The Local # 6546 negotiating team met for its 17th session with the administration. Kay Emmert led our team, as always. On the agenda were two main items: Access to Personnel Files and Grievance. Both articles had been discussed in previous sessions. Our team submitted a carefully revised version of our original proposals as a result of these previous discussions. At the beginning of the session Kay explained the changes we had made to the grievance proposal and the reasons for these changes. After 28 minutes the admin. team requested a caucus.
Two hours and 15 minutes later, the admin. team returned and presented their grievance counter proposal which contained almost none of the suggestions we had made. In fact it had only a few very minor changes from the admin. original, first presented last winter. The admin. team then reassured us, that in their opinion, we were “very close” to reaching an agreement. Since the admin. proposal did not incorporate most of our proposal, our team leader had to re-visit important issues regarding the notification and timelines for filing a grievance which have yet to be addressed by admin.
The remaining few minutes were then used by the admin. team to question our counter proposal on access to personnel files. Admin. team members asked about the meaning of such terms as “faculty” or “academic employment.” As the clock had already run over time, we agreed to have further discussions at the next meeting on Sept. 21. The admin. team expressed the hope that future bargaining sessions could be structured more efficiently. No concrete proposals were offered on how to accomplish this, however.
Because of “caucus time” requested by admin., less than an hour of this three and a half hour session were spent “at the table,” not untypical in our experience over the past year. This represents a colossal waste of our time. We are appalled at this waste. We come prepared and ready to bargain, admin. seems to think they can wing it and get by with minimal engagement. Let’s not have them get away with it! The committee which prepares for bargaining (Bargaining Research Committee) meets on Mondays, 5-6:30. Come and join us!