We, the UAOSU bargaining team, and the administration’s team met from 10–12 on Thursday, May 16 and from 9–5 on Saturday, May 18. Faculty observers attended throughout both sessions which were held in small rooms in the International Living-Learning Center. Over the course of the two sessions, we proposed 4 new articles covering Intellectual Property, Research Support, Compensation, and Sexual Harassment, Bullying, and Discrimination.
In regards to Intellectual Property, we presented arguments for why our faculty should retain ownership and authority over the intellectual property we develop. In addition to addressing issues relating to patents and royalties, we explained why existing policies regarding the copyright of course materials are inadequate, particularly in regards to Ecampus course development. Our Intellectual Property article seeks to remedy these issues.
We proposed several solutions for Research Support, addressing the instability of research and research-related employment at OSU. In doing so, we emphasized that the skills and institutional experience of non-tenure track researchers are crucial to OSU’s mission. Our primary proposals include the creation of a bridge funding pool to support faculty between grants, as well as the implementation of a return-on-overhead policy for principal investigators.
To provide context for our Compensation proposal on Saturday, we gave the administration’s team a presentation demonstrating that OSU salaries are below those of our peer institutions, particularly when adjusted by costs of living. Inflation and housing costs in Corvallis stretch the purchasing power of our salaries thin. Almost a decade ago President Ray asked faculty to “trust him” as he called upon us to take furloughs and to forgo pay raises. It’s now the Administration’s turn to trust that we are only asking for fair compensation. Our Compensation article therefore included annual across-the-board increases to account for inflation, regular merit raises, and a salary pool for equity adjustments for underpaid faculty.
Following Compensation, we proposed an article on Sexual Harassment, Bullying, and Discrimination to help ensure a safe and just workplace and ensure faculty input into the policies and prevention trainings of our workplace.
Through much of the discussion on Thursday and Saturday, the administration’s team appeared more engaged than they had in the past, including asking questions to clarify our intent and meaning. Unfortunately, the mood soon soured when the administration team produced counter proposals on Savings and Totality of Agreement. These are both standard contract provisions. In the event that a part of the contract is invalidated by new legislation or court rulings, Savings preserves the remainder of the agreement in full force and effect. Totality of Agreement affirms that the contract is the full agreement of the two parties and that neither is obligated to bargain again until the expiration of the agreement, except under circumstances outlined in the law or contract, or by mutual agreement. While we were able to reach tentative agreement on the Totality of Agreement article, the administration’s counter proposal on Savings still fell short of what we believe is necessary. Where our original proposal resembles the language found in most Collective Bargaining Agreements in Oregon, the administration continues to insist on language that will restrict our ability to negotiate.
The administration team also proposed an article for “Notices” to formalize the communication process between UAOSU and the administration. We found the language to be unclear and requested time to consider their proposal in greater detail.
The next bargaining session is from 9-5 on Saturday, June 8 in the LaSells-Stewart Center.
Proposals Exchanged on May 16
Administration Proposals: None
Proposals Exchanged on May 18
Tentative Agreements Reached on May 18