Tentative Agreement

University of Maine System and AFUM – July 2019-June 2021

  1. Salaries

Across-the-board increases to salaries and the overload schedule:

2.25% on July 1, 2019

.75% on Jan 1, 2020

2.25% on July 1, 2020

.75% on Jan 1, 2021

  1. Cooperating Departments

This section applies only to degree programs at two (or more) campuses that cooperate and each campus issues a degree in the academic program. Approved courses will be listed on all cooperating campuses and degrees shall be awarded from the student’s home campus.

  • Cooperating departments will be limited to X at UMaine and UMM, X at USM, X at UMA, X at UMF, X at UMPI, and X at UMFK (X will = 15% of all degree types separately (Associates, Baccalaureate, and Masters and Doctorate) granting programs at each institution plus any existing cooperating degree programs effective July 2019). If the number of cooperating departments exceeds the limits listed above, any expansion will require approval through a shared governance process on each campus in coordination with the Chief Academic Officers.
  • Cooperating departments will have unit members teach at least 60% (rounded up to the nearest 5%) of classes with a goal of achieving a minimum of 75% of classes taught by unit members within 5 years of formation of the cooperating departments. Temporary reductions below these numbers will be corrected by the university as soon as possible and within three years.
  • Unit members will have a home institution and they are fully a member of the academic unit on their home campus.
  • Cooperating departments review faculty credentials to teach courses at their university every four years. Additionally, faculty, consisting of unit members, from cooperating departments may submit a letter to the home campus peer evaluation committee and candidate for review during peer review up to and including the tenure evaluation cycle. The peer committee may choose to use any feedback provided in said letter in their review process and if so, the letter shall be included in the candidate’s review file.
  • UMS supports communication and takes joint responsibility for success of both the program and unit member, to include sponsorship of travel to support cooperating department meetings.
  • With mutual agreement, cooperating departments and University Administration may agree to transition to a standalone degree granting programs.
  • With mutual agreement of the cooperating departments, if a position moves from a cooperating position to a non-cooperating department it will remain on the home campus to which it was appointed.

 

  1. Investigations

The University shall, to the extent possible, raise issues informally with unit members first with the intent of resolving as many issues as possible. The University maintains the right to move to Fact Finding whenever necessary. The administrator making the discipline decision shall participate in the fact finding. When the University decides, at its discretion, that a formal investigation or fact-finding is required, it may move forward and this decision is not grievable.

Unless suspension is invoked under Article 16 of contract, under no circumstances shall a member be barred from campus or prevented from doing their work or meeting their classes except as provided for in d.

The President (not a designee) may remove a member from teaching when there is credible evidence in the charge(s) that students, staff or other faculty are a risk if the member continues to teach. The President (not a designee) shall list the charges and evidence as well as include a rationale as to why the charges/evidence reach the level of removing a faculty member from teaching. The President (not a designee) shall meet with the member and AFUM representative within 8 calendar days for an informal discussion. The member may choose not to attend without prejudice. Failure of the University to offer the meeting shall end the removal from teaching.

Under no circumstances, except suspension under Article 16, shall a member be barred from participating in peer committee or other professional responsibilities.

  1. Family Leave (Article 19)

Written request for leave can be an email to the chair or equivalent. UMS may develop a form for the faculty member to complete, which will be transactional in nature and not intended to seek personal medical information.

Modify Article 19.D.4.c:

  1. A unit member may use up to a total of thirty (30) sixty (60) days accrued disability leave each fiscal year for absences resulting from the need of the unit member to provide care for newborn or newly adopted infants, for the adoption of a child, and/or the care of children, spouse, or parent where the nature of the illness or family condition is such the unit member must be available to care for the family member. Upon timely notice to the appropriate administrator, a unit member may be granted approval to use additional disability leave where the family situation requires the unit member’s continued presence. Such additional disability leave shall not exceed thirty (30) days.
Provided all accumulated leave has been used, a unit member shall, upon written request be advanced up to twenty (20) days of sick leave.

Upon the unit member’s return to work, the amount of sick leave advanced shall be repaid by the unit member on a monthly basis at the rate of one-half (1/2) of any future amounts accumulated until such time as the advance has been repaid. Any outstanding balance shall be repaid by the unit member at the time of separation.

 

  1. Enhanced Sick Leave (Article 19)

As of September 1, 2019, UMS agreed to “front load” sick leave so the first year of sick leave (20 days) is all available when faculty start and no additional sick leave will be accrued during that first year.

Sick leave for the first year of employment for newly hired unit members will be front-loaded. No additional sick time will accrue until after completion of the first year of employment. Same net accrual as current practice of monthly accrual from hire date.

 

  1. 10.5-month Appointments

Creation of 10.5-month appointments that will be either September 1 through July 15 or July 15 through May 31.

  1. Alternatives to Teaching

Language regarding alternatives to teaching after birth of a newborn or placement of a child for adoption will apply to all unit members.

The University shall communicate family leave benefits and options to new faculty members, clarify procedures for arranging alternative workloads for faculty members taking family leave, and to determine resources for funding replacement necessitated during leave and by alternative work assignments. As a component of this, it should be made clear to all parties that while faculty are encouraged to offer input into how their normal responsibilities (e.g. course coverage, maintenance of lab, research, or creative spaces, supervision of graduate students or students on projects) will be covered during leave, the burden of arranging such work and maintenance of physical spaces during leave rests with the University and should not fall on the faculty member proposing or taking contractual leave.

 

  1. Grievances (Article 15) –

Currently a rigid time line by which a grievance must be filed (or written agreement). Practice has been to try to solve grievances informally as long as it takes before filing a grievance, often with no written agreement. New language provides for indefinite informal efforts with either party deciding to move to formal grievance.

An example: Two months are used to try to resolve an issue informally. UMS declares they are done trying to reach agreement, this triggers the time line to file. Alternately, a member/AFUM may file a grievance when we are done with informal efforts.

 

  1. Early Tenure (Article 7) –

Current language only limits those with prior credit from coming up more than once for tenure. In particular, if you come up “early” there was a practice to allow you to come up again. Now you must come up no later than the required time (probationary appt) and only 1 tenure decision at BoT level. You can be “rejected” at the campus level and come up again (until time runs out or not reappointed).

  1. Fixed Length (Article 7) –

Fixed Length (concept to be blended into contract)

All Fixed length positions will be for a specified duration (up to 3 years)

and are not subject to reappointment. UMS will inform the Association in

writing at the beginning of the process the department/unit, the primary

duties, duration of the appointment, reason for the chosen duration and the

contractual reason justifying the fixed length appointment. Shall not be used

to circumvent those provisions of Article 9 of this Agreement pertaining to

consideration for tenure or continuing contract

  1. For contracts of less than three years, and in the event of unforeseen circumstances, the University may extend a fixed length appointment to a maximum of 3 years with notification of the Association and provide a contractually valid reason.

Extension beyond specified duration, up to 3 years requires:

1) Evaluation and recommendation by Peer Committee

2) Notification to AFUM as soon as Peers are informed. The University

shall provide details of the unforeseen circumstances to justify

extension instead of hiring a person into a permanent position and the

extent of the extension.

  1. Letters of appointment and position announcements shall give the

specified duration of the fixed length appointment and say the position is not eligible for reappointment.

  1. AFUM shall issue a report (Date to be determined) of all fixed length

appointments, including start date, duration, reason and any extension of each new fixed length position

  1. Restarting the tenure clock

Faculty members who receive an extension of the probationary period have the option of reverting to the original tenure timeline (or to revert to a one-year extension if there have been two years of extension). The faculty member wishing to revert to the original tenure timeline should inform his/her peer committee before submitting reappointment material in the spring prior to when they intend to apply for tenure. The faculty member should indicate his/her intention to revert to the original timeline (or to revert from two-years to one-year extension) in a memo to his/her peer committee chair with copies to the department chair. When the faculty member’s promotion and tenure application is reviewed, it will not be considered an “early” application.

 

  1. Access to Retirement Funds (Article 21)

Allow access via loans, hardship, and disability/terminal illness to all employee contributions-both mandatory and elective. Loans will be limited to the lesser of the IRS limit (currently $50K) or 25% of the lienable amount in the plan. Available April 15 2020 or sooner.

 

Items not for CBA:

  • Pet Insurance – we are exploring through Willis Towers Watson. Entirely voluntary benefit, no cost to UMS, will benefit all units. May be available at open enrollment.
  • Retirement contributions credited in a timely manner – addressed operationally. Benefits all units. AFUM pointed out inefficiencies in our processing, HR Operations attended bargaining and subsequently improved process. No cost to UMS.
  • Short-term disability – elimination period changed to match all other units. Also working to better describe this benefit during open enrollment. No cost to UMS.
  • Family Leave – UMS will work to find ways to communicate further to unit members regarding their options.
  • Will monitor AP and either impact bargain or bargain issues that arise in the next contract.