03.07.24 Bargaining update – Expanding research support programs and access to Flexible Work Arrangements


The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met at 1pm on Monday, March 4 in the Ag Leaders Room at the LaSells Stewart Center. We passed 2 new articles and 1 revised proposal to the administration team, and they responded to 1 of our earlier proposals with a counter.



Use the links below to add these to your calendar.



The administration team passed their counterproposal to our Article XV: Periodic Review of Faculty. They accepted some of our language, including our stipulation that Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are not a step in the disciplinary process. PIPs are a relatively new tool for much of OSU, and this will help us to make sure they are being implemented fairly for all faculty members who receive them. The administration team rejected much of the rest of our proposed language in this article, which was intended to provide clarity and consistency for faculty around PROFs, as “overly granular.”  We contend that faculty should receive fair evaluations that are appropriate to their assigned work and have clear outcomes, since these impact faculty in matters that include promotion and merit increases to salary.  We were able to engage in some helpful discussion that will help us as we craft the next iteration of this proposal.


Your UAOSU team then passed two proposed updates to articles in our contract. The first of these–Article X: Health, Safety, Facilities, and Worksite–includes provisions that emphasize the obligation of the university to protect the safety of all faculty, whether they work in the classroom, a laboratory, in the field, or at sea. Other provisions include increased access to Flexible Work Arrangement Agreements (i.e., remote work arrangements) for caregivers and faculty returning from protected leave. You can read the entire article at the link above. 


Our second proposal, Article XVII: Research Support and Copyright, proposes increasing the annual bridge funding pool to 3% of returned overhead costs, from the current 1%. Bridge funding is a program that we won in our first contract that has been used to support research faculty who might otherwise have lost their positions due to gaps in grant funding. We think the success of this program warrants increasing the pool to continue supporting faculty who do research at OSU. Other provisions in this article would help  principal investigators by discounting graduate student tuition that is charged to grants and returning a portion of recovered F&A costs from grants to PIs to support their research. Discounted graduate student tuition has been successfully implemented at other institutions to help researchers write competitive grant proposals, and returned overhead programs support researchers at other institutions–as well as in some units here at OSU–to make their grants stretch further. Additionally, in the Copyright section of this article, we’ve added a provision for Ecampus instructors that would protect their right to teach classes that they’ve developed. 


We also passed a revision of our proposed changes to Article XXI: Discipline and Termination. In a grievance settlement last year, we secured an agreement from the administration to share with UAOSU any agreement offered to a bargaining unit member in lieu of discipline so that we can ensure compliance with our CBA and protect the rights of our faculty members. In our earlier discussion with the administration team, it became clear that we disagree about the scope of this agreement; by adding a reference to this agreement in our Discipline and Termination article, we are attempting to codify it in our contract as we work to find a common interpretation of it with the administration. 


The next bargaining session is 10am–2pm on Friday, March 5 in the LaSells Stewart Center. We plan to present our Compensation proposal at this session. Our members have made it to us clear that a robust economics package is a key priority in this round of contract negotiations. Help us make that clear to the Administration by showing up for our presentation of Compensation. Attendance is key to demonstrating that we are united in our priorities and that faculty are engaged and supporting this process. 


You can find a list of the currently scheduled bargaining sessions, as well as read our updates and proposals at uaosu.org/bargaining.


Our power in negotiations comes from all of us working together as a united faculty. Becoming a member is the first step in supporting your bargaining team and securing a strong second contract . You can become a member online by going to uaosu.org/join


In solidarity,


Bill Thomas and Your Bargaining Team