ULFA is pleased to announce that we have signed another Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Board of Governors. This most recent MOU concerns the use of confidentiality agreements, both those that had been introduced earlier this year to all Members as well as supplemental confidentiality agreements that are often used on various committees and for department chairs. We received many concerned communications from our membership about these agreements, and we subsequently grieved their use.
A copy of this new MOU is available here. We have provided a summary of its contents:
1) All Members will be required to sign one (and only one) confidentiality agreement as a condition of employment. This requirement is part of the University’s government-mandated Employee Code of Conduct. The contents of that agreement are included in the MOU, and changes to that agreement must be mutually agreed upon by ULFA and the Board.
2) The confidentiality agreement that you will be required to sign explicitly states that it “will not be interpreted or applied so as to limit or amend the provisions contained in the ASCA.” This clause means that all of your rights contained in the Academic Staff Collective Agreement (ASCA), including the rights pertaining to and extending from academic freedom, cannot be impaired or limited by signing this agreement.
3) For the purposes of this agreement, “Confidential Information” is defined as “Personal Information as defined in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, RSA 2000 Chapter F-25.” Since all Members already have a legislated responsibility not to divulge Personal Information as defined in this act, the confidentiality you sign as a condition of employment will not limit your ability to divulge or discuss information in a way that was not already previously prohibited by law.
4) As part of this MOU, “the Board will provide training to academic staff with respect to the nature and use of Confidential Information, consistent with this MOU.” ULFA believes this training will be beneficial to our Members in helping them understand their legislated requirements which this confidentiality agreement reinforces.
5) Lastly, as this MOU is implemented, you will be asked to sign the confidentiality agreement contained in it. There may also be some modifications of pre-existing documents to reflect the existence of this MOU and the confidentiality agreement.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the ULFA staff.