UI president addresses unions’ concerns

Beginning at 2 p.m., the closed door meeting between Hogan and 12 representatives marked the beginning of a dialogue between administration and unions. The dialogue’s purpose was to allow unions a chance to voice concerns of workers.

Some of the grievances unions discussed included the rise in tuition costs that they say make the University inaccessible to students, according to a press release on the Graduated Employees’ Organization, or GEO, website.

“It was mostly a meet-and-greet,” Hogan said. “I haven’t had a chance to sit down and get to know and begin building something of a personal, as well as working, relationship.”

The meeting was to be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday at the University YMCA. The president refused to meet at the location. Coalition members were required to walk down to the executive office of the administration building.

Hogan said that attendees each got a chance to voice their issues, then he got a chance to speak.

The issues focused on concerns of the University and its progress of its economic status.

Exact details of the meeting were agreed to be undisclosed.

Members like Gene Vanderport, co-chair of the Campus Labor Coalition, said he felt that the meeting was a positive step in building a beneficial relationship between unions and top administrators.

“We were all very pleased with the tone and the tenor,” Vanderport said. “You can tell he listened to us. He had answers for all the questions we were raising, all the issues that we put on the table.”

The meeting acted as a forum for conversation between two groups with one common interest. Hogan said the focus was “in keeping this a great university and figuring out together how we can navigate through some very, very difficult times.”

In hope of maintaining the good relationship established at the meeting, Hogan wants to hold similar meetings with the unions two to three times a year.

“I haven’t even talked to them about it,” Hogan said. “I just walked out of the room and said to the person next to me that ‘This was very productive, we should make a habit of doing it.’”

Vanderport said if future meetings were as productive as this, then he would be welcome to more meetings with administration.

“We are very pleased with the tone, the tenor, the honesty,” Vanderport said. “We’re hoping to continue this dialogue.”