On October 31 UHPA and UH engaged in negotiations on a successor contract. The Governor presented his “apparent” opening offer of a 0% salary increase the first year of the new contract, a 0% increase in the second year, and an EUTF flat rate that will not increase with rising premium costs by the health insurance carriers.This is a significant change from the current practice of the employers’ contribution being established through a % of the total premium cost.
The Governor’s proposal negatively impacts all faculty by diminishing your buying power for at least a two year time period. It devalues the work of faculty members and is a break from the recent past where Governors, both Republican and Democrat, gave wage increases to faculty and other public employees.
The UHPA bargaining team expressed their concerns regarding the failure to support faculty members and the probable consequence of faculty leaving the University and the difficulty in recruiting quality employees. The State is not without appropriate resources to increase the compensation of faculty members. It is a willful decision by the Governor to deny wage and benefits increases.
The Governor’s representative indicated they had not fully determined how to balance funds and faculty members needed to be patient. UHPA informed the Governors’ representative that they are doing damage to the reputation of the University as a desirable place to work.
The next negotiations session is December 1.