The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met from 12–3 pm on Tuesday, August 13 and 12–4 on Thursday, August 15, in the LaSells Stewart Center. Thirty-one faculty members observed the two sessions.
On Thursday, the administration brought a counterproposal on Personnel Records. We spent much of the session asking questions about their package of proposals from Tuesday. Their three articles share concerning differences from our proposals.
For example, the administration’s approach to grievances over incidents of discrimination severely limits the opportunities of faculty in seeking justice. Our proposal provided a longer timeline for filing a grievance in these cases, given the trauma involved. The administration not only shortened our proposed timeline, but would specifically prohibit these cases from going to arbitration — that is, these grievances can only end with a decision from within the institution where the discrimination occurred, rather than from an external third party arbitrator. The only remaining option for faculty members would be to file complaints with state or federal agencies or to hire an attorney and file a lawsuit. We believe that faculty members should be able to address these issues at the lowest level possible.
One ongoing and important contention is the administration’s position on how existing OSU policy fits into the contract. They have stated they do not have an interest in including all existing policies in the collective bargaining agreement. However, this would severely limit what can be grieved and ultimately brought to binding third party arbitration. While faculty may be disciplined for not following policies, the administration remains accountable only to itself. We seek to more fully incorporate existing policies.
While personnel files and the grievance procedure are important issues and we are relieved that some progress is being made, there are many important issues that the administration has not yet addressed at the table. We have heard nothing from them on the length of contracts for fixed-term faculty, nothing about the promotion and tenure process for all faculty, nothing about updated job descriptions, and nothing about improved compensation. We pushed them to be ready to discuss these issues soon, as their approach to these crucial issues will shape the ultimate course of bargaining and the future of OSU.
Our website provides a table with links to the forty-eight articles for which we have presented proposals, along with the administration’s proposals on sixteen articles.
The next bargaining session is 12–4pm on Wednesday, August 21 in the LaSells Stewart Center. Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters: show the administration that faculty are watching this process.
Please join us after the session for a happy hour with Erik Loomis, labor historian and author of the recent book A History of America in Ten Strikes. Wednesday, August 21 4:30–6:30pm at McMenamin’s on Monroe. Come learn more about US labor history, ask the bargaining team and staff any questions you may have, and get to know more of your colleagues. RSVP atuaosu.org/rsvphappyhour821 by August 20 for a free drink on UAOSU.
We appreciate your support. You can find a full calendar of Summer Term bargaining sessionson our website.