Joint statement of Oberlin College and the UAW
August 3, 2020
Oberlin College and Conservatory and UAW Local 2192 have reached an agreement that will provide dining and custodial employees whose positions were eliminated this summer with three months’ severance pay and medical benefits with premiums paid for nearly a year for those who do not have coverage through another employer’s health plans.
As part of the agreement, the UAW announced it would withdraw an unfair labor practices charge the union filed with the National Labor Relations Board in June.
UAW members, who include Oberlin’s skilled trades staff, voted to ratify the agreement on July 25, with the support of 92 percent of the roughly 94 people who cast ballots.
Both parties agreed that “the College and the Union have met, discussed and negotiated in good faith about the Closure [eliminating the positions] and the effects of the Closure.”
Under the terms of the agreement, affected former employees:
- Will receive three months’ severance pay.
- Will receive payment for all accrued vacation or sick leave.
- Will have the option to participate in a modified plan of the College’s tuition program for dependents who are at least 14 years old, regardless of the employee’s service time.
- Will enjoy extended healthcare benefits. Rather than pay health coverage premiums for the remainder of the calendar year, the College elected to cover 100 percent of the premium cost for an additional six months, until June 30, 2021, or until former employees obtain other employment.
- Who do not begin employment with a College vendor will be eligible for outplacement services and up to $2,500 in reimbursement for training or tuition.
The negotiating teams for the United Auto Workers and Oberlin College first met on February 18, 2020, to initiate discussions. At the initial meeting, the College indicated its willingness to discuss on a daily basis any developments that needed to be addressed between the college and the union. Those discussions and the sharing of information between the parties have been ongoing. Additionally, the teams have maintained a communications flow in March and April that has included information meetings, texts, and phone calls.