Kent State AAUP sends contract to faculty vote

Faculty union council recommends members vote against extension

The faculty union council decided Friday to send the university’s offer of a one-year contract extension to the faculty for a vote — with a recommendation to vote against it.

The union, Kent State’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors, has not publicly acknowledged its objections to the contract.

Even so, Molly Merryman, associate professor of justice studies who attended the council meeting, said the council’s main concern revolved around salaries because they are falling behind the rate of inflation.

Lee Fox, AAUP-KSU chapter president, wrote in an e-mail that she expects the faculty vote to be completed by April 30.

The university’s proposed contract extension includes a 3 percent salary raise for faculty, no change to health care costs for faculty and domestic partner benefits for faculty.

Merryman said the LGBT Committee of the AAUP wants faculty to vote for the contract extension in light of the domestic partner benefits it offers.

“The LGBT Faculty Concerns Committee feels that this ‘no’ recommendation silences the voices of sexual minorities,” she said, adding that while the committee is frustrated that the administration hasn’t freely offered the benefits, it does realize that it is the first time in university history that they have been formally offered.

“Over the past decade we have watched as domestic partner benefits get sacrificed in every bargaining cycle,” she said. “We have no reason to believe they won’t be used as a sacrificial tool in this bargaining cycle as well.”

Contact administration reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected] and academic affairs reporter Kristine Gill at [email protected].