Negotiations Summary Report #10 – May 3, 2016

Throughout negotiations, summary reports will be added to the Negotiations page of this website for future reference.

Negotiations Meeting #10

Attending:

FA: Loveland, Lynch, McGuinness, Michalak, Shepard, Walz
Admin: Allen, Behan, Behnke, Berchtold, Fedorchak, Losinger, Lori Lyon (as notetaker for the Administration)

RL:  Well, we are hoping to settle today.  We have taken some time for Dave and Fred to meet with the president. They have done so.  We identified a tipping point to get more salary on the table through the IPEDS information (“Integrated Post-Secondary Education Data System”-national database).  What the data shows is that BCC has flipped its status. SUNY Broome has slipped relative to peers – the president took this preliminary analysis to the Trustees and believes he has an agreement with the board to get more on the table.  The trustees have asked how the salary differential grew if the percentage of increases among schools has been the same.  We (the Administration) think several decades of low starting salaries for assistant professors contributed to this.  Now those people are moving up.  This is what we think is going on–why we haven’t been able to keep pace with our peers – we don’t know reasons for sure but believe we have our arms around it. The president believes he has the support of the trustees.

This is our final, best offer – we have tried to incorporate as much as what you had from last time.

We are comparable to our peers such as ACC and Herkimer with 1.5%, 2.0% increases.

The tipping point was the IPEDS – thank you for the suggestion.  My suggestion is we get this best offer on the table and go over it. We have the best offer on the table and documentation to support it. Then we can take a break and then come back together.  The cost of the offer is at the top.

Mike stated we needed to caucus. The Administrative team started to leave, then Regina started handing out more documents.  She handed out the offer and the health insurance component – Mike stated that we needed to look at these handouts and digest them.  Regina said that notwithstanding what the FA has said at the bargaining table that Dr. Drumm said that a health insurance change was possible piece based on conversations with Dave and Fred.  Dave immediately corrected Regina that he told the President that only if raises were in the 4% range would the FA consider health insurance changes.

CAUCUS

ML: This “last, best offer” is powerful language.  We need clarification on this. What did you mean? Is this your last best offer?

RL: There is no room for movement.

ML: So this is NOT your last best offer?

RL: If you can come back with something better. . . .

ML: So we can talk about this?

RL: Ok then, talk.

ML: I am not going to waste my breath if this is your final offer, why bother?

RL: The last, best final on compensation – if you come back with counter on health insurance. ..

ML: Dave, can you clarify what you said to the president?

DM: When Fred and I met with Dr. Drumm, we said if we are talking a 3% raise there will be no room for health insurance increases. If we talk a 4% increase then there will be wiggle room. That was the meeting with Fred, myself, and the president.

RL: Can you state that again for the “official record”?

Dave repeated it.

RL: What do we do at this point? 3% – that is still your position? Dr. Drumm asked us to hold off.

ML: When are we going to bargain this contract?

Bob Behnke said “We’re done here” and left the room.

ML: So are you saying we are at impasse?

RL: We are at a state of impasse. The president has asked me to hold off on declaring impasse until he has met with Dave and Fred at their next regularly scheduled meeting.

ML: We are going to caucus.

RL: Can I pass out additional information?

ML: When we are done.  We are going to caucus.

CAUCUS

Much frustration with the process. The President continues to call the shots while not participating in the discussion. Mike suggested that Dave and Fred walk across the hall to the President’s office and “bargain the damn contract”. Dave and Fred left the conference room and went directly to the office of the President. Dave and Fred met with the President alone for about 45 minutes. They had a frank, substantive conversation with regard to compensation.

Dave and Fred returned to the FA caucus and shared their conversation with the President. The team discussed alternate frameworks for settlement. Dave and Fred returned to the President and shared our thoughts.

Talks will continue in the coming days.