UNH Faculty Senate

Summary Minutes from 3 April 2000


                      
        		      UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
               			     FACULTY SENATE
                      
                      
          APRIL 3, 2000                                     MINUTES SUMMARY
                                           
                                           
          I.  Roll - The following Faculty Senate members were absent:
          Bornstein, de la Torre, Macieski,  and VonDamm.  Absent as work
          to rule were Barretto, Echt, Garland, Givan, Planalp, Reardon, Roh,
          Stine and Williams.  Excused were McConnell, Naumes, Nordgren
          and Sherman.
                             
          II.  Update on the Status of Collective Bargaining - The president
          asked the faculty to check the following web site for information on
          the system's latest contract proposal:  http://usnhbot.unh.edu.  In the
          recent negotiation session, the system proposed a five-year contract. 
          In the fourth and fifth year, the contract would include a merit/equity
          pool of 0.55% and 0.80% respectively.  The effective average
          increase per year for the five years for a full professor would be
          4.37%, for an associate professor 4.44%, and for an assistant
          professor 4.64%; and the weighted average for all ranks for the five
          years would be 4.45%.  There also would be an immediate one-time
          lump sum payment of $1000, as well as some flat dollar amounts
          added to the base.  There would also be an appeals process for any
          unanticipated consequences of the proposed changes in health
          insurance benefits.  In addition, the proposal includes an increase in
          summer session salaries.  For example in fiscal year 2001, summer
          session salaries would increase by 14% for full professors, by 16%
          for associate professors, and by 18% for assistant professors.
          
          The president said that retroactivity is a negotiable issue, as are all
          parts of the proposed agreement.  Although the system web site says
          that "in rejecting the USNH proposal, the AAUP refused to offer a
          proposal of their own or indicate where they stood in the current
          bargaining process", Steve Fan said that it was actually the system
          negotiator who refused to offer a counter proposal other than
          suggesting some procedural changes for future negotiations.
          
          The president said that, regarding health benefits, the system has
          proposed a joint appeals process through which faculty could be
          compensated for any reductions in health benefits that were not made
          clear in the materials that compared the benefits of the Point of
          Service plan with the EBPA plan, which the system would like to
          terminate in order to reduce costs.  Faculty who take the Point of
          Service plan will get a dental plan that is better than the EBPA dental
          plan.  However, the union says that, if the EBPA plan is terminated,
          faculty health benefits would be reduced for all plans, including a
          reduction in the definition of usual and customary charges.  Also, the
          recommendations from the proposed appeal process would be non-
          binding.  The union has asked for a thorough review of the system's
          proposed health benefit plan changes.
          
          Both the faculty union and the system say that their goal is to have
          UNH faculty salaries equal the average at comparable universities,
          but there is disagreement on which universities are comparable.  The
          union had used the five New England state universities as the
          comparator group, but the system had used twelve universities as
          their group of peer universities.  Now, however, the system wants to
          move away from the list of twelve peer universities and is discussing
          an even larger comparator group.  However, faculty say that
          regionality is important in a comparator group for salary purposes.
          
          The union states that the system salary proposal is inadequate,
          because not only would the faculty not move towards the average
          salary in comparable universities but the faculty would even lose
          ground under the proposed contract.  For example, in fiscal year 2000
          the average salary increase in the five New England state universities
          is 4.64%; but the system is only offering 4.25%.  Moreover Academe
          says that for fiscal year 2000 the national average salary increase for
          continuing faculty at public category I universities is 4.9%.                                        
                        
          In the past, the system said that there was no money in the budget for
          higher salaries; but now our enrollment has increased; and so the
          union says that there should be more money available for salaries.  If
          we look at the twelve universities the system has claimed are peer
          institutions, the system's proposal would put UNH faculty at a level
          of 11.6% below the average of those universities, for fiscal year
          2000.  The union says that a summer school boycott will cost the
          university more money than it would cost to accept the union's
          contract proposal.  Regarding any likelihood of a strike, there will be
          a hearing in May by the labor board.  Steve Fan says that he will call
          the system office and ask for another negotiation session or for
          moving to the next negotiating step.
          
          A professor said that faculty would like to compare the AAUP's web
          site with that of the system; and he asked if the fact sheets which
          Steve Fan distributed are on the AAUP's web site.  Professor Fan
          replied that they are not, because the web master is in Prague.  The
          union says that the system is holding the monies for salary increases
          and is profiting by the interest on those funds and that this will be
          true even if retroactivity is attained.  The system insists that all merit
          salary increases should be decided by the deans, but the union says
          that the merit funds should be distributed by the departments.  A
          professor asked fellow senators, after hearing the presentations by
          both the president of the university and the chief negotiator of the
          AAUP, whether any of the senators were prepared to accept the
          university system's contract proposal or whether any would return to
          their departments and recommend to their colleagues a settlement on
          system terms.  Silence ensued.
                                       
          III.  Adjournment - The meeting was adjourned.
          
          

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