05.14.24 – Our work continues



The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met at 9 am on Wednesday, May 8 in Cascade Hall. UAOSU passed 1 counter proposal (Health, Safety, Facilities, and Work Site), and the administration team returned 3 counter proposals (Discipline and Termination, Union Rights, Periodic Review of Faculty.)


How is it going, we are often asked? Our first contract was a great beginning for our union. Yet, over the past four years faculty surveys, listening sessions, and office conversations identified areas for improvement, which your bargaining team is actively seeking to address in this new contract. However, the administration consistently asserts that any language that might expand the scope of the original contract is a non-starter.  We know how important it is to recognize that working conditions are not static and that improvements are needed to adapt to changing conditions and ensure we have the best possible working environment to continue our excellence in scholarship, teaching and service. An update will be available at our “Financial Analysis of OSU” presentation on May 16 at noon in Room 109 at the MU. 




Use the links below to add these to your calendar.




The session opened by revisiting our previous Letter of Agreement removing the requirement for external letters for instructors and research faculty promotion that was agreed upon by your union and the administration. We have agreed to permanently drop the external letter requirement, but allow faculty to include such letters in Section X if they so choose. We have not yet finalized the details because the administration team wants to exclude UAOSU from participating in the creation of language in the Promotion and Tenure Guidelines. We hope to come to a final agreement on this issue at the next session.


The first counter proposal offered by the administration was Discipline and Termination. There remain a few sticking points, especially regarding personal improvement plans (PIPs). Both parties agree that a PIP is not a step in a formal discipline process and its intended purpose is as stated – an opportunity for improvement. We want to ensure that faculty have a reasonable opportunity to improve performance before moving to formal discipline.


The next counter proposal put forth by the administration was Union Rights. We continue to discuss UAOSU’s access to available campus space, and if the Administration has the right to deny access, as well as access to communication lists. While UAOSU can use email, the administration rejected our proposal to ensure access to other electronic platforms with reasons that seemed to be more restrictive than in previous conversations. The final issue in this proposal centered on access to summer membership lists, which we asked for on a monthly basis and they came back with a July list. 


The final counter proposal from the administration was Periodic Review of Faculty (PROF).  We continue to insist that PROFs be based upon criteria developed at the academic unit through shared governance and provided to faculty in advance of the review period. We further want PROFs to give clear indications of whether a faculty member met, exceeded, or failed to meet expectations in each category of their assigned work. We also proposed that when a faculty member fails to meet expectations there should be a meaningful process in place to help improve their performance. The administration has rejected most of these ideas.  They articulated a very limited definition of both faculty input and advanced notice, suggesting that knowing criteria before the review itself (rather than the review period) is sufficient. The administration also insisted that review of faculty is primarily a management right and that supervisors’ assessments were more reliable and fair than what faculty would produce via shared governance processes.


We presented a counter proposal on Health, Safety, Facilities, and Work Site. We are still working to ensure that the administration replace lost or broken equipment, provide safety data for any worksites that faculty are assigned to, and notify faculty in advance of any pesticide application. In addition, we reinserted language regarding flexible work arrangements, but added language acknowledging that flexible work arrangements are “not a right” to address their stated concern. We hope this will bring us closer to getting clear processes and guidelines for flexible and remote work. 


The next bargaining session is 9am–12pm on Wednesday, May 15 in Cascade Hall 143. 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,

Lori A. Cramer and Your Bargaining Team