Wednesday, January 23, 2008

ASRC opposes exclusion from additional compensation

Following is the resolution sent this week by the Academic Staff Representatives Council (ASRC):

Dear Director Donnelly and members of the Joint Committee on Employment Relations,

Attached is a resolution expressing the grave concern of the UW System Academic Staff Representatives Council over plans that would exclude "Category A" academic staff from an additional compensation package being considered for this biennium. Last week, this resolution was approved unanimously by the council, whose members represent academic staff governance groups from across the state. For your convenience, the text of the resolution also appears below.

Yours truly,
Dave Carlson
UW-Rock County
Chair, UW System Academic Staff Representatives Council

cc: Governor Jim Doyle
UW System President Kevin Reilly
David Giroux, UW System Communications and External Relations

- - - - -

Whereas the Wisconsin Office of State Employment Relations has communicated to University of Wisconsin System officials and others tentative plans to offer additional compensation beyond the pay plan for the 2007-2009 biennium to faculty and academic staff, but only Category B instructional and research academic staff, and

Whereas all academic staff in the University of Wisconsin System provide essential support for the university’s educational and research missions, and

Whereas the most recent data show that salaries across all categories of academic staff in the UW System lag behind salaries for their peers at other institutions of higher education by a much wider margin than that by which UW System faculty salaries lag behind their peers’ salaries, and

Whereas members of the UW System Academic Staff Representatives Council represent all categories of academic staff,

Be it therefore resolved that

The UW System Academic Staff Representatives Council is opposed to any plan that would exclude Category A academic staff from additional compensation offered in this biennium to other unclassified employees of the UW System.

Friday, January 18, 2008

WPR Radio show dealing with Collective Bargaining

In case you missed it there was an interesting radio show on local WPR. Here's the link in case you have not heard the show (The West Side with Mary Jo Wagner):

Click on:
January 14, 2008: The pros and cons of collective bargaining for UW system faculty and staff. A bill to allow it is in the State Senate. Guests include co-sponsor Senator Kathleen Vinehout; Russ Stanton is Director of Government Relations in Minnesota for the InterFaculty Organization (IFO) and he's a former lawmaker; Bill Steffenhagen is President of the Academic Staff Professionals Representation organization or ASPRO; Rick Richmond from UW-Eau Claire serves on the state board of the Association of UW Professionals or TAUWP.

Sen. Harsdorf's response to letter

And here is what Sen. Harsdorf sent me in response. I see that she did vote with us in opposition to the bill BUT unfortunately her's was the lone opposing vote in committee. Thanks for listening to us Sheila!!

Dear Dennis,

Thank you for your letter addressed to Senator Vinehout and committee members expressing your opposition to Senate Bill 353, the legislation allowing for collective bargaining for university faculty and academic staff. I appreciate you taking time to clarify the concerns held by you and academic staff at UW-Stout. As you may recall, I have similar concerns with this legislation and have not supported it.

Please be assured I will keep your concerns in mind when this legislation comes to a vote.


Sen. Vinehout's response to letter

Here is what Sen. Vinehout said in response to my letter:

Dear Dennis,

Thanks for writing. I will add your letter to the permanent bill file that we are keeping on the faculty/academic staff collective bargaining issue - and I will keep a record of your opposition.

There is an option to combine bargaining units and we heard testimony at UW EC that would happen in Eau Claire. It does, I imagine, depend on the culture of the campus.

I appreciate you taking the time to contact me.

Happy Holidays!
Kathleen Vinehout