Kent State University and the bargaining unit representing its food service, maintenance and skilled-trades workers are moving forward on a new labor contract.
The school’s trustees, and the rank and file of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees local 153 voted to accept a fact-finder’s report on negotiations. A contract based on that will now be signed.
Dave Schuckert, president of local 153, says that’s good, but a problem remains. Although the university will hold off changing health insurance benefits through this contract, it wants to go to a higher deductible plan next time, and he says the workers can’t afford it. “I’ve got a lot of members saying if that insurance changes and we can’t do anything to lessen the effect, they’re going to be leaving the university before the next contract,” said Schuckert.
A contract settlement between Kent State and AFSCME in 2015 also came after the two sides called for and accepted a fact-finding report.