September 30, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sept. 30, 2022
University of Alaska responds to UNAC’s Unfair Labor Practice complaint and files its own complaint
The University of Alaska administration today filed a response to the Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) complaint previously filed by United Academics (UNAC), the union representing full time faculty. The response details the facts supporting the reasonableness of the university’s actions and its good faith efforts to negotiate.
The university also filed its own complaint with the Alaska Labor Relations Agency [ALRA] alleging unlawful labor practices by UNAC. The university did not take this action lightly and has resisted filing a ULP over the course of negotiations with the expectation that UNAC would eventually come to the table in a reasonable manner with the goal of reaching a negotiated agreement.
The university complaint is necessary to ensure that the entire context of the negotiations process – not just UNAC’s selective snapshot – is before the hearing officer so that the ALRA may fairly decide the issues raised by the parties. The university believes that the ALRA process has become an essential option for finding resolution to a year of negotiations with UNAC.
The university maintains that the union engaged in bad faith bargaining. After more than 40 bargaining sessions, UNAC made no meaningful movement in its bargaining positions, proposed illegal subjects of bargaining, and intentionally slowed the bargaining process, which prevented the university from submitting a timely proposal to the state legislature for approval of a budget that would fund faculty compensation increases. Despite knowing the university’s significant financial and budget constraints, the union continued to press for unrealistic terms that initially cost $93 million in faculty pay and benefits and only came down modestly to $71 million.
“From the start of initial discussions through the University’s implementation of its best and final offer, United Academics engaged in a pattern of conduct intended to frustrate the negotiating process,” the complaint states.
As the ALRA investigates the filings, the university continues to negotiate with the union and remains fully committed to reaching a fair contract. The next mediation session is Oct. 10.
The University of Alaska inspires learning, and advances and disseminates knowledge through teaching, research, and public service, emphasizing the North and its diverse peoples. The UA system’s three universities (UAA, UAF and UAS) are separately accredited institutions with 13 community campuses and extended learning centers across the state of Alaska.
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For more information, contact Roberta Graham, associate vice president of public affairs at 907-360-2416 (cell).