Page down for live-blog, 9/3/2013. Next session Friday, I think 9AM – 4PM. Be there.
UO’s faculty union bargaining team has played President Gottfredson’s lead negotiator Sharon Rudnick like a screechy fiddle. She has insisted since March that there was no more money, beyond her initial 10.5% offer. The union has now forced her to raise it by significantly more than the 1.25% that dues will cost.
We’re not yet up to 14.5%, but the AAUP and AFT can take this on the road – deservedly – as proof that a faculty union at a research university can raise faculty salaries by more than enough to cover dues, even in the face of a determined if misguided president.
Along the way the faculty team has written the missing UO faculty handbook, which our accreditors have been telling the administration to do since 2007. They’ve secured many important protections for NTTF’s. And while Rudnick started the bargaining by threatening that it could take as long as 18 months, the union team has played her out in double-time: not even 8 months so far.
The unfortunate collateral damage from Ms Rudnick’s incompetence is President Gottfredson’s standing with the faculty. He could have proposed 14.5% in January and taken the credit, instead of the blame, and saved at least $500K in legal bills.
- Over the past 5 months the union has made big economic concessions on wages, from 18.5% to 14.5%. Admin proposals stalled at 10.5% (No compounding).
- Today we learn that Gottfredson will budge. A little. His offer is still well below Lariviere/Coltrane proposal from 2011.
- For NTTF’s, the union proposal from last week was for 15.03%, compounded over three years. Admin came back today with 12.4%.
- For TTF’s, union had last proposed 15%. Admin came back with 11.8%, plus a problematic increase in first post-tenure review raise amounts. This doesn’t address external equity, the focus of the Coltrane plan. And if you just had a review, you’re SOL for 5 years.
- Admin still refuses to make 1.5% ATB for last year fully retroactive – even though AAU salaries increased 3% last year.
- Instead they propose a $350 “signing bonus”. Don’t laugh, you can get some good shit on craiglist for $350. I call dibs on the goat.
- Who came up with this $350 idea? Presumably Gottfredson’s $20K a month anti-union consultants down in SF, trying to drive a wedge between the TTF’s and NTTF’s.
- After hearing Rudnick the faculty start leaving the room, presumably to start looking for outside offers.
- Rudnick says Gottfredson says UO can’t afford more, because of the 3.5% tuition raise cap for next year.
- Not true. Every 1% increase in tuition brings in ~$3M, recurring, while a 1% increase in faculty pay costs ~$1M, or a 0.33% tuition increase.
- Admin team is even more on edge than usual but only one outburst, this time from Gleason.
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%
The relative drops are mostly driven by pay raises at the other AAU schools, however UO’s average pay for assistants and fulls has actually fallen, presumably because of composition changes. The retroactive 1.5% ATB raise proposed by the admin’s for 2012-13 is only for 6 months, so it’s really only a 1% raise. Sneaky. Either way it is not close to enough to make up for the ~3% UO faculty lost relative to other AAU publics between Fall 2011 and Fall 2012. Much less enough to get the elevator going up. And the administration has been fibbing: UO benefits don’t make up salary gap.
Their conclusion is that while both effects are at work, Bowen effects dominate in public research universities, with $2 in increases due to administrators seizing on increased revenue for every $1 in increases due to upward pressures on faculty and staff salaries from other industries. Same for private research institutions. What’s more, they find a plausible culprit within universities. They notice that cost increases are likelier when the ratio of staff to faculty is higher. That suggests that when administrators within the university accumulate bargaining power, they’re better able to force increases in costs. The administrative staff, they suggest, is what’s really driving this.
By administrative staff, they presumably mean central administrators like Jim “38%” Bean. Say Jim, any update on how much our administration is going to piss away in Portland this year? Thanks to an anonymous reader for the link. From the WaPo’s excellent “The Tuition is Too Damn High” series.
Lots of rumors flying around – and I didn’t start all of them – that the administration’s haste to wrap up bargaining is motivated in part by a desire to get the economics off the table before the latest administrative bloat data comes out:
From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: public records request, non-classified employees
Date: September 1, 2013 11:55:21 PM PDT
To: Lisa Thornton Cc: J P Monroe , email@example.com, Andrea Larson , firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Dear Ms Thornton:
This is a public records request for a machine readable file in excel, comma delimited, or any other standard format showing the following information for UO non-classified employees as of 9/3/2013:
First Name, Last Name, MI, University Email Address, University Office Address, University Office Phone Area Code, University Office Phone Number, Employee Type, Academic Title, Job Type, Job Title Job Start Date, Yrs in Position, Fac Prim Activity, Home Department, Rank, Rk Date, Pay Department, Annual Salary Rate, Appt Percent Job Status, Job End Date, Appointment Status, Term of Service, EEO Type, FT/PT
I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest.
I’m ccing a few people in the UO IR office, who should be able to easily provide these data.
The prior data on this is from the error ridden Beangrams, and the most excellent presentations of the AAUP’s Howard Bunsis. March 2013 update for UO here:
“Institutional Support” means central administration, more or less.
Rumor from the spectators at the annual faculty club ping-pong semi-finals is that Gottfredson has told Geller and Rudnick to stop their $100K a month billing frenzy and cut a deal, quick. The large faculty turnout at the Thursday meeting had its intended effect, and Rudnick’s flip-out didn’t hurt either.
Rudnick will apparently meet with Gottfredson et al at 9AM to get his instructions. As you can see from the spreadsheet below the union has already come down from 19.3% over 3 years (compounded) to 15%, and has made concessions on health, childcare, and promotion raises as well. The majority of the faculty I’ve talked with feel that if the union offer is not acceptable to Gottfredson as is, we should strike during week one.
Synopsis from session XXXVI, Thursday 8/29:
- 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?
- 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.
Proposals so far:
Disclaimer: My 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.
12:55: Admin team filing in. ~50 faculty, kids, etc. Approaching fire code limit. Any volunteers to move Rudnick’s chair?
1:05 Rudnick: Thanks for delay, we have economic proposals and more propaganda about how we already spent your money on athletics and pet admin projects.
Art 24 Leaves, admin counter:
Rudnick: Go forth and multiply. We’ll give dual family leaves if both parents are UO employees. Admin relents on Ebenezeer clause: Officers of instruction can now leave for xmas and spring break without getting pay docked.
Art 31 Release time, admin counter:
Rudnick: Union gets 2.5 FTE for officers, extra 2.0 FTE for bargaining, and can buy course releases based on salary, OPE, admin costs, facilities use.
Mauer: Why not charge us the replacement cost? Rudnick: It’s not replacement cost. Mauer: Why not? Rudnick: blah, blah. (She’s an expert on bill padding issues, be careful here Mike.)
Art 20, Salary, admin counter:
See the spreadsheet, admin proposal is very weak.
Caucus break. Union team leaves.
Admin’s and ~50 faculty stay. I start giving a thoughtful, fact-based discussion of the admin proposal, using the spreadsheet above, with a few illustrative examples such as:
Proposal: $350 one time signing bonus. This goes over like a lead brick. Jim Bean’s been getting $775 a month for his beamer payments:
Rudnick interrupts, saying I’ve got something wrong, but won’t answer when I ask her for details. Faculty start ripping into the admin proposal, asking her questions. She won’t answer them either.
Union team returns, tells Rudnick we’re moving this to Room 101. We do. Session restarts:
Gleason: While you were in caucus, the people in the bargaining room, including your economic consultant (me) were ridiculing this proposal. This is unacceptable, and I’m a journalism dean so I know all about that so called free-speech stuff.
Mauer: So, you want to talk about it? (I’m right there Tim. Why not send me another harassing fact check letter?)
Rudnick: Long bit about $350 being an attempt to split off the NTTF’s and divide and conquer. Gives a bit more to the lower classes. She tries to explain her math, Cecil finds a few errors.
Rudnick: No changes to your merit proposal. We cut your equity proposal for NTTF’s because of something the finance people said. Then she adds “Don’t ask me any details” and “It’s all in the details.” (Why didn’t Jamie Moffitt show up for this crucial bargaining session? Because the administration doesn’t have enough respect for the faculty to make the trip over from JH).
Cecil: 2% is not enough to get NTTF’s to $36K floor.
Rudnick: We think it is enough. But it’s all in the details and don’t ask me any details.
Rudnick: We accept the union’s 8% promotion raises for NTTFs. Currently there is no policy for this, so it’s a significant increase.
Rudnick: For CAS, post tenure review typically gets $2k or $4K, we’ll boost that to 4% or 8% in order to give more equity and merit. (Note, however, that this is only for the *first* post-tenure review after the contract is signed. Among the many problems with this proposal is its hit or miss nature: had an excellent review last year? You will wait 5 years to try again for your raise.)
Rudnick: Here’s our spreadsheet, with cost increases, estimates promotion and post tenure review increases will result in $3.5M or so in new costs. Pratt: So, these are just for first post-tenure reviews? Rudnick: Yes, because …. Pratt finishes for her: Because that would increase faculty salaries.
Why isn’t our $270K a year (plus football junkets) VPFA Jamie Moffitt here to explain this proposal?
Rudnick: This is a significant proposal. We worked very hard to try to put some significant extra money on the table. There was a very long discussion in JH this AM on how to fund this. (Uh, cut athletic subsidies and drop the $2.4M Portland White Stag lease, for starters?)
Rudnick: We hope you see this as meeting you in the middle. Oh yeah, we didn’t have time to do the compounding, check UO Matters.
Mauer: Back to floors. Pool is 2%. You don’t know if that’s enough to get NTTF’s all to $36K?
Rudnick: We’re looking at different groups individually and looking at other possible permutations on how to fairly set floors. They’ve run a bunch of scenarios. Their sense is it’s enough to get to a fair outcome.
Mauer: What if there’s money leftover? Rudnick: We’d spend it on beamers for the administration.
Braun: Can we see your scenarios? Rudnick: Starts waiving her hands, it’s back of the envelope, … It’s just somebody in accounting doing if this and that.
Braun: But it did inform your proposal? Cecil: I’ve seen assertions that admin is saying it would be unreasonable to pay RA’s $36k?
Rudnick: UO research grants are falling, less than came in last year, might lead to layoffs. Rudnick starts passing around her spreadsheet, with costs, talking about it. She shortchanged us on copies, I’ll post as soon as I get one. She babbles on.
Pissed off looking faculty start leaving the room, making calls for outside offers.
Rudnick: Post-tenure reviews will be reviewed outside the department, by Gottfredson, before you get the 8%.
Retirement: Rudnick asks union for ideas on how to deal with the pickup. Uh, they did that already, Sharon.
Rudnick: President and Provost are putting themselves on the line for this proposal. It will take reorganization, re-prioritization, maybe even cuts or postponement of hiring of new strategic communicators and brand manager hires. She was just kidding on that last part, I’m sure.
Cecil stays, gives the ~40 or so remaining faculty an impressive off the top of his head talk on bargaining, dissecting the admin proposal, comparing it with what the union is asking for.
They’re back. 6 die hard faculty observers left.
Contracts: Snoozer. And no, it’s not because it’s about the NTTF’s, it’s because Cecil and Mauer are on this. Just kick back folks, they have your back.
Wait – Blandy is going to reduce the amount of notice and pay they need to give NTTF’s. Current policy is too expensive. So, are you going to do the same for administrators, Doug?
7/31/2013: Back in July 2011 UO got in trouble with the State auditors for post-dating Frohnmayer’s retirement contracts and no bothering to specify what work he’d done for the money. Then Bean got in trouble with Davis for hiring his buddy John Moseley for an extended post-retirement gig without bothering to write a contract. Davis had to write another retroactive one while Bean was on sabbatical, and she chewed out Bean for it. Then in April 2013 Gottfredson announced Bean would “return to the faculty effective 7/1/2013” And now Bean is working for UO without a contract – if he’s still working for UO that is. From the UO Public Records Office yesterday:
The university does not possess documents responsive to your request for “a copy of the current employment contract(s) for James C. Bean“. The office considers this information to be fully responsive to your request, and will now close your matter. Thank you for contacting the office with your request.
My April 2012 request for docs on the unusual deals between Bean and Moseley, including the retroactive contract and Davis email, was quickly followed by Bob Berdahl’s clampdown on public records releases, which has continued under President Gottfredson. I did get the response above without having to pay a fee, but it took 11 days.
Long back and forth between Cecil and Rudnick on job security, raises for NTTFs. Not a word from VPAA Doug Blandy, who is supposedly in charge of all this. Bizarre.
Q: Do all UO departments give NTTF’s the opportunity for career-track jobs?
Rudnick: Pres wants the flexibility to replace NTTF’s with TTF’s.
Cecil: So, if we come back with a proposal that says you can cut for that, but no other reasons, will you agree to it?
Rudnick: Seems to be saying no.
Next session this Friday – not sure if it starts at 9AM or 10AM.