Bargaining update for April 4, 2024

Thank you to all who attended the last round of bargaining. We bargain again on Thursday, April 18, from 12:30-3:30 in Chiles 125. Your presence is important because it shows that faculty are engaged and paying attention to bargaining. We will present a counter to the administration’s salary proposal, so we encourage all members interested in their economic situation to attend. As a reminder you can come and go, do work on your laptop, each lunch, etc.

Your bargaining team met with the administration team again last Thursday and we had some productive conversations.  We were pleased that we managed to reach tentative agreement on three articles (Article 8: Personnel Files, Article 21: Review Decision Appeals, and Article 41: No Strike, No Lockout) and continued conversations on several other issues.

We presented several articles, as did the administration. In our Article 6 proposal, Policies and Practices, your team reasserted the importance of faculty being informed of the adoption of policies that directly affect working conditions.  The administration proposed to rely on the impact bargaining process as outlined in Oregon law to resolve disputes on new policies, while your bargaining team insists that faculty be notified of any change in policy, no matter the source of said policy.  In Article 9: Union Rights, we have reasserted existing language regarding information requests and information sharing between the University and our Union that the administration had attempted to remove from the CBA.  In Article 12: Facilities and Support, we continue to press for language that protects faculty from negative review decisions as a result of a lack of necessary support and facilities to accomplish their professional responsibilities, as well as a timeline and process when faculty deal with inadequate working conditions in assigned spaces.  We had useful conversations regarding offer letters for incoming faculty with Article 16: Notices of Appointment and once again pressed for an increased notice for funding-contingent faculty in the event of a layoff.  Finally, though we were unable to discuss the proposal at the table, we handed over Article 19: Career Faculty Review and Promotion in which we want to ensure prior credit for Pro Tem service and thorough explanations from the Office of the Provost when there is a discrepancy between their evaluation and preceding levels of review.

The administration team presented Article 4: Unit-Level Policies and Article 11: Release Time in which we have only a few minor details on which to come to agreement.  We will continue to push back against clawbacks on the number of course releases granted to union officials, but we were happy to see positive movement on these two articles.  They presented Article 13: Health and Safety, and though they struck language regarding ADA accommodations from our proposal, we are confident that we will eventually work out a better process and timeline for bargaining unit members dealing with the ADA process.

The most contentious moment in an overall productive session occurred as a result of administration striking our proposal in Article 17: Assignment of Professional Responsibilities that assigns professional development time to Career faculty with a 1.0 FTE.  The administration would like us to wait and see what occurs with the current unit policy revisions before committing themselves to such a provision.  We attempted to implement similar language in the last round of negotiations, and ended up with an Implementation Agreement that encouraged units to examine the workload of Career faculty and propose adjustments with an eye to equity.  No such adjustments have been approved by administration as a result of this prior agreement.  Thus, your team will continue to push for language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, so that Career faculty can meaningfully engage in the kind of professional development necessary to fulfill their professional obligations.

We look forward to future conversations to continue to mold the processes and priorities at our institution and are pleased that we have already achieved tentative agreement on three articles.  In our next session, we will present our counterproposal on salaries (Article 26) as well as other proposals that aim to improve your work life at the University of Oregon.