The University of Toledo’s Board of Trustees approved today a three-year contract with the Communication Workers of America Local 4319. CWA members voted to approve the deal by a wide margin July 11.
“This three-year agreement between CWA and UT embodies the philosophy of the positive, collaborative relationship that the new administration is committed to,” said Dr. Nagi Naganathan, UT interim president.
The term of the contract runs from Jan. 1, 2014, through the end of 2016. CWA employees will receive a 2.5 percent wage increase, which will be effective as of July 14, 2014, in the first year of the contract. They will receive a 1 percent wage increase in the second year, which begins Jan. 1, 2015.
The contract calls for a reopening of wage negotiations in year three, and officials said the contract also includes a lump sum retroactive wage component.
“I know I speak for our Board of Trustees when I say that they and this administration are committed to working with all of our employees, including those represented by our four unions, to honor the critical role our faculty and staff play in making UT an outstanding university,” Naganathan said.
“It is the University’s hope that the CWA agreement helps pave the way for continued constructive dialogue across all bargaining units,” he said.
Erika D. White, vice president of CWA Local 4319, said that the work of the bargaining committee and membership were integral to solidifying a fair contract with the University.
“President Bob Hull and I both feel that the mutual respect from the UT administration and the team-building CWA labor is a positive and powerful step in trailblazing a strong foundation in our community for the number one asset for both labor and UT — the students,” White said.
UT has 530 employees represented by the CWA who provide clerical, maintenance and custodial services, primarily on UT’s Main Campus. About 92 percent of CWA voters recommended approval.
Dave Morlock, executive vice president for finance and administration, said that the CWA has been a great partner and thanked members for their leadership in helping to move UT forward.
“Thank you to the CWA membership for its overwhelming support of this agreement, and thank you to CWA leadership for partnering with us to advance The University of Toledo,” Morlock said.
Morlock and Naganathan also thanked Jovita Thomas-Williams, UT associate vice president for human resources and talent development, and her team for their work in helping achieve an agreement.
Thomas-Williams said that the total cost of the contract won’t be known until the salary negotiations in the third year are worked out and additional fold-in costs such as retirement benefit increases and other items have been calculated. She estimated that the current cost of the wage increases for years one and two of the agreement to be approximately $615,000.