Archives

Update on Tuesday’s meeting with UO administration

Dear Colleagues, Tuesday, January 18, members of UA’s executive council met with Executive Vice Provost Janet Woodruff-Borden and Vice President Mark Schmelz in order to discuss the following list of solutions garnered by our membership to address our working conditions during the ongoing pandemic. During our meeting Avinnash, Bill, Lisa, Lynn, Mike, and Nathan expressed what we’ve been hearing from you all: why we need changes to both our current working conditions and how we can make those changes collaboratively and collectively. As you’ll see from the list below, we are thinking about short-term ways to manage the current moment’s…


Member recommendations and UA’s next steps

Hello UA Members, Thanks to the many of you who attended last night’s general membership meeting. We had an informative and vibrant discussion about the current state of our working and life conditions under current Covid-19 policies. We take the many different points to heart, and recognize the multiple layers of issues many of us face. We have also heeded the many comments that have been emailed to the UA office and EC members. While UA Executive Council members have actively met with and maintained communications with upper administrators since before the Fall quarter, we see that it is time…


Key Points and Next Moves

Dear Colleagues, Thank you for the many responses to us and me regarding how you see this moment we’re in. I haven’t had the time to respond to all, but I’m grateful to each and every one of you who reached out. Without exception, you all came from a place of wanting to do right by our students while balancing the health and safety of being in-person, our obligations as employees of the university, and what this moment means for our educational mission. So I offer a few key points garnered from those messages, for us all to consider from a…


What we know about winter term reopening

Colleagues, Here’s what we know: Accommodations for faculty (health status, caregiving needs) remain the same as last term. The Academic Council meets today to potentially update classroom policies; we know that faculty can no longer remove masks under the public speaker exemption. Booster mandate details are forthcoming. There are conversations about our testing capabilities. Members of your Executive Council expressed your concerns about reopening to our bosses and we continue to do so. We are waiting to hear about the recommendations from the Academic Council and other updates from central administration, which should be forthcoming by week’s end if not…


Results of the salary increase MOU vote

Greetings Bargaining Unit Members, Nearly half of you voted on the Ratification of a three-year salary increase MOU between UA and UO administration. 95% of you voted yes. As noted previously, this MOU only affects a small portion of Article 26 in our Collective Bargaining Agreement. Other items, such as salary floors and promotion raises, have yet to be re-visited and bargained, as does the remainder of the CBA. Even though the vote was overwhelmingly in favor of the salary increases, some feel that this is not enough. Do know, your Executive Council, Bargaining Team, Economics Team, Representatives, and Stewards, all of whom…


Salary MOU for Member Review – Vote this Friday through Sunday

Dear Colleagues, The United Academics Bargaining Team (B-Team) and Executive Council (EC) invite you to review an agreement that would set salary raises for faculty over the next three years. The potential package would see across-the-board (atb) raises for years one and two for bargaining unit members: 5% for 2022 and 2% for 2023. In 2024 (year three of the package), we would receive raises based on a 3% merit pool determined by the total base salary for Career and for  and Tenure-related faculty members. The vote to ratify this agreement is scheduled to open for members in good standing…


Bargaining Update, Caucuses, and Egan Donations

Bargaining Update United Academics and the Administration are in the process of finalizing details of a raise package. A Memorandum of Understanding should be ready for review by the membership on Monday, December 6. We anticipate the ratification vote to occur Wednesday, December 8 through Friday, December 10. Stay tuned! Bargaining Schedule The second bargaining session of the term will be held on Friday, Dec. 10 from 9am to noon. Join us! Zoom in for the webinar format session here. COVID Concerns We’ve created a Google Form to help document some of the issues faculty have faced during the transition back to…


Share Fall Term Experiences and Concerns

United Academics knows that many of you are excited to be back to in-person, and will continue to advocate for members of our community who are concerned about returning to campus. If you have questions or concerns related to COVID-19, please do not hesitate to fill out the anonymous form found in this post or to contact us at covidquestions@uauoregon.org. Loading…


Bargaining update for November 19, 2021

Greetings Colleagues, Today, November 19th, United Academics (UA) and representatives for the University of Oregon administration (UO) came back to the bargaining table. I’ll briefly update you all on what we’ve accomplished today, as well as sketch out the sub-committee meetings I spoke briefly about at our Fall General Membership Meeting. UO presented some changes to three articles. Article 9, Union Rights, establishes UA’s ability to meet with bargaining unit members. No major points of contention here, as we’re trying to hone in on the details that allow us access to our members and clarify how access protocols across areas of…


Back at the virtual bargaining table!

We’re Bargaining a New CBA! Fall Schedule: United Academics will be hitting the virtual bargaining table for two sessions this term. Our first session will be this week Friday, Nov. 19 from 9:30 to 11:30am. The second session of the term will be held on Friday, Dec. 10 from 9am to noon. Mark your calendars! Zoom in for both webinar format sessions here. UA’s Bargaining Team plans to present a counter on Internal Governance and new proposals on Fringe Benefits, Hiring Information, and Home Campus. Winter Schedule: Beginning January, we will meet twice a month, likely in person (with either very large room…


Greetings from UA’s VP for Diversity and Equity

Hello UA members, I am the incoming United Academics Vice President for Diversity and Equity, and I am very excited to embark on projects and advocacy that can address political climate issues and structural inequities faculty face at the University of Oregon. I have been at the University of Oregon since 2000, and am a faculty member in the Department of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies (IRES).  I am a trained sociologist, however my work is highly interdisciplinary. My first book examined the convergence of two Clinton era federal policies, welfare and immigration reform, and the immigrant mobilization that ensued…


The Ongoing Pandemic and Childcare

Dear all, We’ve heard from quite a few of you with questions and concerns about how reopening policies are being applied in your units, especially when it comes to teaching. We’re hoping the following information helps as you navigate through the rest of the term, though, as always, we are more than happy to hear from you individually. We can help you assess your situation and advocate accordingly with our colleagues in HR and OtP. I know there’s a much more pressing and specific variation on these concerns, and that’s the childcare situation on campus literally imploding this week, as…


Reopening update

This message contains important information for those with underlying health conditions, or family members with underlying health conditions; please read through to the end. A working group of UA Executive Council members have been meeting weekly with Executive Vice Provost Janet Woodruff-Borden and Chief Human Resource Officer Mark Schmelz to work through ongoing workplace and safety issues as the majority of faculty, staff, and students return to in-person business. As you may recall, we supported the CSWS petition to allow caregivers of children 12 and under, who cannot yet receive the vaccine, the option to teach remotely. Central administration will not honor this…


COVID Planning: The Work Continues

Dear colleagues, Many of you have read the petition sent by CSWS recently to the Office of the Provost. UAUO fully agrees with the concerns Professors Escallón, McKinley, and Stephen articulated, and we are also in full support of their ask that “caregivers of unvaccinated children (children under 12) can continue to teach and attend meetings [remotely] at least until their family members receive the vaccine.” We’ve also heard from faculty whose health puts them at serious risk by being in-person, yet they cannot qualify for ADA accommodations. And for those of us who are able to come back to campus, we…


COVID Concerns

As the summer has progressed, it has become obvious that our hopes for an end to the pandemic will need to be delayed for the foreseeable future. While we support many of the steps the administration has taken, we have received communications from many faculty over the past few weeks expressing concern about the plan to have an in-person “return-to-normal” fall reopening at our residential campus, considering that many states, including Oregon, are seeing some of their highest rates of COVID infection during the pandemic. We believe faculty are right to be concerned. Last week, Christina Karns, Lynn Fujiwara, Dave…


2021 Legislative Session: Not too bad…

No major walkouts or other shenanigans. In other words, we actually got down to business. With a healthy budget to lean on, UAUO (myself and President Chris Sinclair) collaborated with the President’s office to make the final push for the Public University Support Fund (PUSF; $900m) and the Oregon Opportunity Grants (OOG; $200m), among other things (see below), and we got what we asked for. It took several sessions and a lot of conversations, but we finally got through the Part-Time Faculty Health Care bill. Senate Bill 551 guarantees faculty who teach part-time across multiple institutions will now be covered…


UAUO Protest Pollack-Pelzner Linfield University

Recently the President of Linfield University, Miles K. Davis, summarily fired Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, a Shakespeare scholar who had held an endowed chair in the Department of English and had represented the faculty as a member of the Board of Trustees. According to the university administration, Pollack-Pelzner was terminated for reasons unrelated to his achievements as a teacher, researcher, or publishing scholar. Rather, the administration states that he was sacked because he had “engaged in conduct that is harmful to the university,” specifically that he had “violated instructions to preserve the attorney-client privilege” and that he had “circulated false statements…


Reflections from UA’s new president

Dear Bargaining Unit Members, I am incredibly honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to serve as your President. I promise you I don’t take this lightly and will work my ass off to do what I can do. Besides, I still suffer from the “gotta work twice as hard and expect half as much” motto that I’ve known from too early. We’ve got a bargaining year, re-opening, and the business-as-usual challenges of equitable pay and attacks on academic freedom. Working conditions, especially for those tasked with caring for others, are not as accommodating as they need to be….


United Academics Outstanding Contributions Award Winners

United Academics Strong Voice Award Nomination  We, the undersigned, are nominating our colleagues Elizabeth Peterson, Kate Thornhill, and Ann Shaffer for the United Academics Strong Voice Award. While many union members showed extraordinary leadership and advocacy this past year, we believe that our librarian colleagues responded to this crisis with fierce resilience and sustained support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  Like many career faculty across campus during the 2020 spring and summer terms, 15 librarians were at risk of being demoted to 0.1 FTE due to the administration’s perceived budget shortfalls. Additionally, five librarians who were up for promotion were put…


Upcoming Unit-level Policymaking Workshop and much more!

Unit-level Policymaking Workshop Join us Tuesday, May 25 for a themed Lunch with your Local: Unit-level Policymaking. We will discuss process and best practices for creating and revising unit-level policies, with plenty of time for Q&A. Zoom in from noon-1pm.   College for All AAUP Oregon will be hosting a meeting on May 20th from 4 pm – 5 pm PT to make concrete plans for legislative outreach, particularly to our Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden. We need as many faculty, staff, students, and community members taking part as possible to make sure our voices are heard loud and…


Mental Health Month

May is Mental Health Month! Various departments and programs on campus have put out lists of resources that we encourage you to share with your students as appropriate, but if you haven’t already seen some of those, here are some you may choose to share. Note that UA’s board and staff have not personally used all of these services and resources. UO Student Resources list: https://blogs.uoregon.edu/online/uo-resources/ This list has resources for navigating your student experience not limited to mental health; being aware of some of these programs and services, including tutoring, technical support, and more, may help some students address and…


A positive path forward

Dear Colleague, With the recent victory of the pay reduction plan being rescinded, and given that the financial outlook for state appropriations looks good (though still uncertain), the Executive Council of United Academics has agreed with the university to pause bargaining until this summer. At that point we’ll have a better idea of enrollment and know state appropriation numbers. It will also give us an opportunity to partner with the university in securing those financial resources from the state and recruiting a large, diverse student body. We hope this, in turn, will allow the administration more of a sense of…


Legislative Updates from the Higher Ed Front

One might imagine in a beautiful state like ours, with its consistent Democratic majority of legislators committed to the values many of us UA members share, that we might experience some smooth sailing in virtual Salem. Well, at least when it comes to Higher Ed equity and Labor. Unfortunately, as many people of color and other marginalized groups understand, “progressive Oregon” has a long way to go… But the fight continues… HB2873 / SB712 Also known as the “HECC Voting Rights” Bill, Higher Ed folks have been trying to amend the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) voting rights makeup by…


Possible Faculty Strike at Oregon Institute of Technology

Dear Colleagues, We don’t have a proper bargaining update this week, as we have not bargained with the administration for a couple of weeks. We have a session scheduled for Tuesday, April 6 from 2 to 5 pm, and you’re all invited to watch any or all of that session here: Zoom In In the meantime, we wanted to let you know what is happening to our colleagues at the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls. Almost two years ago now, the approximately 160 faculty at OIT formed a union and affiliated with the AAUP. For the last 15 months,…


Statement of Support

Dear Colleagues, Members of our campus community and your wider communities have no doubt been shaken and distressed by last week’s attacks in Georgia. Our thoughts, grief, and sympathy go out to the victims, their families, and the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. We remember those who have been lost: Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong Ae Yue, and those injured, Elcias R. Hernandez-Ortiz, in the Atlanta-area shootings. We know that this incident cuts deeply into the Asian community. These deaths are a reminder…


United Academics Officer and Representative Elections

We have elections for all officer and representative positions this year, with nominations due by April 26, 2021. All members in good standing* are eligible to serve as officers or representatives, as well as to nominate other members in good standing. Self-nominations are also permitted. If you’re interested in running, the current board members would be happy to talk to you and answer your questions. As always, you can contact UA staff with any questions at info@uauoregon.org. Open positions: All Executive Council and Representative Assembly positions are open! The Executive Council (EC) is the primary leadership body of United Academics with a focus on…


The Predicament of Career vs. Family

Over the next months, the UA bargaining team will be bringing you some contextual information about the major issues that we hope to address at the bargaining table. This installment is about issues that disproportionately affect women and caregivers in the workplace. Did you know…? That faculty at UO who are parents are often unable to avail themselves of childcare? Olum Center is so full that often there are long waiting lists. Moss Street prioritizes students. And, there is a dearth of childcare options in the city of Eugene. When parents do get a slot at Olum, they often have to…


Trust can only be built through transparency

On October 10, 2019, President Schill wrote to the campus community to commit himself to four principles: honesty, transparency, respect, and grace. Regarding transparency, he wrote, “Trust can only be built through transparency.” We don’t always find common cause with President Schill, but in this regard we could not have been more in agreement. Transparency was one of the founding principles of United Academics, and we have always tried to be as transparent as possible, including when we speak in your name at the bargaining table.Unfortunately, for the second straight bargaining session, the administration team has insisted that bargaining sessions…


Peer Review Continues to Be at Risk

Last week, Gabe Paquette, the new Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, introduced himself to the Senate and answered a few questions from the Senators. Several times over the course of his remarks, Vice Provost Paquette asserted that the Provost’s Office would be using the standards for promotion and tenure contained in the CBA when evaluating P&T files, such as a sustained record of scholarship. He particularly cited the CBA’s alleged requirement that candidates for promotion have a “sustained” record of scholarship. This is incorrect: the CBA provides guidelines for departments and units when they establish review criteria, not requirements for…


A Question of Transparency

On Tuesday, our bargaining team met with the administration’s bargaining team to kick off a new round of bargaining. Although both parties are eager to bargain over the important provisions of the collective bargaining agreement, we must first establish the ground rules for negotiations.  Fortunately, the parties are on the same page on every issue except one. Where we differ is over who will have the ability to watch the bargaining sessions. Read the administration proposal here. Read our proposal here. The administration would like to keep the sessions open only to bargaining unit members. Their reasoning is that bargaining…


Bargaining Update and Delegate Nominations

Bargaining UpdateWe are set to begin bargaining next Tuesday, February 9, from 3 to 5pm. Unfortunately, we have not yet agreed to ground rules with the administration. The main disagreement we are having with them regards who will be able to observe bargaining. The administration would like to limit the audience to bargaining unit members, administrators, and invited guests.Due to this ongoing disagreement, we do not feel comfortable widely sharing a link to the first session at this time. The bargaining team will be meeting this evening to discuss our best approach to resolve this issue. We hope you will…


Expectation of Continued Employment

***Note – Throughout the message below, we refer to Career faculty as either “instructional Career faculty” or “funding-contingent Career faculty.” We recognize that these terms do not precisely describe all of the Career faculty at UO. We have chosen to refer to faculty this way in the interest of trying to make a complicated subject a little clearer. “Instructional Career faculty” includes Librarians and all Career faculty who are not on funding-contingent contracts.  After months of negotiations, the University and United Academics have reached an agreement on the new system for employing Career faculty at the University of Oregon. Although…


A note about students’ changing learning environments these last weeks of the term

While we remain entirely remote, from this week onward many of us will teach students from homes they share with parents, siblings, and others. This has always been true–many of our students share space with other people and need to attend Zoom classes from spaces that other people have access to–but it will be true for more students over the holiday week.  This is worth noting for a couple of reasons: many students will have increased connectivity and technology issues; some students may be quarantining due to travel; and some students may have roommates or family members in the room…