The admin team’s fact-check on this post should be quite interesting.
Lead admin negotiator and noted tobacco company lawyer Sharon Rudnick violates UO Respectful Workplace Policy?
If you’d showed up you’d probably know what I’m talking about. Don’t miss the next session: Tuesday, 9/3, 10AM. Your chance to get more verbal abuse, and hear President Gottfredson’s counter-proposal on raises.
Turns out VPAA and admin bargaining team member Doug Blandy is in charge of enforcement, and if multiple, independent reports from those present at today’s exciting bargaining meeting are correct, Rudnick may have violated UO policy. Perhaps twice:
The University of Oregon is noted for its strong tradition of collegiality and support for all members of the institution. Hostile, intimidating or abusive behavior damages the strong sense of community so valued at UO. Please join us in working to ensure that each member of our community benefits from a respectful and inclusive working and learning environment.
We recognize that the demands of our jobs and stressful challenges in our work and personal lives can occasionally lead to moments of impatience and irritability. However, we want to take this opportunity to remind you that, regardless of the provocation or reason, it is never appropriate or acceptable to vent frustrations or conduct workplace business by yelling, using profanity or acting in a demeaning or verbally abusive way.
- 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? Any truth to the rumor someone caught that on a cell phone video? Email me at uomatters or just post it on youtube already.
- 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, here. If you pay Dave Hubin $285.98 he’ll even tell you who wrote it.
The faculty union needs you to show up at this session for as long as you can. The union team will put its latest counter to Gottfredson and Coltrane’s 3.5% a year proposal on the table. Check out the data by rank and department. You are a long, long way from the Lariviere targets, and 3.5% a year is not going to cut it.
If you want to get a real raise, you need to show up and help put on the pressure. Word is that the much maligned part-time yoga instructors will be there to help out with stress reduction during the caucus breaks. Bring your mat, and be prepared to chant.
- Full profs: down from 85% to 82%
- Associate profs: down from 92% to 90%
- Assistant profs: down from 93% to 89%
- Gottfredson is paying Sharon Rudnick and the admin’s other lawyers and consultants about $100K a month, from the state and tuition funds, to fight with the union over raises that are smaller than what Scott Coltrane was ready to implement 2 years ago as Dean.
- VPFA Jamie Moffitt is piling up reserves, but says UO is too broke to keep to the plan to get faculty to AAU comparator salaries.
- Gottfredson refuses to share basic UO financial info with the faculty, or even ask for their input on his performance review.
- No action from Gottfredson on Senate resolution to end millions in athletic subsidies.
- Including the $138M Quack House, 75% of this year’s donations to UO are for athletics. UO and its Foundation refuse to release details.
- Rumor has it that JH is holding back on its own raises until after the union contract is signed.
9:04. Looks like 50 people so far. Rudnick is telling the faculty they can’t sit behind the admins – don’t want us seeing the transcripts they are taking down.
Admins walk out looking pissed. Cecil lays down the rules: It’s the library: whisper. No eye-rolls, those really drive Rudnick batty.
9:22: They’re back. Blandy, Rudnick, Gleason, Grado, stenographer.
Mauer: Let’s review. Here we are on progress and tasks needed. Our view is we can use this session and the 2 next week to get a final agreement. We need:
1) Work to do: IP – big disagreements. Workload, career paths, job security. We think we can both make reasonable compromises.
2) More difficult: Governance. We’ve had the Senate, but faculty have now voted to also be represented by UA. What led to that was an unfortunate history, not your fault. Admin believed faculty were not constructive on admin matters, faculty thought admin was incompetent. Key to success is to *not* supplant Senate, but to provide support for its role. Admin sees union as distinct, not as a partner with the existing forms of shared governance. (Too true – see Gottfredson’s rejection of Senate vote to get union support for constiution.) For nomenclature, faculty see themselves as the heart of the university. The faculty are dealing with the university administration – not The University. Nomenclature is not a game stopper, but it’s symptomatic of problems in your approach.
Librarian enters and says there are so many people it’s a fire code violation. She sends us to Room 101. Rudnick says this not consistent with ground rules, but OK.
101 is a great room, Senate meeting room. The faculty march in and fill it up. Very comfy:
But Rudnick is out in the hall telling Mauer “I am not going to bargain in a classroom. This is not acceptable. There are rules!” Say, where are the administration’s supporters?
Cecil calls a caucus: Mauer tells faculty what Rudnick said. Faculty member says “So, she wants us to take this outside?” Mauer gives him a stern look, tells us there will be decorum, goes back out in the hall to work his magic on Rudnick.
Are the admins going to use a big show of faculty support for the union to close down bargaining? That’s not what’s recommended in Frohnmayer’s “Negotiating for Dummies” guide:
Mauer comes back in, after a frank and open discussion with Rudnick. He told her the faculty came to see bargaining. (And practice for a strike?) A junior faculty member asks why Rudnick yelled at him when he tried to help move chairs. Says he’s never seen that sort of nasty intimidation. I’m guessing it’s his first session with Rudnick.
10:07: Rudnick and her dispirited looking junior admins file back in. “We need power. Where are the outlets?”
Mauer: “Now you understand the problem of having to switch classroom in the middle of a session”.
3) We have counter-proposals for all the economic proposals. You’ve said repeatedly that you’ve already spent the faculty’s money. We’ve made some compromises, here they are.
Art 20: Salary: (See spreadsheet above for details.)
New proposal cuts promotion raises from 10% to 8%. Keeps 3% pool for NTTF floors – unacceptable that a full time university instructor would make less than $36K.
Rudnick says “I’m chuckling about you saying you’d be happy for us to pay you more.” A $300 an hour lawyer without a clue. The crowd is stone cold silent.
Mauer: I’d now like to give you the rest of our economic proposals and then have discussion. Rudnick: OK.
Art 21: Fringe Benefits:
Mauer: We’ve dropped the child care benefits in an effort to reach an agreement. Rudnick: So we’re in agreement except for the part where you call us “The University of Nike Administration” instead of the “The University”. Mauer: Yup.
Art 22: Health Insurance:
Mauer: We’ve dropped request for a $1M fund to help get benefits for part-timers. We dropped this in order to focus on salary issues.
About 100 faculty in the room. No admin supporters are noticeable. Blandy and Gleason still haven’t spoken.
Art 23: Retirement Benefits:
Mauer: Nothing new here, we can’t do much about PERS. We are concerned about threats that UO might drop the 6% pickup. Other bargaining agreements specify that if this happens employees will be made whole. We won’t agree to less of a commitment from UO, unless you can give a coherent explanation for why we should.
Rudnick: That’s it? I’ll respond. For the 6%, admin would agree to shift it to salary if possible. But if legislation prohibits the pickup and takes money away from UO (come on, how much money does the state give us now?) we can’t agree to make you whole. We want you peons to face the risk, rather than have the university bear it, for example by perhaps having to cut Jim Bean’s sinecure, or cut back on athletic subsidies. That would be too much for JH to bear.
Mauer patiently explains optimal risk-sharing theory to Rudnick. Blandy looks interested, Gleason has his head down, reading UO Matters. Rudnick doesn’t understand risk-sharing. (There are two possible states of the world …).
Cecil starts running circles around Rudnick, giggles from the crowd. So why can other Oregon universities manage to make this commitment to their faculty, but not UO?
Rudnick starts trotting out $8M cost figure. That’s less than 1% of the UO budget.
Gleason speaks: It’s not like we’re going to put this money in our pocket! Sure Tim. What’s Bean getting paid? And the beamer? How much has the admin wasted on Bend and now Portland? How much in pursuit of their other pet projects? Athletic subsidies? Paying the Matt Court land bonds…
Green and Rudnick have a productive conversation. Turns out the language does not apply to ORP people – got to check that out closely.
Rudnick’s basic argument is that individual faculty are better prepared to bear the risk of having to pay the pickup cost than UO, currently sitting on ~$150M in reserves. It’s a stupid argument, but it’s hers and she just loves repeating it. Which is really dumb, because the more she says it, the more people in the room start understanding how wacky it is.
Mauer: We agree this may or may not come to pass. If it does, recall that the health of the University depends on the well-being and satisfaction of the faculty, and of new recruits. Threats to cut benefits are not going to help the university. You keep trotting out retirement benefits as a recruiting tool. Now you’re going to tell prospective hires they may lose 6% and you have no plan to make it up? (You’re trying to destroy the university, in order to save the administration.)
Rudnick: Budgets are tight. We could learn how to do better with what we’ve got, starting with optimal risk-sharing, but we’re too stubborn to listen to you on how to do it better, so I’ll just repeat my usual blather. Which she does. The crowd breaks out laughing.
Meanwhile, get your University of Nike T-shirt here:
In their Art 49, the admins assert ownership of all information stored by faculty on UO info systems. The old policy? The state may or may not have a property interest in information stored on University systems. Mere physical presence of information on a University electronic information system is not sufficient to conclusively establish the ownership and control of that information, just as physical presence of a paper document in a faculty member’s desk or filing cabinet does not establish an irrefutable presumption that the document is owned or controlled by the University.
Rudnick: Gleason found a typo on line one, good boy. We are trying to fix some of the more egregious claims in our previous proposal.
But, they still claim UO owns everything you store on a UO computer or network unless otherwise expressly stated in the article, and they can take away internet access if you misuse it. Crowd breaks out laughing.
Cecil: You’re insane, but if you want to claim the right to do this, it’s discipline, it’s grievable, and we’re going to want to see what UO administrators do with their computers too, to argue it’s not disparate treatment.
Green: You’re serious about claiming you own family pictures and MP3’s I store on my UO computer? Rudnick: Yes. You own them too. (WTF?) We asked Geller about the practicality of this – carry two computers with me. Rudnick: That’s why I carry an iPad.
Seriously? She’s using her experiences at a law firm where things are subject to discovery to tell faculty at a university what to do?
Davidson: I understand that UO has a reason to access what’s on a computer for legal reasons – but why insist on ownership?
Rudnick: Some of that will have to be addressed in the Intellectual Property article. But the default is it belongs to UO.
Remember, at the moment UO has no written policy or procedures regarding who in the administration can read your emails or your files or for what purposes.
Gleason: What if I create on my UO computer but store on the cloud? I read this to say it’s mine.
Rudnick: Hold that thought.
Cecil: Suppose I post an anonymous comment on UO Matters? There’s a long tradition on the constructive use of anonymity for public comments. (Yup, back to at least Silence Dogood, a.k.a. Ben Franklin.
Rudnick: OK, come back with better language.
Rudnick: Even what you do at home on your own computer is a public record by Oregon law if it is related to you work at UO.
Mauer: Is complaining about work “work related”? Rudnick: No.
Rudnick: Work related stuff is public records and you don’t own them. (Really? She’s confused. You can own them but they can still be subject to disclosure and vice versa.
Cecil on it: Why can’t faculty have an expectation of privacy? Rudnick: A bunch of reasons. Work of the university, monitor university discipline, etc.
Cecil: Why not a rule saying you have some expectation of privacy – e.g. prior notification. Rudnick: We’d agree to notification after the fact. We are trying to be very clear: The default is that we own it.
Cecil: Suppose I own it and store it on computer – e.g. class notes. We’re going to propose some exceptions.
Gleason: Your class notes are a public record. Rudnick: Maybe not Tim.
Bramhall: So, if I do personal stuff on a personal computer hooked up to a UO network, I do have an expectation of privacy? Rudnick: Yes.
Davidson: Would you be open to limiting searches to cases where there’s a reasonable suspicion or public records? Seems unreasonable for there to be *no* expectation of privacy.
(I wonder if this all applies to students and their email too?)
Section 11: No using UO computers or networks to sell University of Nike t-shirts.
Rudnick appears to have second thoughts on all this: Maybe we should take a bunch of this out, and just reference the law?
Moving on to promotions.
Rudnick making some concessions. Blandy still hasn’t spoken, but does nod occasionally. All this sounds good for the AEI folks.
Quick break, come back for IP.
Art 51, Intellectual Property, union counter.
Rudnick: If we pay you to think, why do you think that your thoughts belong to you, not your employer? (Uh, check the work-product stuff for lawyers and their clients, Sharon.)
Cecil: So, if we faculty are paid to teach students, does the university then own the students? Or just their brains?
Pratt: Idea is founded in academic freedom, and the idea that the business of the university is to help faculty in the creation and dissemination of knowledge, not to control that knowledge.
Rudnick: We own you and what you do. We get to profit from it, not you. You’re talking about academic freedom, not intellectual property.
Gleason: I’ve actually done my homework this time and read the AAUP stuff. We hire in the sciences, invest $1M in startup. Your proposal will mean we have to write a separate agreement for each such hire. You’re right, our proposal is draconian in the opposite direction. So, we need a compromise that’s workable.
Rudnick is so used to Gleason not making sense she even interrupts when he does.
Cecil: This language is from another university contract – they seem OK with it. Why not UO?
Rudnick: Sec 6 says it’s up to the BU member to disclose.
Olson: This comes from the standard Dept of Commerce deal, required by patent law for things developed by federal funds.
Rudnick: Sec 6 does not give ownership, just requires disclosure. But you want faculty to ave ownership.
Cecil: Maybe you should work on better language.
Olson: Which law do you think this is consistent with?
Rudnick: I don’t think it’s useful to talk about the law. My approach is more pragmatic, lets make a deal.
Mauer: I get it that you think it’s consistent with the law, Sharon. So are other ownership arrangements. So, what law are you talking about?
Rudnick: We can agree to very different ownership rights.
Olson: Look at the Stanford case, where the SCOTUS said university did not own IP, but could work out arrangements with university. UO currently does this well. Why do you want to mess this up?
Mauer: How much money is involved? Rudnick. No. But we’re worried about owning on-line courses, don’t want faculty to take them somewhere else.
Cecil is all over Rudnick on this.
My thought: We are going to end up with different rules for faculty in the bargaining unit and out of the unit. And since people move in and out, it’s going to be a mess.
Gleason: If I was hired by a corporation to do work, they’d own it. The university is just like that corporation. …. He’s slowing down, realizing this isn’t going in a good direction.
Pratt tries to make it clear to Gleason that universities have a slightly different social mission than corporations do.
Gleason: I don’t get the connection between academic freedom and intellectual propoerty.
Cecil: As technology progresses and the amount of money at stake increases, so does the importance of this. We’ve got competing interests, need to make a compromise.
Rudnick: I agree, let’s ignore the law which is very unsettled, and cut a deal.
Cecil: University currently shares 50/50 – why do you want to change it? We need more explanation – maybe we should get Randy in the room?
Rudnick: We spent the morning on economics, we’re going to cut a deal. But in exchange the university wants the money from your IP. So, we’re frustrated with you.
Almost 4:20, they’ll be back Tu at 10AM with a counter on raises. Be there.