Sharon Rudnick, when delivering the administration’s counter-offer last week:
“You can argue whatever you want. This is what it is. This is our best offer. You can make all the accusations you want.”
Our proposal would redirect 2% of the university’s total operating budget by fiscal year 2015. Their proposal would equate to around 1% of the total operating budget for the same period. The difference is not monumental. Yet the administration’s bargaining team was stubborn in its insistence that our proposal is too expensive.
Vice-President Moffitt explained at great length the university’s revenue streams, its expenses, and its unrestricted net assets. What she did not explain specifically is what the fixed expenses cover; what the administration’s spending priorities are; and what principles guide the university’s budget policies. The information she provided gave no evidence that the administration has been rethinking the way it distributes funds. Instead, she and her colleagues propose to raise tuition in order to raise salaries. Well, tuition has been rising every year for many years, and it hasn’t resulted in increases to the instructional budget in general or faculty salaries in particular.
We believe that a re-examination of how funds are presently distributed within the university would lead to different solutions. Finding these solutions together would be a much more productive way to spend our time at the bargaining table than having to listen to reasons why, for example, the administration finds it hard to create one printed copy of the Faculty Handbook (to which they finally agreed) or why they think defining “University” as “University of Oregon” solves our (and the Senate’s) objection to their calling themselves the “University.” But since the administration isn’t having that conversation, the union will start collating the many ideas we’ve been hearing from across the UO community—NTTF, TTF, ORs, OAs, staff, and students—for saving money and rethinking the budget. …
The University of Oregon is ranked 9th out of 9 AAU comparator universities in salaries, and the administration’s meager proposal will not change this fact. We acknowledge their team’s willingness to discuss adding back compression/equity and salary floors, but we do not accept their assertion that they have no other resources to put towards our proposal. We reject their premises and methodology. We will be pushing them to take seriously the need to rethink their spending priorities and to work with us to make faculty what they say we are: the top priority. We welcome your support and encourage you to attend our next sessions on Tuesday, May 7, and Thursday, May 9.
4/29/2013: The guy that Jamie Moffitt sent to the Thursday bargaining session to answer questions about how UO couldn’t afford to pay its faculty? He got an 18% raise over the past 2 years:
I’m sure he’s earning it. Probably more than Moffitt earned her own 75% raise – which she got after a failed search for an outside VPFA. She was on the search committee that made the call. No conflict of interest there!