On Tuesday, March, 7, 2023, the AAUP-Utica’s lawyer filed a Demand for Arbitration per Step 4 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (Article 16. Grievance Procedure). This demand for arbitration is an escalation of the Grievance that was filed on January 10 about the violation of shared governance as stipulated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, specifically, the University’s refusal to follow the faculty senate bylaws and procedures, and the University’s refusal to involve the curriculum committee or follow the curriculum committee’s procedures or guidelines during the Fall 2022 Academic Program Portfolio Review recommendation process.
Rather than attempt to work with the AAUP-Utica or try to resolve the grievance in any of the three prior steps of the grievance process, the University instead delayed in responding to the union at each step and proceeded to present these recommendations to the Board of Trustees in mid-February despite the loud opposition from university constituents including faculty, staff, students, alumni, and larger Utica-Rome community members.
The Board of Trustees voted on the recommendations in mid-February without even acknowledging the fact that there is an ongoing grievance objecting to the manner in which the entire process was handled.
A national arbitrator will now investigate the entire Academic Program Portfolio Review Process and it’s legitimacy in terms of whether or not it comports with the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, the AAUP-Utica was provided a case number by the American Arbitration Association (AAA). The AAUP-Utica and the University now have until March 20, 2023, to respond to the AAA with their arbitrator preferences.
Arbitrations typically take a few months in order to thoroughly investigate and acquire all necessary documentation, as well as find a time that all parties are available to meet for arbitration.
This is a developing story and more updates will follow.