In June 2018, PSU-AAUP was made aware that CUPA had changed the course buy out rate for faculty members. Their intention was to make it less expensive for TT faculty members to buy themselves out of instruction for research.
The policy, however, had an unintended negative consequence on NTTF-R who are hired solely on external funds on variable FTE appointments who have some instructional duties in their Letters of Appointment. For these members, the reduced course buy rate represented a reduction in the FTE allotted for instruction in their labor distribution allocation. The reduced FTE allocation meant a real reduction of wages for these people.
PSU-AAUP filed grievances on behalf of impacted members, and on June 20, 2019 we filed a Demand to Bargain on the decision and the effects of the decision to change course buy out rates.
We met in negotiations on the matter on August 23, and then again on September 12. Through those discussions, we were able to come to agreement on the wages of impacted members where administration agreed to keep the grievant’s whole and NOT reduce their FTE allocated to instruction (based on the work that they had been or will be assigned by contract).
On September 18 we filed an information request with the intention to learn about other similarly situated employees at the University. We received a response that did not fully answer the question- we have to respond and ask for further clarification. We hope to fully identify the population of NTTF-R variable FTE members, so we can establish some kind of procedure or benchmark around wages or FTE allocation for instruction that would not change- like other wages in the CBA.