Bargaining Update: Register now for our next session (6/9/21)
Our union’s bargaining team members met with the administration team 9:30–11 on Wednesday, May 26 on Zoom. 23 faculty members joined us at this session.
The administration team did not bring a counterproposal to our proposal for faculty compensation for the next 3 years. Instead, they gave a second presentation of their take on OSU’s finances, faculty salaries, and comparisons to other institutions.
They talked at length about the burden of the high cost of faculty retirement and healthcare benefits, which are similar to those at the University of Oregon and the University of California system and yet they did not explain why those institutions pay faculty higher salaries than OSU even after adjusting for local cost of living.
Indeed, the administration team presented a flawed analysis of the impact of local cost of living on faculty salaries that was confounded by including “Top-ten land grants” in the pool of comparators. These institutions are both more prestigious than OSU and located in less expensive places to live. An analysis that controls for this prestigious group, and the 13% higher pay their faculty receive, unsurprisingly shows a strong positive association between cost of living and faculty pay and reinforces that OSU’s faculty are paid less than faculty at OSU’s peers.
In addressing our concerns about equity, the administration team argued that our gender inequities are not as bad as at other universities. We do not find this compelling — and the data they presented obscured the ways that ranks and fields are structures that perpetuate salary inequity by gender.
The administration team suggested that any additional growth of salary and benefits for faculty and other employees would come at the cost of having to forgo other institutional priorities. This is hard to take seriously a few days after the OSU Trustees greenlit construction on the Reser Stadium Completion project, which will cost at least $324M over the next fifty years.
The next bargaining session is 8:30–10 on Wednesday, June 9 on Zoom. Register at uaosu.org/june9. The administration’s team committed to bring a written proposal. Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters: show the administration that faculty are watching this process, and share what you learn with your colleagues. In addition, talk to your colleagues about why you’re a member and why they should join you in supporting our union.
In addition to salary bargaining, we are also preparing to begin bargaining over the impact of the fall reopening plans. This is our chance to ensure that the details of reopening address faculty needs, and such a discussion would not be possible if we did not have our union. To that end, please share your questions, ideas, and concerns. You can register for our final open discussion tomorrow Wednesday, June 2 at 12pm here, or you can reply to this email with your thoughts.
We appreciate your support.
Jan Medlock, Bargaining Team Member and UAOSU Treasurer