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Plymouth State Faculty Win Strong First Contract

By Jamie Owen Daniel

The AAUP bargaining unit at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, New Hampshire, has proudly ratified its first contract by an overwhelming majority, and the agreement was signed July 24.

This is a major accomplishment for the chapter, especially since the faculty at Plymouth State had experienced a failed organizing campaign with a different union two years before deciding to try again with the AAUP. During the organizing drive, many members of the chapter stepped forward to conduct office visits, gather infor­mation, survey their colleagues, and get out the vote for the elec­tion. This level of member-driven commitment paid off during nego­tiations, when the tight structure of accountability developed during the organizing drive continued as members stepped up to serve on the stellar negotiating team, the research team, and the contract campaign committee.

This first contract is a strong one, stabilizing workload and, just as important, guaranteeing no retrenchment as the employer works with faculty to restructure departments and colleges. In addi­tion, the negotiating team, with the support of member activists, was able to win shared governance language in spite of its being a permissive, rather than mandatory, subject of bargaining and in spite of the employer’s initial refusal even to consider such language.

Kudos to this strong and tena­cious new collective bargaining chapter!

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