Bargaining Update: Register for our August 3rd bargaining session
At this session, the administration presented their counter to our proposal for Remote and Flexible Work Requests. We also presented proposals about classroom enforcement of COVID policies and vaccination rates. If agreed to, these will allow our bargaining unit members to make informed decisions about their workplace safety, which is one of our members’ bargaining priorities.
UPCOMING SESSIONS – CLICK THE LINKS TO REGISTER
- Campus Reopening Bargaining: August 3rd from 9 to 10am
- Salary Bargaining: August 16th from 11:30 to 1pm and August 24th from 9:30 to 11am
Your bargaining team and the administration team met 10–11 on Tuesday, July 20 on Zoom. Thank you to the faculty members who observed the session. Our membership empowers us to negotiate robust protections for you and your colleagues, so if you haven’t joined UAOSU yet, you can do so at uaosu.org/join.
The administration team presented a counterproposal on Remote and Flexible Work Requests. This counter differs from our original proposal in several ways, including reorienting the decisions on the “operational needs of the unit” rather than the needs of faculty and our ability to do the work remotely or flexibly. Since our bargaining unit members are essential to the operational capabilities of the units they work in, faculty needs must take precedence.
They also revised our proposed process for seeking an appeal on an unfavorable decision, moving through the supervisory chain rather than going directly to Labor Relations. This creates additional administrative barriers to the resolution of a faculty member’s appeal at a time when decisive action is needed.
Administration also added an end date, indicating that the ways that this proposal differs from existing policy would expire at the end of Fall Term. Specifically, that includes the path to appeal, the timeline for expecting a response, criteria for appeal, and the clarity of responsibility for review. This change presupposes that the dangers posed by the pandemic will end before 2022, which is prematurely optimistic. While this proposal doesn’t meet all our expectations, we are glad to have something to continue to work on.
We presented two proposals. The first, on classroom enforcement of COVID policies, aims to make explicit the academic freedom that faculty have to implement specific policies within their classrooms. At a previous session, the administration team indicated they wouldn’t recommend that faculty establish classroom policies that differ from university-wide policies. We strongly disagree: faculty need to be supported in making decisions on the ground to preserve health and safety.
The second, on vaccination rates, seeks to use the university’s vaccination program to provide faculty with data about rates of vaccination and declination at the most granular level possible while also protecting individual privacy. As it stands, the employee vaccination program is entirely self-reported. While we recognize the limitations of self-reported data, we still believe that this data will help faculty assess the risks.
Together, our proposals provide a framework that would allow faculty to make the most informed and appropriate decisions about the return to in-person work while also protecting themselves, their families, their students, and their colleagues.
The next campus reopening bargaining session is 9–10am on Tuesday, August 3 on Zoom. You can 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.
We appreciate your support.
Your bargaining team