Bargaining Session 8 (6.8.19)

Our bargaining team and the administration team met on Saturday, June 8, 2019 in the LaSells Stewart Center. Thirty-two faculty members were on hand to observe the session. The administration team arrived with one counter-proposal on grievances while our team brought forward five new proposals related to promotion and tenure. For those of you keeping track, we have now presented 40 original proposals, and the administration team has countered very few of them. While we are hopeful that the pace of bargaining will pick up over the summer, we remain frustrated by their apparent lack of preparation for our bargaining sessions.

We introduced several important articles on promotion and tenure (described below), but a significant portion of our time in this session was devoted to the administration’s counter-proposal on Grievances. The two sides are still far apart.

We know from conversations across OSU that many faculty feel the problems they experience cannot be addressed within the current grievance system. Faculty are hesitant to engage in a process that is opaque and seems to be primarily designed to protect the university and its public image. The administration team suggested that everything must be going well since relatively few grievances are filed. This drew a collective, incredulous chuckle from faculty observers who know all too well that there are widespread concerns with both university process and outcomes. The grievance procedure we proposed, including third-party arbitration, would create stronger and more transparent steps to resolve grievances and enforce provisions of the collective bargaining agreement we are negotiating.

The administration wants the entire grievance process to remain “in house,” with all decisions resting with OSU administrators, culminating in a final decision by the university president. This is what we already have, and it is wholly insufficient. While we agree that it is best to resolve problems quickly and at the lowest possible level, there are times when arbitration may be necessary. Every other faculty union contract in Oregon includes provisions for binding, third-party arbitration. At OSU, CGE and SEIU have arbitration as part of their collective bargaining agreements. Shockingly, OSU’s lead negotiator twice said that they do not intend to counter our proposed Arbitration article nor to introduce one of their own. This is utterly ridiculous on their part. It is imperative that faculty retain the right to arbitration when their grievances are not satisfactorily resolved at the university level. In the absence of neutral, third-party arbitration, the very institution against which a complaint has been lodged will be able to adjudicate that complaint to completion, a clear conflict of interest. Faculty at OSU deserve the same protections afforded our colleagues at other public universities in Oregon.

After taking a break and recovering from our shock that the administration believes there is no need for an arbitration article, we introduced our promotion and tenure proposals.

The five articles we introduced were:

The goal of the General Guidelines for P&T and the two articles on procedures for tenure-track faculty is to provide greater clarity and transparency for the current process as described in university policy. Anyone who has ever looked at the promotion and tenure policies from OSU’s Office of Faculty Affairs will know why more clarity is needed. We want to ensure that promotion and tenure decisions are made on the basis of the job duties described in faculty members’ position descriptions and that the application procedures are well defined and understandable, with clearly delineated responsibilities and timelines.

In addition to clarifying the existing process, we are seeking to significantly strengthen the promotion pathways for the fixed-term faculty who make up about two-thirds of all faculty at OSU. We are committed to ensuring that all faculty have opportunities for promotion and that those opportunities are actualized in practice and in a timely manner. Currently, Research Associates and Instructors (PAC) have no opportunities for promotion. Our proposal will provide that. While other fixed-term faculty do currently have, at least theoretically, opportunities for promotion, it is a relatively uncommon occurrence. As things stand today, only 15% of instructors have been promoted, only 34% of faculty research assistants have been promoted, and only 32% of fixed-term professorial faculty (Clinical, Practice, Extension, Senior Research) have been promoted. Fixed-term faculty often find themselves in “limbo” — eligible but with no way forward when unit heads refuse to even consider them for promotion. This is a clearly untenable situation. It is unfair to our excellent faculty upon whom the university relies to advance the teaching, research, clinical, and extension missions of OSU, and it is bad for the university when a majority of faculty are undercompensated, insecure, and underappreciated in their jobs. In order to address these problems for fixed-term faculty, we are proposing that:

  • Eligible faculty members initiate the promotion review;
  • Promotion reviews be initiated during the third year (fifth year for fixed-term professorial faculty) so that the promotion becomes effective after four years in rank (six for fixed-term professorial);
  • Credit for prior service (up to two years) may be given to faculty members in the fixed-term Instructional and Research categories who enter the university with exceptional experience and/or skills. This will allow them to seek promotion earlier while also ensuring that newly hired faculty members are not disproportionately favored over existing faculty.

As noted at the beginning of this update, we are dismayed at the lack of progress in bargaining. The administration team doesn’t seem to be doing much work outside of scheduled bargaining sessions which hinders productive negotiations at the table. But be assured that together we will succeed in creating a collective bargaining agreement that will protect and extend the rights of faculty at OSU. You can help us in this effort by attending bargaining sessions and talking with your colleagues about what you are seeing and hearing. Let’s be vigilant in keeping the pressure on the administration to bargain in good faith and to treat OSU faculty with the consideration and respect that we deserve.

The next bargaining session is on June 17 from 8-12 in the LaSells Stewart Center. We plan to present articles on faculty governance; workload; transportation and parking; post-tenure review; and hiring procedures. We appreciate your support and hope to see you there. You can find a full calendar of upcoming bargaining sessions on our website.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Proposals Exchanged on June 8

UAOSU Proposals

Administration Proposals

Bargaining Session 6 & 7 Updates (05.16.19 & 05.18.19)

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.  

We appreciate your support. You can find a full calendar of Spring Term bargaining sessions along with all 35 of our proposed articles on our website.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Proposals Exchanged on May 16

UAOSU Proposals

Administration Proposals: None

Proposals Exchanged on May 18

UAOSU Initial Proposals

Administration Proposals

Administration Counter Proposals

UAOSU Counter Proposals

Tentative Agreements Reached on May 18

Totality of Agreement

Bargaining Session 5 Update (05.06.19)

Our UAOSU bargaining team and the Administration’s bargaining team met on Monday, May 6 for our fifth bargaining session. Over the course of the five-hour session, 33 faculty members joined us to observe the proceedings.

We presented a new article on Retrenchment, bringing our total number of proposed articles to 31. The administration team offered counter-proposals to our Totality of Agreement, Personnel Files, and No Strike, No Lockout proposals.  They described their counter on Totality of Agreement and No Strike, No Lockout counter proposals as syntheses of our proposals and theirs, referring to them as being essentially “new” proposals.  Regrettably their syntheses eliminated important language in both articles. In Totality of Agreement, they removed language referring to expedited bargaining, prompting a familiar discussion about the purposes that a collective bargaining agreement should fulfill.  

The administration team further staked out their position: to them, language that explicitly delineates any rights enumerated in federal or state law will inexplicably cause our collective bargaining agreement to conflict with the law.  The administration’s position was further exemplified by their counter-proposal on Personnel Files which consisted of a mere two sentences stating that the administration would abide by OSU policy and state and federal law (see link to their proposals below). In contrast, our bargaining team believes that specificity is precisely what is required to create a collective bargaining agreement that clearly delineates, defines, and enshrines the rights of our bargaining unit faculty for the years to come.

To reiterate and further clarify our position, our team returned from caucus with the collective bargaining agreements of other Oregon universities, including those of UO, PSU, EOU, SOU, and WOU which closely mirror our proposed language. We also explained that our bargaining unit members have expressed concern about access to personnel files.

The session concluded with a renewed reflection of our progress over the past five sessions, with both teams expressing a commitment to finding a way to move forward.

The next bargaining sessions are 10am–12pm on Thursday, May 16 in the International Living-Learning Center 353 and 9am–5pm on Saturday, May 18 (location TBD). On May 16, we plan to offer proposals on research support and intellectual property. On May 18, we plan to offer proposals on compensation and a process for resolving instances of harassment and discrimination.

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

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Proposals Exchanged on May 6:

UAOSU Proposals

Administration Proposals

Get Involved

To support your bargaining team in negotiating the strongest possible contract, be sure to:

1. Join UAOSU. If you aren’t sure that you’ve signed a membership card (note: this is separate from the authorization card you signed last academic year), be sure to join today by completing an online membership card.

2. Attend a bargaining session. As noted above, joining us in the bargaining room is the best way to support your bargaining team. Your presence demonstrates strength and solidarity, and it allows us to work through proposals with a broader group of faculty. RSVP for upcoming sessions you’ll be able to attend! We’ll confirm locations with you as soon as we have them.

3. Show your support. Hang a poster in support of bargaining on your office or lab door. You can print a sign here, or request a glossy poster be delivered to you by responding to this message.

4. Contact your legislator. Because of Representative Rayfield’s position on the Ways & Means Committee, Corvallis’ representative plays an especially prominent role in setting public university funding levels. Without a significant push from educators, parents, and other Oregonians invested in our education system, we can expect serious underfunding of our universities and the tuition increases and budget cuts that follow. Please call (503-986-1416) or email (rep.danrayfield@oregonlegislature.gov) to ask that Representative Rayfield advocate for funding the Public University Support Fund with at least an additional $120 million for public universities above the basic current service level.

Bargaining Session 4 Update (04.30.19)

The UAOSU Bargaining Team and the Administration Bargaining Team met on Tuesday, April 30 for the 4th bargaining session. Over the course of the four-hour session, thirty-nine faculty members packed the small room arranged by the administration.

We introduced three new articles: notice of appointment, position descriptions, and annual review.  These articles work together to ensure that faculty receive greater job stability and have more transparent access to promotion and merit pay increases. These articles propose solutions to some of the top concerns shared by faculty.

The Administration Bargaining Team asked no questions and made no comments in response.  This lack of engagement came as a surprise after last Saturday’s session, where the Administration Bargaining Team had begun to ask questions and actively discuss our proposals. Through our efforts at the bargaining table, UAOSU remains committed to proposing reasonable solutions to the problems affecting Oregon State University. These issues cannot be resolved without productive conversations between our union and the Administration Bargaining Team.

Given the importance of these articles, our team called a caucus to discuss strategies for increasing the Administration’s engagement.  After our caucus, we provided additional context to help the University Administration Bargaining Team see how these proposals reflect the priorities of faculty. Each member of our team contributed specific examples  from the UAOSU survey, our office visits with faculty, and our own experiences.

Our team also returned  two counterproposals to the Administration Bargaining Team: personnel files and separability (“savings”).

The Administration Bargaining Team then proceeded by presenting an extended budget overview, similar to those offered across campus in recent months.

To date, our Bargaining Team has presented 30 articles that can be seen here.

The next bargaining session is Monday, May 6 from 12pm–5pm in the International Living-Learning Center 353. We plan to present articles on retrenchment  and more. The Administration has indicated that they will bring responses to some of our proposals and has assured us that they will find a larger room.

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

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Proposals Exchanged 04.30.19

UAOSU Proposals 04.30.19

No Administration Proposals

Get Involved

To support your bargaining team in negotiating the strongest possible contract, be sure to:

1. Join UAOSU. If you aren’t sure that you’ve signed a membership card (note: this is separate from the authorization card you signed last academic year), be sure to join today by completing an online membership card.

2. Attend a bargaining session. As noted above, joining us in the bargaining room is the best way to support your bargaining team. Your presence demonstrates strength and solidarity, and it allows us to work through proposals with a broader group of faculty. RSVP for upcoming sessions you’ll be able to attend! We’ll confirm locations with you as soon as we have them.

3. Show your support. Hang a poster in support of bargaining on your office or lab door. You can print a sign here, or request a glossy poster be delivered to you by responding to this message.

4. Contact your legislator. Because of Representative Rayfield’s position on the Ways & Means Committee, Corvallis’ representative plays an especially prominent role in setting public university funding levels. Without a significant push from educators, parents, and other Oregonians invested in our education system, we can expect serious underfunding of our universities and the tuition increases and budget cuts that follow. Please call (503-986-1416) or email (rep.danrayfield@oregonlegislature.gov) to ask that Representative Rayfield advocate for funding the Public University Support Fund with at least an additional $120 million for public universities above the basic current service level.

Bargaining Session 3 Update (04.27.19)

The UAOSU Bargaining Team and the administration team met on Saturday, April 27 in Moreland Hall. Twenty faculty members observed bargaining. The administration presented two counterproposals: savings and personnel files. We introduced seven new articles: fringe benefits; benefits for eligible retired faculty members; public employee benefits; postdoctoral scholar and postdoctoral fellow health plans; retirement benefits; professional development; and health and safety, facilities, and work spaces. UAOSU presented two counterproposals: no strike, no lockout and non-discrimination.

The teams engaged in some productive conversation about both issues and process. The administration team continued to assert that existing policy, process, and law offer adequate protection for faculty in areas like non-discrimination and access to personnel files. We continued to explain that codifying those protections in a collective bargaining agreement so they cannot be changed unilaterally is a critical priority for faculty.

After a lunch break & caucus, the teams discussed an agenda for Tuesday’s session and potential dates for sessions in Bend and Newport before breaking at 3pm.

The next bargaining session is Tuesday, April 30 from 9am–1pm in Agricultural & Life Sciences Building 3006A. We plan to present articles on notice of appointment, annual review, and more. The administration’s team plans to present on the general state of the university’s finances.

Attending a bargaining session is a great way to stay informed and engaged in the development of our first contract. We appreciate your support! You can find a full calendar of Spring Term bargaining sessions on our website.

In solidarity,

Your bargaining team

Proposals Exchanged 04.27.19

UAOSU Proposals 04.27.19

Administration Proposals 04.27.19

Get Involved

To support your bargaining team in negotiating the strongest possible contract, be sure to:

1. Join UAOSU. If you aren’t sure that you’ve signed a membership card (note: this is separate from the authorization card you signed last academic year), be sure to join today by completing an online membership card.

2. Attend a bargaining session. As noted above, joining us in the bargaining room is the best way to support your bargaining team. Your presence demonstrates strength and solidarity, and it allows us to work through proposals with a broader group of faculty. RSVP for upcoming sessions you’ll be able to attend! We’ll confirm locations with you as soon as we have them.

3. Show your support. Hang a poster in support of bargaining on your office or lab door. You can print a sign here, or request a glossy poster be delivered to you by responding to this message.

Bargaining Session 2 Update (04.22.19)

The UAOSU Bargaining Team and the administration team met on Monday, April 22, from 9am to 1pm in the LaSells Stewart Center for our second substantive bargaining session. Forty-six faculty members observed bargaining.

UAOSU introduced six new articles: discipline and termination for causedues deductionunion rightsleavesfamily and medical leaves, and sabbatical leaves. The administration team did not present any new articles or counter-proposals to the fourteen articles UAOSU exchanged at the 3/23 bargaining session. The administration team asked a few questions about our Savings counterproposal, which had been presented at that session. They then called a caucus, starting at about 10:20am. They stayed in caucus until the end of the session at 1pm.

There are two more bargaining sessions scheduled over the coming week. Please join us on Saturday, April 27 from 9am-5pm in Moreland 206 & Tuesday, April 30 from 9am-1pm. The location for the April 30 session will be announced as soon as it is known. On Saturday, we plan to present articles including professional development, facilities, and more; on Tuesday, we expect to present articles on notice of appointment, annual review, and more. Attending a bargaining session is a great way to stay informed and engaged in the development of our first contract. You can find a full calendar of Spring Term bargaining sessions on our website. We appreciate your support!

Proposals Exchanged 04.22.19

UAOSU Proposals 04.22.19

Bargaining Session 1 Update (03.23.19)

The UAOSU Bargaining Team met with the administration team on Saturday, March 23 for our first discussion of substantive proposals. The administration team was joined for the first time by Heather Horn, OSU’s newly hired assistant provost for academic employee and labor relations. Forty-eight faculty members came to observe bargaining, along with two graduate employees and a handful of others. In previous sessions, UAOSU stood firm in our demand for open sessions, and today the teams came to agreement on ground rules that codified faculty members’ right to attend bargaining sessions and omitted any infringement on their freedom of expression.

In the morning, UAOSU presented proposals for fourteen articles, ranging from boiler plate contract language to crucial protections for academic freedom, an antidiscrimination policy, and a grievance procedure. We also presented an article on “Academic Classifications,” in which we are seeking to clarify and streamline the broad range of faculty classifications across the institution and to provide new promotion pathways for Research Associates, Instructors (PAC), and Instructors in INTO OSU. In turn, the administration team presented proposals for six articles; these included their own nondiscrimination article and an article on “Management Rights.”

The nondiscrimination article provoked significant discussion at the table. UAOSU’s proposal would prohibit discrimination on the basis of “race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, citizenship status, ancestry, genetic information, pregnancy, marital status, domestic partnership status, familial status, age, body size, education level, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other extraneous considerations not directly and substantially related to effective performance.” The administration team’s proposal was much shorter and did not include protections for many of those groups. They argued that broader protections would create conflicts with statutory requirements, but our team was not able to elicit a clear and valid explanation for the concern. We will continue to emphasize the need for clear, far-reaching, and enforceable non-discrimination provisions in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Academic freedom also prompted numerous questions from the administration team. UAOSU’s proposal includes OSU administration’s affirmative duty to protect faculty from pressures from external entities that impinge on academic freedom. The administration team seemed to have difficulty understanding why such protections are necessary. Our team offered numerous examples of potential problems, including industry groups seeking to suppress the publication of research findings, which occurred at OSU several years ago, and political groups demanding censure of a faculty member for their speech, which has happened across the country in recent years.

A larger theme that emerged in our conversations was the purpose of a Collective Bargaining Agreement. The administration team argued that it is unnecessary to include protections in the CBA that are already provided for in OSU policy. Because OSU already has policies protecting academic freedom and non-discrimination, for example, they argued that we do not need to include such protections in the CBA. They did, however, put forward a proposal on management rights which are also already a matter of law, a contradiction they failed to acknowledge. On crucial issues that are of concern to faculty, administrators can change existing policies. Furthermore, the procedures for enforcement of university policies are often opaque and inadequate. It is therefore essential to get protections that guarantee faculty rights enshrined in a CBA. Only then can we be assured that policies will not be changed without faculty consent and that faculty will have legal recourse if such policies are not followed or enforced.

The teams are close to agreement on some standard contract language and have scheduled three bargaining sessions for April: April 22 from 9-1, April 27 from 9-5, and April 30 from 9-1. We encourage faculty members to come observe a bargaining session. It is important for all of us to be engaged in this process and contribute to achieving a good first contract. We very much appreciate your presence at bargaining. Those of you who have had an opportunity to attend a bargaining session know just how slow and frustrating the process can be. Your solidarity and support keep us energized and focused on our common goals. We hope to see you soon and, as always, welcome your feedback.

Proposals Exchanged on March 23:

Ground Rules Session Bargaining Update (02.18.19)

The UAOSU bargaining team met with the administration team in the Valley Library during the afternoon of February 18. We, again, attempted to establish ground rules so that we could begin bargaining over real proposals and finding solutions to the myriad problems facing the OSU faculty. We were, unfortunately, again not successful in securing a final agreement. Our team sent the admin team an electronic proposal after the session that we hope will resolve the few remaining issues. 

The session was, however, a smashing success in that more than 50 faculty from all corners of campus gathered to observe the session. The team was heartened to see the show of support, hear the words of encouragement, and feel solidarity with our fellow faculty. We have been battling the admin over who is allowed to observe bargaining, what people can say about what they see and hear, and whether anyone has the right to stifle the voices of our faculty. The session on Monday brought home how important it is to ensure that all faculty – union members or not – have the right to observe the process that will shape the future of OSU for faculty and students alike. 

We will keep everyone updated about the future bargaining schedule and strongly encourage all faculty to come and observe. Your presence and your feedback are extremely important. Our team is working hard to represent all faculty at OSU; having faculty engaged with the process is the best way to make that happen. 

Ground Rules Session Bargaining Update (01.23.19)

Your bargaining team met with the administration team for the third time this past Wednesday. The parties have been trying to come to agreement on ground rules for our negotiations. We have reached agreement on several minor issues, such as who will schedule the bargaining rooms and the order in which proposals will be presented. However, one major issue that has prevented us from completing ground rules negotiations is the issue of transparency.

After three half-day sessions and five exchanges of written proposals, we remain deadlocked on this issue. We have consistently proposed and maintained that negotiation sessions be open to all faculty, students, staff, and community members who want to observe the discussions. We have insisted on the right to communicate with you, the bargaining-unit members we represent, and the larger campus community about the proposals, conversations, and ideas that are being exchanged. We cannot imagine limiting our ability to inform you about what is being said on your behalf and get your feedback about our efforts. Our union represents the collective voice of the faculty, and we refuse to muffle that voice.

Unfortunately, the administration team has not embraced our request for transparency. They have proposed that the sessions be closed to all but the bargaining teams and special guests, or, at most, bargaining-unit faculty could watch “executive sessions” where the observers would have to agree to not share what they heard in bargaining with their colleagues or the general public. They have sought to constrain our ability to share the ideas and proposals that are exchanged at the table with you. Most troubling, the administration team has seemingly advanced the idea that we will only be able to speak honestly with each other if we speak behind closed doors.

Transparency, freedom of thought and expression, and the courage to speak openly and publicly are the hallmarks of the academy and of our union. While we fully recognize that there are times when a full-throated airing of viewpoints can do more damage than good, we believe that knowing our conversations will be public challenges us to be accountable for what we say and propose. The principles of transparency are embedded in the United Academics mission statement and our bargaining platform. We will continue to fight for them at the bargaining table.

The administration team abruptly left our last session early and indicated that they were not sure how we move forward. We have proposed several dates and times that we are prepared to meet with the administration team to begin giving them proposals to improve the working conditions for faculty at OSU.  We hope to begin this work soon. When our first real bargaining dates are set, we will let you know, and we invite all faculty and members of the campus community to come and watch this work. We value your interest, your support, and your feedback.

Ground Rules Session Bargaining Update (12.11.18)

We met with the administration’s bargaining team on Tuesday, December 11. We continued our conversation about ground rules for our negotiation sessions. We exchanged proposals and views on how best to proceed toward securing a final agreement. We learned that we had very different visions for how to achieve agreement, but both parties affirmed our desire to come to an amicable resolution as quickly as possible.