On July 22nd The Atlantic School of Theology Faculty Association (ASTFA) and SMUFU signed a service agreement that links the two organizations together in a unique and exciting new way. A portion of the dues paid by ASTFA members will be collected by SMUFU and in exchange SMUFU will provide collective bargaining and grievance advice and services. In addition, SMUFU will also ensure that any future arbitration costs are not too burdensome to ASTFA by guaranteeing to pay a significant proportion of the legal costs associated with any arbitration case.
Other links in the partnership will be a development of communication channels such as the exchange of newsletters and access to each organization’s websites. While both organizations will continue to be completely separate and be solely responsible for representing their own members, this new partnership is a significant sign of the desire to work collectively and in solidarity to achieve the best work environment possible at both institutions.
The agreement was signed by Jeff Power, President of SMUFU and Alyda Faber, President of ASTFA. In addition it should be noted that much of the work leading up to the agreement was done by Ron Houlihan and Susan Slater the outgoing presidents of SMUFU and ASTFA respectively as well as several other members of the executive of both associations.