Update 2/13 Bargaining

Our UAOSU bargaining team met with the Administration’s bargaining team on Thursday, February 13, 3-5pm. In our abbreviated session, UAOSU offered counter proposals on Union Rights and Management Rights. The Administration brought a Benefits counterproposal intended to address Postdoctoral Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow health insurance.

Initially, the Administration’s proposal seemed promising. The proposal struck our proposed language that would have Postdoctoral Scholars pay 5% of premiums for their families’ health insurance because it was a ‘nominal cost.’ The proposal also sought to lock-in a 90% employer contribution for Postdoctoral Fellows and their families. Unfortunately, in the course of the conversation, it became apparent that the Administration did not intend to improve health care for Postdoctoral Scholars and Fellows; they just have no idea what those benefits currently are. After we explained that Postdoctoral Scholars receive no contribution for their families’ health insurance premiums and Postdoctoral Fellows receive no contribution for either their own or their families’ insurance, the Administration clarified that they had intended to lock-in current practice. They simply didn’t know what that practice was and had incorrectly included the Graduate Fellow (not Postdoctoral Fellow) health insurance details in their proposal. Further, they did not understand, despite previous member testimony, that Postdoctoral Scholars do not receive any premium subsidy for their families.

Since the Administration has committed on paper to 90% premium contributions for Postdoctoral Fellows (albeit by mistake) and have clearly articulated their understanding that UAOSU is seeking to rectify the lack of family coverage for Postdoctoral Scholars, we are hopeful they will bring back a clarified proposal that speaks to these interests. The Administration clearly believes that providing these benefits is possible, since they believed until Thursday that they did provide them. We look forward to aligning actual benefits with those the Administration believes exist thereby making health care affordable for Postdoctoral Scholars, Postdoctoral Fellows, and their families.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Update for 2.7.20 Bargaining Session

Please plan to attend our BIG Winter Term Bargaining Session:

Wednesday, February 19

9am-12pm

LaSells Stewart Center Ag Science Room

RSVPs are appreciated so we have plenty of coffee and doughnuts: uaosu.org/feb19barg

Executive Summary:

·       UAOSU proposed a condensed Promotion & Tenure article that (1) clarifies the timeline for eligibility for promotion for Fixed-Term Instructional and Research faculty; (2) allows Fixed-Term faculty to initiate their promotion process upon eligibility; and (3) ensures the promotion and tenure processes are followed fairly for all faculty.

·       UAOSU proposed a Letter of Agreement on Promotion and Tenure that sets up a process for faculty, including Faculty Senate representatives, and administrators to work together to (1) clarify existing promotion and tenure guidelines; (2) develop guidelines for groups of faculty not currently eligible for promotion; and (3) develop guidelines for groups of faculty eligible for promotion but with no guidelines currently described in policy.

·       Administration offered an Appointment, Reappointment, Review and Promotion proposal that agreed to (1) guarantee multi-year appointments upon promotion for ALL Fixed-Term faculty; (2) guarantee non-renewal notice four months before contract expiration for all promoted faculty not on soft money; and (3) guarantee non-renewal notice one month before contract expiration for all non-promoted faculty not on soft money.

While we are heartened by the movement to guarantee the existing practice of multi-year contracts for Fixed-Term Instructional faculty and extend those protections to Fixed-Term Research and Fixed-Term Professorial faculty, we know we have a long way to go to guarantee truly stable employment for these faculty members. We also know faculty members on soft money funding deserve stable employment, both through advance notice of appointment renewal or non-renewal and the protection of a bridge funding program.

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Full Bargaining Update:

Our UAOSU bargaining team and the Administration team met on Friday, February 7. We have made progress in bargaining, signing 17 tentative agreements. Step by step, we are educating the Administration about faculty needs, even though it sometimes feels like swimming upstream.

As we engaged faculty in organizing our union, over thousands of conversations, several themes emerged. Promotion and tenure, the main topic of this bargaining session, touches on several of those themes, including transparency, stability, and recognition.

While the Faculty Senate has invested time and effort in our promotion and tenure policies, they are still a confusing patchwork from different sources and found in different documents and webpages. To achieve transparency, and ensure faculty receive fair and equal treatment, our bargaining team wrote articles that pulled all the information together, and added detail where it was missing or confusing. We added language for promotion practices for categories that the Administration has tentatively agreed should finally be recognized with promotion pathways (Instructors (PAC), Instructors (ALS), Instructors (ESL), and Research Associates).

The Administration has repeatedly argued that this is too much detail, although they have not proposed any means to provide faculty with the transparency they need to understand how promotion pathways for each category work at OSU.. Instead of agreeing to our language, or proposing to do the administrative work to rectify the situation, the Administration team has suggested that this should be the work of Faculty Senate.

We have gone back and forth several times with these articles, reiterating faculty’s need for transparency and enforceability of promotion and tenure processes, the Administration has continued to express discomfort with being held accountable to detailed policy. In this session, we streamlined our Promotion and Tenure policies from six articles into one article, narrowing in on the most important details, and provided a letter of agreement for a Joint Labor Management Committee on Promotion and Tenure. UAOSU and Administration would work together, and invite Faculty Senate to join us, to develop detailed language. Our original article language will provide a solid foundation for this effort.

The Administration team shared a draft Memorandum they are preparing to send to OSU researchers about Sea Pay. After striking mention of Sea Pay in previous responses, our continued dialogue led them to recognize clarity about this issue is needed before our contract is finalized.  

The Administration responded to several of our articles with a combined Appointment, Reappointment, Review, and Promotion article. We are approaching agreement on some language, and significantly, the Administration agrees that bargaining unit members on fixed-term appointments who have achieved promotion should receive multi-year appointments. This provides increased stability to fixed-term faculty positions, and codifies language that Faculty Senate and the Provost discussed several years ago following the Fixed-Term Faculty Survey. Currently, multi-year contracts at OSU are awarded haphazardly. While the Administration team has begun to respond to our language about providing timely notice of renewal, we will push to provide the same courtesy to faculty working on soft-money funded appointments. While the Administration struck most of our language related to workload, they did suggest a deadline for units to develop workload guidelines.

The bargaining team will carefully review the Administration’s proposals, and push to address faculty needs and concerns in our responses.  

Our website provides a table with links to all the articles for which we have presented proposals, along with the Administration’s proposals.  

The next bargaining session is 3pm-5pm on Thursday, February 13 in the LaSells Stewart Center Ag Science Room. We plan to present articles on Management Rights and Union Rights. The Administration team has suggested they would like to discuss Postdoctoral Scholar and Postdoctoral Fellow health insurance. Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters: show the Administration that faculty are watching this process. We are bargaining for an agreement that respects the voice & expertise of academic faculty and makes OSU a better place to work and learn. Join with us and become a member of UAOSU here.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Update for 1.21.20 & 1.27.20 Bargaining Sessions

Your UAOSU bargaining team and the Administration team met on Tuesday, January 21 and again on Monday, January 27. We have made progress in bargaining, signing 17 tentative agreements. However, we still have a long way to go, with many major issues having yet to reach resolution. Over the past two sessions, the Administration has made clear that they do not see the need to improve many things at OSU. 

Our proposals are faculty-centered. We’re disappointed that even on places where the Administration agrees with us that something needs to be done, like a sick leave bank, the Administration refuses to agree to a negotiated process and put it in the contract. Instead, they propose having a conversation with us before the Administration makes the ultimate decision.

Time and time again we’ve been told that policies in the handbook will suffice or that OSU intends to follow applicable law, such as FMLA leave.

One reason we organized our union is to be able to ensure that we have a voice in the decisions that affect us, our students, and the OSU community. Negotiating standards and policies into our union contract is a key way that we can have a voice in decisions and ensure transparency and accountability in policy details and how they are implemented.

As we know, policies change and laws can change. By refusing to include policies and procedures in the collective bargaining agreement, the Administration is reserving the right to change them arbitrarily, without including faculty in the process. Including important policies in our contract means the Administration is accountable to following those policies in a consistent and equitable manner. It’s time for them to put it in writing.

On January 21, we presented articles on Position Descriptions, Appointment and Reappointment. We also presented a Letter of Agreement ensuring that all members of the bargaining unit will have their position description updated within the next three years, which was tentatively agreed to. The Administration team presented articles on Management Rights and Union Rights

On January 28, we re-presented several articles that the Administration team had previously ignored or responded to in a cursory manner: Retrenchment, Fringe Benefits, Intellectual Property, Professional Development, and Workload. The Administration team presented counter-proposals on Leaves and Benefits.  As part of their Leaves package, Administration also presented two Letters of Agreement. The first of these would form a committee that would meet in Fall 2021 to explore the possible creation of a Sick Leave Transfer program; the second Letter of Agreement would explore possible support for prestigious fellowship opportunities for faculty through the formation of a similar committee on the same time frame.  For both of these Letters of Agreement, the final decision on whether or not to implement the recommendations of the committee would belong to the Administration. All proposals are described in greater detail on our website. 

Our website provides a table with links to all the articles for which we have presented proposals, along with the administration’s proposals.  

The next bargaining session is 11:00–2:00 on Friday, February 7 in the LaSells Stewart Center. We plan to present articles on Promotion and Tenure. Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters: show the administration that faculty are watching this process. 

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

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Proposals

Letter of Agreement on Position Descriptions: establishes a timeline and process for all position descriptions to be updated. Given the essential role of the position description in evaluation through annual performance reviews, it is crucial that it accurately reflects the work expected.  We have come to a tentative agreement on this LoA. 

Position Descriptions: we continue to push for clarity on how existing policy can be incorporated into the CBA. Because equity, inclusion, and diversity are part of how faculty are evaluated, they should be clearly outlined in every position description. Finally, we continue to argue that all faculty should have service FTE, both to recognize existing work being done, and to ensure shared governance. All faculty should have the ability to participate in meetings and committees that shape the university. 

Appointment and Reappointment: faculty on joint appointments should be given a memorandum at the time of hire that outlines how their promotion will be handled. Tenure track faculty should continue to have an expectation of renewal of their annual appointments until their tenure decision. Administration remains resistant to even guaranteeing the current practice of multi-year contracts for promoted fixed-term faculty. The vast majority of faculty work hard to fulfill OSU’s research and teaching missions, and longer contracts add stability to these enterprises. We continue to push for rolling or extended contracts for fixed-term faculty who have achieved promotion. Faculty subject to disciplinary action are entitled to a fair process, as outlined in our Discipline article. Faculty who have been accused of wrong-doing should go through the disciplinary process where they will also be given the opportunity to defend themselves. Non-renewal should follow, not precede, the disciplinary process.

Retrenchment, Fringe Benefits, Intellectual Property, Professional Development, and Workload: these are all articles that we had previously presented early in the bargaining process, which had either been ignored by the Administration team (Fringe Benefits, Intellectual Property, Workload), or had been perfunctorily addressed in an Administration “package” counter-proposal, usually with a single sentence (Retrenchment, Professional Development).  In an effort to find some common ground with the Administration, we have streamlined these articles to focus on the areas of greatest concern to our faculty members. During the course of this session, we engaged the Administration in a dialog about what we are hoping to accomplish with these proposals, emphasizing the elements of our proposals that address the need for stability, fair compensation, equal access to benefits and funding for professional development, and a greater voice in how intellectual property developed by our faculty is used by the university. 

Leaves & Benefits: by contrast, the counter-proposals presented by the Administration team have been crafted to consolidate decision-making power in the hands of the administration.  Their Leaves and Benefits articles, as presented, eliminate large sections of our original proposals intended to secure, among other things, a sick leave transfer program, sabbatical leave for non-tenure-track faculty, and a guarantee that the university will continue to contribute 6% to faculty retirement plans. The 6% salary pick-up is guaranteed in every higher education contract in Oregon state, including the SEIU contract recently negotiated by our classified colleagues here at OSU. The sick leave transfer program is also a benefit that our SEIU colleagues at OSU enjoy; however, the Administration inexplicably refuses to commit to this for unclassified faculty. Instead, they offered a Letter of Agreement for the formation of a committee that would “explore the option” of instituting such a program, which would not even meet until the fall of 2021.  

In some instances, the Administration team’s articles went beyond indifference by actively weakening existing faculty programs.  Their Leaves article gutted all language around Family and Medical Leave, replacing it instead with a single terse sentence asserting that the university will abide by state and federal law. In doing so, the Administration fails to even commit to continuing the current policy that provides for 60 hours of paid family leave for faculty who have just given birth to or adopted a child. The Administration team assured us in session that such language would be unnecessary, as the university has no current plans to discontinue this policy.  In another act of sabotage, the Administration has added language to the Benefits article that would allow them to renegotiate the current 95%-5% employer premium contributions to health insurance if they are somehow able to get out of PEBB. 

Your faculty union bargaining team is committed to making sure that faculty voices are heard with regard to the need for greater stability and shared governance. When the Administration team ignores our work toward these goals, we will continue to pressure them to engage with our proposals and to engage with us in meaningful discussions around those proposals.

Update for 1.15.20 Bargaining Session

Your UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met 9–12 on Wednesday, January 15 in Cascades Hall. Eighteen faculty members observed the session.

At this session we presented two articles – “Compensation” and “Research Support.” We also introduced an MOU on Sea Pay. The administration team presented an article on “Appointment, Reappointment, Review, and Promotion.” Their proposal attempts to combine a number of separate articles that we have previously given to them. Notably, their proposal:

  • Refuses to protect the existing practice of multi-year appointments upon promotion;
  • Refuses to extend notice of appointment to more than one month before the beginning of the next appointment pre-promotion and four months before the beginning of the next appointment post-promotion; and
  • Refuses to include promotion and tenure requirements (including the basics, like length of service) to make the process more transparent.

Clearly, we still have quite a lot of work to do before we can reach agreement on these issues that provide the basis of stable employment at OSU. The points of contention are described in more detail in the longer summary that follows.  

Our next bargaining session is TODAY, 2-5pm in the LaSells Stewart Center Ag Science Room. We will have two proposals: “Position Descriptions” and “Appointment and Reappointment.” Even if you can only join for half an hour, your presence helps!

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Team Changes

There have been a couple of changes to our team. Dave Cecil, our lead negotiator, has been called back to Eugene as our union cousins in United Academics of the University of Oregon begin bargaining. Bargaining is an intense process and Dave would have found it difficult to give both his home local and UAOSU the necessary attention and time. We send our colleagues in Eugene our best wishes for success and know that their successes are very much intertwined with our own. In Dave’s place we have selected Ashley Bromley to lead our negotiations. Ashley is experienced and knowledgeable and has been with us from the beginning. We are in very capable hands! Marisa Chappell will no longer be with us at the table. She is on sabbatical leave for the remainder of this academic year as a Visiting Scholar with the Russell Sage Foundation in New York. We will miss her but know that she is with us in spirit.  

Proposals

In our counter-proposal on Compensation we continue to advocate for regular salary increases that ensure cost-of-living adjustments, merit raises, and equity adjustments. While it has been the administration practice in recent salary increases to provide a 1.8% raise to all eligible faculty, the administration is opposed to calling these raises “across-the board” or “COLAs.” We believe it is important that our salaries keep pace with inflation (currently about 2.7% for our area) since otherwise we are taking a salary cut each year.  

We have proposed that all merit increases be based on the most recent performance reviews so that the process is transparent to faculty members. We have had some back and forth conversation with the administration about how these reviews are typically handled and how frequently they occur for faculty who have achieved promotion or been on leave. We have argued that while regular reviews should be mandated for all faculty, it is up to each unit to determine how the review process will be organized as long as there is faculty input in constructing that process. It should be noted that the administration has made movement toward us regarding raises for part-time faculty although the details as to how that would be implemented remain unresolved.

We have also proposed the establishment of an equity pool to be used to address salary discrepancies. In has been the administration’s practice in some past raise cycles to use part of the merit pool for this purpose. We find this problematic as it reduces the amount for actual merit increases in units that employ, for example, large numbers of female faculty who continue to earn less than their male colleagues. We believe a better approach would be to periodically set aside a pool of money that would be dedicated to that purpose. Our current proposal calls for a 3% salary pool in year two of the contract for equity adjustments.  

As part of our Compensation article, we presented the administration with an MOU on Sea Pay. We argued that, since we have agreed on the increase to Sea Pay, that signing the MOU would allow PIs to begin writing that amount into grant proposals now. Many grants span multiple years and advance planning is crucial. The administration is opposed to the MOU since it concerns compensation issues that have not yet been fully settled.  

The second article that we presented was Research Support. This proposal includes the creation of a university-wide bridge funding program to ensure that research faculty are supported when temporarily between grants. The funds for this program would come from returned overhead on grants. The administration sees research support as a zero-sum game in which bridge funding would come at the expense of other important services. We contend that better research support will enhance the ability of PIs to compete for grants.  

The administration presented an article (Appointment, Reappointment, Review and Promotion) that combined our previous proposals on Notice of Appointment, Annual Review, Midterm Reviews, Post-Tenure Reviews, Position

Descriptions, four articles on Promotion and Tenure, and Retrenchment. Obviously, some of the details contained in our proposals were dropped. Going forward, we intend to continue negotiations over these topics as separate articles. While they might be combined at a later date, negotiating them separately at this point will allow us to reach tentative agreement on some while continuing to work on others.  

There are numerous points of contention around these items, two of which were discussed at length. One concerns multi-year contracts for fixed-term faculty. The administration proposal would encourage, but not promise, multi-year contracts for faculty who have achieved promotion. We consider this to be a step back from current policy. It is the administration’s position that current policy gives promoted fixed-term faculty a two year contract for the period immediately following promotion but, following that initial contract, might revert to annual or even term-to-term appointments.  

The administration is also opposed to putting any specific language regarding Promotion and Tenure in the contract, arguing that those policies are the province of the Faculty Senate. We would like to see those policies in our CBA so that they will be enforceable. Without those protections, the administration can, and does, alter/interpret those policies to suit their own interests. To take the previous example, Faculty Senate policy unequivocally states that promoted fixed-term faculty will be given multi-year contracts as long as funding for the position is secure. But the administration has told us that they disagree with the policies set by Faculty Senate and don’t believe that they have to necessarily follow those guidelines.

Our website provides a table with links to the various proposals and counter-proposals that have been presented by UAOSU and by the administration.  

We appreciate your support. You can find a full calendar of Winter Term bargaining sessions on our website.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Update for 12.17.19 Bargaining Session

Your UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met 2–5 pm on Tuesday, December 17 in the LaSells Stewart Center. The session focused on the Administration team’s Compensation counter-proposal, from which three issues arose:

  • Pay Increases: The Administration’s proposal now recognizes that all bargaining unit members should be eligible for merit increases, not just those members who are employed at 0.5 FTE and above.  However, three important issues remain. 

(1) The proposal only accounts for merit increases and not for necessary increases due to inflation, which is currently about 2.7%.  

(2) The Administration continues to lump equity adjustments together with merit pools, despite the real need to address pay inequity across campus. As an example of the pay inequity that currently exists on campus, it came to light during this session that one quarter of all Postdoctoral Scholars are currently being paid less than the NIH scale, which is in violation of OSU’s own policy on Postdoctoral Scholar compensation. 

(3) The Administration is unwilling to commit to a set standard for what those merit increases will be over the life of the agreement.  While they’ve proposed a 3% pool for fiscal year 2020, in future years, they retain the right to set the pool for merit increases to be as low as 1%.

  • Salary Minimums: The Administration accepted our proposed minimums for professorial faculty and proposed a level salary floor for the Instructor, Instructor (ESL-English as a Second Language), and Instructor (ALS-Academic Learning Services) categories. However, their proposed minimums for all Instructors, Faculty Research Assistants, Lecturers, and Research Associates undervalue the contributions that these bargaining unit members make to the university, particularly compared to the cost of living in Corvallis. We will continue to negotiate salary minimums that accurately reflect the value of these faculty members.
  • Professional Development: Disappointingly, the Administration’s proposal fails to protect non-tenure track faculty’s access to professional development funds.  We will continue to advocate for a system that gives all bargaining unit members equal opportunity to pursue their professional development goals.

The December 17 bargaining session began with a tentative agreement to the Academic Freedom article proposed by the Administration on December 4.

Bargaining will resume in January 2020.  In the meantime, you can let the Administration know you want a fair contract by signing our petition here, and you can start the new year as a member of UAOSU by signing up here.

Solidarity,

Your Bargaining Team

Update for 12/11/19 Bargaining

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.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Update for 12/4/19 Bargaining

Your UAOSU bargaining team met with the administration’s bargaining team on Wednesday, December 4, 12-3pm. We discussed two main topics: academic freedom and promotion and tenure.

Academic Freedom

The administration presented a counter proposal on Academic Freedom that removed their earlier language seeking to exclude academic freedom violations from the grievance procedure. Without the ability to grieve academic freedom violations, this article would have amounted to nothing more than a toothless values statement. With grievability in place, we feel close to agreement on this article.

Promotion & Tenure

Our team presented several articles related to promotion and tenure in June and again in October and November. The administration has asserted a desire to keep details of promotion and tenure out of the contract and rely instead on existing policy. They asked that we provide more context as to what we hoped to accomplish in these articles. We laid out several reasons we need promotion and tenure details in the contract, including:

  • Existing policy is confusing, contradictory, and often difficult to locate.
  • Existing policy excludes some classes of employees (Research Associates and PAC Instructors) from eligibility for promotion and tenure.
  • Existing policy can be changed by administrators. We want to lock in the good work Faculty Senate has done over the years and protect that work against changes made without considering the voice of all affected faculty.
  • Promotion and tenure are fundamental aspects of a faculty member’s conditions of employment. They are the means by which faculty access stability in employment. We cannot have a contract that is silent on such fundamental matters.
  • Consistent, transparent policies enable OSU to award promotion and tenure in a fair and equitable way for all faculty members.

While the administration team acknowledged that our version cleaned up inconsistencies in existing policy, they remained locked in on a desire to include no details of promotion and tenure in the contract. We anticipate many more conversations about the importance of this language.

Our website provides a table with links to all exchanged articles. Importantly, we reached tentative agreement on Health, Safety, and Facilities on November 26.

The next bargaining session is 10am-1pm on Wednesday, December 11 in the Agriculture Science Room of the LaSells Stewart Center. We plan to present articles on sick leave, family leave, and sabbatical leave. We hope to receive proposals on compensation and appointments from the administration’s team. 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 full calendar of Fall Term bargaining sessions on our website.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Administration Team Rejects MOU on FY20 Salary Increases (11.26.19)

As you know, on November 13 our bargaining team responded to Provost Feser’s salary offer with a proposal that would provide raises for all faculty. This afternoon, the administration bargaining team informed us that they will not accept our proposal, thereby delaying implementation of raises for UAOSU bargaining unit faculty until we can reach an agreement in contract negotiations. We understand their largest hurdle to be an inability to provide reviews, and thus eligibility for raises they insist be exclusively merit-based, to faculty under 0.5 FTE.This is unfortunate, but not surprising. One of the main reasons faculty formed a union was to help bring some clarity and standards to the processes that affect all members of the university community. By insisting that the administration treat all faculty with a basic level of respect, we are forcing them to examine their policies and practices. We are heartened that, as result of these negotiations, the administration has acknowledged that at least some faculty under 0.5 FTE should have access to reviews and raises. We await clarity as to which faculty they believe should remain ineligible. We will continue to bargain with the administration to ensure equitable salary increases for all faculty.

In Solidarity,

Your Bargaining Team

Update for 11/18/19 Bargaining

Our UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met 9 am to 1 pm on Monday, November 18 in the LaSells Stewart Center. Twenty faculty members observed the session.

After 100 hours of negotiations, one of the last pro-forma sections of our agreement was tentatively agreed upon: the Preamble.  

The teams continued to wrestle with key provisions of employment at OSU, discussing UAOSU’s proposals for:  

  • Health and Safety, Facilities, and Workspaces: where we’re fighting for access to adequate space and equipment to carry out work duties, protections against arbitrary reassignment to a different campus, and the clear right to refuse imminently hazardous work.
  • Academic Classification and Ranks: where we’re fighting for promotion pathways for PAC Instructors and Research Associates, protections for all OSU employees performing bargaining unit work, and access to permanent positions for long term Research Associates (PostDoc).
  • Professional Development: where we’re fighting for faculty-led professional development policies, protections against sweeping of funds accrued in indexes or personal accounts, and equitable access to professional development funds.

We are heartened by an engaged conversation that allowed both teams to articulate goals and concerns about the proposals.  

We expect to receive a response to our proposed solution for raises for this fiscal year within the week.

Our next bargaining session is 2pm–5pm on Tuesday, November 26 in the LaSells Stewart Center Agricultural Sciences Room. We plan to present articles on Parking and Transportation and more. Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters: show the administration that faculty are watching this process.

Join with us and sign our petition for A Fair Contract for a Better OSU.

We appreciate your support. You can find a full calendar of Fall Term bargaining sessions and a table with links to all the articles we’ve exchanged on our website.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team


Member Organizing Institute

The Member Organizing Institue (MOI) is a 10-11 week intensive paid training program that teaches organizing skills through real-world experience in concert with staff and local leaders. The goal of the institute is to train union members to build power, grow our membership, engage current members in our union, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our local by having members trained to continue their organizing work and help develop other members after participating in the institute. The application deadline is November 27, 2019.

Click here to read more about the program information and application.

UAOSU Proposes Solution for FY20 Raises

At Wednesday’s bargaining session, we presented counterproposals on Compensation and the administration’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) from the October 28 session regarding the salary program through 2020. We proposed a solution for wages that would address major gaps in the administration’s proposed salary program.

Our proposal would:

  • Extend 3% salary increases to all faculty under 0.50 FTE who were employed in any faculty position as of January 1, 2019, remedying their exclusion from the previous program;
  • Guarantee faculty above 0.50 FTE who have not yet received a review will receive a review in time to be included in the salary program for FY 2020;
  • Allow faculty who transitioned between faculty positions since January 1, 2019 to be included in the FY 2020 salary program; and
  • Provide for the raises as outlined in the administration’s salary program for all other academic faculty (1.8%-6%, depending on merit, for all faculty above 0.5 FTE with a satisfactory review).

We have asked the administration to respond to our plan to provide equitable access to the salary program for all faculty by our November 26 bargaining session. If they agree, we will accept the framework and other terms of the Administration’s proposed salary program, which will be distributed in January and February 2020. We will continue to negotiate for cost of living, merit, and equity raises for subsequent years of the collective bargaining agreement.

Join us for bargaining for our next session Monday, November 18, 9am-1pm in LaSells Stewart Center Agricultural Sciences Room when we hope the administration will respond to our proposal on FY 2020 salaries.

We are bargaining for an agreement that respects the voice & expertise of academic faculty and makes OSU a better place to work and learn. Our union is run by us and the more of that are involved and stand together for a fair contract the more effective we can be. Join with us and sign our petition for A Fair Contract for a Better OSU.

A fuller summary of the bargaining session is below.

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The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met 10 am to 1 pm on Wednesday, November 13, in Cascades Hall. Forty-one faculty members observed the session.

We presented counterproposals to the MOU on the faculty salary program and compensation for subsequent years of the agreement. Our counterproposal on Compensation restored much of our language that the administration had stricken from their October 28 counterproposal. We re-asserted our commitment to a compensation package that is equitable and inclusive for all faculty, and invited the administration team to engage with us on our proposed salary structure, rather than simply striking all of our language. We continue to seek discussion on pressing issues such as childcare, sea pay,and salary changes when transitioning between positions at OSU.   We hope that we will be able to work together through the bargaining process to arrive at a compensation package that acknowledges the fiscal concerns of the administration while meeting the needs of the faculty.

The administration team brought counterproposals on Union Rights and Leaves. The administration’s Leaves counterproposal was actually a response to our initial proposals on LeavesFamily and Medical Leave, and Sabbatical Leave. They eliminated much of our language regarding sick leave, including a proposed Sick Leave Transfer that would allow faculty to donate their sick leave to other faculty members, while at the same time acknowledging that faculty continue to request it. The administration struck all of the language from our Family and Medical Leave proposal, replacing it with a single sentence avowing that they will “abide by state and federal laws concerning family and medical leave.” We find ourselves disappointed—again—by the administration team’s use of this tactic, in which they respond to a detailed, well-thought-out proposal with a single terse sentence. As we pointed out in the session, recent changes to the Oregon FMLA will require the administration to significantly enhance paid family and medical leave, and it makes sense for both parties to work toward an agreement as to how this implementation will occur before the legally mandated deadline. Certainly, some of our proposed language, such as the expansion of the definition of “family member” for the purposes of family leave, could be implemented now with little or no real cost to the university. The administration largely accepted some of our other language around leaves, including jury duty, personal and professional leaves, and language affirming that faculty are not required to use vacation time for university closures.

Our website provides a table with links to all articles for which we have presented proposals, along with the administration’s proposals and counterproposals.

Our next bargaining session is Monday, November 18, 9am-1pm in LaSells Stewart Center Agricultural Sciences Room. We plan to present proposals on professional development, facilities, and more. The administration’s team plans to counter our proposed preamble. 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 full calendar of Fall Term bargaining sessions on our website.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team