Union bargaining XXI – Enter President Kyr

Thursday, 5/9/2013, 8-12 AM, Room 122 Knight Library. Your Guarantee of Truthiness: All UO Matters bargaining posts fact-checked by Randy Geller, HLGR and their lobbyist and public relations consultant, (and former Frohnmayer aide) Marla Rae:

Synopsis:

  • Gottfredson hunkers down in his bunker.

Prologue:


Live-Blog: My take on what people said or meant to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Cast: The usuals, plus Ken Doxsee, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Mauer: Let’s start with the NTTF stuff, Art 12. union counter-counter. We’ve added in some of your language from other sections. Evaluation of NTTF’s. Nice change to have a reasonable person like Doxsee at the table, the admin team sure needs a makeover. Lots of talk about librarians – Luebke’s got it on his blog. It’s like night and day – instead of Rudnick and Gleason’s usual snide, bitter obstructionism, we’re actually getting thoughtful, respectful comments from Doxsee. It’s even rubbing off on Rudnick, sort of. Gleason still looks really, really pissed about something. Meanwhile Doxsee and the faculty team are just going through the article, fixing issues, boom boom boom.

If Gottfredson woud dump Gleason for Doxsee, we’d be done in a month, easy.

Gleason loses it over the definition of a meeting. Aargh. Pratt, Rudnick try to make peace. Blandy makes a useful suggestion.

Pratt: Art 13, Tenure and Promotion: Rudnick starts arguing word choice with a philosophy professor. Actually this is all very productive for clarifying the proposal. Again, far better than previous meetings. Doxsee’s done his homework, line by line. Gleason keeps mouth shut – good. More agreement between Doxsee and Pratt – tenure process basically works, these are minor changes. Gleason makes a useful suggestion – his first in XXI sessions!

Break, waiting for President Kyr’s limo to arrive. Everyone remarks on the remarkable change in the tone and productivity of the administration’s team today. Can Rudnick keep it up?

Big one:

Meanwhile, Rudnick presents Art 49, use of university’s information assets. 
Can’t use UO computers or info to access certain kinds of information. Respect confidentiality. Bargaining unit members are prohibited from installing virus laden screen savers. No anon email. You can use uoregon.edu email for personal matters, within limits. UO can monitor everything for any reason or none at all, no expectation of privacy. Geller will be watching. You give up your constitutional rights if you use UO systems. This is here for legal reasons. Can’t post to chatrooms? No peer to peer file sharing? No encryption of UO data, no encrypted emails, no soliciting business with UO email.

Mauer: Kyr is here, but we need some clarification here. No limitations? Admin can just take away al computer access? Rudnick: We’ll refine that. Mauer: Someone studying child pornography and society wants to download some? Rudnick: Yes, we’ll need a child porn qualifier. Mauer: Sec 4, explain? Rudnick: You won’t corrupt files, use malware, suck up too much bandwidth, clog the tubes. Her example is some student who loaded up their dorm-room with servers and had started a profitable business. We don’t want our students doing that! Mauer: Isn’t that how facebook got started? Rudnick: Exactly. (I’m thinking she missed his irony.) Cecil: This would restrict use of pseudonyms like RocketMan98? Rudnick: That’s not the intent. Anyway we could still trace your IP. Gleason: Facebook would be OK. Cecil: Could someone post to UOMatters anonymously? Gleason:  We need to work that out. Cecil: What’s the scarce university resource here? Rudnick: The concern is use of university assets. Cecil: As its written logging on to UO wifi to update my personal blog would be a violation and could be disciplined? Rudnick: I don’t know where this language came from, we’ll look into this. Mauer: Section 11 – breadth of this? Suppose I sign an online petition while logged on to UO wifi? Rudnick: My reaction would be no, this is intended to limit people who want to make personal solicitations using UO assets.

Speaking of which, please donate $5 to pay help support UO Matters!

 

Bramhall: Is this new? Blandy: it’s a mix.

Doxsee’s gone, era of good feelings is at an end. Rudnick, Gleason back to their usual pissed off expressions.

Mauer: Let’s move on, President Kyr is here. I’d like to start with new preamble proposals. This highlights the dispute over who here is “The University”. Rudnick: Let me make one thing perfectly clear. The party to this contract is the UO. We will not be called the University Administration! Mauer: Here’s article 3, shared governance. This revision follows the wishes of the UO Senate. Even when the Pres has last word, he has to explain himself to the faculty. Incorporates the Constitution. The entire article is grievable. Mauer: Here’s our counterproposal on academic freedom.

Kyr: I’d like to thank everyone for their efforts on these issues. The Senate is not at the table, and does not speak for the union or the admins. Nor does the union or the admin speak for the Senate. I do. We are not a faculty Senate, we include students, staff, OA’s. I am not presenting my personal opinion. Here is our motion. He reads it with a very strong, intense voice. Rudnick stares at him. Gleason looks bored.

Motion: 
Section 1

1.1 WHEREAS – On December 7, 2011, the statutory faculty of the University of Oregon approved unanimously the current University Constitution, which mandates shared governance at the University of Oregon under terms provided by the University Charter of 1876, which stipulates that “The president and professors constitute the faculty…and as such have the immediate governance and discipline of the public university and the students therein”;

1.2 WHEREAS – On December 15, 2011, President Lariviere ratified the University Constitution;
1.3 WHEREAS – President Gottfredson, since assuming office on August 1, 2012, has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to academic freedom and shared governance;

1.4 WHEREAS – There is precedent in our state and elsewhere for including academic freedom and shared governance among the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, as specified in the supplementary material attached as an appendix to this motion;

Section II

Be it hereby:

2.1 RESOLVED – The University Senate reaffirms its commitment to the ideals of academic freedom and shared governance;

2.2 RESOLVED – The University Senate, because of the faculty’s own statutory role in shared governance, strongly urges the university administration, during its negotiations with United Academics of the University of Oregon, to refer to itself not as “the University” but as “the university administration”;
2.3 RESOLVED – The University Senate strongly urges the President to manifest the University of Oregon’s commitment to academic freedom and to shared governance by including language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement with United Academics of the University of Oregon that incorporates those principles and protects the role of the University Senate in shared governance.
2.4 RESOLVED – The University Senate strongly urges the President to strengthen academic freedom and shared governance by agreeing to incorporate the University Constitution and existing policies adopted by the Senate and the President into the relevant articles of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with United Academics of the University of Oregon.

Two other key principles. The Senate’s view is that the CBA must reflect the senate constituencies interest in strong shared governance. The CBA must reflect the ground rules of academic freedom, which the Senate is now discussing with the president. The Senate’s will is that the CBA must protect shared governance. Our university constitution was unanimously ratified by the faculty assembly. Any questions?

Rudnick: This is a CBA between the union and the administration. It’s a legal obligation. It’s not a policy manual. It’s a CBA and we don’t want anything else in it. You are aware that we made shared governance and freedom. You might not like them, but we’ve affirmed these principles. State law governs and supersedes the University Charter. The OUS board has the authority. It has delegated it to the President, not to the Senate. Our answer to putting the details into the CBA is no. The President is the faculty, by the way. (WTF?) You want to make this grievable. Our bottom line is that shared governance is central to the operation of the university and we are not going to allow you any mechanism for actual enforcement of the constitution.

Kyr: So why is this in other university contracts? Rudnick: I don’t know but, I’m going to bullshit you anyway. In particular, our authority will soon come from Phil Knight’s UO board and we are not going to give up any of it or let you have any way to enforce your little constitution thing.

Kyr: Yes, but nothing legally precludes you from putting the constitution into the agreement? Rudnick: We don not want anyone besides Randy Geller interpreting your constitution, and putting it into the CBA would mean some outside, neutral person could interpret and enforce this. We do not want this! We are willing to reaffirm some vague principles so long as they can never be enforced, except by the President and his lawyers, like me and the rest of my Harrang gang.

Kyr: Ok, Ok, I get what you are saying, believe me. The Senate is saying that insofar as the constitution regulates conditions of employment it wants it in the CBA. Rudnick: This is not a mandatory subject for bargaining and so if we put your shared governance into the contract it’s inappropriate. (Crowd starts laughing at her). Kyr: Here’s an example – committee composition. Who the hell would grievable. Rudnick: The Senate should not have done this! Kyr: Let me explain labor law to you. Rudnick: I understand you are not a labor lawyer! Mauer: I object. We have never said anything about grievances about Senate decisions. Rudnick: We’ve heard you. This comes from the President: No! 

Blandy and Rudnick remember there other talking point: Putting this in the contract would limit the Senate’s authority. Bramhall: huh? That’s an opinion. Rudnick: That’s the president’s opinion. Bramhall: This is in the PSU contract. Rudnick: Fine. But Gottfredson and Knight are not going to allow it here! Cecil: What specific parts of the constitution are not appropriate? Rudnick: I’m not going to tell you!

Mauer: Most of what we’re talking about is not black or white. Taking up Gleason’s point. Peer review is all about academic governance and about terms of employment. There’s an interplay. We’ve tried to strike the appropriate balance. We are not saying the union should have a role in the constitution, just that it is part of the terms of employment. Rudnick: We understand that, put those things in the contract, but I won’t tell you what particulars are not appropriate. We will not enshrine these things in the contract! Restrict this to what we are legally obligated to put in the contract. (Why is it that other university presidents are willing to do this, but Gottfredson – after all his statements about how important shared governance – is not? Hmmm.)

Kyr: The Senate wants the constitution in the CBA. (Me: If Gottfredson didn’t like this, why didn’t he debate it with the Senate during the discussion on the motion? Scared? In any case he’s now got his $300 an hour lawyer doing his job for him, explaining how he thinks. Not exactly respectful of the principle of shared governance.)

Kyr: Thanks to you Sharon for this civil discourse and for explaining to us how your boss feels about this. When do you think this will be done? Rudnick: We are close. Surprising. So long as you cave on raises, shared governance, and stop demeaning us as “The Administration” could be soon.

See y’all in two weeks. Still no counter from the administration on raises – what’s that about?

Union bargaining XIX: Gottfredson counters w/ half a Lariviere

4/25/2013 Prologue: 

  • Note to President Gottfredson: If you have any concern for what the faculty think of you, don’t let Sharon Rudnick speak for you again.
  • The union presented its raise proposal 5 weeks ago. The administration has been stalling on a response ever since. Tuesday, about 30 faculty showed up to hear what it was going to be. Rudnick and Moffitt dragged out the meeting as long as they could, then announced at 11:50 that there wasn’t enough time to present Gottfredson’s proposal. Pretty damn rude. 
  • Fact Check: Dear President Gottfredson: I am writing to request that you instruct your General Counsel, Randy Geller, to respond to the email below and provide a list of the members of the “UO Bargaining Team” that wrote the 2/28/13 open letter to me and posted it on the UO website at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/fact-check/
Synopsis: 

  • Rudnick: Your proposal cost $26 million dollars and that’s totally unrealistic! We don’t have the money any more! These problems developed over the many years of Dave Frohnmayer’s faulty leadership and they cannot be resolved in the 24 months of this contract! There is no $26 million dollars! (Which works out to 3% of UO budget. Admin’s are offering 1.5%).
Liveblog Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, should have said, or should have wanted to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. For the Luebke’s view of things see Luebke’s blog.

Rudnick: Here’s the counter. We’ve put majority of money in pay, since benefits are already at or near peers.

Union proposal:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 9/16/2012
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit, 3% Equity
2015: 4.0% ATB, 4% Merit, 1% Equity
NTTF floors.
10% promotion raises.

Admin counter:
2013: 1.5% ATB, retro to 1/1/2013.
2014: 1.5% ATB, 2% Merit
2015: 1.5% ATB, 3.5% Merit
No money for floors, but a committee to set them?
No change in promotion raises.

Mauer: Why? Rudnick gets pissed, doesn’t want to hear criticism. “You can argue whatever you want. This is what it is. This is our best offer. You can make all the accusations you want.” And I’m not going to get you donuts! Enter Asst Prof, with the donuts. Yumm. Some thoughtful person brought a bottle of Kahlua too.

Mauer: Why one pool for merit? Rudnick: We don’t want to institutionalize inequities. I don’t really know how to say this or how strongly our side feels about this. Mauer: We have an open mind, do tell us more.

Bunch of stuff on process.

Back of the envelope, over the 2 years of the contract, Gottfredson’s proposal is about 50% of the union’s proposal, and about 50% of what Lariviere had planned to implement by this year. The administration has abandoned the effort to get UO salaries to our AAU peers, that started with the 2000 Senate white paper. Comparator salaries here.

Gleason
: We have separate pools to ensure NTTF’s get equity. (Actually, you took the separate pools out, Tim.) Long back on forth on appropriate policies, guidelines to determine merit.

Admins are fine with pools, rules for dividing merit money, so long as it’s just about chump change.

Q about equity: Rudnick says “we will get to that”. We agree NTTF floors are important, likes joint committee on NTTF compensation to deal with floors, classification. No money for floors, idea is that the committee will spend 18 months working out the details and then put something in next contract.

Rudnick: Equity. No one disagrees on the importance of paying AAU equitable salaries, but we spent all the money, so we will deal with that in the next contract, maybe. Mauer: Explain how things will be better in 18 months? Rudnick: You’re right. It’s just a hope. Maybe we’ll have spent it all on other important things by then. Mauer: Of all the things to de-emphasize, why equity? Rudnick: We want to get the base up and reward merit. But we don’t want to get the base up to the peer level. Sure, this was priority #1 for Lariviere, but for Gottfredson it’s like, uh, #17.

Mauer: Why doesn’t the joint committee get to look at equity? Rudnick: no answer. Davidson: Committee could do floors in a few months and get money out to people making < $36K for full time work. You are not willing to prioritize that? Rudnick: “We were trying to respond to what we thought your priorities. I am going to show you exactly where all the dollars are, in dollars. If you want to allocate it differently, we don’t care.” (Wait, didn’t you just say your cared about merit?) Mauer calls her on it. Rudnick again: “If you want to allocate money differently we are completely open to that. I’ll say it one more time…”

Cecil: What about our 10% promotion raises? Why did you cross it out? Blandy: I think it was addressed in the promotion article. Cecil: What sort of raises do you think you were proposing there? Blandy: We don’t know.

Retention: Blandy – we have been making retention issues but we haven’t made compression raises because we are bargaining. Mauer and Cecil: We have told you that you can make these raises. Are you going to keep claiming that you can’t because of the union? Green: Compression issues will get worse. Are you holding back money to deal with internal equity? Blandy: Once the contract is ratified, nothing prevents other raises. Rudnick looks at him, in horror. “Yes it does! Once you have a contract you don’t go giving people money willy-nilly” Green: So, what’s the admin’s plan to deal with internal equity now? Mauer: So, you are saying that your proposal the dean could match an outside offer, but not give raises to others in department. Cecil: Is there a retention raise policy? Blandy: No, but practice is you have to have a written outside offer. (Bullshit.) Green: So we could write in something saying for internal equity raises if someone in that department got an outside offer and then a raise. But then departments where no one gets an offer get nothing. Rudnick: right. Green: My read is that CAS is now way behind. Is that your read too? Gleason: My impression is that there’s variability within CAS. But he has no idea. Rudnick: HR only has one or two people, no one knows what’s going on. (Actually, they’ve got a $3.5 million budget.) Braun: Need to get away from the situation where people have to get an offer to address equity. We lose good colleagues, replacement searches are expensive,…

Rudnick: Retention raises are a band-aid.


Gleason: We are spending the money on other UO priorities, sorry. We’ll talk about a better mix of raises, but we’re not giving you any more money.

Mauer leans across the table towards Rudnick, lowers his voice to a barely audible, threatening whisper. “No?”

The room quiets. Mothers shush their children, and herd them out the door. The faculty inch their hands towards the baseball bats. Big Mark smiles, takes a last hit from his cigar, and closes the door. The lock clicks.

Mauer: “That’s all good. But we put a proposal on the table 5 weeks ago, with all the answers. You ignored it.”

Rudnick: No, that cost $26 million dollars and that’s totally unrealistic! We don’t have the money any more. These problems developed over the many years of Dave Frohnmayer’s faulty leadership and they cannot be resolved in the 24 months of this contract! Keeps shouting. There is no $26 million dollars!

Mauer: So, you spent it. That’s nice. Real nice. So, how about you put the rest of your economic proposals on the table. Now.

Rudnick: OK. She gives him a cold stare, and reaches slowly into her briefcase. There’s a glint of gunmetal, reflecting off her cold, polished fingernails.

Cecil sees it, and tries a distraction. “Wait! Before you go there, can you explain your costing again?”

Rudnick gets confused by all the numbers. She starts babbling again. The faculty ease back and start snickering at her. Hamilton grins, and passes his flask around.

Smooth work, Cecil. Looked like a 38 special. Not the sort of thing to fire off in the library, of all places.

Art 21: Fringe benefits. Adjuncts need access to UO email so students can contact them about letters, etc. Rudnick: That’s outweighed by worry former faculty would misuse UO resources. Cecil goes to town on her, hilarious. But lets get the rest of their crap on the table. Rudnick: No child care vouchers, Gottfredson spent that money on my fees:

Break, now they’re back.

Art 24, leaves: Rudnick: We won’t agree to the faculty leave bank. Too complicated and HR only has a $3.5M budget. Faculty must report if they use sick leave. (UO tried that 10 years back – had to send our office manager an email every month reporting if we’d used any sick leave. Lasted for about 6 months.)

I’m not worried about any of this, if I get pregnant and don’t have enough accumulated leave, Provost Bean will just give me a sabbatical.

Green goes to town on them over pregnancies and lack of support for women faculty, raising her voice. Blandy: You’re shouting at me. Green: Yes, I am.

Why does Blandy sit there whenever Rudnick shouts about how demeaning it is to be called “The Administration”, but it’s not OK for Green to shout about pregnancy support?

Rudnick: Can we move on? Cecil: What about pregnancy leaves for career NTTF’s? Rudnick: A lot of people looked at this, we’ll have to go back to them. Cecil has this down cold, gives her a list of inconsistencies. Rudnick sounds like she’s reading this for the first time, searching “… uh, lets see, um, … duh, … um, …., or something…” We took this out of the OARs, except where we didn’t….

Art 23: Retirement Benefits: 
Rudnick: Wait, this has a significant error, give it back! University will make all required contributions, actually we are agreeing to continue making the PERS pickup too, unless law prohibits it. I’ll send you it this afternoon. Cecil: But you wouldn’t make faculty whole if the state bars the pickup? Why not? Rudnick: We were told if that passes, which is not likely, we would not subvert the intention. Gleason: Our interest would be to spend that new money on faculty, but we don’t want it in the contract that we intend to ignore the legislature’s intent. Cecil: WOU etc have that contract language though.

Art 32: Sabbatical:
Rudnick: Comes from statute or OAR and I believe the current reality. (How did Bean, Martinez, and Frohnmayer get those sabbaticals again?) Cecil and Green are all over this. Rudnick and Blandy are confused. Green: It’s a university policy to promote sabbaticals. Rudnick: We don’t have the money to pay more! We spent it all on Bean’s sabbatical:

“The dollars aren’t there given the current priorities for spending dollars. You have to prioritize!” Davidson: Has any thought gone into thinking about how sabbatical improves UO visibility, new grants? Rudnick: No. UO gets its national visibility by subsidizing the Duck athletics brand. It wouldn’t be fiscally prudent to shift those dollars towards faculty research sabbaticals.

Art 22, Health Insurance:
Rudnick: This is not our proposal, it comes from OUS, it’s the proposal they are making to SEIU. Cecil: This is a massive increase in what faculty will have to pay. Rudnick: Yes. We are hoping this will go away.

Rudnick passes out Moffitt’s cost estimates. Cecil goes to town on the question of how much of the cost will from central, and how much from auxiliaries which, by state law, are supposed to be self-supporting. Then asks if there is reality to threats that raises for people in say PE, Music will lead to layoffs, asks if Admin will consider language that would protect people. Rudnick says yes. 

Union bargaining XVIII: Raises. Rudnick: Just kidding!

Update: The union is reporting that Gottfredson’s team has committed to present their counter on raises at 8AM Thursday. No explanation for the HLGR donut delivery problems, but the UO Matters catering division will be ready with coffee and backup voodoo.

4/23/2013: At 9:30 VPFA Jamie Moffitt will deliver President Gottfredson’s counter to the union’s raise proposal. 8-12AM, Room 122 Knight Library. I’ll bring coffee and waive the usual $5 cover charge. Rudnick has assigned a team of HLGR associate attorneys and consultants to bring donuts.

Synopsis: 

  • Note to President Gottfredson: If you have any regard for what the faculty think of you, never again let Sharon Rudnick speak for you. (See comments).
  • The union presented its raise proposal 5 weeks ago. The administration has been stalling on a response ever since. Today, about 30 faculty showed up to hear what it was going to be. Rudnick and Moffitt dragged out the meeting as long as they could, then announced at 11:50 that there wasn’t enough time to present Gottfredson’s proposal. Pretty damn rude. Show up at 8AM tomorrow to see what cheap stunt they pull next.

Prologue: Some readers have noticed the administration’s “Fact Check” site, linked at the top. I wrote the response to it below last Monday. Rudnick and Geller haven’t answered it – they don’t want me to know who wrote an open letter to me? It’s a secret open letter?

Admin Team Fact Check Letter:

My Response:

From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: your Feb 28 open letter about Professor Bill Harbaugh
Date: April 12, 2013 6:22:40 PM PDT
To: Sharon Rudnick , Randy Geller
Cc: James Bean , doug park , Barbara Altmann , Timothy Gleason , Doug Blandy , kate.grado@harrang.com, William F GARY , jens.schmidt@harrang.com, jeffery.j.matthews@harrang.com, ben.miller@harrang.com, dave.frohnmayer@harrang.com, arden.j.olson@harrang.com, joshua.stump@harrang.com, aaron.landau@harrang.com, Bruce Blonigen , “coltrane@uoregon.edu Coltrane” , President Gottfredson , “Melody_Rose@ous.edu” , Ryan Hagemann , Robert Kyr , Margaret Paris

Dear Ms Rudnick and Mr. Geller: 

I’m writing you in regard to the Feb 28 “Open letter from the UO Bargaining Team” which is attached, and which is posted on the official University of Oregon website for faculty contract negotiations, at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/fact-check/
A colleague came across this website a week or so after the letter had apparently been posted, and alerted me to it. I thought it was pretty hilarious, particularly in its discussion of the UO Matters blog at http://uomatters.com, which I edit, and in regard to the claims that I am “indelibly associated” with the faculty union. 

In truth I fought long and hard against faculty unionization. I signed the membership card only at the end, because I wanted to be on the winning side, where I could make a difference. I have made it very clear on my blog and in conversations with many UO administrators that I am still quite skeptical of faculty unions and that my ultimate loyalty is to the University of Oregon and to the principle of public education for which it stands. I regularly tell the union organizers I will turn on the union the moment it starts doing more harm than good to this principle, and I’m pretty sure they believe me. 

But I digress. Many UO faculty have now told me that I should be outraged by your letter, that it is harmful to my professional reputation, and even that it constitutes “defamation per se”, whatever that means. 

While I’m no lawyer, on closer reading I think they may have a point. The letter is on UO letterhead, is posted on an official UO website, is addressed to my academic colleagues in my university community, and it even uses my professional title: 

“We write this letter to our University community because we believe it is both necessary and appropriate to inform you of … the continued reporting of biased, erroneous and inflammatory reports from the bargaining table by Professor Bill Harbaugh …” 

The letter and the website also make some damaging accusations about my actions and intentions, stating them as if they were facts. I note in particular the statement that my blog is “consistently anti-university”, and “He has also filed frivolous and repeated records requests for information directly related to bargaining.” I’m thinking maybe that was supposed to say “not directly related to bargaining” but regardless, I am not the sort of person who takes accusations of frivolity lightly, even confused ones. Economics is a serious subject, and no potential employer would want to hire a professor with a reputation for joking around. 

However the strangest part of this open letter is that a group of UO administrators and attorneys would write something like this, put it on official UO letterhead, post it on an official UO website, and then not sign their names to it.  

So, I am writing to ask Ms Rudnick, who is apparently the leader of this team, or perhaps more appropriately Mr. Geller, her immediate supervisor at UO, to send me the names of the people on the “UO Bargaining Team”. 

I’m ccing all the people I’ve been able to identify as potential members of the UO Bargaining Team, from the website, the HLGR invoices, and a few other sources. I’ve also cced my department chair, CAS Dean Coltrane, President Gottfredson, OUS Chancellor Rose, OUS General Counsel Ryan Hagemann, current UO Senate President Kyr and incoming Senate President Paris. 

I’d appreciate a prompt response, listing the names of the people on the UO Bargaining Team. If any of the team members want to disavow the letter, I’d appreciate it this would be posted on the website where the letter appears. Feel free to also post this letter if you’d like, and let me know if you’d like a signed copy on UO economics department letterhead. 

Thanks,
Bill Harbaugh
Professor of Economics
1285 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403

10 days with no response, so I’m asking Gottfredson: 

From: Bill Harbaugh
Subject: Feb 28 open letter about Professor Bill Harbaugh
Date: April 24, 2013 2:28:56 PM PDT
To: President Gottfredson , Michael Gottfredson  

Dear President Gottfredson:
I am writing to request that you instruct your General Counsel, Randy Geller, to respond to the email below and provide a list of the members of the “UO Bargaining Team” that wrote the 2/28/13 open letter to me and posted it on the UO website at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/fact-check/ 

Thanks, 

Bill Harbaugh
UO Prof. of Economics
http://harbaugh.org

Liveblog Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, should have said, or should have wanted to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. For the union’s view of things see Luebke’s blog.

Act I:

Harbaugh: There’s coffee if anyone would like some. Rudnick: I assigned Bill Gary and Randy Geller to bring donuts. I don’t know why they are not here. Tension in room rises. Underpaid assistant professor, obviously hoping to buy off the administrative team, enters with a box of Voodoo, just before things get ugly. Come on down and get yours.

Rudnick: Gottfredson is upset that a group of faculty attempted to meet with him about the slow pace of bargaining. She said something about “attempted to barge into his office unannounced”. Actually, they tried to arrange a meeting and he wouldn’t reply. He thinks meeting with faculty is totally inappropriate and won’t respond. 
Rudnick: We are ready to TA these. TA mean temporary agreement, my understanding is this means they are binding, more or less, whilst rest of the bargaining proceed.

Preamble: Rudnick passes around a sheet that she calls an agreement on the nomenclature problem. Mauer: This is your counterproposal, not an agreement to ours. Rudnick: OK, you’re right. Mauer: you still want to be called the University? Rudnick is trying to prove she can do this without loosing her cool – good so far. She calls this a compromise. Cecil calls her on it. Rudnick: If your idea of a compromise is to call us the Administration it’s not going to happen. Cecil: A compromise would be agreeing to “University administration”. Rudnick’s voice starts to tighten. No shouting though – she pulled it off! 
Article 40: Negotiation of successor agreement: 
Rudnick ready to agree to this. Mauer signs.
Article 8: Non-discrimination:
She changed 7 years to 5, Mauer notices.
Article 6: Dues deduction:
Mauer notices a typo.
Article 16: Arbitration:
Mauer notices a typo and sloppy language. 
Admin counterproposals: 
Rudnick: I think we are close on these too.

Art 18: Discipline and termination for cause. Gleason’s favorite. What crazy shit will he bring up this time? Rudnick: We dropped a lot. We drop attempts to define “just cause” and leave it up to common wisdom (as Mauer had proposed they do.) Sec 9: Job abandonment. We try to take a middle position. 21 consecutive days, university now has to try and contact the faculty before kicking them off.

Art 43: Drug and alcohol testing
Note that this applies to alcohol and “controlled substances”:

Schedule V Controlled Substances

Substances in this schedule have a low potential for abuse relative to substances listed in Schedule IV and consist primarily of preparations containing limited quantities of certain narcotics. Examples of Schedule V substances include: cough preparations containing not more than 200 milligrams of codeine per 100 milliliters or per 100 grams (Robitussin AC®, Phenergan with Codeine®), and ezogabine.

Rudnick: Adopted standard language for reasonable suspicion. You can get drunk at a party with your department chair, that’s OK, not part of job performance. Beers at lunch, come back to campus, interact with students, that would trigger a test. Cecil: tries to pin her down. Sitting in your office writing a paper? Anderson: You’re at a restaurant, entertaining a speaker, drinking to dull the pain. Students at next table notice, report you. Cecil: Dean hear’s the laughter, gets jealous, demands a test? Gleason: (I have no idea what he is trying to say here. Spit it out Tim.) Rudnick tries to explain. Confession: I spent many happy and productive hours on the UW Terrace with my PhD advisor heavily under the influence, working out proofs. Green: In the President’s box with donors – problem, or is this just about being in front of students. Rudnick: No just students. Mauer: We’ll rewrite this for you.

About 30 faculty are now packing the room. Still a few donuts left. Moffitt is on call in the green room, but first:

Art 42: Criminal Records Checks: Admin counter.
Sec 6: New language, have to tell provost if you are charged with any crime involving “moral turpitude, official misconduct or dishonesty, or with a felony under state or federal law.” Check wikipedia – you’ll be amazed at what counts as moral turpitude:

Yes
Sexual crimes
Tax evasions
Assaults/Murders 
Robbery
Bigamy Paternety Fraud
Contributing to delinquency of minor (can buy students alcohol, etc.)
Fraud 
Extortion
No
Simple assault
Riot
Libel
Bastardy (creating a bastard)
Incest
Firearm violations
Drunk driving
Juvenile Delinquincy
Joy Riding
Trespassing
Vagrancy

Art 39: Distribution: admin counter.

Art 28: Faculty Handbook. 
Admin finally agrees to print the damn thing out. Rudnick’s probably billed $5000 arguing this.

Art 29: Rights reserved to the university.
Mauer: You took out a lot of our specific language about rights derived from constitution, law and  replaced it with “customary”. Why? Rudnick: We don’t want to give up anything even if we don’t know if we have it. Mauer: Our proposal shows were to look for admin rights. Your counter doesn’t explain where admin rights come from. Rudnick: Exactly, that’s our point. Mauer: Does this open the door to Pres claiming he has authority that is not in constitution, law, case law. Rudnick: Yes. Mauer: Come on, why not tell us where you think your admin authority comes from? Rudnick: We don’t want to accept any limiting language. Period. “The university’s authority is what it is and it is not necessary to define it.” WTF? “We’re not going to stage a coup”.

Caucus time, back at 10:10 with Moffitt.

They’re back: 
Rudnick: Moffitt, Shelton, Wolff are here to discuss costing.
Moffitt: I’ll talk about 4 topics:

Revenue for FY 14 and 15

Moffitt still won’t share the revenue projections that she showed the OUS board. But she talks real fast.  Q: What have past tuition increases been? Moffitt: I don’t know. We’re proposing 4.5 and 3% increases for next time. There’s a working group that figures out increases – but of course she’s not going to share their documents. Here’s the tuition history:

Huge increases in tuition for years, but not in faculty pay or hiring. Where has that money gone? Green asks simple Q about tuition, Rudnick jumps all over her. Moffitt there’s a lot of uncertainty, lots of moving parts, lots of balancing.

Moffitt: State appropriation uncertainty. State will allocate money to OUS in June. We won’t know what board will give UO until October. We need to make commitments now though. Perhaps 3% increase, if passed through that would only be $1.3M. (So chump change out of a $800 million budget, But Moffitt is going to run out the clock talking about it.) She goes on and on. Grants: awards are down, $6 million hit. Of course it’s also an expenditure reduction, but she’s not going to talk about that. Now she’s onto F and A recovery, also down about $1M – almost as much as we’re paying for the mortgage on the underground parking at Matt Court. Again, no discussion of associated cuts to expenses. Drags out the sequestration boogyman.

Cecil: So, after years of growth we’re now looking at a small decline. Moffitt: Increases in auxiliary revenue, $7m or so, athletics revenue. Cecil:  Going to use that athletics money for academics? Moffitt: bullshits for a while, main worry is that they don’t take any more new money from the academic side.

Moffitt: Add all that up, about $11M in new recurring revenue, plus about $14M in new other revenue, $25M for 13-14, and another $14M for 14-15. Braun: Any new non-recurring revenue expected? Moffitt: We’ll get gifts, can’t predict, probably mostly for athletics anyway. 

Expenses:

Moffitt: PERS – we projected based on 30% increase. We’ve now got more specific increase info. She quotes old numbers that don’t match with SB 822. Gets a $10.5M number for entire institution – about 1.3% of total UO budget. Health care: Doesn’t believe Kitz, projects 5% increase. Staff – $5 million or so for raises, ~3.5%. TTF faculty is growing at about 15 per year. Hard to cost, especially start-ups. Fortunately Espy has dealt with that by chasing them off. ~$2 million a year.

11:15, and no counterproposal for raises yet. She’s going to get to that today, right?

(I have to say that as annoying as Jamie is, she’s an infinite improvement over the relentless hostility we get from Rudnick and Gleason. She’s hiding a lot, but she’s giving out some information too, and she’s not acting like she hates the faculty.)

Talks about library costs, wifi, leasing, bond payments, building classrooms, Straub bonds. “I don’t want to scare people, but we might have tunnel issues ….” Onto overhead rates. No mention of the $1.5M she took from academics for athletics.

11:32, and no counterproposal for raises yet. She’s going to get to that today, right?

Unrestricted net assets:

Doesn’t want to commit to recurring expenses from one-time funds. Need these for emergencies: hurricanes, etc.

11:41, and no counterproposal for raises yet. She’s going to get to that today, right?

Q and A about costing your proposals.

Moffitt’s bottom line. There are a million things that are more important than paying faculty. Sorry. Any questions?

11:50, and no counterproposal for raises yet. She’s going to get to that today, right?

Mauer: Where is your economic proposal?
Rudnick: Jamie ran out the clock, we don’t have time to present them. 
Mauer: Give them to us and present your talking points tomorrow.
Rudnick: No. I don’t know why people are laughing at me!

Mauer: How far out do your projections go? Moffitt 2015. (Huh? What about the secret slides?)

Cecil: How much Foundation money are you keeping off your books?

Meeting ends. Still no raise proposal from Gottfredson. Apparently it will be presented at 8:00 AM tomorrow. We’ll be here.

Union bargaining XVII:

Free Coffee, Courtesy of UO Matters! Come on down.

Venue:
Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Thursday 4/11/2013.
Buy your tickets here,
$5 for 4 hours of comedy and administrative hijinks. 

All proceeds go towards the $300 I had to pay Dave Hubin to see the invoices on Rudnick’s $400 an hour billing. Which Randy Geller is now sitting on. Conflict of interest? Read this and judge for yourself. I’ve now received $160 $170 for Rudnick’s invoices, from faculty, students, and just now from an alum – thanks readers!

Synopsis: 

Rudnick doesn’t care that the University Senate just voted to recommend that the administration should be called the “university administration” in the contract, and once again goes wacko. It’s like pushing her “embarrass yourself again” button.

She’s also pissed at the union for daring to suggest that her crack team of experts needs to pick up the pace. Uh, the faculty voted to unionize almost a year ago. We’ve been at the bargaining table since December. The union put its raise proposal on the table March 19th. Rudnick is saying that the administration’s counter proposal won’t be ready until April 24th. Do the math. Maybe Moffitt was travelling with the Ducks to the NCAA games again?

Speaking of math, it turns out that despite taking two weeks to do it, Moffitt had a few problems with those tricky addition and multiplication operations when costing out the union’s proposal. Don’t get me started on their attempts to take first derivative of total cost. Hint – it’s not an Excel function, you gotta think a little first, or try Mathematica. Anyway, she’s going to send the union a redo to try and get her grade up. 5 points off for every day late, it’s in the syllabus.

Other than that, it was a fairly productive meeting. The union put down counter-proposal after counter proposal, often adopting changes and language suggested by Rudnick and the administration, but holding their ground on a few key points.

Prologue: The union is coming off a big win in the Senate: 30 to 3 to ask Gottfredson to instruct his team to accept the union proposal to put shared governance into the faculty contract. Gottfredson has to realize that his bargaining team has at best 10% credibility with the faculty, and that his own credibility is shrinking fast given his apparent support for Rudnick’s bargaining strategy. Although “strategy” seems like a rather grandiose term for the random neural noise that our scans have thus far detected from the administrative team:

Maybe if we drop the t-stat cutoff to 1.6, turn off the Bonferroni correction, and do a one-sided test?

The union has disproved the skeptics – such as me – and has put forward a series of reasonable proposals for shared governance, promotion and tenure, and protections for the NTTFs. They made a reasonable economic proposal, focused on merit and on the external equity that has been a shared faculty administration goal since 2000. All the contract articles are now on the table. They’ve compromised with the administrative side on grievances and arbitration. If the administration’s team gets its act together we could wrap this up by the middle of May.

But given that their chief negotiator gets $400 for every hour she can drag it out, how long do you think it’s really going to take?

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, should have said, or should have wanted to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes. For the union’s view of things see Luebke’s blog.

Liveblog:

Act I:

Got in a little late. Rudnick is still refusing to let the administration be called the “university administration” – which the UO Senate agreed to just yesterday. I’m not sure how she got off on this, but she’s sounding more than a little childish. “This is a very significant fundamental issue here!” Back off! Now she’s mad because the union has been telling people she is moving so slowly. Mauer: We just need to get on with things. We have 9 faculty volunteers, are working really hard, we’ve put out all this work. You can’t even come back with an agreement on nomenclature? Rudnick:” Your speech is offensive! We are doing all the economic work! Your speeches are not going to change anything! We are not going to be called the administration! I’m sorry that you don’t like it! “Our people also have no time for this. It’s going to be done as soon as it gets done.” Too bad you want to get it done before you faculty go on vacation! “We are not going to be the administration!” Mauer: Our members are asking why the administration is taking so long. Rudnick: I don’t think you understand how hard we worked to incorrectly cost your bargaining proposals. (We’d understand better if you’d tell Geller to produce your invoices.) When I can find the right people to talk to about nomenclature, I’ll ask them!

Caucus break.

Act II:

Mauer: So, you have no economic proposals today, but you will on Wed the 24th? Rudnick. Yes, and Moffitt will come to defend them. We should have some of the information you have requested this week. Mauer: You will have a complete counter? Rudnick starts backtracking – at least we will on compensation. Moffitt’s going to go first to try and scare you with snippets from her secret powerpoint forecasts.

Art 2: Academic rank. Union counter:

Cecil: We’ve accepted you classification and rank system, we put back some of our language, attempt to address people who have been switched arbitrarily by the provost. Rudnick: Give me a more concrete example. Cecil: Person was hired .5 teaching and .5 research, then Tomlin said no, it’s one or the other. This makes that possible. Sec 2: Our language was from published OUS info describing ranks, you took it out, we think the descriptions are useful. We accepted your language on “paid”, tuned up a few parts to deal with potential confusion. We accepted your idea that Adjunct should be its own classification, added some descriptive stuff. Gleason: Is this language intended to capture current practice? Cecil: Yes, to the extent we could figure it out. We added back in post-doc fellows and emeritus, just for thoroughness. We couldn’t find some stuff which has apparently deleted from the UO website. Stuff about a “rank reclassification committee”. Cecil says he’s not aware of anyone reclassified from NTTF to TTF. I can think of one: Charles Martinez. Rudnick: Productive definitional back and forth with Cecil.

Art 8: Non-discrimination. Union counter.

Rudnick: Why 7 years between trainings? Mauer: There was a movie about it. Rudnick: How about 3, or 5? Mauer: Sure.

Art 5: Union rights, union counter:

Cecil: we cleaned up a little language, adopted some of your stuff. We should be a “university organizational unit” and a “recognized university group” so we can use facilities. Not asking for any special privileges. Rudnick: OK. Sec 4: Gleason: In the last 2 weeks I’ve had several faculty ask me how to get people from the union to stop coming to my door asking me to sign something. It’s interfering with their ability to feel comfortable in their office. Cecil: Tell them to say the standard thing: Please don’t come back. Mauer and Rudnick: People should email the union and ask them to stop. Cecil: But people change their minds, not unreasonable for us to check back every 6 months or so.

Caucus break.

Act III: 

Art 28: The mysterious faculty handbook again raises its ugly spectre:
Mauer: OSU has a website, here’s a printout. Blandy: OK. Rudnick: What does it mean to print something out? Links? Mauer: If links change, must be captured for the record. Rudnick: OK.

Art 29: University Administration Rights:

Admin shall have the rights in Oregon law, UO constitution, regulations, case law…

Mauer: We expected you to write this, but you stuck it in shared governance, so we’re writing it for you. Comes mostly from the UF contract. Rudnick: OK, we’ll look at it.

Art 30: Distribution of the agreement
Mauer: You explained last time the admin does not have an email list of bargaining members so it would be an undue burden for you to email out the news that there’s a contract posted on the AA website. Rudnick gets pissed again. I have no idea why they don’t want to send out this email. Demeaning for administrators to have to do something for the union? Who knows. Rudnick, tight lipped, “We’ll look at this”.

Art 40: Negotiation of Successor Agreement:

Art 42: Criminal faculty checks:
Mauer: Sec 6. Only have to notify Bean if they are convicted of a crime that affects their ability to perform their job duties. I personally have never seen language like what you are asking for. These are very unusual provision. These are not arising out of any actual problems – why are you raising them? Rudnick: Diverts with talk about background checks. … Blandy: what if a faculty criminal hid a crime that did affect job performance. Mauer: You’d have grounds for discipline. Gleason: Your criminal records are public records, what’s the privacy concern?

Mauer: That’s it for our counters. Rudnick: OK, I think we are on agreement or very close on a lot of these. Next time we will finally have the administrations economic proposals, or at least most of them. We will make Moffitt available at your request.

That’s it for today. Next meeting 4/24.

Live-blog: UO Senate meeting, 4/10/2013

Synopsis: Gottfredson gets called out on trying to keep faculty off UO Board, and setting up secret working groups. Resolutions pass, pass, pass, pass. 4:20 and all the motions are done, several with appropriate amendments. Frank Stahl introduces motion for May meeting:

Notice of MOTION for LEGISLATION:
The University shall enter into no agreements that grant outside agencies or boards the right to abolish, change, or interfere with the operation of the UO Constitution.

Good turnout, excellent meeting.

Live blog disclaimer: My interpretation of what people said, meant to say, or what I wished they’d said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Knight Library Room 101, 3:00‐5:00 pm
3:00 pm 1. Call to Order
1.1 Approval of the Minutes of the March 13, 2013 Senate Meeting

3:05 pm 2. State of the University

2.1 Remarks by President Michael Gottfredson

Background, from Gottfredson’s first address to the Senate, 10/11/12:

To protect these values, it is essential that we employ a shared governance model – active and meaningful collaboration, active faculty participation and a faculty authority for academic matters. This has meaning that’s informed by history and by peer reference. …

In my view, the administrative governance responsibilities only work when important policies and practices are informed by consultation and advice from the faculty, staff and students. Such consultation and advice can only be meaningful if it takes place in a spirit of transparency and knowledge and in a timely manner. There’s not much use in consulting after the fact – or not much use consistent with these ideas of governance, anyway. 

So there’s an essential advisory role for the senate, even on administrative matters – an essential role on those matters that are central to the execution of our mission, like budget and finance, space and capital planning, athletics and of course participation in the selection and the evaluation of academic administrators.

Today: President is gone, for a meeting in Salem, probably about how to keep faculty off the UO Board. Hubin delivers some remarks instead:

Pleased with Provost search and Espy review (all but one member appointed). Ombudsman search starting soon, asks for names for search committee. Sayre asks Hubin about Gottfredson’s position on voting faculty members on the UO board. Lariviere agreed to this, so have the PSU and OSU presidents, what’s Gottfredson’s problem with this? Hubin won’t answer the question. Harbaugh asks Hubin to get a written statement from Gottfredson asking him to explain to us what he is telling the legislators, Kyr agreed to do that tonight, and give the Senate the response via the Senate listserv.

3:15 pm 3. New Business

3.1 Motion (Policy Adoption): Facilities Scheduling Policy; Kassia Dellabough (AAA),
Chair; Senate Facilities Scheduling Policy Committee

Dellabough is not here, Paris presents. This is all fallout from the Pacifica Forum nightmare several years ago. Kyr reads the policy. “This policy does not apply to the Athletic Department”. Eh? Sullivan: Amendment to only restrict commercial video and audio-taping. Amendment and motion pass unanimously. 

3.2 Motion (Legislation): Working Groups for Tenth-Year Review; Committee on
Committees, Robert Kyr, Senate President

2.1 BE IT HEREBY MOVED that the Senate approves the formation of the Working Groups at the request of the Committee on Committees in order to complete the work of the Tenth-Year Review, as follows: 

• Working Group on Academic Council;
• Working Group on Intercollegiate Athletics Committee;
• Working Group on Senate Transparency Committee;
• Working Group on Senate Committees Relating to Diversity and Campus Climate; 

2.2 BE IT FURTHER MOVED that the Senate approves the formation of the Working Groups at the request of the Committee on Committees in order to evaluate the advisability of creating new Senate committees, as follows: 

• Working Group on the Creation of an Academic Excellence Committee;
• Working Group on the Creation of an Instructional Technology Committee;
• Working Group on the Creation of a Policing Review Board;
• Working Group on the Creation of a Research Council; 

2.3 BE IT FURTHER MOVED that at the request of the Committee on Committees and following the completion of the CBA process, the Senate approves the formation of a Working Group, as follows: 

• Working Group on Grievance and Appeals Committees to evaluate the role of all Senate committees related to hearings, appeals and grievances;

Kyr: Background, this has been exhausting. Senate committee need upgrade and redesign. Need process for recognition and perhaps incentives for faculty participation.

• Proposals

o Create guidelines for committee service and/or operations manual
o Create Tiers according to workload:
 Tier 1+ committees (more than 60 hours per year);
 Tier 1 committees (41 to 60 hours per year);
 Tier 2 committees (21 to 40 hours per year);
 Tier 3 committees (1 to 20 hours per year).
o Create groupings according to subject and function:
 Governance committees;
 Academic and research committees;
 Administrative committees;
 Hearings, appeals, and grievance committees;
 Student issues committees.
o Create greater Committee on Committee oversight by assigning
coordinator for groupings of committees

Harbaugh notes that the administration has been setting up “working groups” on the side to do an end run around the Senate – e.g. the groups Hubin set up for transparency and even accreditation, done without consulting the Senate. Sayre notes this also happened with the police working group. Dreiling asks about the budget priority working group, motion to add that to the list requiring special investigation. Passes unanimously. Harbaugh asks that Kyr ask Gottfredson what is going on with this budget priorities thing. Kyr agrees to do that tonight and respond to the Senate.

Motion passes unanimously, with applause.

3.3 Motion (Resolution): Regarding Shared Governance at the University of Oregon;
Roxann Prazniak, Associate Professor (CHC, History)

2.1 RESOLVED – The University Senate reaffirms its commitment to the ideals of academic freedom and shared governance; 

2.2 RESOLVED – The University Senate, because of the faculty’s own statutory role in shared governance, strongly urges the university administration, during its negotiations with United Academics of the University of Oregon, to refer to itself not as “the University” but as “the university administration”; 

Sorry, a brief commercial interruption:

Click the button to buy one, for $6.67. All proceeds go to help our UO students pay Sharon Rudnick’s $400 an hour fees. One button buys 60 seconds. Yeah, I know it’s a rip. 

2.3 RESOLVED – The University Senate strongly urges the President to manifest the University of Oregon’s commitment to academic freedom and to shared governance by including language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement with United Academics of the University of Oregon that incorporates those principles and protects the role of the University Senate in shared governance. 

2.4 RESOLVED – The University Senate strongly urges the President to strengthen academic freedom and shared governance by agreeing to incorporate the University Constitution and existing policies adopted by the Senate and the President into the relevant articles of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with United Academics of the University of Oregon.

 Kyr reads motion. Prazniak: Union wants shared governance. Gottfredson’s bargaining team’s counter-proposal just said this was a “tradition” – nothing about the constitution or  policies. Psaki: Simple and uncontroversial. Putting this in the CBA is important – central to role of faculty, OA’s staff – to all in the Senate. Margerum: People in AAA generally supportive, some concerns about inserting Senate into bargaining process. Sullivan: I’m a strong supporter of union and the Senate, tried to keep a firewall, that was naive. Union has power, is negotiating. Putting constitution in contract binds the union, as well as the admin. (Interesting point). Landrum: only concern is about incorporating policies. What if they change? Sullivan: yes, good thing this is a resolution. Sinclair and Sullivan: this not about the Senate supporting the union. (Actually, more the other way around.) Paris: I see this as calling for any group engaging in collective bargaining to reaffirm right to exercise shared governance responsibilities. Sinclair disagrees. 

Passes on voice vote with three nays. 

3.4 Motion (Legislation): Amendment to US12/13-13, UO Representation on the
Interinstitutional Faculty Senate (IFS); Senate Executive Committee

Snoozer.

4:55 pm 4. Open Discussion

4:55 pm 5. Reports

4:57 pm 6. Announcements and Communications from the Floor

6.1 Notice of Motion (Legislation): Termination of the UO-ROTC Contract;

Frank Stahl, Professor Emeritus (Biology)

I’m no pacifist, but the ROTC “Military Science” grade inflation is almost as bad as in Doug Blandy’s Art and Human Values courses:
5:00 pm 7. Adjournment

Union bargaining XVI: Class warfare looms

Venue: Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Tuesday 4/9/2013. Also see Luebke’s blog.

Synopsis: Gottfredson prepares for scorched earth class warfare: getting the students to believe it’s the faculty’s fault that tuition has been increasing. He must destroy the university to save it from the faculty. Nick Ekblad sneaks behind enemy lines at the Jock Box and reveals the secret strategy in the Commentator:

I thought it was particularly funny that they hosted this in the Jock Box. The projected utility cost per year of the University of Oregon is 18 million dollars and going up one million every year. I chuckled to myself and then the wall behind all those bunched up letters changed colors. …

Apparently the University is facing major increases in operating expenses. One major factor is the recent spike in enrollment. They didn’t leave the “major factors” slide up very long, and Vice Provost Brad Shelton’s website hasn’t been updated in 18 months. I think everyone should email shelton(at)uoregon.edu and ask him the major factors. I will ask for the slides. 

Tuition is currently 178 dollars per credit per hour and proposed to be increased 8 dollars making it 186. Full-time tuition will increase from 8,010 to 8,370 dollars at a 4.5% increase.

Moffitt has been preparing 24/7 for the Thursday bargaining session, where she will show up to defend her reserves.

Prologue: In session XV the union put its remaining economic proposals on the table. The administration said it needs to cost them out before responding. So Mike Mauer asked how much UO was prepared to spend on the raises and other economic proposals. Sharon Rudnick wouldn’t answer. The union then asked to see the budget information in Jamie Moffitt’s secret powerpoint slides. UO claimed in its accreditation report just last month that UO consults with faculty about budget planning, so it’s going to be interesting to see that response. Rudnick was careful to avoid raising the question that she and Moffitt kept asking last month – tell us where you think we should cut? Apparently we had a few too many good ideas, and this question will never again be raised in public.

Meanwhile, rumors are flying about who will be UO’s interim provost, after Bean’s 4 year stint ends July 1. The smart money says that VPAA Doug Blandy’s odds of getting this job are the same as the probablility that an undergrad will fail one of the “Art and Human Values” courses that Blandy has been selling on the internet:

And as for Dean Gleason, well, let’s just say that the J-School still can’t find a replacement dean with Tim’s joie de vivre:

So, there you have it. President Gottfredson will appoint Sharon Rudnick as UO’s next interim provost.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, should have said, or should have wanted to say. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Liveblog:

Act I:

I got here a little late, they are talking about the union’s request for data on UO’s financial situation. Rudnick is saying Jamie will come in next session and actually answer questions! She has been trying to cost proposals. Will present those in 2 weeks. Mauer: That’s good news.

Art 47, Admin Counter on perks for retirees: Status quo. Cecil: Are these listed somewhere? Pratt: Not the same as what’s in the 1991 policy. Rudnick not happy they found a mistake.

Art 48, Admin Counter on TRP: Snoozer. “The University” comes up again since the administration keeps using it in their counter-proposals. Originally Rudnick said it was demeaning for her team to be called “The Administration”. Now she doesn’t want to talk about it.

Rudnick passes around financial comparison to OUS peers. She gives us these to give context as to resources available here at UO – significantly less. As usual they administration ignores the fact that our comparators have medical, engineering schools. This make our admin costs look low in comparison – no expensive hospital administrators! Hmm, if we’re so small and poor, why do we pay our central administrators salaries comparable to what their equivalents earn at AAU peers where they have to deal with 4x the budget, hospitals, nuclear reactors, etc?

Rudnick: The bottom line is you can quibble but we are poor. You only get paid what you do because Gottfredson is a river unto his people. UO can barely afford my fees, I may have to do this pro bono soon. Cecil: I heard Lariviere say more than a few times that he had the money for faculty raises – wonder where you spent it.

Costing the Union proposals:

Rudnick starts reading off her crib notes – doesn’t understand what she’s saying. Keeps flipping back and forth, looking confused. Doug – help me. She’s trying to set this up to argue that the only way to pay for the raises is going to be tuition increases. We certainly can’t afford to cut our lean administration, or our sports budget. Mauer calls her on it. Rudnick: This is just information, you understand? Mauer: You won’t even let faculty sit on the committee that makes budgeting decisions. Rudnick goes of on the grant issues – all the money is not fungible. Gleason starts arguing about tuition money. Really – there’s no administrative fat to cut? JH can’t make the AD start paying for the Jock Box and Mac Court? Parking for Matt Court. Green: Isn’t it true that federal grants include provisions for raises. Rudnick: whoops.

Rudnick: By the end of FY 2015, your proposal creates a $25M increase in recurring expenses. Add in costs for equivalent raises for the non union faculty members. Cecil: Knock off a few million because you don’t understand floors. Union goes back on forth on the various exaggerations Rudnick et al have cooked up. Gleason wants to double count union release time – giggles from the faculty as he tries to explain himself.

Rudnick then pulls out her favorite chart, claiming that the union has proposed paying for all these raises with tuition increases, so she costs out each part of the raises in tuition dollars. Mauer: Really, there’s no fat in the budget? Green: Why is this the first time the administration has ever come to us to discuss how tuition money should be spent?

Mauer: Will you cost your proposals when you present them? Cecil: You said our proposals are “high”. What are you willing to spend?

Add in all the economic proposals – e.g. full pay for sabbaticals, release time for union officers, child care – and I’m guessing the union’s economic proposals work out to about a 4% increase in the total UO budget for 2015-16. Maybe a bit more if you include the sabbaticals for admins like Bean, and Rudnick’s bills.

Seems reasonable. Given that Lariviere wanted to implement similar raises for the TTF by Sept 2011, UO has already saved up a boatload of money in Jamie’s reserves, so we shouldn’t even have to hit the recurring budget until 2015 or so. Let’s get this done, President Gottfredson!

I bailed at this point, sorry. I hear the admin team lost control of the ball in the second half. Luebke’s blog has this:

was there only from 10:30 to 11;40: Gina Psaki did an “Ole’, toro!” on Rudnick, pointing out how their side had misread (?) misrepresented what UAUO wrote about the reserves etc.. Rudnick tends to get rather pissy for a lawyer (I thought they were supposed to keep their cool). Then Dave Cecil was just fantastically unstoppable, summing up their positions, comparing/contrasting them to what we had said/done, ending up with telling her that calling us “irresponsible” really was not a helpful way to lead negotiations. I was spinning, I’m sure Rudnick and the Blues Brothers were too….

Here’s the admin cost blather handout. See you Thursday. Buy your online ticket here – $5 for 4 hours of comedy and administrative hijinks. Well drinks only $6 during happy hour, 8-9.

Bargaining Session XVII premium seating

Union Bargaining XV: The rest of the economic proposals

Venue: Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Tuesday 4/2/2013. (No bargaining Th the 4th).

Synopsis:

The union put its remaining economic proposals on the table. The administration said it needs to cost them out before responding. The union then asked how much UO was prepared to spend on the raises and other economic proposals. Rudnick wouldn’t answer.

The union asked to see the budget information in Jamie Moffitt’s secret powerpoint slides. Given that UO claimed in its accreditation report just last month that 

The UO engages several cross-functional teams to assist with budget preparation and operational assessment. These teams include:
• Budget Advisory Group – comprised of students, faculty and staff; advises on
general fund allocations
• Tuition and Fee Boards – comprised of students, faculty, and staff; advises on
tuition and fees, and evaluates performance and projections.
• Internal Bank Advisory Committee – comprised of faculty and staff; analyze and
advise on debt-funded projects.
• Senate Budget Committee – comprised of members of the elected University
Senate; review and make recommendations on budgetary policy and long-term
financial strategies.

It’s going to be interesting to see the response. Rudnick seemed careful to avoid raising the question that she and Moffitt kept asking last month – tell us where you think we should cut? Apparently we had a few too many good ideas. Some progress was made on the rest of the contract.

Last highlight: Rudnick promised to try and stop shouting at the faculty. She wants us to pay her $400 an hour *and* like her. I’m no economist, but make it $75 and we’ll think about it.

Prologue: Who is writing the administration’s blog about the bargaining sessions? That blog now includes a fascinating fact-check page, devoted to checking up on the posts and comments here on UO Matters:

It is clear to a reasonable observer that Mr. Harbaugh is indelibly associated with United
Academics. He is a member of the United Academics Organizing Committee and is an official consultant to the United Academics bargaining team. He attends and blogs from all bargaining sessions. Members of the UA bargaining team consult with him regularly.
Mr. Harbaugh’s blog is consistently anti-University, frequently includes personal attacks,
and is riddled with false and inaccurate statements.

and later, and somewhat inconsistently:

Fact: The University and the United Academics bargaining teams both are working hard at the table to understand the issues and the proposals under review. Both teams are acting in good faith and are respectful of each other’s proposals and questions. Both teams agree that faculty salaries need to increase. Professor Harbaugh’s persistent misrepresentation of the tone and tenor of the discussions is unfortunate and damaging to the bargaining effort.

They also accuse me of repeated frivolity:

He has also filed frivolous and repeated records requests for information directly related to bargaining. His activities are getting in the way of productive bargaining.

And there is some actual fact checking going on – on carefully selected topics. I haven’t seen them post anything on my refutation of Jamie Moffitt’s 30% PERS claim, Gottfredson’s refusal to share basic budgetary information – despite telling our academic accreditors that UO regularly engaged all stake-holders in budget planning, etc. But read it for yourself.

Who writes this? The administration and Barbara Altman are still refusing to respond to this public records request:

Subject: pr request, http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/ writers and editors
Date: January 23, 2013 4:13:19 PM PST
To: Lisa Thornton <pubrec@uoregon.edu>
Cc: Barbara Altmann <baltmann@uoregon.edu>

Hi Lisa, this is a public records request for  

1) the names and contact information of all of the editors and writers for the website http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/

2) all notes for and drafts of the post identified as Negotiation Update #3 January 21, 2013 with names of the authors/editors of each document. 

3) a copy of any emails showing who read/commented on/approved this post before publication.  

I’m ccing Barbara Altmann on this as she can presumably provide the information easily. I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest in the bargaining process, inherent in its expense and effects on UO, and as demonstrated by the large number of hits and comments to the UO Matters blog whenever I post on this.

After two months without a reply – the AG says a week or two is reasonable – I’ve filed a public records petition with the Lane County DA. We’ll see what happens.

UO is also still trying to hide how much they are paying Rudnick and the other lawyers they hired to fight unionization and have kept on to collegially negotiate the first contract. The most informative invoice I’ve been able to get looks like this:

I’ve got a public records request in for the more recent ones. I’m guessing Rudnick’s billing is now over $250K or so. But who knows? Randy Geller has stopped reporting legal fees on UO’s Financial Transparency Tool, and also on the Oregon Government Transparency website.

Representing the UO Administration: The usuals

Representing the UO Faculty Union: The usuals

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, were thinking, or of their treppenwitz. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Liveblog:

Act I:

Union proposal on Postdoc salaries:

Mauer: Floors to be the NIH standards, starting at $39,264. Gleason: How much NIH grant funding is there? Rudnick: How much would this cost? Cecil: We don’t know current years of experience.

Art 22, Health Insurance: 
Establishes a $1million pool for health benefits for those with less than 0.50 FTE. 

Art 23, PERS:
Cecil: Keep the status quo: If PERS contributions fall below current levels the ORP members will not see smaller contributions than currently. UO will continue to pick up the 6% PERS contributions, if the state makes this illegal UO will implement a workaround.

That completes the economic proposals.

Rudnick: Have you costed these? Mauer: Not in total, if you want us to do this we need more information. Rudnick: Do you have salary surveys to base your salary proposals on? Is the AAUP salary survey available to us? (UO actually has better data through the AAUDE that they will not share. How can she not know this?) Rudnick: Not fair to just look at salary, we are going to look at total compensation. Cecil: Discussion? Rudnick: We are working to cost the proposals, looking at the value of and the cost of compensation, and compare to the market. (That will be an interesting public records request.) We hope to come back with a comprehensive economic proposal. We’ve been working on that pretty diligently. Mauer: It’s been weeks – why aren’t you ready to discuss anything, e.g. salary floors, merit increases, equity and compression. Rudnick: A lot of your creative ideas have been well received, including pushing issues away from the bargaining table into smaller groups. We will come back with comprehensive counter-proposals. Right now we’re focused on the numbers. Mauer: We should be flushing things out. Rudnick: Until we have a handle on budgets (which we won’t let you see) and numbers we’ve got nothing more to say.

Mauer: Lets talk concepts. Rudnick: That’s money. We can’t discuss it until we cost it. If you want all this stuff it adds up, we need to figure out how to spend what’s available. “That’s enough. That’s the answer to your question!” Mauer: How about we all take a little timeout.

Act II:

Mauer: We understand your cost questions. But you do know your budget. What sum of money is the administration prepared to devote to the economic proposals. Rudnick: I don’t have a sense of magnitude or what is available in dollars. (WTF? She’s known this was coming for months. UO did its secret budget forecasting in December. Why not put it on the table?) She says UO is in the middle of budgeting now. Gleason: Everyone at this table wants to give you a little money, we just don’t want to tell you how much. As Jamie noted there are some very large uncertainties, which she shamelessly exaggerated. Mauer: We welcome your commitment to increase compensation. Lets make it happen. You asked us last time to suggest where the money should come from. We think that’s your job to balance expenses. But you keep asking us, so here’s an information request. Rudnick: We don’t intend to hide the ball, this is a public institution. Mauer: We are asking for documentation for Jamie’s claims. Rudnick: We understand we will have to show you some information.

Mauer: Lets talk about article 30, on transparency, which is not a mandatory subject for bargaining, but since we’re on this. Please clarify your refusal to negotiate on this? Rudnick: It’s not a mandatory subject for bargaining. So there. It’s not a matter for the union. Not a matter for negotiation. You tell me why it’s mandatory! You don’t get to bargain the budget! You want us to enshrine in the contract a Senate Committee! Mauer: Ok, thanks for the clarification.

Rudnick: We’ve got a stack of counter-proposals for you.

Preamble: Mishmash, sounds like they’re going to fold on being called “The University”. Partial victory for Frank Stahl:

“The faculty and the students are the university. Those administrators are our hired hands – they’re the ones who should be unionizing and negotiating their contracts with us.”

But of course Geller and Gottfredson won’t even let the faculty see what we’re paying these hired hands.

Art 8: Non-discrimination

Rudnick: We changed “unfair” to “illegal”. Notion is that this article gives faculty an additional means of pursuing claims of unlawful discrimination. Every choice is discrimination. (I think I heard Thaddeus Stevens say this in Lincoln). Don’t want to but specific definitions in here, because the law may change. Mauer: Arbitrator will look to which case-law – Oregon or Federal or local? Rudnick: UO needs to comply with all laws, so it’s an “or” not an “all”. E.g. Eugene’s expansive human rights law would apply. Rudnick: E.g. employers can discriminate based on disability if they can show it’s related to work requirements. Cecil: We took unfair from the mission statement. Rudnick: Doesn’t limit grievances. We’re not trying to limit, just trying to put in a standard, unlawful seems like a good standard. Davidson: Legal standards could change. Strengthening now, but that could change. We should we just have the bare legal minimum? Rudnick: Purpose is to provide another avenue for people to grieve, without going to court. If legal standards change, we could renegotiate contract. Don’t want to give arbitrator authority to settle something based on “unfairness”. Green: Suppose we gave preferences to hiring for women. We hired a faculty member who taught in his religious garb. Until last year this was illegal in Oregon. Our standard as professionals and role models – which you keep bringing up – should be higher. Rudnick: “unfair” is too vague for contract language. Need objective standard. Mauer: Most CBA’s have our language, arbitrators make decisions. Rudnick: And those decisions are all over the map, depend on the arbitrator. Mauer: So is the SCOTUS, as we saw last week. The nut: Unions like arbitrators, lawyers like law. Gleason: We want to provide maximal protection from discrimination, but we don’t want grievances about anything beyond the legal minimum. Got it, Tim. (I’m wondering how this will affect UO’s UMRP policy to pay departments $90K for hiring racial minorities. UO thinks this is legal. Which language would make it easier to end this program?) Rudnick: We’re open to something but it has to be more specific than unfair.

Section 2: Rudnick: We want to be able to require people to attend mandatory ant-discrimination trainings. Blandy: You want people to understand the rules, lets get some language that works to train them. Rudnick: Majority of complaints are co-worker to co-worker.

Section 4: Rudnick: Concern is two bites at the apple. We don’t want people to be able to file a grievance for final, binding arbitration – and then file a lawsuit if they don’t like the outcome. You can’t bargain away the right to sue, but you can make them elect one or the other. This is open to discussion if you have another solution.

Section 5: Rudnick: We put this back in because we don’t want academic judgements reviewed by arbitrators just because there’s an allegation of discrimination, e.g. in a promotion case. Not saying it can’t be raised, just saying it should come up under promotion (e.g.) not under discrimination.

Article 15, Grievances:

Rudnick: Only change is a 180 day limit to file a tort claim notice for discrimination, also required to maintain state claims. (Feds allow a year.)

Art 42: Criminal records checks

Rudnick: Records checks are allowed, not required. All checks involve only public records. Being charged with a crime is also a public document. We need access. Mauer: Is your intent to expand on the statutory requirements? Rudnick: No. We want to confirm it. (Why, if it’s already law?) Mauer: We asked you last time for examples. Rudnick: I asked, I don’t have any. Mauer: You want faculty to report this for any crime? Rudnick: Yes. Bramhall: Is policy now to run checks for faculty? Rudnick: Not at the moment. Davidson: When can you request fingerprints? Rudnick: by law. Anderson: And if tit’s a crime in another country? Rudnick: report it. Cecil: Could we add language limiting the provost’s ability to talk publicly about crimes to those that affect work performance? Rudnick: Yes.

Art 39: Distribution:

Rudnick: We want the union to distribute the contract to members, not us. We will send you the list of members every month. Cecil: It’s a burden for you to email? Rudnick: Yes.

Art 5: Union Rights:

Rudnick:

Sorry, I bailed at this point. 

Union Bargaining XIV: Gottfredson’s response is to stall

Venue: Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Thursday 3/21/2013.

Postscript:

Prologue: (Comparator gaps by dept here, what to cut here, Moffitt’s secret budget here.)

You might have thought Michael Gottfredson would have asked Kitzhaber for authority to deal with UO’s faculty pay problem, before he agreed to take the UO president’s job. But maybe he was more concerned about pinning down his own $540K salary. For comparison, the Chancellor of UCLA gets $425K, after 6 years in the job.

In Sept 2011, Lariviere wrote to OUS, in defense of his plan to get UO salaries to our comparators, despite the state salary freeze in place at the time:

Read it all here, lots of stuff about NTTF raises too. The salary freeze has been history for 2 years, Pernsteiner leaves in 11 days. PSU and OSU faculty have had raises, so have UO’s OAs, and many central administrators. On Tuesday, in Session XIII, the union proposed a realistic, comprehensive salary package with both merit and external equity comments, along the lines of the 2011 proposal from the administration – which was supposed to have been fully implemented by 2013-14.

But President Gottfredson’s administrative bargaining team responded to the union’s proposal to at least make a bit of progress on this by 2015-16 with sarcasm and ridicule. VPFA Jamie Moffitt said that despite having reserves above the OUS *maximum* UO could not afford these raises – but she won’t show her budget forecasts. Doug Blandy denied that faculty were leaving over salaries. Rudnick suggested that the AAU peer group comparisons were now irrelevant, and that UO couldn’t afford both wi-fi and competitive faculty pay, and that faculty would need to pick one or the other.
Cast: Blandy and Slim and helper lawyers, no Gleason, no Altmann.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, were thinking, or of their treppenwitz. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Liveblog:

Act I:

Rudnick: Trying to drag this out in hopes union members will get nervous about Beangram on raises. Admin can’t assess raise proposal without total compensation package (inclusive of leaves, sabbaticals, etc). The take it or leave it approach doesn’t work for Rudnick after all? We met yesterday about your salary proposals but we don’t have a response. Moffitt is “costing them out” and comparing to her secret budget projections. Here’s hoping she’s also going through the list of admin bloat.

Admin response to Art 6: Dues:

Rudnick: blah, blah. Gleason walks in, looking pissed about something, as usual.

Art 18: Union proposal on Discipline and Termination.

Gleason perks up. This has new relevance giving the Olmsted incident last week. Mauer drops an Arlo reference. Chuckles from the faculty team and the group W bench. Admins apparently are not fans. Mauer goes through their list step by step, explains problems, explains that they have not clarified previous questions as they promised, explains what union does accept, explains objections. Hits them on the petty stuff they inserted in the contract even though it’s already covered under law. Union does not propose docking admin pay for bowl game junkets.

Rudnick: Sec 9: Intended to treat unapproved leave as “voluntary resignation”. Not discipline. Mauer: Arbitrator would normally say that the employer had an obligation to investigate the circumstances. Here? Rudnick: Putting that aside, If the terms of the section were complied with, we would not want an arbitrator to be able to arbitrate – they’ve abandoned their job. Mauer: Some anthropologist is incommunicado in the field. You fire them. No grievance or arbitration where they could explain the circumstances? Rudnick: Your sec 9 is unclear. Mauer: Agreed, we withdraw this section for now.

Brief break, admins chatting with Doxsee about what a shame it is that the faculty has made this process so adversarial, given how well-managed the university has been. To them, we’re a bunch of ingrates.

Rudnick: What actions away from work would be grounds for discipline? Your section seems narrow. Suppose a professor was engaged in visiting pornography websites not adult pornography ones like the Nu Bay Porn Site but instead child pornography websites, but not involving a university student, and during the summer. Mauer: There are volumes of arbitration allowing that actions outside the workplace would be grounds for discipline. Rudnick: But your language would not seem to allow that discipline. You limit just cause in the contract. Mauer: Typical contract language just says “just cause and progressive discipline” because there’s so much labor law explaining the details. You want to add more specifics.

Mostly this is about the administration trying to make the faculty look bad, and trying to paint the administration as the guardians needed to protect the students and community from the crazy professors.

Rudnick: OK, maybe this list of things was not required, I’m coming around to your view, after charging you $10K to write this crap, and arguing about it for weeks. Now I’ll go charge you to cut and paste the language from your proposal.

FWIW, the administration now admits that there are emails between their bargaining team members about child porn:

The University of Oregon has received your public records request for “a copy of any emails containing all of the words ‘child’, ‘pornography’ (or porn) and ‘union’ as well as any that read ‘why not try this out‘ or words similar followed by a link to a porn website or file sharing website, sent or received by Michael Gottfredson, Randy Geller, Doug Park, Tim Gleason, Doug Blandy, Barbara Altmann, or Jim Bean, from 1/1/2013 to the present [2/08/2013]”, on 02/08/2013, attached. The office has at least some documents responsive to your request. By this email, the office is providing you with an estimate to respond to your requests. The office estimates the actual cost of responding to your request to be $879.75.

Tim Gleason was the first to bring this up, at a bargaining meeting back in December. I assume these emails are about how to use this paedophilia ploy to attempt to embarrass the faculty. But I don’t think I’m going to pay them $879.75 to see the sordid details, especially since Rudnick now seems happy to drop the whole thing.

Art 21. Fringe benefits: Union proposal.

Mauer
: Vouchers for child care – some tax advantage to employees and UO from this. $625 per term if over 0.5FTE, and reimbursement for special events held at night. Gleason: You want the current TRP or a TRP? Could we change it? Mauer: Through negotiations. Rudnick: What would this cost? Mauer: We don’t know, we will estimate.

My back of the envelope: about half what we give JH for their bowl game junkets. Here’s Lorraine Davis’s deal – UO pays for her spouse and kids to go to Pasadena:

Art 25. Termination of TTF not for cause. Union proposal.

Mauer: Standard AAUP stuff on how universities can terminate tenured faculty only after showing financial exigency, etc. Bean gets a much better deal as terminated provost – full year’s provost’s pay.

Art 39: Notification. Boilerplate.

Art 42: Criminal background checks:

Currently not required by UO policy for all faculty. Rudnick thinks they are. Gleason thinks it should be. Confusion reigns. Rudnick will check.

Rudnick wants the university to be able to decide for itself what crimes affect job performance. She wants all criminal convictions reported to the provost – otherwise the university would never know and be able to make it’s own decision. Seems reasonable – this would be convictions, not just arrests or charges. Gleason just can’t keep quiet – what kind of criminal activity is not relevant to being a public employee? Mauer: Suppose a physics professor got convicted of bigamy… Why is no one talking about getting busted for pot? Davidson: Some things are criminal, very embarrassing to have to tell your supervisor, but totally unrelated to your work as a professor.

I’ve got a proposal: Jamie Moffitt agrees to share the university’s financial info with the faculty, and I’ll tell interim Provost Bean all about my criminal history as a transvestite prostitute in Salt Lake City or my brief time making porn for websites like shemalehd sex.

Art 43: Drugs and Alcohol, union counterproposal

Mauer: We think this addresses your concerns. (To me this seems like another article where the administration is just trying to use the contract language as a chance to enumerate all the bad and sad things that can happen to human beings, with the faculty as examples, to try and show how difficult a job the administration has managing such a troublesome lot of cantankerous drunks and stoners). Rudnick starts picking at it. Gleason’s tell: he rubs his fingers together whenever Rudnick says “discipline”.

Break

Mauer: We will send you all our economic proposals ASAP so you can get Moffitt to do her secret costing analysis and give us the money before it all gets spent on your legal fees, guns, and baseball subsidies.

Rudnick: We will not have a response to your raise proposal by next session either, because our people are on vacation.

Next session Tuesday, April 2, same room. Meeting closes with Mauer leading the faculty in song, as Rudnick et al slink out in discouragement:

Union Bargaining XIII: Money (with postscript)

Venue: Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Tuesday 3/19/13.

Postscript: (Raises to get to comparators here, what to cut here, Moffitt’s secret budget slides here.)

  • The union’s bargaining update, with a description of their salary plan, is here:

Yesterday, the United Academics Bargaining Team proposed a carefully considered, comprehensive and forward-looking salary package in response to the administration’s recent raise proposal. We proposed across-the-board raises for all research and instructional faculty; separate pools of money for merit and equity raises for Tenure-Track Faculty (TTF) and Non-Tenure-Track Faculty (NTTF); money to establish salary floors for NTTF; and uniform promotion raises. 

Our comprehensive proposal incorporates the University Administration’s proposal announced on March 4th. While we were encouraged that they agree with us that faculty need raises now, we are less pleased with both the relatively small size of their package and its incompleteness. 

The University Administration has stated several times that there is no higher priority for them than raising faculty salaries. We agree, and so we proposed the following package as a shared first step toward rectifying years of stagnant salaries …

  • Despite the $400 an hour we are paying Rudnick, and the unknown amounts her firm is charging us for other lawyers, and the many senior UO administrators involved (Bean, Geller, Gleason, Blandy, Altmann, Moffitt, Shelton) the administration seems completely unprepared at the bargaining table. They are unable to make even the simplest decisions. They don’t understand basic facts like how much a 1% raise will cost. They’re prone to strange and unprofessional rants and asides, and they just look confused, angry, and unhappy (going from left to right). They can’t even put out sensible explanations of their decisions. You can read their attempt to reply to the union proposal here. It’s like they went to a different meeting. Oh wait, Barbara Altmann writes the administration’s bargaining recaps without even showing show up for the sessions. How’s that for serious.
  • It’s past time for an adult to step in on the administration side. President Gottfredson is now almost 8 months into his job. We’ll find out Thursday if he is up to it.

Prologue:

  • In session XI Gottfredson made an ultimatum offer of 1.5% across the board retro to 1/1/2013, then 1.5% ATB for 2013-14, with another 2% for merit. The faculty haven’t had merit raises since 2007, were told in 2011 that real merit increases were coming, and were surprised that Gottfredson’s proposal simply ignored past promises to deal with external equity by moving UO faculty salaries to our AAU peers
  • In session XII Moffitt attempted to convince the faculty that the cupboard was bare. So bare she cut the meeting short when questioned, and then completely redacted the budget projections she’d shown OUS before she made them public. Moffitt’s lost all credibility – maybe they’ll try Brad Shelton next?
  • The administration quickly dropped their ultimatum threat, and the union will come to this meeting with a serious counterproposal. Rudnick, Blandy and Gleason won’t have authority to approve it, so they’ll caucus and text it to Gottfredson, who will then have to make a decision. Given all the administration’s talk about the need for speed, I’d expect some quick action. Be there.
Cast: Union is caucusing. At 8:30, the admin’s start to drift in: VP for Online Grade Inflation Doug Blandy, Dean of Journalism and Secrecy Tim Gleason, and “Virginia Slim” Sharon Rudnick.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, were thinking, wanted to say, or will regret that they didn’t say, “maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of your life.” Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Liveblog

Act I: 

8:00: No admins, faculty leave to caucus. Back 8:30-9:00?

8:50: Faculty return.

Art 20: Economic Proposals from union.
Rudnick: UO will *not* implement their plan for raises for faculty until a complete economic agreement is reached. They will give they raises only to OAs and non BU faculty members. The dollars will stay in the bank though, and the university will not backtrack on that part of the proposal. They just won’t implement it. Huh? What’s the point of Gottfredson agreeing he will pay out the money and then not paying it out?

Mauer: Lets see where we are after today. Rudnick: OK. Mauer: We have followup questions from the Moffitt presentation. Want to understand the financing …

50 faculty and a dog file in to bargaining room. Tight fit.

Mauer: We have a comprehensive counterproposal. Context: Bunsis showed how far UO salaries are below AAU peers.

UO’s pay for fulls is last of the 9, same for assoc, assistants, middle of the pack for instructors. Dollar amounts we are behind averages: $27K, $11K, $5K, $11K.

Unfair, poor morale, retention problem, hiring problem in terms of money and faculty time needed to do the searches. Problem has gotten worse over the year, this is why union proposed a 3.5% increase in the fall. Gottfredson rejected it. We urge administration to implement retention and catchup raises – you haven’t.

You initially proposed today as the day to start economic bargaining. Then two weeks ago you came up with a partial proposal. We welcome this, we think the sensible thing to do is for us to put forward a comprehensive proposal – as you asked us to do. Our proposal balances speed and thoroughness.

1) You call it COLA. It’s not matching cost of living increases, we call it ATB. Doesn’t address compression and equity problems, don’t conflate them. Union proposes 1.5% retro, 1.5% starting July 2013 year, 4% 2014.

2) Merit: 0% retro, 2% 2013, 4% 2014.

3) Compression Equity: 0% retro, 3% 2013, 1% 2014.

4) Floors: 3% pool, $36K minimum wage for full time NTTF, or ~$18 hour.

5) Promotion: 10% raise for tenure and promotion rather than current 8%.

Note that FY 13 means 2012-2013, etc.

Mauer: We used your proposal as the base. ATB is retroactive to beginning of teaching. All in all we are asking for 7% ATB, cost of living is up 8.9%. For merit, equity we create two pools separated into NTTF and TTF to keep things fair. Generally accept your language for distributing merit for this year, just get it done, but we insist criteria look at work since the last merit raise – 2007? Shorter reach back would hurt people who published a work just before evaluation period. Floors: Pool of 3% of NTTF salary for floors with ~$18 an hour goal. Establish a joint admin/union “Salary Distribution Committee” to hash out details of policies and procedures. 3 union, 3 admins. Tasked with equity, floors. Policies would be transparent and published on the web.

Rudnick: What’s your cost estimate for the 4% ATB? Huh? She doesn’t know that? Hire an economist. Mauer: We’ve seen how you allocate your resources, you need to change your priorities, which are harming the university. Rudnick: Lecture on reserves. This would go over better if she wasn’t hiding the projections:

But no, she keeps lecturing us. Mauer: Yes, you need recurring income, you have it. (But you won’t show us the projections). Equitable salaries are an investment in UO’s quality. You need to make that commitment. Gleason: Where do you think the money comes from and goes? I’m puzzled by your assertion of a lack of commitment. What do you think deans and administrators do if not try to raise faculty salaries. (Look at all the other things UO spent money on.) Now Gleason is blaming salaries on the freezes. This problem has gone on for years, many years with no freezes, money got siphoned off for other things. Regardless, UO has plenty of money now, there’s no freeze – so now’s the time Tim!

Now Gleason is asking the union what they think should be cut! I’ve got a few ideas…

Now Rudnick is back on the freezes. This is bizarre. There is no freeze. They have money. Now’s the time. Green: Lariviere had a plan for raises and had a plan to pay for them. Now the freeze is gone. Implement his plan, get salary up to where it should be. You say we all want to do this, it will be good for UO, let’s do it!

Blandy: Claims something nonsensical about retention – we’ve retained everyone except the people who got big offers. WTF? That’s the point Doug. We lost two neuro people and an economist. Now Blandy tries to drive a wedge between students and faculty. Then he asks a good question: are these raises your top economic priority? Rudnick: You didn’t look at any other other comparators besides “aspirational comparators”. Mauer: What are your comparators for UO? Not the OUS AAU peers? (Won’t matter, we’re behind so far this wouldn’t get us close to those.) Cecil: Data comes from UO website, and these have been used for the Senate 2000, 2008 whitepapers, etc. Rudnick: OK. (But she’s trying to hint that it’s soon going to be time for the faculty to give up on that AAU business.)

Rudnick: We’re did you pull out that 4% merit number for 2015? Mauer: Attempt to reward best faculty. You got a problem with that? Rudnick: Floors: All NTTF but only NTTF? Cecil: Includes adjuncts. 3% is an estimate of the cost of a floor of about $36K, but we recognize variation may be needed, particularly for grant funded positions, worked out by SDC. Mauer: Agreement on the SDC would speed this process up. Rudnick: Where’s final authority for SDC? Cecil: In the committee, which must agree in order get the money out. Rudnick: OK. Where do the specific equity decisions get made? Mauer: Committee develops procedures, departments implement. Gleason: Does this committee replace the provost? Cecil: University could assign the Provost to the committee. Pratt: Since UO has committed to addressing equity, this is a way of rationally managing the details, consulting. Blandy nods, Gleason glares. Pratt: Different from merit because that’s in the departments.  Rudnick: So it’s a typical joint management/union committee. Sets out procedures, then does revisions, or is this a one off? Mauer: likely it will need to be around for life of contract. Rudnick: Q about floors – they are adjusted with raises, not an additional raise? Cecil: Yes.

Break time.

Act II: They’re back.

Rudnick: We’ll see you this, and raise you another 2% for merit for 2014. Whoops, guess not. Rudnick: No, we’ll go back to Gottfredson and get you an answer Th. Meanwhile, just to be jerks, we’ll have Bean send out a memo saying the other raises will only go to people outside the bargaining unit. The issue for us is 2015. (So, again, explain why are you not giving the 2013 raises now?) Mauer: We look forward to Thursday, perhaps you should bring someone with some knowledge and authority to the table? Rudnick: We’ll let you know about that. We are worried about 2015, need to make sure the university has money for sports subsidies and central administration. but we won’t show you the data:

Rudnick: Despite the fact we won’t show the projections, we want *you* to show us where the money for these raises should come from. We pay Moffitt $270K to hide the data from you and run out of the room when you ask tough questions, so good luck with that, suckas. Your cost estimates sound about right though, at a max this will cost 2.5% of the total UO budget – good detective work!

Mauer: Sorry, isn’t it the administration’s job to prioritize? Rudnick: We don’t have the money in a checking account for the raises Lariviere proposed. It’s a zero-sum game and I don’t understand the budget. (Then she says the problem is 2015, suggesting she’s OK with the union’s 2014 numbers.) Cecil: How long will it take you to do your homework? You knew it was due today.

Rudnick: $12-13 million for our 2013 and 2014 proposal. (I don’t think so, looks like about $6 million, total, including the benefits.) Now she’s blathering. My only point is … Gleason jumps in with “burn rates”. Man’s got a buzz word for everything. Just stop, Tim. Green: You’re going to “burn through” a lot of good faculty! Gleason: Where should the money come from?

Gleason has been sitting here at the table for four months and he hasn’t started looking into this yet? A worthy replacement for interim Provost Bean, for sure.

Cecil: Will you give us budget info? Rudnick: I don’t know. I’ll have to ask Gottfredson how much he wants to hide. Gleason starts pounding the table. Now it’s *not* a question of reprioritizing, it’s a question of what not to fund! (Man’s got a strange understanding of the english language.) Raising faculty salaries has always been a priority – we lose too many faculty, we all know that. (Not Blandy, who just said we weren’t losing any good faculty). Rudnick: You tell us where the money should come from!

She’s trying to set this up to blame tuition increases on the faculty.

Psaki: The Senate whitepaper is now moth-eaten. We are going to look at what the administration does, not what it says. Bramhall: Remember the NTTF’s have never been evaluated, had no raises in years.

Mauer: So, we look forward to talking more Thursday. Release time request – partial release time for one person on the BT. Rudnick: I asked Gottfredson, he said no. Nothing has changed. I get $400 an hour, you get nothing. But I’ll charge another $400 to ask again.

Summer term proposal from admins. They didn’t bring handouts for the press, sorry.

Rudnick: Summer teaching is voluntary, no requirement or retaliation, cancellation can happen. Compensation is agreed upon between dean and faculty. Green: So no compensation for a cancelled summer class? Rudnick: Intent is to pay people for supervising grad students over summer, or at least not prohibit this. Cool. Except they want the students to pay summer tuition. (Note: this is exactly the sort of bureaucratization of our grad student teaching that the anti-union people warned about. Except this is an *administration* proposal. WTF?

The End. See you Thursday.

Union Bargaining XII: Bunsis v. Moffitt

Postmortem: My take on the pity raise proposal:

  • Bunsis beats Moffitt with a TKO after his simple question got her so flustered she left the room.
  • Good faculty turnout, I got $30 on cover charges so far, thanks. 
  • Bunsis presentation slides are here, video soon. Takeaway? OUS says UO should have reserves between 5 and 15% of spending. UO’s are currently at 15.8%, even after accounting for the fact that the $80 million jock budget – more than 10% of UO – has zero stated reserves.
  • VPFA Jamie Moffitt thinks she is protecting the faculty from harsh and complex fiscal realities by making sure we only get pity raises.
  • Gottfredson has apparently abandoned Lariviere’s “job number one” plan to get UO salaries up to to AAU peers. Presumably this means he’s also given up on keeping us in the AAU. Now Moffitt can justify giving us community college pay rates, with $200 a year potential raises for research merit.
  • Of course the admin wants to raise our salaries, it’s just that it’s their lowest priority. Cops, guns, SUV’s, the Jock Box, Matt court parking, paying twice for Mac court, beamers, athletic overhead subsidies, sabbaticals for Bean, Jamie’s 15.8% reserve all come first.
  • Not yet clear if the union will accept Gottfredson’s proposal or counter. My read of faculty sentiment is that it is overwhelmingly in favor of rejecting it, and making a serious counter-proposal.

Prologue: On Tuesday Gottfredson dropped his 2% merit puddle ultimatum plan on the faculty without warning. Today the administrators are here in force to attempt to defend it. The union side is joined by AAUP forensic accountant Howard Bunsis. Still a few seats left at $5 per, come on down.


Venue: Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Thursday 3/7/13. First floor, towards the back on the RHS. $5 cover. I’ll take cash at the door or online:

Donate $5 to pay Dave Hubin’s public records fees

 

Handstamp needed for re-entry.

Prologue:

Cast: For the admin: Kelly Wolf, controller. Brad Shelton, budget plan guy. Jamie Moffitt, VPFA. (That would be the Moffitt who got hired after a failed search, and hides athletic subsidies from the Senate, not the Moffitt who hid the CnC program from his faculty and the NYTimes.) Rudnick, Gleason, stenographers, no Geller, Blandy, or Altmann.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, were really thinking, or wanted to say but won’t until they save enough money from their administrative job to put their kids through college. Nothing is a quote unless in ” “.

Act I:

Rudnick: Memo from Dean on raises is not done but I will email it when ready. Start with financial context for the raise.

JMoffit will present: Unusual that we would make an offer in the middle of bargaining, but we are desperate to make some friends among the faculty and think we can buy a few of you cheap. We have so much uncertainty about resources, don’t know appropriation, fees, etc. Only thing we really know is that we are going to pay Bean $320K next year to do nothing, $2 million on the jock box, $467K for Mac Court, $2.6 million for Espy’s consultants, and $700,000 or so for Rudnick and her helper lawyers.

More seriously, PERS increases are needed to pay off Bellotti’s $500K a year. We want a more regularized program for raises, and this tiny program is the best we can do, because faculty pay is the least important and most flexible part of our budget, and because Gottfredson has completed abandoned Lariviere’s efforts to get us up to to AAU peers as “job number one.”

Cost of Gottfredson proposal. $11.4 million annualized – that includes admin raises, of course. $8.4m in salary, rest benefits. Faculty overall get %5.7 million in salary, BU members get about $4.5M (annualized).

Costs: We are going to need to start hiring new faculty (15 net per year – Berdahl claimed it would be 60.) Buildings, PERS ($14.5M) health care $3M, so there won’t by much left over for you faculty. And we have no plans to try and cut our out of control administrative spending and athletic subsidies. Debt, utilities, $5M in recurring costs. Add it up, $35 million in new costs. “I don’t mean to scare people”. Please Jamie, stop talking to the faculty this way.

Revenue: $9-$12M in new tuition. We’ve been bringing this in and pumping this into fund balances, as Bunsis has discovered. We project to add $14M to these balances next year. So $24M in new revenue, plus a bit more if UO Matters finds the other hidden jock subsidies.

But expenses will rise long term, and we want to spend that money on cops and so on, not invest in you faculty.

Mauer: Thanks for the info, we appreciate the fact that you have reconsidered your previous rejection of our proposal for interim raises:

Bunsis: Why do you call 1.5% a COLA? Moffitt: I’m no economist, we just thought is sounded better than “Across the Board”. Bunsis: Have you looked at comparable AAU universities, like Lariviere did. Moffitt: No. We spend that money already. Bunsis: No plan: Gleason: We had a plan, Lariviere was fired, and we are going to use that as an excuse to keep your salaries as low as we can. Mauer: Do you still have the intent of getting faculty to AAU averages? Rudnick: snippy and evasive. Bunsis: Will this increase in your analysis move salaries toward AAU? Rudnick: I’m not going to tell you. I just want you to accept this, or not. Mauer: Let me explain. You have a 2 part proposal, that allows external equity negotiations. So it’s legitimate to ask if you care about if it effects external equity. Rudnick: Move salaries up to “what you define as your AAU comparators”.

Me: This is big news, Rudnick admits UO is giving up on AAU, hence giving up on Lariviere raise plan.

Bunsis: How did you calculate benefits? 35%! Rudnick says PERS, but she doesn’t understand it. Health costs are fixed, not a function of pay.

For new hires PERS is 12.5%, add in 7.51% FICA for the portion under the $~110K SocSec ceiling. 1.5% for the part above. Call it 19%.

For pre 1996 hires, PERS is 22.5% plus FICA = 30% max, call it 28%.

Overall, call benefits 25% of raises, not 35%.

Moffitt now tries to confuse people by combining the 2 years of costs and saying it will cost 5%. Actually, 1% this year, 5.15% or so in future years.

Bunsis: What sort of reserves do you really need? Moffitt: “Can I take a break?” She then walks out. One of the weirder responses to a simple question that I’ve ever seen.

Rudnick: We are not here to debate, we’re here to answer questions! (Bunsis just asked a question, Jamie response was to try and leave.)

Mauer and Rudnick: Back and forth while Rudnick tries to weasel out of having Jamie answer a straight question. “Never mind… ” “Break time….”

Act II: 

Moffitt’s back.

Mauer: Clarification: If we accept proposal, what is still subject to negoations? Rudnick: 13 is closed. 14 is anything except ATB and Merit and internal equity adjustments. Floors and external equity are still open along with things like leaves, sabbaticals. FY 15 everything is on the table.

Moffitt: Things are different here in Oregon. We have carry-forward balances in schools and departments. Includes ASA, etc. Policy is that we need a fund balance of between 5-15% of operating revenue. (Jamie never made athletics do this, of course.) We are just above the maximum at 15.8% Huh? So Bunsis is right, UO is sitting on $70M. Where is it – not in my ASA!

Bunsis: Some accounting stuff on unrestricted net assets. What’s the standard? Moffitt: that’s all on OUS. Mauer: We appreciate the information. Rudnick: Can Jamie leave? Bunsis: How do you deal with the swap gain on new hires? You’re calling new hires a cost, but you’re overstating the cost. Gleason: You’re numbers are drastically exaggerated! Moffitt: I haven’t calculated this, but I could. Green: Gender salary differences? Gleason: We do track that, will get it do us. Green: What about the rest of the data you’ve been promising to get for us? Rudnick: We took that job over from Randy because he wan’t doing anything, so call us and we’ll charge you $400 and hour to do his job.

Rudnick: Yes, address all future information requests to us, because Randy has completely lost it.

Exit: Wolf, Moffitt, Shelton.

Act III:

Mauer: How will we do merit for NTTF’s? Rudnick: Dept’s must submit memo on merit policies by end of March. Need to include NTTF stuff. Gleason: Trust us, we will require a justifiable rational process. “We will account for the rhythm of academic life.”  “We are trying to figure out how to raise faculty salaries. It is extremely frustrating to hear you challenge our intent!” Mauer: Thanks, that’s refreshing.

Of course they want to raise our salaries, it’s just that it is not our administration’s top priority. Siphoning tuition money off for the Jock Box, Matt court parking, Mac court, athletic overhead subsidies, sabbaticals for Bean, maintaining Jamie’s 15.8% reserve, etc., all come first.

Cecil: We proposed 3.5% raises months ago. Rudnick: We had to wait til now because we had to pay off all our other costs first – you guys get what’s leftover. So, you gonna take it? Cecil: You say you are trying to be collegial, so why won’t you talk with us about the terms?

Rudnick: We are sorry we sprung this on you. The possibility of raises came up suddenly after Bean got fired. If you can get Geller and me fired too, maybe you’ll get more. Gleason: “This is urgent, we have to start the process now” because we stonewalled for so long.

Rudnick: We hope we give you a memo today, maybe we can then have a secret conference call to talk through any issues.

Quick break. We’re not going to get a resolution on the puddle raises today.

Mauer: Union counter on grievance proposal. I’m snoozing.

Art 6: Union counter on dues deductions: Admin doesn’t want to be responsible for deducting the proportion of dues that go to union politicking, e.g. lobbying Salem for more higher ed money, claiming that’s too complicated for HR to do. Nope, it’s simpler for HR to do it. (Not to say it’s the right thing, just that it’s simpler.) Rudnick: Suppose a faculty member with a religious objection sues us for deductions. Cecil and Rudnick. More back and forth. Union’s lawyers are cheaper than your $400 an hour, we are not going to pay you. Drop dead. Rudnick: I’ll think about that. Mauer: standard language. Rudnick: I understand you don’t want to write a blank check, I get it, will consider.

Art 8: Union counter on non-discrimination. Snoozer.

Art 5: Union counter on Union Rights: Union is giving up right to make a presentation to new employees? Why? I sure wish someone had explained what the hell is going on with our administration back when I got hired. Instead I got a lecture from Lorraine Davis.

The End.

Union Bargaining XI: 2% merit puddle

Postmortem: Rudnick said that Gottfredson’s 2 year 2.5% “COLA” and 2% merit puddle was a take it or leave it offer, because of UO’s “financial constraints”.

If the union takes it, there will be no more merit or across the board raises until September 2014. There is still a possibility of “equity” raises, e.g. move people towards AAU comparators. That’s right, the administration is now pushing floors, while the union wants more merit. That’s got to be a surprise to a lot of people.

The union will have their forensic accountant, Howard Bunsis, at the table Thursday. (and check the link for public events Wed). The administration will presumably provide some documents to back up their claims, and bring VPFA Jamie Moffitt to the table to have it out with Bunsis.

Be there: Room 122 Knight Library, 8AM, Thursday 3/7/13.


3/5/13: Question: Rumor down at the faculty club is that Gleason’s wife, Jennifer Ulum, has some sort of public relations contract with UO. Perhaps through these firmsIf you know any of the details, please forward to uomatters at gmail.


New venue – Room 122 Library. Tuesday 3/5/2013. First floor, towards the back on the RHS. $5 cover, you can pay me at the door, or online: (Thanks, got $15!)

Donate $5 to pay Dave Hubin’s public records fees

 


Prologue: The Bean/Gottfredson proposal for a 1% raise this year is here. (1.5% retroactive to Jan 1.) To be followed by 3.5% next year. Small beer, compared to the Lariviere/Tomlin proposal from two years ago, prompted by Lariviere’s realization that UO faculty salaries were an embarrassment, to him:

From: James Bean [mailto:jcbean@uoregon.edu]
Sent: Sunday, June 07, 2009 12:26 PM
To: Deans Working Group
Subject: Faculty Salaries

The Missouri article stating that UO has the lowest salaries in the AAU has caused quite a stir (we have since verified that they were correct).  Low salaries were always thought of as just Oregonian.  But 34 out of 34 is a whole other thing.  We cannot have this.  Richard’s reaction was “this is job #1.”  Richard will likely have an announcement on how we are attacking this when politically feasible (after last gavel).  Please communicate to your faculty that the Missouri article really got our attention.  This may require disruptive solutions.

Thanks, Jim
_______________________________
James C. Bean
Senior Vice President and Provost
202 Johnson Hall
University of Oregon
Eugene, OR  97403-1258
T 541-346-3186
F 541-346-2023

It will be fascinating to see how Rudnick tries to sell this, and how the union responds. I’ll live-blog, but the real show is far more interesting. My guess is this one will be worth showing up for.

Cast: No Geller, no Altmann, and, surprisingly, no Blandy – out of town all week.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, meant to say, or were really thinking, or what their character will sing in the libretto I’m working on. Nothing is a quote unless in ” “.

Act 1:

Union team moves their tables closer to the admin’s, then leave to caucus about Gottfredson’s 1% offer. My guess is they’ll be back around 8:30.

Mauer, Rudnick. Back and for about schedules. Rudnick says Provost refused to give release time for someone. Missed name. Mauer: We’d like to add Wed meeting. Rudnick: No. Too busy with other jobs for tobacco companies, Nike, etc. Now she’s getting angry again. It’s not the schedule, we just don’t want to put in enough time to get this contract done before summer, when your faculty supporters are gone. Mauer: We’d like add one more Tu Th session in April. Rudnick: Get back to you.

Salary increases:

Rudnick: We are implementing 1% this year, (paid in May) plus 1.5% and 2% merit for next year for themselves, OA’s non-BU members. Asks union to agree to also implement this plan for BU members. Merit will include internal equity and compression. This 2% merit puddle will be distributed by colleges, departments, using their usual sort of criteria.

It’s an ultimatum offer: if you accept this it will be all you get for COLA and merit increases for this year and next. No bargaining on these aspects of salary. Reject it, and you can bargain and see what you get.

Wow, that’s not exactly collegial, President Gottfredson. Why did you let Rudnick and Bean talk you into this?

Mauer: Other aspects of salary would be open for negotiation? Rudnick: yes. Mauer: But your merit puddle includes internal equity considerations. What about external equity (e.g. proposal to get us to x% of AAU peers)? Rudnick: That would still be negotiable: Mauer: What’s negotiable on this? Rudnick: Nothing. Take it or leave it. You’ve got a week. Mauer: Why didn’t you give us more notice? Rudnick: Strategery.

Mauer: Possible that the union members could accept this and then all the merit puddle money could be given to the heads? Rudnick: Yes. Gleason: Emphasis on equity across units. Within and across. Mauer: What are you trying to say, Tim? Rudnick: It’s all about about equity and fairness. Skew will be justified. Mauer: How will the division between merit and equity be made. Rudnick: Must have acceptable performance to be eligible for the puddle, then it’s up to the deans and heads. Deans are told that in the process of rewarding merit, equity is also OK. Gleason: We’re not going to give these to the deadwood professors, not a reward for time in service. (Seems reasonable, Gleason just seems to enjoy saying it so much.) Pratt: Specific example, where there’s compression. Gleason: blah blah. Rudnick: Tee hee, at $400 an hour, my bill to UO is going to be close to what the TTF’s are going to get in merit pay, total!

Rudnick: Assume you are not performing, like say Bean or Espy. They get nothing. Puddle money would go to, say, Jamie Moffitt and uh, whatever other administrator passes their evaluation. Rob Mullens?

Mauer and Pratt are enjoying running Gleason and Rudnick around in circles, pointing out how little of this they’ve thought through. Productive, actually, since they now have to think it through out loud.

Mauer: What’s recourse if the admi screw up the merit process? Rudnick: None.

Green: Are their plans for future raises? Rudnick: We will negotiate – but we will have to negotiate using floors and AAU targets etc. Me: This is idiotic. Why does the administration want to give only 2% for merit and then prevent the union for bargaining for more merit? Rudnick: Now she’s talking about floors.

Let’s get this straight: Our union wants more merit money, while our administrators are proposing salary floors? This is nuts.

Green: CAS has other money for raises, left over from the Lariviere plan. Can they use that to supplement this? Gleason: No. This is it. No more raises for you people. (Retention?)

Mauer: 2% puddle is too small, how did you come up with it. Gleason: Gottfredson’s call. Mauer: So, a resource constraint? Rudnick: I think. Mauer: You’re going to have to explain that constraint. Rudnick: I imagine they looked at CPI.

I’m no economist, but here’s what happened to the Consumer Price Index recently:

2011 3.0%
2012 1.7%
2013 1.6% (predicted)
call it 7% compounded. 2.5% is not a COLA, it’s a drip.
Green: Where’s the CAS money? Are they going tom implement steps 2 and 3 of the Tomlin plan? Rudnick: I’ll check.

Mauer: If we don’t take this, who makes merit decisions – faculty committees as usual. Rudnick: I don’t know.

Mauer: We’ll get back to you on Thursday, when Bunsis is here. Rudnick: Yikes, tell me what’s coming so I can get Jamie Moffitt. This will be fun.

Break time.

Act II: 

Mauer: I don’t know how we will respond to your proposal. We request that you provide us with a draft of the memo, so we can comment on it, before you lock in your ultimatum. Rudnick: OK, I will raise that with Gottfredson.

Art 36: Strike lockout. Admin counter-proposal. (Union took strikes off the table on day one. Faculty will not strike, period. Question is what extra work the faculty will be required to take on if the GTTF’s strike. It’s a big problem. It would more than double faculty workload, and it’s not like the administrators are going to be much help!)

Rudnick: We understand that if the GTFF’s strike, you won’t teach all their sections. Admin wants to say that the admins will consult with faculty, they will take reasonable efforts to step it. Mauer: So faculty could find some alternative way to get it done, that would be OK? Rudnick: Yes. Mauer: But this language says you can make faculty do the work. Rudnick: Getting loudish again. We are trying to find a compromise with you people. Take it or leave it. Psaki: We need the GTF’s for grading, discussions. Rudnick: So, that would be unreasonable. We just want you to be part of getting the work done if the GTFF strikes. Mauer: We recognize your attempt, but … some faculty have an ethical objection. Rudnick: Tough shit for them, they can then deal with the consequences. Mauer: So, you’ll take disciplinary action against them? (Me: Since the administration thinks they are the university, they can teach the sections and do the grading.) Gleason: We will have a conversation with you, not make unilateral demands on you, like we did today with the raise puddle proposal. Trust us. Davidson: What if the reasonable thing to do is accept the GTFF’s proposal? Rudnick: “the university’s” negotiations with the GTFF are our business. We are not going to compromise on this. Or answer your question. Mauer: I respect the fact that you have strong views. So do some of the faculty. We want a “conscientious objector” clause. Matter of conscience for some people. Rudnick: No. Green to Rudnick: Don’t be saying us faculty don’t care about teaching our students! Rudnick: We are not saying that, but … Davidson: You are asking us to provide you with a perverse incentive to play hardball with our GTF’s. Gleason perks up. Rudnick: We are not going to budge on this. If faculty don’t help out, you will face the administration’s wrath. There will be discipline! “I respect what you say, don’t question your commitment to the students, but ….” Green: The GTF’s are also our students, we have to support them when things get tough. Rudnick: Bottom line, no compromise. Trust us to be reasonable. Mauer: Let’s move on.

Art : Admin’s counterproposal on Management Rights:

Rudnick: We are willing to reaffirm AAUP statement on shared governance, but we are not willing to put role of the Senate, governing board into the contract. Mauer: What’s the reason you don’t want independent review? Rudnick: Because this is just a statement of principle, it doesn’t put any obligations on us. Mauer: No accountability? Rudnick: None. We don’t have to bargain with you about it, so there. Board of Higher Ed makes the rules, we are not willing to let you use the contract to limit our power over the faculty on this. Long back and forth on this, I’m snoozing.

Preamble: Union’s counter to admin’s counter:
Mauer: Nomenclature: How about we call you “The University Administration”? and we are the “Bargaining unit faculty”. Rudnick: I’ll take this compromise back to the administration. (Damn, there goes my “No Sharon” button revenue stream.)

Mauer: Thursday, we’ll address your economic proposals.

Adjourn.

Union bargaining X: 2/21/2013. Room 450 Lillis, 8 AM

Prologue:  Gottfredson fired Bean yesterday, after lots of faculty pressure. A good day for UO, probably the best since we got rid of Frohnmayer. The Senate will chase off Espy next, then Geller. The polling suggests that people see Westhead as Mullens’ problem. Fair enough.

Tops on today’s bargaining agenda is a Faculty Drug and Alcohol article. I’m not kidding. That’s the biggest priority for Doug Blandy and Tim Gleason? Fire them too, while there’s still a little respect for you left, President Gottfredson.


Synopsis:

  • Rudnick throws a fit, claiming she represents “The University” not “The Administration”. OK, so let “The University” see your invoices and your schedule of meetings with Gottfredson.
  • The Administration tries to move bargaining location as far as possible away from The University, by lying about the B-School refusing to reserve 450 Lillis.
  • JH wants to be able to discipline faculty for spilling info about, say, athletic subsidies, if they think it’s confidential.
  • Rudnick presents botched drug and alcohol policy, gets dissected by faculty team.
  • Gleason and Blandy pull Clarence Thomas imitations.

Cast: No Geller, no Altmann. Usuals plus 7 faculty, a student, and a union staffer in the room.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion of what people said, meant to say, or were really thinking, in the depths of whatever once passed for their soul. Nothing is a quote unless in ” “.

Live-blog, Act 1:

Rudnick: Wants to move the bargaining sessions off campus from Lillis to ORI to make it more difficult for faculty to attend the sessions about wages. Unbelievable. Mauer: No. Rudnick: She and Blandy and Gleason are pretending that they don’t have authority to book 450 Lillis? Mauer: We are committed to give you our economic proposals (raises). We would like the same from you. Rudnick: Looking very, very pissed about something. She friends with Bean? Mauer: We want to add more sessions because you have been so slow. Rudnick: Very, very tight-lipped. Mauer: Let’s go back to your claim that you are “The University” instead of the faculty and the students. Rudnick: “It’s demeaning for you to insist that we are not the university.” Mauer: We don’t mean to demean you. Rudnick: This is very, very important to us. We are not going to let you call us the administration. Wow, even the administrators don’t want to be called the administration? Things in JH must be really bad.

Mauer: Asks again for the 3.5% raise – faculty are leaving, searching (no kidding). Rudnick: No. Mauer asks again. Rudnick starts writing it down. Mauer: It’s now hiring season. In the past there have been occasions when current faculty got raises when new hires came in at competitive market wages. We expect this to continue, and we want the administration to consult with us. Rudnick is livid. Worst I’ve ever seen her. Having a hard time thinking.

What happened yesterday? Did Gottfredson tell her he’s firing Geller, and that her contract and $400 rate will now be re-evaluated, after consideration of whether or not it really makes sense for her to represent the administration, given her history fighting the union and her firm’s ties to Frohnmayer and Nike? I’m having a hard time understanding what else would set her off like this.

Now she’s almost shouting. I’m not sure about what. Mauer is calm. Rudnick is interrupting him. Mauer: We are not conceding, we will continue to try and persuade you, calmly and rationally. Rudnick: Stares down at paper, shaking in anger.

Art 18: Discipline and Termination for Cause: The administration’s counterproposal.

Rudnick: Discipline will normally be rendered in a progressive manner. (Dr. Guillotine was a progressive.) We’ve included a long list of examples of things that we can discipline faculty for:

Neglect of duty
Crimes
Drunk or high during work time (I saw a study showing something like 60% of PI’s used Adderall or similar while preparing NSF or NIH proposals.)
Misuse of records or information by people like UO Matters
Things you might do off campus…

Mauer: Well established guidelines for “just cause”. You are saying the university will be able to punish for a crime even if there’s no conviction? Rudnick: Yes. We want the right to discipline every faculty member for their own special crimes, regardless of whether the DA would prosecute for it. Mauer: Where did you get this list? Rudnick: Variety of sources including “anecdotal experiences”. We included these specific examples to put you faculty on notice. Davidson: So for any conduct away from work, you would have to show it affected work performance? Rudnick: Yes. Davidson: I take a phone call at work about a civil disobedience action I am planning. Rudnick: We’d have to show it affects your ability to do your job or interferes with work. Psaki: I go to a confidential FAC meeting – I could be disciplined for breaking the cone of silence? (Say, talking to a reporter about Bean’s hidden $1.83 million Jock Box subsidy?) Rudnick: Yes.

Gleason and Blandy are just sitting there while Rudnick says everything – not a word from them. Wise.

Mauer: What sorts of perks would you take away for discipline? Rudnick: Bowl game junkets. No, wait, those only go to administrators. She can’t think of anything else. Mauer: Parking passes? So the sanctions might not be related to the particulars of the offense? Green: Take away research funds? Mauer: What do you mean by “public censure”? ( I’m guessing that’s from Frohnmayer, he’s always saying I should be “publicly censured” for writing this blog. Whatever.) Rudnick: I’ll get you some clarity for that.

Rudnick’s cheering up, now that she’s thinking about all the possible ways to punish faculty.

Mauer: History professor accused of fabricating facts, university takes away his tenure. Arbitrable? Blandy: No, that’s academic judgement, decision stops at the president.

Rudnick: If you don’t show up for 10 days during an academic year without getting leave you are deemed to have “abandoned your job”. And this is not grievable! So, if I spend 10 days out of the year doing research from home they can fire me automatically? She can’t mean this. Can she?

Act II: 

Criminal background checks: Currently for hiring and promotion, now can be done at any time. Great idea, it’s distressing to think that some child pornographer might be posting to Facebook from, say, Johnson Hall. Speaking of which, how’s that public records request coming, Dave?

Rudnick: We also want faculty to tell us if they are charged with a crime. Mauer: Any crime? Rudnick: Yes. Not if arrested, but if actually charged with something more than traffic violation type stuff. (Distilling and bottling Cha-Cha without a permit? It’s not paranoia when they really are after you.)

Rudnick: Drug and alcohol testing if reasonable suspicion it interferes with job responsibilities. So, no more drunken VP’s tailgating at Autzen? Or does this only apply to faculty? Mauer: Definition of “under the influence”? Rudnick: Blow anything positive – not the DUI standard. Termination is the penalty for 2 positive tests. Rennie’s is going to lose a lot of business. No alcohol in Gerlinger? Maybe exemption for university functions? (Sorry if I’m not getting this all down correctly, I’m still a little buzzed from all the scotch we drank celebrating last night.) Cecil: Can’t take grad students to Rennie’s for beers after the last class? Green: This will apply to admin too? Rudnick: It could, administrators would get to decide if they want to test administrators. Of course they would.

Back and forth about what defines “under the influence”. Glass of wine at lunch? Rudnick did a very poor job preparing this counterproposal – didn’t even include that definition. She got another billable hour out of the resulting confusion though. Perverse incentives.

Art ?: Union Rights. Rudnick’s counterproposal.

Rudnick: We don’t want union reps going onto university property and interfering with work or the public. Mauer: What’s interference with the public? Not intended to prevent union people from talking to public on UO property? Rudnick: correct. Blandy: E.g. union member hands out leaflets at art opening. Cecil: So we couldn’t hand out leaflets at Autzen?  Rudnick: (She’s worried that a faculty member would come up to Gottfredson at an Schnitzer opening while he’s schmoozing and harrang him about union stuff. Seems like a reasonable concern.)


Rudnick: Union is not a university entity – not controlled by UO, not subject to public records and meetings law. This proposal makes that clear. (What about the UO Foundation then?) Mauer’s on this one, more later.

Rudnick: At new faculty orientation, we may revamp things so union can’t make a presentation, will allow handouts. She wants to charge union for staff time involved in getting information for the union.

Mauer: Let’s call it a day. Some back and forth on location. Rudnick *really* wants to move this off campus, starts foaming again.

Union bargaining IX: 2/19/2013

Prologue: If I was Tim Gleason I’d be worried about how to top the “UO professors posting child porn on Facebook” meme that he and Barbara Altmann started in session VIII when academic freedom came up. What will our administrative colleagues whip out this time? Sweet and innocent, because they didn’t really understand the part of Dixit and Nalebuff that covers mixed strategies?

Dave Hubin has now been sitting on my request for a copy of President Gottfredson’s official calendar for 6 weeks – after I paid him $108. And he wants $193 for 4 pieces of paper showing how much we paid Sharon Rudnick for November and January. When the ODE interviewed President Gottfredson last month about transparency he said:

“I absolutely support it.”

Right. I’m guessing Rudnick alone is going to bill UO $400,000 for this before it’s over, more if she can drag it out til summer.

Summary:

  1. Rudnick seems to be scheming to weaken the Faculty Personnel Committee. Check out last year’s FPC report, chaired by Mike Russo, here. It includes three pages on issues with current procedures, here. Looks like considerable overlap with the issues the union has identified. Also see the last page: Acting Provost Lorraine Davis refused to meet and discuss cases where he over-rules the FPC, and the FPC has concerns about recent decisions to give particular administrators academic tenure even though they have no recent research output. (Thanks to Russo for correction in comments – it was Davis, not Bean last year. Bean was on sabbatical, how could I forget? See here for a bit about Jim Bean’s past intransigence on this issue.)
  2. The administration seems to have decided to stop fighting with the union over the small stuff. The big stuff – raises – will come up in a month or two.

Live blog disclaimer: Don’t link to this on Facebook, Randy Geller is watching you. It’s for the children, of course. This is my opinion of what people said, meant to say, or were really thinking, in the depths of whatever once passed for their soul. Nothing is a quote unless in ” “. If you don’t like my blog try Luebke’s.

Cast: No Geller, no Altmann. Gleason’s late.

8:00 AM, room 450 Lillis. Act 1:

Art 13: Tenure and Promotion, Admin’s redlined counter to the union’s proposal

Rudnick: Tenure comes from the Provost. (Not from your faculty colleagues?). Provost also approves the criteria and the departmental procedures. Mauer: Shouldn’t there be a way for some give and take? Rudnick: These are the legal minimums. Mauer: Why did you take out the part of our proposal requiring discussion? Rudnick: 3rd year reviews. (Time’s up, Bean). Evaluations: Admin’s want to prevent faculty from using unsigned teaching evaluations in their tenure file. Whatever.

Green: Why do you want to take away a faculty member’s right to have a colleague present at the third year meeting between the Dean and Provost and the faculty member? These are often emotional, good to have a supporter. Mauer: But the Dean could have a lawyer present taking notes? Gleason: Hell yes. Davidson: Why do you want to take this right away? Psaki: This just ain’t right. Rudnick: This is an evaluation, we want it be a conversation between the Dean (and Randy Geller if the Dean wants backup) and the faculty member sitting alone on the other side of the table, so we can keep you people in your place. (Armed UOPD too?) Green: Why do you see this as adversarial? This is the tenth time we’ve presented a plan to make things more collegial, why do you keep slapping us down? Blandy: OK, tell me more. Green: The assistant prof has to respond in 10 days. People are nervous. Need to give them the right to have a friend to take notes, talk with them afterwards. Psaki: This is all murky to the junior faculty going through this. Give them the right to have a colleague there. (Easy fix, just do it. This is a test for the admin side: can they back down and go with a reasonable request like this from the union?) Green: We heard this from many faculty when we talked with them about this clause. Pratt: Having sat at the other side from the faculty, as Assoc Dean, this would help. Anderson: As a former head, it would often have been helpful to have another person there with the faculty person. (Check Luebke’s blog, he’s got more on this). Rudnick: Would this also apply to annual reviews? Maybe there’s a middle ground here. (Wow, this is a first from her.)

Timeline:
Rudnick: We want a timeline and a deadline for submitting tenure materials. Mauer: So, why isn’t there a timeline in your proposal? Rudnick: Whoops, will you write that for us?

Criteria:
Pratt to Gleason: You’re missing the point. We ask best people in the field to write reviews. We want  to send them our tenure guidelines, ask them to consider those when they write the letter. Currently it’s too vague. (He’s right, I write these letters and it’s very helpful when the school sends their criteria). Gleason: I write these letters all the time, no one has ever asked me if this person should get tenure under these criteria. (Weird, I get this frequently).

Faculty Personal Committee’s role:
Rudnick: We are reviewing the role of the FPC, because you went union!!! This is big, big big. Are they going to try and grab power from the faculty on tenure now? Bastards! Cecil: Why did you weaken our language requiring the Provost to provide full and complete justification for a tenure denial? Rudnick: Because we want Bean to have the right to sit down with Geller later, and fabricate new reasons for a denial.

Grievance: New language, we will let people grieve over violations of procedures and practices, and we will then eliminate current practice for appeals. You can grieve, take it to the President, if you can argue that our Provost’s denial is arbitrary and capricious. No recourse to arbitration except on procedural grounds.

Break

Art 15: Grievance Procedure

Rudnick: Calendar days versus working days. She’s insisting that we use the Julian Calendar, or something like that. Cecil: We’ll have to consult with our astrologer, but we’ll get you some latin.

Rudnick: Another concession! Union can institute a grievance over an action (not over an interpretation that doesn’t lead to an action.) Another compromise: additional 180 days to file a tort claim notice over discrimination. Grievant can bring union rep, but must be present themselves. Mauer: Can union rep be there if grievant doesn’t want them to be? Rudnick: That’s your problem, work it out with your member. Rudnick: If faculty member wants to grieve with say Provost and doesn’t want to send a copy to the union, we don’t want to require that they do. Cecil: Send copies of decisions to union. Rudnick: Makes sense.

Art 16: Arbitration

Rudnick: Lots more concessions. Sticking point is no arbitration of matters of academic judgement. Arbitration over procedural issues e.g. about tenure. Not over the decision itself. University should not have to re-employ someone who has been convicted of a crime. Mauer: Regardless of the crime and circumstances? Arlo Guthrie: Littering? Mauer: What if the university disbanded a dept, claiming financial exigency? Lots of productive back and forth between Cecil and Rudnick. Rudnick: We can pay people if they testify for our side, but we won’t agree to pay people who testify for the union. Huh?

Next Session: Admins will have counters on Union rights, Drugs, Discipline. Gleason looks up from his iPad with a weird smile.

Rudnick: Maybe we can get to your economic proposals the week of March 19, so I can get in a lot of $400 billable hours over spring break, reviewing your costly proposals to give you already overpaid faculty excessive raises. Mauer: Thanks.

Child porn update: Union Bargaining VIII for 2/7/2013.

Update:

Prof. Barbara Altmann accuses faculty union of supporting child pornography.

Update #4 on the Admin blog, for today 2/7/2013:

In perhaps the most extreme section, the Union proposed that “[t]he content of faculty profiles in social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc) shall not be considered during any evaluation of a faculty member.” What if a bargaining unit member is using social media to threaten and intimidate colleagues? What about in a case of child pornography?

I’m no child pornographer although I will admit I have watched the occasional adult movie on videos hd from time to time, but I’m guessing if I was, and posting it on Facebook, the Dean would be the least of my worries. Ok, maybe it’s not really Barbara writing this garbage – maybe JH is just putting her name on something written by one of their law firms, or Randy Geller. Her blog invites people to email her and ask her questions. So what the hell, lets see who is behind the Johnson Hall child porn ring:

Subject: public records request: union child pornography

Date: February 7, 2013 7:21:59 PM PST
To: Lisa Thornton , David Hubin
Cc: Barbara Altmann , Randy Geller , Doug Blandy , Tim Gleason , James Bean , doug park

Dear Ms Thornton:
This is a public records request for a copy of any emails containing all of the words “child”, “pornography” (or porn) and “union”, including any email that simply contain links to porn websites like go now sex-hd.xxx for example, this is for all sent or received by Michael Gottfredson, Randy Geller, Doug Park, Tim Gleason, Doug Blandy, Barbara Altmann, or Jim Bean, from 1/1/2013 to the present.

I ask for a fee waiver on the basis of public interest, as demonstrated by the “bargaining update #4” on this topic, posted by Professor Altmann on the official UO administration information blog at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/


Today’s Bargaining session:

Thursday 2/7/2013, 8-12 AM, 450 Lillis: Be there. Word is that Sharon Rudnick will buy all the faculty who show up Voodoo donuts out of her $3200 daily take, or roughly what our students pay for 16 credits of in-state tuition.

Live blog disclaimer: My interpretation of what people said, meant, meant to say, or what I wished they’d said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Prelude: UConn has a faculty union and is in the middle of a big push to be the next university to get into the AAU, including hiring of hundreds of tenure-track teaching and research faculty. UO hired a total of 17 new TTF last year (net) and our research plans are in total disarray, thanks to Interim Provost Jim Bean’s incompetence,lack of focus, and distraction by athletics.

Live-blog: No donuts. WTF? And why does everyone on the admin team have the same smile? Is this why they don’t let Geller show up anymore – he can’t do it?
Doug Blandy
Sharon Rudnick
Tim Gleason


Today’s Cast: No Blandy, no Cecil, no Altmann, no Geller. Where is Geller – still working for Gottfredson?

Scene I:

Rudnick: You’ve been talking out of two sides of your mouth when you say you will talk with the deans but don’t accept that they will talk with faculty. “I don’t mean to be judgmental but it seems you have a schizophrenic view of things.” Mauer: We need a certain amount of trust.

Academic freedom and responsibility:
This should be good – presumably Geller’s had a hand in it after being read the riot act by Gottfredson over his prior attempt at a university policy. Rudnick: I’ll let Tim Gleason talk about this. Then she keeps on talking… We took this from the UF CBA and the AAU Red Book and Oregon law. Gleason: I don’t have much to add. Freedoms and responsibilities. Mauer: We can find the policy on-line? Rudnick: Yes. (Actually, No. A substantially revised policy is currently up for Senate approval, probably in April, but Geller has been sitting on it for 18 months. Check this link for an old redlined version, this was a huge fight with the Senate Executive last year, Geller wouldn’t appear to defend it, much to Dave Hubin’s embarrassment.) Rudnick: Starts lecturing Mauer about faculty, gets that loud angry thing going again. Does this work for her in court? Gleason: Def of disruptive is based not on content, but on how disruptive the context is in which the speech is made. Mauer: These other clauses look good. Mauer: What about g): “Seek change only in ways that don’t obstruct the functions of the university.” (Me: Frohnmayer, Lariviere, and Berdahl all accused much of pretty much exactly this for running UO Matters, requesting “too many” public records, etc.) Same with Geller and his GC Emerita Melinda Grier. Gleason: I don’t think we mean’t this to address civil disobedience. Rudnick jumps in again: nothing in this article would prohibit that. Mauer: pitch a tent outside JH? Rudnick: that would be OK. Mauer: We’ll see what happens when the Dalai Lama appears. Green: Suppose students and faculty block catering trucks from getting to a donor dinner (because the donor got rich off Philip Morris work). Gleason: Say it’s trespass. This policy would be irrelevant because that would be civil disobedience. Rudnick: Nothing in this policy would discourage that, but we could have our cops arrest you and then fire you for illegal activity. Pratt: Suppose the admin decides they want a particular program or course content, but faculty disagreed. (I’m thinking the sports conflict program in law). Would that constitute obstruction? Gleason: That wouldn’t be obstruction. Pratt: Better if it said obstruct “mission of university” rather than “functions of the university”. Rudnick: OK.

(Commenter: “Nothing in this Article affects the University’s right to determine for itself on academic grounds who may teach, what may be taught, how it shall be taught, and who may be admitted to study.” Me: That’s new. by “the University” they mean “the Administration”. Sneaky one, Gleason.)

Rudnick: What faculty say in public must be said with restraint. (WTF?) Threshold for university to take action is very high – must show person is not fit for position because of their conduct. (Me: Both Frohnmayer and Berdahl have used my statements on this blog to accuse me of being a bad social scientist – Berdahl while he was Interim President. This clause seems to protect them, and to allow UO to discipline me for my speech?)

The bargaining team has been hammering Rudnick and Gleason on this, they keep backing down, but they are going to need to revise this language a lot.

Blandy enters. ~20 faculty also show up. You missed the nasty part, guys.

Mauer: Can you identify yourself as a UO professor when making protected speech? Green: What about a blog. Rudnick: Should have a disclaimer (whew, I’m good). … Mauer: Lets move on for now and come back to this.

Article 12: Admin’s response on NTTF evaluation and promotion.

Rudnick: I’m just going to walk through to justify my $400 an hour, then Blandy will answer questions since he only gets $75 – what we charge you for a stenographer. (Lots of productive back and forth here, Rudnick’s decibel level is appropriately modest, for once.) Rudnick: We’ve finally figured out librarians. We talked to the librarians, they want to stick to annual. Mauer doesn’t miss a beat “You consulted with them how?” Rudnick: Uh, we talked with their dean, who said everyone was happy over there. (Lots of unusually productive back and forth on this between Rudnick and Mauer, she’s earning a little of her pay this time. Say $150.)

Mauer: Break time. Rudnick: I’ll make a donut run.

Scene II: Still no donuts.

Art 38: University counterproposal on Jury duty.
Snoozer.

Art 15: Union counterproposal on Grievance Procedure.
Mauer: Union must have the right to file grievances on behalf of members. E.g. an individual is reluctant to file for fear of retaliation. More than one person might be effected, more efficient for union to file one, rather than many. This is standard procedure. Rudnick: We want to be sure a grievance is about an actual problem that has an impact (OK) and we want to talk to the faculty who are being impacted (what if they want the union to do it?) Don’t want a grievance over, say a difference in interpretation that doesn’t lead to action. Mauer: First is fine, Second not, Third craft some language for us, not a problem. More talk on dates.

Art 16: Union counterproposal on Arbitration.
Mauer: going through this line by line, … agree, disagree, …

Next time: Mauer: You’ll be prepared with more counters next time? Rudnick: yes.

The end. See you in 2 weeks.

Union bargaining VII

Tuesday 2/5/2013, 8-12 AM, top o’ Lillis, room 450. Be there. Bring me some adderall. But, if not, no worries, I’ll live blog it anyway. Meanwhile here’s Dash Paulson in the ODE with the story from last week.

Live blog disclaimer: My interpretation of what people said, meant, meant to say, or what I wished they’d said. Nothing is a quote unless in quotes.

Prelude: UConn has a faculty union and is in the middle of a big push to be the next university to get into the AAU, including hiring of hundreds of tenure-track teaching and research faculty. UO hired a total of 17 new TTF last year (net) and our research plans are in total disarray, thanks to Interim Provost Jim Bean’s incompetence, lack of focus, and distraction by athletics.

Still no response to my public records request for info on who is writing, and vetting, the UO administration’s union matters blog. So I’m guessing it’s not really Barbara Altmann. And that Gottfredson’s probably paying them twice her salary.

And no response from Dave Hubin to my December request for an update on what we’re paying Sharon Rudnick. Dave, it’s February now.

And President Gottfredson, take a clue from UConn, the school that will likely replace UO in the AAU. Cut a quick deal with the union and spend what you save on your lawyers for science startups. That’s not what Ms Rudnick is telling you? You’re paying her $400 an hour for as long as she can drag this shit out. What do you expect her to say?

Characters: Mike Mauer of the AAUP is back. No Geller. No Gleason. No Altmann.

Act I:

Rudnick: We still don’t have much substantive, needs to be vetted. Maybe next meeting.

Successor agreement: Rudnick: Minor changes. Wants ratification quickly even over summer. Gleason arrives. Mauer: Keep old contract in force if no quick agreement, no strike, wants process to get agreement.

New Article, 41: Totality of the agreement.
Rudnick: Comes from PSU or other contract.

Faculty Handbook: Rudnick: Going to let Blandy handle this. Blandy: Allow us to have a rich resource interface with hyperlinks. Jesus Doug, just stop. Print the fucking thing out. But no, he’s going on and on…

Meanwhile, 2 seconds on Google, here’s the OSU Handbook – right there at the bottom, “click here for a printer-friendly version”.

Now he’s onto the hyperlinks, pointers, tubes and quantum valves. He will not print out the docs on the links – e.g. benefit rules. Huh? Green: Huh? Mauer: Huh? So policies, benefits, policies might be changed and no printed record.  Psaki: Huh? Rudnick: We can’t promise it will be up to date. Cecil: Huh? We’d just tell you to update it. What’s the problem again? Green: Huh? The archive will only be in the tubes? Blandy: We won’t print out the hyperlinks for the handbook archives. Blandy: The notice to the faculty will be emails to the Deans. (Does your Dean send you these regularly? Mine neither.) Mauer: Huh? Why not just notify the union. Rudnick: We don’t want to take on that task. Blandy: Printing it out and making sure the faculty are notified is too much work for “The University”. Psaki: Huh? The email Blandy sent out to Dean’s asking for suggestions about the website never even went to the faculty. The union could you help on this. Rudnick: We don’t want help from your kind of people. Green: This will help you, what’s the problem? Just cc the union on the emails. Green: Why don’t you guys call around to other universities and see what they do. This is getting frustrating. Why can’t the Provost just do their job? Rudnick: We’re working with you … (This is working with the faculty? Wait til we get to something important. We’re screwed.)

Rudnick: That’s all we’ve got. The others are close, Randy is sitting on them.

Release time: Rudnick: Your proposal will cost $480K-$1M. She is basing this on salaries, not replacement costs for course buyouts. Bullshit response, she should know better. Mauer: He gets it, she’s stammering. Mauer: Marginal cost equals the first derivative of total cost. Blandy and Gleason: They know better and they are sitting there saying nothing. Gleason: Speaks, but doesn’t get MC either. (Of course he knows the real cost is $6K for an adjunct to teach, he hires them all the time when faculty take admin assignments, but he wants to help Rudnick get that figure up to $1M to make it look scary.) Rudnick: Wants to turn off the sabbatical clock to punish the union president. Whoah lady! Johnson Hall sure didn’t do that for Provost Bean! She backs off, says she’s “just raising these questions”.

Act II: They’re back.

Mauer: Release time response: We see work for the union as service. Cost of business to UO (Just like the $6.67 a minute Gottfredson is paying Rudnick.) This is standard stuff at other universities. Faculty doing union work will of course still be doing much of their normal work as a faculty member. Work with grad students, do other service work, do their research. But your questions about tenure clocks are reasonable, we will look into them and respond. We can’t respond to the merit pay question yet because we don’t know what you will agree to later about merit pay. … We will take a closer look at your cost estimates. We don’t question what you’ve said about the value of the work faculty do, decisions about filling in work, but for the purposes of costing out proposals, we don’t think your calculations are the applicable ones. In some cases the replacement cost will be far less than salary and benefits. Rudnick: Proposal allows 5 full FTE releases, university will have to assume any other work they do as professors would be voluntary. (It’s not like we are professionals) She’s getting loud again. The idea that “The University” would have to pay people to do union work! These numbers are the real cost! “That’s just the  economic analysis of what it costs!” (Yeah, sure. Take a micro principles class.) We would like the union to present a cheaper alternative, even though we’ve just exaggerated the costs. Gleason: Q: TT associate X gets elected, tells Dean. Dean says “you know, this is a bad idea if you want to go up for full. Too much time.” Can I say that? Mauer: No problem for you to say that about the time, improper to make it specifically about the union. Blandy: Given that UO gives little release time for service, why should union service get it? Mauer: Good question, we will look for analogies – e.g. Senate President. (Dept heads typically get all but 1-2 courses released.) Cecil: What % of total bargaining unit members FTE are we asking for? (I’m thinking less than 1%) Rudnick: We don’t disagree with the principle that union work is important or that we should grant release time for it, we just want to exaggerate the cost to make you look bad. But she does have a point that the union’s proposal makes this a right, probably does need to make clear it shouldn’t interfere w/ normal departmental functioning etc.

Mauer: The administrative side needs to pick up their pace. We’ve got 17 proposals on the table that you have not responded too – for a month, month and a half. We know you’ve got to run all this by many people, many of whom took a lot of time off for the Fiesta Bowl (right, Randy and Jamie?). Rudnick: We’re going to take the time it takes to get it right. We’re working diligently. (Why doesn’t the administration bring someone with some authority to the table, instead of Blandy and Gleason?) Rudnick: Loudly: I don’t appreciate your insinuations that we are not working very hard! I am billing UO $400 an hour for a lot of hours, just wait til Dave Hubin finally releases my latest bills!

Mauer: We’re doing our job, we will caucus and be back.

Act III: 

Art 33: Union proposal on Professional Development:
Mauer: Faculty get funds appropriate to rank, can include adjuncts, no dollar amount specified. Details to be handled by departments, but some sort of policy and transparency. Sec 3, if there are requirements regarding tenure and promotion than there need to be funds available to accomplish this. Sec 4., going to conferences is appropriate part of the job, details up to department. Rudnick: Who decides how much money into these funds? Mauer: Up to university and departments. Rudnick: Suppose there’s not enough money in fund to meet tenure requirements, you could file a grievance? Cecil: Yes. Rudnick: Squishy. They are getting into a tenure requirement you attend conferences… I’m confused. Gleason: Suppose it’s the sciences, where you are expected to get grant funding. (Good point Tim. This is actually a fairly productive discussion from the admin side, for once.) Rudnick: Would the Dean be able to over-rule the faculty? OK, this is getting derailed by her dis-understandings of how universities work. Cecil: Write a counterproposal. Rudnick: Cecil, answer my question! Gleason: If the faculty and Dean’s disagree, what happens? Who wins? Davidson: This is shared governance, we get these things done. Rudnick: The Dean’s are ultimately accountable, responsible (except while they’re at a bowl game) while you faculty are a bunch of lesser players and slackers. Mauer: Write a counter-proposal. Bramhall: We have a proposal on shared governance, read it. Rudnick: blah blah. Mauer: Write a counter-proposal. Rudnick: OK.

Art 35: Union proposal on health and safety: Basically, follow OSHA. I’m hoping this is quick, 5 min left on the game clock. Mauer: No faculty shall be subject to the sorts of repeated brain injuries that the AD subjects student-athletes to on the field. Administrators shall take frequent inspection trips to football games to ensure no faculty are on the field. No retaliation for faculty who refuse to serve as linebackers. Rudnick: OK.

See you on Thursday.