Union representing non-faculty employees to vote on university’s proposed contract

Bo Gemmell

The contract between Kent State and the union representing 367 full- and part-time employees has been extended through Oct. 20, said Tom Neumann, associate vice president of university communications and marketing.

These employees work in the Student Center, Dining Services, Residence Services and Campus Environment and Operations.

The university has proposed an offer that the union will vote on Saturday, said Michael DeLuke, Ohio Council 8 representative for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He declined to comment on any specifics of the proposal.

Neumann said the university cannot discuss contracts that are in negotiation for legal reasons.

AFSCME president Dave Schuckert said he recommended members vote against the university’s counteroffer.

“We feel it’s a huge slap in the face,” he said. “We never did have a catch-up contract, so we’re way behind on wages compared to other universities.”

He said if the union rejects the university’s proposal, an impartial mediator will make a non-binding suggestion.

“We’ve been very open with the university,” Schuckert said. “A lot of them just said ‘no’ with no reasoning.”

According to a Sept. 11 eInside special edition management update, the union presented Kent State with the following proposals Aug. 14:

&bull Wage increases of about 33 percent during a three-year contract.

&bull Shift differentials for employees working late shifts.

&bull Meals provided to employees working under certain conditions.

&bull Discounts for University Bookstore purchases and university events.

&bull University to pay employees’ portion of the Ohio Public Employees’ Retirement System.

&bull A monthly contribution of $92.75 from the university to the Ohio AFSCME Care Plan for each union member to cover dental, vision, life insurance, legal and hearing care.

According to the update, the university declined this offer because the proposals are “not in alignment with the current economic reality.”

Contact general assignment reporter Bo Gemmell at [email protected]