Is your job funded with money from a state or federal agency, another institution or private organization? Read USU-NEA’s new soft money issue brief on how soft money funded employees would be impacted – for the positive – by a union.
USU-NEA will fight hard for the economic and job security of soft-money staff, just like we will for staff funded by UVM generated revenue. Many union contracts in higher education, represented by NEA and other unions, address issues related to soft money. Here are some topics that these contracts address and how they impact employees paid with soft money:
Grants & Staff Salaries – the university should require pay raises as stipulated in the grant. Currently some staff entitled to a raise under the grant can end up with no raise if UVM does not budget for it.
Accountability & Transparency – Every dollar of soft money should be fully accounted for, explained and justified. Staff should have a say in how UVM’s “cut” of grant funding is determined and allocated.
SMURF – Soft Money Unemployment Recovery Fund – Grants sometimes run out. If this happens, a fund should exist for staff to provide assistance for staff impacted by layoffs, in part because they helped to contribute to the mission, success and prestige of UVM as a result of the work under the grant. Staff at the University of Maine, for example, would receive fixed payments of between $2000 and $4000 based on years of service if their grant expired.
Want to read more? Check out our full issue brief on soft money. A union will help us advocate for every professional staff member on campus, despite how their job is funded. Let’s do this together!