Headlines

A Letter to UO Administration and Union Leadership

Professor Kim Sheehan and Professor Deborah Morrison shared their thoughts regarding the current state of Career faculty at the University of Oregon. The text of the letter can be found below and the original PDF here. UA welcomes faculty input, like Dr. Morrison and Dr. Sheehan have provided here, and there are many ways to be involved as we work with the administration in faculty and student best interests. Bargaining around this issue and other topics will be discussed at the United Academics June 8, 2020 Town Hall. Additional details and an opportunity to submit questions will be forthcoming. June…

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The Administration Does Not Value Career Faculty

When United Academics was first formed eight years ago, both the administration and United Academics agreed that Career faculty were valuable members of the campus community. We agreed that our research mission would be nothing without them, and that their teaching forms the backbone of our educational mission. Both parties easily agreed that Career faculty should be able to earn long-term contracts that provided them certainty and stability. Both agreed that if these excellent faculty were willing to commit themselves to the university, the university should commit to them in return. While Career faculty have gone to extraordinary lengths to…

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How Annualized FTE Works

Unbalanced FTE ExplainedAt UO, we typically talk about a faculty member’s FTE in two different ways – FTE per term and annual FTE. For most faculty, these are the same. A faculty member on an annual 1.0 FTE contract will have a 1.0 FTE in each term. Some faculty, however, have less than 1.0 FTE, and this can lead to them working an “unbalanced” schedule, where their term FTE does not match their annual FTE.The most common unbalanced schedule is a faculty member who teaches only in one term. If that faculty member were to teach three classes in CAS…

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Faculty Should Choose

We have heard from many faculty over the last few weeks who are incredulous at the announcement that the administration wants to open campus in the fall and have in-person teaching. Many, of course, fear for their safety. Some wonder how they will take care of their children if daycares or schools are still closed. Some think the announcement is obviously a ploy, and no one should believe that we’ll actually be on campus. Others see the necessity of opening because we need the money, but also think it can’t possibly work. No one contacting us, though, seems to believe…

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We Need Our Librarians!

The UO Libraries are one of several areas on campus facing significant loss of Career faculty FTE in the coming year. Of the 42 faculty librarians, 15 have been renewed at only .55 FTE for the coming year, and 5 more face half-time contracts because promotions would put them on a new contract cycle. This FTE reduction would cut the UO librarian workforce by roughly 25%.Many library units are already short-staffed after several years of budget cuts. These additional cuts would inevitably lead to a significant reduction in or loss of many library services and professional expertise, which will have…

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UA Submits Demands to Bargain Over Campus Reopening

Dear Colleague, Yesterday, we issued two “demands to bargain” to the administration. A demand to bargain is a process provided for in Oregon state law when a public employer is planning to implement a material change to working conditions when there is a collective bargaining agreement in place. In that case, the union can “demand” that the employer engage in collective bargaining over the proposed changes and their impacts on working conditions. On the advice of our attorney, we issued these demands because the administration has not responded positively to our requests that union representatives be included in the planning…

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Agreement Ratified

Dear Colleague, We are pleased to inform you that the membership has ratified the agreement to end bargaining by a vote of 633 to 14. The leadership of UA appreciates how active and engaged you all have been the last few weeks. We are also very aware that important work remains to be done, first and foremost pushing the administration to renew the 12-month career faculty at their current FTE or restoring their FTE as soon as possible. Our 12-month colleagues have contracts that renew on July 1 and there is no way the university can function without their full…

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Plans to Reopen Campus and Remote Work Requests

The administration held a town hall today to discuss their plans for reopening campus in fall. While many faculty are excited to resume in-person teaching and research, it is imperative that the safety of our students, colleagues, and community is the primary factor driving decisions and planning around when and how to reopen campus. Our colleague Melissa Graboyes (History and CHC) wrote a thoughtful opinion piece for the Oregonian yesterday, which many faculty have pointed to as representative of concerns they have about this process.On Monday, the university administration sent all faculty and GEs an email from Human Relations Director…

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Bargaining Agreement Reached – Voting Information

After several exchanges of proposals, our bargaining team has reached an agreement with the administration. In order for our agreement to be finalized, it must be ratified by a vote of the membership. If you are receiving this email, our records indicate that you are a member of United Academics who is currently employed by the University of Oregon. If this information is incorrect, please let us know right away. As a currently active member, you will receive an email at noon on Wednesday with a link so you can vote. Your vote will not be tabulated with your name, so your…

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Possible Deal on Career Contract Renewals and an End to Bargaining

Dear Colleague, Collective bargaining has been suspended since March 11. With so much uncertainty about the state of the university and the academy, neither party felt comfortable resuming bargaining. Over the last week, United Academics and the administration have been working  on a deal that would end this round of bargaining uncompleted. We have not yet agreed to a deal, but we wanted to inform you that we are in negotiations. The intent is to reach a deal quickly before the administration carries out their plan to renew Career faculty at just 0.1 FTE. The deadline for renewal notification has…

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Solidarity and Community Events

Take Action Today For Part-Time Faculty Health Care

Please take a moment to urge legislators to pass HB 4146, the Part-Time Faculty Health Care Bill. HB 4146 will provide affordable health care to part-time faculty who teach more than half-time when their hours are pooled across Oregon’s public universities and community colleges. After years of trying to close the health insurance gap for these faculty, our coalition believes we can pass this important legislation this session. We need the Ways & Means Committee of the Oregon Legislature to support our bill in order to make that happen! Support passage of HB 4146 by: Emailing the Senate President, Speaker of the…


UA letter in support of UCSC graduate students

Dear Chancellor Larive and Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Kietzer: As President of the United Academics of the University of Oregon, I am writing in solidarity with the Graduate Student Association at UC Santa Cruz.  United Academics is a wall-to-wall faculty union with 1700 members, some of whom were once graduate students at UC Santa Cruz. As a comparable public research university on the West Coast, we understand the pressures of running a university in an expensive location. However, we also recognize that below-living wages are detrimental to the academy and society, and moreover exaggerate systemic inequities in educational attainment. Does…


National Day of Action in Defense of Grad Rights

On November 14th graduate workers and their allies in higher education, the labor movement, and their communities will gather in Chicago, Boston, and Washington D.C. to protest the National Labor Relations Board’s attack on their rights. Ahead of this day of action we are aiming to collect 3000 comments to the NLRB.  Encourage friends and colleagues to submit comments on this page.


AFT-Oregon 2020 Scholarships and Awards are open for applications.

The AFT-Oregon 2020 Scholarship and Awards are open for applications. The deadline for the applications is January 31, 2020. An overview of the various scholarships and awards can be found here. Applications and additional details can be found on the website: http://or.aft.org/


Faculty Responsibility during a GE Strike

Dear Colleagues, As you know, the rumblings of an impending GE strike are growing louder, and questions have been raised about the expectations and obligations for faculty should that happen. Before any decisions are made about the University’s “Academic Continuity Plan,” I would like to share some thoughts to inform our discussions. To start, let me underline some of the information we shared with you in an August 27 e-mail. Some administrators incorrectly assume that faculty will cover for striking GEs. This is not necessarily so. Our collective bargaining agreement (CBA) requires faculty to “consult” about how work performed by a…