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.

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44 Responses to Union information session Thursday

  1. Anonymous says:

    Nice that they’re providing lunch. Who’s paying?

    • Anonymous says:

      Presumably the lunch is provided from the dues of our comrades at other institutions. We’re eating the 1%!

    • Anonymous says:

      Very clever. Especially the “comrades” part. You should keep saying that – it’s been so illuminating and funny the first 9,000 times.

      Feel free to provide substantive commentary at any time too unless that is as deep as your understanding of what’s happening goes.

    • Anonymous says:

      I answered the question. How is that not substantive, comrade?

    • Anonymous says:

      After reading the union website it appears that I’ve been using the incorrect terminology. Rather than “comrade”, I should have used “brother” or “sister”. My apologies – it won’t happen again. In my defense, comrade is asexual.

    • Anonymous says:

      Still hilarious. You are so funny it makes me wonder, do you have other material or is this it?

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s funny is that you called me out for not adding anything substantive when I actually answered the question and you haven’t contributed anything!

      BTW, of course I’m not going to blow my whole wad on this one thread.

    • Anonymous says:

      Funniest thing you said so far. You “answered” the question? OK, got me.

    • Anonymous says:

      If my answer’s wrong, brother/sister, then pony up the correct one. It seems like we’re both enjoying this little dance we’ve got going though – maybe hold off for a few more rounds?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I must have missed where the Gottfredson said the UO can’t legally give raises because of the union. Can I get a quote to make sure this isn’t uomatters distortion?

    • Anonymous says:

      So uomatters has been ranting about this for weeks but doesn’t have the goods to back it up? Shoot first and ask for transcripts to save your ass later…

    • Anonymous says:

      The FAQ response is the best you’ve got??? Weak. Very weak. Your rants have been a complete distortion of that statement. What a pointless and petty distraction.

    • uomatters says:

      Thanks, what has the administration been telling you?

    • Anonymous says:

      The same thing that’s in the FAQ response that you quoted and it makes perfect sense. Is this uomatters GOTCHA journalism?

    • uomatters says:

      So, you think that FAQ statement says that the administration acknowledges it could give raises now?

    • Anonymous says:

      I interpret the statement as follows: Why aren’t faculty getting raises? Because we’re going to be negotiating salaries with the union in a few months. Like I said, makes perfect sense to me. But feel free to add a few “can’t legally”s in there to get the troops fired up and notch another uomatters GOTCHA.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone attending the so-called Department Head Retreat (yawn …) on Oct 2, as I did, would have heard that the administration is not allowed to grant raises in advance of the CBA negotiations.

    • uomatters says:

      So, you’re saying a more honest statement by Gottfredson would have been:

      “We’ve got the money and there’s nothing preventing us giving it to the faculty now, but we’re going to hold back for another 6 months to a year, because we think it will help us screw them at the bargaining table, just like JH has been doing since the 2000 white paper. Over the long run an angry faculty is the best way to keep us in the AAU.”

    • Anonymous says:

      I hope you don’t kid yourself that this crap is actually helping the UO. http://www.PointlessVendettasAgainstUOAdmins.com

    • Anonymous says:

      IF an administrator really said that the UO cannot legally give raises because of the union, then apparently they were wrong. Woo Hoo – GOTCHA! You showed ’em! I’m sure this GOTCHA will really improve things at the UO.

      Unfortunately it doesn’t change the fact that there’s an entirely legitimate reason for holding off on giving raises – the upcoming negotiations.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s much more than they were just wrong – they were either deceptive and foisting blame for their decision on the union or they were incompetent in not knowing this fact. In either case, it’s a very important signal from a new president in an environment were we have been subject to egregious deception and incompetence for years.

      Does revealing this, in and of itself, “improve” things? Who knows? But the alternative is to continue not to speak truth to power and turn a blind eye to deception and incompetence. is it your claim that this will “improve” things at UO?

    • Anonymous says:

      Down with the man – yeah, yeah. The official party line is above in the response to the FAQ quoted above and it’s perfectly reasonable and fine. So there are rumors that bad people said deceptive, incompetent things at this venue or that meeting – so what? Maybe the audience was asleep (yawn …) when these untruths were said? Not listening to rumors is a far cry from “turning a blind eye to deception and incompetence” wouldn’t you agree? Should we ignore the official response and act on the rumors – that’s idiocy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s keep the facts straight. My reply about deception and incompetence was based on your IF scenario:

      “IF an administrator really said that the UO cannot legally give raises because of the union, then apparently they were wrong. Woo Hoo – GOTCHA! You showed ’em! I’m sure this GOTCHA will really improve things at the UO. “

      IF your scenario is true, then I assert it is important. You asserted it wasn’t important IF that scenario were true. That would be idiotic – to claim that it’s not important if our President has deceived the faculty or is incompetent. I have not said either of those things – I am working off your own IF statement.

      Of course, you knew that but it is much easier to make your point if you pretend we are having a different conversation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well I can only read what you wrote – you certainly didn’t make it clear. In any event, I don’t personally have a problem if someone said something different than the party line – the published FAQ response. First, I just don’t see the intent to deceive – the actual response is published. Second, people, even administrators, make mistakes. Some rise to the level of incompetence, but this one doesn’t in my book. Perhaps an admin was told no raises until union bargaining without being told the reasoning – upon being asked the question they could have “freelanced” too much. I don’t see this as a big deal and am willing to give the benefit of the doubt. And this is IF the rumors are true.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have been very productive recently. Bottom line, unless I get a raise soon, I’ll be forced to go on the market to reap the rewards of my hard work which doesn’t appear to be valued by the admins.

    • Anonymous says:

      What’s funny/sad is that it’s going to be even worse with regard to merit raises after the union. And having to get competing offers to get a good bump (which isn’t unique to the UO) was supposedly one of the motivating factors for the union. Oops!

    • Anonymous says:

      On what evidence do you base the claim that “it’s going to be even worse with regard to merit raises after the union”? Or are you claiming that is necessarily an outcome of unionizing?

      Why do you assume that your colleagues would not want to negotiate merit raises? Especially, as you said, it was one of the motivating factors of the union. If it was a motivating factor why would it not be a primary point in collective bargaining? Also, why would you assume your colleagues would negotiate away the ability for units to give merit raises?

      The closer I read your comment, the more it doesn’t make any sense.

    • Anonymous says:

      what is the definition of merit? stacking the deck to get high scores on teaching reviews? or gaining recognition for innovative teaching success at a national or international level?

    • Anonymous says:

      “why would you assume your colleagues would negotiate away the ability for units to give merit raises” explains the future. The CBA will tie up all available resources and when someone complains that they’re not getting a merit raise, they’ll be told to talk to the union. The union will respond with the party line above – “hey, we’re not saying that they CAN’T give you a raise” – pointing you back towards the admin. Maybe I’m wrong – who knows?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m claiming that it’s a necessary outcome of unionizing. But I could be wrong and certainly hope that I am. Quell my fears by explaining how our CBA, perhaps based on existing ones at other universities, will reward our fellow Anon above who has been very productive recently. The CBAs that I’ve seen don’t include anything having to do with anything that I consider relevant to productivity at a research university. In fact, they do a lot of things that would appear to do the opposite. Furthermore, most of the productive science faculty won’t even be part of the union. Hence my pessimism.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fair enough. I hope you will at least come to the event tomorrow and talk to your colleagues who have been working very hard over the summer to address important issues like these.

      We have to get past the “us” (union) v. “them” (bargaining unit members opposed to the union) mentality to have real progress. It makes no sense to presume or assert that the “us” is out to screw the “them”. They are not different groups in terms of the collective bargaining agreement so it would really be screwing ourselves.

      If it’s a necessary outcome of unionizing, then we will have been sold a bill of goods. But we won’t know that until much later in the process. For now, we have a real chance to make sure it isn’t if we come together.

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s already clear to me that I have an extremely minority view. When I’ve even tried to slightly broach these subjects it became clear VERY quickly that it’s pointless for me to try and engage in this process. The environment is highly polarized. Wish I could say otherwise. If you have a different experience – I wish you the best of luck and hope you’re successful.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just to follow up a bit – look at the composition of this union. The majority of this union is not concerned with the “Fat Cat Knight Professors” (an expression I’ve heard). Keeping UO a top-notch research university (i.e. merit raises) is simply not going to be on the priority list. Too many other goodies to worry about, along with a perception that there’s a huge pile of cash squirreled away that can pay for all this and more. Sorry – that’s my negative read on the state of affairs.

    • Anonymous says:

      That perception contrasts a great deal with my experience in the discussion of these matters. I assume you are referring to the NTTF majority and I can say without reservation that the NTTF involved in this work understand that keeping us a top-notch research university is a fundamental priority and good for all of us. That fundamental priority has driven our discussions.

      I agree it is highly polarized and I think that has to change. You seem like someone who can reason and engage in debate rather than hysterics. Help us pull together when you can.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for the response and I apologize for my claim re: top-notch research. I should have said merit raises are not going to be on the priority list. I’d love to hear how the NTTF desire to keep UO going strong is translating into concrete proposals for the CBA. When I’ve gotten into specifics in these discussions, it’s clear that you’re exactly right – NTTF want to keep UO a top-notch research university – but when it comes to what it takes to do that (paying professors who already make much more than them even more), they haven’t been enthusiastic. Of course the sample size is small so maybe it’s the circles I travel in.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dog offers

    the word Union here creates a lot of noise. I would like to offer the following as a structured way to deal with the issue “salary raises”.

    Basically, I think there are 5 kinds of salary raises that exist and have been employed at the UO.

    1. Across the board COLA raises – this is something that the Union might be able to better facilitate this occurring on an annual basis.

    2. Merit raises based on internal departmental criteria then forwarded on to the relevant dean. As I have said before, independent of us having a Union, I think merit raises are just gone
    now as a basis for raise – for a host of reasons. I do not see the Union as the vehicle for enabling merit raises. To be effective, merit raises have to have a large average value (like 5% in my view)
    and that seems unlikely to me.

    3. Retention raises – these are usually handled on a case by case basis and would seem to be decoupled from the existence of the Union.

    4. External Equity raises – This was essentially the basis for the CAS May 2011 raises. I imagine that with NTTFs and TTFs involved in the same union, the way this raise is determined will become very much more complicated and cumbersome likely delaying its next implementation.

    5. Internal Equity raises – in some cases this can be triggered by a retention raise which shuffles the “rank ordered” salary list in a department and this amounts to a redistribution of salary money within a department. I can see the Union arguing for this in terms of making the salary differential between average department TTF and average department NTTF to be less. I think this can lead to a lot of problems – salary redistribution issues are heinous.

    • Anonymous says:

      The complaints on raises are exactly what many expected from the union naïveté’ it’s called collective bargaining also i just who would the union officers be who could authorize an administrative action on raises.? To my knowledge there have been no official elections no elected officers. Implementing a change in compensation unilaterally is expressly illegal . A majority of the sliced and diced members of the bargaining unit chose this system it has rules, though apparently our new union does not. So we probably need to cut everyone, including the union and administration some slack for another fe months just one opinion. From an actual union member trying to make the best of where we find ourselves.

    • Oryx says:

      Nevermind the union — let’s express our views on grammar and punctuation! I’m ‘for.’

  6. Beliver in Education says:

    Until the University faculty takes back the ability to be an important member in the process of hiring a new president events of today will never change.

    By hiring some well paid “headhunter” service this University will always have a president that works in the best interest of the administration. Remember the last President we had here that the faculty was involved in the hiring process???? I do, and it sure wasn’t Dave. Yeah, Dave that upstanding human who infiltrated us with the plague of greed, secrecy and misdeeds against the rest of us.

    I remember the days when we were still a University…Institution of Higher Education. Today well we really have little to be proud of. I for one no longer let people know I’m a Duck…got tired of being called a Nike University employee and laughed at.

    So truth is people…this new president….won’t be any different than the last interim or Dave….he has little interest in faculty…only administration and what he can do for them. The days of having a president who works WITH faculty for the better of the institution are long gone.

    I was told to hold off on my judgement. Why? its already clear what kind of person this new president is…a mini me of Dave.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand why the admin *would* give raises without being at the bargaining table. The faculty went union because they didn’t feel like they were getting a fair shake from admin, right? Do you seriously think that the admin, after getting slapped in the face by the faculty, is going to start throwing money at the faculty?

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe this is why…”salary savings”…$ may already be in unit budgets, but don’t have to pay it out right away, and they pocket the difference.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Here’s an idea for the administrators. Agree to complete the raises planned by Lariviere right now, and we’ll decertify the union.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think NTTF would buy that plan and they’re the majority of the union. Nice try though.

  9. Anonymous says:

    How was the union lunch? Did anyone find out who the bargaining team is and who elected them?