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Clarification Offered on Recent Union "Blue Sheet"

March 3, 2010

To:       The UNH Community
From:   Candace Corvey, Chief Negotiator, UNH Negotiating Team
Re:       American Association of University Professors (AAUP) “Blue Sheet”
Date:    March 3, 2010

In early February, the leadership of the AAUP issued a “Blue Sheet” titled “Can the University Afford a Fair Raise for Faculty?” That document contained errors that warrant clarification. These are as follows:

  1. The AAUP described the university’s offer at impasse as “1.0 percent ATB + 0.5 percent M/E, effective Jan 1, 2010.” This characterization of the offer is incomplete. The offer was contingent on two very important factors: that a) there is an agreement between the parties by 6/30/10 and b) there is no rescission of state funding for FY10. In other words, if there is a rescission or if an agreement is not reached by the end of FY10, there would be no increase for that year.

  2. The AAUP suggests that the cost differential between UNH’s salary proposal and that of the AAUP at impasse amounts to $741,606. This number fails to consider that an additional 46 percent must be added to every salary dollar to cover fringe benefits costs, and that starting in FY11 the cost of the FY10 salary and fringe benefit increases would be annualized to a full year. Taking into account both of those factors, the full ongoing annual cost of the difference between the parties at impasse was $2.2 million.

  3. The AAUP suggests that UNH has $16 million of new revenue in FY10 to apply to faculty salary increases. It is correct that the revenue is projected to grow by 3.25 percent between FY09 and FY10. However, the $16 million of revenue growth is not unobligated. Of the total, $5 million is needed to cover growth in medical insurance and debt service costs; $4 million derives from room, board and related fees that students pay expressly to support housing, dining, and other auxiliary operations; $5 million is revenue associated with EcoLine™ for which there is an offsetting $5 million of expense; and the remaining $2 million is restricted by Board of Trustees action to address serious deferred maintenance in facilities.

  4. The AAUP states that “From FY 2008-FY 2010 state support to our comparators’ operating budgets fell by 6.7 percent. In contrast, state support of the UNH operating budget increased by 5 percent.” The growth in state funding from FY 08 to FY 09 was 5 percent, but the increase was offset by a rescission of $4 million, producing an effective increase of 0 percent in FY09. In FY10, the year covered by the contract under negotiation, the increase in state funding was 0 percent.

By mutual agreement, the parties will resume the negotiation process on April 8, with the help of a third-party fact finder. Naturally, the UNH Negotiating Team is ready to meet with the AAUP at any time before or after that date to advance the process.

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