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Administration FAQ on faculty union

1/23/2012: There is a lot of material on the UO HR unionization website, presumably put together with the help of the administration’s $300 anti-union consultants. The FAQ explains how card check works, I assume accurately. One important point:

If the faculty becomes unionized, could I negotiate separately with my dean concerning my own salary?

No. The union would become the “exclusive” representative for everyone in the bargaining unit/union, and it would bargain with the UO for matters concerning pay, benefits, hours, vacation time, sick leave, grievance procedures and other conditions of employment. Union-represented employees would not be able to negotiate on their own behalf concerning any of these matters, nor would any group other than the union be allowed to bargain with administration over these issues.

In effect, having a union would introduce a third party between the represented employees and the University. Thus, how administration and faculty interact would change because by law an employer is required to negotiate salary, benefits, and working conditions with the union and is prohibited from dealing directly with employees in these matters.

This does not mean you couldn’t get an outside offer and shop it to your dean. It just means her response would be limited by the contract terms. So, writing that contract appropriately will be key. Does anyone know how the other unionized AAU’s deal with this?


  1. Anonymous 01/23/2012

    That doesn’t sound complete to me. Unionized classified staff are individually eligible for performance-based salary increases. Those things are in the contract (Article 22, Section 3 in the 2009-2011 SEIU-OUS contract).

  2. Anonymous 01/24/2012

    I was a faculty member at a unionized university. Through the bargaining process, faculty unions work with administration to develop a salary structure that establishes baseline salaries. There is nothing about this that precludes individual faculty members negotiating on their own for salaries that are above the baseline, and this commonly occurs. Faculty unions do not negotiate the individual salary of every faculty member. And it is not the case that “Union-represented employees would not be able to negotiate on their own behalf….” Unions bargain baselines for the collective bargaining unit but individuals can still bargain for themselves above these baselines.

  3. pro-union 01/25/2012

    This makes it sound as though a collective bargaining agreement would insert the union between administration and individual faculty in every negotiation over salary. If that’s the intended message, then it is either ignorant or a piece of deliberate misinformation.

    In every university contract that I’m aware of, the agreement sets salary floors, not ceilings, which of course vary considerably according to rank and discipline. How exactly that relation gets established is a matter for the union membership to decide and then hammer out in an agreement with the administration.

  4. Anonymous 01/31/2012

    The HR FAQ (cited at the opening) contains several erroneous or misleading claims (I guess the anti-union consultants did their job); this is clearly another one of those intended to spark disaffection and confusion. A look at the University of Delaware’s CBA, articles 9 and 12, clearly show that merit/performance based salary increases do not involve a 3rd party intervening in every decision. The CBA simply spells out the procedures for merit based variations in pay increases. Something like this would be a great improvement over the ad hoc process so many of our departments at UO employ, including mine.

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