We are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative agreement with Goddard College Corporation’s (GCC) management on our first Union contract which the bargaining committee enthusiastically recommends that the members approve! A ratification vote and information meeting will take place on June 5, 2015 from 11AM to 12PM at the Haybarn. This meeting will be on paid time. All members of the Union are eligible to vote. If you have not already signed a Union membership card, you can do so when you vote. People who are not able to attend the meeting may cast their votes at the same location at any time from 11AM until 2PM. A summary of the highlights of the Agreement is included below. You can also follow the links in this notice to review the actual language of the individual provisions on-line.
How Far We Have Come
We began negotiations twenty-seven long months ago, after an overwhelming vote in favor of forming a Union. In the summer of 2013, GCC informed us that the College was in a financial tailspin and that wages would be drastically cut, severance eliminated, longevity bumps abolished, retirement contributions ended, and health insurance drastically modified. There was no willingness to bargain over the wide range of other issues you would expect in a union contract—instead, there were threats of impasse. With the solidarity of our members and others in our community, including the faculty union, we refused to be steam-rolled. We insisted on bargaining all the issues. We asked for and obtained information and carefully assessed the facts. While we negotiated, we were able to prevent any take-aways. And, although we were unable to stop the layoff of five of our colleagues, all of them received their full severance.
Today—twenty-seven months and three college presidents later—we are proud to say that we have reached an Agreement that includes vastly scaled back financial concessions, and even significant improvements for our lowest paid members and that addresses the just needs of our members, with strong contract language on working conditions, benefits, job security, dispute resolution, and many other important subjects.
We want to recognize the contributions of past bargaining committee members Dvora Zipkin, M.E. Lawlor, Adam Woogmaster, and Jonathan Shapiro for their work on securing this agreement, as well as the staff and faculty members who have stood in solidarity with us throughout this process. We did this together. We thank all of you for your support and your trust in us. We hope to see you all at the ratification vote.
Your bargaining committee,
Lise Couture, Business Office
Josh Hayes-High, WGDR
Monica Nelson, Library
Manuel O’Neill, Financial Aid
David Palmer, Facilities
Ryan Quinn, UAW 2322
Karen Rosenberg, UAW International Union
This is a three-year Agreement, which will expire June 30, 2018.
- Raises the minimum wage at Goddard College to $11 per hour immediately, with a subsequent increase to $12 per hour coming on July 1, 2016.
- Preserves longevity and educational bonuses.
- Provides the Union with the right to reopen the contract in 18 months to negotiate pay increases or other improvements in compensation and benefits.
- Requires and sets time frames to reopen the contract in 18 months to negotiate pay increases to create fair and transparent pay scales.
- Preserves current health and dental benefits with no increase in premium share.
- Preserves existing paid and unpaid leaves and extends paid sick leave to residency and grant-funded employees and all employees who work at least 10 hours per week.
- Creates paid bereavement leave for all employees regardless of hours per week.
- Allows for no more than an 18 month suspension of the retirement match—provided that the suspension applies to all Goddard employees (instead of the indefinite suspension sought by GCC).
- Provides a grievance and arbitration procedure for enforcing the contract where the final step is a neutral third party, rather than GCC management.
- Protects employees from arbitrary or capricious discipline by setting a standard of just cause for all discipline, suspensions, and terminations following a probationary period for new employees.
- Creates a more fair and transparent process for layoffs and preserves our severance (which will be capped at 13 weeks’ pay except that employees who have already earned a greater amount under the old policy will be capped at their current entitlement).
- Eliminates the second-class treatment of long-time Goddard employees who have historically been labeled “temporary”.
- Provides greater job security for residency employees, who will now be considered permanent employees instead of having to reapply for their job every semester.
- Ensures Goddard College Corporation will give advance notice and to discuss with the Union any plans to sell or transfer ownership of the college.
- Enshrines a 30 minute orientation period for union stewards to meet with new employees and recognizes stewards to be designated by the Union who employees can request be present in disciplinary situations.
- Standardizes a 37.5 hour definition for a full-time work day, with exemptions for departments and positions where staff currently work 40 hours or where work is variable due to residency requirements, seasonal duties, or special events.
- Protects jobs by limiting the use of outside contractors.
- Institutes preferences for internal candidates to fill vacant positions, including advance internal posting of vacancies.
- Provides a process for the Union and GCC to negotiate in good faith to resolve the status of several employees who were unilaterally re-designated as non-bargaining unit employees by GCC without notice to the Union—and preserves the Union’s right to submit any unresolved issues to the NLRB.
Listing of Tentative Agreements
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Notices
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Non-discrimination
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Labor-Management committee
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Discipline and discharge
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Union security
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Union recognition
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Sexual harassment
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Severability
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Residency employees
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Probation and probationary periods
2014-10-30 Goddard Staff TA – Personnel files
2015-04-06 Goddard Staff TA – Union rights
2015-04-06 Goddard Staff TA – Grievance and Arbitration
2015-04-06 Goddard Staff TA – Successorship
2015-04-06 Goddard Staff TA – No strikes no lockouts
2015-04-06 Goddard Staff TA – Inclement weather
2015-04-06 Goddard Staff TA – Filling of vacancies
2015-04-06 Goddard Staff TA – Dues deduction
2015-04-27 Goddard Staff TA – Recognition
2015-04-27 Goddard Staff TA – Reclassification MOU
2015-04-27 Goddard Staff TA – Leaves
2015-04-27 Goddard Staff TA – Hours of Work
2015-04-27 Goddard Staff TA – Fringe Benefits
Agreed to verbally on 5/29/2015, final language to be signed week of 6/1/2015:
2015-05-29 Goddard Staff TA – Bargaining Unit Work – Temps – Seniority – Layoffs
2015-05-29 Goddard Staff TA – Agreement in resolution of charges
2015-05-29 Goddard Staff TA – Financial items
2015-05-29 Goddard Staff TA – Paid Time Off