, and suggests Webex. We are reluctant to use Webex, another university owned product.

  1. UConn-AAUP Proposals:

UConn-AAUP Counter-Proposal Article 13.2.C We feel HR should be performing an audit each year to ensure that anyone that is eligible for a multi-year appointment, is appropriately appointed to one.

2. Administration Response:

The following proposals need financial amount of proposal included:

Professional Development for In-resident faculty

Additional compensation proposal (12/12ths)

3. AAUP response to Administrations By-Laws Amendment

We want a snapshot of what is in place when the contract is signed. Allowing bylaws to be amended “from time to time” changes the bylaws, not the CBA.