Bargaining XXV: Union to accept JH leftovers? Hell no.

6/6/2013, 8AM, usual suspects. Coffee and croissants, courtesy of economics. Forgot the cream.

Your Guarantee of Truthiness: All UO Matters bargaining posts fact-checked by Randy Geller, HLGR and their lobbyist and public relations consultant, (and former Frohnmayer aide) Marla Rae.

Prologue from Tu:

  • Moffitt finds another 0.5% for the faculty.

Synopsis from Th:

  • Union cuts their economic proposal 0.5%
  • Gleason makes his pitch for a job with Mike Andreasen in advancement.
  • Rudnick offers Moffitt’s help for a faculty dumpster-dive search for $8M in recurring funds to fund their raises. The Senate has already found $2.5M in athletics. There’s another $1.5M there at least. Any thoughts on where to get the rest? A few admin units that don’t really need to keep growing at 6% a year?
Live-Blog disclaimer: My opinion of what people said or were thinking but were too polite to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. Check out Luebke’s facebook blog too, here8:16. Still sitting here waiting for Rudnick to show. She’s probably talking legal ethics with Geller. 

Doug Blandy
Sharon Rudnick
Tim Gleason

8:25: Rudnick finally shows. Let it begin:

Mauer: We’re good on drugs and alcohol. Let’s start with Art 5, professional responsibilities. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thou art able. And on the seventh, holystone the decks and scrape the cable.   Rudnick: Sounds like we agree on policies. Mauer: great. But wait: Gleason finally gets around to reading this article, and feels the need to chime in. Pratt patiently explains it to him. Rudnick moves on to what’s fair. Could they file a grievance because it’s “not fair”. Mauer: People can always file a frivolous grievance, the union wouldn’t support that. Cecil: Exactly. Grievances are expensive, we’ve got a plan to work with the admin to develop fair policies, very consultative, why expect trouble. Rudnick: But fairness and equal treatment are in the eye of the holder. Why put them in the contract? Mauer: We’re trying to set some clear guidelines. Maybe you should try drafting some language that will make you comfortable about the goal of reducing grievances. …. snoozer. Pratt gives Gleason a lecture about how to run a department.

Long discussion about teaching overloads. Anyone know if Gleason’s $20K “administrative stipend” is related to his work on the admin bargaining team?

Art 31: Release time for union work
Mauer: 3 FTE for union officers, extra time for contract negotiations. Union can buy more release time at the department rate. Rudnick: We’ll go talk to people with authority, seems reasonable though.

Art 32: Sabbatical
Mauer: Union’s asking for 60%, 80%, 100%. Rudnick says this is higher than comparators. Mauer: So, you look to the market comparators when the comparison will reduce what the faculty get. But when it comes to salaries, you laugh when we bring up comparators? Rudnick says she’ll take this back to Gottfredson.

Art 33 Professional development:
Snoozer. Gleason tries to pick another fight, Blandy shuts him down.

Art 42 Criminal Records Checks:
Rudnick has collected many thousands of dollars in billable hours on this one. Mauer goes through the union’s counter. Rudnick: I’ll have to take this back to Geller.

Break, they’re back.

Art 20, Salary:

Economic proposals:

Original admin proposal was 5%, union counter was 18%

Admin’s previous counter:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 1/1/2013.
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit, No equity.
2015: 1.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, No equity.
No money for floors, but a committee to set them?
No change in promotion raises.
So, basically 10%.

Union’s previous  –
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 9/16/2012.
2014: 3% ATB, 2% Merit, 2.5% Equity.
2015: 1.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, 1% Equity.
2014: 3% of current NTTF salary in a pool for floors.
10% raises for promotions.
So, basically 15%.

Tuesday’s admin counter:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 1/1/2013, only on base salary.
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit, No Equity.
2015: 1.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit, No Equity.
2014: 1% of current NTTF salary in a pool for floors.
6% raises for NTTF promotions, 8% for TTF. Close to current practice.
Separate pools for TTF’s and NTTF’s.
So, basically 10.5%.


Union’s counter today:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 9/16/2012.
2014: 2% ATB, 2% Merit, 2.5% Equity.
2015: 2% ATB, 3.5% Merit, 1% Equity.
2014: 3% of current NTTF salary in a pool for floors.
10% raises for promotions.
So, basically 14.5%.

Mauer: You may be willing to give up on external equity and compression, we are not. You need to start rewarding faculty for their work and give them incentives to stay at UO. We are trying to get faculty closer to comparators. University is harmed by current low salaries. We know this can’t be resolved in one contract, but the university needs to at least try. Also needs to deal with gender and compression inequities. For retention, we understand the need for administrative discretion, but we want public and transparent criteria spelling out the scope of that discretion.

Rudnick: We’ve been back and forth, the university has already spent the money. Moffitt will look at the athletic subsidies and the other issues you raised – AHA and advancement costs. Mauer: We mentioned the $2.5M Senate resolution. Rudnick: I’ll get you the facts. It’s not accurate to say that money is flowing from academics to athletics. But Moffitt will look into it. We don’t have this information. Mauer: It’s going to astound me if you come back without data that shows these flows, actually they are larger than 2.5M. Cecil: There was just a reduction in PERS costs – why didn’t that result in a larger salary proposal from you? Rudnick: I’m sure that’s where part of the floor money came from. Cecil: So, if faculty salaries are job #1, where are you spending the extra savings?

(The two sides are $8M apart, and UO just found out they’ve got lower PERS costs and maybe $15M in new recurring tuition. What’s the problem here?)

Cecil: So you’re looking for $8M. Rudnick: No, it’s your problem. You find the money. Cecil: Isn’t that Moffitt’s job? Mauer: We agree the university spends money on lots of things. Time for you to re-optimize. Rudnick: You are assuming that JH is not doing a good job! This is a very lean budget and is very underfunded! I’m frustrated! There is no $8 million dollars, except the $100 million in reserves and the new $15M in tuition! Blandy: spending money on faculty will damage the university by taking away from important needs like administrative sabbaticals, sports. Psaki: Lots of damage, lots of lost faculty. Blandy: We are retaining our faculty. Psaki: What are the reserves for? Rudnick: We don’t have the money! We do not have another $8 million for you, it would compromise the integrity of the university! (Reserves are above the OUS ceiling. They are ~$50M higher than OSU’s.)

Rudnick: Tuition will bring in $12M in new funds, (on top of the $29M from previous increases. All recurring.) You can’t have it. Pratt: You had said you could pay $10M for raises even without the tuition. We got the increase. Put some of the new money into increases. Rudnick: The cuts we would have had to made would have hurt the university. Gleason: But we won’t show you the cuts that were proposed. Core functions. Pratt: What was the plan? Blandy: 5% cuts to administrative functions and student support, which have grown at very high rates over the past 5 years, far higher than faculty:

So the admin will not even stop the growth in these other areas to fund the faculty raises!

Pratt: Point is you had a plan to control the administrative bloat – and now that you’ve got the tuition money, you’re going to renege on that plan and keep the money. Rudnick: Yes, we are. Pratt: We know that the cuts were not going to al come out of student services, right? Rudnick pulls the Statue of Liberty ploy: “People were discussing closing the library for 2 days a week”. Gleason: After years of neglect, I can tell you that in the next two years UO will finally reallocate more of the new money that is coming in to faculty than to administrative bloat. We are frustrated by your ungrateful response.

Cecil: You need to be more transparent. Show us your contingency plans and projections. Rudnick: We gave you all that! Bullshit:

Mauer: There is no 2014-15 budget yet? Rudnick. Right. You have everything Moffitt has she gave you everything. WTF? Green: I looked through what Jamie gave us. No history, no explanations, not much in the way of projections. No detail. Not enough information. Rudnick: Public safety increase came from a recent discovery they were out of compliance. I’m happy to drag Jamie back to answer more questions or get her to give more detail. Green: If we don’t have a budget but we do have projections, there’s still time to prioritize faculty raises. Right? Rudnick: She’s done that. The JH executives got together and decided this was all you were going to get, no matter how much new tuition revenue comes in, or how much PERS goes down.

Green: Equity and inversion are big problems. Why not start dealing with them now instead of kicking the can down the road? Gleason: We’ve got no problem with you reallocating your gruel between ATB, merit, and equity. We really don’t care. But you’re not getting any more.

Green: How is Gottfredson going to hire 200 more new faculty at market rates when you pay current faculty like this? You sure as hell wouldn’t treat your fellow administrators like this, right? You have the ability to reprioritize for 2015 – start doing it.

Bramhall: Suppose we show that academic money is subsidizing athletics. Will you fix it? Rudnick: We are certainly willing to consider it. Davidson: “Go Ducks”, but how we get to the place where that’s more important than the rest of the university. I asked this last week – can we tax athletic donations for the academic side. Why is this a taboo topic amongst the administration?

Gleason: Having recently been on a Fiesta Bowl junket, I can speak to this. Athletics is too large a percentage of fundraising, solution is to raise more academic money. We waste too much time arguing. They are mostly successful on their own money, and with inadequate resources. They need a bigger stadium. We will get you your numbers but you are wasting your time. (I think Gleason is auditioning for a fundraising job.)

Cecil: You say you sweat about finding money for academics – but it turns out you have never thought about looking at the athletic budget? Why should we trust you?

Psaki: $5M for trees at Autzen, with no academic benefit, and you think there’s no slack in the athletic budget to help the academic core? Gleason keeps quiet.

Rudnick: Whatever information we give you it’s never enough, you never trust us you are so unfair to us! Cecil: So, can we hire a forensic accountant? Rudnick: NO! Trust us!

Cecil: You need to give us real information about your priorities and spending.

Rudnick: Moffitt was told to make as large a sustainable raise proposal as possible. She obviously didn’t look to hard. You need to take the little information you have and try to find more. If you do that, I’ll go back and push on Moffitt. You may not believe it, but the three of us our your best friends in the administration when it comes to looking through the budget for more money. We’ll make Moffitt come back and answer questions, though she may run out again, or stall with a lot of irrelevancies if your questions get too tough.

Mauer: Lets start with the athletic stuff. We want the detailed documents.

Pratt: We’ve made progress. You’ve revealed you have contingency plans, seeing them will certainly help us help you readjust UO’s priorities. Blandy: These cuts would hurt our other benchmarks that are used to compare us to other universities. Cecil: The faculty are frustrated that they’ve been totalled kept in the dark when it comes to setting university budget priorities.

Rudnick starts backtracking – we will not talk with you about budget priorities.

Green: I agree. I do want to know what is the administrations real long-term plan for salaries.

12:20: The End

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21 Responses to Bargaining XXV: Union to accept JH leftovers? Hell no.

  1. Awesome0 says:

    Time for tit-for-tat bargaining. The admin increase there offer by 0.5 percent only on NTTF floors. We counter with a 0.5 percent reduction in our last proposal.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Why is the union team not raising tuition issue… the admin was throwing around 10 percent increases BEFORE the tuition increases, politically implying that any increases would be the fault of highly-paid faculty. (I can see the headlines now.) Now that the increase is pending, why is the union not raising this issue, demanding a breakdown of where new tuition revenue will go. Not faculty salaries, apparently. Come on guys, grow a backbone already.

    • Three-Toed Sloth says:

      Patience, patience. Salary is coming up.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m back… the anon above. Sounds like the team actually did some work today. Please stand your ground on these issues.

      The admins have not been accountable to anyone for years… it’s bout time they opened up the books. Arbitration would be a better outcome than to back down now.

  3. Awesome0 says:

    Well done. Tit for tat!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Our team is awesome! The other team is slippery, though. And they are REALLY good at putting themselves into a trance (or many of them) by repeating the same words (they have outsourced sentences, too expensive. Got to make deep cuts to pay for those faculty salaries…) over and over and over… After a while, one feels like a performing cobra listening to the snake charmer….

  5. Three-Toed Sloth says:

    Blandy’s new rhetorical tactic at today’s bargaining session was fascinating, although I doubt that it’ll gain the administration many supporters among faculty. It was an attempt to reverse the thrust of an often-heard argument, namely that low salaries endanger the UO’s membership in the AAU.

    The argument was this: there are any number of metrics by which one can measure the quality of a research university and remain in good standing with the AAU. Faculty salaries are one of them, but not the only one. By demanding too much, you people will get the UO kicked out of the AAU.

    In short: if the UO gets kicked out of the AAU, uppity faculty will be to blame.

    Clever!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wait! Blandy talked?!

  7. Anonymous says:

    For a parahprase of Blandy’s rhetorical intervention, see the Facebook blog:
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/126059310737990/

  8. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Anonymous, the Silent Ones did actually talk today. Definitely a day to remember…

    • Anonymous says:

      Today was also noteworthy for the fact that Rudnick et co. began discussing the question of salaries in its proper context, that is: in relation to the administration’s priorities. So far they haven’t been willing to broach the subject at all, but Blandy’s peculiar démarche on the AAU, etc., took us straight into that territory for the first time. Rudnick seems to have realized that the topic had shifted only after it was too late to turn back. So I suppose we should all be grateful to Blandy for steering the discussion onto its proper path, even if he was arguing in exactly the wrong direction.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I wish to commend Bill H. for his admirable self-restraint: only one of the many “bullshits” he mumbled under his breath at today’s session made it to the printed form.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The union team did a wonderful job today.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Finally, the light turns on. Follow the Senate’s lead and make athletics pay their own way. It is enough to stomach their exploitation of the revenue sport athletes. Let’s not use academic money to help them pull it off.

    Keep digging. Without exception, “digging” has paid off on this campus. JH and the athletic department should be first on the list.

  12. Anonymous says:

    200 new full tenure professor positions?

    Maybe? with the lowered pers costs that is recurring, the already set tuition hike that is recurring, and this new refreshing idea of priorities?

    it is now time to start thinking about AAU parity and really making an effort to stay in the AAU. If not taking the $30 million recurring and 50% of the slush fund–er reserve, and pissing it away on trees and reflecting pools around ugly ass building–and applying it to raises, perhaps the entire $30 million (recurring) should be used to fund 200 full tenure positions. Remember because of the pers changes these will be some of the cheapest hires. Use half or more of the slush fund (reserve) to recruit and add infrastructure that is representative of a flagship AAU tier one research university. If we did, I bet the state or even the booster board will be more than happy to mortgage, bond, etc. for the capital construction to build building, instead of ugly ass black concrete fortress of sports.o

  13. Oryx says:

    The Union team seems to be doing pretty well. Even so, it seems like forcing this into arbitration could be very useful and informative, since the admin would likely be forced to reveal its finances, and finally explain what the black hole that sucks money out of salary increases is. To anon above: 200 new positions? From what I can tell from hiring plans around campus,the present plan is closer to zero new positions, for reasons I can’t fathom at all. Thousands more students over the past few years, 6% tuition increase* — what are these students being gouged *for*?

    * Yes, i read the fact check email. 4% tuition increase, plus 2% extorted to build a fancier gym.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that is the point the number of tenure faculty is the same as it was 10 years ago and how many of those are filled with special appointment so when they are found incompetent, lacking, or fup in our university as admin the fall back is one of the coveted tenure positions at the top pay, or used as payback for cronies.

  14. Anonymous says:

    And speaking of administrative BLOAT, the Office of Equity and Inclusion seems to be on a spending spree. VP Alex-Assensoh has professed a plan to push out to departments the responsibility for recruiting and retaining diverse students and faculty. So how is the Office spending it’s money? They currently have open two mid-level admin positions open: Director of finances and a Director of Strategic Communications ($65,000 a year each). Also an executive assistant at $45,0000 a year, which I can understand being necessary. Don’t we already have whole admin depts dedicated to this finance and strategic communications? How much work can a small office generate that it needs this level of admin support, and what’s left to support departments in their efforts?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting read. Perhaps, there should be even more regarding the board composition and the work groups in the SB270 legislation. The source is pretty bias but, they do say that public boards tend to listen to their faculty less than privates.

    http://www.aaup.org/report/faculty-communication-governing-boards-best-practices

    o

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