Posted: April 20, 1998
Contact: Doug Anderson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-201-1426
In an attempt to break an apparent stalemate over contract negotiations with state university faculty, the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system has delivered a new offer to the Inter Faculty Organization, the union representing state university professors.
The new offer would increase faculty pay by 3.7 percent for the first year of the contract and 5 percent for the second year. In addition, it removes two contract language issues that the union had found troublesome. The offer was hand-delivered to the IFO office Friday.
"This proposed salary increase is nearly double the average salary increase granted to faculty at similar institutions nationally, " said Anne Weyandt, chief negotiator for MnSCU. Currently, the average salary for state university faculty members is $48,600, which is at or above the national and regional average for faculty at similar institutions.
In its offer, MnSCU said it will drop two contract language issues that had caused controversy. MnSCU had sought more flexibility in the hiring of adjunct professors to temporarily replace faculty members on extended leave, but it is withdrawing that proposal. Also withdrawn was a proposal concerning the review by arbitrators of tenure and promotion decisions.
"It had become clear to us that the IFO will not accept these changes," Weyandt said. "In order to break the logjam, we are withdrawing them at this time."
Weyandt urged IFO leadership to come back to the bargaining table to consider MnSCU's offer. She said she is concerned that union leaders seem reluctant to meet with MnSCU negotiators before the end of the week.
"We have said all along that this should be settled at the bargaining table," said Weyandt, chief negotiator for MnSCU. "This offer represents significant movement and a good-faith effort on MnSCU's part, and it shows that we are serious about reaching a negotiated settlement."
Minnesota's 31 state community and technical colleges, and universities serve more than 430,000 students across the state.