Union Bargaining XIV: Gottfredson’s response is to stall

Venue: Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Thursday 3/21/2013.

Postscript:

Prologue: (Comparator gaps by dept here, what to cut here, Moffitt’s secret budget here.)

You might have thought Michael Gottfredson would have asked Kitzhaber for authority to deal with UO’s faculty pay problem, before he agreed to take the UO president’s job. But maybe he was more concerned about pinning down his own $540K salary. For comparison, the Chancellor of UCLA gets $425K, after 6 years in the job.

In Sept 2011, Lariviere wrote to OUS, in defense of his plan to get UO salaries to our comparators, despite the state salary freeze in place at the time:

Read it all here, lots of stuff about NTTF raises too. The salary freeze has been history for 2 years, Pernsteiner leaves in 11 days. PSU and OSU faculty have had raises, so have UO’s OAs, and many central administrators. On Tuesday, in Session XIII, the union proposed a realistic, comprehensive salary package with both merit and external equity comments, along the lines of the 2011 proposal from the administration – which was supposed to have been fully implemented by 2013-14.

But President Gottfredson’s administrative bargaining team responded to the union’s proposal to at least make a bit of progress on this by 2015-16 with sarcasm and ridicule. VPFA Jamie Moffitt said that despite having reserves above the OUS *maximum* UO could not afford these raises – but she won’t show her budget forecasts. Doug Blandy denied that faculty were leaving over salaries. Rudnick suggested that the AAU peer group comparisons were now irrelevant, and that UO couldn’t afford both wi-fi and competitive faculty pay, and that faculty would need to pick one or the other.
Cast: Blandy and Slim and helper lawyers, no Gleason, no Altmann.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, were thinking, or of their treppenwitz. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Liveblog:

Act I:

Rudnick: Trying to drag this out in hopes union members will get nervous about Beangram on raises. Admin can’t assess raise proposal without total compensation package (inclusive of leaves, sabbaticals, etc). The take it or leave it approach doesn’t work for Rudnick after all? We met yesterday about your salary proposals but we don’t have a response. Moffitt is “costing them out” and comparing to her secret budget projections. Here’s hoping she’s also going through the list of admin bloat.

Admin response to Art 6: Dues:

Rudnick: blah, blah. Gleason walks in, looking pissed about something, as usual.

Art 18: Union proposal on Discipline and Termination.

Gleason perks up. This has new relevance giving the Olmsted incident last week. Mauer drops an Arlo reference. Chuckles from the faculty team and the group W bench. Admins apparently are not fans. Mauer goes through their list step by step, explains problems, explains that they have not clarified previous questions as they promised, explains what union does accept, explains objections. Hits them on the petty stuff they inserted in the contract even though it’s already covered under law. Union does not propose docking admin pay for bowl game junkets.

Rudnick: Sec 9: Intended to treat unapproved leave as “voluntary resignation”. Not discipline. Mauer: Arbitrator would normally say that the employer had an obligation to investigate the circumstances. Here? Rudnick: Putting that aside, If the terms of the section were complied with, we would not want an arbitrator to be able to arbitrate – they’ve abandoned their job. Mauer: Some anthropologist is incommunicado in the field. You fire them. No grievance or arbitration where they could explain the circumstances? Rudnick: Your sec 9 is unclear. Mauer: Agreed, we withdraw this section for now.

Brief break, admins chatting with Doxsee about what a shame it is that the faculty has made this process so adversarial, given how well-managed the university has been. To them, we’re a bunch of ingrates.

Rudnick: What actions away from work would be grounds for discipline? Your section seems narrow. Suppose a professor was engaged in visiting pornography websites not adult pornography ones like the Nu Bay Porn Site but instead child pornography websites, but not involving a university student, and during the summer. Mauer: There are volumes of arbitration allowing that actions outside the workplace would be grounds for discipline. Rudnick: But your language would not seem to allow that discipline. You limit just cause in the contract. Mauer: Typical contract language just says “just cause and progressive discipline” because there’s so much labor law explaining the details. You want to add more specifics.

Mostly this is about the administration trying to make the faculty look bad, and trying to paint the administration as the guardians needed to protect the students and community from the crazy professors.

Rudnick: OK, maybe this list of things was not required, I’m coming around to your view, after charging you $10K to write this crap, and arguing about it for weeks. Now I’ll go charge you to cut and paste the language from your proposal.

FWIW, the administration now admits that there are emails between their bargaining team members about child porn:

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “a copy of any emails containing all of the words ‘child’, ‘pornography’ (or porn) and ‘union’, sent or received by Michael Gottfredson, Randy Geller, Doug Park, Tim Gleason, Doug Blandy, Barbara Altmann, or Jim Bean, from 1/1/2013 to the present [2/08/2013]”, on 02/08/2013, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request. By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests. The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $879.75.

Tim Gleason was the first to bring this up, at a bargaining meeting back in December. I assume these emails are about how to use this paedophilia ploy to attempt to embarrass the faculty. But I don’t think I’m going to pay them $879.75 to see the sordid details, especially since Rudnick now seems happy to drop the whole thing.

Art 21. Fringe benefits: Union proposal.

Mauer
: Vouchers for child care – some tax advantage to employees and UO from this. $625 per term if over 0.5FTE, and reimbursement for special events held at night. Gleason: You want the current TRP or a TRP? Could we change it? Mauer: Through negotiations. Rudnick: What would this cost? Mauer: We don’t know, we will estimate.

My back of the envelope: about half what we give JH for their bowl game junkets. Here’s Lorraine Davis’s deal – UO pays for her spouse and kids to go to Pasadena:

Art 25. Termination of TTF not for cause. Union proposal.

Mauer: Standard AAUP stuff on how universities can terminate tenured faculty only after showing financial exigency, etc. Bean gets a much better deal as terminated provost – full year’s provost’s pay.

Art 39: Notification. Boilerplate.

Art 42: Criminal background checks:

Currently not required by UO policy for all faculty. Rudnick thinks they are. Gleason thinks it should be. Confusion reigns. Rudnick will check.

Rudnick wants the university to be able to decide for itself what crimes affect job performance. She wants all criminal convictions reported to the provost – otherwise the university would never know and be able to make it’s own decision. Seems reasonable – this would be convictions, not just arrests or charges. Gleason just can’t keep quiet – what kind of criminal activity is not relevant to being a public employee? Mauer: Suppose a physics professor got convicted of bigamy… Why is no one talking about getting busted for pot? Davidson: Some things are criminal, very embarrassing to have to tell your supervisor, but totally unrelated to your work as a professor.

I’ve got a proposal: Jamie Moffitt agrees to share the university’s financial info with the faculty, and I’ll tell interim Provost Bean all about my criminal history as a transvestite prostitute in Salt Lake City.

Art 43: Drugs and Alcohol, union counterproposal

Mauer: We think this addresses your concerns. (To me this seems like another article where the administration is just trying to use the contract language as a chance to enumerate all the bad and sad things that can happen to human beings, with the faculty as examples, to try and show how difficult a job the administration has managing such a troublesome lot of cantankerous drunks and stoners). Rudnick starts picking at it. Gleason’s tell: he rubs his fingers together whenever Rudnick says “discipline”.

Break

Mauer: We will send you all our economic proposals ASAP so you can get Moffitt to do her secret costing analysis and give us the money before it all gets spent on your legal fees, guns, and baseball subsidies.

Rudnick: We will not have a response to your raise proposal by next session either, because our people are on vacation.

Next session Tuesday, April 2, same room. Meeting closes with Mauer leading the faculty in song, as Rudnick et al slink out in discouragement:

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12 Responses to Union Bargaining XIV: Gottfredson’s response is to stall

  1. Anonymous says:

    Is it currently required of faculty or administers to report being convicted of a crime?

  2. Awesome0 says:

    What about athletics coaches? Do NCAA infractions count as crimes?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, that’s just rich white guys taking the money that black athletes earned.

    • Anonymous says:

      What about the new private board members? Will they get background checks and have to fess up when they diddle the babysitter?

      When we name a building after a person is there a background check or check, for drugs?

      How about advancement and upper admin? Piss tests and background checks for all!

  3. Awesome0 says:

    I wonder what the athletics boosters, oops I mention potential UO board members are saying about their opinions of unions and how to deal with them…..

  4. Anonymous says:

    The part I like best is the comment about Doxsee’s off the record chat with the “admins.” I’ve overheard such conversations myself in other venues.

    The admins don’t appear to be bright enough to zip it.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve also heard their chatter here and there. You’re so right. Their cockiness outpaces their smarts, I’m afraid.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Scott Pratt on trumpet?

  6. Three-Toed Sloth says:

    I guess this means there won’t be any bargaining sessions during the summer, when all the perfessers are on vacation.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fishwrapper sez: Can’t wait to see the “fact check” on this episode…

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