My name is Tom Bontly. I have the honour of serving as President of UConn-AAUP (for one week anyway) and representing our more than 2,200 faculty members, coaches and other academic professionals in collective bargaining. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address the Board of Directors. How will collective bargaining work if we form our Union? In fact, faculties worked together on the Farmington campus and the Storrs campus to support UConn Health`s clinical mission during these difficult times. UConn Health, for example, like many other health systems, experienced a shortage of PSA (personal protective equipment) at the beginning of this crisis. back to the top How can we benefit from collective bargaining? On that date, SEBAC 2017 will remain in force and neither the governor nor the coalition has shown much interest in a renegotiation or extension. Nor can UConn-AAUP and the university renegotiate these conditions alone. By derogation from the parameters of wage increases at that time, both the university and the UConn-AAUP would violate this agreement. This fact alone is reason enough for us to defer or revoke our contractual increases. “Our review of the state`s collective agreements and our comparison with other public universities have shown that only a very small portion of the staff of the public university and the Board of Regents has received long-term disability insurance,” the auditors wrote. “Conversely, UConn Health paid long-term disability insurance for about 61% of the workforce.” As a society, we remain weakened when black people are constantly abandoned and victims of social systems that perpetuate racism and racial inequality. Our members, immersed in the health care and education of our nation, bear witness first-hand to the intergenerational effects of the different experiences of colour communities in our society. We recognize that these results are born of long-standing economic injustice, broken promises and a lack of different cultural representation and understanding.
We should constantly try to learn from our patients, students and colleagues in order to fully understand the experience of our fellow citizens and to bring about the social changes that are needed today. We should be looking at creating positive change in our clinics, emergency departments, hospital floors, research laboratories and classrooms. Under the Agreement, appropriations were allocated to these payments under the title “Public Service Wage Inequality Elimination Fund,” which provides that “the General Assembly provides sufficient resources for the salary adjustment reserve under the Annual Enabling Act ” to amend compensation plans. As has already been reported, the UConn-Administration has requested the assistance of the university`s unions, including UConn-AAUP, to address the budget deficit caused by the COVID 19 pandemic. In particular, at a meeting on 10 June, President Katsouleas called for us to postpone (1) the general increases in wages and benefits that (most) of the permanent members of the bargaining unit expect, in accordance with Article 19 of the Treaty, and (2) that we accept up to 12 days or one per month until next summer. If we were to accept both the wage stoppage and the months of days, it would result in a 10% reduction in wages for the year compared to the underlying contract. Without collective bargaining, UConn has unilateral power to change our conditions, such as the drastic cuts they made last year to our health benefits, the increase in the cost of tuition fees that are not covered by our tuition exemptions and the increase in teaching costs. If our services in an EU treaty were guaranteed by collective bargaining, UConn would not be able to make such changes without our agreement.