United Academics President Julie Roberts said the school expanded to bargain just hours after the union filed the complaint, which focused on administrators who had not been involved in negotiations before because they said they had influenced the collective agreement. United Academics also solidifies with UVM employees, who have been unilaterally forced to cut back. THE UVM`s office, technical and professional staff have not yet organized a union that would require the administration to negotiate changes in wages, benefits and working conditions. Throughout the negotiation process, the faculties union has sought to prioritize fairness and justice for all UVM staff, not just the faculty. United Academics wrote in a press release that the university`s president, Suresh Garimella, and Le Provost Patricia Prelock, refused to participate in the negotiations because the school made « sweeping, unilateral » workplace changes that affect the collective agreement. The University of Vermont Faculty Union announced Wednesday that it was retracing a complaint against the university for unfair labor practices after administrators agreed to negotiate issues related to Covid-19 and the fall semester. United Academics also recently filed two separate complaints accusing the university of violating the collective agreement by reducing some non-Tenure-Track faculties to 75% of full-time employment and ending some previously authorized sabbaticals. According to the union, the administration`s bargaining team stated that the reductions in compensation were only partially attributable to the budgeting associated with COVID. The government has made clear its intention to take advantage of a crisis to bring salaries and faculty performance back to pre-2015 levels.
Roberts said the government had agreed to continue negotiations in good faith. Recognizing the stakes of negotiations during a pandemic, the United Academics team proposed in April to submit negotiations and renew the current contract. In June, the union team also proposed progressive salary cuts for the faculty. The government rejected these good faith efforts to compromise and interrupt the negotiation process. The American Federation of Teachers is a union of professionals who advocate for fairness; Democracy; Economic opportunities and quality public education, health care and public services for our students, their families and our communities. We are committed to promoting these principles through engagement, organization, collective bargaining and political activism, and in particular through the work of our members.