7.8.24 – Slow progress… help us make more! 

Your UAOSU bargaining team and the administration team met on Tuesday, June 25th from 9 am to 3:30 pm in Cascades Hall 20. During the 6.5 hours, observers witnessed a flurry of proposals exchanged, weighty discussions, and the signing of 3 Tentative Agreements (TA).  Your team passed Separability, Management Rights, Totality of Agreement, Personnel Records, Faculty Appointments, Termination Not for Cause, Dues Deduction, Personnel Records and Research Support and Copyright. The administration team countered with Union Rights, No Strike, No Lockout, Periodic Review of Faculty, Discipline and Termination, and Promotion and/or Tenure.  We ultimately TA’d Separability, Management Rights, and  Totality of the Agreement,. After months of back and forth, we succeeded in securing a statement acknowledging the administration’s obligation to notify UAOSU of any substantive policy changes that impact our working conditions and to bargain that impact with us.  



Use the links below to add these to your calendar.




Proposals from UAOSU


Separability, Management Rights, and Totality of the Agreement were passed together to the administration. We reinserted language codifying the administration’s legal duty to notify and bargain with us in cases of certain policy or legal changes. Your union team believes anytime the law changes in a way that makes something unworkable in our CBA, then there is a bargaining obligation; if the law changes in a way that does not render CBA language unworkable, then there is no need to bargain. The administration team had previously expressed concern that we intended to bargain over any change in the law, no matter how insignificant. We have spent several sessions explaining that we are only interested in bargaining over changes to the law that impact our collective bargaining agreement.  By the end of the session, we came to a Tentative Agreement (see TAs here, here, and here) on these items. 


  • We brought back Faculty Appointments. The administration’s counterproposal partially accepted our proposal to adopt continuous appointments for all non-tenure-track faculty, and we hope to build on this progress. We accepted some initial language put forth by the administration. However, we reinserted language regarding timely notice of summer appointments while acknowledging the flexibility needed for emergency appointments. Additionally, we reinserted language to clarify expectations of multiple and/or joint appointments, especially as it relates to promotion pathways. While we were glad to see a partial acceptance of continuous appointments (which the administration accepted for faculty who had achieved their final promotion), we brought back our proposal that faculty get continuous appointments from date of hire. 


  • Termination Not for Cause – Your union team accepted some Administration language edits. For the most part, UAOSU reinserted language related to continuous appointments throughout, reiterated the role of shared governance and the role of Faculty Senate in establishing oversight, and proposed timely notice of termination not for cause. The timing of notice, though shorter than our original proposal, offered a reasonable compromise as we seek to find common ground. 


  • Dues Deduction – Our counter proposal offers language that clarifies that an employee can request any dues, fees, or other deductions be deducted from their paycheck, which we believe to be the legal obligation of the employer. The administration is also uncertain about our use of the term ‘employee’ rather than ‘bargaining unit member’; however, this word choice is deliberate, as our union’s Associate Member status allows non-bargaining-unit employees to donate dues to your union in support of our efforts on behalf of faculty.


  • Personnel Records – We are very close to an agreement on this article, but your union wants to codify the right of faculty to see any available personnel records within 14 days of a request, recognizing that some records may take longer to assemble.


  • Research Support and Copyright – Of note in our counter proposal is the reinsertion of a 3% bridge funding pool, allocation of returned overhead to principal investigators, and copyright protections for Ecampus course teaching. Our proposed increase of the bridge funding pool to 3% from the current 1% pool is based on the report we receive from the administration that indicates the entire pool has been used every year, indicating a demand for bridge funding in excess of 1%. We also propose that bridge funding could be used to maintain a grant-funded faculty member’s FTE at 0.50 for the purposes of maintaining health insurance benefits. We explained that this has always been one of the intended uses of bridge funding, but that this fact has not been sufficiently emphasized in the current contract language. We further clarified for the administration that there is often research work continuing between grants, yet funding is not available to support the work at 1.0 FTE. Your team reinserted language regarding allocation of returned overhead to principal investigators of at least 5% with a cap of $100,000 per grant or award. 


Your union also reinstated language regarding Ecampus teaching. It is acknowledged that Ecampus is vital to the success of the university and we have excellent faculty involved in course development and teaching. Yet, there remain many concerns, some of which could be addressed in this article. Concerns include the ownership and control of course content; the fear of becoming a course factory (where we hire people to develop the courses, yet hire someone else at a lower rate to actually teach the courses); and the right of unit heads to arbitrarily assign someone to teach a course using material developed by a different instructor.


Counter Proposals from the Administration:


  • Union Rights – The administration agrees that release time is a right but remains opposed to codifying that release time will be paid for from a centrally-funded pool, despite the already-established practice of not requiring units to bear the budget burden of employees’ union release time. Release time is an important tool that allows faculty members to do the crucial work of our union. We oppose placing the burden on bargaining unit members to ensure administrative processes are followed, as this could create room for informal pressure or retaliation.


  • No Strike, No Lockout – The primary sticking point is the implied expectation that faculty would be required to do the work of striking employees, and more importantly, that such an expectation would be used by administration as a lever in negotiating with other unions.  That is, if the administration knows they can get faculty to cover the work of other employees, the administration has less incentive to reach agreement with OSU’s other unions. The administration did agree that no faculty member would be required to work beyond 1.0 FTE to meet operational needs but failed to clarify if a faculty member could be disciplined for not agreeing to a workload shift to accommodate the work of a striking employee. 


  • Periodic Review of Faculty (PROF) – The administration acknowledged the right to shared governance processes at the college and/or unit level in determining PROF criteria, and accepted our proposal that faculty receive review criteria in advance of the review. We are still seeking to ensure that faculty receive criteria at the beginning of the review period. We continue to discuss details about PROF processes.


  • Discipline and Termination – The administration countered by accepting language that the settlement of disciplinary matters will be consistent with the contract. They added language in support of informal resolutions. Though the administration team is making headway in understanding what it is that faculty do, discussion ensued on the distinctions between conduct issues and performance. Your union’s position is that discipline should be used to address conduct, not job performance. And that discipline for job performance should only happen after a faculty member has not responded to coaching or informal actions on their job performance issues. 


  • Promotion and Tenure – The administration made some progress toward agreement, though we still have a few areas of disagreement. The administration agreed to offer notification to UAOSU prior to implementation of substantive changes to promotion and/or tenure guidelines, but was clear that they had no desire to expand what they see as their legal obligations to bargain proposed changes. Relatedly, the administration continues to minimize the use of ‘shared governance’ and struck it from this proposal. 


The proposed language on post-tenure reviews remains hung-up, in part because we are still negotiating whether a PROF (as noted in the PROF article) must offer an assessment by category of position description (your union’s stance) or only an overall assessment (administration’s stance).  Despite the administration’s stance, in this promotion and tenure proposal, a negative PROF is defined as having a “‘failed to meet expectations of satisfactory performance in one or more areas of a position description.” If this is the case, then shouldn’t a PROF be evaluated by area/category within the position description? You can see our confusion. 


The administration declined to include a post-promotion review process, consistent with their refusal to agree to the post-promotion raises we proposed in our compensation article.

The next bargaining session is 9am–12:00pm on Wednesday, July 10th in Cascade Hall 120. Even if you can only drop by for half an hour, your attendance matters: show the administration that faculty are engaged with this process. 


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 Cramer and Your Bargaining Team