UMD faculty rally for better working conditions
The University Education Association-Duluth rallied in support of better working conditions for UMD faculty on noon Thursday at the Kirby Bus Hub.
Contract negotiations for UEA have been ongoing on since May. Now the University and union’s team is headed back to the bargaining table with help from the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS).
In a statement, Mani Vang, Senior Director of Employee and Labor Relations at University of Minnesota, said, “BMS has assisted the University and our union partners in many past negotiations. The University looks forward to making progress in bargaining, and successfully concluding the negotiations, with the assistance of a BMS mediator.”
The union admitted that it was atypical for them to host a rally, but they say these aren’t normal times because the University of Minnesota Duluth is facing ‘significant budget cuts.’ The UAE adds this is not because the University system is in financial trouble- but rather there isn’t enough support for the Duluth campus.
The speakers at Kirby loudly declared much more is at stake, including the quality of education, “We are here to struggle for our students. We know that administrations ruinous and illegitimate plan to raise our working load would strip our students of the high-impact teaching practices that they need to be successful.”
Statement from Mani Vang, Senior Director of Employee and Labor Relations, University of Minnesota:
“Representatives from the University of Minnesota and the University Education Association (UEA) have been engaged in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement covering the represented faculty at the University of Minnesota Crookston and the University of Minnesota Duluth. Bargaining sessions began in mid-May and continue. Both UEA and the University have made meaningful efforts to reach agreement on a new contract, yet some key issues remain. To make additional progress in the negotiations toward a new agreement, the University engaged the State of Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) for assistance. BMS provides neutral mediation services to assist parties in reaching agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement and we are optimistic that mediation will help us resolve the remaining issues. BMS has assisted the University and our union partners in many past negotiations.
The University looks forward to making progress in bargaining, and successfully concluding the negotiations, with the assistance of a BMS mediator.”
Statement from Lynne Williams, Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer, University of Minnesota Duluth:
“The university is committed to honoring the terms of the UEA contract. With respect to the mediation process, it would not be appropriate to go into more detail on active negotiation topics.”
We are waiting to hear back from the University regarding the “significant budget cuts.”
Statements from Dave McMillan, Interim Chancellor, University of Minnesota Duluth:
“We have discussed the primary drivers of the budget deficit — continued declines in undergraduate enrollment coupled with increased compensation and benefit expenses. Our budget compact proposal to system leadership sought to utilize system funding to cover more than half of the shortfall and one-time carry forward funds for the remainder.”
“In doing this work, we will continue to follow an analytical and decision-making framework that prioritizes student success and support, maintains academic excellence, is collaborative, and leverages resources and support from the U of M System.”