Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB) President Daniel Thompson recommended that the University of The Bahamas (UB) place a moratorium on new hires and halt the renewal of contracts for faculty retirees and faculty over 70.
He also suggested that UB engage retired faculty on a part-time basis, enhance energy saving by monitoring the usage of lights and air conditions, reduce overseas travel and revisit its outsourcing policy.
The university should also get rid of its new executive vice president and appoint an acting executive vice president, according to the union president.
Thompson’s recommendations were aimed at helping the university save money.
He also suggested two revenue enhancement initiatives including “teaching online summer 2020 classes based on face-to-face terms and conditions” and “exploring other revenue-saving opportunities with UTEB membership by engaging dialogue as a matter of practice and not just when UB finds it absolutely necessary”.
“Be assured that your UTEB team is on top of this matter,” Thompson wrote in a letter to members.
“We encourage you to keep us in your prayers. You must be ready to act as your UTEB team advises. Further, our terms and conditions of employment are entrenched in our industrial agreement, signed by Board of Trustees Chair Dr. [Kenneth Jonathan A.] Rodgers and UB President Dr. [Rodney] Smith.”
On Wednesday, The Guardian revealed that UB’s board is considering 20 percent salary cuts as well as 50/50 insurance contributions at the university.
This paper understands that it is also considering sending faculty over 65, as well as faculty with 30 to 40 years of service, into retirement.
The board is reportedly considering an increase in faculty load and class sizes and an elimination of mileage and non-essential staff positions, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Thompson said the union does not “negotiate the interest of our members based on newspaper articles”.
“However, we are disappointed that the deliberations of the Board of Trustees may have been leaked to the press before the university was able to address us,” he said.
“Nevertheless, we stand in solidarity and we are prepared to engage in dialogue and to take any other necessary actions on your behalf.”