Keeping up with the AAUP negotiations

Megan Hermensky

Kent State tenure track faculty negotiations remain unresolved on Sept. 2, prompting federal mediation services to be requested by Kent State and its chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

According to the AAUP-KSU Sept. 17 negotiations update, the Federal Mediation Conciliation Service was alerted that the two groups reached impasse on salary negotiations and medical benefit negotiations.

In addition to federal mediation services being requested, the website stated that Kevin Brahaney has been appointed as the federal mediator. 

“The parties will meet with Mr. Brahaney over the next few weeks to see whether the impasse can be resolved,” said Deb Smith, chief negotiator of the AAUP-KSU TT unit.

“If mediation does not resolve the impasse, AAUP-KSU will initiate the fact-finding process…The fact finder’s recommendation would then go to vote of our membership and the Board of Trustees,” Smith said.

Posters with the saying, “The facts are on our side AAUP-KSU fact-based bargaining since 1978 AAUP-KSU,” have also begun to appear throughout buildings on campus such as Bowman Hall. 

 “It is the university’s policy not to comment on ongoing negotiations,” executive director of university media relations Eric Mansfield said, when the university was reached for comment.

William Sledzik, the KSU AAUP media spokesperson, also said that, “Because of the contract stipulation that prohibit ‘negotiations through the media,’ I’m not permitted to comment.”

In the negotiations update, Smith continued to say, “It is unclear why this new administration would choose, instead, to send the message that it does not truly value the faculty who execute the educational and research mission of the university.”

Megan Hermensky is the faculty and academics reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].