We offer a summary below of what we’ve accomplished in this bargaining cycle. We hope you take the time to look carefully at both this summary and your CBA before you vote on ratification. A “yes” vote means this CBA goes into effect until June 30, 2024. A “no” vote means we go back to bargaining until we reach a new tentative agreement or until one party initiates the mediation process, which could end with the imposition of the employer’s final offer or a strike.
Voting will open on July 08 and run through July 18. All members in good standing have voting rights. The Executive Council and Bargaining Team recommend a “yes” vote.
Article 4. Unit-Level Policies
We’ve established a clearer process for getting those faculty-driven policies to the Office of the Provost (OtP) for final review. This will be incredibly important for items in our Implementation Agreement 2, Unit Policies, such as faculty petitioning for lowering course loads in their units and establishing service parameters and merit policies that reflect the nature of the work in particular units.
Article 11. Release Time
UA maintained the status quo for our organization’s ability to serve our members through faculty course releases (and FTE releases for non-instructional faculty) for their UA and University work. Course releases are, indeed, course releases, unless a service release is better suited to compensate the faculty member’s labor.
Articles 12. Facilities and Support and 13. Health and Safety
We focused on making sure faculty have the “equipment” necessary to do their jobs and a clearer process to make sure our spaces, especially our older classrooms, are suitable for teaching. Faculty experiencing unsafe working conditions now have a more straightforward path to bring attention to and seek remedy for those conditions.
Article 15. Classification and Rank
Our focus here was making sure limited duration, funding-contingent status is clearly defined in order to prevent faculty from being misclassified. We also cleaned up ranks within research categories as well as requirements for each. The new post-baccalaureate rank allows young researchers a chance to develop their skills and our more established researchers to offer support and mentorship to them. We’ve also tightened language and processes on reinstatements and reclassifications.
UA and the administration came to agreement on the new category of Teaching Professor for our amazing Career and Retired teachers who demonstrate year after year a sustained and impactful commitment to innovative pedagogy and student engagement.
Article 16. Notices of Appointment
Here, too, our efforts tightened up language and processes, with a particular emphasis on establishing a “reporting site” for new hires as our University grows across the state. Protections for current faculty include a 12-month notice of any changes to their reporting site. We also focused heavily on making sure any changes to FTE go through a structurally-sound process between faculty members and their bosses.
Article 17. Assignment of Profession Responsibilities
UA focused on making sure faculty have structured opportunities to work with their unit leaders and up the chain on outlining the wide range of responsibilities we undertake. Support through Article 4 (see above) and Implementation Agreements further enhance our ability to make sure our Responsibilities reflect our Work.
Article 19. Career Faculty Review and Promotion
Building on the work of our previously established Expectation of Continued Employment agreement, we revised processes for Career review and promotion to better reflect our new agreement. Career faculty working below .5 FTE doing exceptional work on behalf of our University may also be considered for promotion on the established timelines. And for all Career faculty, in research or instructional positions, guidelines and policies are clear and straightforward. Finally, we successfully ended the “up or out” nature of promotion reviews for Library faculty.
Article 20. Tenure Review and Promotion
UA established more equitable mechanisms for Tenure-track faculty reviews, including consideration of the different discipline-specific parameters that affect research, teaching, and service. Clear clock-stop mechanisms are in place as is a flexible timeline that accounts for variations across disciplines in producing top-quality research (for example, the time it takes to produce a book in History vs. the limited window for producing multiple articles in Chemistry). We tried to also make mid-term reviews less burdensome for all involved with a stronger focus on development, ensuring faculty have the best chance to make their next promotion.
Articles 21. Review Decisions Appeal, 22. Grievance Procedure, and 23. Arbitration
UA and the administration devoted a significant amount of time, especially earlier on in bargaining, to establish clear pathways for appeals. This includes the sharing of information necessary to move through a grievance or arbitration in an open and transparent way, allowing for quicker resolution.
Article 26. Salary
We reached agreement on a raise package and you all have received the first year’s raise (5%) in January, with a 2% across-the-board raise coming next year, and a 3% merit raise the following. That agreement also included an MOU to establish an equity and inflation working group between UA and the administration. We have learned from prior attempts to approach equity differently if we want to make progress on this front. Both through this working group and our political advocacy with BOLI on the Oregon Equal Pay Act, UA remains committed to bringing our salaries up to a competitive and sustainable level, especially given the drastic rise in cost of living in our community. The ratification vote on our salary package passed with 95% of the vote in favor of the package.
We also made some movement upwards on salary floors and maintained raises (4% meets/ 8% exceeds) for our post-tenure Tenured Faculty and established equivalent raises for Career Faculty once they’ve hit their highest rank, as well.
Articles 28. Miscellaneous Benefits, 29. Retirement Benefits, and 30. Benefits for Eligible Retired Faculty Members
As UO grows its presence in Portland, we wanted to make sure existing miscellaneous benefits were applied to faculty across the state. Retirement Benefits were updated to reflect State legislative changes, and we cleaned up the process for retired faculty still contributing to the University’s mission to access parking.
Article 31. Tenure Reduction Plan (TRP)
We maintained the status quo on TRP with the intent to continue negotiations on this Article this coming Fall. Bargaining unit members will ultimately have the opportunity to ratify any changes made to the Program, and if ratification on any new agreement fails, we will continue to maintain the status quo.
Article 32. Leaves
While UA would have liked to strengthen policies on advanced-leave and create a sick-leave bank in this CBA, we will instead have an opportunity to revisit this Article once the State releases administrative rules for the new Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program (PFMLI) this Fall.
Article 33. Sabbatical
We agreed to a consistent and clear articulation of eligibility, timing, duration, FTE, and course loads for faculty members on sabbatical.
Article 34. Caregiving
We have established one of the very few Caregiving Articles in the country within Higher Education Faculty contracts. Articles 17 and 20 reflect scheduling and clock-stoppage policies, respectively, to best support our caregivers. As laid out in this new article, Article 34, the administration will provide subscriptions to care.com for faculty seeking support for care-giving needs and will also continue to maintain a list of student workers able to provide care. We also negotiated an annual $150,000 Travel Support Fund, to which faculty can apply for financial awards of up to $1,000 per year to offset caregiving costs incurred during work-related travel. The administration agreed to establish a $500,000 seed fund to grow childcare facilities in our community, for which they have committed to holding 40% of new spaces for faculty. This is an incredible win for both our University and the wider community and a larger effort by so many faculty partners to center caregiving and work throughout this past academic year.
Thank you all for your support and input during this incredibly long bargaining cycle. And an especially deep gratitude for Heather Wolford, your lead negotiator Scott Pratt and this AY’s B-Team: Maram Epstein, Debbie Green, Jerry Rosiek, Josh Razink, Mike Urbancic, Eleanor Wakefield, and Nathan Whalan. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns to [email protected].
Avinnash P. Tiwari, Bargaining Team Chair and The Executive Council of UAUO