Bargaining XXXVII: Rudnick wrap-up

Page down for live-blog, 9/3/2013. Next session Friday, I think 9AM – 4PM. Be there.

Wrap-up:

UO’s faculty union bargaining team has played President Gottfredson’s lead negotiator Sharon Rudnick like a screechy fiddle. She has insisted since March that there was no more money, beyond her initial 10.5% offer. The union has now forced her to raise it by significantly more than the 1.25% that dues will cost.

We’re not yet up to 14.5%, but the AAUP and AFT can take this on the road – deservedly – as proof that a faculty union at a research university can raise faculty salaries by more than enough to cover dues, even in the face of a determined if misguided president.

Along the way the faculty team has written the missing UO faculty handbook, which our accreditors have been telling the administration to do since 2007. They’ve secured many important protections for NTTF’s. And while Rudnick started the bargaining by threatening that it could take as long as 18 months, the union team has played her out in double-time: not even 8 months so far.
The unfortunate collateral damage from Ms Rudnick’s incompetence is President Gottfredson’s standing with the faculty. He could have proposed 14.5% in January and taken the credit, instead of the blame, and saved at least $500K in legal bills.


Today’s synopsis:

  • Over the past 5 months the union has made big economic concessions on wages, from 18.5% to 14.5%. Admin proposals stalled at 10.5% (No compounding).
  • Today we learn that Gottfredson will budge. A little. His offer is still well below Lariviere/Coltrane proposal from 2011.
  • For NTTF’s, the union proposal from last week was for 15.03%, compounded over three years. Admin came back today with 12.4%.
  • For TTF’s, union had last proposed 15%. Admin came back with 11.8%, plus a problematic increase in first post-tenure review raise amounts. This doesn’t address external equity, the focus of the Coltrane plan. And if you just had a review, you’re SOL for 5 years.
  • Admin still refuses to make 1.5% ATB for last year fully retroactive – even though AAU salaries increased 3% last year. 
  • Instead they propose a $350 “signing bonus”. Don’t laugh, you can get some good shit on craiglist for $350. I call dibs on the goat.
  • Who came up with this $350 idea? Presumably Gottfredson’s $20K a month anti-union consultants down in SF, trying to drive a wedge between the TTF’s and NTTF’s.
  • After hearing Rudnick the faculty start leaving the room, presumably to start looking for outside offers.
  • Rudnick says Gottfredson says UO can’t afford more, because of the 3.5% tuition raise cap for next year. 
  • Not true. Every 1% increase in tuition brings in ~$3M, recurring, while a 1% increase in faculty pay costs ~$1M, or a 0.33% tuition increase.
  • Admin team is even more on edge than usual but only one outburst, this time from Gleason.

Raises: The elevator version:

We’re going down. During the first year of President Gottfredson’s administration UO faculty pay has fallen still further behind other AAU public universities:

  • Full profs: down from 85% to 82% 
  • Associate profs: down from 92% to 90% 
  • Assistant profs: down from 93% to 89%

The relative drops are mostly driven by pay raises at the other AAU schools, however UO’s average pay for assistants and fulls has actually fallen, presumably because of composition changes. The retroactive 1.5% ATB raise proposed by the admin’s for 2012-13 is only for 6 months, so it’s really only a 1% raise. Sneaky. Either way it is not close to enough to make up for the ~3% UO faculty lost relative to other AAU publics between Fall 2011 and Fall 2012. Much less enough to get the elevator going up. And the administration has been fibbing: UO benefits don’t make up salary gap.

Background:

Their conclusion is that while both effects are at work, Bowen effects dominate in public research universities, with $2 in increases due to administrators seizing on increased revenue for every $1 in increases due to upward pressures on faculty and staff salaries from other industries. Same for private research institutions. What’s more, they find a plausible culprit within universities. They notice that cost increases are likelier when the ratio of staff to faculty is higher. That suggests that when administrators within the university accumulate bargaining power, they’re better able to force increases in costs. The administrative staff, they suggest, is what’s really driving this.

By administrative staff, they presumably mean central administrators like Jim “38%” Bean. Say Jim, any update on how much our administration is going to piss away in Portland this year? Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link. From the WaPo’s excellent “The Tuition is Too Damn High” series.

Lots of rumors flying around – and I didn’t start all of them – that the administration’s haste to wrap up bargaining is motivated in part by a desire to get the economics off the table before the latest administrative bloat data comes out:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: public records request, non-classified employees
Date: September 1, 2013 11:55:21 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton Cc: J P Monroe , jbolas@uoregon.edu, Andrea Larson , cmatese@uoregon.edu, gvenegas@uoregon.edu

Dear Ms Thornton:

This is a public records request for a machine readable file in excel, comma delimited, or any other standard format showing the following information for UO non-classified employees as of 9/3/2013:

First Name, Last Name, MI, University Email Address, University Office Address, University Office Phone Area Code, University Office Phone Number, Employee Type, Academic Title, Job Type, Job Title Job Start Date, Yrs in Position, Fac Prim Activity, Home Department, Rank, Rk Date, Pay Department, Annual Salary Rate, Appt Percent Job Status, Job End Date, Appointment Status, Term of Service, EEO Type, FT/PT

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.

I’m ccing a few people in the UO IR office, who should be able to easily provide these data.

The prior data on this is from the error ridden Beangrams, and the most excellent presentations of the AAUP’s Howard Bunsis. March 2013 update for UO here:

“Institutional Support” means central administration, more or less.

More background:

Rumor from the spectators at the annual faculty club ping-pong semi-finals is that Gottfredson has told Geller and Rudnick to stop their $100K a month billing frenzy and cut a deal, quick. The large faculty turnout at the Thursday meeting had its intended effect, and Rudnick’s flip-out didn’t hurt either.

Rudnick will apparently meet with Gottfredson et al at 9AM to get his instructions. As you can see from the spreadsheet below the union has already come down from 19.3% over 3 years (compounded) to 15%, and has made concessions on health, childcare, and promotion raises as well. The majority of the faculty I’ve talked with feel that if the union offer is not acceptable to Gottfredson as is, we should strike during week one.

Synopsis from session XXXVI, Thursday 8/29:

  • Practice drill for strike goes off well. ~100 faculty show up on a summer day when they’re not even on contract. News on the SEIU strike preparation in the ODE here.
  • Some chatter about discipline for Rudnick over her disrespectful treatment of faculty and library staff this morning. Does UO’s respectful workplace policy apply to $300 an hour lawyers? 
  • Union holds firm on raises, only minor concessions. Rudnick seems to have new instructions from Coltrane, sounds ready to deal.
  • After lunch, still about 60 faculty in the room. No visible support for the admin team. No Altmann, no Moffitt, no Geller, no one with any actual authority to deal. No wonder this takes forever.
  • After getting all medieval on me for “posting of false and inaccurate information about bargaining” the administration’s bargaining team is now trying to keep me from posting copies of the presumably fact-based transcripts they’ve been taking at every bargaining session – their stenographer has been typing away all day. Latest here
  • Art 49, use of UO computers, a.k.a as the Stasi Clause. They own you.

Your Guarantee of Truthiness: All UO Matters bargaining posts are fact-checked by Geller and Rudnick’s secret team of well paid consultants, who post their spin on the official UO Admin site, hereIf you pay Dave Hubin $285.98 he’ll even tell you who wrote it.

Proposals so far:




Live Blog:

Disclaimer: My opinion of what people said or were thinking but were too decent, or well-paid, to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. If you don’t like my blog read Luebke’s.

12:55: Admin team filing in. ~50 faculty, kids, etc. Approaching fire code limit. Any volunteers to move Rudnick’s chair?

1:05 Rudnick: Thanks for delay, we have economic proposals and more propaganda about how we already spent your money on athletics and pet admin projects.

Art 24 Leaves, admin counter:

Rudnick: Go forth and multiply. We’ll give dual family leaves if both parents are UO employees. Admin relents on Ebenezeer clause: Officers of instruction can now leave for xmas and spring break without getting pay docked.

Art 31 Release time, admin counter:

Rudnick: Union gets 2.5 FTE for officers, extra 2.0 FTE for bargaining, and can buy course releases based on salary, OPE, admin costs, facilities use.

Mauer: Why not charge us the replacement cost? Rudnick: It’s not replacement cost. Mauer: Why not? Rudnick: blah, blah. (She’s an expert on bill padding issues, be careful here Mike.)

Art 20, Salary, admin counter:

See the spreadsheet, admin proposal is very weak.

Caucus break. Union team leaves. 

Admin’s and ~50 faculty stay. I start giving a thoughtful, fact-based discussion of the admin proposal, using the spreadsheet above, with a few illustrative examples such as:

Proposal: $350 one time signing bonus. This goes over like a lead brick. Jim Bean’s been getting $775 a month for his beamer payments:

Rudnick interrupts, saying I’ve got something wrong, but won’t answer when I ask her for details. Faculty start ripping into the admin proposal, asking her questions. She won’t answer them either.

Union team returns, tells Rudnick we’re moving this to Room 101. We do. Session restarts:

Gleason: While you were in caucus, the people in the bargaining room, including your economic consultant (me) were ridiculing this proposal. This is unacceptable, and I’m a journalism dean so I know all about that so called free-speech stuff.

Mauer: So, you want to talk about it? (I’m right there Tim. Why not send me another harassing fact check letter?)

Gleason: No.

Rudnick: Long bit about $350 being an attempt to split off the NTTF’s and divide and conquer. Gives a bit more to the lower classes. She tries to explain her math, Cecil finds a few errors.

Rudnick: No changes to your merit proposal. We cut your equity proposal for NTTF’s because of something the finance people said. Then she adds “Don’t ask me any details” and “It’s all in the details.” (Why didn’t Jamie Moffitt show up for this crucial bargaining session? Because the administration doesn’t have enough respect for the faculty to make the trip over from JH).

Cecil: 2% is not enough to get NTTF’s to $36K floor.

Rudnick: We think it is enough. But it’s all in the details and don’t ask me any details.

Promotion raises:

Rudnick: We accept the union’s 8% promotion raises for NTTFs. Currently there is no policy for this, so it’s a significant increase.

Rudnick: For CAS, post tenure review typically gets $2k or $4K, we’ll boost that to 4% or 8% in order to give more equity and merit. (Note, however, that this is only for the *first* post-tenure review after the contract is signed. Among the many problems with this proposal is its hit or miss nature: had an excellent review last year? You will wait 5 years to try again for your raise.)

Rudnick: Here’s our spreadsheet, with cost increases, estimates promotion and post tenure review increases will result in $3.5M or so in new costs. Pratt: So, these are just for first post-tenure reviews? Rudnick: Yes, because …. Pratt finishes for her: Because that would increase faculty salaries.

Why isn’t our $270K a year (plus football junkets) VPFA Jamie Moffitt here to explain this proposal?

Rudnick: This is a significant proposal. We worked very hard to try to put some significant extra money on the table. There was a very long discussion in JH this AM on how to fund this. (Uh, cut athletic subsidies and drop the $2.4M Portland White Stag lease, for starters?)

Rudnick: We hope you see this as meeting you in the middle. Oh yeah, we didn’t have time to do the compounding, check UO Matters.

Mauer: Back to floors. Pool is 2%. You don’t know if that’s enough to get NTTF’s all to $36K?

Rudnick: We’re looking at different groups individually and looking at other possible permutations on how to fairly set floors. They’ve run a bunch of scenarios. Their sense is it’s enough to get to a fair outcome.

Mauer: What if there’s money leftover? Rudnick: We’d spend it on beamers for the administration.

Braun: Can we see your scenarios? Rudnick: Starts waiving her hands, it’s back of the envelope, … It’s just somebody in accounting doing if this and that.

Braun: But it did inform your proposal? Cecil: I’ve seen assertions that admin is saying it would be unreasonable to pay RA’s $36k?

Rudnick: UO research grants are falling, less than came in last year, might lead to layoffs. Rudnick starts passing around her spreadsheet, with costs, talking about it. She shortchanged us on copies, I’ll post as soon as I get one. She babbles on.

Pissed off looking faculty start leaving the room, making calls for outside offers. 

Rudnick: Post-tenure reviews will be reviewed outside the department, by Gottfredson, before you get the 8%.

Retirement: Rudnick asks union for ideas on how to deal with the pickup. Uh, they did that already, Sharon.

In conclusion:

Rudnick: President and Provost are putting themselves on the line for this proposal. It will take reorganization, re-prioritization, maybe even cuts or postponement of hiring of new strategic communicators and brand manager hires. She was just kidding on that last part, I’m sure.

Caucus break. 

Cecil stays, gives the ~40 or so remaining faculty an impressive off the top of his head talk on bargaining, dissecting the admin proposal, comparing it with what the union is asking for.

They’re back. 6 die hard faculty observers left.

Contracts: Snoozer. And no, it’s not because it’s about the NTTF’s, it’s because Cecil and Mauer are on this. Just kick back folks, they have your back.

Wait – Blandy is going to reduce the amount of notice and pay they need to give NTTF’s. Current policy is too expensive. So, are you going to do the same for administrators, Doug?

7/31/2013: Back in July 2011 UO got in trouble with the State auditors for post-dating Frohnmayer’s retirement contracts and no bothering to specify what work he’d done for the money. Then Bean got in trouble with Davis for hiring his buddy John Moseley for an extended post-retirement gig without bothering to write a contract. Davis had to write another retroactive one while Bean was on sabbatical, and she chewed out Bean for it. Then in April 2013 Gottfredson announced Bean would “return to the faculty effective 7/1/2013” And now Bean is working for UO without a contract – if he’s still working for UO that is. From the UO Public Records Office yesterday: 

The university does not possess documents responsive to your request for “a copy of the current employment contract(s) for James C. Bean“.  The office considers this information to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter.  Thank you for contacting the office with your request. 

My April 2012 request for docs on the unusual deals between Bean and Moseley, including the retroactive contract and Davis email, was quickly followed by Bob Berdahl’s clampdown on public records releases, which has continued under President Gottfredson. I did get the response above without having to pay a fee, but it took 11 days

Long back and forth between Cecil and Rudnick on job security, raises for NTTFs. Not a word from VPAA Doug Blandy, who is supposedly in charge of all this. Bizarre.

Q: Do all UO departments give NTTF’s the opportunity for career-track jobs?

Rudnick: Pres wants the flexibility to replace NTTF’s with TTF’s.

Cecil: So, if we come back with a proposal that says you can cut for that, but no other reasons, will you agree to it?

Rudnick: Seems to be saying no.

Next session this Friday – not sure if it starts at 9AM or 10AM.

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114 Responses to Bargaining XXXVII: Rudnick wrap-up

  1. Anonymous says:

    So, every time Rudnick screams at someone we get 0.25% more? Where’s the sign up sheet?

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    • UO Matters says:

      Comment of the week. Contact me for your UO Matters coffee cup!

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Not sure what the optimism is based on. If they are dealing, I’m guessing the admins will only come up, but not to the union’s latest (which was already low).

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    • UO Matters says:

      I’m sure not in the mood for another lowball offer from the admin’s. If they cut it at all, I think we should strike over this and the governance, IP and Stasi clause.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’ll strike. Actually… this is perfect timing for a nice little strike.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know why UO hasn’t posted faculty salaries since the Aug. 31 2012 file?

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  4. UO Matters says:

    They’ve posted them through Feb 2013, check http://ir.uoregon.edu/alpha

    I’ve got a request in for the more recent data (should now be available for last Q of 2012-13 and first of 2013-14.)

    I’m assuming they are holding back til after the union agrees to raises, because these files also show administrative hiring and pay, and the admins don’t want want to show the new bloat and how much Bean has been getting without a contract or job description. Etc.

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  5. Awesome0 says:

    Usually I’m not inclined to link academic success to athletics, but I think the Shitfield Complex earned as an extra 2-3 percent at the end of the day, with all of the negative backlash and perceptions regarding priorities. Of course 100,000,000 to 2,000,000 is a pretty low conversion right.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Sharon Rudnick is getting a refresher on UO’s respectful workplace policy from Annie Bentz?

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  7. Anonymous says:

    After all that the union has given up, if they leave the room with anything less than 14.5%, strike dominates. Taking an external offer also dominates, I suppose.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think there’s TTF support for a strike. NTTFs are split. Can the TTF’s strike while agreeing to let the NTTFs keep working?

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  8. Anonymous says:

    Any truth to rumor MG will show up in person to present proposal and talk with faculty?

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  9. Awesome0 says:

    He’s insulted that we were insulted by their insulting offer.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    FYI, classified staff will be holding a strike vote Sept. 10-11, and if it passes, and if bargaining does not go well after that, could strike as early as Sept. 23….

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  11. Anonymous says:

    The admins are practically daring us to strike. In order to maximize its impact, a strike should encompass both TTF and NTTF. If NTTF are allowed to keep working (and fill in for TTF), the strike will be toothless.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Sharon lies… $350 as a one-time payment is nowhere close “giving the percent increase to them up front.” We don’t want lump-sum, one-off payments that disappear. We want lasting salary increases.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Sorry, but this is actually part of an 1.5% retroactive raise, new raises will be compounded on top of the 1.5%.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Time to bring out the big stick. Union is proving to be weak and ineffective. Any chance we’ll be striking this fall?

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    • Severinus de Monzambano says:

      At this point in the process, the bargaining team’s strength or weakness is largely a function of the support it gets from members of the bargaining unit. The admin team has perceived a lot of strength lately, which is part of the reason why they budged on salary for the first time in six months. There are additional factors, of course — on least the very real danger that they will be facing strikes by SEIU and GTFF come October. They know that the pressure will be even greater in two weeks, when campus starts filling up with faculty. Bottom line: the more people show up, the harder it will be for them to resist our pressure.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, one-time money =/= a permanent percent increase.

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  15. Awesome0 says:

    We still get the same long term percentage increase, its just about pissing off the TTF in the guise of helping the NTTF’s. I think they just don’t want give in on something. The default stance is always no.

    I think a strike is absolutely necessary. First football game we should tailgate and get some really national coverage on the 14th. Lets give the new branding admins some work.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Tell the national media to meet us out in front of the Duck Star.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    Sharon’s talking about unfunded stuff, but we can’t know whether she’s telling the truth or not because admin refuses to share their numbers with the bargaining team.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Work very hard? Why do we care how hard the paid-administrators worked if this is all they come up with? Frankly, I don’t care at all how hard they worked, or if Gleason cries a little bit at not being respected for his efforts.

    Your work alone is meaningless, Mr Gleason. Your team is only having to work this hard because your early offers suck. Your latest offer sucks, too, so keep “working.”

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Sharon can’t tell us the details of all the scenarios that admin has run to figure out how admin will afford all this. Why the heck isn’t some senior admin who understands the numbers here talking to the union bargaining team?

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    • Severinus de Monzambano says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Someone who won’t get flustered and weep if challenged. Maybe the Interim Provost?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, that was ridiculous

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Deb Olson asks for data from scenarios. Sharon says “Oh, these are back of the envelope calculations, not real numbers” so WTF?

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    • Anonymous says:

      If they’re shitty numbers, why are we using them?

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  20. Awesome0 says:

    Are the post full bumps retroactive? I would think that is an important way to address equity, otherwise for those that just had their post full review vs. those just having it, that equity concerns raises its ugly head.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sharon’s saying everyone is eligible, once contact is in effect–you will be eligible for the post full bump at your first major review, regardless of how long you’ve been full.

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    • Awesome0 says:

      So they are committing to raises for 1/6 of full professors each year for six years. Trying to minimize the costs instead of lumping it all together.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    So if I understand things correctly, the new element in the administration’s offer is the post-promotion-to-full review bump… I think it’s interesting that the (admittedly small change) one-time payment is tailored to appeal to the folks at the lower end of the salary scale while the post-promotion bump is tailored to the most senior faculty… Is this designed to make some people not vote to strike based on self-interest without giving substantial raises to the entire bargaining unit?

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  22. Anonymous says:

    How in the hell are “the President and Provost putting themselves on the line” for this shitty proposal? It’s an utterly gutless proposal. It does nothing to deal with the serious compression issues affecting all senior faculty.

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  23. Anonymous says:

    For the parallel world of NTTF, promotional raises would hypothetically be made moving from Instructor to Senior Instructor and from Senior Instructor to Senior Instructor II (or Lecturers…).

    However, would moving from an adjunct position to a career NTTF (Instructor or Lecturer) be considered as a promotion in this context? This seems especially relevant given the automated review for some adjuncts that would accompany acceptance of an agreement.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Can UO Matters or someone from the Union please answer this question: If TTF/NTTF faculty strike, how does our pay get determined (or docked) during the strike?

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Whenever retroactive raises are discussed, it is with the presumption and rhetoric (distressingly, from both sides) that everyone in the bargaining unit would be seeing that additional money in their paychecks.

    However, the administration’s last plan involved retroactive raises to January 2013 *only* for those whose contracts started before July 2012. Anyone who started in September 2012 would be left out completely under that arrangement.

    Do we really think that anyone hired in September 2012 was paid a salary more in line with market conditions than someone hired in June 2012? Did those hired in September 2012 work less over the following 9-month academic year? Are they intrinsically less deserving of retroactive raises? Why this arbitrary division?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Welcome to the UO noob

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    • Awesome0 says:

      In this case, I do not think there is a strong case that those hired starting in 2012 merit a retroactive raise for 2012/2013. On the job market, you know when you are starting and you negotiate the terms. Even in a private sector job you don’t show and expect a raise on day one, or even one month or two months in. You typically get a raise after a year to adjust for cost of living or reward you for increase experience and merit. You might have an argument for a retractive equity raise, but the raise in question for 2012/2012 is basically a COLA, and cost of living hadn’t changed when you took the job. But I’m for bigger raises, I think those here for a couple years that earn less than last years hires (or the associates who have been here for 8-10 years and earn less than new hires) aren’t too sympathetic to retroactive raises for new hires. But I’m for bigger raises for you going forward!!!

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  26. Anonymous says:

    I’m new to UO, but seeing the mendacity of the admin’s negotiating team has convinced me to start looking for offers elsewhere. Looks like I might only be here for 9 months before moving to a place with more reasonable policies.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Hey, I just got a job offer. I’m out, guys!!! Not even going to bother with these clowns.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Can I have your laptop? Geller wants mine back.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The UO Brain Drain continues. Soon the O will be a 0

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    • UO Matters says:

      Your comment is offensive and defamatory. Doug Blandy told us last month that faculty are not leaving because of low pay. They’re leaving because of Espy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Offensive – maybe (never liked the UO logo change much). Defamatory – how? I think you may have misinterpreted my comment. I made no statement as to the why (but wouldn’t disagree with your/Blandy’s assessment as part of the problem). I merely lamented the fact THAT people still continue to leave (discontented for whatever reason). It’s frustrating. We don’t know the specifics why anon above won’t bother anymore and moves on? Whatever the reasons, that general trend needs to be reversed.

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Well, $350 is more than Rudnick makes every hour.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Does the union have a strike fund yet? Because I want to write a $350 check to be used for the NTTFs, just in case.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Good one. I’m in too. I’ll find out where to send the checks.

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  29. Badger says:

    Rudnick’s morning mantra

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29E6GbYdB1c

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    • UO Matters says:

      Thanks Badger, I’d never seen this! From now on your Delta Tau name is Randy.

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    • Badger says:

      De nada, and I always wanted to be in a secret letter society.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Shit. $350 sure makes their percent offers sound smaller. How embarrassing this treatment will be come recruiting time. We’re in trouble.

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    • The Truth says:

      The only recruiting they care about takes place at the Duck Star.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Rudnick talked about the morning JH meeting as if MG really trusts Moffitt when it comes to UO finances. That’s pretty disturbing, given her limited experience.

    He should have some outside finance people checking up on her budgeting by now. The board will almost certainly insist on this soon anyway, and it will inevitably become public. If it shows what most people expect, MG will not look good.

    The union would be doing UO a big favor by insisting on an outside report on UO finances, before agreeing to these proposals. The president may well be afraid to question the numbers he’s being shown, for fear of looking ignorant. Gottfredson might secretly welcome the union’s insistence on such a report.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone have facts on a college/departmental basis as to the number of faculty who have left, by level, with some sort of tracking of why, e.g. better pay, promotion, etc? Is that even tracked at an institutional level?

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    • UO Matters says:

      Exit interviews that collect this information are a normal part of the self-improvement process at every well-run institution. So of course Johnson Hall doesn’t do them.

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    • Anonymous says:

      So how can we believe Blandy pinning it all on Espy?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog agrees

      This information, unfortunately, is only available, by anecdote. The only way
      to systematically figure this out is to manually go through the quarterly reports
      by department and find faculty who are no longer there the following year in
      that department and then you have to guess why they left. So all of these statements about faculty losses and who drives them away are being made in
      a vacuum. Only the Deans really know this information.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I only know of two from Biology and one from Chemistry over the last ten years. Of those, my guess is that only one of them was Espy’s fault (the biggest loss of the three sadly). Faculty haven’t been leaving in droves but morale isn’t super high and, worst of all, it’s become more difficult to recruit top young faculty here. That may be the biggest sign of trouble for the future.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dog says

      good summary anon above
      this is my experience as well

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    • Anonymous says:

      And on Tuesday, Rudnick said that grant revenue was down this year, without putting two and two together. It was as though she was blaming the faculty at large for the shortfall, without recognizing that Espy and Gottfredson are doing nothing but hurt grant (and future grant) revenue.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Grant revenue is also down because of federal funding cuts. We had a multi-year grant cut in half recently because of federal budget shortfalls.

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  33. Awesome0 says:

    I know of at least 3 cases in my department where they left because of money. They were all young professors doing quite well (in some cases extremely well), and they received outside offers which would increase their salary by 40-60 percent. The UO counter-offered with $5,000 or nothing.

    I think since the union isn’t going to get us much on outside equity raises, its probably important to shift the discussion towards improving the retention process if that’s the only method we have to address external equity.

    I’d be happy to hear other anecdotes, and if we get enough anecdotes, we could construct our own data on the matter. Does anyone have a surveymonkey pro account to do this??

    FYI, the athletic/academic imbalance here makes it easier to interview for outside jobs. When the question about why you are searching comes up, its quite easy to bring up the athletic/academic balance as a negative signal of priorities and the future direction of the university. Outside universities are very sympathetic to this issue.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Which department awesome0? From what I’ve heard, recent retention packages have been very competitive and an outside offer is certainly the best leverage. It’s really the only way to get a substantial raise, as can be seen by the fighting over chicken feed that’s going on between the union and admin.

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    • Awesome0 says:

      I’m not comfortable on specifying my department. Two of them were about 10 years ago, and the other was more recent.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I’m guessing that Awesome0’s department doesn’t go after the administrators for real retention offers. Probably for fear that it will create such inversion that they will look even worse on that front. Get with the game, though… Awesome0 is right.

      Awesome0 and others should get outside offers, and expect the UO to match it, or come close.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s worth noting that having to get an outside offer to be truly “appreciated” is the way it works in the real world also.

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    • Wombat says:

      At least for two retention offers I know of in recent years, it’s certainly not the case that “recent retention packages have been very competitive.” They’ve been pathetic. Maybe your department is luckier!

      I agree with the earlier commenter that the really worrying part is recruiting top new faculty.

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    • Awesome0 says:

      I don’t necessarily agree with the logic in the real world you need an outside offer to get a substantial raise. I spent some time in the real world, and my raises there averaged 12.5 percent per year, and I never had to get an outside offer to illicit one. I think the question is how easy is it to switch firms. In places where its easier to switch (D.C., NY etc.), so basically searching costs are almost zero, firms have to give large raises preemptively or the best leave. In situations where switching firms requires moving, raises might not be as large and require outside offers. Such is the case with academia.

      That’s actually one benefit of the rise of OSU. If its departments continue to improve and it has its own independent board, OSU becomes a credible competitor to retain our top talent which should be good news for us on average. The bad news is OSU’s rise has been correlated with our own stagnation, at least on metrics of research support.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Yes. Currently the UO administration benefits from their local labor monopsony w.r.t. senior faculty and NTTF’s.

      However I think the prospects for OSU to serve as a credible competitive force are small. This is the primary economic reason for a union: use collective action to counteract the administration’s power to keep wages low.

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    • Awesome0 says:

      Maybe LCC will provide a credible competitive force? :-)

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    • Anonymous says:

      Department by department, I could see people jumping ship for OSU. I’m now planning to send my kids there, which wasn’t our initial plan.

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    • X-UO says:

      My retention offer was 15% less than the competitor, and included a free kick in the nuts. It was a tough decision, but I declined.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Repost if you insist, but I’d rather not go there.

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      Your blog. Censor as you wish.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    At this stage, it might be helpful to compare how the admin’s present offer compares with what our colleagues at PSU received in their last CBA. If memory serves correctly, PSU’s union secured equity commitments for each year of the contract that went as high as 5%, depending on how one’s individual salary compared with PSU peers. With compression rates at UO dragging senior faculty down to 82% of our peers, the union needs to negotiate a significantly better equity agreement before I could even think of supporting a contract agreement. The admin’s proposed post-tenure carrot just doesn’t cut it. The union should insist that the admin shift the 3.5 million into immediate equity adjustments over the next three years.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe I’m missing something obvious, but what are “equity adjustments” and how are they determined?

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    • UO Matters says:

      The union and admin proposals both include a joint union-admin committee to work out the details on how to allocate a pool of money to address internal equity (across rank) and external equity (you compared to others in your rank and dept, relative to AAU peers of similar quality).

      The union proposes putting 4% into this pool starting in 2014, the administration wants only 1.5%, in 2015.

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    • Michael Dreiling says:

      An institution-level fix to the UO brain drain would be preferred to the current de facto policy of encouraging faculty to seek outside offers. Anon’s suggestion above is a good one, and UOM is correct to note that our initial union proposal included a clear set of plans to implement and finish what Lariviere and Coltrane (and Tomlin) had started. Why they refuse to complete it is the real question and further speaks poorly to the kind of leadership model currently in practice at UO. Unfortunately, the management at UO seems locked into a fight with faculty instead of proceeding to work with us to offer an institution level fix. At a minimum it is a sign of very bad advice from legal. Going on the job market involves taking time away from research, teaching, and service, and doing so implodes morale and precious faculty energy. Instead, our union, us faculty are writing policy and a new faculty handbook, trying to stem UO brain drain, etc., and do what should be a snap for our Administration at this time. Now they want to carry the fight into fall term. A little wisdom and a few million and it could be over.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Is there a merit component to internal equity adjustments?

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    • Mike Russo says:

      Michael and Others–

      I think it was Elvin Bishop who sang, “I fooled around and fell in love.” The risk that needs to be made clear is that faculty members, if forced to look at outside offers, will find that the grass can be awfully green (no pun intended) on the other side of the fence.

      More importantly, the de facto policy here (and it is the policy, as described to me by my own dean) promotes a system where faculty with no intention whatsoever of leaving disingenuously seek other offers to get their pay raised. I won’t comment on the ethics of doing this, but it does seem not to reward those who feel this behavior is inappropriate and refuse to play this game.

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    • UO Matters says:

      Like

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    • Old Man says:

      Me. for instance.

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    • Awesome0 says:

      I guess another bigger question, are salary proposals by the admin so bad and are the priorities and biases towards athletics so bad that there is nothing disingenuous about searching outside. In fact, I think I our strike should be that everyone applies for at least one outside job and forwards the confirmation email to Rudnick and associates.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What’s depressing to me is that the admin de facto forces our colleagues to behave in this disingenuous way. I know of some dramatic salary increases resulting from (not accepted) outside offers. Some even manage this every few years. These put one or two faculty way out of sync with comparably meritorious departmental colleagues. It’s sickening then how much the admin can come up with. And it’s also divisive and demeaning. Those who refuse–for ethical or other reasons–to “play the game” are presumed to have no “market value” regardless of how well they perform the teaching, research, and service portions of their job. It buys off a few but leaves a lot of bad morale behind in its wake: the rest of us scramble to accrue merit points for their piddly 2% raises.

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    • Awesome0 says:

      So you’re saying damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      I don’t know. My little league basketball coach used to say “you always lose games you don’t play.”

      Or maybe it was “you always miss shots you don’t take”.

      or maybe it was “you always miss shots, don’t take it.”

      Or maybe it was “you always lose, so you don’t play”

      I kinda blocked out that part of my childhood …. :-)

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    • Helpful Harry says:

      The “Like me” from the Old Man was irrelevant. When he was on the payroll (preMoseley), the University was well run.

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    • Anonymous says:

      ^ Michael: The biggest cost of going on the market, is finding out just how little value the UO places in us, relative to others.

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    • Michael Dreiling says:

      What a great string of comments here. I hope someone in Admin catches this and a tad of the wisdom herein. Clearly, none of these ideas mean that the Admin should give up on making sound retention moves, but come on JH, preempting the need to do so seems like good management to me. Underneath that funk in faculty morale are real discernible issues that could be addressed pretty quickly through a collaborative process with faculty. Not only does the “earn your value with an outside offer” policy create problematic moral quandaries that Mike Russo and others identify above, it results in disparities within departments that may raise averages toward our AAU peers, but produces way too many negative consequences for really good people. Putting some money into addressing equity IMMEDIATELY, 1.5-2% would move things in the right direction. Establishing a joint faculty and Admin equity committee so that the work gets done this coming term is also a real possibility… the basic structure of that format has been agreed to, so why wait until 2014-15 to begin addressing equity? The will in Admin seems to be absent. Too bad, we could use some folks ‘up there’ making a couple more bold, proactive, not reactive moves about now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Rumor is that Gottfredson doesn’t respect the faculty and is putting out a “over my dead body” attitude about letting faculty get any more than they absolutely have to. If they responded appropriately to outside offers it would be one thing, but being tight fisted generally, and not doing whatever they can to keep good people here? What a piece of work this place is.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Twice in two weeks I have found the UO’s history of not competing to keep people to be a very effective way of convincing people inquiring about my interest that I am not just trying to increase my salary here. That’s about the only way the UO administration has benefited me, I think.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah I don’t see how it’s unethical to get an outside offer especially if you have the attitude of most commenters here that this place is just soooo terrible. The question is, can you really get one?

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    • Anonymous says:

      How will these internal equity adjustments work? My department has a very wide range of full professor salaries, for example. But there’s also a very good argument to make that this range is appropriate as workloads are also very diverse. Will equity adjustments go to those with the much lighter workloads?

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    • UO Matters says:

      If you’re a JH admin, you don’t even need to flyout to get a fat raise:

      5/18/2012: VPSA Robin Holmes was one of three finalists for the VPSA job at Virginia Tech. She withdrew before the campus visits, apparently in return for a raise from $193,128 to $233,000 as of May 1, 2012. If rumor is correct she also got all expense paid trips to the Rose Bowl for self and family. Not that I’m jealous. Pretty nice retention raise, considering she didn’t have an offer in hand and didn’t even have to do a flyout. There’s more on the special treatment UO’s central administrators get for raises here, thanks to a public records request from Nathan Tublitz.

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  35. Future Farmer says:

    That’s a handsome goat. How about if we call him “Randy”?

    http://eugene.craigslist.org/grd/4041074634.html

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    • Anonymous says:

      This one seems more appropriate:

      http://eugene.craigslist.org/grd/4012261491.html

      We think he is a snubian but might be a boar, He is in rut and doing what a buck does… He stinks.

      We have had him since just after he was weaned off the bottle, he and his sister were bottle babies, That was almost a year ago. We would keep him even with his odors but an offer has been made on the property we live on. We have our doe for sale as well and two other goats (a pair of Nubians).

      The first and last photo are a couple months ago, the others are his current state of grossness… He is a pretty easy to handle good buck when he is in his right mind.

      He needs to go to a goat ready home preferably with some ladies for him.

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  36. Anonymous says:

    I appreciate the union team’s efforts, but I see the current admin offer as a failure. Strike worthy, in fact.

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    • UO Matters says:

      No Strike! I already spent Rudnick’s $350 on a nice goat.

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Will the union represent me before the administration when I get my external offer? I do not wish for my department chair to perform this task, as, in my case, the chair’s interests are not well aligned with my own.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Then get involved in the process. You can communicate directly with the admin, after all, and the end result may be more in your favor. Getting the union involved would be a huge mistake, in my opinion, as they may be more concerned about your salary going up too much as Dreiling’s comments imply.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dreiling’s comments in no way imply this, I read his post as I read Hedgehog/Fox below. Use merit and equity to correct the consequences of a de facto policy that discourages respect and loyalty.

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  38. Hedgehog/Fox says:

    This has been one of the better threads on UO Matters ever. Needing external offers even to begin to get respect at the UO creates a culture of disrespect. The assumption, bottom line, is that you are not respected, that you are not worth respecting. Just being a professor at the UO doesn’t mean much at the UO. At my previous institution, a more highly ranked institution, the assumption was the opposite. Merit (and step) and exceptional merit increases were orderly and regular. Accomplishments were not only publicized, they were rewarded with increases in salary. People were still lured away, but they were not forced away. And, most importantly, faculty were not reduced to playing the corporate game of cashing in external offers.

    Let’s be honest. That creates a culture in which mendacity is rewarded, one in which wasting time and resources is rewarded. Several years ago, after a major publication, I was sought by a number of other institutions. I traveled and gave talks and responded to inquiries. I had to decide whether to once again uproot my family (children in school, a spouse involved in the community, in education, in starting a career). I had to decide whether I wanted to leave a community in which I had developed friendships, involvements, community projects, loyalties. (Yes, loyalties–is that naive? Not worthy of a professional?) I decided that I was not interested in selling all that for more cash. Given Oregon salaries, it was actually not an easy choice.

    Then I had to decide whether to take the advice of a friend, to “play the game.” This would mean telling my colleagues and department head and dean that I was seriously considering leaving. It would mean convincing people in other universities that I was serious, and then causing those other institutions to spend thousands of dollars and countless hours in the recruiting process. It’s just the way it’s done, I was told. Of course I have seen this game played, both with faculty already here and with people who apply for jobs hoping to raise their offers elsewhere or intending to use their UO job only as a briefly used stepping stone. I have seen people network across institutions to play this game–either to win for themselves or for their students or friends.

    I decided not to do this. At some point, you have to live like a member of a society to which you would truly want to belong. If you want a mendacious society, you don’t have to look far. If you want one in which loyalty is for the naive, it won’t take much work. I can tell you, though, that a university in which the basic working principle and cultural dynamic is a respect for the professoriate, and the regular and ongoing practice is to reward its work and accomplishments in an orderly and fair and serious way–and not to simply “play the game” and encourage the shallow mendaciousness that passes for professional savvy–that university is a pretty good society to belong to, a place to work hard, to be creative and innovative, to discover, to produce new knowledge–and, yes, in which to develop loyalties to something beyond one’s private interests, including (perhaps) a loyalty to something like a university.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Amen! Glad you chose to stay.

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    • Anonymous says:

      These moral high ground posts are amusing, especially when equating salary to respect. Have any of you ever tried to allocate budgets or rank faculty? The only guarantee is that you’ll piss people off in the process, and the egos around here don’t make it any easier.

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    • Hedgehog/Fox says:

      I guess “moral high ground” is a way of being dismissive, of saying “naive.” I hadn’t thought of “moral high ground.” I had thought of the choices we make to identify with one kind of practice or another, and how we choose to sort different sets of considerations when making choices. There is an ethical and literally “political” dimension to such considerations. I don’t think claiming some kind of individual moral superiority is a necessary part of this, though–things are way more complicated than that, and different people have different roles and duties and pressures in all of this.

      And no one has said that the hard calculations and decisions you mention here are easy. Just that they are part of the work needs to be done. We need good processes supporting the people that have to make those decisions. There are folks who have distributed raises in unsupportable ways and there are folks who have stepped up and rewarded accomplishments and improved equity and overall have done things very fairly.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Rewarding accomplishments and improving equity are more often than not inconsistent with one another.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Why? The whole purpose of internal equity adjustments is to align salary with achievement and not with factors extraneous to achievement.

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    • Oryx says:

      Great post, H/F. I hope the administration pays attention to the first part, especially. And to Anon who thinks that “the egos around here” are too big to make rewarding accomplishments possible: UO faculty have *far* smaller egos than at any other of several places I’ve been. We (faculty) are fully capable of recognizing merit.

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    • Anonymous says:

      What’s the difference between equity and merit components of the proposed raises then?

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    • Anonymous says:

      One difference is that merit increases are mostly awarded for accomplishments over a set period of time–say, the accomplishments of the last three years or whatever. Equity increases are awarded when, for whatever reason, over an indeterminate period of time, one’s accomplishments and one’s salary are misaligned when compared with the accomplishments and salaries of one’s departmental colleagues.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That sounds good but difficult to implement. It will be interesting to see the details of the proposal as it moves forward.

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