The Kent State Chapter of AAUP is conducting a strike authorization vote between November 18 and November 22.
In an article for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Karen Farkas has provided a succinct summary of the events leading to this vote:
“The current three-year contract expired Aug. 23. Kent State’s AAUP has about 450 members.
“On September 2, the university and the AAUP, which had agreed to non-economic items, declared an impasse on salaries and medical benefits. They requested federal mediation, which began Oct. 13, according to information on the AAUP website.
“If mediation does not resolve the impasse, the parties will initiate ‘fact finding,’ in which a neutral third party proposes a non-binding contract settlement, the website said. The fact finder’s recommendation will then go to a vote of the union’s members and the university’s board of trustees.
“Kent State does not comment on ongoing negotiations, spokesman Eric Mansfield said in an email.
“According to the AAUP, the university offered a total 7.5 percent increase over three years, which includes 1.5 percent for a merit pool. That compares to a total of 10 percent in the 2012 contract.
“The AAUP is proposing a salary package commensurate with those in past contracts given that the university is in good financial health and can afford it, the association said.
“At issue in the discussion of medical benefits is a provision by Kent State that would require working spouses or domestic partners who are eligible for healthcare coverage through their employers to enroll in that coverage as primary coverage.
“The AAUP said seven of Ohio’s 13 public universities have no spousal coordination of benefits.”
Farkas’s complete article is available at: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2015/11/kent_state_university_professo_1.html.
The chapter’s updates on the negotiations are available at: http://www.aaupksu.org/tt/content/negotiations2015.php.