05.21.24 – Trying to get admin to work with us


The UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met on Wednesday, May 15 from 9am to 12pm in Cascades Hall. We passed two proposals to the administration team and they passed two proposals to us. 



Use the links below to add these to your calendar.


This session opened with the administration team passing a counterproposal on Promotion and/or Tenure. Their proposal accepted a few minor re-wordings but declined all the significant changes we had proposed: affirming shared governance in policy development; adding a post-promotion review that would offer performance incentives to faculty who had reached their highest rank; and adding clarity about when supervisors can initiate a post-tenure review.


We had a great deal of conversation over three issues. First, the administration team declined language that would clarify that any changes to the Promotion and Tenure Guidelines must be negotiated with our union. While they focused on how they would not want to contact us in the case of minor changes to formatting or administrative language, we are most concerned about any substantive changes to the guidelines. The administration team has been unwilling to commit to their obligations to bargain these important issues with us throughout the course of these negotiations, instead sticking with their mantra that it is management rights. This is despite having co-signed a joint letter to the Faculty Senate affirming our shared responsibility in this work.


We also had lengthy discussion over the role of shared governance in promotion and tenure. Shared governance is particular to higher education, and the administration team seems unclear about how shared governance operates and unwilling to acknowledge its centrality to the institution. The administration team’s insistence that shared governance has no place in our contract seems to fundamentally misunderstand the concept, as it is woven into how activities at all levels of decision-making like promotion and tenure have always happened at OSU.


Finally, we spent a great deal of time talking about how the administration team struck most of our language clarifying the details and restrictions on Post-Tenure Reviews. Here, as with our proposal on Periodic Reviews of Faculty, we have been seeking additional clarity on how a faculty member can be deemed to have “failed to meet expectations.” Administration wishes to reserve the right to deem your overall work as unsatisfactory if you fail to meet expectations in any single category of your work, no matter how small the percentage of your work assignment that represents.


We passed two proposed letters of agreement. The first letter continues the discussion of how to finalize the changes to instructor, FRA, and RA promotions – namely, removing the requirement to include external letters while preserving the option to include them if the candidate deems it important. We have exchanged this proposal several times. While both parties agree on the basic ideas, the administration team has insisted on including legalistic jargon that this is a non-precedent-setting basis. This again reiterates our lack of agreement on the need to bargain over promotion and tenure guidelines. What matters to us most in this letter is the ability to approve the changes being made to the language – as noted above, in the case of promotion and tenure guidelines, the guidelines themselves serve as both policy and procedure. Despite the legalistic noise, we believe we are close to agreement.


The second proposal brings back the same letter of agreement we previously passed related to support for caregiving. As you may recall, the administration team previously declined to engage on this topic, claiming that they were already doing significant work related to caregiving. In response to our request for a list of this significant work, the administration team sent us a brief email outlining plans for adding child care capacity in Corvallis, Bend, and Newport. While we laud these intentions, we are skeptical of the lack of a timeline or any firm details on these projects. Further, even with all of this potential new capacity, childcare will still be a challenge – in Corvallis, Bend, Newport, and all the other places around Oregon where faculty live and work. The administration also failed to address eldercare or any other forms of caregiving. Given these concerns, we brought back our proposal for $500,000 to be distributed by a joint labor-management committee. The University of Oregon agreed to a similar approach in their last faculty contract, and we’re unsure why our administration seems so unwilling to engage on this important issue.


We did engage in some conversation about dates for June, and the administration indicated they’re working specifically on responding to our proposal in Appointment and Reappointment related to continuous appointment. We look forward to seeing their counter.


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


The next bargaining session is 9am–noon on Thursday, May 30 in the LaSells Stewart Center. 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