Your UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met 10–1 on Wednesday, December 11 in the LaSells Stewart Center. Thirty-three faculty members observed the session. The session focused on two key sets of issues:
- Promotion Pathways for Research Associates and PAC, ALS, and ESL Instructors: After several proposal exchanges, the Administration team offered a counterproposal on Academic Classification and Rank that solidified promotion pathways for these faculty members. While we still have work to do to make sure these pathways are equivalent to those available to other faculty, we want to celebrate this significant win.
- Leaves: Our UAOSU team responded to the administration’s inadequate leaves proposal by re-proposing articles on faculty Leaves (generally), Sabbatical Leave, and Family and Medical Leave. Our two major aims are to enshrine clear and fair leave policies and to expand access to paid family and medical leave and sabbaticals for all bargaining unit members.
The final bargaining session of the year is 2–5 on Tuesday, December 17 in the LaSells Stewart Center Ag Science Room.
A fuller update follows below.
In our bargaining session on November 13, the administration team responded to our initial proposals on leaves, sabbatical leave, and family and medical leave with a single proposed article on Leaves that failed even to protect current leave benefits for bargaining unit members. At Wednesday’s session, we reasserted the need for more robust leave policies and protections.
In response to the administration team’s one-sentence response (which promised simply to follow the law) to our three-page Family and Medical Leave proposal, we proposed a slightly edited version of our initial proposal to take into account Oregon’s new paid family and medical leave law, which will go into effect in 2023. Our proposal expands OSU’s current sixty-hour paid family leave policy to cover medical leave as well. In addition, we proposed a gradual increase in the duration of available paid family and medical leave to six weeks effective September 16, 2020, to nine weeks effective January 1, 2022, and to the full legally required twelve weeks effective January 1, 2023.
We reasserted the need to ensure access to sick leave transfer and sick leave advances in the CBA and to expand fixed-term faculty access to sick leave advances. Currently, those advances are limited by the length of contract, so fixed-term faculty have much less access to future sick leave. Our proposal asserts that fixed-term faculty may receive a sick leave advance that extends beyond the date of their current appointment if there is a reasonable expectation that their contract will be renewed. The other major point of discussion in this article was our effort to ensure that faculty on 9-month contracts, who do not accrue paid vacation time, are compensated with overload pay if required to work in person during their non-contract term (for most faculty this is the summer term) or with equivalent time off if required to work in person during spring break or the week between Christmas and New Year. The administration team suggested that this provision could be problematic for graduate students who schedule defenses between terms in order to avoid having to pay tuition for an additional term. While we acknowledged the needs of graduate students, we suggested that other solutions might be more appropriate than requiring faculty to perform uncompensated labor.
In our Sabbatical Leaves proposal, we once again proposed that all bargaining unit members, including fixed-term faculty, have access to sabbatical leaves. This is important to include in our CBA for two reasons. First, while OSU’s Human Resources Manual states that tenure is a requirement for sabbatical, the policy from which that manual is summarizing does not, in fact, limit sabbatical leave to tenured faculty. Second, ensuring fixed-term faculty access to sabbatical leave would facilitate their ability to participate in professional development activities that would greatly benefit OSU’s research and teaching missions. We are also proposing to increase sabbatical pay from the current 60%, 75%, and 85% (for one, two, and three terms) to 70%, 85%, and 100%. This increase would enable faculty members who cannot afford to take a significant pay cut to take advantage of sabbatical leave.
Our website provides a table with links to all of the proposals exchanged since March 23.
The next bargaining session is 2–5 on Tuesday, December 17 in the LaSells Stewart Center Ag Science Room. We plan to press the administration on their refusal to counter on Research Support, Faculty Governance, and several other articles. The administration team should bring Compensation and articles related to employment stability. 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.