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UT board approves 3-year deal

Union for non-faculty workers says contract is a positive step

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The University of Toledo’s board of trustees approved a collective bargaining agreement Friday with the union representing nonfaculty workers at the college.



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The three-year agreement with Communication Workers of America Local 4319, which represents about 515 workers, provides 3.5 percent wage increases during the first two years.

Nagi Naganathan, interim dean of the university, told the board that the new contract won ratification by 92 percent of union members who voted.

“I believe this embodies the philosophy of the positive relationship the new university administration is committed to,” Mr. Naganathan said. “Our hope is that this new agreement will also help pave the way for continued constructive dialogue with all of the workers in the bargaining units.”

A 2.5 percent wage increase in the first year of the contract is retroactive to May 1. Employees will receive 1 percent increases on Jan. 1, and there is a wage reopener for 2016, university and union officials said.

Jonathan Strunk, a UT spokesman, said the cost of the wage increases during the two years will be $615,000.

Ericka White, vice president of the CWA local, said the new contract was a positive step in a new direction between the union and the university.

“It took a lot of work to get there, and it did take a lot of collaboration with the bargaining committee, the leadership of the CWA, and the leadership of the university,” she said.

The trustees also agreed to contracts with Mr. Naganathan, who became interim dean of the university July 1 after Dr. Lloyd Jacobs stepped down, and interim provost John Barrett, Jr., who took over for Scott Scarborough.

Mr. Naganathan, who is dean of the college of engineering, will receive an annual salary of $392,700 until a new president takes over or within 18 months — whichever is shorter — and $52,000 in deferred compensation that will be paid at the end of 2014 and 2015.

Mr. Barrett is being paid $310,000 annually.

Board Chairman Joseph H. Zerbey IV was given approval by his colleagues on the board to appoint a committee to conduct the search for Dr. Jacob’s replacement.

Mr. Zerbey, who is also The Blade’s president and general manager, said he is looking at forming a 17-person committee that will include deans, faculty, and students, as well as people from outside the campus who have expertise and standing in the community and strong ties to the university.

“I am looking to make it very diverse, both in ethnicity and gender,” he said, adding that he hopes to have the panel assembled by next week.

The committee will work with search firm Witt/​Kieffer of Oak Brook, Ill.

Steps were taken by the trustees to officially name the new Interprofessional Immersive Simulation Center at the University of Toledo Medical Center, formerly known as the Medical College of Ohio, after Dr. Jacobs.

“I think it is appropriate for this board to acknowledge the contributions of Dr. Jacobs. I think it is a fitting tribute for the hard work he has put into this university,” said board member Dr. S. Amjad Hussain, who is also a columnist for The Blade.

Dr. Jacobs, who was the university president since 2006, informed the college in March he planned to leave June 30, 2015, a year before his contract ends. But he accelerated his departure and stepped down on June 30.

The $36 million center, which opens to the public in April, offers advanced simulation technology for instruction and training for the studies in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, therapy, and other health professions.

Contact Mark Reiter at: or 419-724-6199.

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