The Board of Regents for Higher Education returned to the bargaining table with representatives of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and renewed its commitment to engage in positive, productive negotiations that conclude with a mutually acceptable labor contract with the faculty at the four regional State Universities.
Mark Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system, said that along with the Board of Regents, CSCU leadership is committed to reaching a fair agreement with faculty as efficiently and quickly as possible.
President Ojakian also said he was disappointed by the AAUP’s unreasonable refusal to grant CSCU an extension to the October 1 proposal submission deadline, an extension that would have provided him with the opportunity to review and add value to the proposal that was required to be submitted just three days after he assumed the presidency. “I am confident that an extension would have resulted in a proposal that would have avoided many of the misinterpretations created by the language in the submitted draft,” said President Ojakian.
He added: “We must innovate and collaborate to achieve greater efficiencies as we work to deliver Connecticut’s best value in higher education. As CSCU goes into the collective bargaining arena, the objective is a fair contract that balances the interests of students, faculty and taxpayers.”
In addition, the Board of Regents has established three goals for the CSCU system in AAUP negotiations.
- The first is to correct contractual issues that have come to light during the current contract period.
- The second is to add reasonable flexibility to the contract that will position the Board of Regents and CSCU leadership to address rapidly evolving changes within public higher education in Connecticut.
- The third is a fiscally responsible contract that harmonizes current budget realities and funding constraints with the Board’s strong desire to keep tuition as low as possible, while fairly compensating faculty for the important work they do. In short, CSCU will not balance economics on the backs of dedicated faculty, nor on the backs of overburdened students.
Finally, it will be CSCU’s policy for all negotiations with represented collective bargaining units, to refrain from negotiating these contracts in the media. And, consistent with the practices and processes followed in the past, CSCU will continue to honor its legal obligation to negotiate in good faith with collective bargaining unit representatives to reach equitable and innovative agreements on terms and conditions of employment.
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