A major negotiation is underway at UConn as the school works on a new contract with its faculty.
On Wednesday, people from staff to students rallied behind UConn faculty.
“We’re really here to just support and make sure they get a fair contract that represents their needs,” says Steven Manicastri, a UConn graduate employee.
UConn says its contract with the faculty union covers about 1,700 people at the Storrs and regional campuses.
One of the big issues being worked on in the negotiation of a new contract is the role of adjunct professors.
“There are lot of teaching staff who are very poorly paid who don’t even qualify for health insurance at their job. In fact that’s 25-percent of our members are adjunct faculty that get paid probably around 20 grand a year,” says Chris Vials, a UConn faculty member.
Also, faculty say there is a difference in what they’re looking for in a pay raise and what the school is offering.
The union says there’s also been debate about academic freedom and stopping the administration from taking decision powers away from the faculty.
UConn says the current faculty contract costs nearly $276 million a year.
As for a new contract, in a statement a spokeswoman wrote in part:
“We are limited in what would be appropriate to say, given that the parties are in negotiation. It’s most appropriate to negotiate at the bargaining table, not in the media.”
The current agreement between the faculty and UConn runs through the end of June.