Past News from UAFT 2404

Current announcements are on the Home page.

March 27. 2012

Nominations were closed on March 23. View results

March 22, 2012

Hello everyone,

Todays post covers three extremly important topics.

Election of Officers - Nominations due by March 23, 2012 by 4:00 p.m
Salary Increases
Health Care Costs

Tim Powers
President UAFT, Local 2404

August 30, 2011

Welcome back! I hope that you had an enjoyable and restful summer. This update will focus on the new collective bargaining agreement that was finalized over the summer.

Thanks to all that found the time to vote on ratifying the contract back in April. Over the summer I received a few emails and phone calls regarding the timeliness of the ratification request and want to let you know how this came about. Yes, with final exams, grading, and the end of semester activities/reports that are due yesterday, this was probably the worst time that we could have asked you to vote on ratification (actually a worse time would have been after you were off contract and possibly unavailable in mid-May). However, time was of the essence to ensure that we received a salary increase starting in July 2011. So, why did we have to do it then and so rapidly?

The process of contract approval

  1. Reach tentative agreement (TA) between the UAFT and University negotiating teams (this occurred on Tuesday April 19th)
  2. The UAFT Executive Board approves the TA for unit-wide ratification (this occurred on Friday April 22nd)
  3. Union members vote to ratify the TA (this occurred April 26 - 29th)
  4. The University Board of Regents approves the contract (this happened at the June 3, 2011 Board meeting). At this point the contract became valid.

Legislative funding of our salary increase
In order to be assured of receiving our negotiated salary increase, the Legislature must fund our increase by line item inclusion in the operating budget. However, the Legislature could not include any amount in the budget for any union that did not have an approved/signed contract. Ergo the rush to get this contract approved.

What if we delayed the vote?
We had to get a ratification vote immediately in order to increase the likelihood of our 2011-2012 salary increase being included in this year.s State budget. If the salary increase was not included in the budget, we faced the possibility of not getting an increase at all or having to wait until spring 2012 when a supplemental budget could be approved that provided the University with funds to pay our salary increase. Also, UAA and UAS commencement ceremonies were being held this past weekend and the end of faculty appointments was rapidly approaching giving us precious little time to get a vote.

Viewing the new CBA
If you have not had time to review the contract, please click on the contract link above to view the document. You will find a summary of the important changes, a copy of the contract using Track Changes formatting, and a copy of the final document.

If you have any questions or comments, please use the contact link above.

Tim Powers
President UAFT, Local 2404

February 16, 2011

Dependent audit
In the form of a dependent audit, the University has begun a 100% positive enrollment verification for all participants of the health care plan, called the Dependent Enrollment Verification.  The audit is being conducted by$

Why is the audit being conducted?  Audits such as this are commonplace throughout the country.  Health care plans usually conduct them every 5 or so years and typical results find that 5-10% of those$

Communications:  I have received many comments and complaints about the nature of the letter that you received from ConSova (under University letterhead).  The JHCC was supposed to review and comment $

Timing of the audit.  The audit is being conducted now so faculty could have the audit completed prior to the end of their normal 9-month academic year contract.  Also, this could reflect a change in$

Can benefits really be cut-off for my dependents and why on February 28th?
Yes IF, as a result of the audit, your dependent has been deemed ineligible. Ineligible dependents should never have been on the plan to begin with.  However, failing to reply will result in ALL of yo$

What are examples of ineligible dependents?
The full list of eligible dependents can be found on page 15 of the current Health Benefits Handbook (http://www.alaska.edu/files/benefits/handbook.pdf)
Here are a few examples of ineligible dependents:

  • You have a divorce decree that states that you must provide health insurance to your ex-spouse, so you have kept him/her on the plan. As a result of the divorce, he/she is no longer a valid dependent and would be ineligible$
  • Your niece that is living with you
  • Your father that is living with you

Again, if you have any questions or comments, please send them directly to me at:
Tim.Powers@uaft2404.org

Tim Powers
President UAFT, Local 2404



June 16, 2010

A Message from the UAFT Leadership on the recent Unit Clarification hearing:

The Unit Clarification Hearing requested by both the University and United Academics has concluded and we wait for a decision from the Alaska Labor Relations Agency. Final briefs will be submitted by August 20, 2010 and we are hopeful there will be a decision by the end of the year.

UAFT was opposed to the Unit Clarification Petition that was filed by the University of Alaska and United Academics. However, once it became clear that the Unit Clarification hearing was going to be scheduled, UAFT had to develop a defensive plan that would allow maximum flexibility to the University in assigning workloads to faculty, as well as protect the provisions of the UAFT collective bargaining agreement for UAFT Faculty Members.

Here's a brief history of how we got to this point:

  • UAFT filed an unfair labor practice with the Alaska Labor Relations Agency, (ALRA) over improper unit placement of three Faculty Members. The three Faculty Members' principal assignment was to teach in the 2 year degree nursing program at UAA and they were placed in the United Academics bargaining unit because the University and United Academics are now insisting that all Faculty MEmbers teaching any upper division courses on a main campus must be placed in the United Academics bargaining unit.
  • UAFT also protested the improper placement of Faculty MEmbers teaching at extended sites into United Academics bargaining unit.
  • UAFT also filed an unfair labor practice over the University's denial of an extended site Faculty Member to teach an upper division course in the summer.
  • The University and United Academics contend that only United Academics faculty members can teach upper division courses. This is the position that UAFT will vigorously fight.
  • UAFT has taken the position that UAFT Faculty Members should not be denied the opportunity to teach upper division courses, when current contract language allows the University to assign upper division courses when both parties agree.
  • Current UAFT contract language in Art. 5, modifies the "exclusively" lower division language in Art. 9, unit definition and UAFT wants their contract language enforced.
  • The University negotiated this language long before United Academics' certification and continued negotiating similar language in every successive contract after United Academics' certification.
  • The practice of assigning upper division courses to UAFT Faculty Members has occurred since ACCFT was certified and continued for years before United Academics was formed and continued for more than 10 years after their initial certification.
  • There is no reason to deny UAFT Faculty Members the opportunity to teach upper division courses.
  • United Academics has maintained that the teaching of upper division courses by UAFT Faculty Members violates the unit definition language in their contract.
  • In response to UAFT filing these unfair labor practices against the University, the University filed a Unit Clarification petition with the Alaska Labor Relations Agency and convinced the agency to put UAFT's unfair labor complaints on hold and instead redraw the boundary lines between the UAFT and United Academics bargaining Units.
  • United Academics joined with the University and has supported and worked with the University in the Unit Clarification process. United Academics had been seeking to include in it's bargaining unit every Faculty Member teaching an upper division course, no matter where that Faculty Member was located, whether on a main campus or an extended site campus. During the hearing, United Academics did withdraw their argument to place faculty teaching upper division/graduate courses at extended sites into United Academics.
  • UAFT tried to stop the unit clarification process because it was felt that the issue would be better resolved in the unfair labor practice process that seeks simply to restore UAFT member' rights to teach upper division courses when assigned, and restores UAFT's historical right to represent Faculty Members at extended sites, regardless of the level of courses taught.
  • United Academics and the University have remained united in their position opposing UAFT Faculty Members teaching any upper division/graduate courses on main campuses.
  • UAFT has been forced to take a position to defend members' union rights in this Unit Clarification proceeding. This position was determined by the same Decision and Order that certified United Academics, and that is that the teaching faculty belong in the UAFT unit, and the research faculty belong in the United Academics unit.
  • We have initiated and attempted to settlement with United Academics and the University on many different occasions, without success.
  • The University and United Academics could have dismissed the unit clarification petition, and UAFT would have supported this action.
  • United Academics could have withdrawn their support of the unit clarification petition. They could have accepted UAFT settlement offers that allowed assignment of upper division/graduate courses to those UAFT Faculty Members who were qualified, dependent upon departmental need.
  • Throughout the hearing, both the University and United Academics maintained the same position- that UAFT should be eliminated from the main campuses, except where Faculty teach in certificate or 2 year degree career education or vocational/technical programs.

The expense of the Unit Clarification hearing will probably top one hundred thousand dollars for both unions. This was a costly process that may deliver an outcome that none of the parties may fine acceptable. It's unfortunate that a settlement could not be reached prior to this extreme action on part of the University and United Academics.

Finally, UAFT has become aware of some serious miscommunications to faculty members and it is hoped that this will help to clear up those miscommunications and rumors.

Here's what UAFT has heard:

  1. If bipartite teaching faculty in United Academics were placed into UAFT, they would take a significant cut in pay. If ALRA did decide that this would be the dividing line that determined unit placement, it does not necessarily mean that those faculty involved would sustain a reduction in pay. It has never been a practice of UAFT to reduce compensation of benefits for any of its faculty members.
  2. UAFT Faculty members do not have terminal degrees and are the "junior" faculty. This is not the case. Schools, colleges and departments determine the "terminal degree" for a discipline, and that is the same for all faculty in that discipline. Academic credentials do not and should not determine unit placement.