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SU part-time faculty approve three-year union contract
Syracuse University part-time faculty members on Monday approved a three-year collective bargaining agreement between the University and Adjuncts United, a labor union affiliated with the New York State United Teachers Union (AU/NYSUT).
Voting for the more than 500 members of the bargaining unit occurred by mail, with the ballots tabulated Monday. The contract was approved by a 6-to-1 margin.
This is the first labor agreement for SU part-time faculty members. The union was recognized as the bargaining representative of SU part-time faculty members in December 2005. Contract negotiations began in June 2006 and entailed 81 meetings, the last of which occurred on May 20.
“I am extremely grateful to all of the individuals who worked long and hard to enable this agreement, both the members of the University’s negotiating team and the leadership of our part-time faculty bargaining unit,” says SU Vice Chancellor and Provost Eric F. Spina. “Both sides were able to keep the academic mission of the University and the interests of the membership front and center, and as a result we have a historic agreement of which we can all be proud.”
“Considering the difficult process of negotiating a first contract in a private university setting, the value of this initial contract cannot be overestimated,” says Jeanette Jeneault, president of Adjuncts United. “The contract’s impact will be far reaching and reaffirm our joint commitment to the teaching mission of the University.”
Among the contract’s highlights:
- annual wage increases for all part-time faculty members and eligibility for merit increases;
- increases in the minimum per-credit-hour rate;
- establishment of a modified benefit plan for part-time faculty members who have completed probation and teach at least three credit hours in both the fall and spring semesters that includes options to participate in: health care reimbursement plan, University dental and vision plans, group term life insurance, supplemental and dependent life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment plan;
- continued eligibility to participate in the standard University benefit plan for those who meet eligibility standards;
- language that provides eligibility for longer-term appointments based on accumulated credit hours;
- establishment of a professional development fund for part-time faculty;
- a joint labor/management committee; and
- guidelines for participation in University governance bodies.