ITEM 122-103-R0104


To:             Board of Regents


From:         Sue I. Hill, Director

                  Labor Relations and Personnel


RE:             Approval of Tentative Agreement with Helena Teachers’ Union


Date:          January 15-16, 2004

Attached is a summary of the tentative agreement with the Helena Teachers’ Union that covers the faculty at The University of Montana-Helena College of Technology.  The summary only shows the changes to the prior agreement.  The entire agreement can be accessed electronically at:


Sections 2.1 and 4.8 were modified to allow for an alternative calendar.  A new provision was added to Section 4.7 to require 5 days notification of tentative course assignments.  The probationary period prior to receiving tenure was lengthened by one year for newly hired faculty, and an option was included to allow up to 3 years of prior teaching service to be recognized toward tenure.  In the future, the search committee will be consulted, where practical, when it is deemed necessary to offer a recruitment adjustment and the union will be given written notice within 20 days of the award of any recruitment adjustment.  The dependent tuition waiver benefit was adopted in a memorandum of understanding that references Regent policy


This bargaining unit will receive an experience increment worth $0 in both 2003-04 and 2004-05.  The parties agreed to form a committee to explore alternatives to an experience driven salary model and to develop informational material to help faculty better understand the implications of such a salary model.  The only general salary increase besides promotions is a $500 increase on January 1, 2005.  Compensation for Department Chairs increased from $1800 to $2000 per fiscal year beginning in FY 2005.


The faculty voted down the first tentative agreement, the primary issue being the continuation of the experience increment.  A second settlement was reached with the help of State Mediator, Vicki Knudsen, after a lengthy, late night mediation session.  The faculty have since voted to accept the second tentative agreement.  I recommend approval of the tentative agreement with the Helena Teachers’ Union.