March 05, 1998

University Board of Regents Approves Faculty and Staff Labor Agreements

March 5, 1998  NR 7-1998

The University of Alaska Board of Regents have approved two collective bargaining agreements with unions representing faculty and staff across the university system. The United Academics-AAUP/AFT and the University of Alaska Classified Employees Association, APEA/AFT (UACEA) have also approved the agreements.

Once the agreements were approved, university labor relations director Jim Johnsen said, "After a year of tough negotiations, we have reached agreements which fulfill the most important interests of the university. While we have addressed our competitiveness issues with respect to salaries, we have also improved the university's ability to manage through these difficult financial times." In both negotiations, the parties used a constructive, problem-solving approach, which should provide the basis for further collaboration in the future, he said.

Both agreements are now subject to approval by the State Department of Administration. In addition, the monetary terms of the agreements are subject to funding by the legislature. For the United Academics, the monetary terms total $59,100 for this fiscal year 1998 and $1,212,500 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998. For UACEA, the monetary terms total $163,200 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1998.

The agreement with the University of Alaska Classified Employees Association, APEA/AFT is for a 3-year contract covering the university's 250 maintenance, service, crafts and trades employees. Major provisions of the agreement include:

  • establishment of labor-management committees;
  • increased union involvement prior to decision to outsource while preserving the unrestricted right of the university to decide whether to outsource;
  • new classification review and appeal process;
  • sick leave reduction incentive program which employees receive 3 days pay in lump sum if sick leave usage is reduced by 6 days;
  • continuation of annual salary step adjustments;
  • 1.5% annual across the board salary adjustments;
  • defined contribution health benefits plan with cost-saving caps to the university's contribution; and 
  • contributions of $120 per employee per year into the union's legal trust fund (for employee use in only civil matters not involving the university).

The agreement between the university and United Academics-AAUP/AFT is for a 3-year contract covering 700 faculty members located primarily on the university's campuses at Fairbanks, Anchorage, and Juneau. Major terms of the agreement include:

  • dispute resolution procedures which provide for grievance/arbitration of issues that do not involve substantive academic judgements and a seperate complaint resolution procedure, not subject to arbitration, for academic judgements; 
  • labor management committee to address issues such as workload and distance education;
  • post-tenure review process, with peer faculty involvement, which may result in discipline up to termination;
  • faculty workload responsiblity of 30 workload units per year with no limit on distribution of teaching, research, and service components; based on such factors as unit goals and mission, class size, lab, graduate students, distance delivery, etc.;
  • protection of university interest in all works and inventions while providing traditional faculty rights and incentives for works and inventions with commercial value;
  • salary adjustments of 3% per year over 4 fiscal years, split between across the board adjustments and performance-based adjustments; and
  • defined contribution health benefits plan with cost-saving caps to the university's contribution. 

For more information: Jim Johnsen, Director of Labor Relations, (907) 474-3637