Town Hall on Unionization, Friday 3-5 PM, 180 PLC

2/4/2010: We asked the Town Hall speakers for a summary of their planned remarks. We got some thoughtful comments from Gordon Sayre.

Remarks: Gordon Sayre, English (and former Senate Pres):

Summarizing, Sayre says that he believes the strongest argument for unionization is salaries, and he cites the 10-year-old Senate white paper on this as evidence. Frohnmayer claimed he supported the White Paper, repeatedly said it was his highest priority for UO, (Ed: and then ignored it for 10 years while tripling his own pay.) Without a union the faculty had no recourse. Sayre also argues that faculty and OA’s have common cause over benefits, and says unionization will not end merit increases. Finally, he makes a strong case for the importance of unionization in faculty governance, citing recent attacks on the role and rights of the faculty, particularly by UO General Counsel Melinda Grier.

Remarks: UO Administration:

Resources: 

The UO Matters faculty survey results are here.

The current SUNY contract (Stony Brook and Buffalo?) is available here. It provides minimum salaries by rank and grade, requires the administration to set aside certain additional percentages of the total salary expenditure each year for additional raises, and specifically states “§20.12 Nothing contained herein shall prevent the University, in its discretion, from granting further upward salary adjustments of individual employees.” I don’t know how this works in practice, but I’ve heard from one person that there is no problem making merit and retention raises. Here’s a flyer on the University of Florida contract.

While the UO administration page on Union info seems intentionally written to lead you to think dues would likely be on the order of 2.1% of salary, the SUNY faculty union dues are 1% of salary. University of Florida dues? Also 1%. When will the UO administrators learn that trying to fool the faculty is a dumb idea – particularly when they are so bad at it? Their history of this – which Lariviere is apparently unwilling to address – is one of the strongest arguments for a union. It sure ain’t  the free turkey.

People have been asking me if this post means I’m pro union. I’m not, but I’m am pro information, and at the moment the union people seem considerably more transparent and honest than the UO administration.

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