We are writing to share the recommendations from Allan McCausland, the mutually selected neutral factfinder. As you know, the university and AAUP-UNH received the recommendations on Monday, May 2. As New Hampshire labor law requires that the report remain confidential for 10 days; today was the first day we were permitted to share the report. During factfinding, the neutral and mutually agreed upon party reviews evidence submitted by both sides on the biggest points of disagreement. In this case, the parties agreed the issues were salary and benefits.
As McCausland acknowledged, “the parties have been negotiating for this CBA for over two years in a very difficult environment. Two years in which circumstances in our society and economy have shifted dramatically at times…. Rather than seeing regressive bargaining, I have been impressed by the professionalism of the parties, and the courtesy and cooperation they often showed each other, despite some ‘hard’ bargaining.”
It is in this spirit of cooperation, we believe, that the factfinder’s recommendation calls for both parties to accept the recommendations as a package . This would include all AAUP-UNH faculty being covered under the same medical plan as other university employees and the university committing to a series of salary increases which total 10% between now and 2024—about 2% per year starting from 2019. We appreciate that the factfinder carefully evaluated the needs of faculty and gave credence to the university’s position given recent financial challenges and significant pandemic costs. It is important to remember that our AAUP-UNH faculty have not had a pay increase since 2019 and we have been actively discussing additional staff compensation for months.
Recognizing that the final decision is that of the USNH board of trustees, we believe the factfinder’s report is a fair and reasonable compromise, offering recommendations that would benefit both the university and AAUP-UNH faculty.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this process.
James W. Dean Jr.