BANGOR, Maine — The full-time faculty union of the University of Maine System presented a proposal Friday to the system office that would save about $600,000 this fiscal year.
Ron Mosley, a professor at the University of Maine at Machias and president of the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine, said the union should hear back from the system office in about a week. If the system office accepts the proposal, it will be sent out to union members for a vote.
The faculty’s hope is that the savings will help eliminate layoffs of hourly employees, which is the group most likely to be affected should layoffs become necessary. The system is trying to cut $1.8 million by June 30, the end of the fiscal year.
“The layoffs don’t really affect faculty this fiscal year,” Mosley said. “We’re doing some things to save money … to prevent layoffs of our colleagues. These are people we work with.”
The proposal also includes a retirement incentive for future years. It’s too late this year, Mosley said, to make any savings in retirement.
Jim McClymer, the AFUM chapter president at UMaine’s flagship campus in Orono and chairman of the union’s negotiating team, said the proposal does not call for faculty furloughs, a cost-saving option which other unions connected to the University of Maine System are discussing. The plan does involve faculty delaying payment on a part of each paycheck, beginning March 1, for the rest of the fiscal year.
McClymer declined to reveal any other details about AFUM’s proposal.
“We don’t want to do anything that will cause the proposal to fall apart,” he said.