As the Spring term was coming to a close, I had a conversation with President Schill about the possibility of extending our current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by a year or two. The central idea was that we would come to an agreement about a new raise package for those years and leave the rest of the CBA in place until we could bargain a full Agreement.
I talked this idea over with our Executive Council and we all agreed it made sense to explore this idea with the UO administration. There were several factors that contributed to our thinking, but the main one concerned the unstable and uncertain budgeting future at the UO. We reasoned that locking in positive salary gains now, with no reductions to benefits, was something worth considering.
Dave Cecil and I have met with President Schill and VP Bill Brady twice now and we have the outlines of a proposal. Essentially, we’d be looking at a 2.0% raise in January 2019 and January 2020. In each year, the 2.0% would be divided between a COLA raise for all faculty and an equity raise for faculty who are entitled to one. We are still working out the details with the administration on how best to distribute equity money, but we are insisting on a mix of gender and diversity equity adjustments, adjustments based on our external comparators, and inversion/compression adjustments.
Agreeing to a two-year contract extension would delay bargaining for many needed non-salary improvements to the CBA. This concern weighs on our minds. The EC thought, however, that we will be in a better position to bargain with our new Provost after we have had a chance to build a relationship with him, and he has had a chance to acclimate himself to the university. We are confident that over the course of the next two years, he will learn that our concerns are shared by a great many people at UO, and he will want to work with us to solve them.
There is nothing final about any of our discussions, and I wanted to include you in the conversation as soon as was practicable. I welcome your feedback about this idea. Any agreement we reach with the UO will have to be ratified by the membership, so look for your opportunity to vote. We hope to have a proposal for you to vote on later in the summer.