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.

Live blog bargaining, Act V: 1/22/13

Updates, posted on request of VPAA Doug Blandy and Jean Stockard.

UO Matters said to Blandy:

Hi Doug – a bit about your claim UO has not engaged in retaliation, here: http://uomatters.com/2013/01/live-blog-bargaining-v-12213.html

Blandy replied:

Bill, That was not my claim. I stated that when people come forward with a grievance I believe the institution is on notice to be hyper-vigilent that retaliation does not take place. D.

Jean Stockard (PPPM Prof, see below) says:

Blandy’s statement is certainly contradicted by my experiences when I tried to help students from another country (actions that were both morally and legally required). The evidence we gathered through my legal case indicate that he was centrally involved in both the planning and execution of very severe retaliation.

I asked Blandy if he wants to respond to this, nothing yet.

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.

Synopsis:
The central scene was the administration’s claim that UO does not retaliate, so the union needn’t worry about putting protections in the contract or making them subject to binding outside arbitration. Bullshit:

I’m thinking about the Jean Stockard case – former professor in PPPM. Just a few years ago UO paid her a $500,000 legal settlement, because the administration retaliated against her for sticking up for some Korean students who were getting screwed by a UO foreign exchange program. The retaliation ranged from substantial (hence the penalty) to the petty – like cutting off her uoregon.edu email address. UO did not admit to the retaliation in the legal settlement, as the Oregonian reported here. That’s quite a bit different from a baldfaced claim there was none. 

And, from Law School prof emeritus Cheyney Ryan, in the comments:

Doug Blandy is aware that his own office has engaged in retaliation. (He and I have communicated about it.) In the fall of 2011, his predecessor Russ Tomlin issued a public statement charging me with “causing turmoil” by bringing sexual harassment concerns to the attention of the administration. My attorney estimated that Tomlin’s action violated 19 federal, state, and university policies on, among other things, retaliation. When I brought this to the attention of his superiors they did not argue; a resolution was reached within a week. I had lots going for me, though–I was a very senior faculty member that had just been offered a post at Oxford University. Faculty need protection from retaliation like this, which is why they need a union.

Why sacrifice your credibility to support Rudnick, Doug? Surely you will want it for something more important, someday.

Then there’s this threat from Randy Geller, sent to Senate President Rob Kyr and IAC Chair Brian McWhorter this summer, threatened retaliation for meddling with his efforts to sneak Rob Mullens’s drug scheme through without faculty or public review:

… Your allegations about the University’s rulemaking processes are offensive and false , as are the comments made publicly by members of the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee. I ask that you apologize in writing to President Berdahl, Rob Mullens, and me. I also ask that you censure the members of the IAC who have published offensive and defamatory comments.

Randolph Geller  

General Counsel
University of Oregon
 

I wonder if Gottfredson ever reprimanded Geller for doing this? And then there’s Bob Berdahl’s attempt to smear my reputation as professor, retaliation for posting these news reports on him.

Imagine what happens if you are non-tenured? No, don’t. Safer to keep your head down, given Blandy’s role in promotion and tenure.

Cast of Characters:
Geller seems to have been permanently banned, Mauer is off this week.
Rudnick present @ $400, also an earnest looking Blandy, sour-faced Gleason, 2 Harrang staffers – at $75 each?

1/22/13 Live-blog:

Barbara Altmann – or whoever is writing the official administration blog for her, has posted a statement about the bargaining, here.

Sharon Rudnick does not start by telling the bargaining team about how she gave up $400 an hour in tobacco company billings by spending her Monday honoring MLK, washing the feet of homeless vets suffering from PTSD on the downtown mall. Very classy move, keeping her good works quiet.

Professional Responsibilities: Admin caves, will agree to union proposal for every unit having its own written collaborative policy on responsibilities, with Dean or Provost having ultimate responsibility. They cave again: overload decisions may be grieved (not arbitrated by outsider.)

Psaki: Glad to hear you agree admin should have policies and abide by them. Deans are too busy, units must draft, and deans will modify and approve. Rudnick: Looking very weary, we give up on this, we will not dictate policies, faculty will have voice. Blandy: Allows for lots of faculty input. Green: Doesn’t specify a process. Rudnick: Yes, it’s possible a Dean could run around the faculty. Gleason: Sure, but he wouldn’t last long. (Really? Faculty review Deans around here?) Pratt: Current policy on tenure policy is that dept faculty vote to approve any policy. Why not do that here? Rudnick: This doesn’t prevent that. Pratt: Fine, why not require that? Rudnick: confused. Gleason: Difference between contract and policy. Current practice should continue. (He *really* doesn’t want al these great current practices made part of the agreement! Cecil: Would the process and outcome be grievable if it violated current policy and practice? Rudnick: No. faculty just make recommendations, Dean and Bean can ignore them. Cecil: What if Dean decided not to follow current policy. Grievable? Move on.

Dues deduction:
Rudnick: Not that changed. Admin will not do political deductions. Union needs to deal with the religious objections, not the admin. (I’m not clear on the fair-share part. Has the admin agreed to this yet? I don’t think so.)

Non-Discrimination: 
Rudnick: Admin (she’s given up claiming she’s the UO for now) would let employee and union decide how to procede – internal, grievance, arbitration. Cecil: Here you will have to agree to allow arbitration. Davidson: Start with internal process, then choose between arbitration and court. Rudnick: right. Rudnick runs circles around Cecil on how to determine a standard for unlawful versus lawful discrimination/consideration. Adopt Oregon or ERB law or something specific – can’t just say “you can’t discriminate”. Green: Is there a place online where UO states its sexual harassment policy? Blandy: Yes, several places.

Break time. Back.

Art 15, Grievance Procedure: 

Long discussion about grievances. The union wants to be allowed to file grievances on behalf of members. The admin wants to require a specific faculty member or group to come forward. Suppose it’s a case of a department systematically paying females assistant professors less. They would be unlikely to be willing to file a grievance, because of all the possibilities of systematic retaliation, e.g. when they come up for tenure. Note that this retaliation could even be outside UO – branded as a troublemaker in their field. Green wants union to be able to act on their behalf. Rudnick does not – people must be willing to accept the consequences of filing a grievance.
Blandy denies UO has ever retaliated, “not in our culture” – not clear if he is clueless or disingenuous – looks very sincere. Chuckles from the room.
I’m thinking about the Jean Stockardcase – former professor in PPPM. Just a few years ago UO paid her a $500,000 legal settlement, because the administration retaliated against her for sticking up for some Korean students who were getting screwed by a UO foreign exchange program. The retaliation ranged from substantial (hence the penalty) to the petty – like cutting off her uoregon.edu email address. Note that UO did not admit to the retaliation in the legal settlement, as the Oregonian reported here
Does Doug Blandy really think he would have got his $170K VP for Ac Affairs job if he’d complained about something substantial to JH sometime earlier in his career, got no satisfaction, made the complaint publicly, and embarrassed, say, Jim Bean? Or that this will never happen again with Bean’s replacement?
More discussion of timelines. Boring, except union wants 365 days for discrimination, admins want a month or two. This came up in the 2008 Presidential election – Republicans wanted tight deadline, Obama wanted a looser one.

Art 16: Arbitration: Important, but I’m snoozing. Read it yourself. Rudnick doesn’t want to let grievant, witnesses use work time to resolve work time. Admin will let them have time off, but union must pay for the time!? Cecil: What exactly is your problem with this so I can craft compromise language?
Davidson: Suppose a faculty member pleads guilty to smoking pot. Could they be fired? Could that go to arbitration? Cecil: Give an example. Rudnick: Suppose you forge a parking pass. Arbitrator reinstates. That’s stealing, UO is not required to re-employ them. Davidson: Suppose I publish a critique of Knight’s labor practices. Arbitratable or not? Rudnick: May be different points of view?
Q from the floor: Suppose a fac member is convicted of producing and selling drugs. Fire em? Rudnick: Could, if the law says there’s a connection to ability to perform job. I think it would affect your ability to be a professor. (Suppose it was civil disobedience?) Under admin’s language you could be fired, go to arbitration, but arbitrator could not order UO to reinstate you. Cecil: That will depend on what the “discipline” section of the contract says. Pot – soon legal under Oregon law, but probably not federal. Can you be fired for that? We’ll know soon.
Rudnick: Will call Cecil about Thursday – union has some counters to counters, Rudnick may have more counters.

Bargaining IV live blog, 1/10/2013

Word from the faculty club hot-tub is that Gottfredson has pulled Tim Gleason from the admin bargaining team and replaced him with Chip Kelly. I’ll be in 450 Lillis at 8 AM live blogging, just in case it’s true.

Live Blog: Usual disclaimer applies.

No Gleason! No Geller. Rudnick’s helper lawyer is back, anyone know her name? No Chip either though.

Rudnick: Don’t need Gleason, let’s start. Art 10, Assignment of Prof Responsibilities passes out redlined version, new title. Faculty cannot determine their workload. My faculty chair will be interested to here that! More details …

Gleason appears – still no Kelly.

Mauer: Is the stuff in the preamble grievable? No. Sec 2: Many things that are current practice, which admin likes, but does not want in contract. Therefore this will not be grievable. Rudnick: We don’t want the CBA to be a legally enforceable policy document. Whoa. But she agrees these are mandatory subjects for bargaining, as Mauer points out. Rudnick: Don’t want too muh specificity in contract. Pratt: Department’s should make assignment. Blandy: With consultation with dean’s, provost. Pratt: We want every dept to have their own written policy. Rudnick: Fine, but we don’t want it in the CBA and grievable. Rudnick: Will not allow the faculty to build their own workload policy. Have input, but ultimate decision rests with dean and provost. Cecil: This gives admin the right to change anyone’s work assignment at any time?? So there will be a general written job duties piece, then specific duties could change. Seems reasonable. If they were assigned duties outside written part, they could grieve? Rudnick: Let me think on that.

Sec 7: Rudnick: We want to make clear that faculty must be available for the entire term. Blandy: If you want to leave for 4 weeks to do research, we will want you to take leave. WTF? Rudnick: Doesn’t mean you have to be here, just “available”. She thinks current practice is that faculty are not available when students are gone. She finally gets to the nut: faculty take off winter and spring breaks. She wants them to be “available”. What does that mean? Available on skype? Answering email? Available to come back to Eugene for a meeting at 24 hours notice?

Blandy: E.g. problem scheduling a defense because fac is out of town. (Yes this is a problem. On the other hand, plenty of faculty are “available” not just answering email, but working with graduate students, doing research, doing meetings, all summer for zero pay.) 

Pratt: Yes, this can be a problem. Faculty have problems with what admins do too – e.g. assignments. So, we’re going to write sections for that too – which you have taken out.

Green: Faculty get evaluated and get tenure, promotion based on research. Which for many people teaching 5 classes and doing service happens entirely during the summer.

Me: This section need work. Bramhall: This language is so ad hoc, puts burden on the dean’s to do this individually. Pratt: We want procedures to establish department specific policies. E.g. tenure and promotion.

Rudnick: We see this as consultation with the faculty, approval by provost. We do not view ourselves as adverse. Differences are in details. Poor me, we are working so hard to cooperate… with you … We’re all in this together… Where did this speech come from all of a sudden? Bramhall: We have a long history of administrative decisions that have been very bad. Of course we are skeptical.

Rudnick: We will not agree to let the faculty make these administrative decisions. Consult, yes.

Green, Pratt: We want more explicit department policies on workload, etc.

Mauer: Move on to rest of sections.

Rudnick: Sec 8, overload. (Admin’s get this pretty regularly). E.g. Dean asks someone to teach something extra, attend a working group where your expertise is needed. Regular committee work or teaching additional sections are not overload unless Provost says they are but provost has to follow rules. Regular load is 5 and you teach 6, that would be overload. Refusal to grant overload would not be grievable. Cecil: This would lead to worries about favoritism. Need transparency to build some trust here, make this grievable. I agree – this will lead admins to make less capricious decisions.


Mauer: Why is Sec 8 here given that Sec 10 says there’s no recourse? Rudnick: Because … but I get point about grievability.

Caucus Break

Rudnick: Admins are OK with rule for departmental faculty to develop their own workload policy, with dean/provost approval. Mauer: Deal – draft it for us please.

Pratt: Sec 8: It’s too vague. Take example of an extension class, where would it fall? Extra advising load? Rudnick: We’ll fix that. We’ll do a revised counterproposal. Mauer: Good.

Rudnick: That’s all we have to present. We are working on other stuff but we are not prepared.

Mauer: We are prepared with more proposals.

Article 5, Union Rights: Union can communicate with members at work… Sec 4, information, routine … Sec 5, union gets report on tenure and promotion decisions (remember when Tomlin and Bean tried to hide that?) Union and Admin will have rules for communicating, given past problems. Pratt: e.g. lack of faculty participation in legislature’s achievement contracts with university. Blandy: Why does it say union, not bargaining unit members. (So, what about law, science PI’s? Doesn’t exclude them.) Rudnick: Is notion that union reps can meet members anytime so long as it doesn’t interfere with regular faculty duties? Mauer: Faculty are professionals, won’t interfere. Rudnick: Do you intend to comply with UO policies, charges for use of meeting rooms and services. Mauer: We are not an outside organization, we are an official part of the UO community. Rudnick: Could be clearer. Sec 4., information: you want this every month eve if it doesn’t change? (Moot – if it doesn’t change, just say it didn’t change) Gleason: Term by term maybe? Cecil: Data sucks. Me: Tell me about it. It’s January, JP Monroe hasn’t even posted the count of faculty numbers from September yet. She’ll look into what this all means. Rudnick is clearly nervous about having to release data – as well she should! Mauer: We will want the data needed to implement agreement. Rudnick: What does “equal partner” in development of program and policies mean? (I’m thinking about Geller and Mullens’s drug policy here…) Pratt: Back to achievement compacts process, which had very little faculty input. Cecil: We’re not trying to exceed state requirements, just make sure we actually get a real chance to participate.

Article 6: Dues Deduction
Mauer: Usual stuff, employer processes deductions including fair share deductions, allows for religious exemptions (! state law). Voluntary political action contributions. Same as in GTFF deal. Rudnick: OK, need a form for the political stuff and a signature will required. Cecil: Of course.

Article 19: Personnel files
Faculty get access, can add shit. Mauer: from OAR’s, puts those procedures in contract. Rudnick: OK

Article 31: Release Time
Wake up people! This will give the union the resources needed to participate in shared governance in a way that the Senate should have, but which Hubin and the administration have starved it of. Union wants 5 FTE release time units for officers etc., 4 more for negotiations, union can purchase 5-20 additional course releases. Mauer: All reasonable, standard. Gleason: Who would these people be? Mauer: Example: People charged with processing grievances. Gleason: You’re talking about 25 courses. How will affect departments? Mauer: Elected officials, will change, we will give notice. Gleason: Suppose 3 people are all from same department. Me: Admin pulls people out of teaching research jobs all the time. Mauer: There will be negotiations, we will be responsible. E.g. look at people on the bargaining team – all still doing their regular jobs. (Meanwhile, I’m looking across the table at two admins doing this for pretty substantial pay, not to mention Rudnick!) Rudnick: Concern about how this might affect smaller depts, admin might want limits. Reasonable.

Article 40: Negotiation of Sucessor Agreement:
This first agreement will be for 2 years. If we don’t get agreement by June 1, ratification won’t be until faculty return from summer. Something about rules for ratification vote. If no new agreement, old one continues in force.

Rudnick: We have lots to think about. We will be prepared next Tue with our revised article. Mauer: Not too much left for us to present. Ball’s in admin’s court, mostly.

All done til next Tu.

Update: Bargaining session III, 1/8/13 live-blog

1/9/13 Update: 

Subject: counterproposals
Date: January 9, 2013 9:16:03 AM PST
To: Tim Gleason , Doug Blandy

Hi Tim and Doug, can you send me a copy of the administrative counter proposals? I’d like to add them to the info at http://uomatters.com/2012/12/facultyadministration-bargaining.html so that people can make comments. 

I’ll post their response. Note that the union is posting all the proposals they have put on the table within a few days, from whence I got the info for the CBA discussion pages in the link.

On WednesdayJan 9, 2013, at 11:27 AM, Doug Blandy wrote: Bill, The university is planning to post counter proposals at http://uo-ua.uoregon.edu/  D.


Update: Blandy said he’d hired a consultant to fix Tomlin’s faculty handbook problem. Interesting. Let’s see what info they’ll share about that:

Subject: faculty handbook consultantDate: January 8, 2013 9:17:35 PM PST
To: Doug Blandy , Barbara Altmann
Hi Doug and Barbara –
At the bargaining session today there was something about UO hiring a consultant to work on the faculty handbook/Ac Af website problem. I’d appreciate it if you could send me info on what work has been contracted for, name of the firm doing it, and an estimate off the cost. I’d like to post it on UO Matters, I think many faculty would be interested.

Quick direct response from Doug, which I certainly appreciate, explaining I got it wrong:

Bill, Academic Affairs has not hired a consultant to work on the faculty handbook. We are working (consulting) with the UO library’s Interactive Media Group on developing a web based equivalent of a faculty handbook. The IMG routinely works with UO faculty and units towards the development of web based projects. 

So, correction: It’s an internal media service just to do the web design for the handbook site:

Live-Blog Disclaimer:

These are my summaries of my interpretation of the meaning of the statements of the various people, with some opinion inserted, sometimes in ( ) sometimes not. Not quotes unless in quotes. These are my opinions, not those of the union or its committees. I have not been part of any of the union bargaining team meetings.

For the anti-union view of the sessions, see here. For the admin’s view see the “Around the O” here. No, sorry, don’t. Neither has any real information. Just keep reading UO Matters.

Geller is AWOL again. For info on what our students are paying Rudnick, see here. She showed up with a helper lawyer today, too, wonder what that’s costing us.

Abstract: 

This will have to wait til the Thursday session concludes. Very briefly, Rudnick has been doing some homework, now seems to understand the basics of academic rank etc. She spent a fair amount of time trying on a helpful, charitable persona. This would go over better if each little story wasn’t costing us $20:

Rudnick chit chat’s about her beautiful hand-made South African AIDS charity necklace, which she offers to sell off her neck, for the cause. Ambiguous how Maimonides would treat this one:  

We are obligated to be more scrupulous in fulfilling the commandment of charity than any other positive commandment, because charity is the sign of a righteous man.” Moses Maimonides, 1135-1204  

It’s good to promote self-sufficiency, but it’s very bad to brag about your charitable activities, especially while doing business. Not that I’m an expert on prestige motive for charitable giving:

Live-Blog:

Rudnick: Severability is OK. Mauer: Let’s sign and date. Historic day – something has been agreed to. Something else also OK, missed it.

Strike and Lockout:

Rudnick: Suppose SEIU strikes – can’t have it that faculty don’t do any work typically done by them – e.g. copying.

Handbook:

Rudnick: We are going to try and “consolidate” this on AcAf website. We will not do a hard copy – too much work for us! Policy changes will be posted ut we wil not be responsible for notifying faculty. WTF? No notice of a policy change unless we have a statutory requirement to do so? Sneaky shit.

Mauer: Why not just agree to a format? Rudnick: We just don’t want to promise anything that would be clear. Mauer call’s her on it. Green: What happens when a policy is changed? How do faculty track what’s been changed (e.g. changes in tenure rules).  Rudnick: Doesn’t get it how badly Tomlin screwed this up. (This is not a good place to pick a fight. Just give up on this, admins. You screwed it up, lost credibility, here’s a chance to fix it.) Blandy: We will keep an archive, honest. We did a survey! We publish e-news! Rudnick starts lecturing us and Green on what should be in the contract, what shouldn’t. Bizarre. “We are not willing to write down those levels of details in the contract”. Mauer: This proposal doesn’t come out of thin air. Find the right balance. Rudnick: Blandy’s hired a consultant to figure out how to do this. OMFG. Mauer asks specifics,  Blandy has been working on this for 10 weeks and is working on a dynamic format for this. He’ll go back and ask about archives. This was the whole point for bringing this up – they are losing credibility quickly on it.

Workload, Professional responsibilities.

Rudnick leaves the room, she’s going to bring out the Geller on this one. Comes back, chit-chat about Rudnick’s beautiful hand-made south african AIDS charity necklace, she offers to sell it for charity. Ambiguous how Maimonides would treat this one. Good to promote self-sufficiency, very bad to brag about your charitable activities, especially while doing business. Not that I’m an expert on prestige motives for charitable giving.

Geller arrives, looking shaky. Rudnick: Classification, rank, title. Goal is to define carefully here. E.g. Clinical or Prof of Practice is a NTTF with … details go in the person’s job description. Don’t want to necc put those in contract, so we’ve taken some detail out of your proposal.

Lecturer: Primary responsibility … Researcher Assistant classification goes away for new hiring but will be grandfathered in. Lots of details here, need to see printed copy. Formalize “Acting Assistant Professor” if you are hired into a TT job but haven’t quite finished writing that dissertation. Lecturers could do graduate instruction, Instructors would do undergraduates, mostly. Blandy: No bright line. Titles like “distinguished” are fine. Lots of nuts an bolts stuff here, they are all working it out constructively I think.

Wake up people: Rudnick: Espy is planning on moving Research Assistants(?) out of the faculty, and as Cecil points out then move them out of the bargaining unit. This move should make a lot of the anti-union people happy, my impression is that union support is strong w/in this group. Geller: No new hires as Res Assistant. Mauer: If new people are R Assoc, it’s OK. If new people doing same type of work are R assistants (therefore out of unit) big concern. Rudnick will go back to Espy, quickly, to get more info on what she is planning.

Break for caucus. They’re back, sans Geller.

Mauer: More on your new “adjunct” classification. Rudnick: Departments could give give any title, based on current practice. They have no rank. Three year cap on how long you can be an adjunct. Up or out?

Rudnick, Section 3: Def of career NTTF: Clinical prof, prof or practice, research prof, librarian, lecturer, instructor. Cecil: need to add back current Research Assistants. Can be hired as an adjunct, then can move into NTTF.

Post-docs? Lots of confusion. Rudnick: fall w/in existing classifications or set up a new one? Confusion reigns. Rudnick: Where do you put the Yoga Instructor? Cecil: As instructors. We want to make them career NTTFs. Back to Post-docs. Rudnick: hire as adjuncts? We agree adjuncts should not be permanent part time employees – up or out.

Rudnick: As we go forward you will see that we are OK for grievances about classification etc, but will not allow outside arbitration for academic matters. Also, we will simplify grievance procedure.

Mauer: Why restrict someone from applying for promotion from adjunct until they’ve had 3 years FTE? Rudnick: Admin could promote someone on their own call though.

Cecil: So university could keep people for three years , let them go, hire another person for another 3 years, etc? Rudnick: That’s not our intent. Lots of back and forth on this, pretty cooperative.

Contracts:

Rudnick: Appointment comes in writing from the Provost, not verbal. Other information will be given separately within reasonable time. Seems good, speeds up hiring. Pratt: For TTF, offers usually include informal offer info – time til tenure, etc. Need to put that into this section too. All agree.

Rudnick: Info must include at minimum: professional responsibilities, expectations about performances, criteria and procedures for evaluation, promotion, tenure and post tenure reviews …

Rudnick: Section 3. Distinction between funding-contingent (grant) vs not contingent. Suppose it’s not funded from a grant: 1 year appointment for lowest rank, up to 3 years. If it’s grant contingent, no promises beyond one year (except for TTF).

Rudnick is saying that they will not commit to permanent NTTF contracts or automatic renewal. Will commit to May 1 or 15 renewal dates, but without penalty, unenforceable. Email for appointment/denial letters. Check those spam filters.

More on the 3 FTE limit on adjunct appointments.

Rudnick: Tenure – usually 6 years unless negotiated shorter clock, credit for prior service will be in the appointment letter. Anderson: Need to spell out hires that come in with tenure. Rudnick: whoops, we do.

Denial of tenure. Rudnick: 12 month final contract.

Mauer: Librarians? Rudnick: 1,2,3 year contracts dependent on rank, rather than current practice. Cecil: So everyone will get a year shorter contract than they do now? Rudnick: We’ll look into that.

Mauer: What did you delete regarding future employment rights of adjuncts? Rudnick: Yes. Contracts expire, no notice required. Not willing to make a contractual commitment, but policy is not to give 0.49 appointments. (Tough one – lots of people *want* 0.49 appointments. Others don’t. Rudnick wants flexibility, on this – leave it out of CBA. I agree with her, but I don’t know how much abuse there is in other departments. Cecil: Wants to put it in contract that admin won’t do this to avoid paying benefits. Me: But what about the (perhaps small number) of people who want exactly that – a job with no benefits, rather than no job with no benefits.

Mauer: Sec 15 and 16, credit for prior service.

Adjourn.

Union bargaining I: 12/13/12

Bargaining will restart at 1:15 PM Friday, again in room 122, Knight Library, again open to the faculty. Be there – after this fiasco, I have the feeling Rudnick et al. will come back in a more cooperative mode.

These are my summaries of my interpretation of the meaning of the statements of the various people, with some opinion inserted, sometimes in ( ) sometimes not. Not quotes unless in quotes. These are my opinions, not those of the union or its committees. I have not been part of any of the union bargaining team meetings.

For the anti-union view of the sessions, see here. For the admin’s view see the “Around the O” here. No, sorry, don’t. Neither has any real information. Just keep reading UO Matters.

The highlight so far?

Johnson Hall’s hired lawyer, Sharon Rudnick: 

In the contract, “We would like to be called the University, not the Administration.” 

Frank Stahl’s take on this? 

“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.”

Which reminds me of this famous story about Eisenhower at Columbia. Other highlights? Admin had no proposals to put on table – not even a proposal for the clause on administrative rights and responsibilities. The union proposal to strengthen Senate was not received favorably by Rudnick. Nor was the union proposal to support the diversity of existing departmental policies and practices by incorporating them into the contract by reference.

My understanding is that the actual proposals the union members have developed over the past 6 months and are now putting on the table will be posted by Saturday. (Clarification – not all the proposals, the union will post them as they are presented to the admin in bargaining sessions. Now posted – see and comment here.) Meanwhile, the UO administration has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Rudnick et al., and has nothing productive to show for it – except wanting to be called “the university”.

Interestingly, Rudnick’s arguments on the proper role of the faculty often diverged substantially from what President Gottfredson told the UO Senate in his first address. Watch the video, or read Hubin’s transcript, here.


My Notes:

Mike Mauer of the AAUP starts for faculty: We are ready to bargain, many proposals are ready to discuss now.

Sharon Rudnick of HLGR: Admin has no proposals ready to discuss. Hope to after the winter break.

Mauer: We want to improve salaries and working conditions and maintain academic quality of UO. Our proposals will memorialize many good and useful UO policies and practices – with some exceptions. Many things at UO work well and we will not try and change those. We will minimize game playing, not make crazy demands. We will give Admin many reasonable proposals that typically come from management side. Notes that UO does not have a faculty handbook (incredibly, this is true) so CBA will provide codification that will benefit institution.

We will not mess with role of the Senate or Departments – with some exceptions for adjuncts, e.g. job security, career enhancement.

These first two days we will try and lay out our non-economic proposals and we hope engage in real dialogue with Admin.

We will justify our proposals using specific examples from UO.

Q: Any questions?

Rudnick: “I am not a game player”. Not going to do positional bargaining. “We’re about listening to you …” We are not going to be in a position to start responding til after the break. (How much have we paid her firm already, for them to have no proposals yet?)

Mauer: Passes over the preamble to them.

Randy Geller: We will have to caucus on these.

Mauer: Here’s the recognition language from the ERB agreement.

Rudnick: She’s heard of visiting appointments, etc. She really doesn’t understand universities. May come back with anomalies in recognition language or later in the agreement. The admin hasn’t figured out how they want to deal with this yet? Why don’t Blandy and Gleason say anything?

Do you want a cutoff, say 0.25 FTE or keep everyone in unit. Your call. Matter of how much we take on in contract.

Mauer: Here’s the academic rank proposal. Most of the language here is lifted from what we can find in the current OAR’s. Add Post-docs as a type of adjunct. Diff between career and current adjuncts. Recognize there will be judgement calls, recognizes due role for administration to make decisions. Lots of details. Union’s been doing there homework. Adjuncts can be easily hired into career positions, … Any questions?

Rudnick: We’re going to need a break to talk about it.

Mauer: Shared Governance. (This is a big one).

We want to strengthen the Senate by bringing the Senate Constitution into the CBA. NOT to usurp role but to give Senate legal protection (That is, protection from Randy Geller).

More transparency by posting handbooks, department by-laws, practices, etc. Union doesn’t want to mess with these, just that they should be posted.

Rudnick: So, departments are below the level of colleges? What’s the diff between a department and a program? What if people overlap?

Scott Pratt, Deborah Greene: Some departments do have formal by-laws, others have practices written out to various degrees. Idea is to have departments write out by-laws explaining their current practices. Intention is to let the Deans decide whether people are bound by department, program, etc.

Mauer: Proposal on past practices. Takes existing UO, College, Department, practices and policies, they are the base point unless the contract changes something.

Special benefits. (Suppose, say, the university gives the Provost a BMW. Would all bargaining unit members get one too?)

Caucus time, restarting at 11AM.


Rudnick: We rewrote intent and purpose of preamble:

We would like to be called the University, not the Administration”

I call bullshit. The faculty are the university, not the people in Johnson Hall. Not Bean, not Geller, not …

Mauer calls her on this. She is going to fold. Geller is sweating. Blandy and Gleason are keeping their heads down.

Rudnick: Wants it acknowledged that the administration voluntarily recognized the union. No problem. Clarifying questions about rank proposal. Will Provost’s decisions be grievable? Mauer will address this later.

Shared Governance: Why is incorporating the Senate Constitution into CBA this a mandatory subject of bargaining. The Senate is not related to working conditions. Really? Mauer is great on this. This is Geller’s attempt to keep the faculty under his thumb. Rudnick pushes back. In doing so she is going to win the union a lot of new faculty friends. She doesn’t understand universities or faculty and it is showing.

She’s backing down a little, it will be subject of negotiation. Mauer is clear union is not trying to usurp Senate, rather strengthen it. This is a losing game for her. Blandy and Gleason still say nothing.

She is bringing up donations – doesn’t realize Senate committees already are supposed to be consulted on these things. Listen to Gottfredson’s first Senate speech – he’s already agreed Senate has a role on these things.

She’s trying to get a sense of how universities work. She’s starting to get it.

Rudnick on benefits: Sorry, not going to give faculty beamers just because Bean got one.

NOT going to agree to a past practices clause – this is huge. Many of the anti-union faculty were opposed because they thought the union would impose uniform rules across very different departments. Now the administration wants to force the union to do this. Wow!

Mauer: We want to recognize the differences across departments, preserve what has been working. Rudnick is not prepared to agree to it. Might come back to it. Too open-ended.

Mauer: Non-discrimination clause, sexual harassment, … (UO hasn’t followed Title IX law, the union is doing Geller and Daugherty’s job here.)

Rudnick: A member could grieve and file lawsuit at same time. (I think UO already does this, or says it does in the faculty handbook. Whoops, we don’t have a faculty handbook any more.) Can’t take away legal rights. She doesn’t realize there is already a UO process for grievances. Why isn’t Geller or Blandy stepping in here to explain this?

(The elephant in the room? This would allow employees to use union lawyers to seek redress instead of having to hire their own lawyer. Mauer knows her game here – standard stuff.)

She’s backing down, now wants more specifics, not objecting to the principle anymore.

Deborah Green: Wants it in the contract so it’s clear and so people will know they can go to the union for quicker, cheaper redress. Long history of suits that have been very expensive to the university. We should be working together on this language.

(Yes. But of course that would mean fewer billable hours for UO’s external law firm, which now seems to be Rudnick and HLGR.)

Contracts article:

Mauer: Adds transparency to individual faculty contracts. Derived from the existing OAR’s.

Written notice of appointment, responsibilities and expectations, workload ref, crediting of prior service, expectation of continued employment for career NTF. Does *not* provide lifetime guarantee, just expectation. Subject to resource, programmatic changes. Renewal offers to go out 90 days in advance, with provisions for exceptions. More provisions for post-docs, adjuncts. Attempts to avoid term by term hiring when avoidable. …

Scott Pratt: Adopts CAS policy for reviews for faculty who come in with prior credit towards tenure.

Rudnick: I suspect Geller, Blandy, Gleason have questions but apparently they can’t speak for themselves, so we’ll have to get back to you.

Workload article:

Mauer: We want to provide maximum flexibility for departments because they know best. We do want transparency about rules and expectations. Departments must adopt a written policy, that policy can certainly incorporate flexibility. Service will be incorporated, service as union officer will count as service as will department service, university committees, etc. Mandates transparency regarding stipends and admin support – again, differences across departments are fine. Overload compensation. Language comes from UO’s 1985 policy. Same idea – department’s can set policies, just make it transparent.

Rudnick: So department’s set policies so long as they follow these rules? Leave this up to the departments and the faculty? Where is the final adoption?

Pratt explains how Dean’s and Department’s now work it out, e.g. with teaching loads. Huge diversity e.g. with teaching loads – course release policies for research. Faculty, Deans and Department’s now work it out.

Rudnick: Where’s the final authority – e.g. if the Dean says no, you must teach 6 courses. As I read this it this gives the faculty the power to decide their workload? (She’s got a point, that’s a bit strong. And of course not what the proposal means. But it could be clearer. Mauer is trying to make the point that the union is not going to mess with current practices – work it out internally, with deans as it’s been done for the past 1100 years.)

Caucus time, back ~12:30.

Rudnick: No specific questions, need to look at details, we will come back with questions or counter-proposals, to keep things moving and specific. We think we get it and were you’re going, we’re not shocked or surprised by what you’ve presented. Keep on going?

Mauer: Here’s the NTTF evaluation and promotion proposal. Critical in terms of fairness and serving students. Evaluation every 18 courses or 3 years – less frequent but more thorough than present. Annual peer review with notification. Evaluation includes personal statement, allows credit for service.    Opportunities for professional development (since that’s included in evaluation). Makes clear this is for career not adjunct appointments. Promotion is elective, not up or out. Understands that admin has plans for NTTF reforms as well. etc.

We are seeking to fundamentally change the status of NTTF’s at the university.

Rudnick: Not sure how much we will respond to tomorrow. (Boy are they underprepared.)

Union information session Thursday

Update: Now that it’s been established that there’s no legal basis to the claim that UO can’t implement parts 2 and 3 of the Lariviere salary plan, you might be wondering how much Gottfredson’s stubborn refusal to just do it is costing you, per month.

I’ve now got the raw data for CAS (well, almost, turns out there are a few errors in the spreadsheet Coltrane sent me today, 5 weeks after I asked.) In a few days I should have a handy online calculator where you can enter your department and rank and get a rough answer, for TTFs and NTTFs.

If anyone wants this info for the other colleges I’m happy to make the public records request – in return for the standard emolument.

10/17/2012: The UAUO faculty union has called Gottfredson on his claim that UO cannot give faculty raises. I’ve heard various reports about how exactly this claim has been worded by Bean, Gottfredson and others speaking for the administration. See this post for more, e.g. this bit in writing:

The admin’s FAQ on the recent OA raises says:

  • Q:  Why aren’t you providing increases to faculty as well?
  • A:  Our faculty recently unionized.  Most adjustments to faculty salaries will need to be negotiated with the union as part of our initial collectively bargained contract.

I’m no $400 an hour Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick labor/tobacco company lawyer paid out of UO student tuition money, but this sure reads like a claim that there’s a legal prohibition on raises until there’s a contract. I’ve also got several emails and had many conversations with people confirming that they’ve heard the same basic story from Gottfredson, Bean and the deans, in various settings. Please put your version in the comments if you want others to see it. I expect JH to back down now that the union has called them on this, and start claiming that if you carefully parse their comments they meant …

BTW, Scott Coltrane still won’t give me the CAS salary proposal spreadsheet – what’s up with that Scott?

The Union’s statement:

Under state law, the Administration is supposed to negotiate any changes to the working conditions of UO faculty. If they want to give raises, they can simply request that we as a union agree. We do not have to be at the bargaining table to agree to faculty raises. The University Administration has not approached United Academics to express an intent to increase faculty salaries.

They’ve also announced the kickoff of the Union membership drive, and an information session on bargaining:

United Academics Bargaining Information Luncheon

Join your colleagues for an informative drop-in lunch to get updated on preparations for upcoming negotiations. Buffet lunch and information tables will be available from 11:00am-2:00pm: drop in when you are able. Membership cards will also be available for those who haven’t signed up yet. 

What: United Academics Bargaining Information Luncheon
When: Thursday, October 18, 2012, 11:00am – 2:00pm
Where: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Papé Reception Hall 

Your newly elected Bargaining Team and other faculty who worked over the summer to prepare for negotiations will share information, answer your questions, and gather input as we launch our campaign to win a strong first contract.

And there’s a brochure on basics, here.

UO can’t give raises because of the union?

10/12/2012: I’ve heard many reports of recent statements by Bean and Gottfredson that they can’t pay us the round 2 and 3 Lariviere raises because of the union. At the Head’s retreat, for example. Please post comments or email me about other stuff you’ve heard from admins on this, with what was said, by whom, and when. The more specific the better.

The admin’s FAQ on the recent OA raises says:

  • Q:  Why aren’t you providing increases to faculty as well?
  • A:  Our faculty recently unionized.  Most adjustments to faculty salaries will need to be negotiated with the union as part of our initial collectively bargained contract.

On the other hand UO has the money set aside – for TTF and NTTF – and it’s hard to see how Kitzhaber can let the coaches get 21%+ and then say no to the professors. And the Johnson Hall dwellers are apparently not saying the problem is the money or the Gov – they’re saying it’s unionization.

Is there a legal prohibition against giving raises without a contract, now that we’ve gone union? No.

Labor law does say that, because of the union vote, faculty now have the right to ask the union to file a grievance against the administration for changes in the terms of employment – which would include a raise. I’m no psychology professor, but I don’t think people file grievances about getting raises often enough to even get a note in the DSM.

If there was a pre-existing agreement to give raises, does UO have to follow through with it now that we’ve got a union? Maybe.

If UO had made a pre-existing commitment to raise faculty pay before the union vote, then not following through could trigger an ERB grievance. Was there a commitment? Well, for starters there’s this email from Interim Provost Bean, sent out a few months after he’d tried to convince us all to take furloughs:

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

The ERB is not going to take Bean’s word any more seriously than we do, but there’s more substantive evidence that faculty had reason to expect raises. I’ve got a public records request in for the spreadsheet showing what CAS had planned for rounds 2 and 3 of the Lariviere raises, for each TTF, by name. More than a month, and CAS Dean Scott Coltrane is still refusing to turn it over. If you’ve got a copy please send it along. Thanks!

I’m also trying to get more information on who is advising Gottfredson on labor law – I hope he knows better than to rely on Randy by now. My guess is that it’s Sharon Rudnick of Geller’s favorite firm, Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick. I’ve made a public records request, but Dave Hubin’s office wants to charge me $70 for the contracts – and it will be a lot more for the invoices and memos. You know where this is going – pony up, comrades.