KSU, AAUP Reach agreement

Maria Nann

Kent State’s non-tenure track faculty members will not be alone in receiving domestic partner benefits from the university.

After 17 bargaining sessions, Kent State administration and the American Association of University Professors announced Aug. 1 that they have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement. The three-year agreement includes domestic partner benefits, as well as a 13.5 percent salary increase for tenure track faculty members.

AAUP had previously said if an agreement wasn’t reached by the July 31 goal, it would ask for a strike authorization vote. That proposal is now off the table.

AAUP chief negotiator Cheryl Casper said she was pleased with the tentative agreement and thrilled about the addition of domestic partner benefits.

“They’re long overdue,” she said.

The two teams came to the tentative agreement after a 10-hour bargaining session, which ended at 12:10 a.m. Aug. 1. Negotiations began May 29, after tenured and tenure track faculty members rejected a one-year contract extension offer from the administration. Non-tenure track faculty approved the extension.

If passed by the faculty and the Kent State Board of Trustees, the new agreement will extend through August 2011.

Tom Neumann, associate vice president of University Communications and Marketing, spoke on behalf of the administration.

“We’re very happy with the agreement,” he said. “It shows what the administration and faculty can accomplish working together to achieve mutual objectives in a responsible way.”

Aside from domestic partner benefits and salary increases, the agreement also establishes a success pool, which would give faculty members a one-time cash bonus if the university reaches goals in areas of research funding, retention of first-year students and external fundraising.

“It’s a very competitive marketplace right now,” Neumann said, “so we are pleased we can sell this contract right now.”

The agreement also includes a 2 percent increase in contributions toward medical insurance for 2010 and 2011, including improvements for dental coverage.

Casper said although the medical insurance increased slightly by way of the agreement, it was a trade-off for salary increases.

“In any bargaining agreement,” she said, “there are trade-offs made by each side. But overall, I think it’s a fair agreement.”

The agreement also changes the current sick leave bank into a donation pool, which faculty members can draw from with no requirement for payback. Parking rates for faculty members also could increase 5 percent the second and third years of the agreement.

Casper said the faculty hasn’t had increases in parking rates for several years.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires Aug. 23.

At a meeting yesterday, faculty members received the details of the agreement.

Casper said the faculty asked many questions about the terms but seemed happy with the contract.

“I think the faculty is very pleased with it,” she said.

AAUP represents 657 full-time tenured and tenure track faculty members at Kent State, not including the 207 tenured and tenure track faculty members at the seven regional campuses.

Summary of AAUP-KSU Tentative Agreement


&bull 3 percent increase across the board for the first year, with 3 percent merit added midyear.

&bull 3 percent increase across the board for the second year.

&bull 3 percent increase across the board for the third year, with a 1.5 percent merit added for the full year.


&bull Success pool bonus added all three years.

Promotion Increases

&bull Full professor increases from $5,500 to $9,000.

&bull Associate professor increases from $4,500 to $6,000.

&bull Assistant professor increases from $3,500 to $4,500.

Salary floors

&bull With the exception of instructors and assistant professors in the first year, a 3 percent increase every year for each year.

Health Benefits

&bull Addition of domestic partner benefits.

Medical Insurance

&bull No change in contributed percentage until 2010.

&bull 2 percent increase in contributed percentage in 2010.

&bull 2 percent increase in contributed percentage in 2011.

Prescription Drugs

&bull Co-pay required for brand name drugs increases from 30 percent to 40 percent when a generic brand is available.

&bull No other changes in drug co-pays or maximum paid out-of-pocket.

Dental Insurance

&bull Increase in maximum from $1,000 to $1,250 per year.

&bull Eliminate $25 deductible for orthodontia

&bull Increase maximum for orthodontia from $750 to $1,000.

&bull Explore restructuring rates and carryover of benefits.

Sick Leave

&bull Current sick leave bank becomes a donation pool with no payback required.

Parking Rates

&bull Unchanged rates for the first year.

&bull Up to 5 percent increase for the second and third years of contract.

Contact principal reporter Maria Nann at [email protected].