Contract talks resume today

By Emily Landgraf

Representatives of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and the administration will meet again today to continue contract negotiations. Progress was made during the session last Friday, according to the union and the administration.

Each side has reported discussing non-monetary issues such as faculty governance, workload and the number of adjuncts on campus, but both sides have agreed not to disclose the exact details of the issues discussed last Friday.

Both sides were able to resolve eight full articles, according to Robert Stoto, associate vice president of Human Resources & Affirmative Action and chief negotiator for the administration.

“My expectation is that we will work at the bargaining table to finalize the details of that resolution this week, and hopefully continue to make progress in other areas,” he said. “Beyond that, it is difficult to predict how the rest of the negotiations will go, although we remain optimistic about the process.”

Dr. Jeffrey Halpern, contract administrator and chief grievance officer for AAUP, as well as the chief negotiator for the union, said it will most likely be another week before the issue of compensation is discussed, and that union members are still prepared to strike if they feel it is necessary.

There are more than 200 faculty members that have volunteered to participate in the strike if it comes to that, whether by picketing outside the school or working at strike headquarters, Halpern said.

Halpern said he also hopes for progress, but is worried about the negotiation process.

“Here we are, first week of October,” he said. “We should be wrapping things up, and instead, as I think we’ve said, we haven’t yet broached what are often the biggest stumbling blocks, which is money and all of its ramifications.”

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