IFO/MinnState Negotiations Update

Your IFO negotiating team has been negotiating with MinnState throughout the summer. We started in May employing the Interest Based Collective Bargaining (IBCB) process. IBCB involves both sides explaining and exploring potentially mutually beneficial problems and solutions. It tends to be a slow process, but it helps both sides establish trust and mutual understanding while Minn State awaits its legislative appropriation and determines its budget targets.

This summer, the IBCB process yielded the following changes for the next contract:

1) a single salary schedule for all faculty;
2) expansion of the definition of domestic partner to include opposite-sex partners;
3) expansion of the definition of immediate family for the purposes of sick or bereavement leave to include domestic partner;
4) extended bereavement leave by 5 additional days for extended travel and permissive extensions for extenuating circumstances;
5) automatic extensions to the probationary period for birth or adoption and for services as chair (instead of requested extensions) that may be revoked by the faculty member; and
6) parallel language for PDPs and PDRs to make it clear the Dean’s comments go back to the faculty member not the chairpersons and the comments are kept in the faculty member’s personnel file.

In August, the teams ended the IBCB process and exchanged opening proposals. Openers reflect the goals and aspirations of both sides. The IFO negotiating team takes the IFO delegate assembly resolutions involving contract goals and incorporates them as best they can. DA resolutions typically represent suggestions or goals to improve compensation or working conditions.

Generally, MinnState openers focus on increasing management control and reducing costs. For example, this opener includes proposals to eliminate salary equity reviews, eliminate duty days, increase the teaching workload of Metro State faculty, permit unilateral termination of multiyear athletic appointments, establish a new class of fixed-term appointments for more than four years, and operationally define that a half time adjunct or community faculty appointment is 15 credit hours which means that those faculty teaching 12 credits are no longer eligible for employer provided health insurance.

Please remember that the IFO team is comprised of on-duty faculty from each campus who must balance teaching and other responsibilities with negotiations. Each campus has a representative. In addition, the IFO team receives input and guidance on language proposals that impact faculty in fixed-term and adjunct/community faculty appointments from the Contingent Appointments Advisory Committee (consisting of faculty members, who are also on-duty, in adjunct, community faculty and fixed-term appointments).

Negotiations are scheduled to occur at least once per month through the fall semester. The IFO negotiating team is committed to bringing home a fair and equitable agreement for our colleagues as quickly as possible.

Please contact our IFO staff with any questions at heagle@ifo.org. You can see who represents your campus at the bargaining table by visiting our Negotiations webpage at https://www.ifo.org/negotiations-team.