American Association of University Professors
University of Delaware Chapter

301 McDowell Hall, University of Delaware, Newark, DE  19716
Phone: 302-831-2292; Fax: 302-831-4119; E-mail:

Home Membership People Resources News CBA Constitution & Bylaws Student Award

February 2005 aaUPBEAT

Build Bargaining Power - Join the AAUP
Collective Bargaining Proposal


As in other bargaining years, over the coming months the aaUPBEAT will occasionally be composed by the Collective Bargaining Committee. This is the first such issue this year. We do this in order to make sure UD faculty have a direct link to the committee that represents you at the bargaining table. Gerry Turkel remains editor in both cases.

As indicated in previous newsletters, preparing for contract negotiations with the Administration entails conducting a faculty survey, independent analysis of the University's financial condition, and the formulation and approval of contract proposals by the association's Bargaining Committee, Executive Council and Steering Committee. When the collective bargaining sessions are completed and a tentative agreement has been reached by the AAUP and Administration, this agreement cannot be finalized until it is ratified by the faculty.

We enter negotiations this year confident of our bargaining agenda. First, we have taken great care to make sure that our proposals, both in terms of bread and butter issues and matters of procedural protections, speak directly to the interests of UD faculty. Second, we have been rigorous in developing proposals that are realistic and affordable. With regard to this last point, the University's financial condition is certainly strong enough to invest in faculty needs, particularly given the great success of its current fundraising drive, which has already exceeded its $225 million goal by $158 million although the drive doesn't conclude until the end of 2005.

These are important negotiations. Over the past decade we have improved working conditions in a number of ways, including moving us from below our comparator group's salary median to a stronger position. Yet comparisons within the comparator group frequently shift and it is not wise to assume that past gains guarantee continuing gains. Hard work and lots of clearheaded strategizing, not assumptions, are the only way to more improvements. In spite of past successes, (1) faculty salaries are still not as competitive as they could be and (2) we lack certain fundamental protections, for instance, a "just cause" contract provision. Such provisions, which enable a faculty member to use the grievance procedure in case of termination, are part of collective bargaining agreements at other universities. We at UD, however, do not have such a provision. As you will see below in our list of contract proposals, we plan to change this situation during the current round of negotiations.

As the Executive Council stated in the January newsletter, this year's bargaining agenda affirms the AAUP's ongoing support for the belief that "UD's commitment to academic values" must be "first and foremost evidenced in its financial and other commitments to faculty."

The remainder of the newsletter summarizes our key proposals for this year's negotiations. If you want to read the contract proposals online, log onto our website (

Key Bargaining Proposals

1. Administering the Contract (Article VIII). In order to more effectively administer the contract, the union must better clarify the division of labor between the Grievance Committee Chair and the Contract Maintenance Officer. Accordingly, we have proposed that the preamble to Article VIII of the Collective Bargaining Agreement should be amended to include the following two changes:

"Faculty who believe there has been a potential violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and related University policies or violation of his/her academic freedom should contact the Chair of the AAUP Grievance Committee for advice as to the merit, or lack thereof, of the alleged violation..."

"The Contract Maintenance Officer shall represent the UD-AAUP in all matters involving the interpretation or implementation of the Contract. The AAUP Contract Maintenance Officer shall also represent faculty in matters dealing with sexual harassment."

2. Just Cause Article (VIII). Both the AAUP membership and leadership find it inconsistent that the AAUP can represent faculty in cases where the Collected Bargaining Agreement is violated but is not allowed to represent faculty in that worst of all possible cases: termination. Due to both the aggressive approach taken by the Administration on workload policies and the increasingly hostile climate in the country to academic freedom, the time has come for a stronger role for the AAUP in termination proceedings. It is precisely the AAUP's commitment to maximum protection for faculty rights that has made just cause clauses key features of other AAUP-Administration agreements around the country. Accordingly, the AAUP has proposed a new item (no.12) on the contract's Article VIII. Part of the new section will state:

"In the event of termination proceedings against a faculty member, the University must demonstrate through clear and convincing evidence "adequate cause" - incompetence, gross irresponsibility, or moral turpitude - except for termination caused by extraordinary financial circumstances."

Another part of the new section will state:

"The faculty member shall be entitled to all procedural protections provided under the Agreement, as well as under University Policy. The faculty member is also entitled to file a grievance under Article VIII of this Agreement."

3. Childbirth/Adoption (Article IX). Conceptions of childrearing have evolved to the point where it is now accepted throughout society that fathers and mothers should have equal opportunity to care of a newborn or adopted child when the child first comes home. In this light, the AAUP proposes that the second paragraph in Article 9.13 of the contract be altered to include the following language:

"Department chairpersons and faculty members must develop workload options that meet department and individual needs immediately following the birth or adoption of a child by the family of the faculty member. One such option is to be granted a one semester administered load that allows a choice of either partial or full relief from teaching during the semester of the birth or adoption of a child or immediately following the birth or adoption of a child by the family of the faculty member."

4. Parking (Article IX). The Bargaining Committee will present a proposal to the Administration for improving the number of gold parking positions available to faculty. This persistent problem demands a solution.

5. Faculty Contact Hours (New Footnote for Article 11.9). The current 12 credit contact hours vs. 18 teaching contact hours formula for determining the value of faculty academic activities is outmoded and must be changed/simplified by placing a specific contact hour value on each such activity. Accordingly, the AAUP proposes the deletion of Article 11.9's current footnote no. 3 and its replacement by a new footnote which will spell out these values. The new footnote will state in part:

"Each hour spent in scheduled classroom teaching counts as 1 contact hour. Each hour spent in scheduled laboratory, field, studio, clinical, or applied music instruction, or individual instruction (which requires the constant attendance of the faculty member for the entire scheduled period of instruction, and which does not involve the participation of teaching assistants) counts as 2/3 contact hour. Scheduled individual special problems and theses count as 1 contact hour, and dissertations count as 2 contact hours."

6. Salary and Related Matters (Article XII). For UD to remain competitive, it is mandatory that the faculty financial package be improved. This means not only receiving adequate salary and merit gains, but also COLA. Although we do not know whether or not Given the continuing instability of inflation, winning COLA is particularly crucial now.

7. Merit Evaluations (Article 12.4). An effort must be made to eliminate the vagueness from the contract's current language governing the relationship between a department chair's evaluation of a faculty member's performance and the allocation of merit pay. The current language states that merit pay must be "consistent" with the chair's evaluation. Unfortunately, "consistent" can be interpreted in too many different ways for it to be a useful guideline. Consequently, we have proposed substituting the word proportional for consistent. This change will have the effect of requiring that administrators in charge of merit pay decisions explain their decisions in terms based directly and specifically on faculty evaluation policies. In each faculty unit, faculty members with the same numerical evaluations should receive the same merit increase. Actual merit increases depend upon the unit's merit pay policy. Accordingly, Article 12.4 must be rewritten to include the following two changes:

"Merit pay increases shall be awarded in a fashion which is proportional to the faculty member's performance as reflected in the annual evaluation conducted by the department chairperson or dean (in units where there are no chairpersons)."

"The chair or dean shall make public information which indicates the correspondence between merit pay and the faculty members' department or comparable unit evaluation ratings within this unit so that an individual faculty member may know whether his or her merit pay is consistent with his or her annual evaluation."

8. Buyout Policies. Current UD buyout policies differ from college to college. This lack of consistency spawns confusion and arbitrariness. To rectify this problem, we need more clarity. To set in motion the process for accomplishing this, a letter of understanding must be developed that states in part "that a committee be convened to formulate university wide guidelines for buyout policies."

9. Domestic Partner Benefits. Since the Administration is already on record as supporting the domestic partners benefit concept, the time has come for them to act. In the recent faculty survey, faculty members strongly endorsed moving forward on the issue and finally establishing such benefits. After all, it was almost a decade ago that a joint AAUP-Administration committee recommended creating domestic partner benefits. To make sure this now happens, it is necessary to develop a letter of understanding which in part states:

"The Administration and the AAUP agree that it is highly desirable that the recommendations of the June 27, 1995 final report from the Committee on Benefit Options for Domestic Partners be implemented during the term of this agreement and will appoint a joint committee dedicated to the task of trying to achieve this goal."