9.1.20 COVID Bargaining Update
The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met from 2:30-4 on Thursday, August 27, on Zoom. Once again, most of our session focused on a proposal preventing faculty from being forced to perform onsite/in-person work when their work can be performed online. We have exchanged this proposal several times, and are close to codifying a process that places the burden on the administration to demonstrate the work cannot be done remotely.
Our proposal reiterated that potential impact on our community is a consideration in whether or not work is performed in person. This is especially relevant for faculty where outreach and extension are an important aspect of their jobs. Administration has pushed for this agreement to end just before the beginning of Winter Term, while our response included an end date at the beginning of Spring Term, with either party able to request renegotiation if conditions change. Abruptly changing this agreement after only one term does not provide the predictability that faculty need as they plan their work and continue to invest time in shifting classes online. While we are all anxious to get back to normal operations, it is unreasonable to expect that the pandemic will magically disappear by the end of the year.
The administration did not yet return counterproposals to the memorandums of understanding we passed to them last week related to testing for faculty and additional benefits to help mitigate the impacts of COVID on faculty who work in person. The administration expressed hesitation in responding to proposals that incurred expense or described “extra benefits.” We believe that if faculty assume the extra risk of working in person, they should receive assurance that OSU will have their backs should they fall ill, and we certainly do not consider Covid-19 testing or care for faculty that work in person during a pandemic an “extra benefit.”
Our next session is Thursday, September 3, 2:30-4pm (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.
Over the next few weeks, we are hosting several information sessions on key provisions of our collective bargaining agreement. If you have questions, we encourage you to attend these events. Below is the schedule with links to register.
Extension and Remote Research Issues – Thursday, September 3, 4:30-5:30pm
Leave Provisions – Tuesday, September 8, 12-1pm
To join with us and become a UAOSU member, click here.
Your Bargaining Team