After more than a year of bargaining, members of the University of Cincinnati AAUP chapter voted overwhelmingly on March 9 to ratify a new three-year contract. One especially contentious point in negotiations was an administration plan that would have doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled employee health-care costs, depending on salary level. With a planned protest of a board meeting and mounting public pressure, however, the bargaining team and the administration were able to contain increases in health insurance premiums at 25 percent in the second and third years of the contract.
On compensation, the agreement includes across-the-board increases of 4 percent over three years; compression adjustments each year of 0.25 percent of aggregate salary, awarded per year of service up to twelve years; merit pools of 0.5 percent in the first year (to be determined by deans) and 1 percent in the second and third years (to be determined by faculty); and additional increases on regional campuses of 2 percent per year. It also includes an improved system for awarding faculty development funding and an increase in that funding, provisions for extending the tenure clock for faculty members with substantial responsibility for caring for newly born or adopted children, and a paid parental leave policy to be designed and implemented by a joint union-management committee.
Greg Loving, president of UC-AAUP, said of the agreement: “Throughout this campaign, our chapter has made major strides. We have gained experience in effectively using the media to make our priorities known in a way the public can understand. We have also refocused the conversation at UC on the core academic mission in an atmosphere of limited resources.”