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New faculty, staff contracts approved by trustees

by Richard Veilleux - February 5, 2007

The Board of Trustees on Jan. 30 approved new four-year contract packages for the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the University of Connecticut Professional Employees Association (UCPEA).

The contracts take effect July 1. Each provides a combination of general wage increases, merit awards, and other monetary items that will net faculty and staff an average pay increase of 4.99 percent.

The UCPEA contract - approved by its members Jan. 12 - will now go to the state legislature for approval, while the AAUP pact must be ratified by the group's about 2,000 full- and part-time members before it also heads to Hartford.

"Under the circumstances, it's a fair contract," says Edward Marth, executive director of the AAUP. "We made a few improvements."

The faculty contract provides a general wage increase of 2.74 percent; a merit pool of 2.06 percent, and a "provost's fund" of 0.19 percent to be distributed for special achievement.

Lecturers will receive a general wage increase of 2.7 percent.

The pact also increases the union's professional development fund from $400,000 this year to $500,000 in the year beginning July 1 and to $575,000 by the contract's fourth year.

Marth said there are also improvements in the contract's provision for tuition waivers for the children of faculty, and protection against an increase of more than 3 percent in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Other improvements, says Donna Munroe, associate vice provost for human resources and payroll, include: the definition of an adjunct faculty member's multi-year contract as being three years in duration; and an automatic suspension of the tenure clock for a major life event, such as the birth of a child.

The latter is consistent with the Provost's interest in supporting work/life balance in the University community.

If AAUP members ratify the contract during a secret mail ballot to be conducted within the next several weeks, the deal will go to the General Assembly, where legislators have 30 days to vote on the package.

If no action is taken within 30 days, the contract becomes law.

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