DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire administration and the UNH chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have agreed that contract negotiations are at impasse. The next step in the process is mediation scheduled for Nov. 30, 2010.
Impasse occurs when no agreement is reached during contract negotiations. According to state labor law, the university and the AAUP will now engage in mediation and, if necessary, fact finding. Each requires a neutral, third party who is in a position to encourage further efforts to resolve the challenging issues that led to the impasse. The primary unresolved issues are salary and benefits.
The UNH administration’s most recent formal proposal was for a three-year contract that would provide a total 6.5 percent salary increase. In addition, the administration is strongly advocating for increases in prescription drug and hospital co-pays and for faculty contributions to health insurance premiums to increase by two percentage points. For example, the faculty share of the premium for the family HMO plan would increase from 16 to 18 percent. These changes would bring the AAUP faculty contribution to the cost of health coverage into parity with all other employees of the university and university system and would make an important contribution to ongoing efforts to benefits cost containment across the system. To assist faculty with the transition to higher health premiums, the university has also offered to provide payments above and beyond the 6.5 percent base package.
“The university is committed to an approach to total compensation that continues to attract and retain talented faculty and staff by keeping pace with the marketplace as its resources allow,” said Candace Corvey, the UNH administration’s chief negotiator. “With inflation tracking at less than 0.5 percent, faculty salaries currently more than two points on average above our comparators, and an overall economic climate that remains weak and uncertain, the university believes 6.5 percent over the next three years and the proposed benefits changes will result in fair and competitive compensation for its faculty.”
The current one-year faculty collective bargaining agreement expired on June 30 of this year.