Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for October 26, 2012

This recap details the eighth bargaining session between the UW and AFT.

UW Presentation

UW presented counter-proposals addressing the remainder of AFT’s outstanding contract proposals. This included articles on definitions, leaves of absence, and layoff and resignation, among others.

Key Points of UW’s Counter-Proposal
Probationary Period
UW proposed renaming the “New Instructor Period” to the “Probationary Period,” and that this period begin when an extension lecturer is hired on at two-thirds of a full-time equivalent. Also, courses taught as a TA or an hourly instructor would not count toward the probationary period.
Grievance and Arbitration Procedures
UW proposed that it not be required to contact the union every time informal coaching occurs. UW also proposed language consistent with other union contracts, whereby if a claim is brought to arbitration, it could not subsequently be brought before another judicial or administrative law forum.
Hiring List
UW proposed creating an IELP merit-based “Hiring List” to replace the existing “Seniority List” as a means to determine the order of how teaching hours are assigned. Extension lecturers would be ranked annually based on their merit; the ranking would subsequently determine priority order for lecturers to select their preferred appointments.
UW also proposed definitions for different extension lecturer appointment terms. Annual contracts would span 11.5 months (all four quarters, including summer), academic-year contracts would span the nine-month academic year, and quarterly contracts would continue to span one quarter at a time.
Performance Evaluation
UW proposed that the outcome of an extension lecturer’s performance evaluation be used to determine their placement on the Hiring List. Ninety percent of an extension lecturer’s merit ranking would be based on their teaching and teaching-related responsibilities, including course and extension lecturer evaluations and fulfillment of teaching-related responsibilities.
Corrective Action
UW proposed language upholding the preference for progressive discipline, while allowing for IELP management to determine the appropriate level at which discipline may begin in the case of more severe offenses.

Further Dialogue

Hiring List Proposal
AFT requested the rationale behind UW’s proposal to create a merit-based Hiring List, as well as an 11.5-month annual contract term.
UW explained that currently it is extremely difficult for IELP to retain talented new instructors, because they are hired on at the bottom of a very long seniority list. In this way, they are typically subjected to lower pay regardless of their merits, and often leave to pursue work elsewhere.
Regarding annual contracts, UW pointed out that IELP is consistently confronted with the problem of not having enough extension lecturers during summer quarter, and that incorporating it into the annual contracts will provide necessary predictability throughout the year.
Investigatory Meetings
AFT questioned why the UW had stricken the union’s proposal to allow for a union representative to attend an extension lecturer’s investigatory meeting even when the employee decides against it.
UW expressed that the employee should be allowed to choose whether or not they want a union representative present at their own investigatory meeting, and that the parties should respect the employee’s decision.
AFT countered that the union has a right to be present regardless of what the employee wants.

Next Steps

The next UW/AFT bargaining session is scheduled for November 9.