Rocket Nation Recovery Part 36 – UT faculty union leaders response to UT leaders (https://rocketnetworker.com/2023/10/07/rocket-nation-recovery-part-30/)

If you were a trustee how would you respond?

“President Postel opened his rebuttal letter of September 27, 2023 by saying in regards to the UT-AAUP contract negotiations, “…collaborations between the parties and the on-going discussions are going well.” This is incorrect. The negotiations are the worst in over 30 years. Who told President Postel that negotiations are going well? HR? Matt Schroeder?

The negotiations have been on-going since March 2022. Schroeder’s HR negotiation team has had three team leaders and is now looking for a fourth. They have presented proposal after proposal attacking contract articles to redefine and eliminate faculty rights and benefits. This is all about HR control over faculty.

As previously reported there has been little or no progress at the table. There have been numerous negative proposals including:

· Cutting of life insurance

· Elimination of disability insurance

· HR takeover of the UT-AAUP Sick Bank

· Replacement of Lecturers with graduate students

· Restrictions on all faculty activities outside of UT

· Eliminate faculty right to file a grievance after certain HR investigations and findings

The UT-AAUP has repeatedly asked HR and Schroeder for cost data to support the above and other proposed changes and cuts, but we are told there is none. HR acknowledges there have been no abuses of the UT-AAUP Sick Bank, but HR wants complete control of it. They also want control over faculty activities outside of UT.

As previously reported, the UT-AAUP proposed last April 2023 another one-year extension with a 4% increase on the first $70,000 in base pay and 2% on base pay above $70,000. The Administration promised us a response over and over for months but did not respond with a counter-offer until October. The parties have since gone back and forth with more delays by the Administration.

Delays and negative proposals have been the “M.O.” of the Schroeder negotiation team. This was the model used by former UT Trustee Daniel Guttman at Wright State University. After Mr. Guttman left the UT Board of Trustees in July 2022, he was hired by Schroeder to direct negotiations with all of the UT unions. He and Schroeder met with the Deans in two July 2022 meetings. We were told by an attendee at these meetings that Mr. Guttman advised the Deans that the UT faculty negotiations would follow the model used at Wright State.

The HR delays and negative proposals may be tied to SB 83. The Postel Administration may be waiting for SB 83 to become law so that they can introduce hardball negotiations with attacks on programs and tenure.

The question is who is telling President Postel that the negotiations are going well. Why did Postel state in September that the UT-AAUP would have a contract within 2 weeks?”

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