Negotiations Recap for March 19, 2012
The first bargaining session between the University of Washington and the AFT focused on laying the groundwork for the future negotiation sessions and providing AFT an overview of the IELP academic and business models.
The session began with UW explaining the history and structures of UW Educational Outreach and the International and English Language Programs unit.
What is UW Educational Outreach?
UW Educational Outreach is a professional and continuing education unit that is committed to expanding access for nontraditional students to all that the UW has to offer. It is designed as a gateway to the UW for people seeking undergraduate degrees, professionally oriented master’s degrees, and certificate programs. UW Educational Outreach programs are largely not state-funded, but rather are fee-based and self-sustaining.
What are the International and English Language Programs (IELP)?
IELP is a unit within UW Educational Outreach that focuses on international students. IELP includes English as a second language programs for international students and bundles language studies with relevant professional training. Courses within IELP are not taught by UW faculty, but instead by contract-based extension lecturers.
The AFT sought clarification on the financial, contractual, and compensatory structure of the IELP.
The UW shared that the IELP, as a self-sustaining unit, receives almost no state money with the exception of English 105 for international TAs. IELP’s programs and operations are funded by its own revenues. The supply-and-demand nature of IELP’s business requires a contract-based model, allowing its services to mirror the greater demand. Extension lecturers have worked on a contractual basis for IELP since the program’s inception.
Despite the economic recession, IELP has seen continued success both financially and in terms of enrollment with many extension lecturers enjoying over a decade of steady, contract-based employment with IELP. Assistant Vice Provost Clark Westmoreland has offered to meet with AFT to review the UWEO’s financials in more detail.
Contract appointments that govern IELP lecturers typically span either a single academic quarter, 9 months (the 3-quarter academic year, excluding Summer Quarter), or a ‘Mixed Annual’ (combining elements of both). Contracts specify a monthly pay rate for the duration of the term. A Mixed Annual appointment covers two distinct periods, the academic year and Summer Quarter, and contains specific provisions for each.
Additional information was shared related to compensation, including:
- Self-sustaining programs are subject to the state’s current salary restrictions;
- IELP lecturers benefit from UW state-level advocacy;
- Extension lecturers at IELP do not receive incremental annual salary increases due to the nature and structure of their work; and
- Periodically, extension lecturers can take on additional teaching appointments in departments throughout the UW campus, for which they may be eligible to receive salary supplements.
The AFT voiced confusion regarding the consistency and methodology of compensation, citing that IELP extension lecturers receive lower pay during Summer Quarter.
The UW negotiations team is currently looking into this matter, and will provide an explanation at an upcoming negotiations session.
The AFT requested clarity on the major stakeholders within the UW administration that IELP lecturers can expect to work with, now that they will work through a union as an exclusive bargaining representative.
The IELP lecturers, through AFT, will now work much more closely with UW Labor Relations.
The AFT provided initial contract proposals that the UW is now reviewing.
The next UW/AFT bargaining session is scheduled for April 9.