12.1.20 Covid Bargaining Update
The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met 2–3pm on Monday, November 23 on Zoom.
During our previous session, administration brought a counterproposal on the subject of COVID-19 testing that was not directly responsive to our previous MOU asking to ensure testing was covered for bargaining unit faculty working on campus without access to health benefits. We decided not to accept that counterproposal and don’t plan on bringing any more proposals on testing at this time. The bargaining team concluded that with the resources provided through TRACE OSU (if enrolled) and Project Baseline, a community-based testing initiative, and with the recent OR OSHA Temporary Rule Addressing COVID-19 Workplace Risks, that further discussions about COVID-19 testing can take place in the joint labor management meetings. If any COVID-19 testing requirements change for bargaining unit members, both parties agreed that future bargaining on this topic may be necessary.
Importantly, at this meeting, the administration team presented a counterproposal to the COVID-19 Impact on Reviews, Promotion, and Tenure MOU. While we feel that we are close to an agreement, there are two outstanding issues to resolve:
- In their proposal, administration removed the inclusion of the Unit Level Merit Review Process in the MOU stating it may cause confusion since Merit increases have not been negotiated for this year. We plan to include this Review back in the covered list, with clarification that future Merit Reviews when reinstated should be covered by the MOU. We will return to the bargaining table this coming spring over financial issues, including merit increases, as negotiated in our initial contract.
- Administration also removed language requiring that evaluations take into consideration the gendered and racialized impacts of COVID-19 on work and productivity. It is well documented that pandemic effects — such as unexpected increases in caregiving — are exacerbated by social identities including gender and race, and the administration must acknowledge these differences as they guide the review process. We are also concerned that faculty may not recognize the importance of documenting the impact since so many of us have been affected, however the pandemic has many differential impacts that may have different outcomes.
The next bargaining session is 3–4pm on Wednesday, December 2 on Zoom (Register Here!). We plan to present a response to the COVID-19 Impact on Reviews, Promotion, and Tenure MOU. Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters: show the administration that faculty are watching this process.
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