The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met from 1 to 4 PM on Monday, September 23 and from 10 AM –2 PM on Wednesday, September 25. Both sessions were held in the LaSells Stewart Center. 23 faculty members observed the sessions.
On Monday, the administration presented 2 counterproposals: Non-Discrimination (with Letter of Agreement on Committee on Respectful Workplace) and Health & Safety. We tentatively agreed on Non-Discrimination and the LOA.
Both sides tentatively agreed on language supporting non-discrimination. Key to the agreement was our insistence to form a committee for reviewing and improving processes and strategies available to faculty involved in cases of discrimination, harassment, or bullying. In a side letter of agreement, members of UAOSU will coordinate with administration to develop a plan and meeting agendas to address mediation, restorative justice, and professional services. The recommendations resulting from this committee will have university-wide impact and be considered for future inclusion into the collective bargaining agreement. While the administration balked at inviting other stakeholders, e.g. SEIU, CGE, ASOSU, to the joint committee, UAOSU will continue to push for inclusion of other interested parties on campus.
In the Health, Safety, Facilities, and Workspaces Article, the administration acknowledged that the university has an interest to “make reasonable efforts” to provide faculty with appropriate workspaces, in particular private meeting spaces with students. Still, they have removed specific mention of basic workspace provisions, e.g. clean, safe drinking water, restrooms, basic classroom equipment, that are included in the OSU Safety Policy and Procedures Manual. While we are pushing for a clear commitment, the administration team only wants to “make reasonable efforts to” furnish and maintain the workspaces in safe working condition. We continue to push for greater transparency in the decision-making process of how equipment is repaired or replaced if damaged while it is still part of an active grant or teaching project.
On Wednesday, UAOSU countered the administration’s proposals on Arbitration, Academic Freedom, and Discipline & Termination. The major areas of disagreement have decreased, but the remaining issues are very deep. While we are pushing to ensure that faculty with legitimate grievances can have all appropriate back pay and benefits awarded to them in arbitration, administration wants to limit back pay and benefits to 30 days. While the Administration team continues to rely on aspirational assertions regarding Academic Freedom, we think that UAOSU’s members deserve enforceable language that protects faculty’s rights. In one area of particular interest, we proposed language restricting the conditions under which an active faculty member’s final grade could be changed. Administration narrowly focused on incompletes, but our discussion was more about standard letter grades being changed without faculty member consent.
In the counterproposal from the administration on Dues Deduction, they proposed that they would handle disenrollments and we would handle membership. We argued that both processes would be our purview. Their proposed process would be different than SEIU and CGE.
Our website provides a table with links to the 48 articles for which we have presented proposals, along with the administration’s proposals on 19 articles.
The next bargaining session is 9–5 on October 5 at OSU-Cascades in 205 Obsidian Hall. We plan to present articles on Health and Safety, Facilities, and Workspaces; Academic Classification; and more. The administration’s team plans to present Academic Freedom, Grievance Procedure, Arbitration, Notice of Appointment, Annual Evaluations, and Promotion & Tenure (and some economic proposals).
The next bargaining sessions in Corvallis will be October 11 and 28. Administration has pledged to present their economic package before the end of October. Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters: show the administration that faculty are watching this process.
We appreciate your support. You can find a calendar of Fall Term bargaining sessions on our website.