Bargaining update for May 16, 2024

Bargaining update for May 16, 2024

Your bargaining team met with the administration last Thursday and presented several counters (Articles 4, 9, 11, 12, 16, and Distinguished Teaching Professor) as did the administration (Articles 6, 13, 15, and 26).  Please see our bargaining webpage to examine the details of each proposal.

We are excited to be making good progress on a number of important issues, including grievance and review processes.  We have also managed to derail the administration’s attempt to claw back important provisions related to joint labor management (union releases and information requests) and the ability to refuse scab labor.  We appreciate that the administration team has been turning proposals around quickly and is willing to engage in conversation at the table. That said, the administration’s counterproposal on Article 26: Salary did not seriously take into account the financial realities of our time or what faculty have expressed as a central priority in this round of bargaining. United Academics salary proposals have taken these factors into account, and we were disheartened to receive administration’s most recent proposal.

In Thursday’s session, we made some positive headway on Article 4: Unit-Level Policies, Article 9: Union Rights, and Article 11: Release Time, and hope to have a tentative agreement on those articles soon.  In Article 12: Facilities and Support, we maintained that faculty must be protected in review processes when they are not given adequate support to fulfill their professional responsibilities, and should have agency to ensure that inadequate conditions in their working spaces (such as extreme temperatures) are addressed.  In Article 16: Notices of Appointments, we pushed to increase notice for funding-contingent faculty (Career and Limited Duration) as well as for those hired into higher ranks.  In our proposal on University Distinguished Teaching Professors, we reinserted the stipend and guarantee of course release, which was conspicuously removed from the administration's reworking of the proposal.

University administration presented counters on Article 6: Policies and Practices, Article 13: Health and Safety, and Article 36: Professional Development, and we are very close to agreement on those provisions.  We have yet to agree on how to approach Pro Tem faculty employment at the University with Article 15: Academic Classification and Rank.

In their Article 26: Salary proposal, the administration countered with what they framed as "significant" movement.  The only substantial change in this proposal was including Pro Tem faculty, one of the groups excluded from any raises in their first proposal, with 2 percent raises per year.  While we were pleased to see roughly 20% of our bargaining unit no longer excluded from raises for the next three years, the lack of movement for the rest of the bargaining unit was very discouraging.  The administration remains adamant about only prioritizing merit raises in this round of bargaining.  Members of their team have admitted that the merit process is cumbersome and unwieldy for “small percentages” and that salaries not reflective of market wages cause recruitment and retention issues. Yet the administration continues to ignore our arguments that across-the-board and equity adjustments are essential parts of a salary package and that 3% annual raises would only put UO faculty further behind relative to their peers.

We have two remaining bargaining sessions scheduled for Spring term - this Thursday, May 23, and June 13. While your bargaining team is working hard to craft strong contract language and solve problems at the table, your presence and participation in this process are essential to our ability to succeed. Please make it a point to attend these sessions in person (Chiles 125) or on Zoom, and let the administration know that faculty are united behind our reasonable demands.