UVM and faculty at impasse on new contract

Following seven months of negotiations on a new employment contract, the union of UVM faculty — United Academics — and the university declared impasse Tuesday.

The parties will now seek an outside mediator to assist them in reaching agreement, according to a press release from the university.

Impasse between the parties is common. In four of the five previous rounds of bargaining, impasse was declared and a final resolution was achieved through the mediation process.

“The university strongly respects the collective bargaining process and will continue in good faith to work through the agreed upon process to achieve a successful conclusion,” the press release states. “The university is steadfastly committed to offering its employees competitive, market-based compensation, a supportive work environment, and a comprehensive, substantial benefits program that is accessible across all employment categories.”

All other employees besides faculty have been given a 2 percent salary increase, and a faculty increase of more than 2 percent would necessitate a hike in tuition for students or budget cuts, according to the university.

“The University of Vermont seeks a fair and reasonable settlement of the contract with United Academics – one that continues UVM’s commitment to providing competitive salary and benefits, and an excellent working environment for all employees, while at the same time honoring our commitment to students by providing a high quality educational experience that is financially accessible and affordable,” the press release states.