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Bargaining

We’re bargaining this year

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A Summary of our Summer 2020 Agreement with the Administration

FTE fully restored: All Career faculty who received renewal notices in May with lowered FTE will have their FTE restored to the same FTE they held in AY19-20. All Career faculty who were issued new contracts due to receiving a promotion will have their FTE restored to the FTE they held in AY19-20.

Withdrawn promotions: Career faculty who had their promotion submitted to the Provost but withdrew their file can opt to have their file reviewed by the Provost as if it had not been withdrawn. The review should be complete before the start of the academic year.

Reduced amount of salary cut: The agreed-upon employee salary cut is up to $20M over one year. In April, the administration’s proposal called for up to $100M in employee salary cuts over four years.

Threshold: The Agreement calls for the administration to mitigate the first $15 million of any losses and any losses over $35 million. Employee salary cuts will mitigate losses between $15 million and $35 million. The administration’s April PPR called for all losses to be addressed immediately through salary cuts.

Lowered the rates for the lowest earners: The chart below calculates the effective salary cut for employees at selected base salary levels with a comparison to the comparable rates in the April PPR plan. Cuts do not impact stipends, awards, or overloads.

Percentage cut for salaries of the Tentative Agreement vs. the Administration’s April PPR.
Our plan is for one year; theirs was for up to four.

Although we were not able to bargain for a higher tier, we were able to raise the amount of the cut on those earning more than $200,000 from an April 16% rate to 18% rate. The money from this increase was used to raise the floor of the cuts from $30K in the administration’s April proposal to $45K in the Agreement.

 

Delayed implementation: There are two possible times that the salary cut plan could be triggered. If the university experiences a tuition deficit and/or a cut in state funding in November greater than $15 million, the administration could trigger wage cuts to save enough to make up for a decrease in revenue between $15 million and $35 million.

It is more likely that the salary cut plan will be triggered next summer. The administration can wait until summer 2021 and trigger the salary cut plan by combining losses due to tuition revenue decreases, cuts to promised state support, and state support in the 2021-23 biennium budget.

The salary cut plan can only be triggered once and there can be no more than 12 months of salary cuts.

Research faculty exempt: Because their salary derives mostly from grants, research assistants, research associates, research professors, and post docs will be exempt from the wage cut plan. This is unchanged from the administration’s PPR plan.

The details of the above summaries will be sent to all members of the union shortly, along with information on the ratification vote.

Expectation of Continued Employment

The bargaining teams also agreed to the basis of a new system for employing non-funding contingent instructional Career faculty. We believe this will be a much better system, but there are many details to work out, as it will impact several articles in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Below is a summary of the key points. More information will be shared as we work on the details.

 Though we have more work to do to complete the full contract bargaining we began in January, and though our current circumstances have complicated all of these processes, we believe the agreement we have reached is a good one. The bargaining team, again, appreciates all the support we have received. Without member support and participation, we would not have been able to sustain our energy and determination through this unusual time, and we would not have reached such a favorable agreement.

Expectation of Continued Employment

No more contracts and renewals: The current system of one-, two-, and three-year contracts is vastly better than having no job security at all. We have, however, run into some fairly significant problems. As Deans ordered cuts, departments and units were forced to choose among the faculty who happened to be up for renewal. This led to situations where only faculty who had achieved promotion could be non-renewed, which was not always ideal. We also saw an increase in contracts that offered low FTE in the second and third years of contracts – 1.0, 0.1, 0.1 contracts. And, of course, we had the events of this spring, a disaster we cannot allow to be repeated.

The system described below would address many of these issues and only applies to non-funding contingent Career faculty. It will not be perfect, and it will not guarantee that a Career faculty member can never lose their job, but we believe that this will be a much better system with stronger protections than our current one.

Expectation and rationale: Non-funding contingent Career faculty will have the expectation of continued employment that can only be ended for legitimate financial, academic, or performance reasons after the first year of employment. Career faculty in their first year can be laid off for any reason.

Notice: Career faculty in their first year can be laid off with 30 days’ notice. Faculty in their second year, but who have not achieved promotion can be laid off with 90 days’ notice. Faculty who have achieved promotion must be given 12 months’ notice before the layoff goes into effect.

Earned seniority: Layoffs are based on the functions and skills required to perform necessary work, but layoffs will generally follow earned seniority. This means that Career faculty who have not earned promotion will be laid off before Senior I faculty and Senior I before Senior II.

Expedited arbitration: Faculty who have received a layoff notice will be able to challenge the legitimacy of the layoff through an expedited binding arbitration process. The goal will be to have the layoff notice formally reviewed before it goes into effect. This system will replace the current grievance-arbitration system that can take several months to complete.

FTE maintenance: Assigned FTE cannot go down, except by mutual agreement between the faculty member and university.

Rehire at same FTE: While we have not worked out a complete recall system, we have agreed that faculty members hired back by the university into the same category – instructor, research assistant, research associate, lecturer, librarian, etc. – cannot be hired at a lower FTE than what they held before they were laid off.

Meet the Team Bargaining the Details

David Cecil

Executive Director

David Cecil has worked in the labor movement for the last 15 years, most of those years with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. Before his union career, he attended graduate school here at the UO, earning a MA in History, before discovering that he loved bargaining contracts more than he loved 19th-cenutry American medical-legal history. He does love bargaining contracts.

He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education.

In his spare time, he drinks beer on the patio with his wife, tends to his blossoming record collection, and sleeps.

 

Email Dave

Scott Pratt

Executive Vice President

Scott Pratt is a professor in the Department of Philosophy. His research and teaching interests are in American philosophy (including pragmatism, America feminism, philosophies of race, and Native American philosophy), philosophy of education, and the history of logic. 

He was a member of the United Academics Organizing Committee when the union was formed and a member of the first UA bargaining team (as well as the second and third).

He has served in a variety of administrative roles including department head, humanities dean in CAS, Dean of the Graduate School, and Executive Vice Provost.

He sees faculty unions as a necessary part of shared governance in the present world of corporate higher education and an essential part of keeping the University of Oregon’s focus on its academic mission.

Email Scott

Kate Thornhill

Libraries Steward

Kate serves as the Digital Research, Education, and Media (DREAM) Lab’s operations manager where she coordinates staffing, lab scheduling and usage, and DREAM Lab technology instruction. She is also responsible for the project management of Digital Scholarship Center digital projects and leads Oregon Digital service management.

Bargaining Updates

Details of how the agreement is progressing.

We’re Bargaining a New CBA Year!

As part of the agreement to end the 2019-2020 bargaining process, UA and the UO agreed to bargain an MOU regarding restoration of FTE for faculty listed in “Career Contracts for AY 20-21,” an expectation of continued employment plan, improvements to the current TRP system, and a Progressive Pay Reduction Plan. On July 28, 2020, UA was able to reach a tentative deal with the administration over the restoration of FTE, a progressive salary cut package, and the outlines of how we will revise the system for employing Career faculty. The bargaining team believes this is a good deal and a vast improvement on the salary cut plan offered in April.

We were not able to reach any agreement on a new Tenure Reduction Plan (TRP) or a buyout program for those wishing to retire. We agreed to meet to try to find agreement in the coming months, because both parties agree that the system needs revising, but both parties felt there was too much uncertainty about what faculty would want and what the administration can afford to change right now. We also will discuss whether we can find a way to help those faculty who are currently in their three years before going on reduced TRP hours to avoid taking a permanent cut to their retirement benefits.

Meet your Lead Bargainer

David Cecil

Executive Director

David Cecil has worked in the labor movement for the last 15 years, most of those years with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. Before his union career, he attended graduate school here at the UO, earning a MA in History, before discovering that he loved bargaining contracts more than he loved 19th-cenutry American medical-legal history. He does love bargaining contracts.

He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education.

In his spare time, he drinks beer on the patio with his wife, tends to his blossoming record collection, and sleeps.

 

Email Dave

Meet the Rest of Your Bargaining Team

Your bargaining team is a collection of officers and volunteers from across campus. Feel free to reach out and share your thoughts about what is, and what is not working with our CBA.

Tina Boscha

Chair of the Organizing & Membership Committee

Tina Boscha is a Senior Instructor in the Composition Program within the
Department of English. She began teaching at the UO in 2001 as a graduate student in the Creative Writing Program and her teaching specialties include WR 121 and upper division science and business writing courses.

She was part of the organizing effort behind United Academics' formation and is excited to lead the Organizing and Membership Committee and Contract Action Team.

Email Tina

Maram Epstein

Past VP for Tenure-Track Faculty Affairs

What’s your current rank? Professor
Where do you work? East Asian Languages and Literatures
How long have you been at UO? 25 years
Why did you want to be on the team? I think the UO functions best when faculty are given a real say in the creation of policies and the determination of funding priorities
Where did you go on your last vacation? Seattle to visit cousins for Thanksgiving

Debbie Green

CAS Humanities Tenure-Track Representative

What’s your current rank? Greenberg Associate Professor of Hebrew Language and Literature
Where do you work? Department Religious Studies and the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies
How long have you been at UO? 16 years
Why did you want to be on the team? The union protects faculty and gives voice to our collective values. As a member of United Academics, I am committed to ensuring that my colleagues are treated with the respect they deserve and to helping the university solve problems that impede student and faculty success. I have served on the bargaining team twice before, and I hope that my experience will help the team as it negotiates a new contract. In my previous career, I worked for national employee benefit and compensation consulting firms. I have found that this knowledge has been valuable as we discuss relevant issues at the table.
Where did you go on your last vacation? Los Angeles – Thanksgiving with my family.

Scott Pratt

Executive Vice President

Scott Pratt is a professor in the Department of Philosophy. His research and teaching interests are in American philosophy (including pragmatism, America feminism, philosophies of race, and Native American philosophy), philosophy of education, and the history of logic. 

He was a member of the United Academics Organizing Committee when the union was formed and a member of the first UA bargaining team (as well as the second and third).

He has served in a variety of administrative roles including department head, humanities dean in CAS, Dean of the Graduate School, and Executive Vice Provost.

He sees faculty unions as a necessary part of shared governance in the present world of corporate higher education and an essential part of keeping the University of Oregon’s focus on its academic mission.

Email Scott

Josh Razink

Research Units Representative

What’s your current rank? Research Assistant
Where do you work? Research/CAMCOR
How long have you been at UO? 8 years, 13 if you include my time as a GE
Why did you want to be on the team? Heather asked me to.  I also want to make sure that the concerns of our research faculty are taken into consideration during negotiations.
Where did you go on your last vacation? Port Orchard, WA

Nick Recktenwald

CAS Humanities Non-Tenure-Track Instructional Representative

What’s your current rank? Career Instructor
Where do you work? Department of English, Composition Program
How long have you been at UO? Since September 2014
Why did you want to be on the team? This is work that directly supports the efforts of my colleagues and those efforts are critical to student success.
Where did you go on your last vacation? Career faculty can’t afford to take a vacation at these salary floors.

Jerry Rosiek

College of Education Tenure-Track Representative

What’s your current rank? Professor
Where do you work? Education Studies, College of Education
How long have you been at UO? 14 years
Why did you want to be on the team? I believe faculty are the best stewards of the teaching and scholarship mission of the University. Faculty are more often motivated by an ethic of service to students and traditions of knowledge than by a need to chase profitability, the political favor of wealthy donors, and the fashions of higher education administration. The University of Oregon provides better service for students, the community, and the traditions of knowledge in which we work when faculty have real leverage in the governance of the University. We get that leverage by working together through our professional union. I joined the UAUO Bargaining team to help make the university a better place for everyone.
Where did you go on your last vacation? Alaska

Chris Sinclair

President, Chair of the Bargaining Team

Chris Sinclair is an associate professor of mathematics with research interests in random matrix theory, mathematical statistical physics and the distribution of algebraic numbers.  He joined the University of Oregon in 2009 after postdocs in Boulder and Vancouver. 

Chris loves the Pacific Northwest, Oregon, and Eugene, and sees the University of Oregon as the principal economic and cultural driver of the Eugene area.  He sees United Academics as a mechanism by which faculty can help steer the University not only in the direction of sustained academic excellence but also towards enriching the educational and cultural offerings of our unique corner of the world.

Email Chris

Mike Urbancic

Vice President for Non-Tenure-Track Instructional Faculty Affairs

Mike Urbancic is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Economics, where he has been teaching both large lower-division courses and smaller upper-division electives since 2012.

He is passionate about teaching, and he loves making connections across campus both through his work with United Academics and in a variety of service roles across campus. He currently serves on the Undergraduate Council, the Committee for Academic Infrastructure, and the Board of the Provost’s Teaching Academy.

In each of these spheres—and at the bargaining table—he works to highlight and elevate the teaching mission of the university, enhance the profile of our dedicated instructors, and strengthen our institutional support and job security.

Email Mike

Eleanor Wakefield

Secretary

Eleanor Wakefield is an instructor in the English department and composition program. She began teaching at the UO in 2010 as a graduate student in English, continuing as a pro tem and now career instructor.

During her time as a graduate student and employee, she acted as a steward and VP of Grievances for the GTFF. She has also served a steward from English for UA and chair of the Representative Assembly.

Her scholarly work is on poetry and poetics, especially 19th and 20th century American formal verse.

Email Eleanor

Nathan Whalen

Chair of the Grievances & Contract Administration Committee

Nathan Whalen is a Senior Instructor II of Spanish, in the Department of Romance Languages, and has worked at the University of Oregon since 2001.  He is interested in and teaches courses dealing with cultural geography, social and political change, and artistic manifestations in Latin America.

Nathan has served as a Humanities Representative and sat on the Organizing and Membership Committees and is now Chair of the Grievance and Contract Administration Committee.

When not around campus teaching, grading, and engaged in moderate syndicalist rabble-rousing, Nathan enjoys traveling and attempting to grow and process more fruits and vegetables than is frankly necessary.

Email Nathan

Heather Wolford

Organizer

Heather Wolford joined the United Academics team in September of 2018. Prior to that, she worked with faculty at Oregon State University while they organized their union, United Academics of OSU.

Heather attended UO as both an undergrad and graduate student, earning master’s degrees in International Studies and Public Administration, and is excited to be back in Eugene.

She’s a fan of a live music, the outdoors, and spending time in Latin America.

Email Heather

Our Current Collective Bargaining Agreement

2018-2021 CBA

The Collective Bargaining Agreement is the contract between the University of Oregon and United Academics. This version of the CBA is the most up-to-date version, incorporating several Memoranda of Understanding and copy-edited through a mutual process. This agreement was extended to June 2021 through an MOU signed the spring 2020.

Have a question about the CBA?

Ask the person who bargained it!

David Cecil

Executive Director

David Cecil has worked in the labor movement for the last 15 years, most of those years with the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation. Before his union career, he attended graduate school here at the UO, earning a MA in History, before discovering that he loved bargaining contracts more than he loved 19th-cenutry American medical-legal history. He does love bargaining contracts.

He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education.

In his spare time, he drinks beer on the patio with his wife, tends to his blossoming record collection, and sleeps.

 

Email Dave