SEO Headline (Max 60 characters)

U of Akron Union Alleges Labor Law Violations

August 3, 2020
 
 

The faculty union at the University of Akron filed unfair labor practice complaints against the institution, weeks after Akron announced it intended to lay off 97 full-time professors out of a current total of 518 full-timers. The first complaint alleges that the university has attempted to influence the ongoing faculty vote on the layoff proposal by making misleading, false or threatening comments to union members about the possibility of more cuts. The American Association of University Professors-affiliated union also says Akron violated state law by not providing certain documents and information it requested. A second labor charge is about contract negotiations, specifically the union's understanding that furloughs for four faculty members until they turn 65 this academic year and tuition remission benefits were not contingent on contract ratification. Members say they always knew that severance pay for their departing colleauges was tied to ratification. There are additional concerns about laid off professors being asked to sign general release of liability agreements.

Akron president Gary Miller said in a statement that the university “has acted appropriately in its communications with bargaining unit members. Regrettably, we continue to see misinformation and mischaracterizations being disseminated by the Akron-AAUP and we will continue to utilize all our legal options to set the record straight.” The university also says that general liability release forms are commonplace.

The unions argues any assertion that it "agreed at the table that any benefit for laid off faculty, apart from the severance pay of up to $12,000, was contingent upon signing a release is completely false," according to the union. "The proposed agreement specifically refers to a release being required for the severance pay and for no other benefit. No other provisions require the signing of a release." The union is also filing a grievance on behalf of professors losing their jobs.

We have retired comments and introduced Letters to the Editor. Letters may be sent to [email protected].

Read the Letters to the Editor  »

 

Opinions on Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed’s Blog U

Back to Top