Faculty Union to vote on new contract

Leighann McGivern

After nearly a year of negotiations with the administration, the Kent State faculty union will vote Thursday evening on whether to ratify its proposed contract.

The American Association of University Professors, Kent State’s faculty union, represents full-time tenure or tenure-track faculty on all eight campuses. Non-tenure-track faculty operate under a different contract.

Professors in the union have been working without an updated contract since July 20, 2011. It will take a majority of AAUP voting members for the new agreement to be ratified.

Eric Mintz, AAUP vice president and lead negotiator, said if the faculty ratifies the agreement, the Board of Trustees will vote on whether or not to approve it. If either party rejects the agreement, bargaining will continue.

Emily Vincent, director of university media relations, had no comment other than to say the “ratification process is currently under way for a successor collective bargaining agreement.”

Negotiations for the contract, which would be effective through the 2014-15 academic year, have caused tense relations between faculty union members and the administration.

In April, about 100 AAUP members took out an ad in the Daily Kent Stater to express their grievances with Lefton and frustrations with the slow pace of negotiations.

In the same month, the AAUP Council voted to authorize its president to ask members for a strike vote and to endorse a petition of no confidence against President Lester Lefton.

Though Mintz declined to express his personal views on the agreement until the voting was complete, he said he “will be pleased that the process is completed.”

Contact Leighann McGivern at [email protected].