06.04.24 – Movement on Continuous Appointment


Your UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met at 9am on Thursday, May 30 at the LaSells Stewart Center. We passed 2 counterproposals to the administration team: Periodic Review of Faculty and Discipline and Termination. The administration team passed 3 counterproposals to us: Academic Freedom (which we proposed as Academic Freedom and Shared Governance), Academic Classification and Rank, and Appointments and Reappointment (which we proposed as Faculty Appointments). As often happens in contract negotiations, we expect to continue to bargain past the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and agreed to work on scheduling bargaining sessions in July with the administration team.



Use the links below to add these bargaining sessions to your calendar.




The session began when the administration team passed their counterproposal on Academic Freedom. We had originally proposed this as Academic Freedom and Shared Governance and were disappointed to see that they had stricken shared governance, not only from the title, but almost in its entirety from this article. Our addition of shared governance to this article represented our commitment to protecting the existence of shared governance processes that affect faculty working conditions. We also seek to enshrine in our collective bargaining agreement the right of all faculty who want to participate in the shared governance of OSU to have at least some minimum amount of service dedicated to this in their position description. It has become clear in our conversations at the table that the administration team automatically conflates shared governance with the Faculty Senate, failing to recognize that faculty also have a role in governance at the unit level (e.g., department, school, etc.). They did, however, agree to a single sentence acknowledging the freedom of faculty to participate in shared governance, so we are hopeful that we can continue to engage in discussion of this important subject.


The administration team also struck from this article language that we intended to protect faculty’s rights to free expression. We had included language about various rights of free expression for faculty in response to a recent policy change at OSU that restricts the free expression of faculty in their own offices. The administration indicated during our discussion that they were completely unaware of our concerns, despite the fact that we had discussed this at length in the session in which we passed the original proposal. This only increases our concern that the administration team is summarily rejecting many of our proposals without engaging with them or the issues that we are trying to address.


Your UAOSU team then passed a counterproposal on Periodic Review of Faculty. At this time, our primary goals with this article are to ensure that policies and criteria around these reviews are developed with faculty input (via the processes of shared governance), that faculty know those criteria at the start of the review period, that the outcome of every review–in terms of whether the reviewee has met, exceeded, or failed to meet expectations for satisfactory performance–is clear at the time of the review, and that those outcomes are fairly determined based on position descriptions.


We also passed a counterproposal on Discipline and Termination. Our primary goal with this article is to make sure that issues with work performance are not treated as disciplinary problems but are addressed through the review process and other informal avenues of training and coaching. We are also interested in making sure that agreements to settle disciplinary matters are consistent with our collective bargaining agreement, so that no faculty member in our bargaining unit is denied the full protection of our contract.


The administration team then passed a proposal on Academic Classification and Rank. They have rejected our proposal to collapse the ranks of Instructor (ALS), Instructor (ESL), and Instructor (PAC) into the broader category of Instructor. It is the position of your union that these divisions are no longer relevant, as we propose that all of these categories should be treated equally for the purposes of promotion and salary. The administration team did make some movement toward us in developing a process for recategorizing faculty who should be in our bargaining unit based on their assigned work duties.


At the end of the session, the administration passed a counterproposal on Appointments and Reappointment. We had originally proposed this as Faculty Appointments, as we were proposing that nearly all faculty should be on continuous appointments that would no longer require reappointment. The result of this would be that faculty could expect to have employment as long as their performance was satisfactory and their program was adequately funded, mirroring the appointment types given to professional faculty. While the administration has not agreed to extend continuous appointment to all faculty at this time, they did agree that faculty who have achieved the maximum promotion available in their rank (e.g., Senior Faculty Research Assistant II, Senior Instructor II) would be on continuous appointment under the new collective bargaining agreement. This is a significant gain for those faculty who have achieved their final promotion and represents the first major move towards us on the part of the administration, demonstrating that it is possible for our two teams to work cooperatively to improve working conditions for faculty. 


The next bargaining session is 9:30am to 1:30pm on Thursday, June 13th in Cascade Hall room 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,

Bill Thomas and Your Bargaining Team