UConn-AAUP Update: May 29, 2024

UConn-AAUP Update: May 29, 2024

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In this issue:
Labor Board Decision and Declaratory Ruling – Course Enrollment 

Board Decision

On May 20, 2024, the CT State Board of Labor Relations released its Decision and Declaratory Ruling on course enrollment as a mandatory subject of bargaining. The Board decision can be found here.

The Board found first that “course enrollment and class size” can be used interchangeably, and as they ruled in another case, “class size is an academic policy reserved to the Petitioner (college).”

The Board also noted that it “has long recognized the general proposition that if the number of students increases so does the amount of time faculty members will have to spend on directing and supervising students at the expense of other responsibilities.”

But the Board concluded that the “University’s need for unilateral action outweighs the directness and depth of course enrollment’s impingement on faculty workload.” Despite this, the Board emphasized “that while the employer has no obligation to negotiate with the employees’ representatives about managerial decisions that lie at the core of entrepreneurial control, an employer is nevertheless required to bargain over the effects of its managerial decisions on employee working conditions.”

UConn-AAUP Response

  1. Department faculty can create and approve department documents that include accommodations for increases in course enrollments. The Decision points to ways in which departments have written Workload documents to accommodate for the number of students in a course.
    1. Animal Science faculty agreed to include “credit hour equivalencies” (CHE) in their Workload document that provides one additional CHE for teaching large classes of 75 or more.
    2. School of Business issued a Workload Policy based on “faculty workload allocations” 40% teaching, 40% research and 10% service) in which a 3-credit course is credited as 10% of workload, classes over 80 students are credited as 15% of workload and classes over 120 students are credited as 20% of workload.
    3. Computer Science and Engineering uses a formula to determine differential teaching load allocation.

The administration is required to inform UConn-AAUP of any changes to University documents that impact terms and conditions of employment – Article 8.1.  Department faculty must be vigilant to any change in University/School/College policy documents and notify UConn-AAUP as soon as possible.

  1. Improve protections and possible accommodations for increases in course enrollments to Article 30 in the next round of negotiations starting in Fall 2024.

In Solidarity,

Michael Bailey, Executive Director
David Amdur, Associate Executive Director
Gina DeVivo Brassaw, Internal Organizer