Negotiations Update #7: We call on the University to bargain in good faith

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Our AFSCME Local 3800 and 3801 clerical negotiating committee returned to bargaining with the University on October 3, 2017.
 
The committees spent most of the day discussing contract language proposals. Our AFSCME clerical bargaining committee agreed to the U’s proposal to update immediate geographic areas for Extension. 
 
There was very little discussion and no movement on wage proposals. The U made no concessions to their current wage offer of 1.5% for the first year of the contract and 0% in the second year.
 
Our committee maintains our wage proposal of 3.5% in year one and in year two of the contract. We are also maintaining our high priority proposal to fix salary steps by shortening the excessively long grids and increasing the top of the wage scales. AFSCME and the University agreed to a general formulation of no more than 19 steps per classification in a Memorandum of Understanding added to our contract in 2009. Our proposed step fix is based on that MOU.
 
UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES: 
We stated several times during negotiations on October 3 that the University is not bargaining in good faith and objected to the University's continuous engagement in Unfair Labor Practices related to regressive bargaining, surface bargaining, and the refusal to negotiate a mandatory of subject bargaining, including but not limited to:
 
Regressive Bargaining: When we met in negotiations on September 22, the University presented a Settlement Offer which contained no proposed changes to the sick leave language in the contract, in spite of the fact that the Employer had presented proposed changes during earlier negotiations; withdrawing the issue from the table. The topic was never included in any subsequent counter proposals. In fact, the topic was never even raised the entire day of bargaining. At the beginning of negotiations on October 3, the U negotiators announced that they were putting the previously proposed changes to the sick leave language back on the table. We consider the proposal withdrawn. Reintroducing a withdrawn proposal is regressive bargaining and is an Unfair Labor Practice.
 
Surface Bargaining: During earlier negotiating sessions, the Employer agreed to continue the Respectful Workplace Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the next contract. While the Employer has refused to agree to add the definition of bullying to the MOU, the Employer stated that it would consider modifications to the MOU. At our October 3 negotiating session, our Union committee proposed non-substantive modifications that simply updates the current MOU language. The Employer rejected the proposed modifications out-of- hand and refused to offer any counter proposal. We object to the Employer’s use of surface bargaining regarding this topic. Refusal to negotiate a mandatory subject of bargaining: Our Union committee presented a proposal regarding weekend premium pay for workers in the veterinary medicine area. This is a term and condition of employment and is considered a mandatory subject of bargaining. The Employer has refused to even talk about this mandatory subject of bargaining. Our Union objects to the Employer’s refusal to bargain in good faith.
 
Following negotiations on October 3, AFSCME sent a letter to the University reiterating our position that the Employer is committing Unfair Labor Practices and that we expect them to bargain in good faith when we return to negotiations on October 24. 
 
Our AFSCME negotiating committee represents 1600+ clerical workers throughout the University system. We are bargaining for raises and respect for our coworkers. All workers at the U deserve wages that keep up with the rising cost of living, to retire with security & dignity, and to elevate our standard of living.
 
The University administration needs to hear from all of us – not just our bargaining committee! Frontline staff deserve more than pennies in year one and nothing in year two. We are worth more!