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Published: Tuesday, 12/5/2000

UT faculty to vote on proposed 3.5% raises

The University of Toledo faculty union will vote today and tomorrow on contract terms recommended by a fact finder.

The report released yesterday calls for an average pay raise of about 3.5 per cent with a 0.75 per cent lump sum payment in the contract's first year. Wage discussions could be reopened in the contract's second and third years.

No change to UT's maternity leave policy - the other item of contention between the two sides - was suggested in the report, which supported all tentative agreements between UT and its chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

The UT board of trustees has scheduled a special meeting Thursday to discuss the matter.

Officials representing the university and the faculty union declined to comment on details of the recommendations by James Murphy, a retired attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Cincinnati. He met with both sides on Nov. 6.

“We've met many, many times, and we've resolved many, many issues,” said Dr. Matthew Wikander, AAUP chapter president. “I think we have to let our members have a chance to digest [the report] and read it.”

Dr. Earl Murry, vice provost for faculty development and UT's chief negotiator, said the involvement of a fact finder is not a bad sign. Both sides agreed in April to a process that included it, he said.

The last contract between the AAUP and the board was set to expire June 30, but both parties agreed in March to extend it to the end of the year. A proposed extension through July 1, 2001, was rejected by the union in August.

The contract would cover about 450 faculty members.

The fact finder's recommended salary increase would be a combination of across-the-board and merit raises. The increase would be 2 per cent across the board retroactive to Aug. 21; about 1.5 per cent dependent on merit evaluations effective Jan. 1, and a 0.75 per cent one-time lump sum within 30 days of ratification.

The AAUP also had sought to allow faculty members to use hours from the sick leave bank for maternity leave rather than only catastrophic illness.

That was not recommended by Mr. Murphy, in part based on the common practices among other public universities in Ohio, the report said.

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