Trustees approve AFSCME contract, plan to reduce law tuition

September 23, 2014 | News, UToday, zBudget-related, Law, UTMC
By Jon Strunk

The University of Toledo Board of Trustees last week approved a three-year contract with members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Ohio Council 8 and AFSCME Local 2415, which represent about 1,900 employees on Health Science Campus.

AFSCME members approved the contract Sept. 4.

The agreement runs from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2017, and calls for wage increases of 2.5 percent in year one and 1 percent in both years two and three.

The agreement provides employees and their dependents expedited primary care appointments at UTMC health-care facilities. It also reduces monthly health-care premiums by 2 percent as UT works to make premiums uniform across all collective bargaining units and employee groups.

The new contract also establishes labor-management committees that will leverage strong partnerships to drive improvements in patient care and satisfaction, and to address unique employee occupational categories.

“I want to thank the AFSCME leadership and their members for their ongoing commitment to patient care, education and to this University,” said Interim President Nagi Naganathan. “This is another important step forward for The University of Toledo.”

Trustees also approved a plan by the College of Law to reduce tuition by 13 percent in response to a nationwide decline in the number of law school applicants during the last five years.

Daniel Steinbock, dean of the College of Law, said UT’s bar passage rates are high, its job placement rates are strong, UT’s faculty are widely quoted in national media and cited in legal research, and the college has an active alumni base that includes prominent lawyers and judges.

“The change in tuition will lower the financial threshold that can be a barrier for many to seek advanced legal education,” Steinbock said.

The change represents a reduction of about $2,700 that will place UT’s in-state tuition at $17,900.

The college also is emphasizing programs in addition to the juris doctor, such as the master of studies in law degree for professionals looking to increase their legal knowledge in a specific area — like health care — but don’t have positions that require admission to the bar.

A presentation outlining the University’s and UT Medical Center’s responses to the Aug. 2-4 water crisis also was reviewed and included steps taken to mitigate negative affects on patients, students and employees if the situation were to happen again, and opportunities created by the advisory for UT faculty and researchers to be leaders in helping to address the algae problem.

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