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FAM's first year of negotiations

Happy FAM-iversary to us! One year ago, on May 17, nearly two-thirds of Miami University faculty voted to form a union: The Faculty Alliance of Miami, American Association of University Professors-American Federation of Teachers (FAM, AAUP-AFT). A month later, Miami librarians voted unanimously to join FAM. Our union was AAUP-AFT’s biggest higher education union win in the nation in 2023, organizing more than 830 faculty and librarians.

This historic victory marked the beginning of a new era at Miami, as faculty and librarians now have the right to bargain collectively over our pay and working conditions and to codify these terms in a legally binding contract. Our union also gives us the power to unite against threats to higher education and to lift the community in Butler County and the state of Ohio, since high union density is associated with economic, personal and political well-being for all workers in a region. 

Since August 2023, when negotiations for our first contracts began, FAM and management have exchanged over 100 proposals and counter proposals in 31 bargaining sessions on the way to creating two brand-new contracts (one for the faculty unit and one for the librarian unit). Standing together allows us to mobilize our collective power to make Miami better, because faculty and librarian working conditions are student learning conditions.

Building our first contracts from scratch is a monumental undertaking, but thanks to the over 60 faculty members and librarians from all divisions and ranks who researched and wrote bargaining proposals, it’s been a successful first year of negotiations. Already we’ve made significant progress, reaching agreement on eight articles on topics ranging from health, safety and security to academic freedom with library resources. We also hope to be one of the first higher education institutions to include language around artificial intelligence in our contract. 

We continue to fight to protect our members’ job security and academic freedom. Management has proposed a new post-tenure review process that would undercut tenure protections and result in termination. They have also proposed language that would erode current librarian and Teaching, Clinical Professors and Lecturers job protections and assert sole authority over what is taught and how it is taught. 

We won’t let that happen!

We also remain staunch in our fight for fair compensation for our members. Management has responded to our competitive compensation proposal — which gives most faculty an average annual wage increase of 7% — with a dismal initial annual raise offer of just 1.25% (after the 2% we would get upon ratification) and a promotion bump that is lower than what is currently given to most promoted faculty (librarians are still awaiting a counter from management about their compensation). 

Despite high inflation, management has provided faculty and librarians with no raises since 2022. United as FAM, faculty and librarians can fight back against these unacceptable proposals.

Miami faculty and librarians deserve a historic first contract — the type of contract other universities strive to achieve. We will continue to negotiate over the summer in hopes of wrapping up our contracts in the fall. 

FAM members, the success of our union is due to your support, participation and collective action. If you are faculty and are not yet a member, consider joining FAM today. If you are a student, consider joining Students for FAM. Together we will win a strong first contract to build a better Miami. 


FAM Negotiating Team 

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