At 2 pm today, the members of the bargaining team meet the administration for the next round of bargaining. This session is expected to go until 9 pm.
We are going into this session expecting to hear the administration’s responses to several articles. First, their responses to Article 15. At the last bargaining session, the administration responded to our initial proposals in Article 15 by cutting out most of the language, saying those proposals already exist at Augsburg and there’s no need for them to be in a contract.
This is what they don’t understand about our union. One of the core reasons we organized a union was to protect the things we liked about working at Augsburg. We put those proposals in our draft because we want to keep them that way. By taking that language out, the administration is telling us they want to reserve the right to unilaterally change our working conditions. This is not the kind of democratic Augsburg we envision.
We added that language we want to protect back into Article 15 and we expect their response to it today.
Second, the administration told us they will have responses to other proposals in our initial contract draft. Will they be responding to our wage and healthcare proposals? We hope the administration takes these issues as seriously as the staff takes them. They have had our wage and healthcare proposals for two months now.
Third, we submitted a revised and more detailed proposal on internal hiring. We drafted this after hearing about how so many staff members feel there aren’t many opportunities for advancement at Augsburg. Over half of those who filled out our bargaining issues survey said that “Improving advancement and promotion opportunities” was a high priority issue for them. We are expecting a response to this proposal today.
We will send out an update on how the bargaining session goes tomorrow morning.