Salary and Benefits Deal Jeopardized by Alleged Changes

A faculty member sports a personalized protest flyer during the faculty rally on April 19. The faculty passed a vote of no confidence in University President Rev. Joseph M. McShane's, S.J., leadership the same day. (ELIZABETH LANDRY/The Observer)

By STEPHAN KOZUB
News Editor

A scheduled Faculty Senate vote on an agreed upon salary and benefits plan was jeopardized today by allegations from both sides that involved parties had proposed undiscussed changes over the weekend.

On Friday April 28, the Faculty Senate Salary and Benefits Committee came to an agreement with the administration on a salary and benefits plan after months of contentious negotiations. April 28 was also the Board of Trustees’ imposed deadline for coming to such an agreement.

At the time, Andrew H. Clark, chair of the Salary and Benefits Committee, said that the  deal would be for three years and included salary raises in addition to HRA funds and a hardship fund for those in need for medical costs as well as an arbitration process if any aspect of the signed deal is violated.

The Fordham Observer has reached out to the university for comment.

In a statement to The Fordham Ram, Bob Howe, assistant vice president for communications for the university, said the following:

“The University’s offer of Friday, April 28, which Professor Clark endorsed in an email that day, is not only still on the table, but is a very strong package which the Faculty Senate could and should ratify today. The Salary and Benefits Committee asked for additional concessions over the weekend, without which they said they would not recommend the package to the full Senate.”

In a new statement sent to The Fordham Observer today, Clark said that “Bob Howe’s statement that Faculty Salary and Benefits Committee made changes over the weekend is utterly false and we demand that this false statement be retracted.”

His email states that he wrote to faculty on Friday about the deal, which mentioned that the agreement included a $400/800 HRA fund and a $250,000 roll over hardship fund through Dec. 31, 2020. Clark states in the email that the administration is now contesting these provisions.

Clark also states that he received an email at 10:54 p.m. from the faculty’s lawyer on April 30 “that the administration proposed changes that went against the agreement we reached Friday afternoon.”

“We have clear documentation of the negotiation meeting and will prove the record clear,” he said in the email.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

Update, 1 May 7:47 P.M.: This article has been updated for clarity.

LEAVE A REPLY