8.11.20 COVID Bargaining: Reopening Update
The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met 2:30–4 on Thursday, August 6 on Zoom. We finally received a written response to our Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) originally presented in our July 20 session. Our MOU sought to allow each faculty member to make their own decision about returning to in-person work or remaining remote. The administration’s counterproposal largely reflected the current process whereby faculty and unit heads are in conversation about whether work will be performed remotely or in person, but unit heads retain the authority to require faculty to return to in-person work, even if that faculty member has concerns related to health, safety, or caregiving responsibilities. The administration’s counterproposal did attempt to address concerns about retaliation related to requests for remote work, making us hopeful that we were moving toward agreement. We continue to insist that every faculty member who can perform their work remotely should have the absolute right to elect to do so for the duration of the pandemic.
Today’s announcement that instruction will be almost entirely remote for Fall 2020 is an important step toward protecting OSU students, faculty, staff, and the larger communities in which we live and work. Even in light of the much lower density expected in Fall, we have concerns about which faculty, including research and extension faculty, will be required to perform work in person. We are also concerned about OSU-Cascades faculty as nearly half of all courses will continue to have an in-person component on that campus. We will continue to urge the administration to come to a written agreement guaranteeing no faculty will be compelled to return to in-person work when their work can be performed remotely.
The next session is 2:30–4pm on Thursday, August 13 on Zoom (register here). Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters. Show the administration that faculty are watching this process.
Don’t forget to join our Info Session on Fixed-Term Faculty Appointments & Promotion on Wednesday August 12, 12-1pm (register here) for more information on new contract benefits for fixed-term faculty. Over the next few weeks, we are hosting additional information sessions on key provisions of our collective bargaining agreement. Below is the schedule with links to register.
Salary Reductions – Tuesday, August 18, 12-1pm and Wednesday, August 19, 5-6pm
COVID and Reopening – Thursday, August 27, 1-2pm
Extension and Remote Research Issues – Thursday, September 3, 4:30-5:30pm
Leave Provisions – Tuesday, September 8, 12-1pm
We appreciate your support. If you haven’t already, strengthen our union by becoming a member here.
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