The two sides met again on Thursday August 12.
Insurance summary: We have several outstanding information requests, including a disruption report that is specific to DelVal. The disruption report may not be available from PAISBOA before mid-September. We are also waiting for first look premium information from our current insurance provider. We met with PAISBOA to get more information about any possible transition.
Course cap summary: The administration rejected our counter proposal and is demanding the right to unilaterally increase class size.
Sabbatical summary: We reached agreement on the sabbatical proposals and the tentative agreement will be signed next session.
Professional development: The administration stressed that there is a limited amount of money available to support faculty and any money earmarked for professional development would be removed from salary/health benefits for faculty.
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Thursday, August 12, 2021
We finalized language for the sabbatical proposals. Included is the opportunity for non-tenure track faculty to apply for sabbatical opportunities after they are in 3-year contracts. This will be signed at our next meeting.
We presented a workload counter proposal. We proposed that faculty could annually (or on a semester-by-semester basis) elect to teach 15 contact hours in exchange for a 20% increase in salary. The administration is considering this proposal.
The administration was not prepared to discuss our most recent VSIP proposal. This is the same proposal that we sent in April, and we re-sent this language to Mr. Pedrow. This will be on the agenda in a future meeting.
We formally responded to the course enrollment proposal presented by the administration last time. While the administration has requested a procedure for revisiting course caps, they are insisting on the ability to unilaterally increase course caps annually by 10%. We have agreed to the presented procedure wherein the curriculum committee would be tasked with revisiting the caps. However we have pushed back and are not in favor of the last step, where the administration has proposed being able to ignore the response of the curriculum committee and the faculty and unilaterally impose increased course caps.
We mutually agreed to table the intellectual property discussion this time, based on having a lot still remaining to discuss and have agreed that future discussion can take place after the current CBA is ratified, with the potential for reforming a committee.
We met with the representatives from PAISBOA and our legal counsel to get more information about how faculty may be impacted by any proposed transition to health insurance managed by PAISBOA. The administration has not determined how much money they would expect to save based on this transition and have not run any impact reports. They have not done any migration analysis. We have repeatedly asked for disruption reports, including for prescription drugs. Brian argued that the faculty has been given all the information they need to do this for themselves. Our council pushed back that with the level of technical expertise needed to navigate formularies that this was an unreasonable and atypical response. Additionally, we have only been provided an abbreviated formulary and do not in fact have the amount of information we need to perform these analyses ourselves. While the administration has expressed that more than two options would be too confusing for faculty, other employers offer five options for their employees. The administration has taken the position that they do not want to grandfather any drugs for any members. Step therapy would be a major change if the move to PAISBOA is approved. This is not a requirement of our current plan.
We briefly discussed the right of first refusal and the 70% ratio requirement. We stressed that sometimes qualified faculty are overlooked, especially in the graduate programs.
We discussed our request to increase the adjunct/overload teaching rate (undergrad and grad). The administration reiterated that they have the right to set the adjunct rate. The adjunct rate and the overload rate are the same, as FT faculty are basically hired in an adjunct capacity although it is called “overload”. Faculty overloads are not matched in 403B and faculty have adjunct contracts for these hours. The sliding scale at Bucks County Community College was suggested. This scale rewards adjunct faculty who have taught for many semesters at the University.
We discussed our proposal of a dedicated $2,500 per year professional development allotment per faculty member. The administration made clear that they would take any professional development money away from money allocated for salary/raises and benefits for faculty and that they are not willing to “expand” the pie allowed for faculty even to the extent of guaranteeing the amount that was previously allocated (in 2013, $250,000 was allocated to two funds: professional development and teaching equipment, divided equally. This money has been lost in recent years).