Bargaining XXXX: Pay, Consulting, NTTF’s, Free Speech, IP, Computers, Termination

Thursday, September 12, 1pm-5pm in Knight Library 101. This is the big one, be there. not the end, bring more colleagues next time, we’ll probably need an even bigger room as start of term approaches and raises, consulting, and IP come up.

PDFs of proposals submitted 9/12/2013 here.

Disclaimer: My respectful 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.

Synopsis: 

Where’s interim Provost Scott Coltrane? Trying to cover his ass and get the permanent title.

The well paid but increasingly pathetic administration bargaining team has abandoned many of their long cherished proposals to punish the faculty for unionizing, take back faculty rights, and limit NTTF protections. The faculty union team is putting up counter after counter, signing off when the administration responds reasonably, and sticking to its guns when they don’t.

On raises, Gottfredson has known for a while that Rudnick and Moffitt’s claims that “the well is dry” aren’t true. But he’s just realizing that this will soon be common knowledge. Time is on the faculty’s side, and that also is common knowledge. If he’s smart he’ll do the backwards induction, jump to the unique sub-game perfect Nash equilibrium, and we’ll have a reasonable contract early next week.

Or at least that’s the theory, for rational agents.

In practice:

  • Gottfredson finally caves on his free speech restrictions, after being publicly shamed for them (con rispetto). Still work to be done on explicit protections for faculty who criticize the administration. Not that I ever would.
  • What do we have to do to get a similar story out on Gottfredson’s IP and consulting power grabs and his failure to be transparent about UO’s financial situation?
  • Contracts: Admin cuts union proposal for guaranteed contracts lengths, but keeps the principle of gradually longer contracts for NTTF’s as their rank increases, waffles on reasons for non-renewals.
  • Admin computer snooping: Rudnick: We backed off our previous claims that faculty had no expectation of privacy, after widespread faculty outrage. Now you’re trying to exploit our mistake to get a reasonable policy. That’s cheating!
  • That fact-checking job didn’t work out, so the admin team tries VPAA Barbara Altmann at the bargaining table: “That’s a very good question. I’m going to have to stop and think.” Rudnick shuts her up.

Voodoo is here:

Meanwhile the Insidehighered.com story on the academic freedom fight at UO is attracting a lot of comments there, and new visitors to UO Matters:

Rumor has it Howard Slusher will be replacing Sharon Rudnick at the bargaining table. She’s working on a case for Philip Morris, presumably pro-bono.

Sharon Rudnick delivers President Gottfredson’s message on the prospects for faculty raises:

“The well is dry. Hear me please. The well is dry.”

But “it’s a watershed moment”, and that water is flowing a little more freely over in the athletics department:

Synopsis from XXXIX:

  • Rudnick lectures faculty: Give up: “you all need to get focused on your students.”
  • Use of UO computers and networks: Geller is no longer claiming he can look at anything on your computer for any reason, but still reserves the right to look at it for any legal “administrative reasons”. Rudnick tries to sell this as a concession, raising the question of whether or not they meant “illegal” administrative reasons in their previous proposal. President Gottfredson signed a Senate approved policy in February, but the procedures required by that policy were still not in place as of August.
  • Academic Freedom and Free Speech: Current UO policy: “Free inquiry and free speech are the cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. Expression of diverse points of view is of the highest importance, not solely for those who present and defend some view but for those who would hear, disagree, and pass judgment on those views. The belief that an opinion is pernicious, false, and in any other way despicable, detestable, offensive or “just plain wrong” cannot be grounds for its suppression.” Admins propose to strike all this language.
  • Consulting and Intellectual property: sides are miles apart. Discussion to continue Th at 1PM.
  • Good news: UO’s US News ranking improves, which will mean a further strengthening in UO’s finances.
  • Salary: Goat is still on the table, union counter on Thursday? 
  • Retirement: Sitting on ~$150M in reserves, Jamie Moffitt wants the faculty to bear all the downside risk of an end to the 6% pickup.
  • Bottom line: Supposedly Gottfredson wants this deal done, but he is still trying to take back faculty rights that we have under current UO Intellectual Property, Academic Freedom, and Consulting policies.
Synopsis from XXXVII:

    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%
    XXXX: Live-Blog:

    Good turnout. Donuts arrive. Looks like well over 100,000 kilocalories from here. Get yours!

    Barbara Altmann, putative author of the administration’s fact check pages, shows up to work the crowd. First times she’s shown up for 4 months?

    Rudnick: Barbara is here to talk about NTTF’s, and because she’s the only administrator left who we think might have a shred of credibility with the faculty. Debatable after this post – she won’t even answer emails about what’s posted on the admin fact check page.

    Art 23 Retirement, admin counter.

    Rudnick: 6% pickup, blah, blah, yada yada. I’m waiting for the union team to explain it.

    Mauer: Your proposal requires a causal connection between the state ending the pickup and cutting the budget. Rudnick: We agree that one legislators statement would not suffice to establish this. Mauer: Grievable. Rudnick: Yes.

    Cecil is hilarious.

    Braun catches Rudnick on coverage for ORP folks. Rudnick: We could add that.

    Academic Freedom and Free Speech, admin counter

    Rudnick: We added free speech back in the title and the unenforceable preamble. We take out “civilly” and now say “with respect” – which sounds better in Italian.

    Section 3: Admin now agrees to incorporate by reference the excellent language in the current Senate policy approved by President Lariviere in 2010, though Gottfredson manages to do that without saying the dread word “Senate”.

    Cecil: What’s the assurance that the University might no change Lariviere’s policy? Rudnick: You can put it in the appendix.

    Mauer: We disagreed about whether the freedom to criticize the administration is academic freedom or free speech, but I take this to mean that you agree that it exists, though you’re still not sure exactly why? Rudnick: Correct. To us it’s a distinction without meaning.

    Davidson: What about speech off campus, e.g. a City Club meeting, as a professor.

    Gleason: How could the university take action against a person for free speech. I can’t imagine an activity where the university would be able to discipline them. (Really Tim? No child porn examples for us this time?)

    Rudnick: I think that faculty speech off campus would be covered by the same rules as on campus speech.

    While the administration has backed down a lot, they are still unwilling to explicitly provide the protections for faculty who who criticize the administration that the Senate proposed in April, and which Gottfredson rejected.

    Here’s a clip from Margie Paris’s admirable rewrite of the Geller proposal, presented at the 4/17 meeting. Geller had removed “they are entitled to comment on our criticize University policies or decisions” from the original draft, and added a lot of other restrictive language. Ms Paris fixed it, and the Senate unanimously approved it. Then Gottfredson wouldn’t sign it. Why can’t we get that explicit protection in this contract?

    Article 9, contracts. Admin counter.

    Admin cuts union proposal for guaranteed contract lengths, but keeps the principle of gradually longer contracts for NTTF’s with longer time at UO. E.g. Senior Instructors get at least 2 years. (Union proposed 3).

    Mauer to Altmann: Why did you drop our language about reasonable standards for termination?

    Altmann: Lots of hypotheticals, e.g. we need to change from NTTF’s to TTF’s to teach more grad students (and fewer undergrads?)

    Mauer: Tries to pin her down – what would you agreed to? List of what reasons are allowed and what are not. Do you agree that there are some circumstances which are justification for non-renewal and others that are not?

    Blandy: There’s already plenty in the contract for NTTF guarantees. We’ve given up enough.

    Cecil: Barbara, you said you’d come up with 12 hypothetical reasons for legitimate non-renewals but you won’t tell us what they are. We’ve come so far – you now agree you can’t fire someone for filing a grievance. So why not agree you can’t terminate them for no reason?

    Rudnick: This is too much to deal with in one contract. The well of additional protection for NTTF’s is running dry.

    HAVE SOME DONUTS!

    Cecil: About up and out. Can a department establish a policy for up or out? Barbara starts talking, Rudnick interrupts: Under some circumstances, yes.

    Cecil gets into the nuts and bolts of proving non-renewal was not legit, given that the university will hide the documents, claiming attorney work-privilege.

    Faculty start giggling uncontrollably at Rudnick. She says she does not appreciate not being treated with respect. So, now we’ve got an operational definition of “respectful” in the free speech policy: No giggling.

    Rudnick: Don’t hold me to this, I’m not sure if Geller would agree, but how about if we say we have to provide a reason when we don’t renew someone?

    Wow. Did she really just say that? Green jumps on the idea. Blandy seems to agree. Then Rudnick pulls out her lawyer stuff, realizes it’s not going in a good direction, starts babbling.

    Green: You’ll provide an evidence based reason?

    Rudnick gets nervous. Altmann proposes the admin team tries to draft some language. Rudnick calls for a caucus break, desperate to get her team out of the room before they say too many more reasonable things.

    Braun wants to pin the admins down before allowing them to leave the table: What’s the connection between reviews and contract renewals? Can an NTTF get an excellent review, then get canned for some reason not related to their performance?

    Braun wants Altmann and Blandy to respond. Altmann: “That’s a very good question. I’m going to have to stop and think.” Lame.

    Blandy: After 8 months and $500K in Sharon’s pocket we’ve finally agreed to your proposals to help build a university where NTTFs would be treated with respect by the administration and be able to build a career here. Isn’t this bargaining going well!

    Barbara speaks out of turn: How about if we talk about maximum contract length now? Rudnick: Uh, no, lets not.

    Blandy: I know that we used the uncertainty of university budgeting to argue for a new UO Board, but now that we’ve got that we’re changing the story and blaming our consistent failure to budget on Brad Shelton and his budget model. So, we’ve got a problem with the April 1 deadline for renewals. How about May?

    2:27, caucus break
    3:20, they’re back. Still donuts, come on down, just don’t report them on the HEM form.

    Rudnick: Back on contracts. We will agree to a written explanation for non-renewal. Provost would have to sign it, so it would have to be articulated.

    Mauer: So, it could just say “We’re going in a different direction and you’re not part of it.” Not worth much Sharon, with respect. Mauer proposes better language.

    Rudnick: Starts to fall back into pissy mode. She’s very disrespectful, though not actually screaming this time. You could grieve that! We’re not willing to do that! It means that NTTF’s would have a job unless we could provide a reason to terminate them. (WTF?)

    Rudnick: “We do not have authority and will not agree to make termination decisions subject to any kind of cause or legitimacy review.”

    MOU on one-time reclassification of adjuncts, union proposal.

    This is about whether long-time part-time adjuncts will be eligible for one-year NTTF contracts. Braun gives a passionate, rational explanation.

    Rudnick: But your language would allow someone who has taught 1 class a year for 3 years to get a career contract.

    Braun: A one-year contract. Is that so horrible?

    Rudnick: We’ll need to caucus. Meanwhile, lets go on.

    Art 25: Termination for financial exigency or reorganization. Union counter.

    I’m eating pizza, read Luebke’s blog.

    Art 14: Appeal of tenure denial, union counter.

    I’m still eating pizza, read Luebke’s blog.

    Acceptable use of university computers and network, Union counter.

    Union’s Section 7 calls for a reasonable expectation of privacy for email, files. Requires admin to have a demonstrably legitimate reason to access info. Admins must notify the union and explain their reasons when admins start snooping around.

    Rudnick: Can we delete section 7 and incorporate current policy?

    You’re kidding me.

    Rudnick starts explaining why this would be OK. Even she doesn’t believe what she’s saying.

    Mauer: No, we like section 7 and the “reasonable expectation of privacy ….”

    Rudnick: That’s a legal term and we don’t want to have it in a contract, in case some lawyer might then try to use it to protect the faculty. If you take that out, we’ll sign this now.

    Mauer: No.

    Gleason: Tries to speak, not making sense, Rudnick won’t look at him. Mauer runs circles around him.

    Rudnick: We backed off our previous claims that faculty had no expectation of privacy, because of widespread faculty outrage. Now you’re trying to exploit our mistake to get a reasonable policy. That’s cheating!

    Rudnick thinks the union’s use of “reasonable” is unreasonable.

    Mauer: Let’s take a quick caucus and Rudnick and I can have a secret talk. Rudnick. Thanks.

    4:24, break. Lots of pizza and donuts left. 

    Here’s the policy that Rudnick wants the union to accept in lieu of Sec 7 above: http://policies.uoregon.edu/node/215

    Only authorized personnel [“Authorized Personnel” are persons, including employees, students, vendors, visitors, affiliates, and courtesy faculty, who have been authorized by UO to interact with information assets] may have access to the information assets. Such access may be granted only to the extent and for such time that a business need exists. Access shall be limited, using technical or procedural controls, to the least permission necessary for the performance of duties. The data owner [The Administration] is responsible for determining who may be granted access to data and information assets for which the data owner is responsible. A record of the request for access and grant of authority to access data or information assets shall be maintained by the data owner. [But does not need to be shown to the faculty.] It is the responsibility of all authorized personnel to protect data and information assets from unauthorized change, destruction or disclosure.

    So, don’t delete any of the files on your computer without authorization from Randy Geller.

    5:22, Union team is filtering back in, no admins yet. Cecil is ready to bargain all night, but library closes at 6, we’ll see what happens.

    5:40, they’re back.

    MOU on adjuncts. Rudnick: admin accepts. Wow, how many hours did Rudnick bill to fight this before finally agreeing to it with no changes?

    Art 14, promotion appeals:

    Rudnick: We changed it so the Provost appoints the members to the appeals committee. Blandy: Union can nominate a member, but Provost can reject. Otherwise OK. Mauer: Maybe.

    Termination w/o cause:

    Rudnick: Randy needs to read it, but thinks we’re close. He expresses his respect for the union’s work.

    Conflict of Interest. This is the missing admin proposal that has been holding up a union response to their power grab on consulting.

    Rudnick: Our proposal “clarifies and in some cases changes current UO policy” which the Senate approved just a while ago after much consultation and discussion.

    Art 30, on Overhead and Transparency:

    Rudnick: We haven’t talked about that with Randy yet, he starts chewing the rug whenever I mention transparency.

    Consulting: 

    Cecil: Current UO policy only requires prior approval for a few things. Your proposal seems to require prior approval for almost everything. What problems have arisen that motivate your drastic changes?

    Rudnick: I don’t know.

    Bramhall: When the admin tried to pull this a few years ago there was an uprising, long Senate debate, and a new policy was arrived at after much discussion. Why this sudden change, without notice or faculty consultation?

    Rudnick: No answer, she just looks very sad and tired.

    New bargaining sessions:

    Rudnick: This was the last scheduled session, we’ll talk about where we go from here.

    Mauer: Makes sense, we’d like to get you to agree to a schedule that will allow us to wrap this up next week.

    Rudnick: OK.

    5:52: That’s it for this week, see you next.

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    14 Responses to Bargaining XXXX: Pay, Consulting, NTTF’s, Free Speech, IP, Computers, Termination

    1. Anonymous says:

      This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Today will be exciting–the Union should be in NO HURRY to settle since SEIU just authorized a possible strike. The students are supporting them and the faculty should too. So how convenient–we can make Week of Welcome truly exciting.
      I really look forward to it.
      They have plenty of money since they have been sacking away our Cost of Living increases for five years at least. The Union can’t even call the “Across-the-Board” portion of raises “COLA” since it does not come close to making up for our lost COLA.
      The administration thinks we should just say “Thank you”–but that is ridiculous.
      We will say Thank You when they begin to be fair.
      As Mauer apparently said at the last meeting–“I’m just warming up.”
      The faculty should be in NO HURRY to settle–we have every right to insist on a FAIR CONTRACT.
      Perhaps today will determine whether we join SEIU all the way, or just stand in support.

    3. Anonymous says:

      it’s becoming an international news story.

    4. Anonymous says:

      PIZZA is here at bargaining–come on down!!!

    5. Anonymous says:

      Voodoo Doughnuts: taking the dismal out of the dismal science since 2013!

    6. Anonymous says:

      The privacy policy THEY want to enshrine says they can access anything for “University Business”–right?

      And the Union is trying to get some expectation of privacy? Right?

    7. Anonymous says:

      How big of Rudnick… only once they find out that there is a policy (usually there wouldn’t be, so we expect that mix up) they agree to abide by it? I’m not satisfied with the existing policy and would hope that the union contract would be able to carve out something a bit more reasonable. (Oooh… there’s that `reasonable’ word again.)

    8. thedude says:

      Can you skype us in next week if we’re offsite?

    9. Anas clypeata says:

      “XXXX” looks pretty cool, but I was always taught to write “XL” for “40”.

      • UO Matters says:

        Thanks – somehow Altmann’s fact-checkers missed that one. You should send Geller an invoice for your time!

        I’ve corrected it for XLI and I’ll keep on it. Just in case, 99 is XCIX, right?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, but let’s hope you won’t have to count that high!

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