The UA and administration bargaining teams returned to the virtual table on Friday, Feb. 11 for our second session of the term.
The session began with our presentation on Articles 15 (Academic Classification and Rank) and 16 (Notices of Appointment), which touch on many issues discussed by the Career Equity workgroup last Fall. Mike Urbancic (UA VP for Non-Tenure-Track Instructional Faculty) talked through our proposed new category of Teaching Professor, and why it demonstrates a shared value of respect for teaching, recognizes the importance of excellence, and parallels other current faculty categories.
We accepted the administration’s creation of a new Postbaccalaureate Scholar category and the division of Research Assistant into three distinct levels, given the diversity of educational levels and experience required for jobs in the latter. In order to better address the needs of funding contingent faculty, we proposed a definition for the classification that defines what makes a position contingent rather than defining it by what it is not (that is, eligible for expectation of continued employment). We also accepted the idea that either faculty or the institution can initiate the recategorization or reclassification of a position but we rejected the idea that a change could be made unilaterally by the administration–we added the requirement that changes must be by mutual agreement.
In Article 16, we reasserted recall rights in instances of Career layoffs, which the administration had struck in their last counterproposal. We proposed new language to make it clear that minimum notice periods need not be maximums, and that Career faculty can in fact be given longer-term appointments to facilitate partner hires and programs like the Honors College’s Faculty in Residence.
In Article 11 (Release Time for Union Service), we thought we had an agreement with the administration that release time for union service would be in the form of course releases (except in the case of research faculty). The last administrative counter proposal set aside that agreement. Our counter proposal returned to the prior agreement. We noted, among other things, that being released from 0.1 FTE of service is not practical because service assignments typically transcend terms, and that the university community is best served by having a diversity of faculty voices in bargaining and other labor-management activities – including our most experienced and most exceptional teachers.
We are largely in agreement regarding Article 33 (Sabbaticals), leaving only a few important points. We removed language that would allow the Provost to deny sabbatical even if an eligible faculty member’s sabbatical plan satisfies all of the relevant criteria and restored language that requires mutual agreement of the faculty member and the administration if a sabbatical is to be delayed.
In Article 9 (Union Rights), the administration proposed some changes regarding union representatives’ physical access to bargaining unit faculty members and rejected the stipulation that the union receive “accurate” lists of bargaining unit members because accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
In Article 12 (Facilities and Support), the administration team assured us that we have been heard on the issues of faculty access to computers (or other electronic devices) needed to do their jobs and workspaces that are excessively hot or cold. We look forward to continuing to problem-solve around these issues, as faculty deserve enforceable contract language that protects our ability to carry out our work and ensure excellence in teaching and research.
Our next bargaining sessions are scheduled for February 25 and March 18 – both Fridays, both 11:30am-1:30pm. Please join us! And, as always, a huge thanks to our colleagues who logged in to watch.