Bargaining update for February 15, 2024

Dear Colleague:

At our next bargaining session, we will be presenting our economic proposals—including our proposed raise package to battle inflation, internal and external inequities, and put us back on par with our AAU competitors. We need your support! The more people we have in the room cheering on the bargaining team the more pressure we put on the administration, and as we saw with GTFF bargaining, this can have a real impact on what the administration offers and what we ultimately accept. Come by Chiles 125 on Thursday, February 29, anytime between 12:30 and 3:30 to support the bargaining team while presenting the salary article. The final bargaining session of this term will be held on Thursday, March 14 same time and location.

Read on to find out what was presented at the bargaining table at our last session on February 15.

UAUO Team Presents

Articles 13: Health and Safety & 16: Notices of Appointment

With Article 13, we look to tighten up the ADA process for bargaining unit faculty members.  In Article 16, we want to make sure that written offers for incoming faculty are as binding when written by unit heads or deans as those offers sent from the Office of the Provost.  We also propose that Human Resources post a list of negotiable elements on its website for potential hires.  We made a few additional minor demands, but most importantly, we advocate for longer notice periods for funding-contingent faculty in the event of a termination.

Article 19: Career Faculty Review and Promotion

In Article 19, we push for language that holds faculty harmless in reviews when not provided with the necessary support to meet expectations in their professional responsibilities.  We also want to make sure that all Pro Tem faculty receive credit towards promotion regardless of movement between units.  We want to lessen the amount of time necessary to reapply for promotion when denied, and in the case of a denial we are demanding that the Office of the Provost explain in detail the difference in assessment.

Articles 28: Miscellaneous Benefits & 36: Professional Development

Our primary changes in Article 28 aim to expand the tuition benefit for faculty children to 16 credits per term, remove the restrictions of excluded programs, including study abroad, and raise the discount to 100% when both parents are employees of the University.  In Article 36, we want to ensure that faculty can easily access information surrounding the funds available and limit restrictions on using such funds while on certain leaves.

UO Administration Team Presents

The University administration brought several articles. More than a few of those articles contained surprising and disappointing proposals.

Articles 9: Union Rights & 10: Dues Deduction

They propose to remove all language concerning information requests from Article 9, which currently covers $3000 for union information requests.  Though a small sum of money, which is intended to increase transparency, the elimination of this provision sends a strong signal.  In Article 10, the Administration wishes to put the onus on employees and the Union to inform the University when their status changes (for example, from bargaining unit faculty member to unit head).  We have had a lot of difficulties with the University providing late and/or faulty information, and for the past ten years, we have consistently pushed for improvements. Instead, the Administration’s proposal relinquishes responsibility in this shared process, because (apparently) it’s just too hard for them to figure out who is in the bargaining unit and who is not.

Article 11: Release Time

In Article 11, the Administration proposes to reduce the amount of release time available to Union officers as a whole and for any particular individual.  They also propose to eliminate release time for Union activity for any faculty member with .50 FTE.  We know this would greatly decrease the efficiency and effectiveness of how our Union engages in daily business with administration, and in the case of part-time employees, we question the legality of preventing members from exercising protected rights.

Article 12: Facilities and Support

In a counterproposal to Article 12, the Administration wants to eliminate language we proposed specifying services that must be available to our members, as well as specific language that would allow faculty members to seek redress when their working spaces are unsuitable for human occupancy.

The Remaining Articles

Similarly, they rejected nearly all of the provisions the bargaining team proposed related to Article 33: Sabbatical and Article 3: Shared Governance.  Most alarming was the administration's proposal to eliminate the provision in Article 41: No Strike, No Lockout that would limit our faculty members’ ability to resist being turned into scab labor during a strike of other labor unions on campus.

We engaged in robust conversations with the administration bargaining team and will continue to push back against these proposals in future sessions.  It is our sincere hope that the administration will come with proposals that aim to fix the problems we have witnessed over the last several years, instead of primarily looking to undermine labor and our ability to represent our faculty members.

We have two remaining sessions in the Winter Term and need you to come and show your support. We will put Article 26: Salary on the table at our next bargaining session, in addition to a few other proposals. Come by Chiles 125 on Thursday, February 29 from 12:30-3:30 to support the bargaining team while presenting the salary article. The final bargaining session of this term will be held on Thursday, March 14 - same time and location.

Save the Date: The Spring Term bargaining sessions will be held on Odd Week Thursdays from 12:30-3:30 in Chiles 125.

In solidarity,

Nathan Whalen and the B-Team