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Miami University sets date to open negotiations with faculty union; union announces negotiating team

Three months after Miami University faculty voted to unionize, university administration and the Faculty Alliance of Miami (FAM) have set a date to start negotiating a contract.

Negotiations between administration and the new faculty union will begin with an Aug. 30 bargaining session at 9 a.m. Ahead of that session, FAM announced the members of its formal negotiating team at two Zoom meetings on Aug. 16 and 17.

The negotiating team consists of 11 people responsible for representing the bargaining unit “at the table” with university administration and is a subgroup of the bargaining council, a broader group which is helping with research and proposals. Within the bargaining council, there are specific work groups focused on different elements of the proposal. This includes a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) group. 

Phill Alexander, a professor of games in the department of Emerging Technology in Business and Design, is the chair of the negotiating team.

“I support (FAM) because I think it’s important for the university to understand that the people are the university,” Alexander said. “If they aren’t listening to us and treating us with respect, is that a university at all?”

Sam Morris and Ginny Boehme will serve as the lead negotiators for the team. Norris is a clinical professor of sport leadership and management, while Boehme is a science librarian.

Morris said he has an extensive service record within the Miami community, which he feels will help during negotiations.

“I’ve served on the Faculty Welfare Committee, and I’ve been the chair for the past couple of years,” Morris said. “This has given me a lot of experience negotiating with administration.”

Other members of the negotiating team include Darrel Davis, professor of educational psychology; Chelsea Green, associate clinical professor of business law; Zachary Grisham, business librarian; Martin Johnson, professor of history; Rachel Makaroswki, special collections librarian; and Jerry Yarnetsky, web services librarian. Keith Fennen, a professor in the philosophy department, and Henry Stevens, an associate professor in the biology department, plan to join the team after they are confirmed.

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