We are gratified that the University of Montana and University Faculty Association were able to reach an agreement that ensured all lecturers at UM will be back teaching their important and valued classes this spring.
Announced at Faculty Senate on Thursday, the agreement says the University will issue annual contracts to the lecturers who received notice they would be finished teaching in December. This agreement allows those faculty members, who many of our students value as incredible teachers and mentors, to know that they will be here this full year. It also allows us to avoid a potentially lengthy and uncertain arbitration process that could leave those lecturers unsure of their status well into the winter and possibly the spring.
We want to express our thanks to our colleagues at the MEA-MFT for their work with us and both Main Hall and the Office of the Commissioner for Higher Education for negotiating with us once we had filed the formal grievance.
There are still important and difficult decisions to be made at the University of Montana and we hope today also marks the beginning of a new era of cooperation that will ensure that the rights of our members are protected even as the University makes difficult and necessary decisions for the future health of UM.
We will be sending out another message soon that outlines what we at the UFA see as the current challenges regarding APASP and the budget challenges.
Today is a good day for the hard-working lecturers who teach many of our most popular and engaging classes. It is also a good day for their students and for the University community as a whole.