Judge: UNI professor buy-outs must be negotiated

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The union representing professors at the University of Northern Iowa has won a court battle which forces the Iowa Board of Regents to negotiate faculty job buy-outs.

The case involves controversial decisions made in 2012 when the university as a cost-cutting measure closed the Malcolm Price Laboratory School. That meant cancelling academic programs and terminating professors. Some professors had to choose a buy-out or layoff without a separation package. They were confronted with that choice in a meeting that bypassed the union.

The union filed a complaint with the Iowa Public Employee Relations Board, which last May ruled the buyout offers must be negotiated with the union, United Faculty. The Board of Regents appealed.

Polk County Judge Scott Rosenberg in a Sept. 29 order agrees the buy-outs should be negotiated.

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