Headlines

Legislative Updates from the Higher Ed Front

One might imagine in a beautiful state like ours, with its consistent Democratic majority of legislators committed to the values many of us UA members share, that we might experience some smooth sailing in virtual Salem. Well, at least when it comes to Higher Ed equity and Labor. Unfortunately, as many people of color and other marginalized groups understand, “progressive Oregon” has a long way to go… But the fight continues… HB2873 / SB712 Also known as the “HECC Voting Rights” Bill, Higher Ed folks have been trying to amend the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) voting rights makeup by…

Read More

Possible Faculty Strike at Oregon Institute of Technology

Dear Colleagues, In the meantime, we wanted to let you know what is happening to our colleagues at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. Almost two years ago now, the approximately 160 faculty at OIT formed a union and affiliated with the AAUP. For the last 15 months, they have been trying to bargain their first contract with the administration. It has been very difficult, and negotiations have broken down. On March 10, the OIT administration declared “impasse” after six months of state-sponsored mediation. This means that in 30 days, the administration can lock the faculty out of their jobs…

Read More

Statement of Support

Dear Colleagues, Members of our campus community and your wider communities have no doubt been shaken and distressed by last week’s attacks in Georgia. Our thoughts, grief, and sympathy go out to the victims, their families, and the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. We remember those who have been lost: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue, and those injured, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, in the Atlanta-area shootings. We know that this incident cuts deeply into the Asian community. These deaths are a reminder…

Read More

United Academics Officer and Representative Elections

Open positions: All Executive Council and Representative Assembly positions are open! The Executive Council (EC) is the primary leadership body of United Academics with a focus on initiating, overseeing, or revising the program of the union. The EC consists of officers and the chairpersons of the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee; the Organizing and Membership Committee; and the Politics Committee. The Executive Council meets regularly, typically weekly during the academic year, to discuss issues that impact faculty and campus. Representatives (reps) are elected to 2-year terms and have the authority to vote on union business, including approval of the budget…

Read More

The Predicament of Career vs. Family

Over the next months, the UA bargaining team will be bringing you some contextual information about the major issues that we hope to address at the bargaining table. This installment is about issues that disproportionately affect women and caregivers in the workplace. Did you know…? That faculty at UO who are parents are often unable to avail themselves of childcare? Olum Center is so full that often there are long waiting lists. Moss Street prioritizes students. And, there is a dearth of childcare options in the city of Eugene. When parents do get a slot at Olum, they often have to…

Read More

Trust can only be built through transparency

On October 10, 2019, President Schill wrote to the campus community to commit himself to four principles: honesty, transparency, respect, and grace. Regarding transparency, he wrote, “Trust can only be built through transparency.” We don’t always find common cause with President Schill, but in this regard we could not have been more in agreement. Transparency was one of the founding principles of United Academics, and we have always tried to be as transparent as possible, including when we speak in your name at the bargaining table.Unfortunately, for the second straight bargaining session, the administration team has insisted that bargaining sessions…

Read More

Peer Review Continues to Be at Risk

Last week, Gabe Paquette, the new Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, introduced himself to the Senate and answered a few questions from the Senators. Several times over the course of his remarks, Vice Provost Paquette asserted that the Provost’s Office would be using the standards for promotion and tenure contained in the CBA when evaluating P&T files, such as a sustained record of scholarship. He particularly cited the CBA’s alleged requirement that candidates for promotion have a “sustained” record of scholarship. This is incorrect: the CBA provides guidelines for departments and units when they establish review criteria, not requirements for…

Read More

A Question of Transparency

On Tuesday, our bargaining team met with the administration’s bargaining team to kick off a new round of bargaining. Although both parties are eager to bargain over the important provisions of the collective bargaining agreement, we must first establish the ground rules for negotiations.  Fortunately, the parties are on the same page on every issue except one. Where we differ is over who will have the ability to watch the bargaining sessions. Read the administration proposal here. Read our proposal here. The administration would like to keep the sessions open only to bargaining unit members. Their reasoning is that bargaining…

Read More

Bargaining Update and Delegate Nominations

Bargaining UpdateWe are set to begin bargaining next Tuesday, February 9, from 3 to 5pm. Unfortunately, we have not yet agreed to ground rules with the administration. The main disagreement we are having with them regards who will be able to observe bargaining. The administration would like to limit the audience to bargaining unit members, administrators, and invited guests.Due to this ongoing disagreement, we do not feel comfortable widely sharing a link to the first session at this time. The bargaining team will be meeting this evening to discuss our best approach to resolve this issue. We hope you will…

Read More

Expectation of Continued Employment

***Note – Throughout the message below, we refer to Career faculty as either “instructional Career faculty” or “funding-contingent Career faculty.” We recognize that these terms do not precisely describe all of the Career faculty at UO. We have chosen to refer to faculty this way in the interest of trying to make a complicated subject a little clearer. “Instructional Career faculty” includes Librarians and all Career faculty who are not on funding-contingent contracts.  After months of negotiations, the University and United Academics have reached an agreement on the new system for employing Career faculty at the University of Oregon. Although…

Read More

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.