Editor’s note: This letter has been edited to conform to the Foghorn’s publication style.
In response to the September 16, 2021 article “Let the Bargaining Begin,” let me add some additional information on behalf of the University Budget Advisory Council (UBAC). UBAC did indeed make a number of recommendations to the President’s Cabinet concerning the balancing of the fiscal year 2022 operating budget. UBAC is advisory to the President’s Cabinet, which accepted some of those recommendations and did not accept others; this is normal.
For example, the President’s Cabinet ultimately determined that it was not necessary to continue the salary reduction programs of fiscal year 2021 that helped the University balance its COVID-19 revision to that year’s operating budget.
Note that at the time of submission of those recommendations, UBAC — and the President’s Cabinet, for that matter — did not know that the University and its students would be the beneficiaries of a third round of federal stimulus.
Additionally, UBAC was careful to acknowledge in its recommendations to the President’s Cabinet that matters related to the compensation and working conditions of members of collective bargaining units are ultimately resolved through collective bargaining processes rather than by UBAC or any particular party at the bargaining table.
I have partnered with other University administrators in the negotiation of approximately a dozen collective bargaining agreements over the past eight years. It has always been our desire to avoid negotiating — however indirectly —through the Foghorn. Attempts to do so by either party can lead to miscommunication and misleading oversimplification of complex proposals and conversations connected to budget, to compensation, and to enrollments.
Vice Provost for Institutional Budget, Planning, and Analytics
Administration Tri-Chair, University Budget Advisory Council