TO: Board of Regents

FROM: Sue I. Hill, Director,  Labor Relations and Personnel

RE: Approval of Tentative Agreement with Helena Teachers Union

DATE: September 27-28, 2001


Attached is the summary of the tentative agreement reached with the Helena Teachers Union. This agreement covers the faculty at the Helena College of Technology of The University of Montana. The attached summary only includes the sections of the collective bargaining agreement that were modified during this round of negotiations. The entire collective bargaining agreement is available for review at:

Many of the changes included in the summary are housekeeping in nature. This bargaining unit recently opted out of the larger bargaining unit that also included faculty at the other colleges of technology. We adapted the language in the system-wide contract to more specifically address the practices at the Helena College of Technology and for that reason changed Sections 1.1, 2.1, 4.4, 4.8, 11.3, and Appendix A. The change to section 4.13 merely added in language that was omitted from the prior agreement by mistake. A new provision was added at Section 11.9 that limits the duration of any letters of agreement.

A major issue in negotiations was to develop new working conditions for the faculty who provide computer training to state agencies. These faculty teach noncredit workshops that do not correspond with the academic year. We were successful in negotiating the option to employ such faculty on a fiscal year basis or they may be hired for an academic year with the requirement that they agree to additional teaching assignments beyond the academic year. Another substantive modification was to change the deadline for giving written notice of termination to probationary faculty in their third and forth year of service from January 15 to February 15. We also agreed to allow up to three years of service in a probationary position to count toward tenure if the faculty member is hired into a tenure-track position without a break in service. Under the tentative agreement, laid-off tenured faculty who are subsequently rehired into another open position within the bargaining unit have the option, unless otherwise agreed upon, to retain tenure.

Salaries for faculty in this bargaining unit will increase by 4 percent on November 1st of both years in the biennium. The 4 percent increase includes a $275.00 experience increase and most of the cost associated with promotions. The half-level promotion option for faculty without a bachelor s degree was deleted. Instead faculty at Level I who have an associate degree will receive a $1,000 stipend and those with a bachelor s degree will receive a $2,000 stipend. The maximum amount of recruitment adjustment was increased from $4,000 to $10,000.

I recommend approval of the tentative agreement with the Helena Teachers Union with the condition that the faculty vote to ratify this tentative agreement prior to the September Regent meeting.


xc: President Dennison
Dean Gray
Commissioner Crofts