7.29.20 COVID Bargaining: Reopening Update
Bargaining: Impact of COVID-19 Resumption Plan & Policies
On July 23rd, we held our second negotiation session over the impact of resuming in-person work at OSU. We continued to encourage administration to engage with our memorandum of understanding, which would grant the right for any faculty member to choose for themselves whether they will work in person or remotely.
We spent some time discussing the nature of “essential employees” and “essential work” in order to ensure we have a working understanding of how these designations are made. Being designated as “essential” would prevent people from making their own decision about returning to campus or not.
Much of our time was spent speaking with Roy Haggerty, Dean of the College of Science and a co-Principal Investigator on the TRACE project. We were encouraged to hear about the ability of TRACE to estimate the prevalence of COVID-19 on OSU’s campus, and in the community more broadly.
However, we left the session with more questions than answers. How will the TRACE data guide the administration’s decision-making process and how can we make that process transparent? Will data be publicly available? What will be the role of the Benton County Health Department and other partners in curtailing the spread of COVID and keeping the campus community safe? While TRACE is a valuable tool available to administration, nothing in that conversation caused us to waver from our initial position: that each faculty member should be allowed to decide for themselves if they are willing and able to return to in-person work.
Please join us at our next bargaining session on Thursday July 30, 2:30-4:00pm as we continue these important discussions with administration. Register here to observe the session.
You probably have seen the most recent email from Provost Feser regarding the negotiated salary reduction program. Now that these reductions have been moved back to September, we have scheduled a meeting with administration in mid-August to discuss the size and implementation of that program. Stay tuned for more updates to come.
The value of being union members and having a voice in the decisions that affect us, our students and our community has never been clearer. The strength of our union and our voice depends on the unity we show by being members of our union. To become a member of our union click here.
Our UAOSU Bargaining Team
Louisa Hooven, Laurel Kincl, Kelly McElroy, Jan Medlock, Kathleen Stanley, Vasiliki Touhouliotis