Headlines

Proposal for Career Faculty Job Security

Dear Colleague,Earlier this morning, the leadership of United Academics sent the letter below to President Schill and Provost Philips. This letter was drafted after many meetings and hours of conversation between officers, stewards, and representatives in response to many statements of concern from Career faculty who are up for renewal this year. We have had a very good working relationship with the administration during the COVID crisis, and we are positive that relationship will continue as we discuss how to provide Career instructional faculty with the security they need to focus on their important work. Dear President Schill and Provost…

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Lunch with your Local!

Dear Faculty, Over the past few weeks, it has felt like something is new and different (and usually worse) every day. The situation for faculty has been difficult – we’re all tired from keeping on top of the news, grading our suddenly-online finals, adapting our work to be remote, the uncertainty about our students’ access, uncertainty about our jobs, having children at home for many of us, and more. It has been hard. And many of you have taken on additional work, on top of all that, for your community, campus, families, and students. In all of our meetings with…

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Your Membership Matters More Than Ever

Just a few weeks ago, your union was focused on negotiating a strong contract, handling grievances, and fielding questions and concerns. Prepping for bargaining and meeting administration every week took up a lot of energy, and elected officials and staff were contemplating timelines and strategy. It’s an understatement to say that today we find ourselves in a very different landscape. With COVID-19 spreading rapidly across the U.S., the impact on universities is immediate. Questions and complications arise hour by hour that need urgent yet thoughtful responses. As you know, United Academics is member run and member driven. Faculty officers are…

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Career Faculty Face Layoff or Non-Renewal

Executive Summary: Officers of United Academics met with senior administrators to discuss current and future efforts to respond to COVID-19. We pushed admin to make a commitment to the Career faculty who could lose their jobs in the near future. The administration did not make any commitments. On Friday, four officers from United Academics met with President Mike Schill, Provost Patrick Philips, and Labor Relations Director Missy Matella to discuss the administration’s current actions in regard to COVID-19 and the prospects for the next term and beyond. President Schill reviewed the three priorities driving administrative decision-making. He discussed the almost-heroic lengths many…

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Tenure Clock Extension

On at least four occasions last week, President Sinclair and Executive Director Cecil encouraged the Provost’s Office to allow non-tenured faculty in the tenure-track to extend their tenure clock for one year at their discretion. These requests were the result of several emails and conversations from faculty requesting this extension. On each occasion, the Provost’s Office responded positively to this request and indicated that the opportunity for extension would be given soon. Unfortunately, the week ended with no such extension granted. We are seeing that clock extensions are widespread in the academy as a response to the uncertainties all faculty…

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Your Resource in Troubled Times

Dear Colleagues, We hope you are all doing the best you can in these unconventional times. As we started writing this update, it occurred to us that by the time it is drafted, edited, and approved, whatever we had to say about the current state of affairs would be almost surely overtaken by an announcement from the Provost or the Governor, and we’d be sending stale news with advice about inoperative circumstances. Instead, we’ll remind you that UA can be your resource for raising issues and concerns you’d like to have addressed by the administration. The leaders and staff of…

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Bargaining update – UA wants you to control your plans for retirement.

Executive Summary:The administration presented their retirement/buyout proposal. It would give the administration complete control over when faculty could be bought out.Bargaining is suspended for the foreseeable future. The UA office is closed until at least Monday, March 30. Officers and staff are working remotely and continue to be available at info@uauoregon.org. Summary:On Thursday, we had our tenth bargaining session. The administration brought three proposals and we presented one.Many of the proposals and ideas we have discussed in bargaining so far have dealt with the issue of who has control of our working lives – we faculty or the administration. Our salary proposal…

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Your Union is Here

Dear colleagues,Obviously, events on campus are evolving rapidly and it can be hard for anyone to keep up. United Academics leadership and staff have been involved in several conversations with administration this week, both keeping up with administration’s planning and making sure faculty interests are being considered.While we will be closing our office for the next two weeks (Finals Week and Spring Break), our staff and leadership will be available via email at info@uauoregon.org. You can reach out to us to get information on the expectations of faculty during the next few weeks, details about sick leave, and answers to…

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Expectation of Continued Employment

Executive SummaryWe proposed a plan that would provide Career faculty with the expectation of continued employment and job security. Under our proposal, Career faculty in their first year would have 30 days’ notice before termination. After their first year, Career faculty can only be terminated with 90 days’ notice for legitimate financial, programmatic, or performance reasons and only after a faculty committee review. Career faculty who have achieved promotion can only be terminated with one year’s notice for legitimate financial, programmatic, or performance reasons and only after a faculty committee review verifies that the termination is legitimate. We renewed our…

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Small Merit Raises, Term-to-Term Employment

Executive SummaryVice President for Finance and Administration Jamie Moffitt gave us a presentation on the budget. We learned that the university has very little money and what money it does have is already spoken for. The administration offered the faculty a 1.4% merit raise in each year of the CBA. There would be two additional pools of money. One would be controlled by the deans (~$300,000/year) and one would be controlled by the Provost ($450,000 total) to distribute as they see fit, or not, in the case of the Provost’s pool. The administration proposed moving all Career faculty to term-to-term…

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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…