Update for 2/7/20 Bargaining Session

Published by Shawn on

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

Categories: bargaining

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