The Associated Faculties of the University of Maine met again on Friday, Sept. 27 to renegotiate the full-time faculty contract that expired on June 30, 2011. However, no agreements were reached at that meeting.
USM and AFUM are scheduled to meet again on Oct.18 to see if a compromise can be reached. “We all want our concerns addressed,” said John Broida, the USM representative on the AFUM bargaining committee and psychology associate professor.
“The problem is that the playing field keeps changing. We get close to [an agreement], and then somebody will propose something new,” said Broida. At the Sept. 27 meeting, “The administration put a huge proposal on the table.”
This proposal involves health care. According to Broida, the administration would like to pass on the costs of health care to the union members, and the union members want to pass on the costs to the administration. This is the primary problem holding up the negotiations at this moment.
“We’re closer than we were. There is increasing pressure on both sides to get this done,” said Broida. He is hopeful that some conclusions will be reached at the meeting on Oct. 18.