Feb. 12, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Enrique Corredera, [log in to unmask], 802-656-1106

*UVM, Faculty Union Begin Fact-Finding Today*

An independent fact-finder will begin hearing evidence from The 
University of Vermont and its faculty union, United Academics, this 

As part of the process, both parties will present evidence and data to 
the independent fact-finder, who will make a recommendation at a later 
time regarding the single open issue, which is to determine the level of 
an appropriate salary increase.  There may be a need for a second 
fact-finding session in March. UVM and United Academics declared impasse 
in negotiations on Sept. 12, and attempts at mediation were unsuccessful.

“The University will continue to seek a fair and reasonable settlement 
of the contract with United Academics, as it has with its other unions – 
one that honors our University’s commitment to students and their 
families by providing a high quality educational experience that is 
financially accessible and affordable, while also respecting UVM’s 
commitment to providing competitive salary and benefits,” said Wanda 
Heading-Grant, vice president for Human Resources, Diversity and 
Multi-Cultural Affairs.

The University will present the following information:

-- UVM faculty are a highly valued resource at UVM who deserve to be 
well compensated. Over time, the University has made continuing efforts 
in this regard, consistent with fiscal realities. For example, UVM 
salaries (for nine-month, non-medical) faculty, based on recognized 
national survey data, are above the average for all other institutions 
in the same “Public Research Higher” classification into which UVM 
falls: Professor, $123,619; Associate Professor, $92,838; Assistant 
Professor, $78,424; other faculty, $60,031.

-- The University offers its faculty a comprehensive and substantial 
benefits program that includes extensive and progressively affordable, 
salary-based health and dental insurance; a 10-percent employer 
contribution to retirement plans; and free tuition for dependents.

-- Every percent increase in salaries for faculty adds approximately 
$900,000 of additional expenditures and costs to the base budget year 
after year.

-- In considering higher pay increases, the University has to consider 
the fact that student tuition accounts for 73 percent of general fund 
revenue. The state appropriation, which is among the smallest in the 
nation, funds only 3 percent of UVM’s total operating budget after 
netting out the portion dedicated to financial aid. Mindful of our 
obligation to students and families to keep tuition increases low, the 
University has remained concerned in these negotiations that significant 
increases to faculty payroll may have to involve significant further 
tuition increases and/or substantial cuts to academic units and 
programs, potentially impacting faculty and other employees directly. In 
short, most of the money to fund employee salary increases comes from 
new tuition revenue. Among public universities, UVM already has the 
third highest non-resident tuition in the nation, and the 6th highest 
resident tuition. As UVM competes for high quality students in a 
shrinking demographic market, the University must try its best to keep 
tuition increases as low as possible in order to remain affordable and 

-- Importantly, all other employee groups across the University, 
including employees represented by UVM’s two other unions, have a salary 
increase of 2 percent for the current fiscal year. United Electrical and 
the Teamsters both agreed to three consecutive years of 2 percent salary 

-- Although the union has sometimes offered a claim that a reduction in 
the size of the administration is the solution to the University’s 
budget challenges, the fact is that the size of UVM’s management and 
executive team is well below national norms for the ratio between 
administration and student enrollment. Public Research Higher 
universities average 13.4 management/executive staff per 1000 students, 
while UVM is at 7.9.

-- The union also argues that the University’s Strategic Investment Fund 
is a potential source of funding for salary increases. This modestly 
sized fund, compared to similar funds at other institutions, has just 
under $6 million this year. It allows the University to make one-time 
strategic investments in academic priorities that benefit UVM’s overall 
advancement and competitive position. One-time dollars cannot be spent 
on salary increases, which are continuing financial obligations. The 
majority of the fund is directed to academic units and programs. For 
instance, the fund was used to build a high-tech classroom as the 
Grossman School of Business revamped its MBA program. This year its 
Sustainable Innovation MBA program became the top-ranked green MBA in 
the country by The Princeton Review. In Arts and Sciences, the Strategic 
Investment Fund has provided more than $5 million in faculty startup 
packages and lab renovations, as well as substantial support for adding 
the General Education writing requirement.

In short, the University position is two-fold. First, the 2 percent 
salary increase the University has offered is fair: It is fair as 
compared to all other employees on campus, and it is fair as compared to 
faculty at public research universities nationwide. Second, any salary 
increase above 2 percent, which must be funded with recurring dollars, 
will require an additional tuition increase and/or cuts to academic 
units and programs, potentially impacting faculty and other employees.

For additional detail on some of these data points, please read this 
Frequently Asked Questions document:


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