(Host) The faculty and administration at the University of Vermont have both filed complaints of bad-faith bargaining. The complaints center on public comments that have been made on both sides. The allegations may indicate trouble at the bargaining table. The negotiators have been meeting for nine months trying to reach agreement on a contract. With the academic year about to begin, there’s no sign of an agreement.
VPR’s Steve Zind reports.
(Zind) While both the union and the administration remain tight-lipped about the negotiations, one thing is clear: There’s no contract yet. Bargaining sessions between representatives for the union and UVM administration began last December. Before the sessions began, the union said its top priorities were better pay for faculty and a greater say in decision making at the university.
The union wanted the negotiations to conclude by July so faculty could begin the upcoming academic year with a new contract. While negotiations are under way, there won’t be pay raises for unionized faculty.
Recently, both the union and the University have filed unfair labor practices complaints with the Vermont Labor Relations Board. The complaints charge the other party with bargaining in bad faith by making public statements about issues involved in the negotiations.
One person close to the negotiations says that the fact that bargaining issues have not been resolved indicates something is obstructing the process. If the negotiations reach a standstill, faculty or the administration could ask the Labor Relations Board to declare an impasse. At that point a mediator would be brought in to help the two sides agree on a contract.
For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Steve Zind.