OSU administration gives faculty union a 1.8% ultimatum offer

The west coast urban CPI increased 3.1% last year. Mike Gottfredson & his well paid anti-union consultants tried a similar tactic during their effort to fight UO’s faculty union. The accent grave on vis-à-vis is a nice touch though – I wonder how much Ed Ray’s consultant charged for it. I also like the weaselly promise that 

employees in senior academic and administrative leadership roles—including the president, provost, vice presidents and equivalent, vice provosts, associate vice presidents, and deans—will not be eligible to participate in the FY20 salary increase program.

Of course not. They’ve already got theirs.

28 October 2019

Dear OSU Colleagues,

Oregon State University is deeply appreciative of the outstanding contributions, dedication, and hard work of its employees, and the university is committed to attracting and retaining high quality and productive faculty and staff. We strive to support our employees fairly while also balancing competing financial pressures, including challenges in state and federal support for higher education, the imperative to keep the cost of attendance manageable for students, and the need to invest in priorities that advance the university’s mission and financial viability.

As you know, OSU continues to face a challenging budget environment. Mandated state public employee retirement and health insurance costs are rising. Enrollment growth—tuition from which now accounts for 70 percent of OSU’s education and general fund dollars—has slowed. State funding is not keeping pace with continuing service level costs. Meanwhile, units throughout the university managed significant expense reductions in FY18 and FY19, and will do so again in FY20.

At the same time, offering competitive compensation is critical to OSU’s goals to recruit and retain the very best faculty and staff. We do not wish to put the salaries that the university offers at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis our peers, a problem that has a compounding effect that is hard to rectify later.

Therefore, the university has decided again this year to implement a university-wide salary increase program. The scale and scope of the program is what we believe OSU can afford given the many competing needs for resources. Here is an overview of this program:

§  Academic, research and professional faculty members not represented by UAOSU—who have performed at a satisfactory level or better and have received an evaluation within university guidelines—are eligible for salary increase consideration if they were hired into their current position prior to January 1, 2019 and work half-time or more. Eligible faculty with fully satisfactory performance will receive a merit increase of 1.8 percent in their base annual salary rate effective January 1, 2020 for 12-month faculty, and February 1, 2020 for 9-month faculty. An additional increase may be allocated to eligible employees based on performance, compression, and/or equity considerations. The maximum increase an employee may receive in this program is 6 percent (increase for fully satisfactory performance plus any additional discretionary increase). The maximum allocation for the salary program in each academic and administrative budget unit is 3 percent of the unit’s salary base for eligible employees.

§  As OSU is actively engaged in negotiations with UAOSU, we have elected to offer UAOSU the option of accepting—on their members’ behalf—the FY20 salary increase program outlined above. This option is contingent on UAOSU accepting the program for the current year and bargaining for any increases for FY21 and beyond. That is, the offer is contingent on UAOSU’s agreement that this serves as the negotiated salary increase for bargaining unit members for FY20 and that UAOSU will not negotiate any further on the subject of salary increases for that or prior fiscal years. This would ensure that UAOSU-represented faculty are not delayed in receiving a salary increase for FY20 while bargaining continues.

§  Employees represented by the Coalition of Graduate Employees (CGE) bargaining group or classified employees represented by SEIU, will receive increases as set forth in the existing CGE agreement and, if ratified, the new terms of the recent SEIU agreement.

Because of the difficult budget situation, employees in senior academic and administrative leadership roles—including the president, provost, vice presidents and equivalent, vice provosts, associate vice presidents, and deans—will not be eligible to participate in the FY20 salary increase program.

Detailed information regarding the FY20 salary increase program and process timeline will be provided separately to unit leaders, who are responsible for deciding any changes in compensation for their employees.

Please direct any questions to Susan Capalbo, senior vice provost for faculty affairs, or Cathy Hasenpflug, chief human resources officer.

Sincerely yours,

Edward Feser, Provost and Executive Vice President

Mike Green, Vice President for Finance and Administration

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