Bargaining Update for June 1 & 3, 2022

Your UA bargaining team met with the administration twice last week (June 1st and 3rd).

Most of our open Articles were in the administration’s court last week – they gave us counterproposals on Articles 11 (Release Time), 15 (Academic Classification and Rank), 16 (Notices of Appointment), 17 (Assignment of Professional Responsibilities), 20 (Tenure Review and Promotion), 30 (Benefits for Retired Faculty), and 32 (Leaves). We also discussed their counters from the week prior on Articles 19 (Career Faculty Review and Promotion) and 28 (Fringe Benefits), as we had not had time to go over these at the table.

Key Points from Last Week’s Sessions

The proposals we received reflected some newfound areas of agreement. We were glad to see the administration’s move away from a six-year review window for promotion to full professor and agreement that third-year post-tenure reviews should be informal by default (Art. 20).

Our conversations at the table confirmed that we are getting very close on several issues. On some, only a few small (but important!) operational details remain to be finalized – such as parking for retired faculty (Art. 30), availability of TriMet passes for Portland-based faculty (Art. 28), and reinstatement privileges for laid-off Career faculty (Art. 15). On others, we have a bit more work to do but are making progress – such as the nature of the new Teaching Professor category (Art. 15) and course release banking (Art. 17).

More significant disagreements remain on other issues. Establishing a course maximum for Career faculty remains a UA priority, and while the administration proposed leaving this issue to be decided at the unit level, we pointed out that faculty in multiple units have attempted to do this in the past but have been shut down by their dean. Many of the other concrete supports that the institution can provide to Career faculty – including professional development FTE and resources, promotion eligibility, and job security for funding-contingent Career researchers – are still on the table.

We also remain concerned about the administration’s proposed language that would allow them to require a faculty member to move, relocate, or work at another site (Art. 16). While we appreciate the addition of consultation with the faculty member and protections against decisions made in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner, the language remains so vague that decisions could be made unilaterally.

Next Steps

This week, we bargain from 1 to 5pm on Thursday, June 9. We have two sessions scheduled for next week – an all-day session beginning at 9am on Wednesday, June 15 and a morning session from 9am to noon on Friday, June 17. You can find us at our usual Zoom link for all these sessions.

Your UA team is working on our counterproposals to the Articles above, as well as for Articles 26 (Salary), 31 (Tenure Reduction Program), 35 (Professional Development) and our new Caregiving Article. Please take a break from grading, lab work, or summer course prep to join us for these sometimes difficult but always important conversations!