The UA and administration bargaining teams met for a two-hour session on Wednesday, May 25.
We only had time to discuss the administration’s Caregiving counterproposal, but they also provided counters on Articles 15 (Academic Classification and Rank), 19 (Career Review and Promotion), and 28 (Fringe Benefits), as well as an updated University Distinguished Teaching Professor program description.
In Article 16, we proposed moving many of the ideas from our Home Campus proposal to this Article, as it seems a logical place to clarify expectations around work locations. We proposed that all faculty would be assigned a home campus (for current faculty, the location of the majority of their work assignments in AY 22), and that faculty can only be transferred to or assigned work at another campus with their consent. This has been an issue in the past (and led to a recent lawsuit against the institution) and seems even more important to clarify given plans for expansion of UO programs in Portland. We renewed our call for indefinite appointments for Teaching Professors and for the possibility of Career appointments that are guaranteed for a specific amount of time. We see the latter as useful in facilitating partner hires and Faculty In Residence positions in the Honors College, or to provide additional security for faculty relocating for a job at UO, among other possible scenarios. We also proposed a clear definition of funding-contingent appointments and that faculty in those positions who had not yet been promoted would receive at least 14 days notice before being laid off.
A few issues remain unsettled in Article 20, perhaps the most important being the window from which work is considered for promotion to full professor. While the administration has proposed the window have “emphasis on the six most recent years,” we have pointed out several concerns with imposing this as university-wide policy. In addition to the challenges an effective six year timeline would pose in many disciplines and in the wake of the pandemic, we see a number of equity issues with the administration’s proposal. Instead, we argue the review should include all work accomplished since being awarded tenure. However, units can elect to specify otherwise in their review criteria in order to best reflect their disciplinary needs. We also pushed for earlier notification of review decisions (May 15 rather than June 1) and for informal third-year post-tenure reviews as a means to decrease the burden of reviews on both faculty and units. Finally, we maintain that union service should be included among the PTR criteria, given the significant role UA leadership plays in creating and shaping UO policy.
We were excited to receive a formal counterproposal to our Caregiving Article, following last week’s discussion of the areas in which the administration proposed focusing their efforts and investment. Their proposal would grant bargaining unit faculty members access to a network of vetted care providers via Care.com, and would create an annual pool of $100,000 to which faculty could apply for awards of up to $1,000 to offset care-related costs incurred during work-related travel. The administration has also proposed a one-time fund of $250,000 to provide seed grants to local childcare providers who would then guarantee spots for UO employees. We look forward to continuing to negotiate the details of these programs and other supports so badly needed by faculty caregivers.
While there was not sufficient time to discuss the remaining counters provided by the administration this week, we hope to do so at our next session.
We have two bargaining sessions scheduled this week: Wednesday, June 1 from noon to 2pm and Friday, June 3 from 9am to noon. We are in the process of adding additional sessions during Finals week and the week after - stay tuned for more details.
Please Zoom In to support your team as we (hopefully) begin to approach the final stages of negotiations!