A note about students’ changing learning environments these last weeks of the term

While we remain entirely remote, from this week onward many of us will teach students from homes they share with parents, siblings, and others. This has always been true–many of our students share space with other people and need to attend Zoom classes from spaces that other people have access to–but it will be true for more students over the holiday week.  This is worth noting for a couple of reasons: many students will have increased connectivity and technology issues; some students may be quarantining due to travel; and some students may have roommates or family members in the room…

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UA’s thoughts on student requests for adjustments and accommodations.

This is a hard time—an unbelievably hard time—for all of us. We are now eight months into unprecedented disruption due to the ongoing public-health crisis. Renewed and widespread calls for social and racial justice have been met with resistance and additional instances of brutality rather than compassion and unity. Western states experienced devastating fires and apocalyptic skies. Remote instruction for school-aged children and lack of childcare alternatives have wreaked havoc on family schedules, work, and household dynamics. Weeks after the presidential election we are still embroiled in high-stakes political uncertainty. Covid cases are now increasing faster than ever.As difficult as…

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Fall Term 2020 GMM

Recording of UA’s virtual Fall Term General Membership Meeting. In addition to updates on bargaining, there are reports from breakout discussions on topics including racial justice, caregiver needs, workplace safety, student experience surveys, and review criteria and processes in the time of COVID. The meeting ended with discussions with Lane County Commissioner candidates from District 3. 

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A new academic year with new challenges. We’re here to help.

Dear Colleague, It’s a new academic year and there are new challenges to face. United Academics is here to support you. Who YOU are. You are the faculty represented by United Academics! You are tenure track faculty at the assistant, associate, and full professor levels. You are research faculty such as research assistants, associates, technicians, and research professors. You are librarians and you are instructors. You are Career faculty and you are pro tems. Together we are UNITED ACADEMICS! Who we are. We are a community of scholars and our (proverbial) doors are open to discuss issues that arise on…

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MOU Ratified

We are pleased to inform you that the membership has ratified the Memorandum of Understanding to restore Career faculty FTE, institute a payroll reduction plan, and allow faculty to resubmit requests for promotion by a vote of 461 to 34. The negotiations over this agreement were not easy, and UA leadership appreciates everyone who watched the bargaining and lent their support. We still have work to do to change the Career contract system. We will keep you informed of the progress we are making. We anticipate asking membership to ratify an agreement on a new system in fall. Again, thank…

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Planning for Fall Term

Last Wednesday, Provost Philips sent instructional faculty and graduate employees a message describing a change in the approach to in-person teaching in the fall. Instructional faculty and GEs have been given the option to opt out of in-person teaching in the fall, if they have not done so already. This is great news, and we welcome this new decision by the Provost. We recommend that faculty take the opportunity now to consider the latest available information and decide whether or not they would like to opt out of in-person teaching in the fall. We have studied the university’s plans for in-person…

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August 4, 2020 Town Hall

United Academics held a virtual Town Hall on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is posted here on the United Academics webpage. The FAQ responds to the dozens of questions we received during the meeting and over the last several months. If you don’t see answers to your questions there, drop us a line at info@uauoregon.org. We will continue to update the FAQ as new issues arise or information becomes available.

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We have a deal!

After four weeks of tough bargaining, we struck a tentative deal with the administration over the restoration of FTE, a progressive salary cut package, and the outlines of how we will revise the system for employing Career faculty. The bargaining team believes this is a good deal and a vast improvement on the salary cut plan offered in April.Before we get to the details, the bargaining team would like to give a hearty thank you to all the members who tuned in to watch. Over 200 unique viewers joined some part of the sessions. Bargaining via Zoom is new to all of us, and…

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Summer Bargaining So Far

United Academics and the administration reconvened last week to discuss potential salary cuts, the restoration of fall FTE for affected Career faculty, and a plan for expectation of continuing employment for all Career faculty. The bargaining conversations have begun with each side presenting and discussing the principles that inform their thinking on the issues we’re bargaining. Our primary goals are to restore FTE for those who were renewed with low FTE in the spring and to institute an expectation of continued employment that would eliminate the administration’s ability to dramatically change career faculty FTE year to year. We have also…

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Registration Information for Upcoming Bargaining Sessions

Dear Colleague, The United Academics bargaining team met with the administration bargaining team for four hours on Friday, June 26, to begin our summer bargaining sessions. In these sessions we are attempting to find agreement on restoring FTE for Career faculty who had their FTE cut in May, a fair salary cut plan to address anticipated deficits, fixing the broken Career contract system, and a better retirement/buyout plan for our tenured faculty. This first session was designed to have the parties discuss principles as we attempt to solve our mutual problems. Our team presented some basic bullet points and we discussed how…

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Solidarity and Community Events

Campaign for Caregivers: Please sign the petition!

Recently, the Center for the Study of Women in Society sent an urgent request to University of Oregon leadership asking for action to alleviate labor inequities for faculty, staff, and GEs that have arisen from the coronavirus pandemic. As the faculty testimonials  below demonstrate, COVID-19 has uncovered many aspects of our institutional practice that have historically rendered the labor of caregivers invisible and left them more vulnerable. By “caregiver,” we mean anyone who regularly looks after a child, a dependent, and/or a sick, elderly, or disabled person without pay. Caregivers can be of any gender and are usually members of…

State of Oregon Campus Resources For DACA Students

Oregon’s public universities and community colleges are encouraging DACA students to consult with immigration attorneys and potentially renew their applications as soon as possible. Students needing assistance in renewing DACA paperwork can reach out to contacts at each institution. A list of contacts for Oregon’s public universities and community colleges can be found here. United Academics asks for your help in amplifying this message and sharing these resources with Oregon’s DACA students.

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.