The AAUP Executive Council has voted to propose a change in the chapter’s bylaws that gives dues-paying members a stronger voice in contract negotiations. Under the proposal, only members of the AAUP would have the right to vote on whether to accept or to reject a new Collective Bargaining Agreement after it has been approved by the AAUP Steering Committee. Under the current bylaws, all members of the Bargaining Unit, both AAUP members and non-members, have the right to vote on a new contract.

There are several reasons that the Executive Council is proposing that only dues paying members have the right to vote on the contract. First, it is simply inequitable for faculty who do not belong to the AAUP to have the same voting rights as faculty who do belong to the AAUP and who pay the dues that support collective bargaining. Second, this inequity has limited the incentive for faculty members to join the AAUP and to support its activities. Third, AAUP members have repeatedly expressed their frustration over the fact that they do not have any greater say in the acceptance or rejection of a contract than non-members.

A meeting of all AAUP members is being scheduled for Wednesday, March 19 at 3PM in Room 208 Gore Hall to discuss the proposed bylaws change and to briefly report on the state of contract negotiations. AAUP members will be receiving an email on the proposed bylaws change. This email will include an attachment with the specific revisions to the bylaws. Soon after the informational email and the membership meeting, a statement of the bylaws change and a ballot will be sent to all AAUP members. A bylaws change requires approval by two-thirds of the voting AAUP members. Should the change be approved by the AAUP membership, it would be effective immediately.

The Executive Committee believes that this change will enhance both the value of AAUP membership and the capacity of the AAUP to serve the faculty. It will provide AAUP members with greater power in the collective bargaining process and encourage non-members to join the AAUP and to participate in making key decisions that affect their salaries, benefits, and rights in shared governance at the University of Delaware. If you are not an AAUP member, you should contact Rita Girardi (831-2292; rgirardi@udel.edu) for information on how to join. Local dues are free for one year for new members!