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.

 

UConn-AAUP Update – August 10, 2020

In this issue:

  • Addressing the Digital Data Delta/Divide in Connecticut

On July 30, the Lamont administration (CT Mirror) announced a digital portal to streamline business incorporation within the State, with impressive results already seen. This is surprisingly good economic news, in the midst of a pandemic. This comes on the heels of a Hartford Courant report that Governor Lamont has invested $43.5 million in an effort to boost internet connectivity and to provide technology for the most in-need students and families and low-performing educational districts. He has called this “the Brown vs. Board of Education of our generation” to address the disparity between those who have a device and access to the internet and those who do not.  But this is just the first step in what needs to be a long-term plan to create a data-driven, digitally dependent modern economy throughout the state.

The pandemic is taking a financial toll on Connecticut.  If we merely reopen our economy, we are reopening to where we were in 2005. States that recovered quickly after the 2008 recession were highly digitally dependent; however, Connecticut was not among them. The state government projects revenue declining by $8.5 billion through FY 2024; the total fiscal gap is probably $11-14 billion, or $2.7 to $3.5 billion annually. This fiscal crisis cannot be addressed merely through taxation.   If economic development is not enhanced, the gap will likely be even worse.

You can help: The CT legislature is expected to hold another Special Session in September. Call your state Representative and your state Senator and insist they focus serious, sustained attention on Connecticut’s economic development in order to quickly and powerfully strengthen our economy to be data-driven and digitally dependent.

The Proposal: The state has a dense network, with limited access that has to be made more accessible.  Governor Lamont’s $43.5M begins to address this issue in education; however, Connecticut has the intellectual capital for innovative data analysis across health, and industry, in addition to education.  Current resources are not optimized for synergy, but they could be. Some suggestions:

1)    Expand current network infrastructure across the state to a dense 100-gig presence.

2)    Solve the `last mile’ connectivity problem at an attractive cost to small businesses.

3)    Use that enhanced network foundation as the springboard to wireless 5G.

4)    Create a non-profit entity to coordinate a rich university-research environment of consisting of the numerous public and private institutions of higher education throughout the state with JAX-CT, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), UTC, EB, etc.

5)    Create a non-profit entity to coordinate the delivery of university-level remote/online courses that could prepare high school students in low income areas for college level courses and reduce tuition/housing costs for those attending colleges and universities.

Some addition options include data intensive opportunities in electronic health records (UCHC-Yale-Hartford Hospital-Mt. Sinai++), bio-science (JAX-CT), gaming (ESPN-Disney), advanced manufacturing (UTC, EB), and education (tech transfer to primary and secondary education).

Modest incentive investments by the government could make an important difference:

·      Provide $5M to connect small businesses to high speed internet

·      Reduce traffic congestion, pollution and maintenance by ‘moving many bits, not one body’

·      Complement ‘concrete’ with ‘connectivity’ – a ‘win-win.’

·      Reinvigorate our state and cities with young digitally-savvy professionals by promoting CT housing & lifestyle to those living in Boston and New York.

Please contact your legislator and make your voice be heard.

Thank you.

Mary Ellen Junda, President

Jeffrey Ogbar, Executive Vice President

Michael Bailey, Executive Director

Coronavirus Monitoring Update – University Communication

The University of Connecticut is taking steps to address the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, by restricting travel and recommending self-monitoring, stay at home, requirement. See the statement below.

Dear UConn Employees:

As the University continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19, or coronavirus, across the globe, we are taking steps to help improve our informational awareness and reduce the risk to our community state-wide.

GUIDANCE UPON RETURNING FROM INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL

Effective immediately and in accordance with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UConn and UConn Health will require that employees follow the guidance below:

1) Individuals who have returned from personal or business travel within the past 14 days from a CDC Level 2 or 3 country should remain at home for at least 14 full days after their return from these countries and self-monitor daily for fever (>100.5 degrees F), cough, and shortness of breath.
2) Individuals who have already returned from a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 country, returned to work, and remain within the full 14-day period of potential exposure, please inform your manager and the Office of Human Resources (see contact information) immediately and remain at home for the remainder of the required full 14-day period.
3) Individuals who are asymptomatic during and after the full 14-day period should notify their manager and the Office of Human Resources before returning to their regular duties/station.
4) Individuals who develop symptoms during the full 14-day period should contact their primary care provider to determine the necessity of an in-person medical evaluation. Individuals should also notify their manager and the Office of Human Resources. Employees should seek emergency care if symptoms worsen after alerting the facility of your travel history and impending arrival.
5) Individuals with household members who traveled to a CDC Level 2 or Level 3 country and who may or may not be symptomatic should remain at home for 14 full days following first contact following their return.

NOTE: UConn and UConn Health may identity new geographical regions, including domestic areas, as areas with risk of spread of COVID-19 and travel to these regions may result in exclusion from work activities upon return. Anyone who is not a U.S. National returning from a CDC Level 3 country may not be readmitted to the U.S. by Custom and Border Protection.

MANDATORY INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL REGISTRATION

Effective immediately, UConn and UConn Health have cancelled all institutionally sponsored international travel to CDC Level 2 and Level 3 countries. Guest visits from these countries is also suspended at this time. It is strongly encouraged to cancel or postpone all non-essential foreign travel at this time.

Before commencing any international travel, employees, residents and guests must complete this form via the Office of Global Affairs. Individuals currently abroad should also complete the form.

Note that the form asks for your Net ID and password. There may be employees, residents and guests who do not use their Net ID regularly and may not know it or do not have one. If that is the case, please click here and follow the instructions.

Once the form intake occurs, a number of additional internal steps will occur and the Office of Human Resources may contact you based on the complete details of your form.

DOMESTIC TRAVEL

Business travel within the United States is currently allowed at the discretion of UConn and UConn Health employees and managers using the regular protocols; but in an abundance of caution business travel may be reviewed to determine if that business travel is immediately essential to the mission of the University. All personal employee travel within the United States remains a personal choice, but we urge you to take special precautions in respect to your own health.

GUESTS, VISITORS, AND OTHERS WHO ARE NOT EMPLOYEES

Please inform external contractors, vendors, consultants or residency program directors that UConn and UConn Health is barring international business travel to CDC Level 2 and Level 3 countries. Individuals, including non-employees, who have visited one of these nations in the last 14 days must undergo a 14-day self-monitoring period at home before returning to any University campus. This restriction does not apply to those seeking treatment at UConn Health.

HEALTH TIPS

Here are some tips to stay healthy:

Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Do not shake hands; instead, use alternative greetings.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
TELECOMMUTING

All employees who are being instructed to stay at home for 14 days and monitor their health may be approved to telecommute for work with University approval in accordance with our respective telecommuting policies, guidelines, and bargaining unit contracts. More information regarding telecommuting will be forthcoming from the Office of Human Resources.

PAY

All employees who are being instructed to stay at home for 14 days to monitor their health and for whom no telecommuting capability can be arranged, will be placed on paid leave through the 14 day self-monitoring period and paid in accordance with their regular base rate of pay. Note: Some exceptions apply to temporary and short-term employees.

IF YOU OR A HOUSEHOLD MEMBER BECOMES ILL

Employees OR household members of employees who become ill with COVID-19 or manifest symptoms of the virus must follow the instructions of their health care provider. The illness may or may not rise to the level of a Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) event, but the Office of Human Resources will provide all the relevant FMLA paperwork as appropriate. Employees who are or become ill should use accrued leave time, if applicable. If an employee exhausts their sick leave, employees should use other accrued leave, including vacation, personal leave, or any additional time prescribed by a specific bargaining agreement or policy. Employees who do not accrue paid time off should contact their manager and the Office of Human Resources.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Please contact your primary care provider with medical questions. Individuals may also visit the two University websites for Storrs & the Regional Campuses and UConn Health.

Please contact the Office of Human Resources for any other questions, as appropriate:

· Storrs/Regionals: hr@uconn.edu
· UConn Health: HR-EmployeeResource@uchc.edu

In closing, as the University and the Office of Human Resources continues to develop more information for all campuses, we will keep employees apprised of further guidance and FAQs. We are grateful for all ongoing efforts and encourage all supervisors to take a moment to talk to their teams about contingency and continuity planning, including staffing and resource needs.

For many in the UConn community, this is a very stressful time. Remember that our strength as an institution lies in our respect for each other, understanding, and compassion. Please continue to be supportive of one another, take care of yourself and each another in in the days ahead. Together, we will work to ensure the health and safety of our community.

Sincerely,

Chris

Christopher Delello
Chief Human Resources Officer

State of Connecticut Medical Benefits Award Decision

STATE OF CONNECTICUT MEDICAL BENEFITS AWARD DECISION EFFECTIVE  JULY 1, 2020
FAQ
As of July 1, 2020, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) will administer all health benefits for active state, municipal and pre-Medicare retirees and their dependents on the State of Connecticut health plan. This includes employees in those towns, cities and school districts participating in the State Partnership Plan. UnitedHealthcare will continue to administer benefits under their fully insured Medicare Advantage plan for those retirees and eligible dependents who are Medicare eligible.
Follow the link to a Frequently Asked Question handout:

State Medical Benefits Award 2020 FAQ (aba606ae-5bd7-4dbd-8735-bcc09ceed808) (1)

UConn-AAUP 2020 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.

The UConn-AAUP encourages updated submissions for applicants nominated within the last three years 2017, 2018, and 2019.

The deadline for submitting nominations to the UConn-AAUP office is FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020.

I. 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.

A. 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.

B. 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.

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

II. 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.

A. 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.

B. 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.

III. 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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Stamford Faculty Council Election

The Stamford Faculty Council (SFC), a New Governance Body for All Teaching Faculty

The faculty at the Stamford campus are holding an election to create a Faculty Governance Body, named the Stamford Faculty Council. The SFC would function to represent the interests and concerns of faculty before decisions are made and implemented. Interim Provost John Elliott recommended that the Stamford faculty organize its own governing body in meetings this past summer as one avenue for productive faculty involvement in campus governance.

The Stamford campus is facing severe challenges due to rapidfire expansion. Majors and programs are being added, and enrollment has skyrocketed, rising from 1200 in 2000 to almost double this year (2200 in 2019-20). Official projections have the campus doubling again in size within five years. Until recently the campus had no dorms; now it has three, and plans to add more. The number of faculty has nearly doubled, and the administrative staff has increased proportionately, with dozens of hires and departures. Yet there is no infrastructure for active faculty governance, so the Stamford faculty as a whole has no independent voice or seat at the table, either at Stamford or Storrs, in planning the future of the campus, even in many matters with direct impact on teaching, learning, and advising.

Keeping this pressing need in mind, the charge of the Stamford Faculty Council will be to promote faculty governance in key areas, including Academics, Faculty Working Conditions, Campus Space Planning, and Student/Faculty Matters, including Advising.

In the area of Academics, the committee will work on planning concerns such as the target portfolio of majors to be offered, the staffing composition of full-time and adjunct faculty to service the majors, the target student/faculty ratio, and class size.

The area of Faculty Working Conditions concerns include technical and secretarial support, allotment of office space, visibility on the website, and access to campus committees and participation in planning affecting work life, such as parking, food services, and the gym.

In the area of Campus Space Planning, concerns will include space needs for curricular and academic activities (library, offices), and co-curricular and extracurricular activities shared by students and faculty (e.g. art gallery and gym).

In the area of Student/Faculty Matters, the group will serve as a liaison between faculty and administration when students encounter issues or barriers with getting support, for example in a family crisis or because of sudden financial need, which harm student learning and success.  The needs of faculty, especially adjuncts, for advising and teaching support form another area of concern.

The SFC will determine its own schedule, rules, and structure in its first phase after members are elected. Its primary goal will be to form an independent voice for faculty at the Stamford campus geared specifically to its unique identity and needs.

 

 

Comptroller’s Office Releases SEBAC Concession Savings for FY18,19

Executive Summary of the Comptroller’s Report:

SEBAC AGREEMENT SAVINGS FOR FY 2018 and FY 2019

Executive Summary

In 2017 the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) and the state negotiated an agreement to assist in resolving the financial issues of the State of Connecticut while preserving public services. Under the agreement, changes were made to employee pension and health care benefits and agreements on employee compensation. Through these negotiations, the state projected a savings of $700.9 million in Fiscal Year 2018 and $868.6 million in Fiscal Year 2019 or $1.57 billion over the biennium.

The following report is a breakdown of the actual savings associated with the 2017 SEBAC contract amendment.

As the analysis demonstrates, programs and initiatives established pursuant to the 2017 SEBAC agreement have collectively resulted in a net savings of $1.7 billion over Fiscal Years 2018 and 2019 – exceeding the total initial projected savings by approximately $128.8 million. Many of these programs are ongoing and expected to continue to produce savings in future fiscal years.

Report submitted to Governor Ned Lamont and the Connecticut General Assembly on 12/10/2019

Report generated by the Office of the State Comptroller

FY18,19.SEBAC-Savings-Report

I Am “All-In” With UConn-AAUP

At the Annual Membership Meeting on October 24, 2019, UConn-AAUP announced its I Am “All-In” With UConn-AAUP membership confirmation campaign as it prepares to negotiate improvements to the current collective bargaining agreement that expires on June 30 2021. The campaign is geared to:

  1. Signing new members to UConn-AAUP;
  2. Identifying new officers and leaders of the Chapter;
  3. Supporting collective bargaining efforts in ramping-up for an improved agreement;
  4. Seeking participation on contract sub-committees;
  5. Working for the Contract Action Team;
  6. Filling vacancies on the Representative Assembly.

All members and non-members of the bargaining unit will be asked to sign a “Confirmation Form” which indicates their willingness to support the negotiating team as they bargain with the administration. Support can take many forms and UConn-AAUP representatives will be reaching to establish the level of support from each member.

Supporting information for the “All-In” campaign, and the Confirmation Form can be found here.

You’re Invited: UConn-AAUP Luncheon 10-24-19

UConn-AAUP Members Only Luncheon
Thursday, October 24, 2019
12 noon
Student Union, Storrs Campus
Room 331
UConn-AAUP members are invited!

Discussions will include –
• UConn-AAUP Constitution Changes
See the proposed changes on our website:
UConn-AAUP Constitution Changes

• UConn-AAUP Negotiations Update
• Membership Update
• UConn Budget Issues
• Legislative Update

Lunch will be provided
Please RSVP if you are planning to attend to
BarbaraK@UConnAAUP.org
860-487-0450
We look forward to seeing you!!