Tentative Agreement Reached with Technical College Faculty

Posted: April 17, 1998

Contact: Doug Anderson, doug.anderson@so.mnscu.edu, 651-201-1426

Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and the union representing faculty members at state technical colleges have reached a tentative agreement on a contract for the 1997-98 and the 1998-99 academic years.

The settlement includes across-the-board salary increases for faculty and, for the first time, a standard agreement on faculty workload. Previously, faculty worked under 23 separate college agreements that had different workload requirements.

Both sides praised the agreement, which was reached Thursday.

"We were able to achieve, for the first time, a common workload for all technical college faculty. That was our primary objective in this round of negotiations," said Bruce Hemstad, UTCE president. "We saw the use of the mediated process to be an arena that allowed us to speak frankly, understand each other's position and reach a fair agreement."

Morris J. Anderson, chancellor of MnSCU, said, "We believe the tentative agreement is very fair and equitable, and that it meets the goals of both the MnSCU system and the faculty union."

UTCE represents 2,200 faculty members at 23 MnSCU institutions.

Establishing a common workload for technical college faculty members was the major issue in the negotiations. Under the agreement, UTCE faculty members at all MnSCU technical and combined technical and community colleges will have 175 "duty days" per year, with 27 student contact hours per week. The common workload will be effective for fall 1998.

Because of the changes in workload, individual salary increases will vary among all the colleges. Overall, the settlement represents a 6.35 percent increase over two years.

The proposed agreement now goes to the UTCE Executive Board and then to the membership for ratification. Pending approval by union members, Anderson said he will recommend endorsement of the contract to the MnSCU Board of Trustees.

UTCE is the third union to reach a settlement with MnSCU in this year's round of bargaining. The agreement means that only the contract with Inter Faculty Organization, which represents faculty at the seven state universities, remains unresolved.

"Now we can devote our time and energy to coming to agreement with the IFO," said Anne Weyandt, chief negotiator for MnSCU. "We believe there is a good chance to resolve our differences within the next two weeks."