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Updated: Non Tenure Faculty Coalition continues fight for contract negotiations

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Updated: Non Tenure Faculty Coalition continues fight for contract negotiations

By Megan Jones, Staff Writer

Update 3:25 p.m.: The union tweeted that they are giving the administration a comprehensive proposal that takes their latest offer into account.

“We are committed to getting a contract.”

(3 p.m.:) The union tweeted that after 2.5 hours, they have received a package from the University. They write that it has very little change from previous proposals and not the “real contract” they are looking for.

Campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler said negotiations are still ongoing.

“We remain committed to working together through mediation to reach a fair agreement,” she said.

Kay Emmert, lead negotiator for the union, posted on Facebook that when she woke up this morning, she hoped Feser and the University’s bargaining team would come with a comprehensive proposal and they could iron out an agreement.

“Now, my greatest hope is to stay as long as it takes so we can avoid another strike.”

(1:20 p.m.) The union has moved their work in to Swanlund Administration Building.

According to a Facebook post, they believe tonight’s group meeting will include an “important vote.” The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. and for union members only.

“We will decide as a union how to move forward in our fight for a fair contract.”

(11:40 a.m.) The administration wants to leave multi-year contracts up to department heads, according to the Non Tenure Faculty Coalition’s twitter account.

The session with a federal mediator began today at 8:30 a.m. and did not go as the union hoped it would.

Interim Provost Ed Feser attended the session today, but cited shared governance as a reason why the union cannot have multi-year contracts.

“Did Feser forget that NTTs (non-tenure track) don’t have a role in shared governance,” they wrote.

The union’s members will be meeting later this evening to discuss their next steps.

They tweeted that the administration offered two proposals regarding academic freedom and appointments and reappointments.

***

Original story:

Following their strike last week, the Non Tenure Faculty Coalition is holding a “work-in” Tuesday and Wednesday in front of the Henry Administration Building to continue their fight for a contract.

Shawn Gilmore, president of the union, said University President Timothy Killeen stopped by earlier Tuesday to speak with faculty. Originally, the union began the work-in by sitting outside, but as it got too hot they moved indoors to sit along the hallway of the president’s office.

The federal mediation session is set to begin at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow and is closed to the public. The union has been in negotiations since October 2014.

They plan to continue the work-in tomorrow. The session is scheduled to last three hours, but could run shorter or longer depending on negotiations, Gilmore said. Union members will meet Wednesday night to discuss the outcome and any other actions that might be taken.

Dorothee Schneider, communications chair of the union, said “We’re not going away. We need a contract very soon, but it is very important to us that the education of our students is not interrupted.”

Schneider also said that despite the fact that everyone has to work, they are changing the guard every few hours. At any given time there are 30 people out representing NTFC.

“We are not cancelling classes this week, but we are just coming in and out as a group and working together,” Architecture Lecturer Jennifer Burns said. “Everybody went back to teaching today, I’ve been seeing a lot of people grading, there’s been some student meetings. We’re just doing the normal work we always do.”

Despite having a lack of progress since their picketing last week, Schneider remains hopeful in regards to tomorrow’s meeting. Unprecedentedly, Interim Provost Ed Feser will attend tomorrow’s mediation session.

In the meantime, Burns said that their main goal is to “keep ourselves visible, keep ourselves present, and remind everybody that we still don’t have a contract.”

Annie Victor and Michael Semeca contributed to this report.

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@MeganAsh_Jones

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