Bargaining Agreement Reached – Voting Information

After several exchanges of proposals, our bargaining team has reached an agreement with the administration. In order for our agreement to be finalized, it must be ratified by a vote of the membership. If you are receiving this email, our records indicate that you are a member of United Academics who is currently employed by the University of Oregon. If this information is incorrect, please let us know right away.

As a currently active member, you will receive an email at noon on Wednesday with a link so you can vote. Your vote will not be tabulated with your name, so your vote will be via secret ballot, as required by the UA bylaws. Polling will close at 4pm Thursday.

There is a summary of the agreement below. Many faculty have reached out to ask why we are not negotiating a wage cut agreement and/or fighting for full employment for Career faculty. Part of the agreement proposed below is a resumption of wage cut negotiations this summer. It is our hope that we will be able to find agreement on a wage cut proposal that can be approved by the faculty as quickly as possible, and that a restoration of full FTE for Career faculty be part of the deal. The agreement below is, hopefully, a stopgap measure to give us time to bargain a fair wage cut agreement. At the very worst, it will provide over 150 Career faculty with the guarantee of health insurance next academic year. In the absence of this agreement, the administration planned on issuing .1 FTE contracts for all 211 career faculty up for renewal.

Summary of the Agreement:

  • The current collective bargaining agreement will be extended by one year and expire on June 30, 2021.
  • The bargaining which began in January will be abandoned. Only the proposals that were tentatively agreed upon will be in effect for the next year.
  • Bargaining starts over in January 2021, with release time totaling 1.5 FTE per term for bargaining team members.
  • By July 15, the two parties will begin negotiations over a restoration of full Career contracts for AY 20-21, a Progressive Pay Reduction plan, an “expectation of continued employment” system for Career contracts, and a new Tenure Reduction Plan with a buyout option that could be put into effect as soon as possible.
  • A small number of Career faculty who are up for renewal will be non-renewed for performance reasons or for cuts planned pre-COVID. These faculty retain their rights to grieve their non-renewals.
  • Career faculty who are renewed on May 8 will receive one-year contracts.
  • All Career faculty who are renewed who did NOT have an annualized FTE of at least 0.5 FTE in AY 19-20 will have either a 0.1 or 0.11 contract renewal for AY 20-21.
  • All Career faculty who are renewed and had an annualized FTE at or above 0.5 FTE in AY 19-20 will have either a 0.5 or 0.55 FTE contract renewal for AY 20-21. This contract will also provide these faculty with health insurance benefits for the entire AY 20-21.
  • There will be no merit, COLA, or across-the-board wage increase during AY 20-21, but all eligible faculty can earn promotion and post-tenure review raises.
  • The administration will develop criteria for evaluating when FTE can be increased and how available FTE will be distributed. Criteria must be objective. Criteria will be reviewed by the union before the criteria are enacted. Whenever possible, faculty in their highest rank will be given preference for FTE increases over faculty not in their highest rank. Similarly, whenever possible, faculty in the second highest rank will be given preference for FTE increases over faculty who have not achieved promotion. 

The bargaining team recommends a “YES” vote on this agreement. It is not an agreement we would have bargained for in the absence of COVID-19, but it provides most of our Career faculty up for renewal at least a 0.5 FTE job with health insurance benefits in exchange for no regular wage increase. Given the uncertainties our community and the academy face, we believe this is a good deal. Even better, we will have the opportunity to try to make it better by finding a comprehensive and fair package that restores FTE, fixes our broken Career contract system, and improves our tenure-track retirement system.

Please look for the email with a link to your ballot on Wednesday. Please vote.