Headlines

Important AFT-Oregon announcement and a few updates.

Greetings, colleagues, We have an important AFT-Oregon announcement and a few updates. AFT-Oregon Referendum Vote Over the next few weeks, United Academics’ members will receive postcard ballots from AFT Oregon, one of our state affiliates, to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment allowing for hybrid AFT-Oregon conventions. The UA Executive Council encourages you to vote in support of the referendum. Geographic distance and the costs of travel and lodging have long been significant barriers to participating in conventions for too many locals and their representatives. Hybrid modality will ensure a more inclusive, accessible, and transparent convention for all the members…

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Upcoming UA Happy Hours and Opportunities to Share

Hello UA Members, Many of you are experiencing on-going work-life challenges due to shortages and affordability of childcare and early education afterschool care. Please see this message below from the Co-Directors of Lane County’s Early Learning and Parenting Education Hubs. They are conducting a survey to assess the needs and shortcomings for caregivers of young and school-aged children. Dear Parents & Caregivers, The Lane Early Learning Alliance is interested in hearing from you about your wants and needs are when it comes to child care and preschool for your child(ren). We will use this information to expand access to child care…

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Proposed Changes to Article 31 and State and Local Endorsements

Greetings colleagues, One of the key pieces of bargaining the two parties left for resolution after bargaining was the administration’s proposed changes to Article 31 (Tenure Reduction Plan). This message seeks to: (1) clarify the proposal under consideration, (2) foreground the eventual ratification vote and its effects, (3) elicit feedback on your preferences and values in a brief survey, and (4) invite you to informational sessions to discuss specific questions and concerns in real time. Background At the close of our negotiations last June, the administration presented a new proposal to change the Tenure Reduction Program. Because we received this new proposal…

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Call to Action!

Greetings, colleagues. I’ll be direct. This is a call to action. We find ourselves during this academic year in a pivotal moment for shared governance at the University of Oregon. To the degree we rise to meet it, we have an opportunity to shape our units, our jobs, and our institution for the better. The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) ratified in July left several key issues to an appendix of implementation agreements to be worked out over the following months and beyond, including caregiving supports; proposed changes to the Tenure Reduction Program (TRP); the role of service in our work;…

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Caregiving update, GMM, and other upcoming events.

Dear UA Members, We worked hard in bargaining to get administration to acknowledge and offer institutional support for faculty caregivers. We were successful in pushing them to recognize their necessary role in making needed infrastructure a reality. As way of reminder, Article 34 “Caregiving”: Established a $500,000 Childcare Community Partnership Investment Fund to address local shortage of care providers Created annual $100,000 Travel Support Fund to offset work-related caregiving costs Purchased an institutional membership to care.com, so bargaining unit faculty members can have membership access to care.com to support individual caregiving needs. We know that many of you have questions…

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Welcome back from UA! Upcoming events, both social and business.

Greetings, colleagues. I want to extend my best wishes to you as we begin another academic year. And to our newly arrived colleagues: Welcome to campus! We’re glad to have you with us. Before the start of each new academic year I wonder if the novelty will wear off and I’ll feel like I’m just going through the motions. But standing in front of hundreds of first-year students  on their first day of college classes remains absolutely electrifying. One of those students asked on their end-of-class reflection: “Do you actually like teaching?” YES! Despite the occasional shortcomings and challenges of…

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Public Service Loan Forgiveness Resources and Upcoming Events

The waiver on Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) requirements expires Oct. 31, 2022. United Academics’ affiliate union, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), holds a weekly online debt clinic and provides free access to Summer, an online platform that has helped thousands of AFT members apply for PSLF and other loan relief. Summer is an online student loan management platform that includes tools to help navigate the various forgiveness programs and has a team of employees that members can consult. You can find more info and enroll here. You’ll need your AFT member ID number. You can request your AFT member number on the AFT…

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The Collective Bargaining Agreement has been ratified!

Members of United Academics have spoken, and the new Collective Bargaining Agreement has been ratified! Of the faculty who voted, 97.92% voted in favor of ratification. Among the many improvements for all faculty at the UO, the new contract: Establishes a clearer process for getting faculty-driven policies to the Office of the Provost (OtP) for final review. Clarifies pathways for appeals for grievances, arbitrations, and review appeals. Provides 10% wage increases over the life of the contract, raises salary floors, and outlines upcoming studies on inflation and salary equity issues. Establishes one of the very few Caregiving Articles within faculty…

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Contract highlights and summary. Voting begins Friday, July 8.

Dear Colleagues, We offer a summary below of what we’ve accomplished in this bargaining cycle. We hope you take the time to look carefully at both this summary and your CBA before you vote on ratification. A “yes” vote means this CBA goes into effect until June 30, 2024. A “no” vote means we go back to bargaining until we reach a new tentative agreement or until one party initiates the mediation process, which could end with the imposition of the employer’s final offer or a strike. Voting will open on July 08 and run through July 18. All members…

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A few memories and reflections from UA’s outgoing president.

Dear colleagues and comrades, I’m out. What a wild ride. Some memories and reflections for when you got a moment… Tres, Joe, and I sat there for lunch; they gave me the rundown of the state political labor scene. Our server was a little surprised that I, too, worked at the University with Tres and Joe. Joe quickly acknowledged we three were all faculty members, never once acknowledging they were profs and I was an instructor. It wasn’t the first time someone in the larger community looked at me and was confused that I, too, could be a faculty member…

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Solidarity and Community Events

Balancing Work and Caregiving: A Best Practices Teach-In Summary

Throughout 2021-2022, United Academics and members from the CSWS Caregiver Campaign continued their collaborative efforts to push the University of Oregon administration to address issues of equity and inclusion for UO faculty struggling to balance the demands of caregiving while fulfilling their employment expectations. On April 27, we hosted a joint zoom teach-in with 43 attendees. The contents of this report lay out the scope of the issues but also provide hands-on practical strategies to address challenges that have existed long before the Covid-19 pandemic. There is a video recording of the Teach-In available on the CSWS website, as well…


COVID Planning: The Work Continues

Dear colleagues, Many of you have read the petition sent by CSWS recently to the Office of the Provost. UAUO fully agrees with the concerns Professors Escallón, McKinley, and Stephen articulated, and we are also in full support of their ask that “caregivers of unvaccinated children (children under 12) can continue to teach and attend meetings [remotely] at least until their family members receive the vaccine.” We’ve also heard from faculty whose health puts them at serious risk by being in-person, yet they cannot qualify for ADA accommodations. And for those of us who are able to come back to campus, we…


UAUO Protest Pollack-Pelzner Linfield University

Recently the President of Linfield University, Miles K. Davis, summarily fired Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a Shakespeare scholar who had held an endowed chair in the Department of English and had represented the faculty as a member of the Board of Trustees. According to the university administration, Pollack-Pelzner was terminated for reasons unrelated to his achievements as a teacher, researcher, or publishing scholar. Rather, the administration states that he was sacked because he had “engaged in conduct that is harmful to the university,” specifically that he had “violated instructions to preserve the attorney-client privilege” and that he had “circulated false statements…


Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month! Various departments and programs on campus have put out lists of resources that we encourage you to share with your students as appropriate, but if you haven’t already seen some of those, here are some you may choose to share. Note that UA’s board and staff have not personally used all of these services and resources. UO Student Resources list: https://blogs.uoregon.edu/online/uo-resources/ This list has resources for navigating your student experience not limited to mental health; being aware of some of these programs and services, including tutoring, technical support, and more, may help some students address and…


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…