04.05.24 Bargaining Update


The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met at 10am on Wednesday, April 3 at the LaSells Stewart Center. The administration team passed counterproposals on Management Rights; Totality of the Agreement; Separability; Personnel Records; and Health, Safety, Facilities, and Work Site. We passed counterproposals on Union Rights and Dues Deductions. We continue to disagree about how to describe the employer’s legal obligations to bargain. 


Please join us at Common Fields at 4pm this Friday (April 5) for the first Odd Friday happy hour of Spring Term! We invite all OSU faculty to join us for “Odd Fridays” during Spring term weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and finals week for informal gatherings. This drop in gathering is a great way to get caught up with your union!



Use the links below to add these to your calendar. Please double-check the location on our website before you head over, as there may be some changes. 



The administration team began with some questions related to promotion procedures for instructors, FRAs, and RAs. This past year, both parties agreed to pilot removing the requirement for external letters for these processes. This is an example of how labor-management relationships can move smoothly: the administration contacted our union last summer to work out these proposed changes. Now, the administration team wants to move forward making this change permanent. We asked for additional information about how this pilot year has gone, such as success rates in this cycle in comparison to the previous one. The administration team expressed urgency to resolve this issue soon. (If you have feedback on how this process went this year in your unit, please email us at info@uaosu.org to share your thoughts.)  


The administration team passed the following counterproposals: 

Management Rights, Totality of the Agreement, and Separability work closely together. Across all three, the administration team has continued to strike language that would make explicit their obligations to bargain with our union. They maintain that the employer’s legal obligations do not need to be spelled out in our contract and have expressed concern that our proposed language will require them to engage with us beyond their prescribed legal minimums. In Totality, they did partially accept some language describing their obligations to notify our union about issues that will trigger an impact to bargain. We expect to continue to clarify this crucial issue. 


In Personnel Records, they once again struck language that would have required them to produce records within 14 days of a request. They instead offer that faculty making such a request would get a response within that period giving an estimated timeline of when to expect the records. The administration team noted that providing these records within a reasonable time is their minimum obligation under the law. 


In Health, Safety, Facilities, and Work Site, the administration team accepted some changes of wording, but consistently struck language that spells out their legal obligations, for example about reporting potential hazards to faculty. We came to agreement on updates to language about PPE: that the Employer will provide any PPE required by law and/or university policy. 


We had extended discussion about language that they partially accepted about replacing university property that is damaged, destroyed, stolen, or lost during its normal use – they added an exception for employee negligence. We had originally proposed this language due to faculty concerns about property purchased through grant funding, then insured by OSU, which was then not replaced in a timely manner. 


The administration team completely struck a section on Remote Work and Flexible Work Arrangements, stating that these arrangements are not a right. However, they did accept language clarifying that this article refers to all locations where faculty have been assigned to work, but excluding remote work locations. 


Your union team presented two counterproposals. In Union Rights, we again asserted that release time for union work should be centrally funded. The administration team stated that this seems to be infringing on management rights; we explained that this is the product of multiple years of working through these activities together, and reflects the process reached with Employee Labor Relations over time. In order for release time to work, it needs to be managed centrally, to avoid tension at the unit-level as supervisors have to figure out how to pay for it. 


In addition, we continue to work out how to get full lists of faculty over the summer, when 9-month appointments are inactive. This is an important issue to resolve, as accurate lists help both parties support faculty with grievances and other contract enforcement throughout the full year. 


We also reasserted language that would ensure that our union can access information and data to administer the contract at no cost. Information requests from the employer help us identify problems and check that the contract is being applied fairly. 


Dues Deductions is getting closer to agreement: we simply reasserted language about the possibility for deductions beyond dues. 


Our website provides a table with links to the VV articles for which we have presented proposals, along with the administration’s proposals on WW articles.


The next bargaining session is 9am–2pm on Thursday, April 11 in Cascade Hall (room TBD, please check our website for updates). Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters: show the administration that faculty are watching 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,

Kelly McElroy and Your Bargaining Team