Academic Council to meet today to discuss Continuity Plan if GTFF strike

The meeting, 3PM in 253 Straub, is open to the public under the ACP policy passed last year. Meanwhile the UO administration is developing its plans to hire faculty scabs, and faculty union Pres Chris Sinclair has issued guidance on how to avoid this fate. Remember, the best outcome for our undergrads is happy, healthy, and well-paid Graduate Employees. The admin can settle this for about $250K a year – less than half the price of a provost.

Here’s the latest from the admin side:

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

I am writing to share the latest information about mediation with GTFF and about our plans to provide academic and research continuity should a GTFF strike occur.
The GTFF membership voted to authorize a strike last week. The soonest the union can lawfully strike after giving the university a required 10-day strike notice is Sunday, November 3. Should the strike occur, it would likely begin the following Monday, November 4. The university is working to ensure academic and research continuity and has plans to maintain teaching and essential research operations with as little disruption as possible. Mediation will continue with the next session scheduled for October 25, and we remain hopeful an agreement will be reached soon. In the meantime, we will continue to prepare for the possibility of a strike.

Negotiations Update
The university and GTFF met in a mediation session last Friday in ongoing efforts to reach a settlement. The session was focused on contributions to health insurance.

The university is seeking an agreement that continues to invest in GE healthcare by increasing funding each year of the contract while also incentivizing the GTFF Trust to manage future premium increases.

At the last session, the university doubled its last offer to cover increases to health insurance premiums and agreed to a framework proposed by the union, which establishes both an incentive for keeping premium increases low and a cost-sharing schedule as premium increases rise. This proposal, using the GTFF framework, maintains access to affordable, quality healthcare while at the same time providing an opportunity for the GTFF to choose to further increase GE compensation during the term of the contract.
The university’s latest offer proposes the following:

When annual premium increases are below 4%, the university contributes saved dollars to GE salaries and/or to an assistance fund to help individuals impacted by increased medical costs. The money is applied at the GTFF Trust’s discretion.

The university continues to contribute 95% of premium costs up to 4% above the current contracted rate. For increases above 4%, the university would cost-share premiums as the GTFF incrementally assumes financial responsibility beyond their current 5%.

Given the GTFF Trust’s current premium discounts available through their insurance company and its approximate $500,000 cash reserve, UO’s proposal allows GEs to maintain their existing benefits for the first year of the contract and provides them time to evaluate benefit options for subsequent years based on the incentive and cost-sharing framework they have proposed. More information about health insurance, including the GEs health insurance plan in comparison to other UO employees health plans, is available on the HR website.

The union’s counteroffer to the university’s proposal maintains a 95/5 percentage split for health insurance increases up to 9%, with the university continuing to share in the cost of health insurance at incrementally lower rates from 9% to 11%. For increases that exceed 11%, the parties would split the amount 50/50. The union proposed similar incentives to the UO offer (salary and an assistance fund) when premium increases are 5% or less.

While salary increases were not discussed at the last mediation session, here is a reminder of the offer comparison from both sides:

GTFF Salary Offer
3% increase to minimum GE salary each year of the contract.
1.5% increase to all other GE salary each year of the contract.
UO Salary Offer
Year One:
2.5% increase to minimum GE salaries.
1.5% increase GE salaries above the minimum.
Year Two:
2.75% increase to minimum GE salaries.
1.5% increase GE salaries above minimum.
Year Three:
3% increase to minimum GE salaries.
1.5% increase GE salaries above minimum.
Other employee group salary increases for comparison:
Service Employee International Union (SEIU) employees: 3% in year one, 2.10% in year two.
Tenure-track faculty (FY20): 1.625% merit pool and 0.5% external equity pool for a combined 2.125%.
Career faculty (FY20): 2.125% merit pool.
Officers of administration (FY20): 2.125% merit pool.
Timely information related to the university’s most current contract proposals is available on the HR website.
Next Steps—Strike Preparation

Due to the union’s strike authorization vote, the Incident Management Team has been activated and the university’s Academic Council has been notified accordingly. The council will meet this week about academic continuity. The council will establish guidance for the academic continuity teams within the schools and colleges about maintaining academic activities and preserving the academic integrity of current courses. This guidance will be shared with you when it is issued.

In the meantime, the Office of the Provost and the Office of Research and Innovation, working in close collaboration with Employee and Labor Relations (ELR), will continue to meet with unit leadership to discuss ongoing academic and research continuity planning and explore coverage options that maintain the academic integrity and learning objectives of courses. Deans, Associate Deans, and Directors of Centers, Institutes, and Core Facilities will be completing a second round of data collection that helps identify options for continuation of academic and research activities and course grading during a strike period. This planning process will be further informed by guidance from the Academic Council as it becomes available.

ELR will continue to update the HR website with information and resources including frequently asked questions (FAQ) that provide guidance for interacting with employees prior to and during the strike, information on employee benefits, and other-strike related issues.

Please remember these important items when discussing strike participation with graduate employees:
Faculty and supervisors should encourage graduate employees to become as informed as possible on the issues and inform them that choosing to strike or not strike is each employee’s choice to make. It is important to assure employees that you respect their decision, whatever course they choose.

Faculty and supervisors should not:
advise graduate employees on whether or not to strike;
ask represented graduate employees if they intend to strike or comment on the advisability of choosing to strike;
bargain individually with graduate employees to come or return to work during a strike;
make threats of reduced support or discharge or retaliate against graduate employees who choose to strike; or
make promises of any type to induce graduate employees to come or return to work during a strike.

The university is committed to maintaining academic and research functions with as little disruption as possible and minimizing impact to students. We will continue to share information and guidance regarding strike planning in the weeks ahead.

We will also continue to negotiate with GTFF to reach a resolution that meets the needs of our entire university community and fulfills our responsibility to be a good steward of tuition dollars and public funds.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please visit the GTFF bargaining webpage or contact Peter Fehrs, lead negotiator, by submitting an email to uoelr@uoregon.edu.

Best regards,
Missy Matella
Senior Director, Employee and Labor Relations
University of Oregon Human Resources

Faculty Club Agenda

Dear Colleagues,

The rains have begun, and midterm grading is lurking around the corner… but let the Faculty Club be your refuge from all storms!

Here are some ways that the Faculty Club can help you:

· Build camaraderie for your department, program or group by organizing an evening at the Faculty Club. We can arrange a system in which you hand drink tickets out to your participants; alternately, you can do this on the cheap, with a “no-host” system. The Faculty Club will always contribute by hosting the hors-d’oeuvres.

· If you want to have a reception after a lecture or event, but don’t want to go to the bother and cost of setting it up yourself, contact us. If it’s a Wednesday or Thursday during the term, we’re already set up–and depending on the anticipated size of your group we can simply add this on to our usual gathering.

This week Wendy Pierpont is hosting a gathering of faculty and staff from the Jacqua Center on Thursday. And on Wednesday, consider dropping in to the Faculty Club prior to the Art Museum’s session (in a room next door) on “Political Cartoons and the First Amendment.” Please come out and join us either evening, or both!

Yours, James Harper
Chair of the Faculty Club Board

PS: And next week, look out for a private tour of the Ralph Steadman exhibition on Wednesday, and our special Halloween celebration (with prizes!) on Thursday.

GTFF authorize strike for Nov 4

10/18/2019 update from the GTFF:

Over the last three days, over 85% of the membership has cast ballots in our strike authorization vote, and 1,044 grad employees—over 95% of voters—said Yes! We’re standing firm: no cuts to health care and a fair contract NOW!

I still think President Schill will come to his senses on this, but if not the strike will presumably start Nov. 4th.

Update: Deans asking undergrads and faculty to scab on grad students

The former would be CAS divisional Dean Hal Sadofsky, asking faculty to help find undergrads to do the work of GEs. The link for sign-ups has now been taken down or moved.  The latter would be SOMD Dean Sabrina Madison-Cannon:

I am asking Area Heads for the following information:

  • Please identify faculty in your area (including yourself) who do not have a full workload for fall term.
  • Please identify faculty in your area (including yourself) who are willing to volunteer their services during a strike even if they have a full workload.

UAUO Pres Chris Sinclair has the following advice for faculty on how to avoid becoming a scab:

Full pdf here.

10/17/2019: What should faculty do if our GE’s strike?

The GTFF and the Administration proposals are very close, and the administration can avoid a strike simply by agreeing to cover most of any increases in health care costs for years 2 and 3 of the contract. That’s pretty much it. This is the same deal SEIU just got – for PEBB, which is a much more expensive insurance plan.

On the off chance they don’t, UAUO Pres Chris Sinclair gives this advice to faculty on their obligations during the ensuing strike:

Continue reading

Music & Dance to hold emergency meeting to plan for GTFF strike

Our GE’s are voting this week on authorizing a strike, probably starting week 6.

Presumably other deans are also planning on how to maintain undergraduate educative production – or at least pretend they are maintaining it – should the UO administration continue its quixotic effort to cut graduate students’ health insurance and real pay.

If you have info on other college’s strike planning please post an anonymous comment or send me the emails: uomatters at gmail.

Memorial service for David Schuman 3PM next Sat at Law School

He was a speed-skater, a professor of english, a judge, a professor of law, a friend of this blog, and, in a word, a mensch.

His daughter Rebecca writes that he sustained a fall on his bike that caused the injuries that killed him. The family’s obituary will be forthcoming.

There is a brief post with some quotes from faculty on AtO here. The service will be in the Morse Commons at the Law School on Saturday the 19th at 3. It will also be live-streamed.

Provost Phillips gives Bruce Blonigen another year as CAS Dean

No word on what sort of funding increases for CAS Blonigen was able to extract during the negotiations – but presumably they are nowhere near as as large as an external candidate would have demanded:

The following message is being sent on behalf of Provost and Senior Vice President Patrick Phillips. Feel free to email provost@uoregon.edu if you have any questions.

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that the Office of the Provost is extending Bruce Blonigen’s role as UO’s dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) through the 2020-21 academic year.

Originally, Bruce was to serve as interim dean through the end of the current academic year. But because of his valuable leadership and thoughtful direction, we are removing the interim tag and adding a year to his deanship over the university’s largest college.

Bruce has done a great job since he was named interim dean, most visibly taking over the helm of CAS as our campus prepared for the opening this fall of Tykeson Hall. His work with all of the Tykeson stakeholders ensured that the new building designed to help exploring students find their academic and career passions opened without a hitch.  At the same time, Bruce ably led CAS through the budget process and a successful round of the Institutional Hiring Plan, jumped energetically into the ongoing development work of the college, and, most of all, offered CAS stability and continuity in a time of change.

He has held a variety of roles at UO before being named the CAS Dean. He was the CAS Dean of Faculty and Operations; Interim Dean of the Lundquist College of Business; and was the CAS Associate Dean of Social Sciences from 2013 to 2016. He was also the head of the Department of Economics for five years.

As part of this change in status, CAS Senior Divisional Dean of Humanities Karen Ford will take on a new role. She will be the CAS Dean for Faculty in order to focus on faculty personnel processes and provide additional support to CAS faculty. CAS will fill Karen’s humanities position soon.

I am excited to have Bruce in this role, and I look forward to working closely with him as our university moves forward. Bruce’s experienced leadership is a benefit to CAS and the entire university. Please join me in congratulating him.

Best wishes,

Patrick Phillips

Provost and Senior Vice President

Gov. Brown back from Doha junket in time for TrackTown 21 launch

Update: No quid pro quo, move it along people. New France 24 report here, with quotes from what appears to be a confidential court transcript:

Asked what role Nike played, Coe [employed by Nike] said: “I don’t know. Very little, I would say.”

More Coe from the transcript:

He said he had supported the Eugene bid, but insisted he knew nothing of any promises the American bid might have made to the IAAF or Lamine Diack.

Really? Here’s video of Paul Weinhold and then Sec of State Kate Brown offering the full faith and credit of the UO Foundation’s $1B endowment, and $40M in Oregon funds, here. Coe was at the meeting.

Brown’s is term-limited as Governor, wants to be a Senator, and needs more of Phil Knight’s money to finance a credible run.

10AM 10/10/2019, at the Student Rec Center. She’s still $20M short on the $40M Kitzhaber promised. Apparently this invitation was not widely shared with reporters, so I thought I’d post it:

*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***

Oregon Hosts Kickoff Event for World Athletics Championships — Coming to the U.S. for the First Time Ever in August 2021

Launch event held at the University of Oregon will feature Governor Brown and Track & Field World Champions  from present and past

WHAT
Oregon21, Travel Oregon and the University of Oregon are teaming up to host the kickoff event for the 2021 World Athletics Championships on Oct. 10, 2019, at the Student Recreation Center on the University of Oregon campus. The 18th edition of the World Athletics Championships will come to Oregon Aug. 6-15, 2021. The kickoff will welcome back athletes and representatives from USA Track & Field just returning from this year’s championships in Doha, Qatar. Governor Kate Brown will welcome guests along with other regional, national, and international figures in sports, government and tourism who will answer questions about how they are preparing for this massive, unmissable event. Hayward Field at the University of Oregon will host nearly 2,000 participants with more than 200 countries participating.

The World Athletics Championships will be the largest sporting event in the world in 2021, and this is the first time it has taken place in the United States.

WHO

  • Past and present Track & Field World Champions
  • Governor Kate Brown, State of Oregon
  • Mayor Lucy Vinis, Eugene, Ore.
  • President Michael Schill, University of Oregon
  • Local area youth track & field athletes

VISUALS/NEWS

  • Recent Track & Field World Champions donning their medals.
  • Governor Kate Brown welcoming USATF back to the U.S. following competition in Doha, Qatar
  • Announcement of location for men’s and women’s marathons 

WHEN

10 a.m. -11:30 a.m.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

10 a.m.-10:35 a.m.                 Main event

10:35 a.m.-11 a.m.                 Breakout sessions (1:1 interviews available)

11 a.m.                                    Rooftop photo opportunity of Hayward Field

WHERE

University of Oregon Student Recreation Center

1320 E. 15th Avenue

Eugene, OR

Parking information here

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

Molly Ishkanian

Weinstein PR for Oregon21

Cell: (503) 277-8370

molly@weinsteinpr.com

 

Deborah Pleva

Weinstein PR for Oregon21

Cell: (503) 250-4750

deb@weinsteinpr.com

Senate to hear from Provost Phillips today, 3-5PM

SENATE MEETING AGENDA – OCTOBER 9, 2019

Location: EMU 145 & 146 (Crater Lake rooms) 3:00 – 5:00 P.M. Livestream.

3:00 P.M.   Call to Order

Introductory Remarks; Senate President Elizabeth Skowron

3:15 P.M.  Approval of the Minutes

November 14, 2018, November 28, 2018 & June 5, 2019

3:15 P.M.   State of the University

Patrick Phillips, Provost and Sr Vice President; White Paper on 2019-2020 Academic Initiatives

Undergraduate Advising at UO; Kimberly Johnson, UGS Asst Vice Prov Advising

4:00 P.M.   New Business

Vote: US19/20-01: Renaming NTTF Committee; Elizabeth Skowron (Psychology), Elliot Berkman (Psychology), Beth Harn (Education)

Vote: US19/20-02: Revisions to Continuous Improvement and Evaluation of Teaching committee; Elizabeth Skowron (Psychology), Elliot Berkman (Psychology), Sierra Dawson (Associate VP Academic Affairs)

Vote: 3 senators to serve on Senate Budget Committee

  • Robin Clement, Business
  • Zach Fairchild, Classified
  • Vsevolod Kapatsinski, Linguistics

Vote: US19/20-03: Approval of Curriculum Report, Summer 2019; Frances White (Chair, UOCC)

Vote: member of Statutory Faculty to serve on Inter-Institutional Faculty Senate (IFS)

Bill Harbaugh, Economics

4:30 P.M.    Open Discussion
4:30 P.M.   Reports

    • 2018-19 Senate Committee Reports – Highlights

4:55 P.M.   Notice(s) of Motion
4:56 P.M.   Other Business
5:00 P.M.   Adjourn

Faculty Club survives, despite Kevin Reed’s best efforts

Dear Colleagues,

The Faculty Club opens its doors for the fall term again this week.  We’ll be following the same format as before—a happy hour with complimentary hors-d’oeuvres and a reasonably-priced cash bar, open from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Please come out and join us either day, or both days.  The crowd is cheerful and smart, and colleagues are bound to have great stories to share about their summer adventures.  And you never know who you’ll run in to: last year there were over 800 different faculty members who attended one or more sessions of the Faculty Club!

Yours, James Harper

Chair of the Faculty Club Board

+++++++++++++++++++++++

WHO: The UO Faculty Club is open to all UO faculty—tenure-track faculty, non-tenure-track faculty, library faculty, and OAs tenured in an academic department, as well as people retired from positions in these categories.  Eligible people may bring any guests they like.

WHAT: Cash Bar with beer, wine, liquor and non-alcoholic beverages; complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

WHERE: The Faculty Club meets in a designated room on the ground floor of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.  Enter at the museum’s main entrance and turn right; the club room is right off the lobby.

WHEN: Wednesdays & Thursdays 5:00-8:00 pm.  We will meet through the last week of classes in Fall Term (i.e. through December 5); activity will resume in the Winter and Spring terms.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Faculty Club Board Chair James Harper (Dept. of the History of Art and Architecture), harperj@uoregon.edu

Attempt to replace Scott Pratt continues – without cv’s or letters

This is a fairly important job. Last year it paid $245,784, or about half a provost. I have no idea why Provost Phillips hasn’t posted the cv’s or application letters for his two finalists, or why this is buried on his website, or why the faculty haven’t been notified of the sessions with faculty, the first of which occurs at the same time as a Senate meeting.

Executive Vice Provost, Academic Affairs

The Office of the Provost (OtP) has launched an internal search for an executive vice provost for academic affairs (EVPAA). The EVPAA is a senior position within OtP, is the primary point person for academic and faculty affairs, and reports directly to the provost. The EVPAA’s portfolio includes oversight of a team that promotes and advances OtP initiatives such as academic affairs, curricular matters, academic training, and professional development, online and hybrid education, and employee and labor relations matters.

Finalist A – Adell Amos

Schedule

Survey (survey will open on October 9 and will close on October 14 at 12:00 pm)

Finalist B – Janet Woodruff-Borden

Schedule

Survey (survey will open on October 10 and will close on October 14 at 12:00 pm)