MMXX-III bargaining live-blog: 125 CHILES, 12-3pm today

125 CHILES, Thursday 1/23/2020, 12-3PM. Open to the public

MMXX-I is here, -II here. My continuing series on Budget Buckets is here. If you don’t like my blog read the official Union tweets or Facebook.

MMXX-III Live-blog. Usual disclaimer: My opinion and interpretation of what the bargainers are saying, thinking, or should be saying or thinking. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. Rumor has it the union proposals will include Research Support, Sabbaticals, and Hiring. I don’t know what the administration will do.

12:07: Disheveled Admin team strolls in late:

Matella starts with clarifying questions. Why does the union want to give potential new hires information on what sorts of things the administration usually bargains about? Cecil: Fairness.

Cass Moseley: Glad to see the union is interested in research. [A bit snide, though not said that way]. What sort of problem is the union trying to solve with this research proposal, made last week?

Cecil: We want to make sure that the next VPRI doesn’t pull an Espy.

Moseley: Why provide 5% of F&A directly to faculty? Cecil: Faculty are concerned about the increasing amount of money taken out of grants for admin, OPE, want to keep some in the research bucket.

Moseley: At 47%, UO’s federal F&A rate is the lowest in the AAU [because we don’t spend enough on allowable research costs to get a higher one]. Cecil: Yes. What’s your point? Rosiek: In College of Ed, we used to get central money to buffer grant funding. No longer true, this would give them a cushion while they write new grants.

Administration Counter Proposal on Distribution of Agreement: Minor changes.

Administration Counter Proposal on #8, Personnel Files: Minor changes.

Administration Counter Proposal on Trainings:

Matella: Recognizes that in the past Admin has done a poor job training faculty heads, but is doing a lot better under Sierra Dawson and she can do still more. So we don’t want to put this in the contract. [Eh?] Also, heads are not in the bargaining unit, so you can’t make us. Also, we don’t want to give all heads complete teaching releases because some departments are too small.

Administration Counter Proposal on Non-Discrimination, Article 14:

Adds requirement to the CBA that faculty pay a grad student or small child to take that bullshit online anti-discrimination training course every two years. Discipline if you don’t.

Cecil: Why do you want to put this one in the contract, but not the one requiring faculty head trainings? Matella: Lawyerspeak. Cecil: I thought you agreed to this that time I saw you at Tacovore?

Administration Counter Proposal on Release Time, Article 11:

Matella: We think we’re already giving plenty of release time for union work. Also want to maintain the fact that TTF getting release time are also released from some research expectations. Cecil: Our proposal is actually for *less* release time. Matella: But more teaching release time. Cecil: Release time for service is not really real – union faculty continue to do plenty of other service. [Yup]. Matella: Come back with some examples. More clarifying back and forth.

Cecil: What is the university’s current policy on how TTF can be released from research time? How is this reflected in reviews? [The admin does this all the time for themselves]. Matella: I think you can be released from research expectations, but we don’t have a systematic way to do that when it comes to review periods etc. We need to clarify this.

Cecil: We had a case where a faculty member was paid at an 0.75 FTE, but when they came up for review they were told they had the same research expectations as a 1.0. Matella: Yeah, not good.

Break

1:20: Union Proposal on Governance Policies, Article 4:

Rosiek: New language to ensure a timely process for departments to propose internal policies and to make sure the provost’s and deans amendments aren’t arbitrary and capricious – or at least ensure that everyone knows when they are:

Matella: Why 30 days for depts to respond? Cecil: Because they’re tired of being given 7 day deadlines. Matella: Calendar or business days?

Cecil: We know the provost has the ultimate authority on these, we just want to make sure the departments have a say and a transparent process.

[I’m not doing this discussion justice. Both sides seem to be working towards a better process for setting unit policies. If you’re interested there’s more on Luebke’s twitter.]

Rosiek: Wants to make clear, in response to a comment from Matella, that the union is working to improve university governance – not make it more difficult. We have real problems when a Dean announces an important policy change at 4PM on a Friday, with a meeting called for Monday.

Union Proposal on Assignment of Professional Responsibilities, Article 7.

See http://uomatters.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/article-17.pdf

Green: Course buyouts – 10% of salary, no more than 1/2 of teaching load w/o Dean’s OK. Lots more in this article, see https://twitter.com/UAUOregon

Matella: We’re going to need some time to digest all this. More back and forth.

Union Proposal on Appeal from Denial of Tenure, Article 21.

Epstein: If the Provost denies tenure, their decision needs to be reviewed by the President, not the Provost, for obvious reasons.

Matella: Doesn’t cover mid-term denials? Cecil: No. Because we are going to make midterm reviews advisory – can’t promise a new hire a tenure track job then fire them after 3 years.

Matella: What do you mean by “inconsistent tenure reviews”? Across faculty in the same department? Over time? Epstein: PTRAC needs to determine if tenure is being applied consistently or with say gender bias. This means they must have access to previous decisions and those faculties records. Matella: Normally we’d have the Office of Civil Rights, which is charged with making sure the university doesn’t get caught violating civil rights do discrimination cases, because they know how to hide them.

Epstein points out that international faculty are not covered by discrimination law. Matella: Let me think about that.

Cecil: The cases we see are were different faculty are held to different standards – not always bias by protected class.

Matella: We could attempt to address this by making sure standards and reviews are clear.

Green: I’ve seen shit in tenure appeals that would turn make your blood run cold. We hope process can be improved, but inevitably there will be bad decisions and people need to be able to make appeals. Doesn’t happen a lot, but it’s bad. Problem with protected class arguments is they come up too late in the process – it’s not a card people want to play.

Matella: Claims every layer of substantive review – departments, committees, provost – are substantive and complete. Union side starts giggling.

Union Proposal on Lay-offs, Article 25.

Cecil: Complete rewrite. No longer about elimination or reduction of programs, since the admin figured out how to get around that. Allows termination for legit financial or academic reasons – called a lay-off. Reasonable notice with reasons and a process.

Section 3: Protects TTF first, allows NTTF decisions by merit etc.

Section 4: Legit reasons include long-range financial and academic reasons – not cyclical variations, minor hiccups in financial reasons.

Matella: Could we adjust FTE up or down in response to enrollment variations – e.g. AEI? Cecil: Yes, but we’ll have restrictions on that. See section 5. A new Legitimate Reasons Panel – probably sounds better in German – will run the process. Right of return for laid off faculty.

Matella: We’ll get back to you.

3:04, they’re done, see you next week.

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